Friday, July 25, 2014
Saturday, July 12, 2014
|Example of grotesque|
|Albrecht Durer: Melencholia|
as Aristotle admirably puts it, they may still be subject to depression and overexcitement, but they outrank all other men: “All truly outstanding men, whether distinguished in philosophy, in statecraft, in poetry or in the arts, are melancholics…” **
In 1511, at Feltre, Morto signed and dated an altar of the Madonna with St. Stephen and St. Liberale (now Berlin Dahlem). Its style is more advanced than anything on the contemporary Venetian scene except for Titian and Sebastiano…this painting reflects the density of form and something of the tenor of emotion of Giorgione’s later art. ***
In his arabesques Morto approached more nearly to the ancient style than any other painter, and therefore he deserves great praise. What he began was continued by Giovanni da Udine and other artists with great beauty. But their success does not dim the renown of Morto, who was the originator…###
Thursday, June 26, 2014
A few years ago famed Venetian art historian Jaynie Anderson noted Michiel’s deficiencies in her Giorgione catalog. For example, she believed that in his discussion of a St. Jerome by Antonello da Messina,
Michiel appears to be the passive communicator of received opinions, which he is unable to verify…The fanciful absurdity of his suggestion throws doubt on Michiel’s canonical status in similar statements about other pictures…. **
What are we to make of the famous description of the Tempesta, where a nude female, suckling her infant in an open landscape, is identified as a gypsy—‘la cingana’. …Yet Giorgione’s gypsy looks less like a gypsy than those of other artists;…nor is she engaged in any of the traditional activities associated with gypsies,…What did Michiel mean by his use of the word? Like all connoisseurs, he was not as interested in subject matter as we would like him to have been…Michiel, alas, chose to record only the briefest of impressions. ***
In the House of Messer Taddeo Contarini. 1525. The picture on canvas, representing the birth of Paris, in a landscape, with two shepherds standing, was painted by Giorgio di Castelfranco, and is one of his early works.
|David Teniers: Copy of a lost Giorgione|
Monday, June 9, 2014
The canvas picture in oil, representing three Philosophers in a landscape, two of them standing up and the other one seated, and looking up at the light, with the rock so wonderfully imitated, was commenced by Giorgio di Castelfranco and finished by Sebastiano Veneziano. *
|Francia: Adoration of the Magi, c. 1499|
Oil on panel, 16x23 inches
|Giorgione: "Boy with an Arrow".|
For convenience I append my original essay on the "Three Philosophers" below.
*The Anonimo, Notes on Pictures and Works of Art in Italy made by an Anonymous Writer in the Sixteenth Century: ed. By George C. Williamson, London, 1903, p. 102.
Giorgione's "Three Philosophers."
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
In his massive 2009 study of Giorgione, Enrico Maria dal Pozzolo attached great importance to a seventeenth century copy by David Teniers of a now lost Giorgione painting. Dal Pozzolo accepted the traditional identification of the painting as the discovery of the infant Paris on Mt. Ida, and paired it with another lost Giorgione, the meeting of Aeneas and his father, Anchises, after the fall of Troy.
as we previously stated, the Birth of Paris and the probable flight of Aeneas and Anchises from Troy constitute the beginning and the end of the Trojan saga. These specific subjects had seemingly never been represented in Venetian painting before Giorgione; but they were afterwards, and also in paintings by artists (both anonymous and identifiable) who were bound with the master of Castelfranco’s activity…. (Dal Pozzolo, Giorgione, 2009, p. 264)
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
It is impossible not to feel a certain sympathy for this scholar (1882-1949), who never taught and never managed to publish his book New Titles for Old Pictures, part of which was devoted to Giorgione. (After Richter dated it with a reference ‘London, 1935’ it was quoted by a long line of scholars as though it were a published work!) After various adversities, one of which was a long imprisonment in Nazi camps, Eisler discovered that some of his ideas on Giorgione were beginning to circulate through Richter’s book and attempted to draw attention to this fact in a letter to the Times Literary Supplement (1946). He corrected the proofs but only a third of his letter was finally published… regarding the Tempest, while the rest, on the Three Philosophers, is still unedited… The proposition quoted here is not included in the typescript of the book, and is only formulated in the letter to the Times Literary Supplement. (The Eisler Papers are preserved in the Warburg Insitute, where I was permitted , with a customary perfect courtesy, to examine them at my leisure.*
* Salvatore Settis, Giorgione's Tempest, 1990, c. 5, n. 45.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
The young beginner who had visited Venice eleven years before was now a world-renowned master whose inventions were copied and imitated everywhere. Also, he was no longer poor….Thus he did not walk about the city as an unknown and insignificant tourist but plunged into its colorful and stimulating life as a distinguished guest. He became acquainted with ‘intelligent scholars, good lute-players, flutists, connoisseurs of painting and many noble minds’ who honored and befriended him. [107-8]
Old Giovanni Bellini…visited his studio and expressed the wish to acquire one of his paintings…When the “Feast of the Rose Garlands” was completed it was admired by the whole Venetian aristocracy, including the Doge and the Patriarch, and finally even by Durer’s colleagues….” 
The balanced grandeur of this composition would not have been attainable to Durer without the study and complete understanding of the style of Giovanni Bellini whom he so frankly admired…(112)
The inclusion of this figure…was an utter novelty in Northern art which…knew only the triad of the Holy Family and the complete circle of the Holy Kinship, but not the “Virgin with the Infant Jesus and the Little St. John.” This theme was Central Italian rather than Venetian, but that compositions not unlike Durer’s…existed in Venice and the “Terra Firma” is demonstrated… 
The emphasis on manual gesticulation, and even the specific gesture of arguing by counting fingers is unquestionably Italian, as is also the compositional form as a whole. The idea of presenting a dramatic incident by half-length figures so that the whole effect is concentrated on the expressive quality of hands and faces had been sanctioned by Mantegna…and had gained favor in all the North Italian schools, particularly in Venice and Milan.