Page 1

Two centuries of masterpieces

from the era preceding the

dawn of modern art *'

.


Boston Public Library


Digitized by the Internet Archive in

2012

http://www.archive.org/details/baroquepaintingtOOzuff


BAROQUE PAINTING


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BAROQUE PAINTING Two centuries of masterpieces

from the era preceding the

dawn of modern art

BARRON'S


JP BR

ND177 .P5813 1999* Editor:

Stefano Zuffi

lconographic research: Francesca Castria Texts by Francesca Castria

(the chapters on France

and Stefano

and Great Britain)

Zuffi

(the chapters on Spain, Italy, Flanders, Holland,

Germany, and Austria) English translation:

Mark Eaton,

Felicity

Lutz, Paul Metcalfe for Scriptum,

Rome

Front cover:

Frans Hals The Laughing Cavalier, detail

1624 on canvas, 32% x 26'/2 in. (83 x 67.3 cm)

oil

Wallace Collection, London

On the first pages: Anthony van Dvck Three Children of the detail,

De

Franchi Family,

1627

on canvas, x S9'/2 in. (219x 151 cm)

oil

86»/4

National Gallery,

London

Diego Velazquez Las Meninas,

1656 on canvas,

detail, oil

122 x 108% in. (310 x 276 cm) Prado, Madrid

v

Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin Girl tilth Racket

and

Shuttlecock,

detail, oil

(81

on canvas, 32 x x 65 cm)

Uffizi,

25'/2 in.

Florence

© Copyright Elemond

1999 by Electa, Milan,

Italy

Editori Associati

English version

© Copyright No

1999 bv Barron's Educational Series, Inc.

book may be reproduced in any form by photostat, microfilm, xerography, or any other means, or incorporated into any information retrieval system, electronic or mechanical, All rights reserved.

part of this

without the written permission of the copyright owner. All inquiries should

be addressed to:

Barron's Educational Series, Inc. 2

50 Wireless Boulevard

Hauppauge, NY 11788 http: // www.barronseduc.com International Standard

Book Number: 0-7641-5214-9 Number: 99-735 31

Library of Congress Catalog

Printed

in Italv

987654321


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and eighteenth

This volume presents the great adventure of Western painting in the seventeenth

and complex period

centuries through the phases oj a rich

standpoint as"Baroque."This adjective

when

On

it is

still

nhcd from the

cultural

to be understood here in the general sense as defining

is

rather than pinpointing the character of individual artists

vaguely negative connotation

that can he dc\<

and movements.

It is

an era

essential to dismiss the

attached to the word "baroque" in ordinary language and opinion,

used to indicate something excessive, exaggerated, or overpowering.

many

the contrary, the Baroque era wasjor

countries a period of splendor, "the golden century"

for culture and the economy. The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries witnessed the formation

and consolidation of the strong and

clearly recognizable national identities underpinning the present

geopolitical configuration of Europe

and America.

Manyfundamental

breakthroughs in thought and science date back to these two centuries, especially

method

the concept of using a systematic

to

gain knowledge of the universe surrounding

us.

The almost

simultaneous invention of the telescope and the microscope symbolizes the desire to go beyond what can be seen with the naked eye, to use

new

tools to tackle a world that eludes the senses, but that can be

conquered by the mind.

As the"art of the humanists and

drawing upon

measures itself against the advances in science and in turn pushes

visible," painting

itself beyond the limits artists

of the consolidated rules and the harmonious canons of the Renaissance. While

had long endeavored

to establish the rules

art of extreme emotion, often inspired by the theater, the spectacle, but

is

of Shakespeare,

also ready to in

plumb

new

the depths of the

Baroque

human

step

beyond these limitations. An

strives for the

"wonder" of unexpected

soul as never before. As in the tragedies

Baroque painting magnificent and turbidfigures from the past become anguished

and unfailingly "modern" images

Maybe

and canons of beauty and elegance by

Baroque marked a courageous

classical antiquity, the

of

human feelings, fear, and

misery.

the greatest innovation of Baroque art lies not "inside"the painting

role assigned to the viewer.

From Caravaggio

itself,

but outside

on, the person looking at the painting was

it

in the

no longer

an extraneous "spectator" but an "eyewitness" present at the time and place of the events depicted.

The protagonists of this volume are among the greatest masters of art of all great figures, the seventeenth

and eighteenth

centuries boast a whole series

contributed toward forming the figurative climate the volume

is

made between

and

artistic culture

time, but alongside the

of impressive

artists

of their nations. For

who

this reason,

organized in terms of the national schools of the different countries, with a distinction the seventeenth

and eighteenth

England that we have included the first Royal Academy in London.) We thus seek

centuries. (It

artists

is

of the United

to facilitate a

only in the case of eighteenth-century States,

who

received their training at the

knowledge and understanding of painting

in

which the most extraordinary masterpieces are never the lone, isolated result of a sudden outburst of creative genius, but emerge from a

complex climate, from a historical and intellectual context, which

they then come to epitomize and symbolize. The

common

of Rome, the cultural exchanges, and the

of artists

travels

points of reference, including the great myth

and works of art, mark the constant new emotions and discoveries.

stimulating cross-fertilization in an era that continues to offer


ÂŁ Oh

on

<u 9^1 ^^3i 'fc

BHg.^^1

"w

^BIWB

^^^^k Diego Velazquez Las Hilanderas (The Myth of Arachne), detail c.

1653

on canvas, 86V2X 116% in. (220 x 289 cm) oil

Prado, Madrid

W^<Z


the history of art and literature, the seventeenth

In

century

is

"Golden Cen-

for Spain el sigh de oro, the

tury" of cultural glory that makes the Spanish nation

an indispensable point of reference for any understanding of the anxieties, projects, unrest, and splendor

of this controversial and fascinating era.

More

so in Spain than anywhere else, the seventeenth

century was one of glaring contradictions, where apparently irreconcilable manifestations and

phenomena coex-

and indeed provided extraordinary inspiration for

isted,

poets and painters.

If

we observe

the historical situation,

the decline of the universal powers of the emperors of

Madrid this

is,

in fact, quite evident. In

turn of events,

order to understand

we must go back to the

century, and precisely to the year 1548. the great Charles

V won

mid-sixteenth

It

was then

a decisive victory in the

that

bloody

and exhausting war of religion against the German Protestant princes. Unimaginable wealth began to flow in

from the overseas colonies with the precious metals

from Central and South America

(like

the proverbial

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

gold of Peru). The proud crest chosen by Charles V

the

Columns of Hercules and the motto Plus Ultra had a very real significance. The image of the emperor and his artistic tastes were expressed to the highest degree by Titian,

el

pintor primero, in a series of masterpieces exe-

cuted during

a relationship lasting decades.

Exhausted by

a life

ical strain

of incredible physical and psycholog-

and by ruling for more than thirty years over

an empire "on which the sun never

set,"

ed to abdicate in 1556, and arranged such

a

way

empire

as to split the

trian" part, entrusted to his

Charles V decidhis succession in

effectively into an "Aus-

nephew Ferdinand, and

a

"Spanish" part (including the Italian colonies of Naples

and Milan

as well as all the

trusted to his son, Philip

(who died

in

1

II.

American possessions), enIt was the reign of Philip II

598) that began the historical phase char-

acterized by the gradual loss of power, introverted bureaucratic retrenchment, and the increasingly elephantine

and remote administrative management of a totter-

ing empire.

It

was to take centuries, right up to the wars in the American states, but the fall of

of independence

the Spanish empire, paradoxically accompanied and

most underscored by impressive architectectural tives, 10

al-

initia-

began during the second half of the sixteenth cen-

tury. This state of

pomp

and decline was to be portrayed


Opposite page: Francisco de Zurbaran St. Casilda c.

oil

1640 on canvas,

72V4 x 35'/2 in. (184 x90cm) Prado, Madrid

in masterly fashion

from

Greco

El

by the greatest painters

in Spanish art,

to Velazquez, and by the seventeenth-

century writers (Cervantes, Gongora, Tirso de Molina,

and Quevedo). There

the huge,

palace-museum-cemetery

came

model

the

painting

— and

between the gloomy sanctuary-

a striking parallel

is

growth of the Escorial

by Philip

built

II,

which be-

for architectural style, sculpture, and

most important mil-

the total failure of the

campaign launched by the emperor, namely, the

itary

foolhardy attempt to invade England with the Invencible

Armada, the slow, ostentatious

fleet

routed by the English

ships in 1588. For the first time since the heroic days of

the

performed by the Catholic King Ferdinand

feats

against the

Moors

at

Granada, proud Spain experienced

drastic, unmitigated military defeat.

The Spanish war ma-

which had fought back with pride

chine,

at

the Battle of

Lepanto, but could not quell the drive for independence in the

northern Netherlands, received a mortal wound.

While Spain gave Catholicism the impassioned soaring mysticism, and the organizational figures such as Ignatius of Loyola

and

St.

voice, the

commitment of

Theresa of Avila,

the psychological, military, and political scenario

was

changing, together with the course of art, as the sixteenth

century drew to

a close. The turning point in the field came mainly through the extraordinary creative vein of a painter of bizarre genius, Domenikos Theotokopoulos, known as El Greco. Born on the island

which he executed huge, magnificent paintings where

of Crete, then a Venetian possession, El Greco arrived in

the influence of the Italian masters gradually gives

Toledo

an astounding, remarkable, visionary

of painting

at

the age of thirty-six with a rich artistic experi-

Rome

way

to

oil

new

With

El

High Renaissance (Titian, Michelangelo, and Tintoretto). The works painted in

tional

dimension that more than makes up for the not so

masters

Italv,

little

warning of the violent passions,

and emotions that were to erupt

he settled

in Spain. El

temperament was torical

in contact

Italian

however, gave

feelings,

after

of the

in his paintings

Greco's high-strung, mystical

able to identify perfectly with the his-

and cultural context

in

which he found himself.

The intense, "extreme" emotions expressed by the painter were portrayed against the background of Castile, and reverberated with

still

greater intensity and conflict. El

Greco put himself forward his services to Philip

II,

Greco

1609 on canvas,

creativity.

with the great

ence gained in Venice and

El

Fray Hortensio Felix de Paravicino

as a painter-courtier, offered

and sought to enter the

artistic

Greco, Spanish painting entered

it

interna-

period of the sixteenth century. At the same

brilliant

time,

a

must be admitted

particular and fragile in

that El Greco's style

its

so very

intimate equilibrium, pushed

to the limit of artistic verve, but without falling into the

trap of absurdity or exaggeration followers.

The great painting of

mary point of reference

—had

el siglo

in Velazquez,

practically

de oro has

its

no pri-

an absolutely out-

standing figure and one of the seventeenth century's leading international artists. Unlike El Greco, the preco-

cious and highly cultivated talent of the master from Seville

soon

won

explicit

official

recognition.

workshop of the Escorial, but the sovereign's response was cool and the painter was relegated to the sidelines.

decades Velazquez was the court painter, but

His art was mainly devoted to the churches of Toledo, for

beginning and ending with the supply of works of

Philip IV

were not confined to

his ties

For with

a simple, cold relationship art.

44'/2 x (1

33%

in.

13 x 86 cm)

Museum Boston

of Fine Arts,


Diego Velazquez

Diego Velazquez Mercury ana Argus 1659 oil on canvas, 50 x 97% in. (127x 248 cm) Prado, Madrid

Pope Innocent X 1650 oil on canvas, 55 x 47'/4 in. (140 x 120 cm) Gallena Dona Pamphili,

Rome

Almost one century

later, this

meeting of personalities was

reminiscent of that between Charles V and Titian. In point

of

fact,

the

Velazquez.

latter

The

a

is

precise

stylistic

precursor of

rich flesh tones and colors and the broad

brushstrokes of the Venetian live again in the Spaniard's art, especially in the vibrant portraits

of the king and his

family, the courtiers^and the figures gravitating

royal palace. Velazquez

was

also influenced

around the

by the paintings

of Caravaggio, which he studied carefully during his two long stays in

Italy.

In the seventeenth century, Caravaggio 's

diagonal light and use of shading influenced the whole of

European painting, but Velazquez grasped the true import

Lombard

of the innovations put forward by the

and did not merely stop

at

painter

chiaroscuro effects. Perhaps no

other artist has ever succeeded in capturing with such lucidity the lyrical

and melancholic poetry, the daily hard-

ship and fleeting joys of a dust-laden, threadbare world,

poor but

vital,

imbued with humanity and

portrayer of the most sumptuous court also depicted the

the

century's

ragged poor, offering

truth.

attire,

A

superb

Velazquez

a parallel vision of

two opposite extremes untouched by

rhetoric or populism.

Directly or indirectly, Velazquez constituted the yardstick for

12

all

the Spanish painters of

el

sigh de oro, and above

all


Jusepe de Ribera

Martyrdom of St. Bartholomew 1630 oil on canvas, 92'/4 x 92'/4 in.

(234 x 234 cm) Prado, Madrid

for those of his

many

own

city.

The

Seville school

produced

of the leading masters, including Zurbaran,

Murillo, and Valdes Leal. This great Andalusian city

w

wealth of historical traditions in the architec-

ith its

tural

and

garded

must

intellectual fields

for this reason be re-

as the center of Spanish art in the seventeenth

century.

Its

rich and varied cultural

icant initiatives

life

on the part of the

included

which constituted the principal patrons of is

signif-

religious orders, local art.

It

very interesting to note the great differences in the

compositional and

which

is

stylistic

choices of Seville's painters,

evidence of an enormous variety of proposals

and solutions. Zurbaran

is

distinctively static, inter-

ested in almost sculptural figures, with a magnetic and

almost metaphysical appeal; Murillo, by contrast,

is

an

outpouring of affectionate, endearing devotion made

up of smiles, human warmth, and the

flashing eyes of

With

his frayed, dra-

urchins in need of redemption.

matic brushstrokes, Valdes Leal exemplifies the most

tormented aspect of verging

at

a mortifying religious sentiment,

times on the macabre and terrifying. The

Seville school also

produced Alonso Cano,

from Granada, who was involved

in

originally

works commis-

sioned by the conde-duque de Olivares and settled in

Madrid, where he became the closest

lower of Velazquez.

An

by Jusepe de Ribera,

and

assistant

important position

fol-

occupied

is

a painter of great international

renown, though he was stubbornly linked to Spain despite the fact that

he spent practically

Naples (which was, Spain's

it

most important colonies and the

life in

city

with the

population in seventeenth-century Europe)

largest

and was firmly rooted it

all his

should be remembered, one of

in the local school.

The

explic-

reference to Caravaggio, authoritatively emphasized

and developed by Ribera

in

terms of

element and straightforward realism, language" of seventeenth-century This

is

human "common

a strong is

the

Spanish painting.

especially true for paintings of religious sub-

jects, large

numbers of which were commissioned by

lifes

ly

are a

moment

of solitude and contemplation, a high-

concentrated and fascinating synthesis.

its

most

direct and intense interpretive key.

The canvases by Zurbaran and

the specialist

Sanchez Cotan give an essential, "silent" interpretation of great rigor. Far

removed from the loud exultation of

other works from the same period, the Spanish

still

Hovering be-

tween dreams of glory and present-dav hardship, torn between the pride of being empire and the everyday

a subject

trials

of an intercontinental

of a sun-drenched and daz-

zled country, the Spaniard of the Baroque centurv expe-

whelmed by them

chapter.

domi-

nates seventeenth-century Spanish culture and constitutes

rienced the strongest contradictions.

merit a separate

theme of

desengano, or disillusionment, the sentiment that

The

still lifes

banal

plex canvases of the Spanish Baroque. These masterpieces give a terrible and fascinating insight into the

the Catholic world, both clergy and private collectors. rare but extraordinary

A few

some vegetables hanging against a black ground, become a window onto the absolute, opposite in thrust but no less significant than the more exuberant and comobjects,

in

He

could be over-

tragicomic fashion, like Cervantes

s

dream world. "Life desperate epic poem. Sev-

hero, or take refuge in mysticism or a is

a

dream"

is

the message of a

enteenth-century Spanish painting succeeded

moving image of dreams and

life,

in uivina a

of chimeras and

realitv.


El

Greco

glowing color, and

Domemkos Theotokopoulos (Crete,

works

1541 -Toledo, 1614)

the only

perspectives. This Venetian experience

a radical turning point in Spanish art,

with

to remain a key element in

and acted as a bridge between Renaissance and Baroque. His painting gradually took on visionary, fantastic overtones, with

painting bv breaking with the tired

all

together with a deep, intense,

Probablv trained by tbc Cretan painter

religious sentiment.

of icons Michcle Damaskinos, Domenikos

still

Theotokopoulos was referred to "master painter" in his homeland as

1

560. Shortly afterward he

Venice (the possession

as a as early

moved

to

Crete was a Venetian the time) and came into

isle ol at

contact with the leading artists of the High

Renaissance. Titian, Tintoretto, and Jacopo Bassano played a decisive role in forming

u

his style, lie

acquired

a

deling for rich and

National Gallery of Art in Washington,

medium-sized devotional works, and highly intense portraits, El Greco marked

his early

indicate

careful study of Tintoretto's elaborate

Around

1

was his work, tormented

572, while

young man, he arrived in Rome, ÂŤ here he studied the works of Michelangelo and enrolled at the Accademia di San Luca. In 577 he moved to Toledo, the city that was to become his adopted home. From this time on, his real name was definitively replaced by the nickname by which he became lamous and a

1

lh.it

recalled his distant but never forgotten

homeland.

In alternating altarpicces.

figures elongated

bevond the

limits of

verisimilitude, phosphorescent colors, and dizzying compositional layouts. In the closing

works painted in the seventeenth century, El Greco moved still further toward a visionary, in the

magical, and tautlv evocative stvle. his later

works, attention should

be-

to the extraordinary Laococin in the

Among drawn

in the artist's vast

output

or mythological subject.

Greco played

a crucial role in Spanish

worn-out models and opening up an era of courageous innovation. Despite the well-equipped workshop set up in Toledo with numerous assistants repetition of

and copyists,

years of the sixteenth

century and especially

El

work

a literary

El

Greco's stvle had

no followers, and thus was trulv unique in the panorama of European art on the threshold of the Baroque era. practically


El

Greco

El

Christ Driving the

Money

Changers from the Temple 1600 oil on canvas, 41% x 51 in. c.

(106.3 x 129.7 cm)

Greco

The

Spain

1

detail.

monumental

at is as a

bridge

experience ami beginning of his lite in Italian

Greco

St. Louis,

and Page

Italian training

oil

1586

on

46 x

canvas, 37'/2in.

(117x 95 cm) Louvre, Paris

The

tin-

works. At the

same time, the overpowering melancholy that envelops the figures,

the elongation of the

forms, and the atmosphere

physicality, attention

of bitter foreboding are characteristic of the

to descriptive detail (e.g.,

all

the breastplate painted

painter's

with almost

and are

features peculiar to his earliest

c.

illusionistic

precision), and three-

dimensional energy

The abandoni

Mu

al

<l

bod]

the

s

helangelo

Judgment

in

mature work, which aims at a complete autonomv o( form.

(tin- Last

thr Sistine

Chapel and the Rondanini w lni h Greco had

fieta),

derive from El Greco's

King of France,

ful

influence of thr late works

between the master's

El

powei

a

of Christ show

(iOOx 179 cm) rnnlo, MaJnJ

painting

forci

depi( tu'M ol anatomic

18 x 70'/2in.

This solemn,

expressivi

In

balanced In

1577 on canvas,

oil

of National Gallery, London

I

ami imaginative thrust are

Trinity

I

I

evidently studied during ili.

El

\

eai

s

spent

in

Rome.

Greco

The Miracle of

Christ

Healing the Blind

1570-1577 on canvas, 47 x 57'/2 in. (119.4X 146.1 cm) Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York oil

Repeated

in a

versions, this painter's

number is

of

one of the

most interesting

youthful compositions. Influenced by the Venetian style,

it

Italian

when

dates from the

period, the vcars

Greco was a "worthy follower* of Titian. In this II

described as ease,

however, he appears

to follow not so

much

tin-

teaching of Titian as the

"manner" of Tintoretto. li


Greco

Greco

This magnificent canvas

expressive distortion

El

El Espolio

marks the beginning

ol

Adoration of the Shepherds

(The Disrobing of Christ)

of El Greco's

physiognomy, the compressed and suffocating

El

Toledo. 1

577-1579

oil 1 1

a

on canvas, 2V4 x 68

in.

(285 x 173 cm) Sacristy

Toledo

of the Cathedral,

It

work

in

was not only

turning point

in the

painter's career, but also a

very precise point ol

composition, and the violent colors constitute a

type of figurative art

where purely

oj the

from

transition

from

a concrete,

in.

volumetric style of painting to a fragmented, almost

Madrid

immaterial image conveyed by the ardent glow of a light

realistic

reference for Spanish art in

characters alternate with

The

subsequent centuries, from

visionary forms of

between two works of

in

expression.

El Greco's early maturity,

elongated anatomies, and

the Disrobing and the Burial

magical apparitions emerge.

Goya

to Picasso.

The

violent contrast

El

which bizarre

Greco

Burial of the

figures,

centurv. In the lower

Count

of Orgaz

portion of the painting, the count, clad in shining

armor,

1586-1588 on canvas, 181 x

141%

a

(460 x 360 cm)

is

laid to rest at a in

which

number of saints

in.

Santo Tome, Toledo

This

is

solemn funeral

oil

the painter's

greatest masterpiece and 16

his last

period, highlights the

1603-1607 oil on canvas, 126 x 70 3/4 (320 x 180 cm) Prado,

Count oj Orga/., and

this painting

one of the most striking works of the late sixteenth

participate. In the mystical

upper portion, the nude count presents himself

heaven before the luminous figure ol Christ

in

his judge.


El

Greco

Relations between

Martyrdom of

St.

Maurice

and the Theban Legion

1

I

Grei o

large

.ind Philip

The

II

were nol

easy.

sought

cess in official

.h

commissions and

painter

s<

ale

i

omposibons.

omplex wink, in ite the effort made to combine codified In

till-.

>

gestures ol

in

a classical

IS80 I5S2 oil on canvas,

particular to the hustling

t\

workshop

tu recognize the

17b':x S'/2 in. (44Sx 301 cm)

but the kino did not

Nueros Museos,

emaciated, contorted,

w

El Escoruil

unreality ol the painter's

and liquid colors.

1

1

ol the

1

scoria],

greath appreciate the

pe

i

it

i->

also possible

influence ol Titian's .

iddress o) Alfonso ith

glaucous

a".

Walos

i

light

Greco

El

El

soaring

1604-1614 oil

subjects

movement. The

the scene even

evocative and mvsterious.

The

possible parallel with

Tintoretto's

This characteristic

work

last

works

underscores the

of the painter's late period also

more

in.

(275 x 127 cm) Prado, Madrid

is

all

dark background renders

on canvas,

108'/4X 50

Greco

the figures to an upward,

Pentecost

one of his most

uninterrupted link with Venetian painting but also,

individual masterpieces.

on the part of

Inspired by the flames

emotional, spiritual, and

svmbolizing the descent

ol

El

Greco, an

mystical attitude totally

the Holv Ghost on the

immersed

Virgin and the Apostles,

culture and devotion.

in

Spanish


Greco

El

Christ

i

on

oil

i

(275 x 127.. Madrid

altai pit cei

possible

is

it

m

inti n

religioiu

i.l

pat

1.

1

in.

It

to be unaltt

i

in

u

iphit

i

nts

had appt ared

tli.it

onsolidated and

i

ibli

.

i

interpret!

I

the

wal

and

.

ni

rethinJ i

ai

iln tati

s

ni tin

.itlmlii

(

Counter-Reformation an extreme!) original (

>n<

again

i

to rii

all tin

ning

tin

il>

isive

(

that

|iuiiit

occurred

in Italian artistic

culture- in the

I

570s

heighl nl an Intense

on

at

the

d< bati

development

tin

j\

mi euary

is

It

in \\

ol

the

depic tlnii nl religious subjei

ts.

I

indispensable

In

involvement of the

faithful,

repeated]) urged as tin \

ital

objective ol

devotional paintings, can be-

obtained

many

in

different ways, as can be

seen From the- approaches adopted In Annibale Carracci and Caravaggio in

the closing years of

the sixteenth century.

For

his part,

chose

a

\

f

I

(,n

(

o

isionarv, evocative

approach

that

was

fascinating, unreal,

distorted.

and


El

Greco

most important part of his

St.

Jerome as a Cardinal

career

(Lehman

Collection),

Halfwav between and

is

characterized by

large-scale religious

1604-1605 oil on canvas, 34V4 x 42% in. (86.9 x 107.9 cm) Metropolitan Museum of Art c.

compositions with many figures, El

Greco

repeatedly painted individual images or

NewYork

a portrait

a collector's piece, this

whole

series of half-length figures

against neutral grounds,

accentuating the solitude

and inner fervor of the

striking picture provides an

champions of the

excellent demonstration of

mortified in the flesh and

the painter's capacity for

extremely severe in their

concentration on a single

expressions.

figure.

faith,

Even though the

1^1 U

^r m

,

1

I

it 1

1

1

1

11

111\ \^^^^l ^a^^^^H El

Greco

Byzantine icons the painter

had admired and copied during his youth on Crete.

Crucifixion

^^^^^

1600 on canvas, 122% x 66!/2m. (312 x 169 cm)

c.

Prado,

Oil

JM

^^s.

1

20

fc?

career, now far removed from the influence of Italian classicism and made still freer bv the fame achieved

Madrid

The intense pathos of some religious paintings bv El Greco seems to

within an established

\ibrate within the canvases

stylistic

like

M?

In the last period of his

oil

an agonizing tuning

framework, with all his financial problems and El

doubts resolved,

Greco

felt free

to

fork and reverberate out

express the mystical

toward

inspiration with

us.

These are works

"with no background," with all

the figures projected

into an empty, unreal

soul

which his was overflowing. This

great altarpiece presents a

wealth of fascinating detail,

space, with phosphorescent

such as the two angels

colors and frozen gestures,

collecting Christ's blood at

which constitute

the foot of the Cross.

a

kind of

grandiose reworking of the


El

Greco

Portrait of a Cardinal,

Don Fernando Nino de Guevara probably

c.

1596

on canvas, x 67!4 in. (107.9 x 170.8 cm) Metropolitan Museum of Art, oil

42%

New York Though not very numerous,

as a

whole,

El Greco's portraits

constitute a very particular

progression. Trained

in

the

spectacular realism of Titian, the painter uses a free style of

brushwork

in

his portraits to suggest fluid

poses and

expressions. In this case,

example, the figure

for

displays such feverish haste that

it

conveys a

considerable sense of

The pose

anxietv.

is

nervous hands indicate expectation. traditional but the

There

is

also an

extraordinary glint of disdain behind the lenses of the

unusual spectacles,

while the

lips

pursed

mute rebuke.

in

appear to be


El St.

Greco

I

Bartholomew

the Apostle c. oil

El

Greco

Betrothal of the Virgin

1608-1614 on canvas, 43 ,/4 x 32% in. (HOx 83 cm) oil

Romanian Xational Museum of Art, Bucharest

Executed

in the last years

of the painter's

life, this

small to medium-sized

work

has the translucent

fragility

of a butterfly's

wings. The figures, slender to the point

of evanescence, are bv as tar

removed

now

as possible

from the full-bodied characters painted at the

beginning of El Greco's stav in Spain.

It is

illuminating to

compare

this wraith-like priest

with the powertul the Father of The

God

Trinitv.

Interest also attaches

to the depiction of the

room, where the perspective floor laid out in a classical grid contrasts

with the backdrop of fluttering drapes to

accentuate the ambiguity of the vision.

N

is

and gives

1610-1614 on canvas,

3814 x 3014

house

In

Ibledo

in.

ol

I

I

Greco

are to

in

well preserved tin

impression

the omfortable abode prosperous citizen. In i

addition to

i

<>l

il

a

significant items

El Greco Museum,

painter's art collections

Toledo

(which are important

ai

i

a

at

and Ins

disposal), the bouse <

ontains a

number

ol gi n

Greco himself, including one

from the it

his tastes

paintings by II

some

(97 x 77 cm)

know

assess the influi

the

best series of half-

length Apostles.

we

ol

m

I


^ Greco

El

Baptism of Christ

1596 oil I

1600 on canvas,

56%

Yl짜i x

in.

144 ml) Prudo. Madrid II

Greco's favorite format

for large-scale is

a highly

compositions

elongated

rectangle with the heighl

measuring over twice the width. These unusual

proportions accentuate the tapering vertical impetus ol the figures

and make

it

possible to depict scenes <>n

two

levels,

one above the

other. In the lower portion,

which is often painted in darker shades, the figures have greater earthly corporeality. In the

upper

portion, reserved for

heavenly apparitions, die light

explodes to the point

where

El

Greco

Vision of

St.

John

it

dissolves the image.

This unfinished apocalyptic

arms toward an

one of the last and most mysterious

oppressive, harsh, dense

of El Greco's masterpieces.

threateningly.

scene

1610 1614 oil on canvas, 78Vi x 88'/2 in. (199.4 x 224.8 cm) Metropolitan Museum of Art,

The

New York

nude

is

evangelist, situated

on the

left,

seems almost

terrified of the thronging

figures

and

raises his

sky that seems to

loom


24

I


El

Greco

Laocoon and

His

Sons

1608 oil on canvas, 56 x 76 in. (142 x 193 cm) C.

National Gallery of Art,

Washington

This

the only

is

composition on a mythological theme painted by El Greco and it

has very few possible

terms of comparison. The lomeric episode of Laocoon and his sons devoured by serpents, made famous by the I

discovery of the celebrated

group of was a theme

Hellenistic statues,

widely interpreted

in the

art of the late Renaissance.

El Greco's interpretation

decidedly unusual,

is

first

it makes absolutely no reference to the statues

because

(except perhaps

in the face

of Laocoon), and second

because the scene

on

set

is

the outskirts ofToledo

under

a

stormy

sky.

The

pale figures stand out in

the foreground with a

disquieting and yet fascinating sense of

ambiguity.

The

terrible

end

of Laocoon and his two sons

is

narrated by means

of photographic

stills

and

frozen gestures, making

them appear dramatic athletes of death. The figures are static but

rendered fluid by the glimmering, visionary brushstrokes and the

flowing shadows that herald the storm gathering in the sky.

El

Greco

View of Toledo 597 on canvas, 4734 x 42% in. (121.3 x 108.6cm) Metropolitan Museum of Art, c.

Gothic spire of the

landscape in the

Cathedral dominating the

background of the grim Laocoon, El Greco interprets the backdrop of his adopted city in a violent manner,

wild countryside. While

1

the place

is

easily

oil

New York

once again distorts the image in a dramatic, expressive way.

The choice

of just a few colors

The only landscape painted by El Greco shows the unmistakable panorama of Toledo with the town walls (cigaraUes)

recognizable, the painter

and soaring

electrified by the

atmosphere

stormy

strips the

transforming the ancient

and beautiful historic center into the gloomy

announcement of impending disaster, which

landscape of any charm.

is

As

Spain's

confirmed bv the presence of a similar is

almost symbolic of

imminent

decline.

25

i


.

His Inst works are mainK bodtgdnes,

Diego Velazquez (Seville,

that

1599-Madrid. 1660)

still

very influential figure nt Seville,

known

theoretician, and

in

the cultural circles

man

of letters. Velazquez

owed Pacheco not only

his artistic training

hut also his taste for classical culture, and

even his wife. In 1618, already regarded an independent painter, although he \\ as onlv nineteen years ot age, he married

as

Juana Pacheco, the daughter of his mentor.

worked main!)

as

ol individual

.i

and was thus obliged to take

into consideration Titian

s

and group portraits

ol

figures, including not only the king

oiii

<

princes, but also the dwarfs and jesters.

sixteenth

A

naturalism was thus enriched by a new

of Honor)

contemporary manner. Caravaggio was a decisive influence, and his compositional layout of scenes and powerful interplay ol light and shade were

monumental dimension

an entire century and define the master's

"naturalistic,"

elements taken over directly In Velazquez. to Caravaggio indicates the painter's

precise orientation toward Italian art.

The

main turning point in his career came in 1623, when the conde-duque de Olivares, the powerful prime minister at the court of Philip to

IV,

summoned

his fellow Sevillian

Madrid to become the

king's official

initial

Caravaggesque

that enabled

him

to tackle vast scenes of a historical or literary

He made

his

inevitable first visit to Italy between 1629 and 1631 and his contact with the great examples of Renaissance art made his painting technique still more varied and flexible. On his return to Madrid, where he was now firmlv established as official painter to the Spanish court, Velazquez began to produce a large number of works ,

for the roval residences, and a

whole

painting like Las Mcninas (The Maids

style.

nature with great confidence and

perfect chromatic intuition.

I

and the

century portraits, lbs

Seller

This immediate and intelligent reference

as a painter, art

portraitist

of Senile), or religious subjects interpreted in a

fniry Eggs or TheWatei

Encouraged to paint since his childhood, Velazquez entered the workshop ol Herrera the Elder at the age ol ten. One year later, as proof of his precocious talent, lie was apprenticed to Francisco Pacheco, a

painter. Velazquez

genre scenes ol everyday life with life studies (for example, OldWoman

is,

series

is

sufficient in itsdl to

The work,

for Philip IV

so

carried out above

and

his family,

many of Velazquez's

remained in the

in

Prado.

epitomize all

why

explains

paintings have

Madrid and are now housed

The

painter's second visit

was made between 1649 and 1651 The most famous result of this, the portrait of Pope Innocent X, has remained in its original location, the Galleria Doria Pamphili in Rome. During these years, Velazquez carried out a kind of wonderful to Italy

and intense rereading of

his

own output


"

KB

and, going further back, of the links

between the painting oi the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Following

example ofTitian, and exactly as Rembrandt was doing in tin- same period the

(but in a totalis different personal and social situation), Velazquez started to paint

with large, separate brushstrokes, thi< laden with material and charged with expressive intensity.

With

absolute

his

freedom of style, Velazquez

kl\

rightly

is

indicated as an artist of pivotal importance

Rediscovered b\ the

in the history ol art.

French painters ol the nineteenth century, and in particular by Manet, Velazquez also constitutes a precise point of reference for Picasso and the

movements

modern

ol

art.

Diego Velazquez Surrender of Breda

1633

1635

on canvas, 120 34x 144!/2in. (307x 367 cm)

oil

Prado,

Madrid

This absolute masterpiece of historical painting

commemorates an episode in the war between Spain and Holland in 1625. The defeated Justin of Nassau symbolically consigns the

key of the fortress of Breda to the victor,

Ambrogio

Spinola. Against the

background of a desolate landscape marked by the

smoke of fires, the two meet in an

generals

atmosphere of calm and mutual respect. They have both dismounted and there is

no sense of

rhetoric.

Velazquez accentuates the

human element in Memorable

this episode.

gestures are thus absent in the

ranks of soldiers

and there

is

nothing

to distinguish the victor

from the vanquished. For soldiers, war is a

dirty,

fatiguing business with little room for heroics. The scene is given a very

theatrical setting with the

soldiers

on the

and

left

the large horse dominating the right-hand side.

two groups

The

are

symmetrically juxtaposed to leave the center of action free for the meeting

of the two generals, are

moved

slightly

who

out

of the foreground At .

this point,

with splendid

pictorial inventiveness,

Velazquez inserts the

mobile "screen"

of lances

raised high in silhouette

to separate the proscenium

Diego Velazquez

ol

The Water

still

Seller of Seville

a

youth.

The

of Caravaggio

1618 1619 oil on canvas, 41% x 32>/4 in. (106 x 82 cm)

from the backdrop, where the landscape fades away

Wellington Museum, London

into the distance bathed

This

in a pale light.

subject repeated a

is

times by Velazquez

the best version of a

number

is

when

influence

ven

of realistic detail. While

Velazquez never painted authentic

"still liles,"

youth he was

strong, not onl) in the

in his

powerful contrast

particularly interested

ol light

and shade, but also in the choice ol an everyday

in

subject, taken direct!)

their shapes, colors,

from the

and materials to amazing

in

street,

and

the concrete evidence

depicting everyday

utensils,

el'iei t.

and investigated

27


Diego Velazquez

subjects within everyday

Diego Velazquez

Kitchen Interior with Christ

settings. In this spe<

St. Anthony the Abbot and St Paul the Hermit

in

the House of Martha

case, there

and Mary

as to

is

even

a

ific

doubt

whether the

1634 on canvas, 74 in. 101 (257 x 188 cm)

c.

indow" in which the Gospel scene appears might actually be a paint in;; hanging in a kitchen where a young

*'w

1618 oil

on canvas,

23V2X 403/4in. (60 x 103.5 cm) \ational Gallcr\, London

cook

Unusual and somewhat mysterious, this painting

is

listening,

oil

Wx

PrjJo.

Madrid

with an

expression of annoyance, is

part of a tradition of

to the adyice and chiding

of an elderly

woman.

interpreting Gospel

Diego Velazquez

credible image of

strips the action of

The Scourging of Christ

a subject

from the Counter-Reformation catechism. The real subject

admonitory or didactic

of the painting

impassioned, emotive

1632 on canvas,

oil

65 x 81

Gallery,

London

Velazquez succeeds in

producing

Diego Velazquez Supper at Emmaus

human

Museum of Art,

Sew York

is

clearly

disciples,

when

on the two

reaction of the

on

their surprise

Christ reveals his

identity.

The white

tablecloth

gathers and reflects the

The reference

2S

subject,

too, concentrates

(123x 132.5 cm)

Caravaggio,

same

recognizable. Velazquez,

1620 oil on canvas, 48'/2 x 52'/4 in. Metropolitan

various versions of the

light to suggest

to

who

painted

an easily

recognizable diagonal.

the

overtones to present it

on the plane of pure,

in.

(165x 206cm) \atwnal

is

a concrete

contemplation ot Christ's wounds bv a devout soul guided bv

his

guardian

angel, but the great

and

master's thrilling realism

any

participation.


Diego Velazquez Los Borrachos (The Topers

and concrete world of Velazquez, and show

or the Triumph of Bacchus)

his skill in depicting

1628-1629

contemporary scenes. The happy drinkers are

oil

on canvas,

65 x 88I/2

reminiscent of certain in.

international paintings of

(165 x 225 cm) Prado,

the Caravaggesque school,

Madrid

as well as

Dutch- Flemish

Diego Velazquez The Forge of Vulcan

1630 on canvas, 87% x 11414 in. (223 x 290 cm)

oil

Prado,

Madrid

Rome

Painted in

during

These two works mark

genre painting,

the beginning of the

regards subject matter. In

work continues

painter's artistic maturity,

Velazquez, however, there

curiously ambiguous

which coincided with

is

departure for

Italy

his

(1629).

Despite the presence ot divinities

and

literary

at least as

none of the detachment

and derision often glimpsed in

other painters of the

period.

On

empathy

the contrary, for people can

his first visit to Italy, this

the

blend of mythology- and rustic reality seen in Los Borrachos, it

Irom which

can be seen to have

developed, despite the

figures, the realistic

his

approach, the relish for

be seen

direct participation in

the peasants' faces

events, and the

the blacksmiths' rippling

know ledge

extraordinary credibility of

muscles. Be they kings or

antiquities can be seen in

the peasants surrounding

princes, peasants or jesters,

the choice of "classical"

Bacchus and the blacksmiths

Velazquez treats people

poses for the figures,

interrupted in their labors

with a sense of deep respect

which are

by Apollo belong to the rich

and preserves their

bv ancient sculptures.

on and in

in the smiles

dignity.

differences in format.

Evidence of the painter's ol

Roman

clearly inspired

29


Diego Velazquez

exi rational skill in

Portrait of Philip IV

rendering the sparkling rile

1631

i

1632

Is ol till (Mils

of

precious metals and of

on canvas, 76% x 43'/4 in.

oil

embroidered materials his detailed

(195x 110cm)

of garments. This

National Gallery, London

virtuosity

however,

is,

This spectacularly beautiful

never an end

painting recalls the

Observe the telling contrast between the

historical

models of

sixteenth-century has a

the uncertain expression

it

new sumptuous

of the king, whose face, still framed by beautiful blond locks, is beginning

quality. After his stay in Italy

in itself.

magnificent apparel and

full-

length portraits, but

and the broadening

show the

of his figurative horizons

to

on

of fatigue and worry.

a

European

in

reproduction

level,

signs

first

Velazquez displays an

Diego Velazquez Philip IV in

his sovereign recalls

Armor

celebrated cases of the past. Year after year

1625 oil

Velazquez portrayed

on canvas,

the physical changes

22'/2X 17*4 in. (57 x 44 cm) Prado,

in

work marks the

beginning of the long

dozens of portraits of Philip IV and members

series of portraits

of the royal family in

Velazquez painted of the

different situations and

This

long-lived king, at

whose

side practically his entire

career unfolded.

to

the king, almost

mirroring the passage of time. Velazquez painted

Madrid

The

close

many

formats. Here the king, little

more than an

adolescent, all

between the painter and

his slender,

his

is

blond

relationship established

captured

iri

fragility, in all

noble beauty.


Diego Velazquez Don

Luis

de Gongora

y Argote

1622 ml on canvas,

20 x 16'/4 in. (51 x 41 cm) Museum of Fine Arts, Boston In this striking, highly

concentrated and eloquent portrait, Velazquez captures

not only the features but also,

and above

the

all,

personality of the great writer.

Diego Velazquez Portrait of a Sculptor

1636 on canvas, 43 x 34V4 in. (109 x 87 cm) oil

PraJo,

Madrid

may be Juan Martinez Montanes, a good Baroque sculptor also

The

sitter

employed

at

court.

Diego Velazquez El

Bufon don Juan

de Austria c.

1632

on canvas, 823/4 x 48'/2 in.

characteristic

Prado,

Madrid

The paintings of court form a very

jesters

Diego Velazquez El

Bufon Juan de Calabazas

1639 on canvas, 41% x 32% in. (106 x 83 cm) c.

oil

Prado,

Madrid

royal family.

royal inventories

die rich

was

famous member of the "motlev crew" of dwarfs, actors, and locos (jesters and sitter

a

buffoons) surrounding the

colors

costume of gaudy

worn by

Diego Velazquez El

Bufon Pablo

the sitter

was given to him

in

1632.

because

1632

on canvas,

82V4 x 48>/2

for

centuries and imitated

by Goya and Manet

de Valladolid

oil

was to be admired

in.

(209 x 123 cm) Madrid

ol the evocative

between the black garments and the neutral ground. contrast

Prado,

This masterpiece of synthesis and simplicity

Such figures

had never been given so

much

On some

space before. occasions,

Velazquez painted them full

length in the same

pose and format king.

The nonchalant, conniving

The show that

painted by Velazquez.

oil

(210x 123cm)

group within

the series of portraits

On

as

the

others, as in this

case, the painter succeeds in communicating the humor, verve, and

grimaces of the

locos,

but always avoids pathos

or sentimentality.

31


Diego Velazquez Philip IV

1635

c.

oil

on canvas, S

1

on Horseback

1

'

>

x 123'/2in.

(301 x 314 cm)

but while Titian's painting

die background of a vast,

conveys the dramatic

wide-open landscape.

atmosphere of the battle in dense undergrowth at

Charles

the collections of the kings

dusk, Velazquez's great

entrusted the

of Spain, and Velazquez

work

of the army to the

with Titian's Charles ji the Rjtilc of

(1548), one of the most prestigious

clearly Prado,

The

Madrid

history of the

equestrian portrait begins

I

Miihlberg

from

works held

in

draws inspiration model.

this historical

Like his ancestor, Philip IV

appears in profile

in

armor.

has the vast, clear

in

V

fought in

battle-

person. Philip IV

command

serenitv of a classic riding-

all-powerful conde-duque

school exercise, with the

de Olivares.

splendid steed controlled

by the expert rider against


Diego Velazquez

small

numbei of req

Coronation of the Virgin

foi

ligioui paintings,

>< »i

1642

1641

1

1

in

1

1

area "I

cm)

Later in Ins career,

Prince Baltasar Carlos

Huntsman

Cardinal Infante Fernando of Austria as a

Huntsman

1635

on canvas, 75V4 x 4S'/2 in. cm) and 75V4x 42 in. (191 x 107 cm), oil

(191 x 103

respectively PraJo.

Madrid

Velazquez took advantage of this "sporting"

theme

to paint

portraits of a less static and olhcial nature,

more

directly

inspired by the natural poses ot the figures portrayed.

." tivit)

I

lios<

'

d

«m

I

style ol

Mm

Qgjoui iMnks

illo

Hi

i.

the

tame time sophistu ated

.in

,ii

<•

hom

tin

brutal

realism ol Ribera, the .i

rathei

and

i

n

dibit

,

and

his

of great

beauty. Velazquez keeps Ins

Madrid

VelacjiHv received

as a

.inn- his

paint, however, are

In- (lid

ImI.hu 14

distant

Diego Velazquez

<

and the gently

.in

,ii

Rowing

i

(176x1 Pro h,

traiture I"

/ml. and

I

on anvas, 69'/4x 5234 in nil

r<

frozen immobilit) ol

dins not at

i

(

oni eal but

entuatea

ol the

(lis

tin-

mi h

'

psychology


Diego Velazquez

Woman

Young

Sewing

1641

C.

oil

29!

on canvas, .

â&#x20AC;˘

IV/i

in.

(74 x 60 cm) National Galler) oj.in.

Washington

This

work marks

a briet

but splendid return to the youthful period ot the bodegones or genre

paintings,

when

the voung

Velazquez painted domestic scenes and episodes ot

everyday

lite.

In the years

of his maturity, and with a

technique very different

from

that used in the early

vears of his career,

Velazquez took a

momentary break trom official portraits

and again

tackled a genre subject:

an ordinary

girl

performing

an ordinary, everyday task.

The great immediacy of the work suggests a "snapshot." It may be interesting to see this charming work as part of a sequence stretching

from the Mary Magdalenes of Caravaggio and La Tour to Vermeer's Lacemakcr.

Diego Velazquez Lady with a Fan

1638 on canvas, 36'/2 x 27 in. (93 x 68.5 cm) oil

Wallace Collection, London

This enchanting work, a

splendid example

of balance between the perfect reproduction of

external appearance and an

impassioned representation of the "movements of the soul," effectively

summarizes Velazquez's principal gift as a portrait painter, namely, the ability

to identify with the subject, to capture his or

her personality, thoughts,

and

stirrings of the heart.

In this respect, Velazquez

can be classed with Titian

and Rembrandt

as

one

of the greatest portrait painters. In this

unforgettable portrait

of a ladv, the anxiety of a

moment

is

transmuted

into an extraordinarily realistic,

Diego Velazquez

Velazquez refuses to

Bufon don Sebastian de Morra ( 7 ) with a Pitcher 1644, oil on canvas, 41% x 1VA in.

indulge in any ironic

(106 x 84.5 (ini

their dignity and their acute and tortured intelligence.

El

rViKMi

York

underscoring

deformity

ol the

ol the hi/ones

but, instead, accentuates

psychological

interpretation.


Diego Velazquez Philip IV in

Pink

and

I

ollowing

ili<

development

"I the figure "I the

Silver

(made unmistakable by upturned moustai

1644 oil mi canvas, S2'/2 x 38% in. (133.5 x 98.5 cm) Fries Collection,

New

Diego Velazquez opposite page:

Menippus above:

Aesop c. 1639-1640 oil on canvas, 70'/2 x 37 in. (179x 94 cm) each Prado,

Madrid

Ideal portraits of ancient

philosophers and thinkers

portrayed as bizarre vagrants constitute a specific

genre

in

seventeenth-century

art,

and especially in Spanish

and Luca mention only

painting. Ribera

Giordano

(to

painters featured in this

volume) repeatedly tried their hands at this type of

subject.

While the other

painters emphasize the

crudest and most superficial aspect

of

realism with ill-concealed relish,

Velazquez always

strikes the higher note of

the

human element and

dignified poverty.

)ork

king

Velazquez

ai

i

ived

Ins

this

supreme masterpiei <-, a work "l absolute beauty. The human aspei "I the sovereign seems to bi almosl ovei shadowed I

ndor of his

spli

ill.

oostumi

hi Âť), .it

lis

fevei iah

I

I. ii

pi!'

hi i

ÂŤ

nli

in

il

emerges from

wealth

"I

.

"I a \i

a

transpan

1m redibl)

ml. i.

nil.

i

\

I

mali hleSS

lazqui

/

eng

i

Ii

n(

lini<|uc,

.

kind "I spectai

i

in.. <

ulai

weave and

Wltll

> lai

laborate

In

ompi ilium m

nli

il..

.1

eyelids

.mil

i

.

III

I

i

times

mbroidei


Diego Velazquez

etiquette by kicking an

Las Meninas

indifferent

(The Maids of Honor)

foreground .The apparently simple composition is seen

1656 on canvas, 125'/4 x 108% in. (318 x 276 cm)

dog

lying in the

more complex

as the

faces of the king and

queen

to be

oil

Prado,

are reflected in a mirror at

the back of the

Madrid

Velazquez has drawn us into a sophisticated

Spanish art was painted

an unpredictable reversal

late in Velazquez's career,

of space and situation. The

scene

second

visit

to

simultaneously spectators

and protagonists of the scene. Their reflection in the mirror presupposes (as in the precedent of

the Infanta Margherita in a

is

room

of the royal

whose decoration

minutely reproduced.

The

child,

in the

now

five,

stands

center of the

painting, a dressed-up doll

fussed over by

two very

1654 on canvas, SOVi x 39V4 in.

evidently in the genes of

oil

Spain's rulers

V

(128x 99.5 cm) Kunsthistorisches

Museum,

Diego Velazquez Prince Felice Prospero

on. This can be seen in

the portrait of the Infanta at

Vienna

from Charles

the age of eight. Here,

however, Velazquez shows

1659 on canvas, SOVi x 39V4 in. (128.5 x 99.5 cm)

oil

decade of his career, Velazquez

us an adorable

repeatedly painted the

father's beautiful fine

first-born daughter of

hair.

Philip IV, tracing the little

table to the left constitute

perhaps most moving of

one of the best examples

the painter's works.

of seventeenth-centurv

prince, the son of Philip

In the last

girl's

development through

her childhood into

a

kind

who

little girl

Kunsthistorisches

has inherited her

The flowers on

blond

the

This

still

while the sumptuous

Museum,

Vienna is

one of the

last

and

The

of perfect court automaton,

life,

surrounded by the mincing

garments are reminiscent

two, a weak, sickly child

affectations of the

of the portrait of Philip IV

who was

courtiers. Margherita ros\ features

s

were to turn

gradually into the

elongated, slightly equine

in

Pink and Silver

is

portraved

at

IV,

the age of

to die shortly

afterward, in 1661.

With

reproduced on the

truly touching delicacy

previous page.

and

sensitivity,

Velazquez

captures the frailtv of this small boy, lingering over his

precious toys and,

above

all, his

sad

little face.

Marriage Group) their

presence "outside" the painting, at our side.

Another audacious leap

on the

ladies-in-waiting,

self-portrait

evidently the focal

depicted in the act of

is

is

taken with the painter's

and

work

left,

point and driving force of

painting the

the

whole scene. A female dwarf to the right recalls

At

the portraits of the court

outer, before and behind,

and

a little

boy

disturbs the poise of royal

soon accompanied by the unpleasantly protruding lower jaw that was

van Eyck's Arnolfini

young

bufones

Aged Three

king and queen are

court, the maids

at

palace,

game,

depicts a recurrent

of honor attending upon

face of the Hapsburgs,

It

epitomizing the whole of

Italy. It

Diego Velazquez

.

then becomes clear that

This masterpiece

after his

The Infanta Margherita

room

this

itself.

point the mental

labyrinth of inner and

is

complete.


Diego Velazquez

The

The Infanta Margherita

dominated by the

Aged

magnificent

Eight

1659 oil

on canvas,

50 x 42 Kunstlr <s

Vienna

in. (1

became empress of Austria in 666 at the age of fifteen. The dazzling

charming child of three, then as a doll surrounded

the details of the setting

by courtly affectation, and

splendid shades ol hlue and

splendor of the dress and

now

absorbed into the shadowy background.

gold. This was a very

the stately severity ol the

become

work, sent to Leopold of Austria, the uncle and future husband

pose cannot conceal the

sitter's role

painting

is

completely

gown and

olficial

27 x 107 cm) .urn,

I

ol

the

little girl,

who

1

the

as predestined to

an empress.

The

Infanta, portrayed by

dominates everything, and indeed, in this late work, one of the

Velazquez

last

incipient ugliness ol the

first as

a

painted by the master,

somehow

fade away,


Diego Velazquez

talent,

The Rokeby Venus

c

though

h

hi

onsianiK admired

Italian art ol the lixt<

1650

I

on anvas, x 693/4 in.

paiiionate dedii ation

iplendjd

f(

malt

nth I

oil

nli

In tins

thi

I.

III.

Ol

M'.

M

,V(

l.l/(|l|. /

i

I

iki

ilt

48!/4

â&#x20AC;˘

177 cm)

Xational Gallery, Ion Jon

martei

abovi

Throughout V< lazqui /

own

(

his life, ultivati d hi

great indepi ndi at

ol hit

(Rubeni and all),

time

he itudii d

paintings

Renaissam

i

innovation!

<

and ol

(

I'.

I

in. >n.

to Ins

mbrandi

l<>

>)

thi

.1

i

olor,

thi

thi

i

n h

lom

II'

and i

i

h

in

hii

"las.

laravaggio

Âť


become

Jusepe de Ribera

was taken

expressionism marked by intense religious

painting throughout the

Lo Spagnoletto

pathos, and a great interest in unusual

seventeenth century. The arrival of

physical traits and the psychological

Velazquez

1591 -Naples, 1652)

(Jativa,

still

further to

a \iolent

characterization of his figures. After

moved

initial

for the

development of local religious

in

training in Valencia, Ribera

painting and the Neapolitan school, and

together with his brother Jeronimo,

to color. This

one of the most interesting and original interpreters of the Caravaggesque style. The painter's once frequently used nickname "Lo Spagnoletto" (the Little

and by 1615 they were key members of the brilliant colony of Spanish painters in Rome's Via Margutta. His earliest works, immediately characterized by the influence of Caravaggio together with classical and Hellenistic art, date from this period. Ribera moved shortly afterward to Naples,

period

where he found the perfect cultural environment to develop his study of pictorial expression. With the unfailing

to

is

Spaniard) has

now

into disuse. Ribera

but

Italy,

patrons.

played

Duke

Naples,

was

almost completely

active mostly in

many paintings were for Spanish A particularly important role was

in

of

fallen

terms of Ribera 's career by the Osuna, the Spanish viceroy of

who summoned

the painter and

introduced him to Neapolitan painting, but

i

ommissioned important canvases homi town in Andalusia. Taking

lor his

Caravaggii

Ribera

di

urting point, i

model

that

to Italy

half of the

Naples, in 1630, encouraged

Ribera to adopt a

Ribera acts as a link between Spanish

first

less

harsh form of

chiaroscuro and pay greater attention

in

of lighter

marked the beginning of a which he gradually used a range tones that created sweeping

spatial effects,

and

a

combination of bright by a serious

colors. Despite being forced illness in

1

644 to paint

than in previous years, to

overcome produce a

more slowly Ribera managed far

his physical difficulties last

group of masterpieces.

Jusepe de Ribera Drunken

Silenus

1626 oil on canvas, 72% x 901/4 in.

(18Sx 229 cm) Gallena Nazionale

di

Capodimontc, \jplc\

This painting plays a kev role in Ribera 's career,

showing the development of elements drawn from Caravaggio in clearly

the direction of an

accentuated expressionism

pushed to the limits of

support of the viceroy and the Spanish

caricature. Practically

nobles, Ribera devoted himself totally

the light

He also produced works many Neapolitan churches

is

to his art.

the obese divinity,

lor the

emanates

(especially the Carthusian

monastery

of San Martino), and became the model

a

all

concentrated on

who

luminous aura.


s

Jusepe de Ribera Aesop

oil

on

anvat,

i

17 in.

(118 x 94 cm) iJnJ

'

Typil

a] ol

RJJx

an

id.

length

hall

poi traiti dI philosophi ind prophi

depicted as m dressed ("hen

mi n

ise

in tattered

Is

.i

slur

between die

|i

.

i

ontrast

tools ol

higher learning,

su(

hunks and pa and the poverty

sir

appearani e

i

ti

ol tin

.is

li

icken

figures.

he sheer volumi and widi spread distribution I

ol sui h

works

ol their

popularity with

is

evident

i

seventeenth century i

olln turs.

Jusepe de Ribera Clubfooted Boy

1642

on canvas, 64V2 x 37 in. (164x 94 cm) oil

Louvre, Paris

This painting, one of the master's most celebrated

works, constitutes an unquestionable milestone

genre

in the particular

that

took beggars and

the destitute as It

subjects.

its

young boy

depicts a

asking for alms. In addition to displaying the deformity

Jusepe de Ribera

of his clubfoot, he also

Jacob's

holds a piece of paper

1639

he

stating that

deaf and

is

oil

dumb. And vet he faces his grim plight with a beaming smile.

It is

difficult to

understand whether is

Dream

on canvas, x 87% in.

70'/2

(179x 233cm) PraJo,

Madrid

this

During the 1630s, Ribera

the result of a further

became

handicap, this time of a

painting

mental nature, or

agitated and expansiw

a

returning to a

consciously adopted expression.

executed

The

portrait

is

in a deliberately

less

approach. Here the painter oilers a pleasantly bucolic

rhetorical style, with the

interpretation of the vision

beggar seen from below and etched against the

of paradise revealed in

background of the skv

a

like

as

though

it

were

a

banner, the heraldic

emblem of a

dream

to Jacob,

certainly looks

a little hero, carrying his

crutch

.

more

inward-looking, intimate

tattered,

dusty, paradoxical nobility.

a

worn out

a figure

who

more

like

traveler than

from the Old

Testament. The painter barelv sketches the

"learning vision and fo<

uses on the sluml

figure of Jacob.


Jusepe de Ribera

(

Pieta

most intense religious

)ne ol the painter's

compositions,

this

work

1637

uav repeated

on cam a-., 104x 67 in. 70 cm

Formats to become almost

oil

â&#x20AC;˘

in

an obligator) model lor

1

|

the pathos-laden subject ot griet over the

Church

of the

different

Carthusian

Monaster] of San Marimo. Xaples

ol Christ. in

bod)

Ribera succeeds

keeping the spectator's

attention focused bv

Dumber

limiting the figures

"I

and their gestures

minimum, and abandoning hi~. youthful exuberance to create a taut, emotional scene. The luminous bod) ol the (lead Christ, splendidh executed in terms ol anatomical to the hare

accuracy, ol the

is

John supports c Ihrist's head and shoulders, while St.

Mai -\ Magdalene devotedly kis-.es

the pierced feet. This

brightly

lit

foreground

W

itfa the darkness surrounding the Virgin Mar) and St. Joseph of Arimathea. i

OntraStS

the local point

group

as a

whole.

Jusepe de Ribera The Holy Family with Saints Anne and Catherine of Alexandria

1642 on canvas, 821/2 x 60 3/4 in. (209.6 x 154.3 cm)

oil

Metropolitan

Museum of Art,

NewYork

Toward the end of his career, Ribera 's

compositions became increasingly light and

serene. After 1640, he

painted a group of altarpieces and other religious scenes in which,

while never losing contact

with

reality,

he uses bright

colors differing greatly

from the earthy hues of his earlv works. This charming scene centers on the loving gesture of

St.

Catherine,

while Mary gazes intensely

toward the spectator in a flowing wave of primary colors (yellow, red, and blue).

It

may be

possible to

discern an echo of Raphael in

the interplay of looks

and gestures and the rotating relationship

among the figures. Instead, St. Anne and St. Joseph derive more directly from the Caravaggesque model.

The painting also contains a number of very precise still-life details,

workbasket

such

in the

as

the

bottom

right-hand corner (a

reference to the popular

iconography of Mansewing) and especially the truit basket carried

bv

42

St.

Anne.


Jusepe Ribera Gypsy

Girl

1637 oil on canvas, 23'/4X 21Âť/2in. (59 x 54.5 cm)

A aitona! Galley, London Neapolitan genre painting is

greatly indebted to

who

Ribera,

laid the

foundations by providing expressive models for an

abundant output

common

oi

folk, urchins,

and animated

women from

the city's alleys and the

countryside. At times these figures

were

with

recondite symbolic

a

also instilled

meaning. Ribera painted allegorical images ol the five

senses on various

occasions. However, the intellectual reference

remains

in

the background

and what shines through is

the attractiee

of the figures,

immediacy

who

are

nonchalantly realistic

and very present. The popularity of such works

with the collectors of the period also led, however, to the production of

Copies,

which were not

always of a very high standard and spread an

image of southern that

it is

Italy

difficult to alter.

43


Francisco

artist,

de Zurbaran (Fuente de Cantos,

An

artist

1

598-Madrid, 1664)

of great appeal, the painter of

images that have

a

penetrating spiritual

Zurbaran had

a

workshop

in Llerena

various monastic orders, interested in a

where he

style of painting that

built

reputation. His

up

well-deserved

a

own

specific style

became

of their faith emerged with great impact.

and Holy Virgins captured

friars, saints,

in significant

gestures and concentrated expressions.

The young

delivery of the twenty-one canvases for

course of in

career with

some

oi

a

his life.

An

early

the provinces and a successful great

many commissions,

considerable

official

importance,

painter's

fame grew with the

the monastery of San Pablo in Seville. This group of works, now partially dispersed, constitutes an anthology of sculptural figures, of

dramatic and determined

were followed, from the middle of the century on, by a swift decline due to

champions of the

in taste, and then death in poverty and obscurity. From his youth on, Zurbaran belonged to the flourishing

always shunned dynamic compositions in

changes

Seville school, first as a pupil of Pedro Diaz deVillaneuva and thin, from 1617, as an independent painter. An immensely prolific

and the strength

conflict of the figures

images with sequences of

with Rembrandt as regards the highly

beginning

was simultaneously

evocative and dramatic, where the inner

evident as early as 1620: austere spiritual

impact, Zurbaran can even be compared significant

uninterrupted flow of commissions from

but sent most of his works to Seville,

faith. In his

narrative

pictures with various characters, Zurbaran favor of static scenes, in

which

spiritual

and deep emotion outweigh action and interlinking events. In 1629, the city corporation invited Zurbaran intensity

to

move

to Seville,

where he received an

While religious paintings thus remained Zurbaran s favorite, some innovations appeared after 1633, when he painted the Still Life now in Pasadena, a rare and striking example of genre painting that is almost metaphysical. In 1634, he moved to Madrid at Velazquez's invitation. There he worked for the court on paintings with secular themes for the royal palace of Buen Retiro.This experience ended quite soon, however, and after a few months Zurbaran returned to Seville to resume his customary impassioned production of religious works. Typical paintings are the

captivating (not to sav disquieting) images

of saintly girls or young

women,

dressed in

sumptuous garments, appearing surprised and almost dazed before the spectator. Around 1650, however, the robust and ascetic spirituality expressed by Zurbaran began to lose ground to the warmer and more familiar religious images produced by Murillo. The painter then looked for new markets elsewhere, including the colonies in Latin America. Exhausted, his creative vein practically dry, and irrevocably outmoded, Zurbaran moved to

He

Madrid

in

1658,

at

the age of sixty.

died, alone and forgotten, in 1664.

-


.

Francisco de Zurbaran

mystical vision, this

Apparition of

ol the

most dramatic

works

in

St.

the Apostle to

Peter

St.

Peter

Imbued with

1629

on canvas,

70'/2

x 87%

in.

(179 x 221 cm) Prado, Madrid

devotion

ol

striking

combination

ol

Zurbaran's powi I

>>i

intensity, the painter

succeeds

in

making

Catholicism, Mn\ based

of

places the viewer

light, this

us

almost forget the figure

Spanish

on the relationship between two static, by the

1

concent) ation hrough his use ol light and DU Itil

the intense

sculptural figures

A

one

seventeenth ecnturv art

Nolasco

oil

the whole

is

St.

Peter Nolasco and in

the

saint's position o! ecstatic

mock led work is

and terrible contemplation ol St

Peter nailed upside

of tangible realism and

one of the best examples

clow n to the cross.

Francisco de Zurbaran

Zurbaran's oeuvre.

tluir features. St.

Unfortunately, these

is

groups ol paintings have

clothes, with a large hat

been dispersed over the years and we no longer

and striking embroidered bag. Zurbaran has

have the impression of a

conferred

Margaret

St.

1640 on canvas, 72V4 x 351/2 in. (184 x 90 cm) c.

oil

niv stical

\ational Gallery, London

Margaret

in traveling

a

subtle

melancholy upon this motionless pilgrim,

procession ol

enchanting inhabitants

depicted

ol

paradise, lining the aisles of

who

churches or the corridors

elegance, and he captures

perhaps the most

of convents,

her evocative gaze and

captivating part ol

format and often similar

I

In

ol

sent", of paintings

female saints constitute

all

of identical in

possesses a natural

frozen gesture.

Francisco de Zurbaran St.

daughter of the governor of Toledo during the

Casilda

Moorish domination, who

1640 oil on canvas, 72'/4 x 351/2 in. (184 x 90 cm) c.

disobeyed her Saracen father and took food to the

Arabs' Christian prisoners.

Surprised bv the guards,

Thyssen- Bornemisza Collection,

she saw the loaves she was

Madrid

carrying

Zurbaran favored the image of this CastQian saint, rarelv

represented

outside Spain, and depicted

here in rich, fashionable attire.

The

saint

of noble family,

was

a girl

in

her skirt turn

miraculously into flowers.

The

figure

is

thus

endowed

with both tenderness and determination, and hence is

a

perfect subject lor this

painter's style.

the

45


Francisco de Zurbaran St.

bishop

iv

I

1630 1634 an\as, oil OD 361/2 x 1 2% in.

nvi

li

>p>

Strength.

In this extremely balanced work, with its interplay ol

gildi

s\

w

portray* d

monumental

Blaise

(I

iii

iih

'I

mmetry and

referent

e,

c.

vestments, modeled In the

>

light like

the precious

of a goldsmith,

(92.5 x 32.4 cm)

the saint's pointed beard

work

grips his crosier tightly. His

Romanian Satwnal Museum

body

of Art, Bucharest

bv

his

the painting, the saintly

the beautiful face in profile.

Francisco de Zurbaran Bonaventura on His Deathbed

St.

crucial part in launching

the artist's career. As usual,

Zurbaran prefers

static

which give his paintings a claritv and resolution of great emotional impact.

He

Louvre, Paris

thus did not hesitate

to infringe the canons

work forms part

of perspective bv raising

of the cycle painted for the in Seville,

an unusual silhouette.

figures in frozen poses,

1629 oil on canvas, 98V2 x 88V2 in. (250 x 225 cm)

St.

Bonaventura

which plaved

a

and modifying the bier to

make

oi the

head to create

completely hidden dalmatic; all that tan

be seen are the hands and

College of

his

is

Despite the small size of

This

onsets the points

miter on

St. Blaise

it

saint's

more

immediately evident.


Francisco de Zurbaran with Vases

Life

Still

1633 oil

on canvas,

18 x 31

in.

(46 x 79 cm)

Aluscu J'Art de Catalunya,

Barcelona

Zurbaran splendid

s

rare but

still lifes

make

him one of the greatest specialists in this genre.

Spanish

can be divided into

still lifes

essentially

two schools: the richer and more "Baroque" style, of

Francisco de Zurbaran St.

Bonaventura Praying

Flemish origin, and the

1629 oil on canvas, 93% x 87'/2 in.

"minimalist," metaphysical,

(238 x 222 cm)

timeless style, which finds

Gemaldegalerie, Dresden

highest expression in

its

work of Sanchez Cotan and Zurbaran. A few items are arranged in a perfect sequence on a single plane.

the

Between them

magical, motionless

frozen in a kind of

giving

mystical nature of the

and episodes

making up

the

eliminated and everything is

in

an extremely original

figures

and color is established, as though surface,

game of chess, where human presence is

various religious orders

and succeeded

interpretation of the

a silent

relationship of volume,

in a

Zurbaran worked for

their history.

for the Franciscans of the

College ol he painted

St.

a

demanding i

m

le t.u

Bonaventura

ver\

figurative

Iding

somewhat

.

dreamlike timelcssness.

rati-

themes

in

Christian

iconography. Here

v.

the successful juxtaposition ol the ecstatic saint,

listening raptlv to the

words

ol the angel,

and

the conversation between the cardinals and the other figures

on the

right.

t:


Francisco de Zurbaran St. Jerome

Temptation of

1638-1639 oil on canvas,

section

of the altarpiece for the chapel of St.

Jerome

Jeromite Monastery,

Guadalupe

surrender to the music and

Francisco de Zurbaran

abandon

Ecstasy of

on the right, the exquisite group of temptresses, whose his studies;

instruments are depicted with great accuracy. The

background (a dark rock behind St. Jerome, the open sky behind the

St.

Francis

1639 oil on canvas, 63% x 54 in. (162 x 137 cm) National Gallery, London

The range of different

Zurbaran 's beautiful female saints appear to have

musicians) also contributes

gathered together as angel

this device,

musicians for this heavenly

succeeds in avoiding the

concert. The painting

confusion typical of

without Zurbaran, ready

crowded compositions and creates a work of great charm and rhythmic

as always to freeze the

elegance.

monumental, and almost

neatly divided into parts.

stark

On

the

left,

image of the

is

two the saint

fighting the temptation to

to this division. Thanks to

Zurbaran

interpretations of the ecstasy of St. Francis and

meditation on death would not be complete his

saint's

gesture and

endow

the figure with a powerful,

sculptural presence.


Noted bv intellectuals and COUTtil sumptuous style, Manic was

Juan Bautista

Maino

summoned

(Pastrana, Guadalajara,

Madrid, where be became the painter who most reiki ted

1580-

tbi'

Madrid, 1649)

early age

on the

Lombard painter, from an Maino was involved in the work

of a

gradually rediscovering this artist, a

now who ssas

bscorial. Critical studies are

celebrated painter

in his day,

hut w

as

overshadowed by other great masters of the golden age of Spanish painting. An essential element in his formation was Caravaggesejuc realism, which he probably encountered in Italy, both in Lombardy and later

a period ol study in Rome. In 1611 Maino was living in Toledo, where he took the vows ot the Dominican order. Very

during

solid forms, clearly defined by the light

and rich

in color,

predominate

in his

work.

to the court in

tastes of Philip IV. In bis offit

Juan Bautista Maino Reconquest of Bahia in Brazil

its,

pisodi ii.

I..

oil

154 (91

bringing Velazquez to 162} and introducing him at

is

i.

di lin,

and

itino

ih.

..I

a

wounded

lymbolii

t.

lidi

a

and

ii

'I

iiniing:

|.

soldii

Ins

huge

ri< toi

i

\

ol

pi

.

.

am, is rlcbrates won on i

1

Inn

Fadrique de Toledo

..tin

(

anopy, the general shows

ers a tapesti

Philip

w

ili

l

.i

I

i

oi

pub

i

I

I

,i

ii.

group

ol

worn,

i

.

.n ili.

\

ii

bj an

ouple, the

tin

.

i

ii

i,

bodies

ol

1

pompous

si

lb.

>

n. ih.

fori

in this

ind tin llllllli III

I

ul

(

.11 .IS

1. 1.

Ill

di

leresv,

juxtaposed to

neatly

..in.

painti

all.

sik h as the Surrender of

is

hi

tory, standing

Breda, painted ten years

The scene

.

on

OlllllH nliiin

l

I

wnii h

Wrath, andWai In thi foreground to the Kit,

Velazquez's masterpiei es,

later.

a

.!

owni d

onde duqui

Olivares and

ol a

work before

i

i

w reath

l.iunl

nt

in

\

li

'

nous

in

1625. Runted for the Buen Ketiro palace, it proi idi a

wood example

.ii-

i.

tol ions

small group of kneeling

Brazilian soil b\

elebratory

s

layei

ill.

in

cm)

Madrid

i

n.i.

al

ii

Bl I<a\

\ I.

I

what

i-

Maino

ight,

almost but

,

on canvas,

121% x

the

i

5

in

Madrid in court. As the mentor of this talented young painter from Seville, it was probabK Maim. who encouraged Velazquez to stud} Italian art, and Caravaggio in particular.

in tin

1

.

162

(

played a ke\ role

divided into two pai

depicts tin bistoi

ial

and ss lib the support of tile all powerful conde duque de >livares, he

Capat

The son

I

rich,

this

cue,

we have

4')


Juan Sanchez Cotan

Juan Sanchez Cot an

Still

(Orgaz, 156l-Granada,^1627)

24% x Highly individual and extremely interesting

both

as

an

artist

Sanchez Cotan greatest

work

and as a human being, one of the first and

is

still-life

painters.

that the bodegones

used for

still life

in

It is

due to

Spanish art) rapidly

reached a height perhaps only attained by Gova and, in the twentieth century, bv Picasso. Trained in the artistic circles all

in the

pure, intense, mystical spirituality of the late

sixteenth century, Sanchez Cotan

nearly always painted the a

same

subject:

few pieces of fruit or vegetables

inside a "box."

33Âť/2 in.

(63 x 85

Museo de

cm) Bellas Artes,

Granada

his

genre (the term

ofToledo, but steeped above

with Cardoon

Life

1600 oil on canvas, c.

The cardoon frequently recurs in the works of

Sanchez Cotan. It may have a hidden symbolic meaning (in

order to enjoy

must tackle

its

it

you

thorns), but *

the painter certainly exploits

its

compositional

value as a large

semicircular arch framed

bv

a right angle.


~ Juan Sanchez Cotan Still

Life

with

Fruit

and Vegetables 1602

c.

1603

on canvas, 27V4 x 38 in. (69.5 x 96.5 cm) oil

Jose LuisVarez Fisa Collection,

MuJriJ

This

is

one

ot the 11

"metaphysical heights

reached In the painter,

who

here sets "silent" fruit

and vegetables against his habitual black ground.

A

perfect composition, but

also

one

that

disquieting.

is

On

somewhat closer

examination, the hanging fruit

and vegetables begin

to look like anatomical

specimens, amputated pieces of nature.

Juan Sanchez Cotan Still

Life

1602 oil

on canvas,

26%

x

3 5

in

(68 x 89 cm) Prado, Madrid

This

is

richest

one of the painter's and most complex

compositions, with an unusual variety of objects,

and perhaps

this

is

wh\ he

signed

it

center.

The cardoon

right in the

reappears, hut

on

its

it

is

Kino

side in an unusual

position so as to describe a

sweeping upward curve embraces the other

that

items


Bartolome Esteban Murillo

Unfortunately,

many

in

female

city.

museums throughout

now

the world. His

works feature intense images of children playing, young beggars, and street urchins. While the influence of Ribera is earliest

A

leading figure in the "second generation"

of Sevillian artists, Murillo his gentle, religious

is

famous for

compositions that give

an image of him that

endearing, but

is

a taste for action, for

impassioned Virgins, and

genre

increasing frequency.

The

success of this easily understood and

pleasing

work was overwhelming.

Seville,

and the

activity of imitators

for a certain period. His

work

evident. In 1655, after a period of

undergone considerable

critical

assiduous study in Madrid, Murillo

reappraisal, largely based

In actual fact,

the master's oeuvre and career are far

more complex. After training in hometown, where he was noted for his ious talent, Murillo established his

own

studio

began to

I

in

!M9. A few

years later he

ommissions

scenes, and for descriptive detail. By

the contrast

introduced

still

greater freedom and

monumentalitv into

his

work. Beautiful

and

combined with what practically amounted to the mass production of devotional images, sometimes of inferior

his

is

too sweet.

1660,

copyists,

richer and

a little

In

Murillo opened an academy of fine arts in

1650 between the essential, austere paintings of Zurbaran and those of the younger, dynamic Murillo was already

perhaps

52

evident, so

saints,

enchanting angels began to appear with

of his cycles of

paintings have been dispersed and are

1618-1682)

(Seville,

trom the religious orders of the

quality, led to a decline in his reputation

on

has recently

his captivating

paintings of scenes and figures from

everyday

life.


Bartolome Esteban Murillo The Pool of Bethesda 1673

1671

on

oil

canvas,

9314 x 102 3/4in. (2 37 x

261 cm)

National Gallery, lonJon

This painting

great

<>t

breadth provides

spatial

an excellenl example of Murillo's familiarity with

complex compositions, where an effective and sophisticated expressive link is forged between the main figures anil the background. Two aspects

are particularly important to the painter: the

depiction of the miracle

and

narrative handling.

its

While emphasizing the monumental figure of Christ in contrast yvith the

withered limbs of the paralyzed man, Murillo finds the right tone

rhythm

for a

and

Rowing

narration.

Bartolome Esteban Murillo The Descent of the Virgin Mary to Reward St.

Ildephonsus

with a Chasuble

1650 on canvas, 121% x 98% in. (309 x 251 cm)

c.

oil

Prado.

The

Madrid

spectacularly theatrical

nature of this composition,

worthy of

a miracle play and capable of rivaling Rubens's religious works,

makes

one

this altarpiece

of the greatest

achievements bv Murillo, then

still at

the beginning

The

ol his brilliant career.

contrast with the essential, ascetic compositions

Zurbaran shift in

two

is

evident.

by

The

the fortunes of the

Sevillian artists

corresponds to the change in taste halfwav through the seventeenth century,

when

the solemn

Carav aggesque rigor based

on clean-cut light and shade gave way to the desire for richer, colorful,

scenes.

more

and dynamic


K

Bartolome Esteban

The

Murillo

ol

Murillo

Children Eating Fruit

all

on scenes such

The

reproduced on these two

Little Fruit Sellers

i

ritical reappraisal

pages,

is

based above as

those

where the painter

demonstrates

endearing

1670 oil on canvas,

capacity to depict the

S6l4x 41

world around

c.

Hi

s

Murillo prefers to presenl the situation with a delighttul ol detail, still- lite

abundance including striking

elements. These

canvases, intended as a

il4? x u)5 cm) and 5b - x 42 in. (143 x 106.5 cm),

protagonists ol a minor,

pair, were evidently aimed at aristocratic collectors, who would

everyday episode. Murillo 's

certainh not be troubled

voung beggars

bv the marginal details of

respectively

course very different from

poverty, but rather

Alte Pmakothek,

Velazquez's vagrants or

enjov the excellent

Ribera's Clubfooted hoy.

workmanship.

!4 in.

1

Munich

us,

arc

and the

(it

would

Bartolome Esteban

one: a young girl gazes

Murillo

out of the window,

Girl at

Window

the

1670 oil on canvas, 50 x 41% (127x 106 cm) Xatwnal Gallery of Art,

while her nurse looks fondly on. One could almost sav she is gazing

c.

in.

Washington

out on

life,

emerging from

the protective shadows

of the house, and watching the world pass bv. Murillo

This

is

perhaps the freshest

or merelv

in the painter's entire

On

career,

one

expresses hitc.

The

that direct

all

in

his joie dc

subject,

also appears

54

avoids the picturesque

and most endearing work

which

elsewhere

the course of Spanish

painting,

is

an attractive

illustrative.

the contrary, he depicts

the feelings of the

women

two

with affectionate

sympathy, and invites us to contemplate the

girl's healthv,

beauty.

vouthlul


^

%l

Wd

\

ss


Bartolome Esteban

in ilu

Murillo

between Mother and Son .is told by Murillo. The work originally hung in the and

Madonna and

Child

1672 ml on canvas,

c.

66 x 43

rtorj '4 art

afiiet

tion

ssea

private chapel of a noble

in.

(165.7 x 109.2 cm) Metropolitan

i

Museum of Art,

\'ew York

family from Madrid,

where

n was seen by Palomino, the scholarly author

work on seventeenth-century of a fundamental

Painted in the years of the master's in a freer

maturity

and brisker

manner than usual, this work adds another chapter

Bartolome Esteban

images. In actual

Murillo

are very interesting

Madonna and

Child

of transition regarding religious practices and

points of reference.

One

in.

century after the Council

(155 x 107 cm) Gallena Palatma, Palazzo Pitti,

thev

works

that also indicate a phase

1650-1660 oil on canvas, 61 x 42

fact,

of Trent, and hence

at a

certain distance from the

Bartolome Esteban

dispute over religious art

Murillo St. Thomas of Villanova and the Pauper

Florence

Murillo 's art found

its

best

between Catholics and

known (though perhaps

Protestants, Murillo offers

somewhat outmoded) form of expression in

a series of divine figures

religious scenes full of

popular appeal, with

sweetness and devotion,

none of the harshness

some of which were

of the early seventeenth

1668 on canvas, 86V2 x 58% in. (219.5 x 149.2 cm)

copied in small devotional

centurv.

Alle Pinakothek,

Munich

This significant

work

that have

immediate

c.

oil

of the painter's late

maturity

is

based

on the unusual relationship between the severe figures in the

foreground,

constructed according to rigorously geometric

and the bustling background with its criteria,

Renaissance architecture 5(,

and dynamic figures.

Spanish painting,

who

described

"enchanting

it

in its

and sweetness."

as

beauty


Bartolome Esteban Murillo The

Flight into

Egypt

1645

C.

oil

on canvas, x 6414 in.

82%

(210x 163 cm) Giillcrid Ji Palazzo

Bunco,

Genoa

The

flight into

Egypt, this

popular episode combining family

life

destinv,

is

and divine interpreted by

Murillo with his customary sweetness. While the

humble immediacy of the donkey and St. Joseph's traveling bag are

reminiscent of Flemish realism, the luminous group of the Madonna and Child is a highly characteristic feature of

Murillo's style.

The scene

unfolds before our eyes

with no obstacles or awkwardness. Murillo seeks and successfully

achieves simplicity, and this is

an effective narrative

lew equals in the European art of the

that has

period.


Juan de Valdes Leal Christ Carrying the Cross

1657-1660 on canvas, 82V4 x 63 in. (209 x 160 cm)

oil

Prado,

Madrid

With the dramatic involvement of a popular miracle play and in perfect

harmony with Spanish religious feeling, Valdes

Leal clearlv draws inspiration

from the

large,

sculptural groups carried in processions. Christ

seems to loom over us, crushed by the weight of the terrible, heavy cross,

whose rough wooden surface seems to emerge from the painting. The crown of thorns causes blood to run face.

Each

down

detail

Christ's

moves the long

faithful to pity: the

rope around the

condemned man's neck, the grief-stricken figures

on the left, even the gloomy landscape. Valdes Leal stands out in Spanish

seventeenth-century painting precisely by virtue

of his

bitter,

desperate

religious feeling. His best

works, of which

this

is

one, avoid the trap of facile

pathos and remain

among

the most striking in

Baroque

Juan de Valdes Leal (Seville,

sharp contrasts of light and shade, where

macabre and

we

imagine paintings further from the

can already glimpse his desire to

present the great

1622-1690)

its

moments

mysteries, and

its

of the

faith,

heroes in concrete

terms. He thus began to receive commissions from the monasteries and

realistic

Born in the same citv as Murillo and a near contemporary of his, Valdes Leal represents the opposite side of religious painting in

presence of Murillo. This was the coup

seventeenth-centurv Spain. While Murillo

de grace for the aging Zurbaran,

is

sunny, endearing, soft, and familiar,

Seville for

Madrid

in

who

left

1658. While Murillo

gloomy, funereal, dramatic, and burdened with violent passion. These

appears to be careful, sensitive, and precise

two contrasting sides of devotion and religious ceremonv still to

detail, Valdes Leal prefers a less

be found

outlines barely sketched in bv

Valdes Leal

is

are, so to speak, the

Andalusia today. Trained in the workshop of Antonio del Castillo in in

eal made his debut in the 1650s with paintings characterized by

Cordoba, \ aides 58

settled in Seville in 1657, despite the

I

in his

execution of figures and narrative

sophisticated image,

sometimes with the means of

broken brushstrokes. This choice of sides is also to be seen in his use of violent, clashing colors and his leaning toward the

terrifying.

graceful, sentimental

It is

hard to

manner of Murillo

than the terrible Hieroglyphics of the End of Life, the frightening images produced

1672 for the Charity Hospital in Seville, which are certainly his most celebrated in

works.

In general

terms, his career breaks

with the long series of Spanish painters

memories of Italian art. Even the almost obligatory reference influenced by

to Caravaggio

is

developed emphatically

on the brushwork rather than on the light, and with deliberately with stress fluid

laid

compositions.

art.


Juan de Valdes Leal Mary Magdalene i

1670

on 85 x 46

oil

(216 x

i

in. l

IV

an) B

il'im

Villamanrlquc ndesa

Juan de Valdes Leal Time

Hieroglyphic of

Hieroglyphic of Death

1672 on canvas, 90V4 x 78% in. oil

(229 x 200 cm) each Charity Hospital, Seville

Constituting a macabre high point in Baroque painting, these

two

canvases are

unquestionably

among

the

most frightening paintings in the entire history

of art

The two works, known Postrimerias

as

or images

of the after-life, were inspired by the writings

of Juan Miguel de Manara

author of treatise

a

dramatic

on death.

S9


— Alonso Cano (Granada. 1601-1667)

A

painter, sculptor, and architect oi remarkable talent, Cano was trained bv his father Miguel in his youth, and assisted him in

producing painted carved altarpieces.

He in

one of the most interesting

is

figures

seventeenth-century Spain, not onlv

bv virtue of his

activities as a multifaceted

but also because of the events of his complex and sometimes dramatic lite. His artist,

was completed in Seville, in the workshop of Francisco Pacheco, together training

with Velazquez,

Cano shared Italian art

his

near contemporary.

admiration for the

his friend's

of the Renaissance, though he

was not so concerned with the application of color and brushwork, but took a greater interest in the classical nude and anatomical drawings of great accuracy, which were also to prove useful for his highly esteemed

work

as a sculptor.

invitation,

he

On Velazquez's

moved

At the court of

to

Madrid

Philip IV

in

1637.

he distinguished

himself as Velazquez's assistant, as a restorer

of old paintings (including some masterpieces bv Titian, damaged in the at

the

Buen Retiro palace

in 1640),

fire

and

as a

painter of luminous religious compositions.

The theme of the male nude continued to predominate and Cano preferred such scenes as the Scourging of Christ, the

Deposition, the Pieta, and the Crucifixion, that

is,

even

subject that allowed

him

to

paint classical figures of Christ. His career as

court painter was dramatically

interrupted

when he was

from Madrid unjustly

after

forced to flee

being accused

—perhaps

of the murder of his second wife.

After a period spent in Valencia,

Cano

returned to Madrid, but he had bv now lost favor. In

1652, he returned to his

hometown and began

the great task of

decorating the facade of the cathedral, his

masterpiece

as a sculptor.

He

also

continued producing wooden sculptures

sometimes working together with Pedro de Mena many of which were painted. Cano

asked for permission to

become

a priest

with the Chapter of Granada, but his acceptance was delayed until

1

660 on

the pretext that he had difficulty learning

During this period he painted an impressive series of canvases with Stories of the Virgin for the niches in ecclesiastical Latin.

the choir of Granada cathedral, a task that

continued until 1664.

Alonso Cano The Dead

Christ Supported

by an Angel c. oil

1645 on canvas,

54 x 39!/4

in.

(137 x 100 cm)

Madrid

Prado,

Cano's serene compositions, devoid of the expressive excesses to

be found

and

in

in

other painters

the devotions of the

period, always remain

within the boundaries of an it

formal rigor, and

the emotions are restrained.


Juan Carreno de Miranda 1614-Madnd, 1685)

(Aviles,

I

Ik

I..

.11

i

1.

Pedro

tO

IP

ill

lai

ill

iln

m

vas

initial |Âť

works

religious

ompleb

i

i

ii,

I.

mast

ith

.in

'

shi

Villi

iU'

li'

i

train d ÂŤ

in.

and Bai

U

riod

(a field hi

abandon)

d),

*

ai

Madrid school, when

hi

l\

painti

ai

i

never n Bo joined

wa noticed

and invited to work on commission) ["hi contact with Velazquez marked a turning point in thi careei bj V< lazqui z

.I the

young Asturian

exampli

artist,

great mastei

of thi

importance in development, especially ol pivotal

work

as

,i

pin

trail

Charles

II,

in

regard to

his

During the

the court oi

relationship developed

a

between him and reminiscent

and Philip

at

n mained

his styli

painter.

years Carreno spent

and

king that was one between Velazquez the 1660s, Carreno was tin-

ol the

IV. In

given positions that bore increasing responsibility- In 1669, on the death ol Juan Baptista dt Ma/o, he was awarded the title of "painter to the king." Two years later

he was appointed "painter or

official portrait

ol the

chamber"

painter ol the royal

family. With his precise technique and unmitigated realism, Carreno painted the frail

Charles

II

on numerous occasions and

poses, giving an almost spectral

in different

image of the decline

ol the

Spanish

monarchy. Although he never attained the creative genius ol his master Velazquez,

Carreno

one of the most competent

is

portrait painters of seventeenth-century

Spain; though forced to paint his sitters in

severe official poses, he

conveying

a

Juan Carreno de Miranda The Founding of the Trinitarian Order

1666 on canvas, 24 x 86'/z in. (315 x 220 cm) oil 1

Louvre, Paris

Painted lor the Trinitarian

church of Pamplona, this is Carreno s masterpiece in the specific field

religious art.

of

Drawing

upon Flemish models, and in particular upon Rubens, Carreno creates a composition

ol

(lowing

grandeur with an expertly handled group ol figures mining diagonally toward tlu

luminous celebration

oi the

I

lost.

The

brushstrokes and

tree

warm

vibrant colors are very different

more

from the studied,

detailed technique

adopted

is

capable ol

sense ol sickness and anxiety.

in his portraits

ol the rinal family.


me

wmmet

*&.

E

Orazio Gentileschi The Martyrs

and

Cecilia, Valerian,

Tiburtius, detail

1620 oil on canvas, 137', x 85 v. in. (350 x 218 cm) c.

Pinacoteca

di Brera,

Milan

,

n


1

.w*


Rome.

The short name of the Eternal City ennumber of projects, master-

capsulates a vast

and international

pieces, princely collections, artists

forming strands that interweave to

fash-

ion and disseminate the Baroque art of Europe as a whole.

Seventeenth-century

Italian painting ine\itablv gravitated

around what was happening culture, art,

and

religion.

in

Rome,

the true center of

Having aggressively recovered dire consequences (in-

from the Protestant schism and

its

cluding the humiliating Sack of

Rome

in 1527),

between

the end of the sixteenth and the height of the seventeenth century, the

home

of the papacy enjoyed a period of splen-

dor expressed through an unparalleled wave of urban

re-

From SixtusV

on,

construction and architectural renewal.

the popes vied with one another to associate their

names

a disconcertingly rich

human panorama

that offered

an unprecedented opportunity for meetings, exchanges of opinion, and parallel developments in style

when

ferment

this

drop of the great

is

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

especially

seen against the monumental back-

and the masterpieces of

classical ruins

Michelangelo and Raphael.

Without wishing to minimize the importance of the very lively local schools (if

we

confine ourselves to artists pre-

sented in this volume, suffice

it

mention the Genoa of

to

Strozzi or the Naples of masters like Mattia Preti and

Luca Giordano, places where Baroque flourished

in an in-

Rome

explains

what happened

ternational dimension),

in

century

came

in

from the new

religious orders

movement of evangelization

com-

now

that penetrat-

ed society and crossed the new continents. Light and shade. Baroque

Rome was

both shop window

Annibale Carracci The Butcher's Shop

and backroom, showcase and slum. Artists poured in from

1585 oil on canvas,

all

over Europe to settle in the

Few came with ments

city.

They

all

came

specific, prestigious contracts

in their pockets.

the support of the

Most of them

most firmlv

to learn.

or appoint-

work on national com-

relied for

established

a

And

Italian painting.

whole. In addition, there

this

is

holds true for Europe as

another factor that

may

ap-

pear insignificant, but should in fact be considered with a certain degree of attention.

Rome was

only marginally

af-

fected by the devastating outbreaks of the plague that

r

Church Collection,

was

time, the great patrician families indulged in patronage of

spearheading a

Oxford

from the regions of Lombardy, Ticino, Emilia, and so Some were adventurers seeking to make a fortune. It

and encapsulates much of the history of seventeenth-

missions

Christ

on).

clei

and heraldic crests with spectacular projects. At the same the arts (often benefiting from papal nepotism), and

49'/2x 104% in. (126 x 266 cm)

munities (the French, the Dutch, and the Flemish, and nu-

struck other cities (Milan and Venice in 1630, Naples in

1656) and led to drastic interruptions in the development of their art and art collections.

From

the closing years of the sixteenth through the

first

half of the seventeenth century (in strictly artistic terms,

from the

arrival of

ian journey),

Caravaggio to Velazquez's second

Rome was

Ital-

the scene of lively debate with a

constantly varying interplay of influences, trends, fashions, specialized treatises and, of course, great masterpieces.

With some

simplification,

it

is

possible to identifv three

main trends succeeding one another

in a sort of ideal relay

race of artistic styles: the naturalism of Caravaggio, the classicism of

Guido Reni and the Bolognese school, and

the Baroque proper of Bernini and Pietro da Cortona.

These three different

figurative

models were

also the

mainsprings of seventeenth-century European art as a

whole. In

chronological order, the

launched by Caravaggio tury. In the artistic

first

at the close

movement was

that

of the sixteenth cen-

preceding decades, the fervor of religious and

renewal triggered by the Counter-Reformation

had been partlv hampered bv the substantial mediocritv of

64

its predominantly "rearguard" artists who had grown up in awe of the great models of the High Renaissance. Trained


Guido Reni The

Dawn

Caravaggio Beheading of

(Aurora)

1612-1614 fresco, 110'4 x 275"2 (280 x 700 cm)

Palazzo Rospigliosi Pallavicini,

Rome

St.

John

the Baptist in.

1608, 142 x

oil

on canvas,

204%

in.

(361 x 520 cm) St. John's Cathedral, La Valletta (Malta)

65


Lombard school of

in the

ward

a

come

realism, Caravaggio put for-

completely different model, which was to be-

the

"common

European painting rejection. Firmly

language" of seventeenth-century

after

some

initial

anchored to

embarrassment and

reality,

even

crudest

its

and most down-to-earth aspects, Caravaggio's paintings are based

on

which was nearly always

light,

a shaft cut-

ting diagonally through the scene to highlight

some

fig-

ures and plunge the other areas into the darkest shadow.

Two

effects are thus obtained: a disconcertingly direct

and immediate realism, coupled with intense concentra-

on the main

tion

figures.

The adventurous

life

of Cara-

vaggio, sublime as an artist but violent and quarrelsome

man, enhances

as a

his

charisma

wild and solitary revolutionary.

working

in

Rome

as

an artistic outcast, a

What

is

certain

is

that

by

and producing masterpieces both of

genre painting for collectors and altarpieces for churchCaravaggio

es,

pact. at

made an immediate and widespread im-

When he died "as badly as he had lived" on the beach

Porto Ercole in 1610, the

ginning to ripen not only in

fruits

of his activity were be-

Rome

and Naples (where he

made two verv productive stays) but also in other Italian and foreign schools. In many cases, for example, by ,

Orazio Gentileschi or

works of Guido Reni,

in the early

the dramatically rough edges of Caravaggio's

toned

down by

work were

elegant execution.

Around 1620, however, the seemed to give way to a wholly

influence

of Caravaggio

different tendency, a con-

trolled, intellectual style of painting based

on

a painstak-

ing return to classical antiquities and celebrated Renais-

sance models. Promoted above

Bolognese school,

first

all

by painters of the

and foremost Annibale Carracci,

classicism established itself as a very characteristic trend in

seventeenth-century painting. Taken up and developed

also

by foreign masters (such

as

Nicolas Poussin),

classi-

cism was also the result of the spread of academies of painting and drawing,

whose

pupils received a complete

training that included not only the specific field of art,

but also and perhaps primarily a vast, general, eclectic Mattia Preti Sketch for fresco entitled "The Plague in Naples"

culture,

1656 on canvas,

and

oil

50%

x 30'/4

(129

x

in.

77 cm)

complex

which enabled them to interpret correctly even subjects drawn from Greco-Roman mythology

literature.

The

third important

movement was

the

extraordinarily theatrical and exuberant style of painting that can be regarded as authentic Baroque.

Promoted by

Galleria Nazionale di

66

Capodimonte, Naples

the religious orders and widely developed throughout


the

Catholic

colonies,

world,

including the

Latin

Baroque, however, originated

works commissioned by the that of a "total"

Jesuits.

The

in

American

Rome

initial

work of art capable of sweeping

idea

ry,

was

cal

the spec-

tator

away

ture,

and furnishings were thus supposed to work togeth-

er to

like a

whirlwind. Architecture, painting, sculp-

communicate

ideas that

cent, rich and emphatic.

were solemn and magnifi-

Such an ambitious objective

called for multifaceted personalities, for artists capable of

"directing" projects

crammed with special effects. The abmovement and not only in

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

solute genius of the Baroque

Rome

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; was Gian Lorenzo

Bernini, a versatile sculptor

and painter with many other

and Florence.

with

In the

second half of the seventeenth centu-

however, the effects of

tin-

increasingly difficult politi-

and economic situations began to

on

tell

Italian art.

Fewer great works were commissioned. The splendor of Rome began to wane and the cities and towns of the Renaissance grew visibly poorer. In some cases, and

the decline was quite dramatic.

Famous works of art be-

gan to be sold abroad, together with entire princely collections. After being for centuries the principal center of

production for European role

art, Italy slipped into a

stands fresco

updated on the

cycles executed in the mid-seventeenth century in

Rome

remnants of a glorious and increasingly distant

Pietro da Cortona, painter of the

marginal

from the middle of the seventeenth century on.

Next to him most spectacular

talents.

es-

pecially in regard to the small courts of northern Italy,

became

a place

where painters went not

latest

advances

in painting,

in

It

order to be

but to study the past.

Guercino The Return of the Prodigal Son

1619 on canvas, 42 x 56' 2 in. oil

(106.5 x 143.5 cm) Kunsthistorisches

Museum, Vienna

67


Annibale Carracci (Bologna, 1560-Rome. 1609)

cousin Ludovico, with collaborated on a

Above

all,

whom

number

he also

of earlv works.

Annibale and Ludovico shared

the desire for a return to "natural"

An

illustrious

member

of a family of

painters, Annibale Carracci plaved a crucial role in the transition

from the Mannerism

of the late Renaissance to tbc early Baroque. Together with his brother

Agostino and cousin Ludovico, he founded the Accademia dei Desiderou, the first well-

to

last air

himseli

p

work

academic approach was enriched through contact with the enormous repertoire of

of the greatest masterpieces of painting

1

in

Rome

is

the frescoed ceiling

of the gallerv in Palazzo Farnese, one

between the sixteenth and seventeenth

classical art. In

environment, surrounded bv stimuli and

intellectual

major public work, the Crucifixion for the church of Santa Maria della Carita in Bologna (1 583), exemplifies this approach.

points of reference

Annibale Carracci never

\nnibale

older

supple, delicate style, both classical and

young artists, providing a model for the programs of academies of fine arts that was

and quintessence of Annibale Carracci 's

Around 590 Annibale Carracci moved to Rome, where his

the right choice.

removed from prestigious but complex and intellectual Mannerism. Annibale's first

In the following vears, Annibale embarked on an impassioned studv of Correggio and Titian, curbed the impetuous energy of his early years, enriched his palette, and soltened his outlines. The result was a

structured form of cultural training for

68

painting, a pure and simple stvle far

up-to-date, which soon proved to be

centuries. Exhausted bv the physical and

an exhilarating

at

the highest levels

of the art of the dav, he broadened his

range of subjects considerably, and also

and died laid

the foundations for the specific

development of the His presence in

"ideal" landscape.

Rome was

of crucial

importance also for the establishment of an actual colonv of painters from Emilia, including Guido Reni.The culmination

in

Caravaggio.

energy expended on this work, fullv recovered 1609, one year before


Annibale Carracci

Annibale Carracci

Not

Pieta

Crucifixion with the Virgin

poll inn

and Saints Bernardino, Francis, John, and Petronius

altarpiece

1583

left his

c.

oil

1S99 1600 on canvas,

61'/2X

58%

oil

(

of the subject is softened In the supple, modulated Painted during the period artistic maturity, at

the same time as the frescoed ceiling in the

splendid

Rome,

work

demonstrates Annibale Carracci 's ability to select

elements from various artists

of the past and

blend them together in an original and highly

successful fashion.

While

the soft, delicate treatment

of drapery and flesh are reminiscent of Correggio, the poses of Christ and

Mary

are clearly

modeled

on Michelangelo's in

Pieta

the Vatican.

Annibale Carracci The Dead Christ

to a simple, everyday

language.

1590 oil on canvas, 27% x 35 (70.8 x 88.8 cm)

On many

occasions the painter

c

demonstrates

his

in.

extraordinarily refined style, his perfect technical

Staatsgalene, Stuttgart

Observation of Annibale Carracci

s

more dramatic

works gives an idea of the painter's

more

commitment to a human art,

direct and

capable of superseding the sophisticated, elitist

intellectualism of

Mannerism and returning

hutch

of

Santa \Liiui

della Carita, bologna

elegance ol the execution.

Galleria Farnese in

in.

(305 x 210 cm)

The dramatic nature

this

on canvas,

120x 82%

CapoJimontc, Naples

marks the

control, and his ability to

create

complex perspectives

and foreshortening. The ultimate goal is never the

mere

display of bravura,

however, but an immediately evocative depiction.

.ii

(

ai i.u

(

i

I,

to

i

i

who

the

Renaissance

he looked

M illi .in "i one ii .inn

in

Bologna,

in cultural

and

1

III

a

the histoi I

bus,

ii

ai

i

I

till

Hi. ili I

tlÂť

<l

\

hot

janu

.ili

d'

in tin

i

ii

-

itud) ol

ol paintii s

ol

.in

1).

ili

and

the woi Id

a)

dm

i

llll.ll

bam d on

obsei ration ol

i

\i

h

I

At the height of the late

period rich

dim

.iliu

i

an

t<>

style.

ibli

Independent

1

retui n to "natural"

first

udovit o's

I

.K

i

igoroush prop

t

painting,

cousin

workshop iiÂŤ n

ili,

tones, this

In th

\niiikili

Gallcna Xationale

of his

i

ol

frei

i

ovi

,il

in.

(156 x 149 cm) di

ten

altogethi

Raphael

poi craved


Annibale Carracci The c.

Flight into

Egypt

1603

on canvas, 48 x 90',i in. (122 x 230 cm) oil

Galleria Dorio Pamphih,

Rome All the elements are drawn from observation of the Roman campagna and the area of the Alban Hills:

splendid views of nature,

and

rolling countryside,

ancient ruins. At the same

time, the contemplative

atmosphere of the canvas and the relations between the figures and nature are intellectual in tone, and direct observation

through

is

filtered

classical culture.

Annibale Carracci Adonis Discovers Venus c.

oil

1595

on canvas,

85 Vix 963/4

in.

(217 x 246 cm) Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

After moving to

Rome

around 1 590, the painter adopted an "elevated" style, making his work both serene and rigorous. Increasingly frequent use

was made of mythological or literary subjects, highlv appreciated by aristocratic collectors,

which Annibale

Carracci faultlesslv

represented with a wealth of precise references to the poetic sources. As this

masterpiece effectively demonstrates, thev are often exquisitely executed

works and indispensable points of reference for the

development of classicism in painting. Adopting a form of academic eclecticism, Annibale

Carracci once again draws

upon and develops the stvlistic

elements of

Renaissance painting,

blending

Roman

it

with Greco-

sculpture and

classical art in general.

However, the primarv point of reference remains

sixteenth-centurv Venetian art

and Titian

in particular,

especially regarding the

nude set background of a

radiant female against the

dense, natural landscape.

70


Annibaie Carracci Homage to Diana 1602

from the In scoes

detail in tin

(

..ill.

l.i

I

I

orating the Gall*

,n in

I

in sr

Rome

irduOUl task of

In

ili-i

.11

I

Palazzo larnese,

si

la

i

onstitutrd

i

tin

climax of Annibaie (

,ii i.

u

i

l

.

in

i

i

I. ill

i,

was

it

so phvsuallv and creatively

demanding that it r*hamfrfd him. The great stenographic hall,

frescoed

tin

1

1

at

the turn of

nturv, simultaneously

marks the

final stage of

the Italian Kenaissani r

and the triumphal birth of classicism, one of the

major movements

of European Baroque. It

is

also

important not to

underestimate the role played by this

work

as

an

authentic training ground for various artists, almost all

from the region of who were

Emilia,

summoned

by Annibaie

Carracci to

assist in

executing the frescoes. After various experiments and

changes of plan, the painter decided to simulate

a

sumptuous princely gallery with paintings framed by carved decorations and stuccos.

The

largest

painting, The Triumph of

Bacchus and Ariadne, in the center

is

set

of the ceiling,

with other mythological scenes arranged along the walls. The result is a memorable masterpiece in which the numerous and

explicit figurative allusions

(to Raphael, Michelangelo,

ancient art, and so on)

blend in a flowing,

luminous, idealized Painted

at a

time

style.

when

Caravaggio's career in

Rome

was

at its

height,

the frescoes strike us as the antithesis of chiaroscuro realism.

It

should be

remembered, however, that after their respective work in Palazzo

Farnese and the

Contarelli Chapel in the

church of San Luigi dei Francesi, Annibaie Carracci and Caravaggio were both i

ommi-Moned

to

work on

the Cerasi Chapel in the

church of Santa Maria del Popolo, where the former painted the .issumpnon

ym

i

and the

over the altar

latter the

flanking canvases

two \\

ith

the Martyrdom of St. Peter and the Conversion

of St. Paul.


Caravaggio

handling of light and emotion.

Michelangelo Merisi 1

(Milan,

1

571 -Porto

Ercole,

1610)

590, at an age

to short, calamitous, and adventurous life forms the dramatic setting for the work artist

who

did

more

than any other to influence the

painters generally

Rome. The

earlv vears

moved

were grim,

fraught with poverty and illness.

a

name

is

Pinacoteca Ambrosiana in Milan

a celebrated

model

for

painting.

still-life

earlv religious paintings (such as

the Rest on the Flight into Egypt in the

workshops of established painters, Caravaggio found it difficult

make

in the

The

An

assistant in the

to

for himself. This period

Galleria Doria Pamphili in still

Rome) were

influenced by the naturalism of the

Lombard

school, but there was to be

death, Caravaggio

Rome

in

was forced to

1606, thus beginning

a

flee

from

human

odyssev during which he produced masterpieces that were to become points of reference for European painting as a

whole. After an

initial stay in

Naples,

Caravaggio went to Malta, where he was

admitted into the Order of the Knights of St. John. This glory was, however,

development of seventeenth-centurv

saw the production of

painting by introducing a realism and use

paintings heralding an authentic revolution

paintings for the church of San Luigi

of light and shade that were to be followed

in the history ol art.

dei Francesi in

come. Most probablv born in Milan (his nickname being derived from the Marchese di Caravaggio, for

brought the

emerge from the dark background

Caravaggio prepared to

whom

and strolling musi< ians into painting. works, characterized bv a light

to create an unprecedented, strong,

but, alter a series of adventures, he died

neutral

works painted in Rome between 600 and 1606 triggered widespread heated debate; some of them were refused by clients shocked by their excessively brutal realism. Found guilty ot murder and sentenced to

for centuries to

the painter's father

worked

as an

administrator), Caravaggio received his

from Simone Pctcrzano, but above all he studied w ith keen intelligence the work of Leonardo da Vinci, Titian, and the sixteenth-ccnturv masters from Brescia. This gave him a very strong leaning toward training

72

when

Around

chose independence, Caravaggio

A

of Caravaggio, the

endow them with an independent dignity as artistic subjects. The Basket of Fruit

realism that was expressed through his

little

Caravaggio

world of the

Roman

ambiguous voung

"hustlers," street lads,

milestones in

I

the birth o details

objects

ting.

are exec uted i

w ith

descriptive

the gi

further breakthrough. In the

Rome

( 1

600), Caravaggio

new and

highly dramatic

interpretation of altar painting.

expressive impact.

The

monumental

The

st

figures

great religious 1

and various

flowi

and Caravaggio

The

a

offered a radically

cardsharps, gypsies, prostitutes,

alleys

care,

some memorable

short-lived. He was imprisoned on Malta but succeeded in escaping, first to Sicily and then once more to Naples (1609-1 6 10). Trusting that papal pardon would be forthcoming, sail

tor

Rome,

of malaria on the sun-drenched beach of Porto Ercole.

a


Caravaggio

Caravaggio

Basket of Fruit

The Cardsharps

1597 1598 on canvas, 18 x 2514 in. (46 x 64.5 cm)

c.

1

594

oil

J7 x 51!

Cardinal Del this

M

Monte gave life

Borromeo, Archbishop ol Milan and renowned art Collector. It marks the

In bi

genre, and

between

is

in l.\

still-life

paii ni

,i

pi

i

hi

I

oldi

i

ol thi

poised .n

in]. In

1.

1

imitation of reality and

winning

sweeping poetry. Federico

Ins bai k.

Borromeo wished to accompany this work with another basket of

Fruit,

.iris

i

h

,

ard

i

hi

lip

>

bom

behind

Abovi and beyond

moralizing

implications, the painting

but

provides

he himself wrote, "since none could match the

as

â&#x20AC;˘

l

nli in

powei

beauty of this one and its incomparable excellence, it

n

I

meticulous

a

rth

pisode draw on the itreel by th

to Cardinal Federico

beginning of the

Musetu

\tt

extraordinary canvas

9 cm)

10

i

Pmacoteca Ambrosianu, Milan

s

immediai

(

ar.iwiggio's

observation, his

ni

ability to

has remained alone."

memorable '.I

i

aptun

(

j

llu

ol the scene,

the mobility ol the gestures

and expressions, and the narrative force ol the details

of the clothes and the

gaming

Caravaggio

Caravaggio

The Young Bacchus

Boy with

1595-1596 oil on canvas, 3V/2X 33 /2in. (95 x 85 cm)

1593-1594 oil

Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Galleria Borghese,

1

a Basket of Fruit

on canvas, 2V/2 x 26V4 in. (70 x 67 cm)

Rome

tab]


'

.

Caravaggio

left,

The Music

the corporeal realm ot the

Party

which contrasts with

other vouths.The

159S on canvas, 34V5 x 45 : in. (87.9 x IIS. 9 cm)

less

than

c.

perfect state ot preservation

oil

makes

it

W^a

impossible to read

1

Metropolitan

the score, which

Museum of Art,

NewYork

risible in

is

perfectly

other works.

Caravaggio evidently loved music. Musical instruments

Works such

as this

continue

ot excellent

Cara\ aggio's alleged (but

never proven)

proved possible to organize

homosexuality to the

concerts of the music in

recondite religious

Caravaggio's paintings.

significance of his paintings.

Most of the pieces

In this apparentlv realistic

sixteenth-century motets

questions, ranging from

^^

m

-4

i

^^mv*

workmanship

and very precise scores are to be found in manv of his early paintings; it has even

to pose a variety ot

fev.

W , i

we

are late

presence of a winged figure

and madrigals for various voices and lute

(An angel? Cupid?) to the

accompaniment

scene,

certainly note the

i^^r

-^

Li

^ t\

Caravaggio The Fortune

Teller

1593 oil on canvas, 39 x 511/2 in. (99 x 131 cm)

c.

Louvre, Pans

This

is

one of the

first

and most appealing of Caravaggio's Roman works.

The

painter again draws

from evervdav from the character^ encountered in the streets. Here a smiling gypsy girl reads the palm of a voting dandy and slips a ring from his finger. The circumstances in which the work was painted are described as follows bv inspiration life,

a writer of the period:

"He summoned a gypsv girl who happened to be passing in the street and

portrayed her

in the act

of telling someone's fortune ....

He

painted

voung man resting his gloved hand on his sword and stretching his bare hand a

out to the gypsv, holding

it

who

and looking

is

at

it.

And in these two figures, Mkhelc unquestionably captured the truth."

Caravaggio transforms the realism of the

Lombard

school into a dazzling whirl

of characters, situations,

and ph

Another

version ol this subjl

74

Museum

in

I:

i

'A

W/M


Caravaggio

Caravaggio

The Conversion of Mary Magdalene

Rest During the Flight

Christ Child firmly clasped

into Egypt

by the tired and lining

1595-1596 on canvas,

soloist of die heavenly

5 3'/2X 65V2in. (135.5 x 166.5 cm)

looseh swathed

c.

1597 1598

on canvas, 38!/2 x 52'/4 in.

oil

(97.8 x 132.7

cm)

Detroit Institute of Arts,

Detroit

lullabv for the beautiful

Virgin Mary. The virtuoso

oil

Galleria

on lustra

Dona Pamphih, Rome instills

die sunset

with an unforgettable

Urged on by Martha, the blooming Mary Magdalene prepares to renounce

quality, as

worldly vanities, while the

though the ÂŤhole of nature

lighl

though time

nuling

still,

itself

as

a

slender youth, in a

a

from

his hips,

presenting

strong contrast with

the rustic

St.

Joseph

and die donkey peeping dirough the foliage. Ew rj element is executed widi

were holding its breath to music of the

painstaking care and

painstaking depiction of

listen to the

the mirror, jewelry, and

angel violinist,

after another, while

painter lingers over a

other feminine items. truth

1

)i\ine

white

tunic that seems about to slip

Caravaggio

is

discovers one

new

1

detail

never

Dtment and human

losing contact with the

meet

figures.

in a

heavenly

75


Caravaggio St.

but the clerics found the

Matthew and the Angel

oil 1

saint's

expression too crude

and refused to accept

1602

on

it.

Before beginning a new-

canvas,

1614x76%

version of the altarpiece

in.

( 1

(295 x 195 cm)

602 ), Caravaggio

executed the two side paintings,

The Martyrdom of

St.

which constitute

an epoch-making turning

Matthew

point in the historv of art.

1599-1600 oil

With tremendous

on canvas,

force,

he draws the spectator into

127'/4X 135 in. (323 x 343 cm)

The Calling of

the episode as

Matthew

St.

it is

actuallv

happening,

when

reached

dramatic climax.

its

The Martyrdom

is

it

has

a brutal

1599-1600

execution, with the killer

on canvas, 126 3/4X 133% in. (322 x 340 cm)

bursting into the church to

oil

strike

Contarelli Chapel, Church of

San Luigi

dei Francesi,

down

the saint during

the celebration of mass.

Rome

Caravaggio interprets the scene as an episode of violent crime, with the saint

The long and complex contractual negotiations for the decoration of the

Contarelli Chapel in the

church of the French

communitv

in

Rome came

to an end with the decision to engage Caravaggio to

execute three paintings: the altarpiece depicting

Matthew writing the Gospel, flanked bv two St.

works showing the key

moments

in the life

of the evangelist. Caravaggio

produced of

St

his first version

Matlheii

and

the Angel,

attempting to defend himself while the space

is

rent bv the figures of the killer

and of the choirbov

fleeing in terror.

Much

calmer but bv no means evocative

is

less

the scene of the

Calling. Christ enters a

guardhouse with soldiers and tax collectors seated on benches. Followed bv a shaft ot light,

He

raises His

arm

and points to the dumbfounded Matthew,

who his

responds bv placing hand on his breast.


Caravaggio

Caravaggio

Christ Taken Prisoner

Martyrdom of

on canvas,

(133.5 x I69.S an)

60 1600 on (dii\as, 90'/ix 69 in

National Gallerj

(230*

oil

66M

1

in.

oil

of Ireland,

Dublin

This

i>

(

one

nl the

most

erasi

s,

(

cm) each

I7S

bapel,

hurch of

(

mi, i Maria del Popolo,

recent .mil interesting

In

additions to the catalog

unfold

of Caravaggio 's works.

s.ilitinli

Discovered

training labon

in

the

possession ol the |esuit

order

in

Petel

St

onversion of St Paul

(

1602

Dublin, the work

had previously been regarded as hist and was known only through old copies. The dramatic night

both cases,

I'cti

i

in

sil< I

in

whole

(

.mil

-.oil, il

si

lili

>

nailed upside

mi On (loss the

.mil

i

Inn

Howe

M

thi

daw

(inti.li

\

to

ol the prei ioui

figurative tradition,

Caravaggio does DOl ondi Mill tile rxn lit (

l<

.Ik

I

I,

scene broken by the metallic glint of armor

but rather undersi ores the

highlights the painter's

with the rope that marks

convey gesture, physiognomy, flashes

two the back and arm, while the apostle

ability to

of anguish, terror, excitement, and brutality.

|i.iinliil

aspect ol

t

hi

r

task

them on

ol

looks around,

lost

and

abandoned, with no comfort from above. An equally is

new

given ol

interpretation

tin

conversion

whose lall plan- not on the road Damascus but in the

ol St

Paul,

darkness

ol a stable

takes to


Caravaggio Sacrifice of Isaac c. oil

1603 on canvas,

41 x

5 3'/4 in.

(104 x 135.nn Galleria Jegli

One

ol the

Uffi/.i,

Florence

very few works

by Caravaggio set

in the

countryside, this painting

was produced for Cardinal Maffeo Barberini, when the artist was enjoying great popularity with the

Roman

aristocracy.

Despite the identity of his client,

to play

Caravaggio refused

down

the "terrible"

elements of the scene, especially the

whimpering

figure of Isaac, held

down

Abraham, who became a model for the firmly by

portraits of bald-headed,

bearded old men that were to appear frequently in Baroque painting. The angel seen in profile

is,

bv contrast, a tribute to classical sculpture.

Caravaggio Judith

and Holofernes

1599 oil on canvas, 57 x 76% in. (145 x 195 cm) c.

Galleria Sazionale d'Arte Antica,

Rome

This work forms part of a

group

clearlv identifiable

painted for Cardinal Del

Monte, dramatic scenes depicted

in a clear,

steadv

almost

light to obtain

sculptural effects. The theme of decapitation

reappears almost obsessively in Caravaggio's painting, and

on

was to take

a strikinsjlv

autobiographical significance

when

fugitive artist

the

was

sentenced to capital

punishment

in

1606.


Caravaggio Catherine

St.

As

,i

modi

of Alexandria

oil

1

598

1

599

on canvas,

68 x

S2'/4 in.

(173x

|

J3

cm)

Homemlsza Collection, Madrid

i"i

thi

iggio used bio

c.

l

stupendous heroine,

frowning oppositi is

typi<

when tin-

al

appeal

Ullll

Hi

tli' s

as the

on the rhi worV

jmliili

pag "I thi

pi

i

<

i

ill

siu

tin i

ill.

fai

.ami

isslul devil

i

dressing her

in a

cecuted

blouse, ÂŤ

li

Contarelli Chapel, "

shai ply itli

w

hit itli

tones prevaili

i

tli'

he del itli

ted

exta

air!

'

through

mil

paintings in the

I

ÂŤ

cri

tin

'l

i

ol

ii

lla

I

..:;'.

.1

mai tyrdom, broken

anil

white

onl

i

I.,

i

..in.

an aln

tarl

n

Caravaggio David and Goliath C.

1597-1598

on canvas, 4314 x 35% in. oil

(HOx Prado,

91

cm)

Madrid

Alone and

silent in the

moonlight, David leans over the fallen body of the slain giant.

Caravaggio

chooses neither the

moment

of triumph nor

the instant in which David hurls the stone sling,

from

his

but prefers to reflect

upon what comes after, upon the moment when the explosion of violence has just ended and silence falls

around the scene

of death.

79


I

Caravaggio The Madonna

ordinary dress, ami

holding the

1604 1606 ml mi canvas, 102!4 x 59 in. (260 x ISOcm) C.

Church

pinned up and an

dai k haii

of Loreto

w c

nli

Christ

is (

I

ul<

lining maternal

uiiliili in

.mil

(

linn In tin

I

wo

presenting lagged,

pathetic, elderly, Kneeling of Sant'Agostino,

pilgrims.

Rome

These two

wayfarers

who

have

finally

An extraordinary

reached their destination

masterpiece of religious

are unforgettable ligures.

No

work was

painting, this

longer possessing even

originally produi ed lor tin-

the strength lo rejoice,

altar dedicated to the

they kneel there, with

House

ol

I

lory

Loreto, thus

dirty leet, speechless

explaining the prominent

before the Christ Child.

doorway of the house in Nazareth in which Mary

Very seldom has religious

stands. This

Madonna

comes from

the ranks of

painting been so powerful

and,

at

the

same time,

so

evocatively sweet and

the people. She wears her

serene.

Caravaggio

never ceased to studv and

St.

John the Baptist

1602 oil on canvas,

51V2X 38%

in.

(131 x 98.6 cm) Capitoline Museum,

This

work

joyful,

Rome

constitutes a

almost Dionysian

interlude in Caravaggio's painting. In his

most

successful period, the artist

80

<

hand at the great models of the past. The Hellenistic sculptures and the powerful nudes of Michelangelo on the try his

ceiling of the Sistine

Chapel are the

historical

forerunners of this striking youth, captured by the artist in a twisted, athletic

pose.


Caravaggio The Supper

Emmaus

at

1601

on

oil

.

5S'/2X 7714 X

(I tl

Caravaggio Madonna of the

1606 1607 on canvas, 145 x 98 in. (364 x 249 cm) Museum,

Vienna

A

high!) expressive

period

in

onJon

I

Rosary li.l'.l

hi

prei

work

artist's first

Naples,

it

was

.1

i"<i

.ii

oil

from the

.mi

!

National Gallery, 1

Kunsthistorisches

in.

196,

[i

ol

MM

li

I'll ini

l .

oi tin

d on

i

and

table

the roast chicken served as tin

ii

imstii

al

distrai

in this

seem do not the viewer's

t

attention from

tin

expression

motion

ol

i

that

painted tor a church

greets the revelation of

belonging to the

Christ's identity.

Dominican order. The theme is rather complex,

depth

representing the

placed on

with

ol tin

tin-

(

Note tin omposihon on

disciple

the- left

this side ol

intercession ol the Iriars,

the table, the disciple

through the prayer of the

the right beside

Rosary, between the

(clearly inllucnc ed

people and the Madonna.

Leonardo)

(

)n the far left

is

the

patron, his eves Mashing,

turned toward the viewer, A large red drape frames the composition.

Once

it,

sitting

on

Christ l>\

behind

it

with the host behind Him.

The shadows figures

cast by the onto the back wall

room emphasize the arrangement. of the

again Caravaggio turns a

complex doctrinal subject into a vision of powerful

human emotion.

Caravaggio The Seven Works of Mercy

1606-1607 on canvas,

oil

1S3'/2X 10214

in.

(390 x 260 cm) Pio Monte della Misericordia, Naples

Painted during

Caravaggio 's in

first stay-

Naples, this

work

is

a

brilliant solution to a

complex problem. With great intuitive insight, the

painter uses an ordinary

evening

at a

crossroads

in the Spanish quarter of

Naples

as a setting for all

the figures and episodes that

symbolize the works

of mercy: giving food to the

hungry and drink

to the thirsty, assisting

pilgrims, visiting those in prison, clothing the naked,

tending the sick, and

burying the dead. As though leaning from

a

balcony, a smiling Virgin

Mary, on the wings of two acrobatic angels, observes

the scene.


Guido Reni

resulting

(Bologna, 1575-1642)

Pupil and follower ofAnnibale Carracd,

model student expert

Rem

ol the

in classical art

Carracd Academy, and Raphael, Guido

seventeenth-centun European art. For nearK three centuries, his pure,

adamantine

style, perfectly

poised between

ol greal interest

I

Rome. The

an outstanding master ol

is

works

demonstrated Guido Reni's critical acumen ami artistic talent, and brought him to the attention of collet tors and patrons. On the death ol Annibale Carracd 1609), Guido Reni became the leading exponent of classicism and ol the Bolognese school in fresco of The

Dawn

1622-1625

tin

on canvas, 81 x 117 in. (206 x 297 cm)

work

lor the Farnese family

and

a

solemn token

The

great altarpieces painted for churches in

Bologna, most of which are

now

exhibited

mark

The a

moved

to

Rome

(light, color,

expression,

draftsmanship, and composition). Until the

around the year 1600.

This marked the beginning of a trulv exciting decade. Reni

elements

1630s, Guido Reni remained faithful to a rich stylistic

went from Annibale

model

energy. Then, in the

full

last

of color and

few years of his

became attenuated and

Carracd 's Farnese Gallerv to the chapels

life, his

with canvases by Caravaggio, seeking

evanescent, and he used a limited range of

stylistic

apparently verv different

a

two approaches. The

point of contact between the

painting

almost transparent colors,

in yvhich

and melancholy are mingled.

beautv

who,

balls.

a

number of golden

Atalanta stops to pick

them up and thus

loses

young man.

stylistic

device in which

the gleaming bodies of

set in contrasting

he

,

lemale vanity,

to adopt a sophisticated

on ideas, formal control of the emotions, and perfect balance between all the

painting. After training in Bologna,

drops

in

the race, overtaken by the

the

most intense European

[ippomem

trusting

dynamic interpretation,

in

again seen as one of the

is

n the

but Reni instead chooses

the apotheosis of a style of painting based

is

ene depii i

Ji

subject lends itself to

boring and monotonous. A more balanced critical view now prevails, and Guido Reni figures in seventeenth-centurv

si

tw<

Atalanta and the wily I

"coldness" led to his being considered

the city's Pinacoteca Nazionale,

bi

quick-footed and invincible

Palazzo Rospigliosi constitutes the ideal

continuation ofAnnibale Carracci's

race

lnown

ol eai th

oil

Capodimontc, Naples

was regarded

an absolute model. In the

background and sky. The

(Aurora) in

ol the painter's love for classical art.

as

against the blue

GaUeria Nazionale

formal precision and expressive density, twentieth century, however, Reni's alleged

Guido Reni Atalanta and Hippomenes

two adversaries

are

poses

In this

work

of studied classicism, the idea of movement is

conveyed only by the

fluttering mantles.


Guido Reni Crucifixion of St. Peter

1604-1 60S oil

on canvas,

1

20 x 69

in.

(305 x 175 cm) Pinacoteca Vaticana,

Rome

Painted immediately after Caravaggio's version, tins great altarpiece illustrates the relationship between

Guido Reni and the Lombard master in the earlv seventeenth century.

Guido Reni Slaughter of the Innocents

1611-1612 on canvas,

oil

105'/2X 67 in. (268 x 170 cm) Pinacoteca Nazionale,

Bologna

The harrowing scene of the slaughter of the innocents is

translated into cadences

that possess a splendid theatrical

rhythm, and even

the background suggests a stage set. Reni displays a

spectacular control of the

composition through the close ties figures.

between

On

the

all

left,

the

the

soldier with his raised

knife and the screaming

mother fleeing with her child form an eloquent group. The extended links between the figures stretch over practically the entire surface of the painting.

83


Guido Reni

We

The Abduction of Helen

music of Baroque melodramas, which were often based on figures or episodes from classical

1631 oil

on canvas,

99V2X

can almost hear the

104'/4 in.

(253 x 265 cm)

poetry.

The

in a finely

Louvre, Pans

balanced

all

own, even the Moorish page with a monkey on a leash. But the charm of the

the slightlv exaggerated

its

gestures can be traced

back to the expressive

various leading figures,

repertoire of classicism.

beginning with the

The one exception

enchanting heroine

in

the

delightful

is

the

Cupid standing

alone on the right,

who

rhvthm, giving the

center of the group,

spectator time to enjoy

harmonized and enhanced

gives the viewer an

magnificently executed

each detail without losing

bv their relation to

amiable, understanding

scene and evidently

track of what

others.

theatrical in inspiration.

Each figure possesses and

This

84

storv unfolds

the colors gleam, and

expresses a noble beautv of

work

is

another

is

happening.

blue ol

is

all

the

The transparent the skv makes

look.


Guido Reni David with the Head

b( ginning ol the seventeenth nliirv K<

of Goliath

is

dei

ill.

i

60S oil on canvas,

tnflueni

ed

rn

i

1

his ax

>

lim the

incesi

Fi

end hen. With

similai ities

ademii trai Hales an eXtTl mi

Caravaggin's vibrant use

Rem

of

b.il.nii

i

1

86'/2X 57

(220 x loin

re,

1

light (see the Dai id

and Goliath

in

the Pi ad<

1

.mil at

+ 5 cm)

i

almost

entuatea the direct, tactile realism

possibility of directly

comparing not only

the

I

style but also the subject of this

work with

by Caravaggio

and the descriptive

the painting

In

ol a

I

)a\

ill,

plumed

who hat,

is is

wearing ol

the

young

regard to the important

the table in Caravaggio's

relationship

between the

painters, in

Rome,

at

soldiers seated

Calling of in the

St.

Matthew

pila .iii l

i

at

,

church of San Luigi

ali

olumn and I

d,

by

<l

sh.ipes \

i

IiihIi h

a six l.u

n iaxed,

i.u id's

pusi expresses

ompi

ised

a<

.il

ed

asllal

and even

also

reminiscent ol that

is

details

particularly interesting in

two

"in i

I

geometm

of

pensivi expression

d and

i

ompotition, (rami

the

Paris

the surfai es, the bodies,

The

.

in.

.1

ademii ism,

(ioliath's

|ai

head seems almost pacified nimed and si i. ii. In i

from the

tragii

of death painted

.

im

igi

l>\

iggio.

Guido Reni Moses and the Gathering of the

Manna

1614 1615 oil on canvas, 1 10V4 x 67 in. (280 x 170 cm) Cathedral, Ravenna

Rome

witnessed the most

important developments in Reni's career,

but

we

must not overlook the many imposing altarpieces he executed

in the

region

where he was born. Bologna and other major cities in

Emilia-Romagna

boast celebrated religious paintings bv this leading local artist,

Guido Reni Samson

Victorious

1611-1612 oil on canvas, 102V4 x 87 3/4 in. (260 x 223 cm) Pinacoteca Nazionale

who

also

executed important works in small provincial towns.

Thanks to this activity, which was made even

more extensive bv the work of pupils and followers, after Carracci,

Reni represented

a figure

of continuity in Emilian religious art. His

compositions are always

solemn and eloquent, and the leading characters are in full

view and

easily

recognizable from a distance, while

on closer

examination we can enjoy the rich descriptive detail.


Guercino

i

Giovan Francesco Barbieri (Cento, Ferrara, 1591 -Bologna, 1666)

The works produced in Guercino's long career mav appear contradictory. At one end,

we

ii

dinal Serra (the papal legate in

Ferrara),

have a style of painting

full of

dramatic impetus and chiaroscuro;

at

the

other, smooth, precise images ot perfect classicism. In actual fact, over

decades

Guercino painted

a series

1642, Guercino left his hometown and moved to Bologna, where he became the new leader of the local school. This marked in

of

works characterized by intense personality and crude drama, very diflerent from the work executed in Emilia at the time. In 1621 he was called to Rome by Pope Gregory XV. This began a period of reflection in which Guercino progressively attenuated his use of chiaroscuro, but

without abandoning daring compositions, unusual perspectives, and dynamic

another step toward the controlled, noble classicism and intelligently academic approach that were to characterize all the works produced in the master's last years.

Guercino Ermmia Finding the

Wounded

1618

Tancred

1619

on canvas, 57 x 75!/2 (145 x 187<m) oil

Gallerla

in.

Dona Pamphih, Rome

Guercino was brought up on the poems written by Ariosto and Tasso for

Among

of prolific activity, Guercino effectively

gestures. This

summarizes the genera] developments in taste and the predominant trends in seventeenth-century Italian art. According to tradition, Guercino was practically

artist's career, a crucial

classicism but also the

of Tasso 's Jerusalem Delivered

self-taught, trained through his admiration

affecting

stands out for

for Ludovico Carracci.The early works,

to the "ideal" painting of the Bolognese

beauty, an interlude of

On his return to Cento in 1623, Guercino was already an established master. His very active workshop produced altarpieces and religious paintings for towns large and small in such quantities

amorous passion

painted for his

hometown

or places in

the surrounding area, are characterized

bv strong chiaroscuro, sharp contrasts, and broad vigorous brushwork, only superficially similar to Caravaggio and

from the Noted by

is

the central period of the

phase

if

we

are to

the Estc family. early

the

works characterized

understand not only the progressive

by strong chromatic

development of his own

contrasts, this illustration

all

art in

style

toward

more general shift Rome, from Caravaggio

school.

actually developed directly

as to establish

Ferrara school and Titian.

traditions.

On

consolidated iconographic the death of

Guido Reni

its

intense

in the

middle of the tragic

The wounded hero

tale. still

wears part of his armor, and the metal contrasts effectively with Erminia's soft

garments.


Guercino Martyrdom of 1618

Peter

St.

If>l9

oil Oil

I

am.is,

126x 76

In.

193 cm) rd//i

i

i

i.i

use,

i,

I

MoJena

V'.tm painted during the lust intern ul

ti\

.ii

.ilt.

ii

tin-

it

tins great

v,

pie< c

demonsb

qualit)

wort

ill

at tin-

Ins career,

ill

(nu

1

inn's

1

beginning Talons

starting point sixteenth 1

1

ntui

(will 1

\

Venetian painting

documented

ollc< lions

ill

till-

family) and his

in

the

ste

I

own

ai

ute

observation of altarpia ei the vicinity ol Cento,

in

Guercino developed

a

profoundly original style of painting only apparently linked to Caravaggio.

With convincing popular realism, Guercino depicts

scenes as though they were episodes in a story his

recounted

The

in

broad

dialect,

characters' gestures

are exaggerated and their faces are

extremely

expressive. Nonetheless,

the composition

is

carefully studied and

the figures arranged in a

rhombus around

void.

a central


Guercino St.

William of Aquitame

Takes the Habit

1620 cm canvas,

oil

134M

91W

x

(341 x 232

in.

cm)

VinacoUca Yu/iona/e, Bologna Originally painted lor the church ol San Gregorio in

Bologna,

this great

painting marks (Juercino's

spectacular entry into the

Bolognese school. Aware of the importance attached to this work, the painter

worked on its composition at length, making repeated sketches and drawings to achieve a result that

is

highlv original and effective.

The

entire scene

revolves around the figure

of the saint,

who

puts on

the white Carthusian habit

over his shining armor.

The

interplav of gestures

(various figures are

pointing toward the center of the scene) creates a

concentric vortex

underscored bv the verv strong changes in color from the darkest areas to the friar in white on the extreme right. According to contemporaries, the unveiling of the altarpiece in the

church was

a stirring

event, as the great mass of

colors

works

made

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

all

the other

including an

important altarpiece by Ludovico Carracci look

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

pale bv comparison.


Guercino St.

Romuald

1640 oil Oil

1641 i

contrasts ol his youth

and introducing sobei restrained, noble gestures. This radiant work,

.una-.,

115 x 72'/2in. (292 x 184 cm)

dominated by the light spreading out around the white habit ol

Pinacoteca Comunale, St.

Ravenna

During the last few decades of his career, Guercino moved w itli increasing determination

toward pure classicism, eliminating the chiaroscuro

Romuald, defended

by an angel against the snares of the devil, was

one

of the last painted

workshop at Cento. Guercino moved to Bologna on the death of Guido Reni in 1642. in

the

Guercino The Risen to Mary

in

Christ

Appears

Guercino maintains and shade, with

on canvas,

strong

moving from

left

to right,

but the gestures are

Pinacoteca Comunale, Cento is

a

diagonal shaft of light

102V4 x 70'/2 in. (260 x 179 cm)

This

the

years of classicism.

a sharp contrast of light

1629 oil

Rome, but before

first

one of the many

more in

lar

restrained than those

works executed before

paintings by Guercino

1620. The somewhat rare

that are

subject

still

in his

hometown. The work is

a

ol the

of transition

in

period

in

the artist's

Medole, in the province ol Mantua.

career, alter the hectic earl)

drawn from was also

interpreted bv Titian

very significant

example

is

tradition and

phase and the

an altarpiece

at

staj

89


.

Orazio Gentileschi Danae

Orazio Gentileschi (Pisa,

1563-London, 1639)

on canvas, 64'/i x 90 in. (163.5 x 228.5 cm) Cleveland Museum of Art,

central figure in an important family

same generation

as Caravaggio,

but his

career took a decidedly different course.

The

pupil and assistant of an uncle

was a

1621

oil

of artists, Orazio Gentileschi belonged to the

a favorite subject

with both collectors and painters.

c.

The

was

It

recounts

how

Zeus came to Danae in the form of a shower of gold This was one of the many stratagems devised by the father of the gods in the

Cleveland

who

course of his countless

Once

imposing collection of the Doria princes in Genoa, this painting is one of the rare

amorous conquests. The eloquent gestures of Danae and Cupid are framed by a

underwent a sudden change. Combining his own markedly Tuscan and classical training

exceptions of a

we seem

mythological subject

coins jingling as they

with Caravaggesque realism, he painted a

among

Gentileschi 's

pour down and the rustle

mature works, which were predominantly religious. The episode is drawn from Ovid's Metamorphoses and

of the draperies. The light

painter, in the first

decade of the

seventeenth century', steeped in the

artistic

atmosphere of Rome, Orazio Gentileschi "discovered" Caravaggio, and his

series of

important altarpieces

work

in the

Marches region, where he moved in 1612. In 1621 he moved to Genoa, where his career rapidly advanced. Aristocratic patrons

appreciated the painter's particularly refined style.

Turin, Paris, and

London were the

stages in his career as a court painter and intelligent

mediator between the demands of

Orazio Gentileschi Rest

on the

Despite the humble intimacy of this family scene, the

Flight

into Egypt, after

1626

on canvas, 5444 x

noble patrons and the "modernity" of a

oil

realism that was fiery, immediate, and

(139x 217cm)

impassioned, but never brutal or vulgar.

Kunsthistorisches

artist

85'/2 in.

maintains an air of

elegant

composure together

with unmistakable graphic

Museum, lenna I

and chromatic sophistication.

in the

rich, "sonorous" setting;

is

to hear the

superbly handled, with a

gleaming sheet juxtaposed to the dark background.


Orazio Gentileschi The Annunciation 1623 ml on canvas, I12'/2X 77'/4in.

(286 x |96(iiii Gallerla Sabauda, Turin (

)i,i/h.

(

lentili

masterpiece and a mi tnorable work oi I

in

tiropi

Baroque painting

in general, this

Annunciation was an

immediate success. After the original version

church of San Siro Genoa, the painter made the copy reproduced here lor the in

lor the It is

House of

a very effei

Savoy.

tiv<

compromise between

the

realism of Caravaggio

(from

whom

Gentileschi

takes the precise diagonal

and the chromatic effect of the large red curtain with deep shaft of light

folds at the top)

and the

tastes of international

collectors, oriented

toward

richer compositions with

more sumptuous

colors.

Apart from this successful "commercial" aspect, Gentileschi indicates clearly

and poetically

a

possible direction for the

development of painting after 1620. In a smoother style, the painting

unfolds

slowly and gently through

an elegant series of

compositional crossreferences, such as the use

of white. The dove representing the Holy Spirit, the lily of the

archangel, and the chaste,

immaculate sheet on the Virgin's bed thus combine to symbolize purity.


Bernardo Strozzi

Bernardo Strozzi

(Genoa, 1581-Venice, 1644)

Christ

Mourning over the Dead

'lu- leading figure in tin- Genoese school, Bernardo Stm//i was trained in the early Baroque style of painting then currenl in Genoa, but the crucial influence on lii>

c.

1617

1615

I

style 1

came through contact with

lemish painters,

first

in

Genoa during

who was

the earlv decades of the

'>ii

i

anvas,

39 x 49Âť/2 in. (99 x [25.5 cm) mid Ligustica

the great

Rubens, and then,

over a longer period, van Dyck,

oil

Ji Belle

In j, Genoa

A

highlv convincing

example of the

rich use

seventeenth century. Strozzi uses broad

of paint, thickly applied

Bernardo Strozzi

brushstrokes laden with paint and his relish

but perfectly controlled,

St.

for the physical

medium

clearly Flemish in origin.

of painting

is

While devoting

himself primarily to religious works (he was a Capuchin friar), Strozzi also produced impressive portraits, still lifes, and genre paintings with figures drawn from evervdav life. In the 1620s, he was

unquestionably the point of reference for

Genoese

artists

and patrons, and

his

which characterizes the best works by Bernardo Strozzi, w lio was influenced bv the

technique of the Flemish

c.

oil

41

John the Baptist

1620 on canvas,

1615

Vix

61 Vi

in.

(105. 5x 155.5

cm)

Accademia Ligustiea

di Belle

painters. Arti,

For

Genoa all its

apparent

simplicity, this splendid

long series of works also includes frescoes

painting encapsulates many-

for aristocratic villas. In 1630, after a bitter

features of Bernardo

disagreement with the Capuchin Order, Strozzi left

Genoa

for Venice,

where

he was soon to become the leading figure on the local art scene.

Strozzi 's style: a vibrantly effective use of light,

dense

colors, and great sensitivity to the handling of the different surfaces.


Bernardo Strozzi Madonna and Child with St John c, â&#x20AC;˘

ill

I6?0 on i

62'/4X 49! n, (I58x 26 (in I

I

i

|

As this splendid work amply demonstrate*, Bernardo Strozzi u.is an excellent painter of litis,

even though

devoted

Ins

net giea

i

rarely to this spei

genre.

I

Rubens,

still

h<

onh

ifil

Caravaggio and

ike

preferred to

h<-

include an abundance descriptive

compositions with It

figures.

not infrequently

is

ol

'letail in his

tin-

case that objects and fruit are not merely

background

elements, but have such a sharply defined, tangible

presence that they

steal the

scene and overturn

tin

compositional hierarchy.

For

all

their

charm, the

figures of the

Child, and

St.

Madonna, John

virtually pale into

insignificance beside the

exuberance and masterly execution of the basket of and the Virgin's sewing basket. The Child fruit

is

thus placed at the center of the

two diagonal

lines that

cross the entire painting.


Bernardo Strozzi St.

with Antwerp, which took

Augustine Washing

i

mil i.i,

shape

in

the

presence of Rubins and van Dyck in Genoa, th<-

the Feet of Christ

1629 on canvas, 122x 78 3/4 in. (310 x 200(n.i

school

ol

Baroque painting

oil

Accademia Ligustica

in Liguria also

encompassed

the interpretation of Ji Belle

Am, Genoa

Caravaggcsquc realism put forward bv Orazio Gentileschi, links with

If

we

an- u> understand the

origin and development of

drawing, and

Bernardo Strozzi 's

the dramatic eloquence

essential to

art,

remember

it is

the

intense artistic and cultural life

of

Genoa

in the early

seventeenth century, with its

profusion of ideas and

stimuli. In addition to the

very solid traditional links

Bernardo Strozzi Miracle of

St.

Diego

In his

large religious canvases,

1625 oil on canvas, 98!/2 x 67 in. (250 x 170 cm)

Strozzi always starts a solid

from

compositional

structure based on the

Church of the Santissima Annunziata, Levanlo

both the Genoese

concrete presence of architectural elements in powerful relief or objects fully

and

realistically

Around these

period and the subsequent

depicted.

Venetian phase, Bernardo

fixed points he then

Strozzi 's acti\ity can be

arranges the gestures

divided into two main

and actions of the

figures,

frescoes for aristocratic

which recall the fullblooded physicality

patrons, and religious

of Rubens.

areas: paintings

and

works, especially

94

compositions for the

Capuchin Order.

of Alcantara

In

altarpieces and

the noble style ofTuscan ties

with

of seventeenth-century

Lombard

painters. All

these elements can be

traced in the

work of

Bernardo Strozzi, and are skilfully blended to create his own independent style.


Bernardo Strozzi St.

Cecilia

oil

on

1625

68 x

ai

'

4H'/z in.

(173 x 123 cm) Nelson- Atkins

Kaasat

<

Museum

<>/

Art,

lu

^


Bernardo Strozzi

Bernardo Strozzi

precedents (Aertsen,

Adoration of the Shepherds

The Cook

Beuckelaer, and others).

c.

1616-1618 on canvas,

In

1625

c.

(97.8 x 139.4 cm) Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore

Galleria di Palazzo Rosso,

38'/2X 55

This

is

oil

in.

work

in

which Bernardo Strozzi develops his

own

particular

some

and

style,

significant

Flemish masters, he

reproduces the feathers, the metal objects, and the

unquestionably the

This

is

best

known

Strozzi

spirit

innovations. Like the

Genoa

another

quintessential

terms of

however, Strozzi displays

on canvas, 6914 x 72% in. (176x 185 cm)

oil

s

of Bernardo

works, and acts

different surfaces with

painstaking care pushed as

bridge between Italian

to the

extreme of trompe

poetical vein while

a

combining various trends in Baroque painting. On

and Flemish

a foundation of solid

in

seventeenth-centurv

presence, whose smiling

naturalism (see the

humanity sparkles amid the flames and utensils

of the gnarled peasant on

Dutch and Flemish painting, and the Genoese cook can be compared

the right), Strozzi applies

with various northern

intensely lifelike portrait

color in thick, broad

brushstrokes to create an

explosion of tactile delight.

art.

scenes were very

Kitchen

common

l'oeil,

but his attention

focused, above girl,

all,

is

on the

an attractive, living

of this well-run kitchen.


Bernardo Strozzi Joseph Explains the Dreams

oil

on

i

an

M

in.

(182 x 112 cm) Pallm

i

i,

(,enoa

97


Pietro da Cortona Pietro Berrettini

1596-Rome, 1669)

(Cortona, Arezzo,

An

eclectic artist, master architect of Baroque Rome, and imaginative painter, Pietro da Cortona provides the most brilliant and sumptuous examples of the

most

theatrical

and rhetorical style of

painting in seventeenth-centurv Europe.

His abundant output of altarpieces, works for princelv collectors,

and vast cvcles of

frescoes, both religious and secular, always

executed and never lacking in make Pietro da Cortona a

skilfullv

inspiration,

fundamental point of stvlistic reference. He also completes the trio of major artistic trends characterizing seventeenth-centurv art:

the naturalism of Caravaggio, the

academic classicism of Carracci and Reni, and the High Baroque of Bernini and Pietro da Cortona. Initiallv trained in Tuscanv, Pietro da

Rome

Cortona moved to

sixteen and immediatelv

at

the age of

came

into contact

with Gianlorenzo Bernini, his near

contemporarv and an

artist

endowed with

equallv precocious talent. Both artists were

noted bv the Barberini pope, Urban

who was

VIII,

to plav an instrumental role in

furthering their careers and

summoned them his familv's

to

work

who

side

by side

magnificent palazzo.

in

From

the 1620s on, Pietro da Cortona began to receive commissions

from

aristocratic

patrons, and he distinguished himself

and inventive painter of frescoes. noble approach of the Bolognese school,

as a deft

Taking

as his starting point the

classical

frequent choice of mvthological

in his

or literarv subjects, he added greater

movement bv including dvnamic elements. The stately, idealized approach of the academic painters

richness, color, and lively,

is

thus transformed into a festive, animated

stvle

with clearlv theatrical overtones. is the decoration

The culmination of this

of the banquet hall of Palazzo Barberini in

Rome

(which

now

-

houses the Galleria

Nazionale d'Arte Antica), a vast allegorical

composition begun in

in

1633 and completed

1639. This spectacular, radiant fresco

with

its

wealth of svmbolic figures and

virtuoso foreshortening

da Cortona the

title

won

Pietro

of "prince"

of the Accademia di San Luca, an

acknowledgment of his position artistic

of

as an

point of reference for the whole

Rome. With

his

productive workshop,

Pietro da Cortona obtained another highlv prestigious commission in Florence,

where

he was called to decorate the reception

rooms of Palazzo

Rome,

Pitti. In his last

vears in

Pietro da Cortona continued to

produce frescoes (for Palazzo Pamphili and the Chiesa Nuova), although the actual execution was bv now largelv left to his pupils. Among his architectural works, attention should be drawn to the delightful reconstruction of the church of Santa Maria della Pace, with a semicircular portico on the facade, which is framed bv a suitablv remodeled urban setting.


Pietro da Cortona Madonna and Saints

of Baroque altarpieces.

emblems of

Pietro da Cortona depicts

orders to which the family

a

1626-1628

profusion of gilded

vestments, bright colors,

on canvas, ll(H4x 67 in. (280 x 170 cm)

smiles, and gestures of

devotion in constant

on the cope of the pope

motion and bathed

St.

diffuse light. Etrusca, Cortona

This

in a

The painting

Knights of

St.

Stephen), the Knights

of Malta (symbolized by

Calatrava

Order (with

James the Great behind John the figure of St.

Baptist).

the

Pietro da Cortona The Finding of Romulus and Remus 1643 oil on canvas, 98% x 104'/4 in. (251 x 265 cm)

founding of the Eternal City

were bv

particularly relished

elitist

collectors in search

of confirmation of the nobilitv of their dynasties

and of new masterpieces for their family collections.

Pietro da Cortona willingly

Louvre, Paris

work of the

earlv maturity

proudly belonged: the

Stephen (whose cross appears

oil

Museo Jell'Accademia

the chivalrous

is

also contains a

the figure of their patron

artist's

sophisticated and difficult

saint,

a

dynastic "riddle." Produced

sumptuous example

lor the Passerini family,

of the ostentatious richness

it

subtlv introduces the

plaved his part, painting

drawn from

John the Baptist, and the cloak bearing the unmistakable cross in

Subjects

the center), and the

connected with the

Roman

antiquity and the

numerous

historical legends

radiant and vividly colored

episodes of ancient history

with a tone of self-indulgent theatrical verve.

94


Pietro da Cortona The Rape of the Sabine

taste of

Women

the seventeenth century

To the

1627-1629 oil on canvas, 110'/2X

167%

Roman

collectors

after the first quarter of

carefully balanced,

rigorous approach of the classical painters in.

Pinacoteca Capitolina,

Guido Reni and Nicolas Poussin) (especially

(280.5 x 426 cm)

Rome

Pietro da Cortona adds

The Roman career of Pietro da Cortona was

theatrical expressiveness.

a

dynamic form of

furthered bv the support

The

of the Sacchetti family,

in

one of the most important

by their exaggeratedly

seventeenth -centurv

twisted poses and bold

patrician houses. This

gestures.

canvas also results from

references to works such

the Sacchetti family's

as Apollo

patronage of the Tuscan

the Abduction of Persephone clearly display the artist's

painter,

and more

figures are seen

mid-action, animated

The obvious and Daphne and

with Gianlorenzo

generally indicates the new-

links

trends emerging in the

Bernini.


Pietro da Cortona The Triumph of Divine Providence

1639

1633 fresco

Pah//o Bjrbinni, Rome

Cortona 's work

Pietro da

lor the Barberini pope,

Urban VIII, marks the climax of

career and

his

the period of closest

contact with Gianlorenzo Bernini. The two masters worked together on the

construction and

decoration of the

sumptuous palace oi this powerful family, which now houses the Galleria Nazionale d Arte Antica. Fortv years alter the

decoration ol Palazzo Farnese h\ Annibale Carracci, Pietro da

Cortona puts forward a new model ol aristocratic decoration. The calm and sophisticated sequence of classical subjects gives

wa)

to violent and highly

animated, whirling

movement. The central is open to the skv and

area

great clouds support

groups

ol

bathed

in a

airborne figures gilded light

downward from

spreading

above. Pietro da Cortona takes

up and develops the

foundations

laid

over

a

century earlier by

domes

Correggio

in

the

he painted

in

Parma,

and translorms the fresco of the main reception hall into an extraordinarily rich

spectacle that astounds the

him

spectator and sweeps

awaj

in a

whirl of

movement,

in

which

all

sense of a focal point lost.

is

The exuberance of his

imagination oversteps

all

boundaries; thus, alongside the religious theme, ample

space

is

also

found for

a

celebration of the

Barberini family,

represented by the heraldic

emblem

of three bees with

open wings.


Domenico

Fetti

(Rome, 1589-Venke, 1623) This singular

who worked in Mantua Gonzaga court tor whole ol his career, is --till

artist,

as painter to the

practically the

undergoing

With

a

his late

process ol critical reappraisal.

Renaissance training,

Domenico Fetti found himseli in a somewhat unusual position. While Mantua a long and illustrious and cultural tradition, on the eve

could boast

artistic ol the

seventeenth century, the ancient state ol the

Gonzaga family appeared

to be drastically impoverished,

occupied a marginal position historical

in

and both

and economic terms. And

vet.

there was no lack of opportunity for

encounters

at

the highest level. In fact, at

the beginning of the seventeenth centurv,

Rubens drew family tor a tact that

a salarv

number

from the Gonzaga

of vears, despite the

he worked mainly

in

Rome.

Fetti

independently developed an unusual and of his own, which is a blend and ideas from different sources. His direct relations with Rubens, and his taste for Dutch and Flemish painting in general, led him to adopt thick, rich brushstrokes, which can be clearly brilliant style

of influences

seen in the highly inventive series ot small

and medium-sized paintings of Apostles, or the delightful little images of his

New

Testament Parables, interpreted

almost as genre scenes. In

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

his larger

works including altarpieces, the frescoes in Mantua cathedral, and the enormous lunette with the Miracle of the Loaves

and in

Fishes,

Mantua

now

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

in the Palazzo

Ducale

the compositions are

more

complex, dynamic, and dramatic. Fetti remains best known, however, for his contemplative, solitary figures lost in ecstasy, in

concentrated thought, or

in a

dream world. Such images won immediate success, to such a degree that the painter

took to repeating them

in a

number of

versions. Fetti spent the last years of his

where he was instrumental in leading local painting to break awav from the worn-out late-Renaissance life in

Venice,

move in the direction new Baroque models.

tradition and

of the

_


Domenico

Domenico

Fetti

or Melancholy

1620

,

c.

oil

1622

69 x

55

Gallenc

Jell'

'rail

(

<

This painting has

come

to epitomize Fetti's

work,

and various copies were h\ the artist bimsell

and turned out by his workshop. It is an attractive combination of the concrete, contemplative

girl

I

ins,

iii

1

oil.

1

k

III S

1

1

inn

theme. The

1

the

mind known the "melancholy humor" Renaissance medico

01 the state of

philosophical doctrine. Fetti

provides a crisp

Baroque reworking of

ni.

.

and

iv art,

e

diffi

I'.

nil.

given

is

rent

)a\

,111

n\i

appealing and

treatment. ids attire and pose are

1.

11iKii1.il

a voung swordsman and are

with plumed hats and pulled sleeves in

Caravaggio's tailing Matthew .The

oj St

a

very

reminiscent of the soldiers

reference to Caravaggio,

however,

by others, including Durer

casual, even

famous engraving.

In qui ni

i.n id

sim

subject already depicted

in a

idem

those ol

figurative transposition

in

\

1

interpretations. Fetti oilers

as

III

I

variety of

a

is

\\ llll

ol thi

inn'.

11

1 1

references to the

in fact

CSS

figuri

tiit

i

Inch

v\ (

this

ions

in vai

tors ol the pel iod,

1

b

sophisticated intellectual

image

'

epeated

on

ol its S1K

III

and

1

omi

I

c

realistic

also

iii

1

I

tangibility of the shapely,

is

U

di

1

\ccademia,Venice 1

allegorical

anvas,

1

50'/2in.

(175 x 128 cm)

in.

(179 X 140 cm)

made

on

oil

on canvas,

70V2X

Fetti

David

Meditation

is

diluted by a

impudent,

approach, undoubtedly deriving from Fetti's direct contact with Rubens 's

works

in

Mantua.

Domenico

Fetti Hero and Leander

1622-1623 on wood, I6V2X 37% in. (42 x 96 cm)

c.

oil

Kunsthistonsches .Museum,

Vienna

The mythological scenes and

illustrations of

New

Testament parables, mainly painted for the Gonzaga family, and, already in the

seventeenth century, unfortunately scattered over hall

of Europe in various

prim

civ collections, arc

characterized by a brilliant

freedom

ol expression

and

very vigorous execution.

The stormy,

rapid

brushwork creates highly imaginative effects that are

dramatic and attractive.


1

Mattia Preti (Taverna Calabra. near Catanzaro, 1613-

La Valletta. Malta, 1699)

The ol

thinl centennial ol the death

Mattia Preti (which occurred quite

by chance from

by

a cul inflicted

a

barber

early in 1699) has led to fresh attention

being Focused on this singular protagonist of southern Italian painting in the midseventeenth century. This original and, in his

own

difficult to

way, unconventional master fit

into the

is

framework

risjid

of a particular school, even though he can be generallv associated with the broad radius of Neapolitan painting, or with the

Caravaggesque tradition. After receiving initial

training in the tamilv

workshop

moved work with

Calabria, Mattia Preti

to

verv voung age to

his

his

in

Rome

at a

brother

Gregorio. His brilliant talent and unusuallv

extroverted personality soon led to his

being noted in the artistic and aristocratic circles of the Eternal City.

made

He

quickly

way up the ladder of success. In 1642, aged onlv twentv-nine, he was admitted to the Order of the Knights of Malta, an honor Caravaggio had won his

almost fortv years Caravaggio

s

earlier. In fact,

throughout the oeuvre of painter,

who

it is

influence that dominates this

Calabrian

adopted the Lombard

master's direct realism and handling

of light. However, in the mid-seventeenth centurv, Mattia Preti "laced" the harsh, naturalistic stvle of Caravaggio with a

series of other stimuli. In the frescoes for

the choir of the church of Sant' Andrea

dellaValle in

Rome, he was

influenced

bv the classicism of the Bolognese school

and the theatrical Baroque stvle ol Pietro da Cortona and created dynamic,

monumental compositions. Attracted bv the colors of the sixteenth- centurv Venetian masters, Mattia Preti journeyed to the north of Italy. In 1653 he was in Modena, where he frescoed the apse and dome of the church of San Biagio. At the same time, he never lost contact with his hometown in Calabria, where he periodically sent canvases. The churches of Taverna thus offer a rich gallerv of the painter's works. In 1656 (the vear of a terrible outbreak of the plague he moved to Naples. This stay was not long (it came to an end in 1660), but certainly decisive, since it coincided with the central and most active period of his career. During his )

five-vear spell in Naples, Mattia Preti all his major works, which reveal extraordinary imaginative flair and skill in execution. Bv combining Caravaggesque tenebrism and the sumptuous richness of sixteenth-century

painted practically

painters such as Titian and Paolo Veronese in a truly

unusual but unquestionably effective

way, Mattia Preti brought about a turning

point for the Neapolitan school, which

abandoned the crude and brutal realism of Ribera to move toward the fluid eclectic compositions of Luca Giordano. In 66 he was summoned to Malta to become the 1

official

painter ol the Order. Apart from a

few trips to Taverna, Mattia Preti never again

left

the island,

where he spent nearly works to decorate

forty vears produ< ing

churches and private n sidences.

Mattia Preti

The heroine,

Sophonisba Receives

to her husband to the

the Poison

c

death, dominates this melodramatic composition, where the

oil

influence of the Neapolitan

1670 on canvas, 78 x 68V2 in. (198 x 174 cm) Music Lyons

des

Beaux

Arts,

faithful

combined

school

is

with

sumptuousness

a

that

recalls sixteenth-ccnturv

Venetian painting.


Mattia Preti John the Baptist Appearing Before Herod 1665 on canvas, 35'/2 x 74% in.

c.

Mattia Preti

oil

John the Baptist Rebukes

(90 x 190

Herod

cm)

Private collection,

1662-1666 on canvas,

\enYork

oil

Once

again, Mattia Preti

draws

his initial inspiration

trom Caravaggio, but then

55 x 79'/2 in. (140 x 202 cm)

Museo de

Bellas Artes, Seville

proceeds bv independently blending themes from his

This the

considerable figurative

is

another version of

same

subject.

The

culture with a delight in

canvas was painted during

descriptive detail, as

the long years in the

exemplified bv the objects

portraved in perspective the background.

memorable

in

A

effect

is

created bv the statuesque

pose of the

saint,

whose

dvnamic, athletic body swathed in light contrasts

service of the Knights of

Malta, whose patron saint was John the Baptist.

Movement

is

conferred

on Caravaggesque compositional structures

bv

brilliant

emotional

handling.

with the indolent pose of

Herod and the scandalized amazement of the women. 105


Luca Giordano 1634-1705)

(Naples.

Luca Giordano's proverbial speed of adaptation has sometimes led to this

important painter,

a

kev figure

of transition, being seen as sideshow freak. This that gives

no

is

a

in a

period

kind of

a serious

mistake

insight into the trulv pivotal

role plaved bv

Luca Giordano not onlv

the painting of his

hometown,

but,

in

more

generally speaking, in the renewal of Italian

from the mid-seventeenth century to As a bov, he was trained in Naples in the workshop of the aging Jusepe de Ribera, from whom art,

the eve of the eighteenth centurv.

he acquired a taste for naturalism distantly derived from Caravaggio, but interpreted with almost brutal realism. In 1652 he

manv

on the

first ot his

stav in

Rome, which was

indispensable

for seventeenth-centurv artists, he

to Florence and Venice. a

left

journevs. After a

He

went on

thus developed

broad, rich, and up-to-date culture.

He

practiced his art bv imitating masters of the past, with results that

were sometimes

so surprising that thev deceived experts for centuries. Attracted bv the spectacular vein

of Pietro da Cortona, and fascinated bv the Venetian tradition to which Mattia Preti

was

also

drawn, Luca Giordano abandoned

his original lighter,

chiaroscuro for

more

brilliant,

work of a

and dvnamic nature.

Tried and tested in the numerous paintings produced for churches, Luca Giordano's new stvle of painting, a happv blend of various experiences, was a resounding success during his second journev to Florence and Venice (1665â&#x20AC;&#x201D;1667), when his relationship with the local schools was reversed. First he had traveled to learn; now he was a master to be admired and imitated. Bv alternating periods of work

Naples with journevs to other cities, Luca Giordano extended his influence over an increasinglv large radius. In 1682, he painted one of his masterpieces, the luminous frescoed gallerv of the Palazzo Medici Riccardi in Florence, a surprising work, especiallv in view of its location in in

â&#x20AC;&#x17E;,

what had been the residence of Lorenzo il Magnifico. Luca Giordano broke with the canons of classical art to paint free

background of skv, almost foreshadowing eighteenth-centurv painting. Having become an important figure for figures against a

princely patrons and collectors in most

of Europe, in 1682 he

moved

to Madrid,

where he worked for almost a decade. At the age of nearlv seventv, he returned to Naples, where he succeeded in producing one

last

radiant masterpiece,

the Triumph ofJudith, a fresco executed in 1 704 on the vault of the Tesoro Chapel in the

Carthusian Monastery

of San Martino.

Luca Giordano Triumph of Judith

1703-1704 fresco Tesoro Chapel, Carthusian

Monastery of San Martino, Xaples


Luca Giordano Perseus Fighting Against

c.

oil

in.

(285 x 366 cm) \atwnal Gallery, London

Armed

with the terrible

severed head of Medusa,

whose gaze turns her enemies to stone, Perseus bursts onto the scene as a

dvnamic champion

in

an

intensely powerful whirl

of dizzying

movement

and flashing

light.

Among

the Doctors

1670 oil on canvas, 34% x 53V4in. (88 x 135 cm) c.

1680 on canvas,

112>/4X 144

Luca Giordano Jesus

Phmeus and His Companions

Gallena h'azwnale d'Ane Antica,

This

Rome

work

is

an

important example of Luca Giordano's chameleon-like

style.

The painter covers

the

composition with a sort of haze that blurs the outlines and features, but allows sudden flashes

of color to emerge and suggests a vast, indistinct spatial

dimension.

107


Andrea Pozzo 1642-Vienna, 1709)

(Trento,

With

me

the superb and highly imaginative

of perspective

lor (he

\.ivt

works executed

in

spaces ol churches

in

Rome

Andrea Pozzo marks a phase oJ scenographic development in Baroque art, understood in this case as a moving and convincing affirmation ot belief in the Catholic laith and its heroes. Painter, architect, scenographer, and supplier of designs lor sculptures and ornamentation, Father Pozzo was an extremely active, versatile artist ol great importance in the development of Baroque religious art in and Vienna, the

Jesuit

the Catholic countries.

He

received his

early training in northern Italy, and

journeys to study

in

made

Milan. Genoa,

and Venice. Andrea Pozzo assimilated the best elements of Counter-Reformation figurative culture, and put his early training to good use during a long stay in Turin and Piedmont. In response to the requirements of the Jesuit Order, he produced a significant

number of altarpieces, many

for

provincial towns, and successfully tried his

hand at perspective frescoes in the church ot San Francesco Saverio (or Chiesa delle Missioni) in Mondovi. He moved to Rome,

where the

his career

work on

reached

its

climax vvith

the Chiesa del Gesii, including

the astonishing polychromatic altar of

precious materials, devoted to

St. Ignatius.

Andrea Pozzo thus took over the legacy of Bernini bv continuing the idea of a "total

work of art." His absolute masterpiece

is

the ceiling of the church of Sant'Ignazio, a

memorable work of great importance

development of painting, and Germany, where Andrea Pozzo is a well-known figure. In 1703 he moved to Vienna, where he for the future

especially in Austria

continued to work for the Jesuits (producing frescoes in the college of the Order and in the old university building,

and restructuring the inside of the church), but also for the counts of Liechtenstein ^ and for other patrons.

Andrea Pozzo The Glory of

St.

In this virtuoso

Ignatius

of Loyola

Andrea Pozzo

work,

reflects

the architecture of the

church

1691-1694

in illusionistic

architectural elements

frescoed ceiling

Church of Sant'Ignazio, Rome

upward

that project

into

an open sky thronged

Built by the Jesuits as their second church in Rome

The work

after the historic Chiesa

rigorous iconographic

del Gesu, the church

design vvith allegorical

ol Sant Ignazio is

one

of the most interesting late

seventecnth-centurv

buildings in the

city. Its

very pleasing architecture is

set

within the brilliantly

renovated surrounding

urban

fabric.

The huge

d ceiling of the nave

greatlv alters

perception

ol

our

with countless figures. is

based on a

figures and details

corresponding to precise doctrinal requirements.

What

really counts,

however, effect of

is

the ov erall

what

is

unquestionably one of the most spectacular inventions

in

High Baroque

European art.


109


IP nV

mm

*

*jjsr^rl>

'<U W

:<& Jan Bruegel the Elder and Peter Paul Rubens Allegory of Sight, detail

1618 oil on wood, 25Vix 43 in. (65 Prado, Madrid

x

109 cm)

ÂŤ* v*

* ***


•r

& 1

**

*l

'

KHH

*%ttflPi[-

T

I 1

'Hi

-

;


The

second half of the sixteenth century was a

difficult

lands.

(which

and turbulent period

in the

Nether-

Flanders and the northern provinces

became Holland) repeatedly ex-

later

perienced cruel wars, revolts, and attempts to gain inde-

pendence from Spanish domination. These

and

bitter

dramatic events culminated in the repression of the Duke of Alba, plenipotentiary of Spain. The decapitation of the counts of

Egmont and Homes,

lion, in the

Grande Place

the leaders of the rebel-

tion in Delft of William of Orange, Silent,

stadt holder

and the assassina-

in Brussels,

known

as William the

of Holland, were the most famous

episodes at that time. These were terrible scenes, but

they were played out against a backdrop of flourishing

economic expansion.

In fact, thanks to their well -orga-

nized ports and their advanced nautical and commercial

development, the coastal quicker and

more

cities

efficient in

on the North Sea were

understanding the extraor-

dinarv potential of the overseas routes. During the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, Antwerp was

probablv the wealthiest center in Europe, and the quavs of the port on the River Scheldt must have been a cos-

mopolitan and exotic picture of ceaseless

activity.

other northern ports (Rotterdam and, above

Soon,

all,

Am-

sterdam) joined Antwerp in competitive trade on seas

throughout the world. Rather than the Spanish ports,

Antwerp was the main place where colonial merchandise was distributed and traded. Many of the city's inhabitants had lucrative opportunities for making money, and they formed the nucleus of the very solid middle class that was to become the chief market for seventeenth-centurv Flemish art. Antwerp was an international, extremely cultured, open, and tolerant

city,

gual publishing industry, but

linked to Catholicism, and

it

with

a

major multilin-

remained tenaciouslv

became an outpost of

the

Counter-Reformation against the rebel United Provinces (future Holland) that

embraced the

Calvinist faith. In

Jacob Jordaens

Antwerp, around the imposing late-Gothic cathedral,

Double Portrait c. 1620 on wood,

surmounted bv Rombout Keldermans's imaginative, soaring spire, rose the large monasterial complexes of

oil

48'/2 x 36'/2 in.

(123 x 93 cm)

various religious orders, including the powerful Jesuits.

Museum

The dashed hopes of independence

Boston

of Fine Arts,

pened

in the

economic development 112

(unlike

what hap-

northern provinces), did not jeopardize

Antwerp and Flanders during Though the old historic centers

in

the seventeenth century.


Rubens

Peter Paul

Jan Bruegel's Family

1613-1616 oil on canvas, 49 x 37' in. (124.5 x 95 cm) >

Courtauld Institute Galleries,

of

London

Bruges and Ghent went into economic and commerdecline,

cial

Antwerp and

Brussels enjoyed a period of

extraordinary expansion, which was also reflected in the varied, ingenious, and novel civic architecture, in

the houses)

which

pediments on the facades of

traditional elements (like the

were designed with

a decorative flair that

is

typically Baroque. It is

important to take into consideration

and cultural context

Antwerp's

art

this historical

order to understand the spread of

and the close network of international re-

lations established

to the

in

by

artists

and collectors that gave

rise

most magnificent and extraordinary school of

painting in seventeenth-century Europe. Certainly Flemish

painting during the second half of the sixteenth cen-

tury had seen the disillusioned style of Pieter Bruegel, heir to Bosch's dense

moral

allegories, but

been particularly impressed. By contrast,

it

had not

in

the last

decades of the sixteenth century, the Antwerp school

proposed decisive innovations. Taking Gospel subjects

as

their starting point (such as the episode of Christ in the

house of Martha and Mary or various miracles per-

some

formed

in public),

teriors,

market scenes, and

from everyday

life,

artists

began to paint kitchen

realistic

in-

compositions drawn

with realism and an abundance of

Peter Paul Rubens Triptych of the Descent

from the Cross

1612-1614 on wood,

oil

165'/4 x 122 in. (420 x 310 cm) (central panel with The Descent from

the Cross); 165>/4 x 59

in.

(420 x 150 cm) each (side panels with The Visitation and The Presentation at the Temple) Cathedral of Our Lady,

Antwerp

113


Anthony van Dyck Alessandro Giustiniani Dressed as a Senator

(?)

1621-1623 oil on canvas,

78%

x

45%

in.

(200 x 116 cm) Gemaldegalene, Berlin

circumstantial detail. Soon religious painting was super-

seded by the splendid period of genre painting and life,

mainly aimed

Antwerp there was

still

the bourgeois market. However, in

at

also a constant

and increased demand

sumptuous Madonnas

for spectacular altarpieces,

rising

to heaven, rejoicing angels, or gesticulating martyred saints,

images that the Catholic Counter- Reformation

used to combat the severe intellectual Christology of the Protestant Reformation. In this artistic

ferment, which was also nourished by the

flow of Italian paintings on the burgeoning antique mar-

were no

ket, there

was needed was and became

truly outstanding artists,

and what

who dominated

the scene

a personality

point of reference. At the beginning of the

a

seventeenth century

was played, to overwhelm-

this role

ing effect, by Peter Paul Rubens. After a long period of training, culminating in a lengthy stay in Italy in the

service of the

Antwerp

Duke

He was immediately imposing

of Mantua, Rubens returned to

in 1609, to find a very stimulating situation.

given the commission to paint the

altars in the cathedral, an

enormous

task that

brought him extraordinary acclaim. Rubens assimilated the influences gleaned

from

his study of ancient art

the European Renaissance, and developed

extremely individual of "Baroque."

It

was

style that full, rich,

became

them

and

into an

the quintessence

generous, expressing the

joy of painting and of seeing color on the canvas. Hence,

Rubens was

particularly in

compositions and,

later,

demand

for vast religious

paintings celebrating illustrious

personages, but he also liked to try his hand varied subjects and formats. in his pictorial style,

titude to his work.

He

at the

most

imitated Titian not only

but also in his overt commercial

displayed his wealth by constructing an impressive ianate palace

for visitors to

and

at-

Rubens soon became very rich and

atelier,

one of the greatest

Ital-

attractions

Antwerp. He was surrounded by

a

crowd

of pupils, assistants, and artists of various kinds. Rubens (like

some

The

engravings, statues, and tapestries

sports personalities today) was "big business."

drawings were skillful

assistants

made from

covered by copyright, and played

the

role

his

his

most

of specialists and

worked alongside the master on the more complex compositions. Numbering over a hundred workers, around 620, Rubens's atelier was extremely productive and exported works throughout Europe. Inevitably, all the most 1

114

all


Jacob Jordaens Offering to Ceres

1620 on canvas, 65 x 44 in. (165 x 112 cm) Prado, Madrid c.

oil

important

artists

Jan Bruegel,

were attracted to

known

of flowers and

this hive

of activity.

added the

as Velvet Bruegel,

details

Frans Snyders specialized in depict-

fruit;

ing animals; the very

young van Dyck soon became an

outstanding portraitist; and Jacob Jordaens was the master's alter

ego

with figures, on

in the large paintings

mythological, allegorical, or religious subjects.

Between 1620 and 1640, Rubens was probably the artist influential and most in demand in Europe.

who was most

As had happened

in the case of Titian (a

permanent point

of historic reference), his art set him above the often dra-

matic wars and conflicts that ravaged the principal

Courts vied for ingly.

on

states.

and Rubens traveled

will-

Madrid are only some of the stages journev, but his heart was always in Antwerp.

London,

his

his presence,

Paris,

Rubens could speak

five

manner and

peccable

languages fluently, he had an im-

a natural elegance that

had been

further refined by having spent time at court, and his skill

diplomacy was generally admired. All things

in

considered, as well as being an extraordinary painter,

he became a social role model that was the opposite of that put

forward by the unfortunate

artistes

maudits like

Caravaggio and, in his old age, Rembrandt. In his free

and profitable relations with royalty and the court,

Rubens

is

reminiscent of the great masters of the Italian

Renaissance, while his expansive, sensual paintings flood-

ed collections throughout Europe.

No

princely collec-

tion could be said to be truly complete without

Rubens, or by

Rubens

his school.

s

works by

workshop produced

most of seventeenth-century Flemish

painting,

and

it is

not merelv by chance that after the master's death a curtain

seems to have come down over Antwerp and Flem-

ish art.

His taste for spectacle and for exuberant richness

was assimilated by

his

pupils and assistants, and

was

adapted to various needs. Anthony van Dyck, an outstanding international portraitist, taking the master's style as his starting point,

ceptional

model

bv achieving

independently arrived

at

an ex-

for the celebratory, aristocratic portrait

a balance

between the

stately air of the per-

sonages and the brilliantly natural rendering of faces, expressions, attitudes, and fleeting smiles. Jan Bruegel (son

of the great Pieter Bruegel and

known

in Italy as Velvet

Bruegel) in his youth was predominantly a meticulous landscapist.

Then,

first

to

meet the demand of

Italian

patrons and later thanks to Rubens's encouragement, he

US


Rubens The Head of Cyrus Taken to Queen Tomyris

Peter Paul

c. oil

1622-1623 on canvas,

became famous

as

one of the greatest flower painters of

and differences between these two schools

in the

Netherlands. In both cases the development of art was

compositions, but also in depicting every single petal

supported by a very extensive market consisting of an

time, since he was skillful in handling very

and painstakinglv. To

conclude

80'/6x 141 in. (204.5 x 358 cm) Museum of Fine Arts,

lovingly

Boston

been underestimated and too often seen

overview, Jacob Jordaens was

a

painter

who

this

variety as an artist capable of tackling the subjects with

humor and

brief

has perhaps as

"shadow," whereas he should be considered in

Rubens 's

all his

rich

most diverse

tenderness.

The success of the Antwerp school was indissolubly connected with Rubens s workshop, and after the master's death (closely followed by that of van Dyck) the seventeenth-century Flemish school as a whole began to wane and was superseded by the Dutch school. However,

116

larities

complex

all

it is

important to take into account the simi-

emerging

social class: the bourgeoisie of

entrepreneurs that formed the capitalism. This

was so to

Rubens and van Dyck,

first

a lesser

merchants and

nucleus of

modern

extent in the case of

since they usually

worked

for the

aristocracy and the reigning families. But the abundant

output of genre,

still-life,

Flanders, and even

more

and landscape paintings

so in Holland,

in

was evidently

destined for the middle class in the wealthiest

cities.

Nearly always, these works were not executed "on commission," namely, as a result of a precise, detailed request, and with a contract

between the

artist

and the

buyer, but were put on a market that was not unlike the


Anthony van Dyck Bettina Balbi Durazzo "The Golden Lady" 1621-1622 oil on canvas,

85%

x 571

i

in.

(218 x 146 cm) Private collection,

one today, involving

art dealers

and auctions.

Thus, the figure of the art dealer and antique dealer be-

gan to emerge, since they had become indispensable these

new

we have

circumstances. Yet again

Titian, since

it

was

this great

to

Venetian master

the foundations for the profession of the dealer,

ed

intermediary between the

as an

In seventeenth-century

owners played painters.

a

artist

in

go back to

who who

laid

act-

and the buyer.

Flanders and Holland, gallery

major role

in the careers

of certain

For instance, Hendrick van Uylemburch,

a

Rembrandt to Amsterdam and put him under contract. The seventeenth-century gallery owners gauged the tastes of the public and succompetent

ceeded,

art dealer, invited

at least partially, in piloting significant

the choices

made by

changes

in

collectors, influencing the develop-

ments of whole schools, and putting important works of art

in

circulation. Seventeenth-century Flemish art

therefore to be

remembered not only

works by great masters, but

market

that

is

for the splendid

also for developing an art

was completely new with respect to the

previous century.

Genoa


red-tinged mountains were his

Jan Bruegel the Elder (Brussels,

1

first

These were nearly always small works, painted on copper, and executed subjects.

precision.

The small works

in

which

pupil, of the great

Bruegel paints countless objects or

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

(who died before

kinds of animals verge on pure virtuosity.

all

Jan was one year old), the future leading

This aptitude for painstaking execution,

exponent of the first period of still life Europe was raised bv his grandmother, Maria Bessemers a painter of

which

in

together with his

brother, Pieter the Younger,

who

also

showed and considerable independence the rather

(which

in

in art at

Breugel went to Naples in

589, Jan

1

1

began an intense five-vear period of work and study in Italv. He spent most of the time in Rome, where he became one of the leading

members

of the increasingly large

colony of northern

artists.

painter friend Paul Brill

views of the ancient of Jan Bruegel

s

He and

his

drew numerous

monuments

(the study

exceptional drawings

is

and thev are proving to be a valuable source of information on the former appearance of ruins that have since been altered or destroyed), and he successfully tried his hand at the independent genre of landscape. Stormv seas, Alpine views with rustic hermits, or relatively recent

of

all

the continents

and of

This very unusual

work

of extremely fine

being the reference

executed the figures and Jan Bruegel was

"encyclopedic" genre of the

to the garden of Eden.

particularly admired bv Cardinal Borromeo, and the painter gave

which were

his

being noted bv Cardinal

Federico Borromeo, a great connoisseur of first

to appreciate

Jan Bruegel began to paint bunches of cut flow ers and in a verv short space of time became a true still life,

specialist in this field. In

590, where he

x 10.2 cm)

painting belongs to the

the emerging genre of

the end of the sixteenth century.

in. (7. 2

Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, Milan

the representatives

Rottenhammer. The German painter

the arts and one of the

After a stav in Cologne in

on copper,

Bx 4

draftsmanship was

brother Pieter followed),

himself the international developments

animals and exotic beasts,

1605 oil

precision, the pretext

order to discover for

his

Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest

observations. Domestic

are depicted with

specialty. After

surprising decision to abandon his father's style

whole universe

this surprisingly fresh

in particular, the flowers,

and to trayel

a

seen in the religious and allegorical works

great talent

He made

work

of scientific and natural

painted in tandem with Hans

almost miniaturistic, can also be

responsible for the naturalistic details and,

an early age.

1620 on wood, 20% x 32% in. (52 x 83.5 cm)

Jan Bruegel Mouse with Roses

Repeatedly depicted bv Bruegel and his school,

is

trained as a painter. Jan Bruegel

at

to contain within a single

Original Sin

oil

The son, though not the

considerable talent

Baroque. The aim was

The c.

with tvpicallv Flemish meticulous

568-Antwerp, 1625)

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

Jan Bruegel

1

595, Cardinal

Borromeo invited him to Milan and became his patron, a relationship that continued even after the painter's return to Antwerp, when it developed into a regular

correspondence. Jan Bruegel painted a considerable number of works for the cardinal,

which are

still

housed

in the

Pinacoteca Ambrosiana in Milan, founded

bv Federico Borromeo

in

1618. During the

years he spent in Antwerp, the

demand

for

Bruegel 's work from collectors throughout

Europe increased. He therefore set up a large studio in which his son Jan the Younger was also an apprentice. Around 161 5, Rubens invited Bruegel to join his workshop as his specialized assistant.

all

the species,

it

to

him

as a gift.


Jan Bruegel Small Bunch of Flowers

1607 on wood, 20 x 15% in. (51 x 40 cm)

C,

oil

Kunsihistonsches Museum,

Vienna

Jan Bruegel's fame rests

above all on his extraordinary skill

in

depicting and arranging luxuriant bunches of

Bowers, sometimes accompanied by other unusual items, such as coins, insects, jewels, and

so on. In the letters he

wrote from Antwerp and Brussels, Bruegel underlines the great effort

took to compose these bunches that often it

contained dozens of different kinds of flowers. In fact,

he was

in

the habit

of painting flowers from life;

therefore he had to

wait for the various species

bloom, and sometimes months apart. However, thanks to his good relations with the ruling Archduchess of the to

the\ flowered

Netherlands, he had access to the royal greenhouses,

where valuable botanical were cultivated,

grafts

including the

first tulips.

119


â&#x20AC;˘

Jan Bruegel Hearing, Touch, Taste

1618 on wood, 25'/2x42in. (65 x 107 cm) Prado, Madrid oil

The extraordinary

Jan Bruegel

allegories of the five

senses constitute the

most

celebrated cvcle of

1618

paintings by Bruegel,

who was known as Velvet

in Italv

Bruegel because

of his almost illusionistic

Smell

tactile,

oil

on wood,

25'/2

x 42

(65 x 107 Prado,

in.

cm)

Madrid

rendering of

the most varied surfaces.

The sense of smell

Bruegel executed the

is

allegories of the senses

bv

when he was working with Rubens, and some wire painted

in direct

collaboration with

Rubens

traditionally symbolized

a flowering garden to convey the idea of countless scents and perfumes. In this case, too, it is important to

who was

stress Bruegel's ability

responsible for the figures.

to be both analytic and

This cycle

synthetic.

himself,

Baroque

is

tvpicallv

in its translation

in

He

succeeds

bringing together

in a single, unitary,

of concepts into images through an overabundance

Coherent context

of detail.

of details, each of which

a

myriad is

depicted with painstaking care.


,JM

.,* Jan Bruegel Jesus

and the

on the Sea

father, Pieter

painting grandiose, storm)

of Galilee

scenes,

1595 oil oil

sometimes using

the pretext of mythological

topper,

or religious subjei

10'/4X IP/4 in. (26 x 35 cm)

lands) apes. Perhaps

between the sleeping Christ and the agitated

influenced b) themes

disciples in the boat with

st\les of the

nKli

the Gospels, and

in

depicts the contrast

Bruegel

frequently painted

and

\Mm*\

Sea of Galilee, described

During the time he in Italy,

ts

Here he draws inspiration from the storm on the

Pinacotcca Ambrosiana, Milan

spent

Bruegel the

Elder, Jan Bruegel liked

Disciples

High

St.

Peter

at

^'

the helm.

Renaissance or hv his

if A

v " ;

HrPj^yti

Iril jfc

ÂŁfe

JBCV

{'K^ 3r&

Jan Bruegel Vase of Flowers with Jewel, Coins,

and

Shells

1606 oil on copper,

Jan Bruegel

25!/2X

Ceres with the Allegories of the Four Elements

173/4 in.

(65 x 45

cm)

Pmacoteca Ambrosiana, Milan

1605 on copper,

Federico Borromeo's

oil

10'/4X

written 14-1/4 in.

comments on

Bruegel 's paintings and

(26 x 36 cm)

their high price are very

Pmacoteca Ambrosiana, Milan

Concerning bunch ol

interesting.

Here, too, Bruegel has

left

a picture of a

the execution of the figures

flowers, the cardinal notes,

to a diflerent artist and he

"he painted a diamond in

has concentrated

on the

the lower portion of the

images of nature. The

picture.

support he frequently

it,

we

When we

realized

noticed

what we

chooses, a smooth copper

were supposed to

plate, offers the

understand: the painter

opportunity to use

wanted to indicate

particularly bright colors

value of his

and create effects.

clear,

enameled

diat the

work equalled

that of the precious stone,

and that

is

the price

we

paid the artist."

121


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

Peter Paul Rubens (Siegen,

1

577-Antwerp, 1640)

inevitable points of reference for a

northern

artist,

but in

Italy

he added

Raphael, Michelangelo, Correggio,

most important Rubens also studied classical antiquities. He was extremely interested in Caravaggio's work and became one of the first to admire him. He entered the service of the Duke of Mantua and stayed in Italy until 1608, making frequent trips from Genoa to Rome. His Italian journey was marked by memorable works, including a group of altarpieces that Tintoretto, Leonardo, and,

Germany, where his father a wealthy man from Antwerp who had embraced the Calvinist religion had gone into exile, Rubens acquired the first Born

in

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

rudiments of art in Cologne, but his real training took place in Antwerp. In 598, 1

at

the age of nineteen, he joined the Guild

of

St.

Luke, the corporation of painters in

Antwerp.

Two

years later he

For a gifted painter

Rome

like

left for Italy.

Rubens, going to

600 marked

of

all,

the great Titian.

this was confirmed by the grandiose works executed for the cathedral. The triptych of the Descent from the Cross, one of the most moving works in religious Baroque painting, is the synthesis of all his

point that led to the rapid development

permanently in Antwerp, but he sent works to patrons who were increasingly high-ranking. Then, from 1620 on, he traveled to the great European capitals. In Paris he executed the spectacular series of canvases for Marie de' Medici and Henry IV, twenty-one vast compositions

of his career. After his marriage to the

now

and

early training, but also the key turning

beautiful Isabella Brandt, his fine

house

in

Rubens extended

Antwerp by converting

it

into an Italianate palace and studio, with a

allow us to follow the different stages in

garden containing elegant pavilions. Thanks to the patronage of the grand dukes of the Netherlands, Rubens s commissions

in the

Louvre. Then he visited

Holland, Madrid, and London between

1627 and 1630. During this period, Europe was being devastated by the Thirty Years' War, and Rubens drew up a well-thought-out peace plan. He was nowone of the most famous men in Europe.

the development of an individual style,

increased and he extended his workshop to

After the death of Isabella Brandt, he

a decisive turning point in his career.

based on figures that

over a hundred

married Helene Fourment and painted

During the early

Rubens studied

use of rich colors, in which he was clearly

He

influenced by the Venetian school. In 1608,

Rubens s atelier was the largest "mine" of Baroque art; all the most famous Flemish artists went through the experience of working there. During the second decade of the seventeenth century, he was living

Venice and

in

the year

years,

art history voraciously.

traditional

1

followed the

method of copying the old

masters to learn their

style,

and Holbein,

Lucas van Leyden, and Durer were the

his

fill

the space and the

mother died and Rubens

Italy to

return to Antwerp.

became the leading painter

hastily left

He

very soon

in the

country

assistants.

several delightful portraits of her.

Rubens

became very wealthy

of his

as the result

highly successful career.


Peter Paul Rubens Juno and Argos 1610

1611

oil oil

canvas,

98 x 116'/2in. (249 x 296 cm) WalhaJ

Hicham Museum,

Cologne

Rulnns's

grc.it feeling !"i

narrative and his extremely sensual Style achieve-

expression

full

in his highly

imaginative- and spectacular

secular paintings.

Here the

artist takes as his starting

point an episode from

Ovid's Metamorphoses (Jupiter's love for the

nymph

Io) and sumptuously depicts the macahre, pathetic subject

of the killing of the mythical herdsman Argos,

who

has one hundred eyes

good

so that he can keep

watch over the herd in his keeping. After he has been decapitated by the wily Mercury, Juno

commemorates

the faithful

Argos by symbolically placing his eyes in the

peacock's

tail.

Peter Paul Rubens Self-Portrait with Isabella

Brandt Under a

Honeysuckle Bower

1609-1610 on canvas, 70 x S6V4 in. (178 x 143 cm) oil

Alte Pmakothek, Self-satisfied this

is

Munich

and confident,

how Rubens

himself with his

paints

first

wife,

Isabella Brandt, in this

superb canvas celebrating their marriage.

With

hand resting on the hilt of his sword, Rubens appears as a refined gentleman in his his left

earlv prime.

He

looks

impeccably genteel and wealthy enough to be able to afford the extravagance

of the gaudy orange stockings enveloping his

shapely calves.

A work

by

an obviously successful

man, charmingly accompanied by a woman ol enviable beautv,

Rubens

s

self-portrait can

be compared with similar pictures bv other leading

seventeenth-centurv painters, including,

first

and foremost, Rembrandt.


.

Peter Paul Rubens The Judgment of Pans 1605 on canvas, -Sin. (91 x 114 cm) Prado. Madrid

c.

oil

An

earlv

work, painted

during his wars in Italy, this can be considered one of the

artist's first pictures

of a subject he was

extremely tond

of,

the

shapely female nude. This is

in

famous episode, which Mercury presents

a very

the three goddesses

from left to Minerva, Venus, and

(respectively, right,

Juno to Paris for him to choose the most beautiful. The golden apple that will indicate the winner glitters )

at the

center of the

composition, but a

little

cupid bearing a crown can already be seen hovering

Peter Paul Rubens

o\er Venus 's head. The

composition, with the

Madonna

figures set in a semicircle

Worshipped by Angels

backdrop of a luminous landscape, is still inspired by the canons of against the

of the Vallicella

1608 on slate, 67V4 x 98 Vi in. (425 x 250 cm) Church of Santa Maria Vallicella, Rome oil

the Italian tradition.

Rubens painted the same subject seyeral times.

in

The execution of the works for the high

altar

proved to be particularly complicated. Finally, after various attempts and

reworkings, Rubens chose a deliberately archaic

approach and painted choir of worshipping

a

angels supporting and

crowning an oval frame containing the

and Child

Madonna

in fixed, frontal

poses, like an icon.

Peter Paul Rubens Adoration of the Shepherds

1608 oil

on canvas,

118 x 75*4 in. (300 x 192 cm) Pinacoteca Comunale, Fcrmo

Peter Paul Rubens St

Gregory the Great with

Rome, Rubens many sketches for

in Yallicella,

painted

Saints Domitilla, Maurus,

the various sections of the

and Papianus

composition.

1606 oil on canvas, 57'/2

x46%

He was

broad planes of color

Confraternity ot the

and drapery.

Oratorians, the order

evidently ayvare of

founded by

establishing himself in

This little-known

Rome

altarpiece

with

a pivotal

work

is

St. Philip

in

the history of painting.

fascinating

work

Hence, the large

painted by Rubens

preparatory studies for the

It is

two

between evocative

Gemaldegaleric, Berlin

While engaged in the important work of

most

side

wings of the

triptych are to be

altar in

considered independent

Maria

compositions,

in

which

Neri.

perhaps the

in.

(146 x 119 cm)

the chu

Rubens experiments with sumptuous settings and

Executed for the church of San Filippo Neri in Fermo, this canvas confirms Rubens's contact with the

in Italy,

beautifully poised

Caravaggesque light and echoes ol the style of Correggio.


Peter Paul Rubens Maria Serra Pallavicmo

1606 oil

on

tain. is,

95 x 55 in. (241 x 140 can) National

Kingston Lacj

Trust,

(Dorset)

Rubens 's female

portraits,

particularly in his youth earl) maturity, are

an<.\

striking in their stately,

detached magnificence. This large canvas was

executed during one of the painter's

\

to Genoa,

isits

the fundamental prelude to the later arrival ol

\an Dvxk. Rubens loved

Genoa; he w

as laseinated

by the urban fabric of the Strada Nuova, designed

bv Galcazzo Alessi,

and by the luxurious lifestyle

of the great

aristocratic families.

Rubens executed memorable works

for

the churches and princely collections ol the city,

some while he was

there

and others that were however, not

remained the

later

from Antwerp;

sent

in

ol

all

monumental

the figure,

them

Genoa. Here

who

size of

is

virtually

overpowered by the sumptuous, glittering gown and enormous lace ruff,

is

offset by the

strange, almost caricatural,

small parrot clinging to the back of the chair.

125


Peter Paul Rubens Equestrian Portrait of Giovanni Carlo Doria

1606 on canvas, 104!4 x 74 in.

c.

oil

(265 x

188cmi

Gallena Xazionale della

Liguna (Palazzo Spmola),

Genoa

A

great collector and earlv

conoisscur of the art of the period,

whose

were ahead

intuitions

time,

of his

Prince Doria succeeded in

amassing an incredible

collection of paintings that

included major works by Caravaggio, Gentileschi, Vouet, and leading early

Baroque

artists.

The most

outstanding work, and one that in a sense synthesizes

the whole collection, this life-size

is

equestrian

portrait bv Rubens. This

picture stvlc,

is

impetuous

in

almost verging on

the exaggerated in the

long-haired

little

dog

attempting to imitate the horse's gait.

Rubens 's

handling of the

composition it is

is

masterlv;

dominated bv

a perfect

diagonal that starts from the horse's

tail, in

the

bottom right-hand corner, and moves upward to the dark foliage of the tree, top

left.


Peter Paul Rubens Portrait of Jan

Vermoelen

1616 on wood, 50 x 38!/4 in.

oil

(Mix. 97cm) Pi <

im e of I \a lucnstein

olfactions,

Vaduz

Composed and the VOUng man

serious,

looks

suspiciously askance at

the viewer. Even the

composition, with the character standing slightly to the right, as though

he had just gotten up

from the

chair, creates

an unsettled feeling.

Peter Paul Rubens

against an architectural

Portrait of Brigida Spinola

background

Dorla

in

The

right.

1606 on canvas, 59% x 39 in. (152 x 99 cm)

is

that disappears

perspective toward the resulting effect

that the figure

is

seen

oil

from below, like a large flower opening out into the

National Gallery of An, Washington

enormous

corolla of

the starched collar; the

head and elaborately This

is

another portrait

painted in

curled hair appear to be

Genoa and

resting

And

further evidence of

Rubens's compositional skill.

all

four sides; today the figure

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; term â&#x20AC;&#x201D; is

seen

to use a cinematic

in "a

middle-

distance shot,"

a three-quarter

despite the satin

sumptuous

gleaming

Rubens

still

in the light,

succeeds

in

capturing a spark of

humanity, an embarrassed

from the

knees up. The noblewoman is in

a ruffled tray.

dazzling magnificence,

Perhaps, in the past,

the painting was cut on

on

yet, despite all this

blush, a flash of

psychological insight.

pose

127


Peter Paul Rubens The Lion Hunt 1616 on wood, 98 x 147*4 in. (249 x 375.5 cm) oil

Alte Pinakothek.

Painted lor

Munich

Duke

Maximilian of Bavaria, the panel lias remained in the collections ot the

court of Munich. Rubens inexhaustible love of

s

life

and curiositv lor ever\ aspect ol the world led

him

to look for exotic

subjects, unusual themes,

singular characters, and

animals from other continents, a task

much

made

easier by the

continual arrival of ships full

of wonders from

everv corner of the world in the

port of Antwerp.

master from Antwerp anticipated In this search, the

modern attitudes. His work would be an important source of inspiration for nineteenth-

century painting: the

reworking of this painting bv Delacroix is a perfect example.

Peter Paul Rubens

masterfully controlled bv

The Rape of the Daughters

the artist.

of Leucippus

of the great examples of

The

result

is

one

the pictorial representation

1618 on wood, 87'/2 x 82V4 in. (222 x 209 cm)

c.

of mythological subjects,

oil

interpreted not in terms

of intellectual elegance but

This episode, drawn from

wave of forms and colors. The voluptuous nudes of the girls tend to

Theocritus, represents the

fill

abduction of the

reflecting the sunlight.

as a sensual

Ake Pmakothek, Munich

Castor and Pollux;

Peter Paul Rubens Battle and Death of Deems

Mus

bv

girls if

Rubens

the

identification of the subject is

correct, then this

is

the surrounding space,

the

plavs with the

gleam of

reflections: the

the silk and of the blond

only painting depicting this

hair of the girl

still

particular scene of the

on the ground

is

shows

King

reminiscent of sixteenth-

deed of

1616 on canvas, 204'4 in. 1 Wi x (288 x 519 cm)

story.

a rather sinister

force to the scene, while

Collection of the Prince

expression. However, the

the Dioscuri are verv

of Liechtenstein. Vaduz

illustration of the

verv scene Irom the cycle

devoted to episodes from the

of the

lile

Roman

consul

Decius Mus. This evele, kept

in

Vaduz,

Rubens in

s first

die held ol

one of works painting from is

great

a

small cupid on the

1

A

It

centurv Venetian painting.

love and violence; the

oil

left

has

theme

is

much overshadowed

The horses add an animal

similar to classical

prototypes.

On

the

ba-.is

bv the imposing

of the observation that

composition and the opulent brush work.

the

Rubens presents the enormous group composed of the girls,

horses are of different

two men do not seem

to be twins and that the

colors,

the

divine twins, the horses,

it

has recently been

suggested that the

title

should be changed from

iurccs.

and the cupids

as a single

The Rape

of the

Daughters

more

quivering unit. Everything

oj Leucippus to die

turns, perfectly balanced,

frequent The Rape of the

like a colossal

mechanism

Sahincs.


129


Peter Paul Rubens The Head of Medusa c.

oil

I

1617-1618 on canvas,

27 x

seems to have the power t<> turn hi-r enemies to stone i

46'/2 in.

(68.5 x 118 cm) Kunsthistonsches Museum,

Vienna

Ins terrifying \li

i

mi

l\

sue

(

c.

1612-1614

on canvas, 82 l/4X 11)3/4

s

in.

m)

allegorv

on the theme of

that witnessed the birth of

the world, the four

crocodile and the tigress

scientific

method, knowledge was mostlv

svmbolizing the continents

women

quavside in the port of

fascinating images. Thus,

embraced bv the images of the main rivers: on the left, Europe with the bearded Danube; in the

Antwerp, this painting is an exemplarv Baroque

on Rubens's canvas,

center, black Africa with

must certainlv have been

imparted through svmbols,

an astonishing sight on the

emblems, complex and

as the

as well

animals, plants, and

are

die lertile Nile

crowned

m

painting gives us an idea ol

with

the particular tastes of

Jan Bruegel.

certain collectors.

It is

rather gruesome, not onlv

with ears of corn; on the right, in the foreground, Asia with the muscular

exotic animals like the

,,l

the

relished depicting, perhaps

archaeological references that indicate the parts of

.nisi

Rubens sa

writhing around the head

geographv. In the centurv

suckling her voung, which

oil

no

Enriched bv Rubens

i

and

Monstrous, vet fascinating, the head of Medusa still

direct observation of

Im

additional reptiles that

csstul

because of the serpents

Peter Paul Rubens The Four Continents

but also

(part of the classical myth),

Ganges; and, in the background, America with the Amazon.

to havi

tin- assistant

â&#x20AC;˘

"I


Peter Paul Rubens The Tempest

1624 on wood, 57 3/4 x 82!4 in. (147 x 209 cm)

oil

Museum,

Kunsthistorisches

Vienna

This extraordinary landscape, in which a violent tempest

and the sky

is

abating

changing

is

from dark stormy shades to the colors of the

rainbow,

is

inspired by the

myth of the

visit

of Jupiter

and Mercury, disguised

as

simple wayfarers, to the elderly couple

Philemon

and Baucis. Moved by the

welcome they have two gods (seen on the right) save

received, the

old people's

the

home from

the

storm, which has caused considerable damage. In the

bottom left-hand portion of the picture, a

woman

and

babv are attempting to to safety, a in the

cow

is

flee

trapped

branches swept along

by the flood waters, and

man fast.

is

a

attempting to hold

The landscape thus

acquires a "romantic"

atmosphere, enhanced by the dramatic tones of the

background.


Peter Paul Rubens Isabella c.

oil

painted

at

the time

of the wedding,

Brandt

Fate held great happiness in store lor

Rubens, and

marriage to Isabella

woman

ot

unusual intelligence and contributed to

this.

This

unforgettable portrait,

Peter Paul Rubens

enveloped

Miracles of

gold vestments. Standing

St.

Ignatius

between

1612-1620 oil on canvas, 1S7V4X 108V4 in. (400 x 275 cm)

in

sumptuous

a red curtain

and

the imposing architecture

sketched

in

the

background, raises his

Chiesa del Gesu,

St. Ignatius

arms

in a gesture

of invocation, but also as

Genoa Rubens sent this canvas from Antwerp for a side

though to protect himself from the group of people pleading for divine

altar in the beautiful

intervention. There

church in Genoa, where he had previously painted a

sharp contrast between the

Circumcision for the high altar.

It

is

brilliant

evidence

is

convulsed group on the left,

with muscular figures

attempting to restrain a

of the evolution ol the

madwoman, and

master's religious painting.

grandiose, spectacular

luminous portrayal of mother, in the center, wearing an attractive

compositions, Rubens

velvet

Always inclined toward

ol St.

Ignatiu

.under

a

the quiet, a

gown and surrounded by delightful children.

Rubens and

between was

Isabella

undoubtedly both sensual and intellectual. His wife's death from the plague, in 1626, was the only real tragedy

doubtless

his

loving understanding, and the relationship

spirit,

most

subsequent portraits of first wife also express a

Gallcrw Jegli Ujpzi, Florence

Brandt, a

a

to marital bliss, but the

on canvas,

33% x 24Âť/2in. (86 x 62 cm)

his

is

magnificent tribute

1625

life.

in

the painter's


Peter Paul Rubens Martyrdom of St. Livinus 1633 oil

'Âťii

i

anvas,

!79>/4X n6'/2in. (455 x 347 cm) Musees Royaux Jes Beaux\ri\, H/ii

I

In-

/

religious equivalent

of The Rape

of the

Daughters

of Leucippus, this painting of tin atrocious

martyrdom also

i

ol

the saint

inters on a whirling

movement, dominated by the large rearing horse.

The scene acquires

the

atmosphere of a danse macabre, performed by uglv actors \\ host fa< es are almost caricatures.

The

horrifying focal point

of the composition

is

the

tongue that has been torn out with large pincers and presented as a trophy of bleeding saint's

flesh to an

eager dog.

133


Peter Paul Rubens The Straw Hat

I

rent h title (Chapeau Je potl

has

become Chupeau

paille).

1630 on wood, 31 x 2 in. (79 x 55 cm)

this,

oil

1

'

the portrait palpitates

with the feeling emanating

>

National Gallery, lonJon

The

Je

Quite apart from

traditional title ot diis

magnificent work, certainly

from the girl's expression, and it is animated by the shadow cast b\ the brim of the hat, and the contrast

between the light blue of ground and the warm,

one of the most intriguing

the

seventeenth-centurv

hazv red of the sleeves.

portraits, does not

Titian's influence can

correspond to the subject.

seen in the extraordinary

The

hat the

wearing

is

voung

girl is

certainly not

made of straw, and the mistake mav be the result of a copying error or a

immediacy of full

The

of

this figure

warmth and

girl is

be

life.

probably Suzanne

Fourment, the sister of Rubens's second wife.

misunderstanding of the

Peter Paul Rubens

like

Helene Fourment

sixteen-year-old Helene

in

her

Wedding Gown

married Rubens, who was then fifty- three. This was an injection of youth and vitality for Rubens during

1630-1631 oil on wood,

53%

64'/2X

in.

the

(163.6 x 136.5 cm)

Ahe

Pinakothek, Munich

Brandt left Rubens widower when he was

Isabella a

nearly

fifty

and he began to

frequent a distant relative

of his

first

wife. She

was

a

fair-haired, shapely girl,

perhaps not as intelligent as Isabella,

Rubens. In 1630,

but certainly

very pretty and very attractive to a sensual

man

last

ten years of his

life

and work. The portrait of Helene in her wedding gown exudes tenderness and cheerfulness. The girl, with her rosv cheeks and blond bangs, looks happy but almost intimidated, and she is leaning slightly toward the left, as though she is trying to be selfpossessed and not finding it

easy.


Peter Paul Rubens

early

Angelica and the Hermit

who was

1630 oil on wood, 17 x 25 in. (43 x 66 cm) Kunsthistorisches Museum,

works by Rembrandt,

greatly

already then

admired by

men

c.

Vienna

of culture like Constantijn

Huygens. Rubens's admiration for Titian

is

also

evident here (he studied the mythological

masterpieces in the King

This small, but very beautiful, late

work

depicts

of Spain's collections). In

an episode from Orlando

fact,

Furioso: the sleeping

that he

Angelica

carried to an

from Titian not only for

demon

the beautiful reclining girl,

is

island bv a

conjured up by a hermit's

magic

art.

The

painting

is

so exquisitely refined that it

is

reminiscent of the

who

Rubens himself stated drew inspiration

is

almost completely

nude, but also in his use ol thick paint

and dense,

resonant color.

135


Peter Paul Rubens The Garden of Love 1638

on canvas, 78 x 111 : in. (198 x 283 cm) oil

1

PrdJo.

A

late

MjJnJ work

of vibrant

freshness, tlu^

is a

convincing expression of Rubens 's great

joie Jc

vine even toward the end

of his

life.

The work

is

an allegorical rendering of the Castle of Steen,

in

the environs ot Antwerp, the

sumptuous summer

residence of the painter his family. The nohleman on the extreme

and

left is a self-portrait.

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\

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137


Anthony van Dyck (Antwerp, 1599-London, 1641)

A

great specialist in Baroque portraiture,

Dyck

van

one

is

ol the

most refined

painters ol the early seventeenth century.

A

real child prodigy,

he began painting

a pupil ol the famous Hendrick van Balen, but in 161 5, when he was only sixteen, he opened his own independent workshop. The great Rubens soon noted the voung man's talent and his alreadv evident success with local collectors. As soon as he became

\er\ early age as

at a

Antwerp

a

artist

member

ot the painters' guild,

joined Rubens

s

van

Dvck

studio not as a pupil,

but as the master's assistant. Rubens and

van Dvck worked together, side bv side, on some works, then the older master

began to realize that the voung artist might become a dangerous rival and he

encouraged him to specialize in portraiture. However, van Dvck also continued painting mythological subjects, altarpieces, and religious and literarv works all his lite. From 1620 on, his fame as a portraitist quickly spread throughout Europe. In 1621, after a brief journev to England, van Dvck moved to Italv and chose to settle in Genoa; he was to stav there until the end of 1626. During his long and prolific Italian period, van Dvck also visited Venice,

Rome, and Palermo

remained Genoa, which had a flourishing colonv of Flemish painters and maintained close links with Rubens s workshop. Van Dvck's direct observation of Titian's works was to be pivotal in his development, and he clearlv drew inspiration from him. During the years he spent in Genoa, van Dvck painted the portraits of members of the Genoese aristocracy. Decrepit old men and tender children, voung noblewomen and haughtv noblemen, all sat before the easel of the for studv purposes, but his base

master,

who

usuallv painted the face

and hands from life, and completed the elaborate garments and details of the setting in his studio. Van Dyck worked at a

dizzving pace and consequently earned

of money.

a great deal

to

Antwerp (he was

When

still

he returned

very voung, only

twenty-six) he set himself up as Rubens 's rival

and encroached on the master's

terrain.

He

painted several

monumental

and verv successful altarpieces that were evidently influenced bv Titian, and, in 1628, he became court painter to Archduchess Isabella. In 1632, despite

homeland, he decided to move to England, and he sold the Castle of Steen to Rubens; it was to be the great master's "garden of love" (luring the last years of his life. In London, van Dvck was soon chosen as court painter to Charles I. Surrounded bv a large group

his sucessful career in his

Dvck painted hundreds of pictures, nearly all of them portraits. Except for two visits to the continent England, van

(

Antwerp

in

1634, Paris

tnd

in the last

Dvck permanently was knighted.

Self-Portrait

1621-1622 on canvas,

oil

32 x 27V4 in. (81

x 69.5 cm)

Alte Pmakothek,

vear settled

Munich

Van Dvck, a strikingly good-looking voung man with

of pupils, during the years spent in

ol his life), van

Anthony van Dyck

a brilliant,

precocious

talent, often painted his

own

portrait.

Thev

are

all

verv tresh works, executed

with rapid, almost casual brushstrokes, in which a smiling vouth at the outset

of his career looks on the

world with confidence and a feeling of eager 138

participation.


Anthony van Dyck Elena Grimaldi Cattaneo

1622 oil

on

96%

anvas,

(

x 682

in.

(246 x 173? cm) National Gallery, Washington

This

|xii trait,

symbol stay in

almost

.1

ot the painter's (

fenoa,

is

both

sumptuous and delicate, showing perfect harmony between the magnificence of the scene and the sensitive characterization sitter. The young noblewoman is portrayed

of the

of the loggia of a during a walk in the

in front villa

garden.

The solemn

figure

passes by, rustling the grass, while a dark-skinned

page

tries to protect

her

from the sun. It is clear from her fair hair and pale skin that the sun might be bothersome for face

the duchess, but van

Dyck

turns the delicate skin into a striking detail of his

inventive composition.

The

large red sunshade

glows

like a

around her

profane halo face, creating a

spectacular wheel of color.


Anthony van Dyck Portrait of Nicolas Lanier

1632

on canvas,

oil

44 x 34 (I

in.

11.5 x 86.2

cm)

Kunsthistorischcs

Museum,

Vienna

A

musician

at

the court

of King Charles

I

of

England, Nicolas Lanier

was

a court artist, exactly

like

van Dyck. Thus the

painter presents a reflection

of himself in the image of the refined courtier, capable of expressing his

good

taste

simply in

his attitude, his expression, his intelligence,

culture.

Anthony van Dyck Portrait of an Old Man 1618 oil on wood, c.

42 x 29 in. (106.5 x 73.7 cm)

the vear of his admission

St. Luke Guild of Antwerp. The dominant influence is that of Rubens (who was also echoed by Jordaens in the same

years), with an almost

Collection of the Prince of Liechtenstein, Vaduz

We

in

to the

have deliberately

chronicle-like attention

to descriptive detail and a full-bodied

use of color.

chosen two male portraits

The background

from the beginning and end of van Dyck's career

as

in

order to analyze

neutral,

is

was the custom

in

the

recent tradition

of Caravaggio, while

much

the variation in style,

in the

especially in the use

of Nicolas Lanier, executed

ol paint

and the free

when

later portrait

the artist had

brush work. This painting

already settled in England,

belongs to the earliest

the background

stage of his career,

he was

just

when

nineteen,

landscape.

is

a distant

and

his


Anthony van Dyck Jove

in

the Form of a Satyr

compositions and the

who

altarpieces, the influence of

reclining female figures.

Rubens

near Antiope

evident,

1630 on canvas, x 59V2 in. (112.5x 151 cm)

much more and van Dyck does

is

set

Among in this

out to depict

Anthony van Dyck

the works present

c.

not always find the spark of

Madonna and with

volume, similar

characteristics can be seen

St.

Child

Catherine

of Alexandria

oil

livery originality

441/4

and

in

the paintings of Rubens,

shortly after 1627

freshness that illuminates

Velazquez, and Rembrandt:

his portraits. In this case,

all

too, he does not hesitate

Titian,

to seek inspiration in the

decisive role in the

on canvas, 43 x 35% in. (109.2 x 90.8 cm) Metropolitan Museum

The excellence of his

profane painting of the

development of the history

of Art,

countless portraits should

sixteenth century. Titian,

of painting and increasingly

Wallraf-KichjTtz

Museum,

of them pay

who

homage

to

played a

Cologne

not

leatl

us to overlook van

Dvck's abundant work "figure painter." in

as a

How ever,

the mvthological

once again, stylistic

is

the closest

reference point,

and in anv case is the vardstuk lor all painters

became the most important Renaissance master for the painters ot the Baroque era.

oil

New York

Executed

in

in the brief

Antwerp period

following his return to his native country

before he to

moved

London,

painting

is

for

good

this line

a clear tribute

to Titian and the Venetian tradition.

141


Anthony van Dyck A Genoese Lady Known as

"Marchesa Balbi"

1623 on canvas, 72 x 48 in. (183 x 122 cm) 1622

oil

National Gallerj

Washington

According to

very true

a

saying, in the seventeenth

century Genoa did not have a king, but

many

queens. The features and

sumptuous gowns of the Genoese ladies whose portraits van

giye

them

Dyck painted The

a regal air.

young

identity ot this

representative of the

Ligurian aristocrat

\

is

unknown, but she is certainly one of the most captivating figures van

Dvck

ever painted in the

shadow of the

historic

lighthouse that dominates

Genoa and

the port of has

become

of the

city.

the

emblem

Here the

painter has chosen the setting of a softly

lit

interior in order to

enhance the truly magical effect of the intricate gold

embroidery decorating the young woman's gown. The hands stand out beautifully against this sartorial magnificence,

and

emerges

like

the fresh face a flower,

illuminated by

dark, piercing eyes

and a smile to forget.

it is

difficult


Anthony van Dyck Portrait of

Agostino

Pallavicino

1622 oil Oil

canvas,

85 x SSViin.

(216x 141 cm) J.

Paul Gettj

The

Museum, Walibu

radiant portraits

of beautiful Genoese

noblewomen spicy stories

young van

I

triggered <>l

handsome amorous

>yck's

conquests. Apparently he

was even challenged to a duel by the husband of one of these young members of the aristocracy.

The tone

male portraits, which van Dyck

ol 'the

in

concentrates so effectively all

the virtues and vices of

Liguria,

is

quite different.

Senator Agostino Pallavicino,

one of the most in Genoa,

ambitious nobles

gazes rather suspiciously at the spectator. His

sumptuous with

light

to set

up

attire (bursting

and color) seems

a barrier

between

the privacy of the

personage and the

who like

feels

visitor,

uncomfortably

an intruder.

Anthony van Dyck Lucas van Uffel

1621-1626 on canvas, 49 x 39V2 in. oil

(124.5 x 100.6 cm) Metropolitan

of Art,

Museum

New York

A famous

art dealer

and

collector, Lucas van Uffel

worked

in Venice.

The

painter has cleverly

captured him

in the act

of getting up from his desk, on which valuable objects can be seen.

143


Anthony van Dyck

bimseli "

The Lomellini Family

I

ith state affairs,

cither,

word,

1625 oil

lis In

is

the interior

on canvas,

it

104!4x 97V4 in. (265 x 248 cm)

is

his

National Gallery of Scotland,

children. sell

The matronly,

possessed mother

varied range of reds), but

there are also echoes of

1623 oil

7714 x 57

Anthony van Dyck

Raphael, in particular the

on canvas,

portrait of

Pope Leo X,

in

in.

composition, yvith the

Callerw Palatwa, Palazzo

cardinal seated at a table Florence

bearing elegant objects that

good

and

This extraordinarilv

indicate his

immediate, yet extremely

wealth. Nonetheless, these

taste

references to the Italian

the painter's

one of major works,

van Dyck,

the height of

style that

official,

portrait

his Italian

at

is

period, shows

yvith yvhat great finesse

he

can interpret the models of the past and translate

them

into an original, individual style. fact,

The

Thomas

of Savoy

the carefully studied

(196 x 145 cm) Pitti,

Equestrian Portrait of Prince

painting

is,

in

influenced by Titian

(the figure turning to gaze

Renaissance blend in is

a

unmistakably

1634 oil on canvas, 124 x 93 in.

(315x 236cm) Galleria Sabauda, Turin

Toward the end of his stay in Italy', van Dyck came into contact with the Savoy

personal, highly refined,

family.

and charged

of Turin commissioned

yvith energy,

The

reigning house

capable of broad sweeps

works from the Flemish

of color, but also of

painter in subsequent years,

expressing the subtle

even

changes of expression and the psychology of this interesting personage.

when he was far away London. This equestrian portrait, one of the most in

representative of Savoy

and a Piedmontese

historic paintings

model

for

official

portraiture, already

dispalvs the characteristics

of van Dyck's English period: the figure

is

no

longer seen in close-up

and there

is

a

broad view

of the countryside.

is

the

of the Lomellini family.

members

of the noble

The

at a

city

time

runs

The two children

are close

mother: while the daughter seems to realize to their

the risk of being attacked

her lather

and besieged and the inhabitants are preparing for war. Hence the head of the family, on the extreme left, is dressed from head to foot in armor, ready to plav his role as defender

and observes him with a worried expression on her face, her younger brother has only a vague idea

He

is

seen

on the threshold of his home, since he has to leave his family to occupv

extraordinarily rich and

the composition, she

large composition portrays

of civic libertv.

Bentlvoglio

stability.

pivot of the painting and

of danger.

out of the frame, the

his

Seated in the center of

in the histor\

Genoese family

Portrait of Cardinal

the boUSl

of lamilv portraiture, this the

Anthony van Dyck

cil

duty to protect

represents

canvas of pivotal

importance

,i

sister-in-law and her

Edinburgh

A

armed with

turning toward

is

about to leave,

of the danger and looks questioningly at his elder sister. The portrait thus becomes a masterlv

emotional and psychological work.


Anthony van Dyck James Stuart, Duke of Richmond and Lennox after

1632

on cam as, 85 x 5014 in. (213.9 x 127.6cm) oil

Museum

Metropolitan

of Art, Sen York

Van Dvck's numerous English paintings are

among

the most important

in the history

of

aristocratic portraiture.

Thev

also laid the

foundations lor the future

development of the English school of painting, discussed in the

chapter of In

this

last

book.

order to meet the

overwhelming demand, van Dvck employed assistants, and the works executed

in

London

are

not alwavs entirely painted

bv him.

In contrast,

this large canvas,

an

extraordinary masterpiece, is all

his

own work. The

voung nobleman, dressed in an extremely elegant suit slim figure of the

with delicate touches of light blue,

is

enhanced

bv the thin greyhound.


Anthony van Dyck Portrait of Charles

I

1655

C.

on canvas, 104 3/4 x 81'/2in. (266 x 207 cm)

oil

I

cm re,

In

(

l\ins

no

|<

in

I

Dycl

\.ui

i,

had become

"Italian";

ondon be

i

hangi d

nghsh gentleman "I the ourl In traveling from one ounti into

a

pei

fe<

t

I

i

.

i

.

to the other, the highly sensitive van

how

I

)vek

knew

to interpret die

different characteristic nl his patrons,

s

but also of

the climate, the landscape, the style of dress, and the Social attitudes. Intuitively

van

Dyck captured

the

English love of the

countryside and sport.

The king

readily had his

portrait painted in

comfortable hunting clothes, in the

middle

of a green landscape. His nobility

through

his

is

revealed

expression

and the innate elegance of the pose, and not through ostentatious attire. This is

the complete opposite

of the portraits of the

Sun King,

like

the

extremely pompous one by Rigaud.This kind of portrait remained a

fundamental model for the English school. a

hundred years

Over

later, in

the late eighteenth century, the relationship

between

and landscape established by van Dyck was to be taken up and developed bv Gainsborough. figures


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1

B Jacob Jordaens

manv

Rubens's vast workshop and soon became

in a style based on broad brushwork, thick with paint. Caravaggio 's influence, which is most evident in the light effects of his early works, becomes more attenuated as the years pass, and is

established as a versatile painter, not as a

replaced by a stvle ol painting that

Flemish tradition, while the

drawn from

(Antwerp, 1593-1678)

through

his

Italian art are

ideas

always filtered

completely independent

style.

Jordaens was drawn into the orbit of Jacob Jordaens master'- ol the

is

the third of the great

Antwerp school,

after

Rubens and van Dyck, who led the city on the Scheldt to the height of European painting in the

first

Unlike Jordai

his

half of the seventeenth

two famous colleagues, i

ittai

148

specialist in a particular

hed

genre

like his

fellow artists Jan Bruegel (still life) and van Dyck (portraiture). He therefore <

losely collaborated

was

iods

:

Ik

"'^

^^^^^^Hi^^Li ^

4J9

>

also,

above

highlv skilllul at

all,

with Rubens, but an independent master,

developing the stimulating

innovations ol Caravaggio and

Michelangelo,

is

more

popular and immediately enjoyable, simple

and full-bodied. Among his religious works, the scenographic altarpiece with the Martyrdom of Sl.Apolloma deserves a special mention, but his paintings of rustic subjects or natural produce are also very

noteworthy. Late

in life

Jordaens often

returned to subjects that were dear to him, such as crowded festive scenes and Aesop's fable about the peasant

and the

After the death of Rubens in

and of van Dyck

in

1

satyr.

640

1641, Jordaens became

the leading Flemish painter of his day.


Jacob Jordaens Self-Portrait of the Painter

and endearing genre of the sell portrait with family,

Portrait with Isabella Brandt

girl, the paint)

with His Family

does not depict the

painted by Rubens ten years

daughter,

oil

at his

1622

1621

This

smock, but

extremely elegant

earlier.

in

attire,

V2 in.

(1S1 x 187 PraJo,

easel or in his

painter's

on canvas,

7lV4x 73

artist

holding a

cm)

memorable

not a palette.

belonging to the widespread

family

enjoying the relaxing

atmosphere and shade of a garden in full bloom

standing, so

the

basket of ripe grapes.

detail indicates his

high social and financial painting,

is

The jordaens

end of summer, with a gushing fountain, and a young maid carrying a

Every

MaJnJ

lute,

with the eloquent v//

much so that work may be compared

at

the

The delightful

is

little

blond

Jacob Jordaens

painting, greath favored

a I"

loved

The Holy Family

by

i

portrayed

smiling and timid, with a gentle blush suffusing her i

lucks, and an expression a

blend of coyness

that

is

and

curiosity.

A

(118.5X

|.i

of Art, Bucharest

work belongs

ctora ol

OrlSidl

time

thi

I'd.

p In

it

is

.

pai

.

d

The lood

toi

the Baby Jesus

also par) ol tin

tradition and

it

1

1

<

1

1

1

1

li

enhani is

the delit ate atmosphere

little girls.

This

|

virtuosity.

n

cm) Romanian National Museum 11

oil.

prool of a painter's

figure truly

equal to Renoir's

<

nid

1625 oil on canvas, 46% x 44'/2 in. C.

to the

<.l

.l.i.

i.

'.tic llilllii.u v.

genre of "candlelit"

149


Jacob Jordaens

or pie, and the person

The Feast of the Bean King

found

it

became king of the

before 1659

who

in their slice

feast

and master of ceremonies.

on canvas, 9514 x 118 in. (242 x BOO cm)

oil

Kunsthistorisches

Similar scenes are also to

be found

Museum,

the

in the

work of

Dutch painter Jan

who

Steen, Vienna

often morallv

stigmatized excess and

Jacob Jordaens

this early

The Holy Family with the Shepherds

interesting to note the

intemperance. Though

banquets arc very typical

Jordaens celebrated

of Jordaens's oeuvre. There

abundance and

were many occasions

too, underlined the

Metropolitan

celebrating: feast days and

dangers of drunkenness: a

New York

holidays, marriages,

Latin inscription reminds

anniversaries, or other

us that

celebrations were an

madman more

excuse for abundant eating and drinking. A famous

girl

Flemish

glass of

jollity, he, (

feast

for

took place on

"None resembles

drunkard," while is

wine, between

growling dog and

bean was hidden

vomiting man.

in a

cake

a Little

a

a

genre apart, not onlv

in

Jordaens's oeuvre but also

of Rubens and other

Baroque masters.

In

European Caravaggists (filtered

through the

Rubens school in Antwerp) and of Dutch painting. Well-known and admired by local collectors, Jordaens

oj Art,

Small religious paintings are

in that

about to drink a

the day of Epiphany. A

a

a

than a

106.7 x 76.2 cm)

Museum

it is

blend of echoes of the

1616 oil on canvas, transferred from wood, 42 x 30 in.

Scenes of parties and

canvas

became a point of reference and a means of comparison for the so-called

"Caravaggists of Utrecht," including van Honthorst

and Terbrugghen.


Jacob Jordaens The Peasant and the Satyr

Here Jordaens gives a charming, realistic interpretation of a

C.

1625,

74%

oil

x 65

on canvas,

and Dutch

in.

(190x 165 cm) Museum

of Fine Arts,

theme

often dealt with bv Flemish artists in the

seventeenth century, and Budapest

which he himsell painted

in various clever versions at

different times during

According to one of Aesop's fables, in the dim and distant past, satyrs lived on the earth. One evening a satyr was his career.

invited to dinner In

peasant, who,

to cool

a

when he

came home

feeling cold,

blew on

hands to

them

up.

his

At the

warm

table, the

peasant blew on his

spoonful of soup,

this

it

down. Astounded

by the ambivalence of gesture, the satyr

this

jumped

beings, since they

dangerously hypot

false

were so and

ritical.

up, reprimanded the peasant, and from that

evening on decided never time

again to live

ÂŤ

ith

human

151


Willem Kalf Life with Nautilus Shell Goblet, detail

Still

1662 on can-"

oil

31 x 26" Thyssen.Collectic


-

/ Rembrandt van

Rijn

Portrait of Jan Six

1654 on canvas, 44 x 40'/4 in. (112 x 102 cm) oil

Six Collection,

Amsterdam

At

the end of the sixteenth century, after a

long, grueling

war

against Philip

II

of Spain,

seven United Provinces of the Netherlands

won independence. Holland was one of these seven

areas, but

it

tration of cities and industries.

were the

a republic,

really only

had the largest concen-

The United Provinces

ruled by the stadtholders (governors) of

House of Orange, but they had

autonomy. Lacking

in great art

a great deal of local

and culture, except for

the outstanding figure of Erasmus of Rotterdam, Hol-

land almost unexpectedly

became one of the powers of

Europe. That small population, constantly battling against the sea, living in a

flat,

monotonous landscape

that the ingenious system of canals

and windmills had

transformed into rich agricultural land, emerged from

anonymity and won the envious admiration of the

whole continent

in

onlv a few decades. j

Thanks to the extraordinary enterprise of the East India

Companv,

at

the beginning of the seventeenth century,

the ports of Amsterdam and Rotterdam were the most flourishing financial and

and with

this

solid

commercial centers

basis

in

Europe,

of widespread wealth the

Dutch people found many reasons for cohesion and naThe Dutch language, which spread thanks

tional pride.

to an intensive and intelligent literacy campaign, be-

came completely autonomous and definitively separate from the German, and acquired literary dignity. Calvinism became the official religion that imposed a temperate lifestyle

and firm moral principles. However, strong

Catholic and Jewish minorities were

welcomed with

own

original cultural

unusual tolerance and

made

their

contributions to the society. The rapport between life

home

and moments of socialization was governed by

precise calendar in

a

which holidays and days of penance

alternated; love of the family and care of the household

was

offset

cial

exploits

by

compensated In other

a brilliant social life.

The

risky

commer-

on oceans throughout the world were for

by the peace and comfort of daily

life.

words, during the seventeenth century the

Dutch enjoved a private prosperity and social harmony were unique. Without a real court or an aristocra-

that cy,

and devoid of ecclesiastic privileges, seventeenth

century Holland saw the establishment of a bourgeoisie of entrepreneurs,

professionals,

merchants, and

nanciers, and can be considered the first

modern

fi-

capi-

talist

democracy.

Among

the

more

precise indicators of

from the

dai-

literacy figures,

was

the flourishing situation in Holland, apart ly

consumption of calories and the

the fact

it

had the highest ratio

art, particularly paintings, to

The Dutch school

in

Europe of works of

number of inhabitants.

perfectly followed the course of his-

tory and the creative development of the principal masters.

Between the end of the sixteenth and the begin-

ning of the seventeenth century,

came autonomous,

it

distinguishable as a school.

century,

it

when

During the

and pride taken

in a precise identity,

ed with the unusual

1660,

influences

when

availability

half of the

new

to the pleasure

but also connect-

of merchandise and of

brought by overseas trade. After

the greatest painters, Vermeer, Frans Hals,

and Rembrandt, had died, and

more

first

continued to become enriched by

themes and personages, mostly linked

exotic

the country be-

began to become independent and

tastes

ordinary, classicizing themes,

had swung to

Dutch

art

began to


Jan Vermeer

The Letter c.

1666

on canvas, 17'/4x 15!4 in.

oil

(44 x 38.5 cm)

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

go into

and military and

a decline,

downward

state

took

a

The

first

artistic

political affairs of the

turn.

school that was completely Dutch,

namely detached and different from the Flemish school and the general influences of international Mannerism,

was the group of painters active in the important Catholic and university city of Utrecht at the beginning of the seventeenth century. Having trained toward the

end of the Renaissance,

artists like

Hendrick Terbrug-

ghen and Gerard van Honthorst were

many

tracted to Italy and spent

Rome. The Utrecht

irresistibly at-

years of their careers in

painters, however, did not

show

a

great interest in classical antiquity or Renaissance art;

by contrast, they were extremely taken by Caravaggio's realism and contributed decisively to the spread of

Caravaggism ghen (who,

in

Europe. Van Honthorst and Terbrug-

because

precisely

they

came from

Utrecht, continued to paint important religious commissions) were also fascinated by Caravaggio's subjects: teeth-pullers, street musicians,

and passers-by

soldiers,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

from the street and everyday

come

a

century

fortune tellers,

scenes of daily reality.

life

drawn

This was to be-

predominant theme of Dutch seventeenthwhich is distinguished by its cordial and

art,

amiably truthful representation.

Another major genre

in the art

of the Netherlands was

the portrait. This was the typical result of the extension

new and larger clientele. Apart from expressing the self-satisfaction of the wealthy Dutch bourgeiosie, portraiture spread rapidly, giving an of the art market to a

idea of the fashions and feelings, the stricture and

li-

cense of a happy, well-ordered society. The greatest portraitist, Frans Hals,

is

somewhat paradoxically one

of the most extravagant and liberated painters of the

which were widespread

seventeenth century. Inevitably tied to fixed subjects

of other painters, these scenes

and schemes, Frans Hals escapes monotony thanks to vigorous brushwork and use of color. The legendary

rows of static faces; by contrast, in Frans Hals, action and movement, the interchange of looks, expressions,

make

and gestures predominate. However, even Frans Hals's

his

rapid

execution of his works

(Hals

did

not

sketches or preparatory drawings, but applied the paint directly to the canvas) gives his portraits a fresh, vitality

that

was

new

to be noted and imitated by nine-

brilliant

matic,

approach pales inspired

in

in

Dutch society. In the hands become monotonous

comparison with the draRembrandt's absolute

Night Watch,

masterpiece.

teenth-century painters, including the Impressionists.

Rembrandt marks

The most

seventeenth-century Dutch painting.

striking

works

plex, imposing, large

in Hals's

oeuvre are

group portraits

his

com-

that depict the

meetings and banquets of the civic militia companies,

genius,

a

high point and turning point in

Rembrandt adopted many

A

truly versatile

different genres

and

techniques, always producing the finest results. His


:

v

^

<$*->.

A,

/

r

â&#x20AC;˘

-..

Rembrandt van

Rijn

The Feast of Balthazar c. 1636 oil on wood,

65%

x 82i/2

ambition was to tackle the great historic subjects and the style of the Italian masters, so

much

many Dutch

cided (the only one of the

so that he de-

painters) to sign

events of his

life,

but one might even say that

Rembrandt's pictures

"all"

are, in a sense, self-portraits,

given the emotional charge and

human involvement

in.

(167 x 209.5 cm) National Gallery,

London

works with

name, like Titian, Raphael, and Leonardo. Rembrandt also went against the gener-

his

al

his Christian

make the customary jourRome; in fact he traveled no

trend because he did not

ney to

Italy,

particularly

Amsterdam, twenty-five miles from Leywere truly extensive, as was his fame. Whatever his subject (mythological scenes, episodes from the Bible, allegories, or portraits), Remfarther than

den.

And

yet his horizons

brandt interprets painting as

a direct, intense partici-

human emotions, sensations, and feelings. Rembrandt painted manv self-portraits that give an

pation in

156

dt&*

explicit,

striking

impression of the often dramatic-

The master's style changed greatlv during his career of more than forty years. If we did not know the course of its development, it would be difficult to attribute the precise, delicate brushwork of his early works and the heavy, dense planes of color in the works of his maturity and old age to the same hand. Rembrandt's late paintings, which we consider todav to be some of the most moving and intense works in the whole historv of art, perplexed the Dutch patrons of his dav. The development of the master's art toward an that they convey.

extremelv expressive and deliberately sketchy coincided with

a

change

in taste that favored

style

meticu-


Frans Hals

The Laughing Cavalier

1624 on canvas,

oil

323/4 x

26Vi

in.

(83 x 67.3 cm)

Wallace Collection,

London

lous, clean, precise works.

Rembrandt arrived

a

at

At the same time, while dimension, with

universal

paintings and characters that had the timeless

Dutch people preferred

classical poetry, the

homes

their

power of

to hang in

serene, pleasant pictures portraying the

typical features of their society

Hooch and

like Pieter

de

of Dutch

life,

life.

Artists

swept houses, tidy

perfectly

in

and way of

Jan Steen specialized in scenes city

comfortable and well-loved places

streets, the familiar,

of everyday experience.

An

elegiac,

domestic poetry

dominates de Hooch's world, where everything seems to belong to a kind of higher order

and everything that

happens follows calm, familiar patterns. picts

De Hooch

de-

with tranquil charm spotlessly clean floors; cup-

boards containing folded, scented bed linen; small, well-kept gardens; and swept doorsteps. Seventeenth-

century Dutch society found in him

its

most impas-

sioned and direct exponent. Jan Steen was also inspired

by everyday subjects, but with increasing frequency he depicted the opposite aspect: whining, snotty-nosed children, coarse old

men, and seductive

girls disrupt

the neat and tidy order, creating confusion.

Some

of

Steen's best paintings are brilliant satires of society,

where everything

De Hooch's

is

polite

the opposite of what

world

it

should be.

transformed into chaotic

is

pandemonium, perhaps not without

its

own

diabolic

gaiety.

The

greatest painter of

Delft, avoids this fact, is

Dutch

interiors, Jan

Vermeer of

mirror game of reality and

describing Vermeer as a

satire. In

mere "painter of interiors"

very reductive, not only because his not very prolific

tails,

and clothes are depicted with absolute realism.

output also includes landscapes, portraits, religious,

And

and mythological scenes with large figures, but

and country; they become eternal images of feelings and passions. Vermeer's exquisite painterly technique,

and most importantly, because

in his

domestic

also,

interi-

Vermeer does not merely depict Vermeer was a friend of the inventor of

yet

Vermeer 's

figures are not limited to their time

ors and his characters

based on

what he

canvases always fresh and bright, and they convey an

sees.

the microscope, and he seeks and finds the secret

life,

unfailing,

a

masterly handling of light effects, makes his

moving sense of modernity.

the soul of things and people. This great poetic master transfixes images in a

when time infinite

stands

suspended silence,

still,

moment With

tenderness and unprecedented understanding,

Vermeer captures the inner cavaliers vants.

at a

in a passing ray of light.

and

girls,

life

of

men and women,

high-ranking ladies and simple ser-

Certainly his scenes are set in the meticulous

context of seventeenth-century Holland. Interiors, de-

157


training with Abraham Bloemaert, the young Terbrugghen made a close study .I Renaissance prints by Durer and

Hendrick

Terbrugghen (Deventer,

1

Lucas van

588-Utrecht, 1629)

The major exponent

ol the

Utrecht

school, Terbrugghen played a decisive role in the history of

Dutch painting

he made

city

dramatic intensity. The subjects,

light

and compositions are directly

of Utrecht, the episcopal center of

effects,

Holland, had remained mostly Catholic,

influenced by Caravaggio, but the painter

country that had almost entirely converted to Calvinism. For this reason

adds

in a

158

Rome where

is

which was

spreading throughout Europe. It important to remember that the

1604 he moved to

the personal acquaintance of Caravaggio.

Terbrugghen spent ten years in Italy and during diis time he mastered the technique of painting large canvases, with strong contrasts of light and shadow, and great

bv leading die transition from the late sixteenth-century Mannerist tradition to the Caravaggesque style,

evden, thus acquiring a taste for distinctive expressions, unusual physical types, and strongly marked features In 1

and

his

personal interest

his characters

in

reappear in various

On

artists to

Italy.

spend

a

period

He himself returned

"I

there in

1620, and found a new artistic climate in which the paler and more luminous tones oi the Bolognese school predominated.

Terbrugghen's painting also became lighter, and he began to paint genre scenes and to give a more realistic and picturesque rendering of religious subjects.

Hendrick Terbrugghen Calling of St. Matthew c.

nil

1616

on canvas,

41 3/4X 50'/2in.

(106x 128 cm) Museum

oj Fine Arts,

Budapest

This

is

one of the

painter's

favorite subjects, inspired

by the famous canvas by Caravaggio in the church in

Rome, though

return to Utrecht in 1614, Terbrugghen

the rest of Holland. During the years of his

school oi painting and he encouraged

his

force in the local all

his

compositions constantly vary.

Terbrugghen and his colleagues (like van Honthorst) frequently painted traditional religious subjects, which were far rarer in

became the driving

young

of San Luigi dei Francesi

physiognomy

contexts in different pictures.

the

study in


Hendnck Terbrugghen Incredulity of St.

Thomas

1604 oil on cam as, 42% x 53% in. (108.8 x 136.5 cm) ftijksmuseum, bnstadam c.

.

This important earl) work

shows Terbrugghen

s

particular interest in

expressions and physical features.

The emphasis

on portraiture, which sometimes verges on the grotesque, is based on his close study of northern

The

engravings.

influence

of Leonardo da Vinci

is

and was transmitted through

also equally evident,

the brilliant

work

Italian-style

Flemish

ot

painters like Quentin

Metsys. Terbrugghen 's painting, therefore,

though modern

in its

Caravaggesque aspects, remains rooted in the artistic tradition

of the sixteenth century,

transposed

in a

new

key.

Hendrick Terbrugghen Calling of St. Matthew 1621 oil

on canvas,

40V4 x 54 in. (102 x 137 cm) Central Museum, Utrecht Considered one of the painter's greatest

masterpieces, this painting synthesizes the

two main

aspects of Terbrugghen 's style: the influence

long stay in

Rome

of his

blended

with the typical Dutch

tendency to represent reality.

Religious subjects

are treated in an

unconventional way

and the devotional feeling is replaced bv an intense need to convey human truth. The faces, expressions, light effects,

and

details are

evervdav

descriptive-

drawn from

life;

thev are part

of the ordinarv, though touching, dailv experience.

159


Hendnck Terbrugghen

Woman

with

Monkey

1620 oil on canvas, 33% x 25 /2 in. (86 x 65 an) c.

l

/

Paul Getty Museum, Mulihu

Though he preferred dynamic, monumental scenes, Terbrugghen also

painted a considerable

number of half-figures, which are reminiscent of Caravaggio's earlv works, like the

genre scenes

before 1600, for example, the Boy with a Basket of Fruit or the Bacchus.

Hendrick Terbrugghen King David Playing

the Harp

1628 on canvas, 59 x 74% in.

oil

(150x 190 cm) Museum Xarodwe, Warsaw

Hendrick Terbrugghen

Terbrugghen 's painting

Boy Lighting His Pipe with a Candle

therefore belongs to

c.

oil

The introduction of magnificent costumes

and bright colors increased Terbrugghen 's popularity

on an international level. Works like this one were evidently destined for princc-K collections.

genre that became widespread from the end

a

1625

of the sixteenth centurv

on canvas,

on and was mistakenly

26V2 x 21% in. (67.6 x 55 cm )

Dobo

Istvan

considered Caravaggesque.

However, here he

Varmuzeum,

introduces the new

Eger (Hungary)

"sub-theme" of tobacco.

Tobacco smoking began in Holland, since it was

Terbrugghen, too, tried his

hand

at "candlelit"

painting, the kind of scene

van Honthorst excelled

which had become an almost obligatory test of an artist's bravura.

in,

imported bv the East India Company, and it spread to Europe, where it soon became a popular fashion.


Gerard van Honthorst (Utrecht,

classicism.

Van Honthorst specialized

in the

execution of evocative night scenes, with tones that were sometimes delicately poetic

and sometimes dramatic, which earned him

1590-1656)

the nickname in Italv of "Gerardo delle

Van Honthorst and Terbrugghen synthesize the development of Dutch painting that followed

Italian

On

bv which he

his return to

is still

known

todav.

Utrecht he alternated vast

canvases on religious subjects with genre

models. Van Honthorst

1622 on canvas, 64'/2 x 7444 (164x 190 cm) Wallraf-Richartz Museum, oil

in.

Cologne

witnessed the decline of Caravaggism and the

masters. After the death of Terbrugghen in

Terbrugghen, van Honthorst

subsequent rerival of classicizing themes

1629, and as a result of Rembrandt's

sought to convey a sense

in

the Netherlands. After his earlv training with

Abraham Bloemaert, in Utrecht, van Honthorst moved to Rome in

the Mannerist master

1610 and remained During this jm work, h' to whkl,

in Italv for se

ten years.

study and

que i

style,

Reni's

increasing popularity, the Utrecht school began to lose favor with the Dutch patrons. Van Honthorst, however, continued to enjoy great personal success and

ended

his career

as court painter to stadtholdcr Frederick

Henry of Orange,

in

The Hague.

In the seventeenth

Christ Before the High Priest

this idea

1618 on canvas, 107 x 72 in. (272 x 183 cm) c.

Like his colleague and friend

hence he

Gerard van Honthorst

oil

scenes, always influenced bv the great Italian

lived longer than his colleague,

162

notti,"

Gerard van Honthorst Adoration of the Shepherds

of delicate poetry in his works,

Xational Gallery, London

century

became very

popular with collectors,

and manv painters often copied it; consequently this

became mere expression of poetic solution bravura. This

is

a

not the

through scenes of touching,

A

pleasant lyricism. The Nativity

van Honthorst frequently

who

uses the emotional device

unsteady light as an

themes, and some versions

of

a

unusual and effective way

have become famous.

of

light,

is

one of the

painter's favorite

specialist in night scenes,

candle as the source illuminating the

composition from within.

case with van Honthorst,

uses the wavering,

dl sensitively

rendering

psychological insights.


Frans Hals (Antwerp,

c.

/

580-Haarlem, 7666J

Korn in Antwerp, though he moved to Haarlem when still a child, Frans Hals is one of the most appealing portraitists in the whole history oJ art. He was a painter who specialized in one genre ot painting, and vet he was so imaginative and brilliant that he always invented new compositions, ranging from the bust ot a single person animated

to \ast scenes representing large

groups of people. are

still

in

Some

of his major works

the city ot Haarlem,

where

Frans Hals spent nearly the whole of his

long career. Little

is

known

of his training

was influenced by his studies with the painter and scholar Karel van Mander, who still followed the High Renaissance tradition. In 1616, when he was no longer young, Frans Hals painted his first large group portrait, and earlv work, though

it

Banquet of the Officers of the St. George Militia, now in the Frans Hals Museum in

Haarlem. After

this

work, the painter

displayed great freedom from the earlier rigid

schemes, portraying groups

in

movement, rendered vibrant and lively by his rapid brushwork and rich use ot color. The dazzling chromatic effects and rapid execution, which does not linger over details but captures the fleeting expressions

of the characters, are characteristic of

Frans Hals's portraits until 1640. Having

become acquainted with style

the Carvaggesque

through the painters of the Utrecht

school, Frans Hals often uses diagonal light

and neutral grounds, while his dense, thick color is reminiscent of Rubens and the

Antwerp

school.

A

(he had an efficient

renown workshop with manv

painter of great

pupils and followers), Frans Hals painted large official portraits as well as pictures

of aristocratic patrons or, in

some

models taken from everyday

life,

common

cases,

such

as

people, drinkers, fishermen, and

young women,

all

depicted with an

emotional and communicative immediacy.

Without making preparatory drawings or sketches, Frans Hals painted his canvases

using a technique that

we might

call

"impressionistic," and that was, in fact,

studied by

some nineteenth-cenrurv

French masters. After 1640, as in Rembrandt's late painting, Frans Hals developed a cool palette and tended to concentrate

which

at

on black and white,

times created an emotional

dramatic tension.

Frans Hals Portrait of Willem van Heythuysen c.

oil

163S on canvas, .3 in.

(204.5 x 134.5 cm) Alte Pimikothek.

Munich


Frans Hals Married Couple

1622 on canvas, 55 x 65'/2in.

oil

(140 x 166.5 cm)

nm

i.iji

This

.

seen from ii

i,l

the master's

works,

earliest

".ii 'li

In

urn,

one

is

w

Fountains

can be

as

tin- Italian. ite

nli pavilions in

and

the

background, which is still Mannerist in style. The in. (I couple are rails ii

i

i.

I

Massa and Beatrice van I

aen. Hals portrays

di

i

them

with an appealing freshness gaiety. The double marriage portrait was a

and

well-known genre

that

developed in sixteenthcentury painting and became more widespread in

the

first

decades of the

seventeenth century, thanks to outstanding

Rubens. However, only in few cases do the artists succeed in portraitists like

avoiding

official

poses and

expressions. Frans Hals,

however, conveys spontaneity through the happy, carefree expression

man and the subtle, knowing, yet embarrassed of the

smile of the

girl,

who

is

resting her hand on her

husband's shoulder.

Frans Hals Portrait of a

Frans Hals

Woman

Portrait of a

1643

Man

1650 oil on canvas, 431/2 x 34 in. (110.5x 86.4 cm) Metropolitan Museum of Art, c.

on canvas, x 38'/2 in. (123 x 98 cm)

oil

481/2

Yale University Art Gallery,

New Haven

New

His exceptionally rapid

In

York

execution enabled Frans

time Hals's painting lost the rich color and

Hals to capture and

brilliance of his earlv

all

fix

kinds of expressions,

including the unforgettable restrained grimace of this

middle-aged woman, who is keeping her lips tightlv closed and attempting to appear dignified by

gripping the chair.

arm of the

period.

With increasing

frequency he preferred to paint in black and white, and to explore die

psvchological aspect of his

While in his earlv works the characters are

portraits.

usually smiling, in the late

ones their expressions are often tired or worried.


.

Frans Hals Portrait of Nicolaes

Hasselaer

1630 1635 on canvas,

oil

3114 x 26'/4

in.

(79.5 x 66.5 cm) Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

This personage was very high-ranking; he was, in the mayor of Amsterdam, who died fact,

1635

at

in

the age of fortv-

three. His ostentatious lace collar indicates his status,

but the dynamic, fluid pose the painter has chosen definitelv not official.

painting

is

The

extremely

is

vivacious, and rendered

masterly by Hals's typically thick, rapid

The

brushwork.

sitter has

reading for

a

stopped

moment and

turning toward the

is

spectator.

arm

the

He

is

leaning on

of the chair as

though about to engage conversation.

in

Movement

is

indicated bv his ruffled hair

and the raised edge of his collar. He has hastilv put a finger in between the pages of the large his place.

book

to

However,

mark his

eyes are not focused on us;

he

is

looking up and he

has the vague expression

of

a

man who

appears

abstracted, lost in the reflections and the

decisions of his public office

166


Frans Hals Malle Babbe c.

oil

without making a sketch.

1635

(75 x 64

More

in in.

GemaUegalene, Staatliche Museen, Berlin

broad brushstrokes, rich

National Gallery ofArt, Washington

The

by

a

in

devilish vivacity

commissioned

is

style,

which foreshadows the

movements of the

artistic

characters from the street:

nineteenth century.

woman nicknamed

Frans Hals portravs her with

an enomous tankard of beer

Hals's output,

between the

magnificent chromatic

and the severe almost

monochrome works

"Malle Babbe" was a familiar

Haarlem's taverns.

This painting dates from the middle period of Frans

richness of his early period

gypsies, fishermen, drinkers.

figure in

cm)

heightened

spontaneous

small canvases depict

This old

27'/4in.

(86 x 69

of the old hag

number of Hals's

on canvas,

33% x

painter uses freely flowing,

color.

quite a

1645

c.

oil

banquets, here the

In addition to his

portraits,

portraits or

the paintings of grand

Company

cm)

an Officer

Portrait of

so than in his

commissioned

on canvas,

29V2 x 25V4

Frans Hals

preparatory drawing or

Frans Hals

last years.

Gypsy

character (an officer

Girl

The

of his

pleasant

who

does not look very military

1630 oil on wood, 223/4 x 20'/2 in. c.

and a paradoxical owl on her shoulder. This nocturnal

wisdom, but here it takes on the opposite meaning; unused bird svmbolizes

to the light of day,

like a

drunkard. Apart from the subject (not unusual in

Flemish and Dutch painting from Bruegel on),

ii

depicted its

powerful despite

its

small

it

is

three-quarter

one of Hals's

favorite poses, with his

paintings, executed for

hat.

pleasure and not on

predominantly shades of brown, yellow, and rust are reminiscent of Rembrandt's.

particularly that of Manet.

speaking the extraordinarily

profile,

in

remarkable naturalness and unbridled exuberance, is one of Hals's freest

Frans Hals has painted

is

emphasized by

as

protruding stomach)

range of colors. As usual

painting

evidently a bon

Louvre, Paris

commission. Works like this were to make a great impact on nineteenthcenturv French painting,

stylisticallv

is

ram,

the red sash around his

cm)

This canvas, with

it is

perching unsteadily

(58 x 52

and

hand on wearing

his hip a

and

broad-brimmed

The colors

that are

167


Frans Hals Portrait of a

Young Man

between 1639 and I6S0 oil "n anvas, 31 x 26'/4 in. (78.5 x 66.5 can) i

Kun .thi\ionschcs Museum, Vienna

The correct chronological order

ol

frans Hals's

paintings (especially

there

is

when

no information

about the

sitters)

difficult to

is

often

determine.

Frans Hals

corporations and militias

and Noncommissioned

that dated

Officers

Officers of the St.

George

Militia

1639 oil on canvas, 85% x 165% in. (218 x 421 cm) Frans Hals Museum,

Haarlem

168

from the time of

the wars of independence

and were established to protect the

Dutch

cities;

they later became an

excuse for enjoyable reunions. Hals's large paintings depict the

banquets, meetings, and

parades of these civic

guards and avoid the

Hals excels in the genre

monotonv of

of group portraits.

of people by introducing

Frequently thev are of civic

fresh,

static

groups

animated note.

a


Frans Hals Portrait of Cathanna Hooft and Her Nurse c.

oil

1620 on canvas,

34 x 25'/2in. (86.4 x 65 cm) Cemdldegalene, Staathche Museen, Berlin

The daughter of a tamous Amsterdam jurist, Catharina was just over one year old when she came to Haarlem to stay for a while with her

grandparents.

was then

It

that Frans Hals

\\ ,is

commissioned to paint this charming portrait of the little girl in

her nurse's

more

arms. Certainly

at

ease looking after the delightful child than posing for the painter, the nurse

wearing

a

is

simple black

dress and cap, in striking contrast with Catharina 's rich Italian

with

damask

in Brussels lace.

dress,

and cap

collar, cuffs,

The

child

only posed twice for Frans Hals,

who succeeded

brilliantly

in

capturing the

tenderly curious

expression of the chubbv little girl,

who

at the painter,

is

looking

but also

instinctively clinging

to her nurse's dress.

Catharina Hooft later

became the wife of the mayor of Amsterdam, and she would always look on the painting with great affection. In effect, this

work demonstrates artist's

the

extraordinary

in applying colors

skill

and

brushstrokes to create a vitality that

continues to

on regardless of time, fashions, and styles. live

169


Rembrandt van

Rembrandt Harmenszoon

work

van

major public commission in Amsterdam, marked his passage Irom youth to maturity.

oil

Promoted In a competent art dealer, Rembrandt soon became known as an

(359x 438 cm)

(Leyden,

A

606- Amsterdam, 1669)

miller's son

who grew up

Amsterdam. The

(1652, Mauritshuis.The Hague), Rembrandt'-. Iirst

Rijn 7

in the capital,

riveting Anatomj Lesson

i1

/

Dr. Tulp

background, Rembrandt determinedly pursued his vocation for painting, and w as prepared to follow a difficult and arduous path when he was voung to reach artistic heights. Though he never left Holland and

which he mostly used to amass a contused though impressive collection of art works and natural curiosities. Rembrandt married Saskia van Ulvenburch and their early years together were the happiest of his life. He was then engaged in painting a series

onlv traveled the short distance between

Levden and Amsterdam, he measured himself against international painters. A trulv versatile artist, he tackles the most varied themes, subjects, and tormats with originalitv.

A

highly

one historv and

Rembrandt

is

41 '/4x 172!/2in. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

constantly increased, and so did his wealth,

skilled draftsman,

1642 on canvas,

impassioned portraitist. His fame

with

a lower-middle-class, provincial

remarkable energy and

Rijn

The Night Watch

also

of the greatest engravers in specialized in etchings. His prodigious

oeuvre follows a human and individual course and the long series of self-portraits, executed over a period of fortv vears, provides the most direct, moving, emotional testimony of his life. After learning the rudiments of his art in

The title ot Rembrandt's most famous masterpiece, a

landmark

of

art,

is

in

the historv

not a true

description of the scene,

which does not take place in broad and depicts a parade rather than

at night,

but

of canvases depicting the Passion of Christ for the stadtholder Frederick Henry ol

davlight,

Orange. During the 1630s Rembrandt abandoned the meticulous stvle of his earlv works and turned to monumental compositions, similar to those by Italian Renaissance masters, but characterized by a highly individual plav of light and shadow,

a watch.

and color. In 1642, the painter's career reached its height with the execution of the imposing group portrait known as The Sight Watch (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam). However, in the same year, the death of Saskia marked the beginning

van Ruvtemburg, to line

ruinous series of personal misfortunes, which led Rembrandt through endless legal

festive

is

The protagonist

Captain Frans Banning

Cocq,

at

the center

who

of the composition, is

inviting his extremely

Willem

elegant lieutenant,

up the company for the parade. The painting was destined to decorate the

meeting room of the

Amsterdam

civic militia,

Levden, the voung Rembrandt went to Amsterdam. He trained with the Italianate

of

master Pieter Lastman and learned the stvle and composition of great classical painting. He made the decision to devote

wrangles to complete bankruptcy and the auction of all his possessions. Rembrandt's

and was in the tradition of group portraits of the Companies that defended the city, a genre in which

decline was also linked to the changing

Frans Hals excelled.

himself mainlv to historical subjects and

tastes of the

compete with the Italian models. In fact, following the example of artists like Titian,

inclined to accept the artist's late works,

Raphael, and Leonardo, he decided to sign

unfinished because of their free brush work

renders

and thicklv applied paint. Rembrandt did not receive further public commissions until his last years, and these included the

more dynamic and

historical painting The Conspiracj of the

moving confusedly scene. The striking

his paintings his

with

his first

name

onlv.

On

return to Levden, he collaborated with

Jan Lievens, and for several vears the two voung painters worked side bv side, often

a

Dutch

that appeared to

public,

which was

be merely sketched and

Rembrandt's

toward the

exchanging roles and painting similar subjects. Because of his commissions,

Batavians.

Rembrandt painted what the Leyden customers preferred: small works on

of Titian.

and literarv subjects, executed with finesse and precision down to the tiniest â&#x20AC;&#x17E; detail. Noted bv intellectuals and art dealers, Rembrandt was urged to leave the provincial environment of Levden and

The Jewish Bride that are intensely

biblical

end of his

life is

He

little

style

similar to the late

manner

Compared with

Hals's

already very animated scenes,

Rembrandt this painting

even

full

and three children are in this

contrasts of light and color, the individual

painted outstanding

masterpieces like the Prodigal Son and

human

portrayal of

all

the various

characters, and the total

and have a depth of feeling that becomes almost unbearable. The death of his beloved son Titus, in 1668, was the final blow in an

mastery of

exemplary, unique

height of Rembrandt's

life.

of

action. Twentv-eight adults

this

complicated composition set this painting at the

work some

career. This large also contains

disturbing and unusual details, like the little fair-

haired girl on the

left,

with a chicken tied to her

running awav in fear, and the face of Rembrandt

belt,

himself between the standard bearer and the helmeted man to the right of him. Because the painter was short, only the top part of his face visible,

but this

is

is

enough

to recognize his

unmistakable features that

were made famous

many

170

self-portraits.

bv his


\


Rembrandt van

Rembrandt van

Self-Portrait with

Portrait of the Artist's

c.

oil

Rijn Gorget

Mother as

1629 on wood,

14%

x

the Prophetess

114 in.

1

I

63

(37.7 x 28.9 an)

oil

23'/2X 19

Rembrandt never

joined

militias or the

army;

armor

the piece of

on wood,

ol the

in.

(60 x 48 cm) Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam In his

symbolizes the pride

Anna

I

Mauntshuis, The Hague

dvu

Rijn

youth, Rembrandt

often used

members of his

young Dutch nation and

family as models. His

indicates the painter's

parents are usually

fondness for disguise and

portrayed as very old

striking exaggerated poses.

characters from the

This painting dates from

Scriptures. In this painting

Hob

the artist's early period,

Rembrandt's mother

when he was still living in his hometown Leyden, w here he worked with his

wrinkled

tortoise, but the

colleague and

trepidation with which the

contemporary Jan Lievens. The free style and frank,

pages of the Bible, as

as

very moving.

woman

is

work The

direct expression are

though she were

typical of the master's

understanding them by

earlv works.

touch rather than reading them, imbues the picture with the solemnity and

Word.

Rembrandt van

Rijn

Jeremiah Mourning the Destruction of Jerusalem

1630 on wood, 22% x 18 in. (58 x 46 cm)

oil

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

The

subject of this small,

delicate

work

is

taken

from the Old Testament.

The prophet Jeremiah is mourning the future destruction and burning ol

Jerusalem by the

Babylonian king

Nebuchadnezzar. The old

man

has the features of

Rembrandt's

father,

Harmen van

Rijn. This

is

one of the painter's most important earlv works mainlv because of the

extremely unusual treatment of

The

Rijn

Last Self-Portrait

marked by a prominent nose. The style of painting has greatly changed;

1669 on canvas, 2VAx 20 in.

the small, precise touches

oil

(59x

51

in the early self-portrait

with

cm)

Mauntshuis, The Hague

its

striking reflection

of light on metal have

passed since his earlv

been replaced by thick, dense brushwork with heavy paint that absorbs

Sclf-Portrait with Gorget

the light.

are clearly visible in the

does not hide the ravages of time and adversity, though

The

forty years that have

portraval of Rembrandt's

and body. The

face

confident, erect youth has

become

old

man

still-

a

weak, bent

with heavy,

recognizable

(eat u res

his

Rembrandt

expression has

a

touching dignity, the

wisdom and the

ol the artist.

man

is

turning the

mysticism of the Holv

Rembrandt van

as

is

an old

light.

The

gold objects in the

foreground are most skillfully executed.

Rembrandt

gives a

masterly rendering of the precious metal, which

seems to of the

reflect the flames

fire

devastating

Jerusalem, on the extreme left

of the picture.


Rembrandt van

Rijn

The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Julp

1632 on canvas, 66% x 85 in. oil

(169.5 x 216 cm) Maurttshuis, Hi

This m.islci

turning point

Rembrandt it

is

I

marks

pile e

a

in

'Âť <

area

in fai

;

i

the painting that

gained the twenty

six vr.ir

old artist entry into the artistic

circles

<>l

Amsterdam, which resulted m his consequent departure Irom Leyden.

The work,

originally

painted for the seat

of the surgeons' guild in

Amsterdam, depicts

a

lesson given by Dr. Tulp,

one of the most celebrated physicians in Holland.

seven

men

The

gathered

around the dissecting table

town

are not doctors but

councilors (their names are

on the piece of paper one of them is holding). Their expressions are a

mix of

scientific interest

and

repulsion. Dr. Tulp dissecting the left

is

arm

of the corpse, exposing the tendons; his

left

hand

miming the contractions and movements of the fingers. The anatomical is

precision indicates

Rembrandt van

Rijn

The Blinding of Samson

Rembrandt's direct observation; he interested in

1636 oil on wood, 93 x 119 in. (236 x 302 cm)

and has of the

Frankfurt is

the

most

dramatic work

violently

in

the

whole of Rembrandt's oeuvre.The artist gave it

to the celebrated scholar

Costantijn Huygens,

esteem and gratitude for the support he had received

as a sign of his

at

the court of

Huygens was

a

The Hague. connoisseur

and admirer of Italian and for this reason

art,

Rembrandt is inspired bv dvnamism and diagona

the

light

of Caravaggio. This

religious painting depicts

Samson captured and blinded by the Philistines. In the

background, the

traitress Delilah

is

seen

holding the cut hair

of the hero.

knowledge

human body

to Leonardo's.

Stadelsches Kunstwstuut,

This

a

is

movement equal


Rembrandt van

Rijn

The Happy Couple c. 1635 oil on canvas, 63'/2X

5

1

>/2 in.

(161 x 131

cm)

Gemaldcgalerie, Dresden

This painting portrait of

is

a self-

Rembrandt

with his wife Saslda

on

his

knee.

moment

It

sitting

depicts a

oT complete

happiness and the painter

without any moral

Rembrandt van

undertones, a pose

Saskia as Flora

reminiscent of the Gospel episode of the prodigal son

who wasted

his

wealth on

pleasures.

has cheerfully chosen,

Rijn

St.

July 22, 1634.

Rijn

Lady with a Fan

1633

the great affection during

Petersburg

Rembrandt's favorite

model

is

Saskia,

whom

love

and Saskia is one of the most famous in the history of art, and we know about their tender engagement, their happiest

Rembrandt van

The

story between the painter

1634 oil on wood, 4914 x 39% in. (125 x 101 cm) Hermitage,

on

doubtless his wife

he married

moments,

and the tragic ending with the illness and death of Saskia in

1

642

,

birth to their last son, Titus. In this extremely fine portrait inspired

Titian, Saskia's

pose give the impression that she fact, in

is

pregnant. In

1635, she gave

who

birth to a boy lived for

only

two months.

after giving

on canvas,

oil

49 /2 x

393/4 in.

(126x

101

1

Metropolitan

New

cm) Museum of An,

Rembrandt van

York Girl at

So

by

gown and

far

has not been

it

the

Rijn

Window

1645

possible to identify the

on canvas, x 24'/2 in. (77.5 x 62.5 cm)

oil

young lady

elegant

in this

30'/2

painting.

The

portrait dates

from Rembrandt's early vears

in

Amsterdam, during

which he soon became very successful, thanks to the

This painting

precision of his style, the

series of fresh

true likeness of the portraits,

and the fascinating

play of light and chromatic contrasts.

career

and

women

in the

[loses.

Throughout

his

Rembrandt enjoyed

painting

174

Dulwich College Gallery,

London

of all ages

most diverse

is

one of a

images of women freely drawn from reality and painted with impassioned spontaneity. free technique and the

The

striking expressiveness of

pictures like this were later greatly

admired by the

Impressionists.


Rembrandt van

Rijn

Danae 1654 On amas, 72% x 80 in. 1636

oil

i

(185 x >03 mi)

1636 and

in

Paint)

'I

rewoi

Iced sev< ral

in tin

course this

oi the

i

majoi

times

ol eight*

anvas si

is

en

one

venteenth-

century mythologii al works. Some years ago

it

was seriously damaged by a mythomaniac w ho threw acid on

it

.

I

engthy,

delicate restoration has

permitted the partial ni overy ol the masterpiece, and

it

has

been on exhibit to the general public since 1998.

Rembrandt once ayain challenges the Italian

Renaissance and Titian in particular.

The mythical

shower

gold that

ot

falls

into the maiden's lap has

been ingeniously replaced by a flood of golden light that caresses the nude's soft curves,

and illuminates

the exquisite details of the

furnishings and fabrics.

Rembrandt van

Rijn

Saskia Wearing a Hat

c

1635

on wood, 39'4x 31 in. (99.Sx 78.8 cm)

oil

Staatliche Galeric, Kassel

Rembrandt van Little Girl

Rijn

with Dead

Peacocks

c

1639 on canvas, 57 x 531/4 in.

oil

(145x 135.5 cm) Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

The seventeenth-centurv Dutch art market particularly favored

still

which was a genre Rembrandt rarely painted,

life,

since he preferred narrative scenes. In this case, he creates an effective

composition by adding to the

two

large dead birds

a little girl in

the

background,

who

has

an expression of curiosity

and

fear.


Rembrandt van

Rijn

Saskia as Flora

1635 oil

on canvas, i8V4in.

(123.5 x 97.5 cm) National Gallery, LcnJon

A

theater lover, over the

Rembrandt amassed an imaginative wardrobe vears

ol

costumes and

later,

he was to paint

accessories, which he used

a similar

to dress himself and his

woman who

wile, his models. For

place ot Saskia in his heart

Saskia, at the height

(see

i

anvas

bottom

>>l

the

took the right).

of her Junoesque beauty,

Rembrandt

has chosen

an arcadian, mvthological

costume and

a

pose clearly

inspired by Titian's painting.

Twentv vears

Rembrandt van

Rijn Bathsheba with the Letter from David

1654 oil on canvas, 56 x 56 in. (142 x 142 cm)

bas-reliefs,

Rembrandt

adds psvchological insight to this biblical picture of

Bathsheba, wife of Uriah,

who at

appears perplexed

receiving a love letter

from David. The model is

probablv Hendrickje

Louvre, Paris Stoffels, the

Though based on major precedents in Dutch painting and on classical

Rembrandt van

Rijn

Hendrickje as Flora

As is evident from the works reproduced on these pages,

1657 oil on canvas, 3914 x 3614 in. (100 x 91.8 cm) Metropolitan

176

New

York

Museum of Art,

Rembrandt

frequently painted the

women

he loved

in various

costumes and poses. Here he has chosen to depict Hendrickje as Flora, once again inspired by Titian.

woman who

took Saskia's place life and family of Rembrandt.

in the


Rembrandt van

Rijn

The Adultress Ib44 on wood,

oil

$3x2534

in

65.4 tan) National Gallery, London

Returning to

a

religious

theme, Rembrandt adopts the finesse oi execution of lus

I

eyden years, enriched,

however, In M'list'

a

i>l

a

light

monumental and

In

completely new

rt-lationship

figures ami

between the an hitecture.

177


Rembrandt van Woman Paddling in a

Rijn

Stream

1654 oil on wood, c.

24'/4X 18!/2in. (61.8 x 47 cm) National Gallery, London

This

is

another intimate

painting.

Here Rembrandt amused

has captured an

Hendrickje Stoffels

The

paddling

in a

canvas

so spontaneous

is

stream.

it

has been thought to be unfinished.

On

contrary, this

is

the a splendid

example of the inexhaustible freshness of

Rembrandt van

Rijn

Saskia with a Red Flower in

Her Hand

of the red flower,

a

token

of love and faithfulness, is

extremely moving,

few months on June 14, 1642,

since a

1641 later oil

on wood,

38% x

at

32'/2 in.

Saskia died after giving

(98.5 x 82.5 cm)

birth to Titus. This

Gemdldegalerie, Dresden

This extremely sweet vet tragic picture

is

the

Rembrandt van Rijn Woman In Bed

c.

1645

on canvas, 32 x 26Y4 in. (81 x 68 cm) Satwnal Gallery oj Scotland,

of the work. likely that

on

a biblical subject

on

their

wedding

while he spent

it

night,

praving

and making

sacrifices to

remove the

evil spell that

had affected

178

very

based

(Sarah waiting for Tobias

oil

Edinburgh

It is

it is

his

previous

This delightful painting has

marriages). But the figure

been celebrated through the centuries. Its fame is perfectly justified bv the

is

subtle, appealing ambiguity

of

irresistibly spontaneous and exudes the joie de vine of a girl on the threshold life.

last

expressing great affection, in

which an awareness

of imminent death

when

becomes

she was sick, weak, gift

is

a very intimate painting,

portrait of Saskia, painted

and haggard. The

Young

the age of thirty,

a declaration

of eternal love.

Rembrandt's brushwork, and one of the masterpieces that explains the French Impressionists' admiration of Rembrandt.


I

179

.


Rembrandt van Portrait of Titus

Rijn

Studying

1655

Rembrandt van

of portraits of his beloved

Aristotle

son in childhood and

the Bust of

adolescence, which are

on canvas, 30'/4 x 24% in. (77 x 63 cm)

oil

Museum Boymans

painted a whole series

among

the

most

and touching

whole

reminded Rembrandt of Saskia. Rembrandt lovinglv

Reading

5x

136.5 cm)

Metropolitan .Museum of .Art,

New

York

Painted for the Sicilian

observes the fair-haired,

collector Antonio Ruffo,

delicate, intelligent child

this

growing up. The portraits

extraordinary meditation

express a feeling of

on culture, on the

affection and protection,

significance of classical

men.

Titus's smile brings a ray

though Rembrandt wanted to embrace the child with the best part

of hope to the elderlv

of himself, his colors

bring the bust of

Rembrandt. The

and brush.

back to life. In the melancholv atmosphere bathed in a faint light, the gold chain on Aristotle's chest gleams brightlv.

c.

1658

on canvas, 2614 x 21 in. (67 x 55 cm) oil

%

Kunsthistonsches Museum,

as

Vienna

180

on canvas,

56V2X S3 3/4in. (143.

onlv child of his marriage to survive,

Portrait of Titus

oil

history of art. Titus, the van

Beumngen, Rotterdam

Homer

1653

delicate

in the

Rijn Contemplating

artist

work

antiquity,

is

an

and on illustrious

Aristotle's caressing

hand and gaze seem to

Homer


Rembrandt van The Syndics

Rijn

of the Cloth

Guild

1662 on canvas, 75>/4x 109% oil

I'M /

i

in.

279 cm)

rXijksmuseum, Amsterdam In

1662, as a sign of his

return to favor with the

patrons of Amsterdam,

Rembrandt was commissioned to paint a group portrait (the last one had been The Niflht Watch, twenty years earlier). The syndics

of the Cloth Guild are depicted around of samples.

a table

book The group,

looking through

a

which the painter studied length in drawings and sketches, is rendered extremely dynamic by the free, broad handling typical of Rembrandt's last years. The pose of the man on the left, who is captured rising to go to a meeting, at

is

a very effective

way

of rendering the scene

even more

Rembrandt van

Rijn

The Conspiracy of the Batavians

1661 oil

on canvas,

7714 x 121% in. (196 x 309 cm) Nationalmuseum, Stockholm Like the portrait of the

group of syndics of the Cloth Guild, this marks Rembrandt's return to large, important works for public commissions.

The

painting depicts the

conspiracy of Guido Civile

who

led the Batavians of

Roman

Holland against the invaders, and

it

was

executed for the town in

Amsterdam (now

Royal Palace). This

hall

the

is

only

the central portion of a

much

larger composition,

which was seriously damaged and has since been long forgotten.

lively.


Rembrandt van

Rijn

Self-Portrait

1658 on canvas, 52>/4 x 40 3/4 in.

oil

(133 x 103.8 cm) Fnck Collection, New This painting

is

York

truly

exceptional both in style and moral content. The artist is going through an

extremely difficult period, and his bankruptv has exacerbated personal

problems and wrangles.

He

legal

has seen

everything he possessed

and the collections he had amassed over the years sold for a song in a ruinous series of auctions. But

Rembrandt

reacts to these

disasters with self-

possession and solemn dignify, clinging to his

stature as an artist. Perhaps

he has consciously imitated

by using broad handling and thick pigment, and e\ erv Titian's late style

brushstroke on the canvas is

a display of vitality,

energy, and conscious

presence.


Rembrandt van

Rijn

Painted (hoi

The Family Group

/,

u

I,

i

tl)

Bride (sei

aftei

The

follow Ing

page), this torn King famil)

c

1668

1669

poi

,Âť,/

llllruh

Rembrandt van Jacob

Rijn

depicts

reflet

intense

w bich

is

ted in the analogous

[nton

filiform,

golden rays

Museum, lirunmuk

that play

on the red

ol light

fabrics.

by Nicolaes Maes.

Rembrandt's work iv

on canvas,

51>/4X 38 l/4

striking.

While Maes

faithfully depicts the in.

appearance and wealth

(130.5 x 97 cm)

of his

National Gallery, London

sitter,

Rembrandt

goes beyond a mere

Rembrandt van

Jacob Trip, a rich merchant

"photographic" likeness

Juno

from Dordrecht, decided

and confers on Jacob Trip

to have his portrait

the dignity of a biblical

painted bv

.in

donate famil)

accurately and precisely

Trip

1661 oil

ui

nl affeÂŤ

relationships,

(126x 167 cm) Hei

ti

web

on canvas, 49'/2 x 65'/4 in. oil

Rembrandt

patriarch.

soon after being portraved

c.

Rijn

1665

on canvas, 50 x 42'/2in. (127 x 108 cm) Armand Hammer Collection, oil

This strong, finely

executed, mythological figure of the goddess

how Rembrandt's

shows

artistic

powers had not declined with age.

Los Angeles

Rembrandt van Rijn Aman Sees His End c.

1665

on canvas, 46 x 50 in. (117x 127 cm) oil

Hermitage,

St.

Petersburg

Rembrandt's late works, passions and emotions are restrained and not displayed openly and In

dramatically as in his early painting.

Profound

meditation, the fruit of

long

human

experience,

replaces the impetus and theatrical

works of

flair,

creating

striking intensity.

(83


Rembrandt van Rijn The Return of the Prodigal Son

debated,

opposite page:

Rijn

The Jewish Bride

depii

ol

Jew

1666 oil on

on canvas,

103V4 X 79'/2 in. (262 x 202 cm) Hermitage,

The painter's last monumental work

is

ish

lain. is,

1

1

gesture the couple exchange

x 65 Vz in. (121.5 x 166.5 cm) Riiksmuseum, Amsterdam

The

the mai

poet, though

not certain. However,

remains imprinted on the

memory. The handling ot the

pigment, interwoven

with gold, is

I

the affectionate, intimate

47%

Petersburg

St.

.i

his paint ing

I

may it

1668 oil

(

Rembrandt van

identity ot these

two

been much

an almost indescribable

figures has

masterpiece. Rembrandt

discussed and

is still

being

brilliant

is

a further

confirmation

of Rembrandt's total creative

freedom

in his last years.

projects onto the Gospel

parable his

own

tragic

experience of being an elderly father

by

his son,

abandoned

but he can no

longer embrace him, unlike the father of the

prodigal son.

of Titus in

1

The death

668 was the

tragedy that brought the painter's

life

to a close.

Rembrandt van The Suicide of

Rembrandt van

Rijn

Lucretia

Rijn

Jacob Blessing His Sons

1664 on canvas, 47V4 x 39% in. (120x 101 cm)

works feature scenes and characters that seem to have been directly inspired by plays and

oil

1656 oil on canvas, 69 x 82% in. (175.5 x 210 cm)

This remarkable canvas, depicting an unusual subject, clearlv illustrates

the change in Rembrandt's style in his last years;

the brushstrokes tend

broken and no longer

define the details, but only '

the masses, colors, and action.

The

elderly

patriarch Jacob

is

blessing

one of his grandsons, the fair-haired Ephraim and entrusting Israel to him.

Joseph, Jacob's son, seems to be reprimanding his father for not having

chosen Manasseh, the eldest son.

184

Rembrandt himself had taken part in public

National Gallery of Art, Washington

Gemaldegalerie, Kassel

to be

actors. In his youth,

Rembrandt was

fascinated

by the world of the theater. Frequently his

performances. In

this case,

too, the elaborate

costume

and melodramatic gesture remind one of an actress or singer.


185


Gerard Dou

Dou was

Dou

down

obsessed

l>\

Formal

clarity,

and

complete, and their market price during

Rembrandt's first pupil, between 1628 and 1630. He is one of the most typical exponents ol the FijnschilJcrei or "tine painting" characteristic of Levden. Rembrandt's early precise, meticulous style remained Dou's point ol reference

the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries

throughout

Gerard Dou The Young Mother 1658 on wood, 29 x 21% in.

oil

history lor being

has gone

his

extremely accurate small or very small works are painstaking. Naturally such paintings took a very long time to

(Leyden, 1613-1675)

in

his career, to the

extent that

was extremely high, which eruouraged imitators who wire not always so successlul.

The son

ol a glass painter,

from 1632 on Dou was the most famous painter in Leyden after Rembrandt moved to Amsterdam and Jan Lievens left for

He

became an actual mania. According to sources, Rembrandt and Dou worked together on several paintings, but it has

pictures in an arched

been very

or an illusionistic picture frame.

it

difficult to identify these to date.

England.

established the local painters'

guild in 1648.

Dou

frequently set his

window frame

(73.5 x 55.5

cm)

Mauntshuis, The Hague

The

descriptive details

are painted

w

ith a

remarkable accuracy that is reminiscent of Jan Bruegel's

crowded

allegories and the earlier

paintings and miniatures of the Flemish "primitives.

Gerard Dou The

Seller of

Game

1670 oil on wood, 22% x 18 in. (58 x 46 cm) Xatwnal Gallery, London c.

Dou's gifts of patience and minute handling in the

Gerard Dou

representation of details

Studio

and surfaces clearly emerge in the exuberant still lifes that he often paints in the foreground, creating almost illusionistic

oil

effects despite their small

Self-Portrait in the Artist's

1647 on wood, 17 x 13'/2in.

(43 x 34.5

cm)

Gemaldegalerie, Dresden

There are no

The apparent confusion

particular variations in

reigning in the painter's

size.

style

throughout the

painter's career

and he

always remains faithful to his earlv

manner

studio

is

merely "poetic

license," a pretext to

display his skill in depicting art objects, musical

acquired in Rembrandt's

instruments, and diverse

studio in Levden.

valuable items. In actual fact,

Dou's studio was

proverbially clean

According Dou had an obsession for order that was virtually manic. and

tidy.

to experts

Sources of the time

record his efforts to keep his atelier spotless;

he even limited

\isits

from strangers to a

minimum. When

a supplier

or a buver came to the studio,

Dou

stopped

painting until the next day

because (according to him of the dust and dirt the\

brought into the

ascetic

I


•t

V*

I

ft

\

"

>'*"

187


Jan Steen

Jan Steen (Leyden,

The Feast of

Nicholas

St.

1626-1679) 1660 oil on canvas, 32'/4 x 27 in. (82 x 70.5 cm)

c.

A

painter of sjreat originalit) and narrative

force, Steen is on< ol the ol

%

major exponents

seventeenth-century Dutch

art.

His

lite,

artists,

Steen

city,

but

his

when

same Rembrandt, Steen completed his in the

Italian painting,

in

a fair-haired little girl is

city as

happily hugging her

rarely has scenes of such

knowledge of and admired the free a fair

smiling tenderness. By contrast, is

subjects painted bv Adriaen van Ostade.

from

moved

to

effects. In

The Hague, but

his

painting were meager, so he Delft (Vermeer's his

and

city-),

boy

his little

brother

impishly points this out

1649, he

to his grandmother.

earnings from

moved

left a

not received any presents,

Goyen, and acquired

his father-in-law a taste for refined,

atmospheric, light

on the

crying desperately; he

has been naughty and has

married the daughter of the

landscapist Jan van

new

Baroque painting

doll.

manner of Frans Hals and the picturesque In 1648, he

moment

grandparents and grandchildren. At the center of the painting

apprenticeship in Utrecht and Haarlem,

where he acquired

is

exchanged;

that brings together

individual style.

Though he was born

gifts are

the tender

it is

conferring a solid

own

Claus,

northern Europe,

in

monumentalitv and compositional complexity on his genre subjects, and developing

amused

The day of Santa

frequently, thus detaching himself

in

an observant,

painter of children.

moved

from the local schools. He prolific output was the result of his confident rapid execution. Thanks to his varied training, Steen succeeds

is

respectful, and

Steen did not have permanent

residence in one

AmaerJam

Rijksmuseum,

were scenes from daily observed with a certain disenchanted, amused irony. Unlike most ol his fellow favorite subjects

The old woman's amused expression makes one

to

where he divided

think that soon an

time between painting and running a

unexpected gift will appear for her punished

brewerv. After further travels, and particularly a long, profitable stay in 7

One

grandchild.

Haarlem, Steen spent the last years of his hometown. During his career,

many

life in his

of the

details of this

delightful picture

Steen painted the same scenes several

figure, in the

times, but with variations. His very

on the

enjoyable canvases sometimes have a tone

who

right,

is

the

background with a baby

of underplayed realism, amused

holding his present with an expression of

detachment or

astonishment.

critical

moralism.

is

Jan Steen

confusion reigns and

The Cheerful Family

increased by the general uproar. Despite

1668 43!/2

x

there

In effect, the real title

work should be Dutch proverb written

this

on the piece of paper, top right:

of good between the

a feeling

relations

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

the

is

5SÂť/2 in.

(llO.Sx 141 cm)

of

"As the old people

young people sing." which alludes to the example adults should set children. The play, so the

family in this picture certainly

is

no model of

order and discipline;

its

moralizing undertone,

on canvas,

oil

is

generations, as can be

seen from the doddery old drinker and the rosy,

chubby baby. Steen s work in his tavern and brewery was an endless source of

human

which

is

experience,

abundantly

reflected in his paintings.


Jan Steen The Morning

Toilet

1665 oil on canvas, c.

14'/2X

10%

in.

(37 x 27.5 cm) Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

This small painting

is

executed with admirable finesse and is a notable

example of the intimate, private scenes Steen likes to alternate with his larger compositions with

many

characters. In the pale light of early morning, the girl

has just gotten up and is putting on her stockings.

Steen is famous for rather licentious paintings that give the impression he

is

peeping through the keyhole. But here the poetic feeling for everyday gestures pervades the painting and precludes the possibility of sensual allusions.

The

little

dog

curled up on the bed is a loving true-to-life detail.

189


m

Jan Steen

indignant representation

disc ipline to

The World Turned Upside

of the physical and material

and one needs some

the overturned pitcher,

Down

degradation

This

and the

glass ol red

genre that

an- spe<

iln

c.

1665

oil

on canvas, 57

in.

it

straight,

enjoyment

in life!

with drunken parents. But

painting

in a

how can one consider masterpiece a serious

was very popular in Flemish and Dutch art and goes back to Bosch

ol a Family

this

sermon? Steen always

(105 x 145 cm)

put

is

painting expresses severe

with amusement. It is true that evervthing is chaotic,

and Bruegel the Elder, and the culture of proverbs and popular wisdom that nourished the art ol the Netherlands for centuries.

moral criticism;

but

Some

Kunsthistorisches

identifies with his

Museum,

Vienna

On

characters and depu

them

careful observation this

it is

an

affectionately

all it

takes

is

ts

and

a little

details (like the pig

with the rose

its

mouth, w

ine)

references

to local savings.

The more

extravagant notes include the

monkes

the

i

mis

tin-

youngest

i

appealing, in

bom

the high

hair io the eldest stealing

sweets from the cupboard, the door of which has been >

arelessh hit open.

playing with

lock on the wall, duck perched on the

the

shoulder of the pensive doctor, and the dog on the table wolfing

down

the cake. All the children

Jan Steen The Lovesick c.

oil

is holding, and another proverb that helps

girl Girl

us to understand

1655

The

dressed in a

receiving the

wan cheeks and has a

remedy

for the pains of love": is

is

\ isit

of a severe doctor. Her

Munich

this

girl,

robe,

Alte Pmakoihck.

the text on the

piece of paper the pale

pose appear light

she

tired

in a different

when we

is

realize that

merely lovesick.

The painter

gives a

masterlv rendering of the domestic interior

and lingers over everv it

of anv dramatic qualitv.

x 20'/2 in. (61.5 x 52 cm)

"No doctor

one of

Steen 's works and strip

on canvas,

24'/2

190

air

detail.


Gerard Ter Borch The Guitar Lesson

Gerard Ter Borch (Zwolle 1617-Deventer 1681)

c.

and refined painter of domestic interiors, Ter Borch has manv ol the Stylistic and poetic characteristics of Portraitist

seventeenth-century Dutch

Amsterdam when he was

to

arid first

He moved

art.

just fifteen,

studied with a local painter, hut

soon, attracted bv the echoes of painting that reached

Italian

the major European schools and great

all

He went

to

first

1660 on canvas,

26'/2 x 22*/4

in.

(67.6 x 57.8 cm) National Gallery, London

The remarkable characterization of the figures reflects Ter Borch's

him from Utrecht

and Haarlem, and stimulated by Rembrandt's monumental manner, he began to travel. From 1635 to 1642, he studied abroad, and came in contact with masters.

oil

London where he

met van Dvck, then to Rome and Spain. On his return to Amsterdam, he immersed himself in local painting and became

consummate skill as a portraitist. The scene is

reminiscent of the

interiors of Vermeer,

an artist with

whom

Ter Borch was definitely in direct

personal and

professional contact.

acquainted with Rembrandt's use of light effects and, later,

with the earlv works

of Yermeer; thev must have struck up

he was best man at Yermeer 's wedding. In 1654 he moved to Deventer, where he quietlv spent the rest of his life. As well as portraits, a friendship since

executed above

during

all

second stav

his

Amsterdam, Ter Borch painted peaceful, delicate domestic scenes, which displav in

great finesse of execution and a very effective feeling for is

calm depiction, which

not limited to virtuositv for

(as

sometimes happens

in

its

own

sake

Dou's works),

and deliberated does not venture into psychological analvsis in the

manner of

Yermeer, but remains within the sphere of precise, sympathetic representation.

Gerard Ter Borch Interior

with Figures

Opposite page:

Gerard Ter Borch

Woman

1650 on canvas, 28 x 28 3/4 in. (71 x 73 cm) c.

Peeling Apples

oil

1651 oil

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Also entitled The

Admonishment

,

Father's

this is

one of Ter Borch 's favorite subjects and he painted it

frequently.

feature

is

A

typical

the silvery

reflections of the girl's silk

gown

that gleams softlv

in the serene,

dim

light

of the domestic interior.

on wood, x 12

14'/4

in.

(36.3 x 30.7 cm) KunsthistoTisch.es

Museum,

Vienna

The

perfect balance

of the composition, the rigor, the serenity,

and the studied simplicity of the objects on the table

make

this painting a

symbol of the Calvinist morality that dominated seventeenth-centurv Dutch culture.


(Rotterdam,

1

Pieter de Hooch The Mother

de Hooch

Pieter

629-Amsterdam 1660 on canvas, 20 3/4 x 24 in.

c.

or Rotterdam,

c.

1684)

oil

A

poetic painter

ol

peace and quiet, ol Dutch domestic

of the calm cleanliness

de Hooch is an artist who has always been well-known, but has recently

(52.5 x 61 cm) IXijksmuseum, Amsterdam

interiors,

The magic of

the light

been receiving greater attention. In tact, though not possessing Vermeer's gift of psychological penetration, de Hooch reveals in all his works great lyrical finesse, and a poised elegance of composition, color, and expression, which make him

shining through the

one of the greatest genre painters of all time. De Hooch was a pupil of Nicolaes Berchem, and ever since his vouth he was

lines

attracted to simple, serene themes.

completed some time

his artistic training

He

by spending

window and spreading through the house is depicted with a perfect mastery of perspective, stressed by the converging

on the floor. The mother is looking for possible lice in the hair

of her

who

Leyden where the legacy of Rembrandt and the example of Dou led him to refine his painting further, making it even more subtle and precise. The turning point in his career was his lengthy stay in Delft (nearly a decade from 1654 on), during which he measured himself directly with Vermeer. Some of his themes are similar, in particular the secret world

A

of domestic intimacy, but the feeling

all

different.

in

is

Vermeer always captures the

human element

of the situation; de

Hooch

is

little

daughter,

kneeling

at

her feet.

necessary and private

which in figurative Dutch culture of the

task,

seventeenth century

was considered the symbol of the mother's role, the

metaphor of lice indicates that the mother was responsible for removing

manner of

physical

and moral "dirt" from the home and the children.

affectionately and meticulously depicts

the context, the episodes and the figures, creating, in his

most

successful works,

symbolic images of Dutch culture

in the

mid-seventeenth century. Around 1663

moved to Amsterdam, where his works met with the approval of bourgeois he

collectors, partly because of his remarkable

handling of perspective. In his later works

he tends to comply with the tastes of the

new Dutch

clientele,

who

are attracted

Pieter de Hooch The Linen Cupboard

by affected gestures and somewhat cold, aristocratic ostentation.

1663 on canvas, 28'/4 x 30V2 in. (72 x 77.5 cm)

oil

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

One

of de Hooch's

most famous works, this painting dates from between the end of the period spent in Delft and his

move

to

Amsterdam.

Since he was working for a public with

more

demanding

tastes,

understand

why

one can

there

is

greater monumentality

than in his earlier works.

However, the painting is extremely appealing. The lady

is

tidying the linen,

helped by her housekeeper, while the

little girl,

who

supposed to be learning how to do household tasks, seems to be irresistibly attracted by the sunlight outside, on this bright is

spring day.


Pieter de Hooch House in the Country 166S

c.

on canvas, 24 x 18'/2 in. (61 x 47 cm) oil

Bjiksmuseum, Amsterdam

Bourgeois interiors

predominate oeuvre, 1

luit

in

de Hooch's

there

ver\ pleasing

is

also

group

of works depicting exteriors. As always the is slow and serene, never hasty or dramatic

action

De Hooch

depicts peaceful

episodes such as this one,

where, taking advantage of the Hue weather, a man and woman are taking

some refreshment a table in the

ot a It

is

house

at

garden

in the country.

not a luxurious

mansion, but the kind ol place

where

a well-off

middle-class family would

go

for a trip or to

a vacation.

spend

Every detail

alludes to the small

decorous, justified pleasures of a break

from work or domestic chores.

195


Pieter de Hooch Couple with Parrot 1668 oil

on canvas,

28 3/4 x 24'/2

in.

(73 x 62 cm) Walliaj Ruliuri/ Museum,

Cologne

Following the model ol

sonic ot Vermeer's

paintings, the spectator

views the picture from a

room

that

is

in

the foreground

darker than the

room w here is

the scene

taking place.

The

pail

and hroom suggest the standpoint of a maid, who is watching what her master and mistress are doing.

Pieter

de Hooch

Courtyard of a Dutch

House 1660 on canvas, 29 x 24% in. (73.7 x 62.6 cm) c.

oil

de Hooch

Interior

with Figures

1660 on canvas, 29 x 25'/2in. (73.7 x 64.6 cm)

c.

oil

National Gallery, London

Based on

Pieter

a perfect

depiction of space seen in perspective, this

National Gallery, London

painting has an open,

The checkerboard floor and beamed ceiling give

airy atmosphere.

the impression that this

De Hooch once more shows in

his great skill

rendering materials

realistically

and giving

interior can be precisely measured. The figures are arranged in a studied

manner reminiscent of

the spectator an almost

Italian

tangihle impression

of the fifteenth centurv,

of the whitewashed walls,

who came back

brick flooring, and roofs.

wooden

and Flemish painters into

fashion as a consequence

of seventeenth-centurv studies of physics, optics,

and geometrv.


,

Jan (Johannes)

Vermeer (Deift.

1632-1675)

Vermeer

tor a long

works disappeared

s

time and were completely lost in the prodigious output of Dutch painting His name onlv re-emerged in the nineteenth

became one of the most precious and best-loved painters of all time. Vermeer 's fame rests on a few small, or very small, centurv, and he gradually

established as

works, but

in a

century and

painting that produced so pictures of daily

school of

a

manv charming

Vermeer captures the

life

magic, the deep and intimately aspect of everyday tasks.

and of

soul, of peace,

A

human

painter of the

light,

Vermeer was

the son of an innkeeper. His father was a

member

of the painters' guild, an essential

requirement

if

one was to practice the

profession of art dealer.

From

his

childhood on, Vermeer saw countless paintings pass through his father's shop.

They may not

all

have been top quality, but

they certainly provided an effective range

On

of styles, fashions, and trends.

his

Vermeer inherited business and became an innkeeper and

father's death in 1632, his

art dealer.

painting or

He had

a preference for Italian

works

at least

influenced by Caravaggio.

were began

that

He

also

to paint, in the artistic climate influenced

bv Carel Fabritus. Vermeer's early works, which already displayed extremely fine

brushwork, were religious (in mainly Calvinist Holland, he was probablyCatholic, or

became

convert after his

a

marriage) and mythological scenes. His contact with various artists of the period, including Gerard Ter Borch, led him, from

1656 on, to abandon the elevated subjects

more

of his early works and tackle

ordinary themes, to which he brought a

new

creative vein.

He

consummate

painted

masterpieces, the result of

a

painstaking

and highly refined technique, in which the^ echoes of fifteenth-century Flemish painting, especially in the use of light and the importance given to the minutest detail, blend with an awareness of the tendencies in the art of his day. Vermeer led a brief and uneventful

when he was

(he died

life

onlv forty -three), though he

Jan Vermeer Artist and Model

behind, sitting at his easel,

dean of the Delft painters' guild, made brief trips into the environs of the city and,

(Allegory of Painting)

takes the viewer's

had no

in

less

than thirteen children.

the end, had contracted so

that his

widow had

to

sell his

He was

many

debts c.

paintings to

1675

on canvas, 47V4 x 39V4 in. oil

pay back the baker.

He had no

public

commissions, and onlv sporadic and indirect links with other countries. Very

works can be dated with certainty, and their chronological order very difficult to determine. His was a simple, modest life, but he established few of

(120 x 100 cm) Kunsthistorisches Museum,

may be

invented the microscope. This

an interesting key to understanding

the miracle of Vermeer's painting, which lies in

hidden

the revelation of the secret in little

life

things that light unveils to !

standpoint and has folded back the heavy curtain on the left to be able to see the interior

of the studio. In the sharp

a

is

important friendships, particularly with Antonie van Leeuwehock, the great Delft

who

same time, he

clarity of the bright

his

scientist

but, at the

heart, and patience.

voting

woman

is

room

posing

Jan Vermeer Young Lady Sitting

can only be truly enjoyed

at a Spinet

company of very few other people who have the same

c oil

of Vermeer's brief career,

an ancient Muse. All

2014 x

magnificent painting

is

peace, beauty,

(51.5

contemplation that

of

becomes

a spiritual

This

is

testament.

a self-portrait

of the painter, seen from

map

action.

A

17%

large

A

in the

interesting

the reproduction of a

x 45.4cm)

painting by the

true music lover,

Vermeer often

It is

to note, on the back wall,

in.

\aiional Gallery, London

of Holland decorates

the back wall.

tastes.

on canvas,

in classical attire like

almost has the significance

or

1671

Painted toward the end

this

in solitude

paints

Dutch

Caravaggesque artist Dirck van Baburen that

still

exists today.

instruments and plavers,

The same

picture

but never public concerts

reappears

in

or recitals. Vermeer seems

interior

by Vermeer,

to imply that music

and

it

likely that

was

in

is

and foremost an inner emotion, something that first

is

another

it

the painter's private

collection.


199


200


Jan Vermeer

more

The Procuress

I'he

characteristic period.

scene

is

the interior

of a brothel, and

1656 oil on canvas, 56'/4X S1V4

alludes to

in.

one a

not

it

turning point

in

Vermeer's art. Regarding its size and style, it is linked to his earlv

parable

who

wealth At the other

ol the lew

dated paintings, and

marks

is

dissipated his lather's

Gemaldegalerie, Dresden is

tin-

of the prodigal son

(143x 130 cm)

This

it

unlikely that the painting

works

extreme, it is also possible (though this is more improbable) that the

pn ture contains

a subtle

autobiographical reference,

given that the procuress's

featuring large figures, but

features resemble those

the contemporary subject

ol

makes

painter's disagreeable

it

the prelude to

Maria Thyns, the

Vermeer's mature and

mother-in-law.

Jan Vermeer

concentrates on the figure,

while the surrounding

The Lacemaker c.

space

1669-1670

oil

9'/2

x

is

reduced to

a

neutral ground. Perhaps

on cam as,

is

it

this simplicity that gives

8Âť/4 in.

the painting

(24 x 21 cm)

delicate

Louvre, Paris is

its

exquisite,

charm. The theme

not verv rare; there are

one of Vermeer's most famous paintings, though it is somewhat

several sixteenth-century

atypical. In fact, unlike

compared with Velazquez's

the scenes of interiors,

embroideress. However,

This

is

the airl intent

lacemaking

is

on her depicted

in

close-up; thus the picture

precedents, and the

lacemaker can also be

no other painting can match its silent, metaphysical atmosphere.

Jan Vermeer

on the

Reading a Letter

Girl

left,

the immobile

figure in the center

of the space, and a

1657 on canvas, 32% x 25'/2 in. (8 3 x 64.5 cm)

c.

close-up of remarkable

oil

still-life details. it is

Above

all,

in this painting that

Vermeer begins

his

calm,

Gemaldegalerie, Dresden insistent exploration

This

is

another work

linking Vermeer's early style

with that of his

maturity, and the

most

of his art.

it

anticipates

typical features

From

the

compositional standpoint, it

establishes an

arrangement that became customary, with the light entering through a window

of the secrets of the female soul,

which he conducts

with absolute charm

and discretion. We shall never know what is written in the letter;

we

can only sense the

sentiments

it

expresses,

which are barely perceptible of the

in

the stillness

room.

201

I


Jan Vermeer

Jan Vermeer

View

Street in Delft

of Delft

around 1661

1660 1661 oil un (..una--, 18!

x 46'/4

2

canvas,

oil oil

2l!4x

in.

1714

(54.

Mauntshuis. The Hague

i

Vermeer painted landscapes very rarely, hut

hometown

this \ista of his is

his absolute

masterpiece.

Proust was very fond of

and

it,

led to the general

it

public's rediscover) ol the painter. This

work

oilers an

excellent explanation of

Vermeer 's poetic and st\ listic choices. It is by no means a precise, objective view. Onlv some buildings

correspond to the actual architecture ol Delft,

which

is

depicted from

outside the walls and

beyond the canals that surround the historic center. Vermeer blends realitv and fantasy, affection and free-ranging

memory. For him,

it is

not

top priority for the view to be instantlv recognizable (as

was to be

it

Jan Vermeer

in the

views of Amsterdam by van der Heyden, a few

on the Vermeer depicts

years later); contrary,

the city as a place that really lived in.

harmony is

as

is

The

ol light

and color

unforgettably beautiful, is

the limpid relationship

between the

in.

x 44 cm) Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

(98 x 117.5 an)

line of

Asleep

Girl

1660 on canvas, 30 X 34'/2 in. (76.5 x 87.6 cm)

c.

oil

Metropolitan

New

Museum of Art,

York

Bold perspectives executed to perfection, fascinating

buildings, the cloudv skv

descriptive details, a

above, and the reflection

life

of the brick walls in the

casually placed

canal.

colorful folds of the carpet

still

seen in close-up,

on the

on the

table, consisting

of a jug and tray of a pictorial

immediacy

and plastic density worthy of Cezanne: all this serves as a frame for the delicate picture of the drowsy

Perhaps she

is

girl.

tired or

dreaming; whichever, the figure has an impalpable appeal.


Jan Vermeer

have

Allegory of the Faith

reference, for instance, the

a

|>i

e< ise sj

mbolic

picture of the Crucifixion

1675 on canvas, 45 x 35 in.

on

oil

back "all and the

tin

serpent of

(114.3x SS.9cm> /Metropolitan Museum ofArt,

I

vil.

whole picture given

a

Though

i->

symbolic and

doctrinal interpretation,

Vermeer

still

succeeds in

This allegorical figure

rendering the scene

symbolizes the Catholic

concrete, tangible, and

faith,

and very many

details

the

to be

immediate.

Jan Vermeer Young Woman with a Water Jug

1670 on canvas, 18 x 16 in. (45.7 x 40.6 cm)

though it expresses a touching human, psychological, and luministic truth.

c.

oil

Metropolitan

New

Museum of Art,

In fact, the figure of

Temperance appears on the stained glass

window and is

this virtue

reflected in the girl

York

holding the polished, This painting, too, can be

gleaming

jug.

interpreted symbolically,

Opposite page:

Jan Vermeer Young Lady Standing

Jan Vermeer The Astronomer 1670 oil on canvas, 20 x 18V4 in. (50.8 x 46.3 cm) c.

(51.

women, but

his

men

memorable. His ties

of science

with

men

make him

particularly interested in

philosophers and scholars. Intelligence, application, intuition,

and

concentration traverse his

on canvas,

7x

17%

in.

45.2 cm)

National Gallery, London

pictures featuring

personal

1671

20'/4X

Generally Vermeer prefers

are also

Front of a Spinet

oil

Louvre, Paris

painting

in

c.

canvases following

the spread of a ray of light

and of knowledge.

Another canvas devoted to the theme of music and another harmonious blend of Vermeer

s

inimitable

yellows and blues. The figure in the picture within

the picture

is

in evidence. is

holding

in his

unusually

The Cupid

a playing

faithfulness in love, and on this subject there is a Dutch saving according to which there onh one card to plav and you i--

204

card

hand, an allusion to

cannot cheat.


L

205


206


Opposite page:

Jan Vermeer

Jan Vermeer The Glass of Wine

Girl

1658

1660

30'/2X 20'

on canvas, 26 x 30 in. (66 J x 76.5 cm)

(77.5 x 66.7 Herzog Intoa

The

were

girl's

unusual

a great success with

expression

upper-middle-class

effects ol tin is

collectors in Holland

indie ates the

wine, which

often stigmatized by

painters and

during the seventeenth century and can be

compared with

cm) Uhh h

Museum, Brunswick

Gemaldegalerie, Berlin as tins

in,

i

oil

Scenes such

Wine

with a Glass of

1659 1660 oil on canvas,

Dutch

moralists like Jan Steen.

According to

similar

a

widespread

compositions executed

symbology, the offer

same period by Hooch. However, Vermeer always introduces the theme

of a

in the

cup

full

of wine was

relations, ot the passions

and the man's insinuating attitude certainly underscores this interpretation. But perhaps the most extraordinary

of the soul, that are

part of this picture

reflected in the characters.

background. A man

a sexual invitation,

Pieter de

of the psychological

is

the

is

leaning heavily on a table,

covered with a deep blue tablecloth a tray

a shiny

a

on which

is

set

with two oranges,

ceramic jug, and

white napkin. This blend

of color, texture, and light has few equals in the history of art.

Jan Vermeer Portrait of a Young Woman

oil

to be normally aligned

on canvas,

17'/2X

15%

with the face, suggest that

in.

(44.5 x 40

cm) Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Vermeer 's female

figures

have given rise to a great deal of speculation in an

attempt to identify them with his wife, sister, or other relatives. As their identity remains

questionable,

it is

best

to examine the paintings closely a

few

of the shoulder and arm,

which do not appear

1665

c.

the unnatural position

and try to discover

secrets. In this case.

Vermeer painted the face from life and the body from

a

mannequin.


Jan Vermeer Girl

with a Balance

1660 1665 on canvas, 16% x 15 in. (42.5 x 38(iiu

oil

National Gallery of An, Washington

The traditional title of work (Woman Weighing

this

proved to be is nothing on the two pans of the Pearls) has

incorrect. There

balance held lightly and precisely in perfect

The pearls on the table

equilibrium. are lying

precious

in a small,

cascade that catches the light.

The young woman

appears to be in

late

pregnancy (we have this impression in other female figures painted by Vermeer), and is standing in front

of

a

painting

depicting The Last Judgment. It is

to be

remembered

that the

Archangel Michael

holding

a

balance always

appears in the center of

Flemish pictures representing The Last Judgment. Hence, there

is

once again a mysterious link between the scene painted by Vermeer and the "counter-melody" in the picture hanging on the wall.

Jan Vermeer Girl c.

1665

oil

sufficient to set

Jan Vermeer Young Woman

him apart

as a first-rate

with a Turban

exponent of these genres. Here, the extremely fine,

on canvas,

9x

7 in. (23 x 18 cm)

powdery

is

exquisitely executed.

Washington

The

certainly cannot

1660-1665 on canvas, 18!4x 15% in. (46.5 x 40 cm)

oil

reflection of the

broad, bright red hat

National Gallery of Art,

Vermeer

which are

landscapes in his oeuvre,

with a Red Hat

detail

on the right

arm of the

(the carved

Mauritshuis, The

Hague

Despite the fact that the

example of Vermeer's

young woman's identity is unknown, this portrait has become the symbol

Yet there are magnificent

"impressionistic"

of Vermeer's painting.

examples

brushwork.

is

be considered

a portraitist,

and neither can he be considered

by the

a landscapist.

of portraits

chair,

and

almost liquefied light)

is

an

a

work of great

and freshness,

in

It

precision

which

the light penetrates the

pigment and seems to give it an inner warmth and

make

it

live

independently,

by becoming concentrated in details like the pearl

gleaming

208

in the girl's ear.


.


210


Jan Vermeer The Milkmaid 1658

c.

oil

on canvas,

17% x

16'/4 in.

(45.4 x 41 cm) Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Held bv the great

museum

Amsterdam,

in

the fundamental "temple"

of the Dutch painting of the "golden age," The Milkmaid and The Letter

almost form

a

a diptych,

haw

since they

common

in

similar composition, the

customary

from the

entering

light

the vigorous

left,

beauty of a lower-class girl and a young lady. The \lilkmaiJ gives an extraordinary rendering

of

manv

different surfaces,

ranging from the basket of bread to the mousetrap

on the Hoor, the hanging woven basket and the polished metal. Despite the exceptional beauty

of the

still life,

the picture

concentrates on the

girl's

The white of milk coming out

robust beauty. trickle

of the jug

is

the luminous

focus of the action.

Jan Vermeer The

Letter

around 1663 oil on canvas, 18'/4X 1 514 in. (46.5 x 39 cm) Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam Silence, concentration,

and an almost metaphysical puritv of the image create atmosphere,

a rarefied

heightened by the every element

is

fact that

perfectly

set in an ideal pattern of

volumes, voids, and colors.

work

This

is

yet again a

masterpiece of evocative poetry, in

which even

someone's absence

we

is felt;

sense the distance

between the person who WTOte the letter and the girl

who

is

The empty

map who

now

allude to is

reading

it.

chair and the

someone

not there, whose

presence

is

evoked by the

piece of paper on which a dazzling light

falls.

211


Heyden

Jan van der Heyden The New Town Hall in Amsterdam

(Gorinchem, 163'?'-Amsterdam, 1712)

alter

Jan van der

A

exponent of Dutch painting in the second half oi the seventeenth century, van der Hex den trained with the still-life painter Job Berckhevde. Though he was not typical

interested in the flowers and sumptuously laid tables

painted by the master, van der

Hex den acquired from

this

experience

taste tor great pictorial precision

and the

accurate representation of objective

A

great traveler, van der

Hevden

a

reality.

visited

Cologne, Brussels, and London, but his Favorite subject is xx ithout doubt Amsterdam, xvith its canals and imposing

monuments and simple houses. Van der Hexden can be considered a forerunner of vedutism, both in his original approach to the image and in his use of technical and scientific instruments

buildings,

in

order to reproduce

with accuracy. In

his

fact, his

urban context*. paintings are

nearly alxvavs toxx-nscapes, depicted with

documentation, so much so that he can be considered a very important precedent for van Wittel. During his a taste tor

around 1700, the painter still lifes and landscapes, but without exer equaling the limpidity last years,

also painted

of his viexx

s

of Amsterdam.

1652

on

oil

283/4

.im.is,

i

33%

x

(73 x 86

in.

cm)

Louvre, Paris

Erected by Jacob van

Campen

to replace the

earlier building that x\as

destroyed b\

fire,

the

imposing Town Hall in Dam Square in the center of Amsterdam marks the

swing toward classicism in architecture and more generally in in

Dutch

taste

the second half of the

seventeenth century.

Van der Hexden depicted the building several times

from different angles, and he was evidently fascinated bv the precision of the forms, by the smooth surfaces, bv the studied

elegance of relations and proportions, but also

by the play of light and

shadow on the octagonal tower.

Jan van der Heyden The Martelaarsgraft in

Amsterdam

c

1670 on wood, 17'/4 x 22% in. (44 x 57.5 cm)

oil

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Landcsape is one of the most popular genres in seventeenth-century

Dutch

art. Van der Hevden's interpretation

of

it is

and

lucid, precise,

as objective as

possible.

Hence the

painter xvas far-removed

from the highly evocative "Romanticism" of van Ruisdael and from the generic views of the countryside or sea.

On the contrary, he wants the viexx point to be precisely recognizable and the place depicted to be compared xxith reality. In order to obtain this effect he pioneered the use of a scientific

instrument called the camera obscura, which alloxxed

him

to observe

the landscape through a lens that cast the

onto

a fiat surface.

image


Gaspar van Wittel

to

(Amersfoort, 1653-Rome, 1736)

outstanding views of the great

in a direction that his

predecessors could

View all,

Rome, an inexhaustible source of monumental and picturesque vistas), destined to be the model for the eighteenth-century

with Canaletto,

vedutisti,

who

beginning

did his training in

Rome. The son of van Wittel, whose name was Italianized to Vanvitelli, was to become one of the greatest architects of the eighteenth century.

He was

active

and Campania, and designed the impressive royal palace particularly in Naples

at

Caserta.

of Florence

from Via Bolognese

cities

of art (Florence, Venice, and, above

Founder of the veduta genre, which was to be enormously successful in the eighteenth century, van Wittel moved to Italy in 1675 at the very young age of twenty-two, and virtually divided his whole career between Rome and Naples. However, he assimilated the typicallv northern taste for objective, precise, clear landscapes, as opposed to the "ideal landscapes" ot the Bolognese and French artists active in Rome. His concern for natural and architectural truth can be seen to derive from the success of van der Heyden's views of Amsterdam, but van Wittel developed and extended this

Gaspar van Wittel

buy impressive souvenirs of their in Italy. Thus he painted

Grand Tour

c oil

1695

on canvas,

18 x 29'/2in.

(46 x 75 cm) Duke of Devonshire Collection, Chatswonh

Van Wittel succeeded in unforgettably

capturing

the major sights of the

Grand Tour, the

cultural

journey that was to

become

indispensable for

every young European aristocrat at the turn of the

eighteenth century. In

Italy,

never have foreseen. Fascinated by the

one of the musts was

Mediterranean sunshine, drawn by the monuments, enraptured by the relation between nature and architecture in central and southern Italy, van Wittel

"room with a view" in Florence. The blend of nature and monuments,

exploited his great scenographic

city created

ancient

to

monumental

create images that are truly in

skill

range and panoramic. Van Wittel

s

and foremost, on extremely accurate drawings from life, and then on a blend of faithful realism and narrative elements, through the introduction of figures, animals, and means technique

is

ut transport.

based,

first

Working

at the

a

geographical context and

by van Wittel

contributes toward

spreading

a

knowledge

of Italian cities of art.

turn of the

century, van Wittel assimilated the tastes ot the

new

traveling public

who wanted

213


Gaspar van Wittel

Alban

Aldobrandini

source

Villa

in Frascati

1720 1725 oil on cam .is, 38Vi x 68"/i in. (98 x 174 cm) c.

Private collection.

The

Rome and

\illas, ruins,

natural landscape of the

Gaspar van Wittel The Docks painted during his visit to oil

first

Naples

on copper,

17% x

38>/2in.

(45 x 98

cm)

Private collection,

London

The Neapolitan views constitute a very interesting section

of van Wittel 's oeuvre.

The

paintings of the

historic center (often

featuring imposing ancient

monuments)

contrast with

pleasant country scenes

I

[ills <>i

are a constant

inspiration lor

In st

and foremost the

realistic, rather

unassuming

Baroque landscapists. Masters like Annibale Carracci, Poussin, and

aspect of laded glory and

Lorrain had depicted these

convincing backcloths

places as the perfect

of that "lesser"

setting lor idealized

which eighteenth-century scholars were somewhat

classical scenes.

Van Wittel,

over a century alter the

dawn of the

genre, notes

transforms the old towns into the

first

indifferent.

and most Italy,

to


Gaspar van Wittel The Apse of c.

oil

Peter's

St

1711

on canvas,

22 l/2 x 43*4 in. (57 x 111 cm) Richard Green Collection,

London

Todav van Wittel's Roman views arouse

some The monuments

strong emotions and regrets.

depicted with analytical precision and a great love For ancient. Renaissance,

and Baroque architecture are always in

immersed

green vegetation,

in a context that

enhances

them and surrounds them with the colors and

atmosphere of

a

garden.

Gaspar van Wittel Castel Sant'Angelo

Seen from the South c.

oil

1690-1700 on canvas,

34'/4 x 45V4 in. (87 x 115 cm)

Richard Green Collection,

London

Thanks to their accuracy,

explicit

many of

van Wittel's views are valuable for reconstructing the appearance of buildings

or parts of the city that

have radically changed today.

The port along

the

Tiber, for example, has

completely disappeared

and the banks of the historic river are now-

very different.

From

the

standpoint of art history, it is

interesting to note

that van Wittel's views

were

a precise point of

reference for the abundant later

of

production of vedute

Rome, which began

with Piranesi's engravings.

215


^^1^

KF

nteent

> r

<D

5

CD

C mm

C/D <

Georges de La Tour The Cheat


When

Galileo separated science from phi-

losophy and theology,

marked a way of

this

profound transformation

in the

considering the problem of knowledge. Particularly in France, the extension of the mathematical

method

to the sciences of the spirit

was the

for Descartes 's rationalism and for his

which was to have

clarte,

opment of the During

this

starting point

deep need for

a great influence

on the devel-

figurative arts.

period secular society was engaged

in

an

in-

tense dialogue with religious society. Themes of faith and religion confronted those of philosophy.

The

relationship

between grace and arbitrary freedom, between man's will

and predestination was interwoven with Cartesian

philosophical problems, as the scientist Blaise Pascal in particular testifies in his

work

Lettre escrite a un provincial,

which defends the Jansenist movement

against the au-

thoritarian conformitv and moral laxitv of the Jesuits.

There

no doubt

is

took the

that Pascal

new

Cartesian

principles as his starting point. For him, too, man's true

being

lies in

thought; however, for him the concept of

self-awareness assumes an essential ethical and religious significance, following the legacy of Augustine. Unlike

Montaigne, with

whom

he shares

a lucid interpretation

of the human-condition, Pascal exposes the tragic conflict that

is

at the

not stop

root of human existence; therefore he can-

at the

conclusions of skepticism or acquiesce to

dogmatism. Hence

The

clash

Valentin de Boulogne St. John the Baptist

Pascal's "bet."

between passion and reason

throughout

his Pensees

pression in Racine's great plays,

testimonies

that

is

evident

most complete exone of the most sublime

(1670) finds

its

of a century of theater par excellence.

c.

oil

51

1628-1630 on canvas, '4

x 35'/z

in.

(130 x 90 cm) Santa Maria in Via,

Camerino

Scenographic research, apart from that specific to the theater,

is

in fact

one of the most outstanding aspects of

the Baroque figurative arts.

The churches with

their rich

Georges de La Tour The Hurdy-Gurdy Player c.

oil

stucco ornamentation, their elaborate baldachins, and the "glory" of their luminous heavens, the squares with their fountains, the ings,

wings and backdrops of the build-

which open up

varied, festive stage

different perspectives,

where the

rites

become

a

of political power, of

the sacred and the profane, are performed. In

France

it

was the court

that

determined the

stylistic

orientation of the arts, through personalities like Cardinal Richelieu, and, in particular, Cardinal Mazarin,

gave

new

who

vigor to artistic and cultural activities by pro-

63

1631-1636 on canvas, 3/4x

4T/4 in. (162 x 105 cm) Musee des Beaux-Arts, Nantes


Philippe

de Champaigne

Nicolas

Poussm

Ex voto

David Victorious

1662 oil on canvas, 165 x 90'/4 in. (165 x 229 cm)

c.

Louvre, Paris

1627 oil on canvas, 39!4 x 51

W

in.

(100 x 130 cm) Prado, Madrid

moting the foundation of the Academie Royale des Arts (1648).

The founders, alongside Charles Lebrun,

who dominated French Baroque

sonality

was

a follower of Poussin,

who

a per-

classicism and

Cham-

included Philippe de

combined French elegance with Flemish psychological penetration. Hyacinthe Rigaud was also to move in this direction in his famous portraits of Louis XIV, in which the influence of van Dvck is combined with the theatrical Baroque style. The initiatives promoted by Cardinal Mazarin included the establishment of workshops and manufacturies such paigne, a portraitist

as that of the

successfully

Gobelins (1662â&#x20AC;&#x201D;1667), directed by Charles

Lebrun and specializing

in

products of top-quality crafts-

manship.

The

Palace of Versailles

became

connected to the town along

formed an urban

fabric that

the vital center;

a central axis

it

was

and with

was to become the model

it

for

the city of absolutism.

was combined with

In the interior of the palace the decor

Vitruvian

utilitas

to create a perfect equilibrium

furnishings and space,

and comfort,

cial status

rationality,

the palace

between

between the requirements of in a fusion of

so-

monumentality and

luxury and convenience. The focal point of is

the great Galerie des Glaces, opening onto

the garden and designed by Lebrun.

Here the decoration

common

blends with the architecture in the celebrate and glorify the king. There

between the different

arts,

new

a

is

intent to

relationship

though the leading role

is

played by architecture and theater, which by their very nature coordinate the heterogeneous materials and techniques.

Baroque

art, particularly in

terest in

contemporary technical and

ies, in

France, displayed a great inscientific discover-

the image they proposed of a universe without a

which raised doubts

center,

taining the

as to the possibility

of con-

whole history of the world within the brief

space conceded by religious orthodoxy.

At the center of the cultural debate was the theme of the different relationship to be established with tradition.

Being old ceased to be a value in a total

problematic Poussin

he

s

filters

new

itself,

yet there was not

break with the past, but a new, very complex, and relationship

work

is

with

it

very illuminating in

was

established.

this

regard, since

every element of his extensive culture to create

forms, modulated according to almost mathematical

219


Hyacinthe Rigaud of Louis XIV

Portrait

1694 on canvas, 109 x 76'4 in. (277 x 194 cm) oil

Louvre, Paris

rhythms, and he demonstrates is

underscored by

his

a taste for abstraction that

refined interplay of color. His

works are mental constructs

which the individual

in

ele-

ments are poised within a solid internal architecture, which is reminiscent of Cartesian clarte. His natural landscapes give a

new

interpretation of the classics in a

man-

ner that was to be adopted by Claude Lorrain. Taking his starting point the ideal

rives at a vision that

same time,

grounds are linked thanks to his sults

is

a

is

which

in

in

life,

distant

backgrounds and fore-

pursued with determined with

his art

a spirituality and an Romantic landscapes.

disinterested in figures

is

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

thev are painted bv other artists

opposite extreme.

man

dignity on his

He

the

of light and color. What re-

indefinite quality that anticipate

While Lorrain

at

an articulate spatial continuity,

pictorial stvle,

which imbues

vigor,

but idealized

true to

skillful interplav

new

as

of ordered harmony, he ar-

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

in his pictures

Louis Le Nain

is

at the

succeeds in conferring great hu-

humble characters, who

are nearly

always country folk, captured in interiors or out of doors, in a kind of popular counterpoint to Poussin's aristocratic world,

not without

beyond any

intellectualism, though

a certain clumsiness,

unconfident drafts-

manship, and considerable compositional ingenuity. Far

more

skilled,

though

still

within the sphere of real-

ism clearly influenced by Caravaggio,

Vouet and Valentin de Boulogne

also

de La Tour's depiction of humble Player, in

which Stendhal noted

truth" that can be read as a loud

in

which Simon

worked,

folk.

is

Georges

His Hurdy-Gurdy

"a terrifying, plebeian

denouncement of prole-

tarian misery, exhibits an ability to explore the surfaces

and outlines of things

that,

though influenced by Car-

avaggio, are also reminiscent of northern stylizations. exhibits the

flair

of an experimenter

bold colors and arbitrary use of

who

is

He

striking in his

light. In the

works of his

maturity, despite his refusal of abstract models and his habit of depicting his characters, even biblical figures, in

contemporary

dress, in actual fact

it is

no longer possible

to speak of realism, nor of a Caravaggesque stvle. His

nocturnal scenes are

more

which inclined toward that

220

rejected

in line

a stoic

law.

Georges de La Tour's

pictorial

a

taste,

uncontrolled passions and appealed to

willpower and moral

into

with Parisian

conception of existence

oeuvre thus

fits

perfectly

context where the points of reference are


Claude Lorrain Landscape with Abraham Driving

Away Agar and

Ishmael

1668 oil on canvas,

41%

x 55 in. (106 x 140 cm) Pinakothek, Munich Alte

Corneille's Le Cid, Descartes's Discourse on Method, and Poussin's Manna, and he bases his creativity el

on the mod-

offered by the tragic playwright.

Poussin sets himself openly against Cravaggesque realism, since he maintains that art constitutes first a

mental construct. Poussin

the word, according to

is

whom

tamed Romanticism, and he

and foremost

classical in Gide's sense

is

classicism

the

is

above

of all

most outstanding

exponent of seventeenth- century French

painting.

221


,

Simon Vouet (Paris,

1590-1649)

Having made when he was Followed

a

his

name

as a portraitist

very young â&#x20AC;&#x201D;it

French

lad) to

is

said that he

London

to paint

when he was only fifteen Vouet moved to Italy in 16H. He went

her portrait

first

to Venice

with the

p

where he became acquainted

ainting ol Titian, Veronese, and

Tintoretto, and was impressed, above

all,

bv the great compositions in the Doges' Palace, then to

Rome where

the circle of the

he frequented

Dutch Caravaggists. He

received major commissions in several

Roman In

1

churches from Pope Urban

VIII.

624, he painted the canvases of

The Temptation of St. Francis and The of the Saint for the church

Investiture

of San Lorenzo in Lucina, examples of a compositional style rich

in theatrical

which Caravaggesque influences blend with the Baroque. That same year Vouet was elected president of the Accademia di San Luca and, in 1627, now a famous artist, he returned to France where Louis XIII appointed him "first painter to the king" and gave him an apartment in the Louvre and an annual stipend. Having set up a studio frequented bv the greatest artists of the day, Vouet effects, in

devoted himself to the decoration of Parisian churches and palaces, in which Baroque eloquence was tempered bv Poussin-stvle classicism.

Simon Vouet Crucifixion

1622 on canvas, 147% x 88!/2 in. (375 x 225 cm)

oil

Chiesa del Gesii, Genoa

This painting, executed in

Rome, was in

sent to

Genoa

1622, where Vouet had

spent a year in the service

of Paolo Orsini and the

Doria family. His stay in Genoa, and above all his contact with Orazio Gentileschi,

who was

also in the city in 1621

encouraged Vouet gradually to abandon the

Caravaggism of his early lor a Baroque stvle i

i't,

vigorous, i(

222

ally

lined.


Simon Vouet

Simon Vouet

Magdalene

St.

161+ 1615 Oil on wood, 243/4 x 19'/4 in. (63 x 49 cm)

c.

Palazzo del Quirmale,

Simon Vouet

The

The

and the carefully studied arrangement of the figures

c.

oil

Last

Supper

1615-1620 on canvas

on

Catherine

1614 1615 oil on wood, 24% x 19(4 in.

C.

(63 x 49 cm)

Rome

Palazzo del Quirmale,

Rome

theatrical scene

several planes anticipate

Vouet's large Parisian Palazzo Apostolico, Loreto

compositions.

223


Valentin

de Boulogne (Coulommiers, 1591 -Rome, 1632)

Born his

into

.1

famil) ol Italian artists, after

mined

apprenticeship in France, he

Rome

in lt>l

3

to

where he met Simon Vbuet

and was attracted by the Caraveggesque painting that was still in vogue. He entered the Bemtvogel circle under the nickname

"Innamorato" and painted works that, though their subjects for example,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

The Cheat,

now

in

Dresden

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

are

reminiscent ot the carefree climate ol the

Dutch

circle,

depart from this to anticipate

the composed, tragic quality of Louis Le Nain's figures. As a tavern habitue, even

when he

tackles biblical and religious

themes, he

is

always concerned with

depicting everyday reality in

humble

Rome

aspects. In

most

its

the artist enjoyed

the protection of such illustrious patrons as the Barberini family,

who were

reputedly francophiles. Thanks to the

support ot Cardinal Francesco Barberini,

nephew of Pope Urban VIII, de Boulogne was commissioned to work alongside Vouet, Poussin, and Sublevras in the

He died tragically summer of 1632.

basilica of St Peter's. in

Rome

in the

9 Valentin de Boulogne Martyrdom of Saints Processus and Martinian

1629 on canvas, I19x 75 /2in.

oil

:

(302 x 192 cm) Pmacoteca Vaticana, Rome Painted for the basilica

of

St. Peter's, it

on an

altar as a

to PoUSSin 's

was placed pendant

Marurdom

of St. Erasmus, executed

during the same period.

The

late

influence of

Poussin 's classicism can still

the

be discerned alongside

new

Iv

acquired

Caravaggesque

work by

style in this

Valentin, despite

nflicts

and quarrels

two

.irtists.


Valentin de Boulogne The c.

oil

Last

Supper

1625- 1626

on canvas, x 90'/2 in.

54%

(139x 230 cm) Gallena Nazionale d'Aite Antua. Rome In a scene that

is

deliberately empty,

attention

is

fully

focused

on the twelve apostles surrounding the rapt Christ.

Each of them reacts

differently to the Savior's

words. Their expressions of astonishment, anguish,

and sadness convey an extraordinary psychological intensity.

Valentin de Boulogne The Concert

c

1620 on canvas, 68 x 84'/4 in. (173 x 214cm) oil

Louvre, Paris

A

bourgeois interior,

characterized solely by a classical bas-relief,

is

the

setting for this concert.

Caravaggio's influence

is

evident not only in the

choice of subject, but also in the

melancoly

air

of the

figures, the realistic faces,

the violent contrasts of

and shadow, the tones, and the thick pigment. light

warm

225


Valentin de Boulogne Judith and Holofernes 1626 on canvas, 41% x 55!/2in. (106 x 141 cm) C.

oil

National Museum, La Valletta (Malta)

The

starkly illuminated

figures

emerge from the

dark background, spatial is

especially

Manfredi.

1628 on canvas, 49'/4 x 69 in. (125 x 175 cm) c.

oil

Louvre, Paris

This

is

work

an astonishing

for

its

intense

psychological insight,

conveyed through

a plav

of looks and disturbing silences.

table

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

Around

the

the pivot of the

composition

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

the

characters are arranged

randomly, some with their backs to the viewer, some facing him, in a

scheme of

complex

conflicting lines

and rapid changes of

226

axis.

that

closely linked to the

work of the

Valentin de Boulogne The Fortune Teller

in a

arrangement

Caravaggists,

Bartolomeo


Georges de La Tour (Vic,

7

593-Luneville, 1652)

in his early years

La Tour

Georges de La Tour

faithfully

The Fortune

followed Caravaggio's model, in his

maturity he

moved toward

a simplification

Teller

1632-1635 oil on canvas, 40V4 x 481/2 in. (102 x 123.5 cm) Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York c.

of composition and a stylization of the

A

painter

who was

long overlooked,

figures, attributing a

La Tour's oeuvre has only recently

been reconstructed and assessed by modern criticism. This revival, which began in the Twenties, has reattributed to La Tour works that were previously considered to be by other Caravaggesque painters, especially Valentin and Honthorst. The 1972 exhibition in Paris, the first devoted to La Tour, was pivotal in this respect since

it

displayed over thirty

original paintings by the artist. His

biography

is

nothing

known

is

likely to

also uncertain. Little or

of his training, which

have taken place in Nancy.

is

It is

between 1610 and 1616, which would explain his knowledge of Caravaggio's works and his possible that he journeyed to Italy

circle,

whose

influence can be seen in his

However, recent studies have revealed that he was an unusual artist who developed an individual, consistent, extremely modern language Though painting.

.

moral value to

realism, in line with the severe style

From 620 on, documented at Luneville, hometown, where he spent a

of French classicism. his

presence

his wife's

1

is

happy period and established himself both socially and artistically. In the following decade Lorraine was devastated first by the plague and then by war. Luneville, a garrison center, was put to fire and sword and plundered; thus all traces of the artist and most of his early works were lost. In 1643 LaTour was back in Luneville, where he remained until he died from an epidemic fever, contracted in 1652, which had already caused the death of

his wife.

Though

chronological order of his paintings uncertain,

it is

the is

possible to trace a line

Three young

women

and

an old gypsy are

symmetrically arranged

around a young gentleman with whom they are exchanging intense

Here LaTour combines the Caravaggesque theme of the fortune teller, which was relatively common glances.

during the

first

half of the

seventeenth century, with the originally French

of development from the "daytime"

theme of the prodigal son

paintings to the large "nocturnal"

robbed by women.

compositions, in which candlelight is

a kind of leitmotif.

227


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Georges de La Tour The Paid Money c.

oil

1630-1635 on canvas,

39 x 593/4

in.

(99 x 152 cm)

Museum

of Fine Arts,

Lwow

(Ukraine)

Originally attributed to

Honthorst during the nineteenth century,

was

it

attributed to La Tour only

1970 and dated, though

in

this

is

doubtful, to the

beginning of

The

subject

his career.

a religious

is

one, perhaps the pavment of tribute money.

Georges de La Tour Musicians' Fight 5 1630 on canvas,

162

c.

oil

37 x 55 J.

in.

(94 x 140 cm)

Paul Getty Museum,

Malibu

The studied symmetry

ol

the figures conveys a moral lesson.

The desperate

woman on by

the

left

is

offset

two laughing musicians ol life.


I

.

40*

v

.

>

l

?i

229


This

Magdalene with

a

is

the onl\ signed

canvas devoted to the vaint.

Georges de La Tour

It

Lamp

presents

a

more

severe

Georges de La Tour Christ with

c.

1640 on canvas,

having chosen solitude and in.

(128 x 94 cm) Louvre. Pans

Man

austerity, is

depicted

Magdalene

in tranquil

poverty.

Joseph

the Carpenter's Shop

image than the others;

1638 1643 oil on canvas, 50'/2 x 37 c.

St.

in

oil

39%

54 x

(137x

in.

101

cm)

Louvre, Paris

A

saint particularly

venerated in Lorraine,

Georges de La Tour

this is the

The Penitent Magdalene

depicts her at the dramatic

Joseph

moment

land of mute dialogue with

1638-1643 on canvas, 52% x 36!4 in. (134x 92 cm) Metropolitan Museum of Art, c.

oil

Xeu

York

only one that

of her conversion.

Marv Magdalene

is

seen in

front of a mirror, the

svmbol of vanitv, is

in

which

reflected the flame of a

candle, the svmbol of time passing. She has

made her

La Tour opposes the

choice; this can be seen

dignitv of moral asceticism

from the jewelry she has laid aside and from her crossed hands on the skull

to the vanitv of the world.

Of the artist

four canvases the

devoted to the

saint

in

her

is

represented in a

the Christ Child.

The old

Joseph absorbed

in his

work,

who

does not realize

that the piece of is

sawn wood

taking on the shape of a

cross,

who

is

offset

bv the Child

symbolizes innocence

and hope.

lap.

Georges de La Tour

La Tour takes up

Woman

that

Removing

Fleas

a theme was popular with

the Barnboccianti and

230

1630â&#x20AC;&#x201D;1634, oil on canvas, 47>4 x 35'/2 in. (120 x 90 cm)

he transforms

Music Historique, Nancy;

use of light the solitude of

Lorraine

a

it

by

emphasizing with simple,

calm gestures and

moment

a skillful

of daily privacy.


Georges de La Tour The Penitent

St.

Jerome

(with Cardinal's Hat)

[630 on canvas, 59% x 43 in. (152 x [09 cm)

c.

oil

Nationulmuscum, Stockholm

One

of

tin

most noble

figures painted by the artist, the

nude, weak

* >

I

< 1

saint clasps the cross in one-

hand and the blood-stained rope be has used to himself in the

flagellate

other.

231


Georges de La Tour The Newborn Baby c.

1648

geometric shapes. Thus the composition acquires a severe inonument.il and dramatic qualitv that

on canvas, 30 x 35 -\ in. (76 x 91 cm) oil

makes this the most famous painting in the artist's

Musee

Jes Beaux-Arts,

Rennes

In an intense and rarefied atmosphere, an arbitrarv light

models the

causing

them

figures.

to resemble

oeuvre.


Georges de La Tour St.

Sebastian Attended

by St Irene c. oil

1649 on canvas, x 50% in.

6B%

(162 x 129 cm) Staatluhc Museen, Berlin

This painting, discovered in

1945

in

the small

church at Bois- \nzeray, dates from the Lorraine painter's late period. At first

thought to be

a

work

bv his assistants, unlike the other version held in Berlin,

it

accepted

is

now widely

as

an original

and considered ol superior ciualitv Within the small space

lit

bv a lantern,

La Tour breaks up the scene b\ setting ever) figure

on

In the

foreground

St.

a different plane.

Sebastian with

at his side,

stand three

captured

lies

St.

Irene

and behind her

women

in attitudes ol

pity, grief,

and prayer.

233


continued

Nicolas Poussin (Les Andelys,

through the study

"first

Nicolas Poussin

in

Bacchanalian Revel

an eye also on the Caravaggesque school

and Bolognese classicism

Poussin soon found the obligations of this

Roman

sculpture, with

as exemplified

Poussin was born into a noble family that

by Guido Reni and Domenichino.

had seen better days. Against the wishes

In

who wanted him

him him

painter to the king" and placed charge of all painting and decorative work for the royal residences.

his training

of Raphael and

1594-Rome, 1665)

demanding

1628 Poussin was commissioned by

life at

court irksome and

Paris in 1642, turning his back

Before a

Herm

of Pan

1631-1633 oil on canvas, 39V4 x 56 in. (100 x 142.5 cm) c.

left

on the

to become a became involved, at an early age, with the workshop of Quentin Varin, a modest Mannerist painter who

Cardinal Barberini to paint an altarpiece

extraordinary advantages of his position

of the Martyrdom of St. Erasmus for an altar in St. Peter's, where Vouet and Valentin

to take refuge in

de Boulogne were also working.

year and the king in the following year

Poussin

was

having failed to secure an important

convinced Poussin that it would be better to remain in Rome, where he led a life devoted to work and enlivened only by visits from friends and French patrons.

from the bacchanalian

of his father,

magistrate, Poussin

in

Les Andelys from 161

1

to 1612.

This experience confirmed him in his

commission

vocation, and on Varin 's departure, he ran

dei Francesi, he decided to

away to

scale official

Paris to begin a difficult period

of training. In 1622 he

Giovao

Battista

his painting

met the

Marino,

who

Italian

poet

appreciated

and offered him protection

and friendship.

Although Poussin 's lame was beginning to spread in Paris,

when- he received

nomissions, he

left

the

<

itv

was reunited 1

me

the

nd he

for the

In 1630,

church of San Luigi abandon large-

works and devoted his energies to paintings on a smaller scale for rich art lovers. He thus regained the favor of French collectors, who became his main admirers and patrons. Urged by friends to return to France, he hesitated until

1

when

640,

the

promptings became still more insistent and the promises of work more attractive. On his arrival in Paris, Poussin

was,

in fact,

warmly welcomed by Cardinal Richelieu and by Louis XIII himself,

who

appointed

Rome. The deaths

of Cardinal Richelieu

The

last

at

the end of the

period of his career was marked

by increased interest landscape.

in the natural

The Louvre series of Four between 1660 and 1664

Seasons, painted

for the

Due de

artistic

and

Richelieu, constitutes his

spiritual testament.

The short

National Gallery, London

drew

inspiration

scenes painted by Titian in the Villa in is

Aldobrandini

Rome. The composition based on a diagonal

line

stretching from the tree

trunk to the

nvmph, formed by the

fallen

a vertical line

statue of Pan and the trees

behind

it,

and

a horizontal

cycle, closing with the remarkable Winter,

line linking the

again features the fundamental themes

in the

of his painting, such as the fecundity of nature and the sense of human existence.

distant plain.

dancers

foreground to the


Nicolas Poussin

Daphne

Apollo and

1625

after

on canvas,

oil

38'/2X Sl!4

(98 x

50

I

in.

cm) Mum,

Alte Pmakothck,

h

Inspired by Ovid's

Metamorphoses, this

work depicts

Apollo'-,

unsuccessful pursuit ol the is

nymph

a votary

)aphne,

I

who

of Artemis and

cannot accept the god's love.

I

laving taken refuge

with her lather, the river

god Peneus, she

finally

turns herself into a laurel to escape Apollo.

The

unanimously regarded as a pendant to the Midas and Bacchus by painting

is

virtue of their similarities in

terms of format, subject Golden Age), and

(the

compositional layout.

Nicolas Poussin Midas and Bacchus

c 1629-1630 oil

on canvas,

38>4x (98 x

5 1

m

in.

30 cm)

Alte Pmakothck,

Munich

Poussin was strongly attracted to the

theme of

Midas, drawn from Ovid,

and based

a

number of

on it. Having obtained from Bacchus the paintings

gift

of turning everything

he touches into gold, the hungry, thirsty king Midas

soon regrets his greed. Bacchus grants him release by having him bathe at the source of the Pactolus River. Poussin depicts the

myth where Midas thanks Bacchus for part of the

liberating him. In the

background, a youth can be seen collecting gold from the Pactolus.


Nicolas Poussin The Death of Germanicus 1627 on canvas, S8!4 x 78 in. (148 x 198 cm) oil

is

one

and host documented

the artist's sill-control

works. The subject, drawn from the Annals of Tacitus,

and natural instinct

and the expression

ol

emotions. The poses,

1626

In

Cardinal Barberini tor his

the orchestration of the

composition demonstrate

archaeological research,

Minneapolis in

ol

Poussin 's most celebrated

combines moral teaching,

Minneapolis Institute of Art,

Commissioned

family palace, this

gestures, and

rhythm of

the bodies together with

lor the In rim

.


Nicolas Poussin Martyrdom of St Erasmus 1628 oil oil

canvas,

126x

7 5!4

in.

(320 x 186 cm) Pmacoteca Vaticana, Rome

Commissioned

l>y

Cardinal

Barberini for the basilica

of

St. Peter's, this

painting

stands out from the rest

of Poussin 's work by virtue of both

its

matter.

It

size

and subject

appears to have

been greatly influenced by Italian Baroque painters such as Caravaggio, Guido Reni, and Giovanni Lanfranco, above all as to the colossal rendering of the figures and the dramatic nature of the scene.

The strong

light

emphasizes the powerful muscles of the saint and his executioners.


Nicolas Poussin The Reign of Flora 1631

on canvas,

oil

5lVi x 71'/4in. (131 x 181 cm) Cemaldegalerie, Dresden In the

center of the canvas.

Flora, the goddess of

springtime blossoming, scatters flowers in the

company of mythological characters drawn from Ovid's Metamorphoses,

whose myths are associated with certain flowers.

Framed bv

a

Giorgionesque boulder and a slender arbor,

we

can see Narcissus gazing at his reflection in a

jug

of water brought bv

nvmph Echo, Smilax and the nvmph Crocus, Hvacinth and Adonis. the

Nicolas Poussin The Rape of the Sabine

Nicolas Poussin The Rape of the Sabine

Women

Women

c.

oil

1634-1635

1637-1638 on canvas,

on canvas,

60'/2X 81

oil

62'/2X 81

in.

(154x 206 cm) Metropolitan

New

Museum of Art,

abducted Sabine

make them

women

their wives.

lated figure of

Louvre, Paris

York

The founding of Rome episode, when the Romans to

in.

(159x 206 cm)

Romulus

set

above

The main figures are the same as those in the Metropolitan version, but the architectural

background is richer and Romulus is now emotionally involved, as indicated by his solemn, theatrical advance before the wild throng of men and women.


Nicolas Poussin The Adoration of the Magi

This renowned work,

which complex

several copiei of exist,

is

lnj;lily

In

layout. In the foreground,

1633 on canvas, 63 x 71 3/4in.

before the imposing ruins of a temple, an agitated

(160x 182 cm)

figures contrasts with

oil

throng of gesticulating

GemalJegalene,

the seven-

Dresden

ol the Nativity

composure group.

239


Nicolas Poussin Landscape with the Body of Phocion Carried of

Out

Athens

1648 on canvas, 45 x 69 in. (114x 175 cm) oil

Earl of Plymouth's Collection,

Qakly Park, Shropshire

The proportions of the human figures blend in with those of the landscape in a

harmony of line and The body of

color.

Phocion, the Athenian general accused of treason

and sentenced to death, seen in the foreground.

Nicolas Poussin Winter

1660-1664 on canvas, 46'/2 x 63 (118x 160 cm)

oil

in

Louvre, Paris

The

last

work of an

exhausted painter

poor

in

health, this ends the cycle

of the Seasons inspired

by the Georgics by Virgil, Poussin

s

favorite author

together with Ovid. Originallv commissioned

by the

Due de

the series

XIV now in

of Louis

and It

is

Richelieu,

formed part 's

collection

the Louvre.

represents an extreme

declaration of faith in

nature together with an absolute awareness ol the relentless ol

operation

dark forces almost

foreshadowing the end ol lucid

Cartesian

optimism. The ark glimpsed beneath the faint

sun half-concealed

by the leaden sky bat

in

the

kground symbolizes intinuation of Lth,

life

while the iugh

is


Nicolas Poussin Landscape with Orpheus and Eurydice 1648 on canvas, 47'/4 x 78% in. oil

(120x 200 ml) lout

re.

Puns

The dramatic separation of the two lovers ol Greek myth is depicted in a

Roman

setting

that includes Caste]

Sant Anijclo. This

is

hanllv surprising given

Poussin 's view ol painting as primarily a

mental

construct. In an\ case, the discrepancy regards tlui

organization ol the

am as,

hut not the

depiction

ol the

indh idual

elements, where the

artist

never loses contact with truth ami nature

Nicolas Poussin Landscape with Polyphemus

1649 on canvas, 59 x 78 in.

oil

(150x 198 cm) Hermitage,

This

is

St.

Petersburg

one of Poussin's

most important landscapes, and indeed

contains no trace of the

dramatic Homeric episode.

The wholly alludes to,

idvllic

if

Virgil's bucolic

and

a sort

scene

anything,

world

of primitive

communion between man and nature.

241

i,


Nicolas Poussin Self-Portrail

1650

cam. is,

oil Oil

38'/2X 29'/4

in.

(98 x 74 cm) Louvre, Paris

While Poussin painted no portraits, he did execute

two

sell-portraits between 1649 and 1650 giving very different images of himself.

The

first

(Bodemuseum,

shows the artist holding a book with the words "De lumine Berlin)

and constitutes

et colore," a tranquil

celebration of

himself and his painting.

The second was considered the better likeness by Bernini,

both

in

who saw them 1665. This severe,

austere image conveys a

sense of the intellectual rigor of Poussin's art

through the monumental pose and the expression,

which betray anxiety and concern.


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

Roman

Claude Lorrain

countryside or campagna, the

exploring and recording precious drawings.

One

of the greatest seventeenth-century

landscape painters, Claude Lorrain

Rome

moved

in

Landscape with the Marriage of Isaac

hundreds of

The extraordinary

of Morning, Afternoon, Dusk, and Night

series at

Claude Lorrain

the

Hermitage demonstrates Lorrain's highly

and Rebekah 1648 on canvas, 58% x 77!/2 in. (149 x 197 cm)

oil

1613 and remained there until his death except for one stay in Naples from 1 6 9 to 1621 and another in his native Lorraine from 1625 to 1627. His apprenticeship took place in the workshop of the Roman landscape painter AgostinoTassi. 1629 saw the beginning of his association with Joachim von Sandrart, with whom he learned to draw from life, and freed himself from Tassi 's academic models. He gradually developed a tendency to give concrete shape to nature through the continuity of space and light. The remains of classical architecture, the

to

hills

of Latium that the artist never tired of

(Chamagne, Nancy, 1600-Rome, 1682)

in

1

great trees silhouetted against the sky, the distant peaks,

and the

still

combine to produce an

seaports

ideal

and yet

recognizable landscape based on the

personal use of light in relation to the

hour dictated by the subject. from the left indicates morning

specific

Light

and suggests cold tones for the landscape and the sky. Light from the right represents evening and allows the use of warm tones with skies ranging from fiery pink to orange. The cosmopolitan atmosphere of seventeenth-century Rome had a positive effect on Lorrain's

National Gallery, London

Under the influence of Domenichino and Annibale Carracci, Lorrain's style

became more elevated and serene. Having abandoned fantastic vedute (views)

long career, enabling him to combine very

picturesque motifs, the

different experiences

artist

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

Poussin's classical

Bolognese school from Carracci to Guercino, and the Caravaggesque handling of light in a synthesis of remarkable originality restraint, the landscapes of the

that anticipates Turner

Impressionists.

began to base

and

his

landscapes on the nearbv

Roman

campagna.

and the

24 J

!


Claude Lorrain Seaport with

Medici

Villa

1657 oil on canvas, 40'/4 x 5214 in. (102 x 135, in, Umzi,

I

lorence

Painted tor Cardinal dc'

Medici, this work has a personal significance as

it

portrays Villa Medici

the

foreground

in

as well as a

ship in the port flying the flag

of the Knights of

St.

Stephen, an order founded

by the Medici

combat

in

Mediterranean.

Claude Lorrain Landscape with the Rest

on the

Flight into

Egypt

1647 oil on canvas, 401/4 x 52% in. (102 x 134 cm) Gemaldegalerie, Dresden

The structure is

of this

work

based on a precise

geometrical plan. Dense

masses of vegetation provide a frame and the

movement

of the trunks

and foliage serve to underscore the actions of the figures.

1

562 to

heretics in the


245


Claude Lorrain The Trojan Women Setting

page:

Claude Lorrain Landscape with Apollo Guarding the Herds of Admetus and Mercury

Robbing Him

4x 17%

(55 x 45

1643 oil

on canvas,

V4x

41

593/4 in.

(105 x 152 cm)

1645 oil on canvas, 21 3

to Their Fleet

Fire

Metropolitan

Museum of Art,

Veil York

in.

cm)

The painting shows

the

Gallena Doria-Pamphih,

Trojan

Rome

Juno's prompting and

women

obeving

This painting stands out

setting fire to their ships

among

after seven years of

the various versions

of the subject bv virtue of its

vertical compositional

lavout

.

Though

treated as

a pastoral subject,

the

work draws new strength from the mythological

tale.

Following Ovid, Lorrain

wandering in order to halt Aeneas 's progress toward Italv.

The

from

Virgil's Aeneid

subject

is

taken

and

constitutes a sophisticated literary

metaphor alluding

to the difficulties

represents Apollo as a

encountered bv Lorrain

simple shepherd being

patron, Girolamo Farnese,

robbed bv Mercury, depicted with the

as apostolic

service of

s

nuncio in the

Urban VIII.

customarv attributes of the caduceus and the winged sandals and helmet.

Claude Lorrain Seaport with Acis

and Galatea 1657 on canvas, 39V4x 53*4 in.

oil

(lOOx 135cm) Gemdldegalene, Dresden

This mythological subject is

taken from Ovid's

Metamorphoses. In the

center of the composition, Acis and Galatea, hidden

beneath an awning, conceal their

embraces from the

Cvclops Polyphemus,

who

can be glimpsed lurking threateningly in the

on the

right.

woods


Claude Lorrain Seaport

1674 on cam. is, 2814 x in. (72 x 97 cm) oil

WA

Pinakothek, \iunii h

lite

\

I

1

1

in

hi

i

i

cut subject in

oeuvre

.mi's

i

seaport,

\\

(he

is

here the

reflecting surface of the

water oilers the artist an opportunity to play with

shimmering

the

the rising sun.

imaginary spot of

a

effect of

uses this

[e

I

the foot

at

triumphal arch

inspired by the

Titus in the

Arch of

Forum

as a

setting lor a genre scene.

The

leading role

however, played

is,

as

always

by the landscape.

Claude Lorrain Imaginary View of

Tivoli

1642 oil

on copper,

8'/2X 10V4in. (21. 6x

25.8cm)

Courtaultl Institute Galleries,

London This work, marking one

of the

last

appearances

of the capnecio in Lorrain's production,

is an imaginary view of the Temple of the Sibyl at Tivoli, with Rome and the dome of St. Peter's in the background. The scenic layout, with an

enormous bridge separating the pastoral subject in the foreground

from the landscape in the background, is unusually

complex given the small size

of the copper plate.


worked throughout his life same workshop as his brothers, where all tile works were signed with the surname alone, thus making attribution ol reputation, lie

Louis Le Nain (Laon,

in

1593-Pans, 1648)

the

Louis Le Nain Peasant Family

1642 on canvas, 44'/2X 62'/2in. oil

Diametrically opposed to the classical

the paintings often difficult, despite the

school of French painting represented

difference in their artistic temperaments.

by Poussin, Louis Le Nain distinguishes himself as the leader of the school

Antoine

specializing in paintings of an elegiac rural

produced mythological and religious works, but his fame rests on his canvases portraying the peasant world w ith measured realism. Mathieu devoted his energies to historical and religious subjects and continued the peasant genre alter his

This

brother's death.

viewer.

seventeenth-century torm ol genre painting better known in Italy through the lite,

a

work of the

We

have

so-called Bamboccionti.

little

information regarding

Louis Le Nain's

near Laon,

a

life.

town

in

Born

in the

country

northern France,

with one older and one younger brother

who were

also painters, Le

childhood

in close contact

world. Little

is

Nain spent

his

with the peasant

known about

his artistic

workshop of a Flemish master in his hometown, he probably made a journey to Rome between 1629 and 1630 before settling in Paris, where he soon acquired a certain training. After a

period

in

the

is

traditionally indicated as a

painter of miniatures and portraits. Louis

(ll)x 159 cm) Louvre, Paris is

a sober, rustic

setting with austere figures frontally arranged, like

actors on a stage, their intense, severe gaze

directed toward the

The

soft, still light

and the sober coloring of

browns and grays combine to give an interpretation

of the peasant world that

is

both authentic and solemn.


Louis Le Nain Peasants' Repast

1642 oil on canvas, 38V4 x 48 in. (97 x 122 cm)

of his peasant scenes for religious subjects, as in this case,

town of Emmaus

set in a rustic interior

and

Le Nain also employed

biblical

with two disciples in the is

Louvre, Pans

where the

episode of Christ's supper

is

represented as

a peasants'

meal.

the everyday simplicity

249

!


Philippe de

Champaigne (Brussels,

1602-Paris, 1674)

After serving his apprenticeship in his

hometown, in 1621 Champaigne moved

awav from official became more involved with movement. The intense

to turn graduallv

Philippe de to Paris,

where he met

Poussin and was commissioned to

work

Champaigne

the Jansenist

Triple Portrait of Richelieu

spirituality and strict rules of moral conduct observed at Port-Roval bv the followers of Abbe Antoine Arnauld, including the great mathematician and

philosopher Blaise Pascal, gave renewed vigor to Champaigne

s

paintings. This

with him on the decoration of the Palais de

demonstrated bv

Luxembourg. In 1628 Marie de' Medici appointed him court painter, a position he was to retain also during the reign of Louis

(Moussalli Collection, Paris) and the Ex-Voto (Louvre, Paris) painted

XIII.

a

His portraits, especially those of Louis XIII

Eliminating

and Richelieu, were renowned both for their grandiose conception and for their acute insight, demonstrating a capacitv to combine French elegance with a psychological penetration of Flemish origin.

Philippe de

painting as he

is

his portrait of Pascal

for the miraculous cure of his daughter,

nun

on canvas, x 28V4 in. (58 x 72 cm) oil

22%

National Gallery, London

Richelieu, the supremely

competent, taciturn, cold, subtle, and tenacious minister,

was made

a

cardinal in 1623. Master of

convent of Port-Roval. Baroque gratification, his painting achieved a formal purity in its

the destinies of the French

portrayal of ascetic, immobile figures,

Louis XIH's reign. The

in the

all

while retaining the grandeur of his early portraits.

monarchy, he inspired and directed the events of

svstem of the triple is adopted in

portrait

this

case not as an artistic

device but as an

oed him to decorate <6) and the >rbonne (1644) as well as ntrv. I

the founders of the i

un, but began

opportunity for greater analytic insight.


Philippe de

Champaigne Portrait of Henri Groulart

1654 oil

on canvas,

36Vi x 29-V4 (92.5 x 75.5

Museum

A

in.

cm) Budapest

of Fine Arts,

celebrated portrait

Champaigne combined psychological

painter,

penetration with an analytic technique

drawn

from the Flemish tradition.

The artist, who became more involved with the Jansenist

movement

in his

maturity, oilers an austere

and severe image of

his

sitter.

251

f


Charles Lebrun (Paris,

1619-1690)

paintings, but especially for decorative

in

personality in the French

decorated the castle of Hesselin

1649, the palace of President Lambert

650, the castle of Vaux between 1658 and 1661, and the Apollo Gallery

in

The dominant

He

works.

1

school of Baroque classicism, Lebrun

in the

was the supreme arbiter of

of Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Louis XIV's

taste at the

court of Louis XIV. In 1634,

of just

fifteen,

at

the age

he entered the workshop

of Simon Vouet, where he produced paintings revealing an already acquired

master)' of technique. In 1642, despite

appointment as court painter, Lebrun decided to complete his artistic apprenticeship in Rome on a grant

his

provided by Chancellor Seguier. Between 1642 and 1646 he studied sixteenth-century Poussin and also of the painters

Roman works

came under

working

with

the influence

in the capital at

Louvre

1663. As a protege

in

first

Both the religious and the academic subjects

Sleeping Child

are characterized

composed solemnity,

oil on canvas, 34V4 x 46 Vi in. (87 x 118 cm)

by

Louvre, Paris

passion.

1655,

a

Charles Lebrun Chancellor Seguier c.

oil

a

noble rhetorical 1 1

tone, and restrained

1656

on canvas, 6V4 x

137%

in.

(295 x 350 cm) Louvre, Paris

superintendant of finances, he was

appointed

Charles Lebrun The Holy Family with the

Accompanied by pages

painter to the king

662 and began the most fertile period of his career. He was made a chancellor in 664 and prince of the French Academv two years later. Between 1 67 and 684

and squires, the chancellor advances with all the pomp

he decorated the Galerie des Glaces

order and symmetry of the

in

1

1

1

in the palace

of Versailles.

1

He produced

canvases glorifying the sovereign for the

and colored marbles, gilded bronzes, and mirrors for the walls ceiling

due

his position as

though

composition underscore the

calm and severe magnificence of the new social class to which the

that

became part of the architecture

chancellor belongs, that ot

in a

quest for the sublime that makes

the elite forming the roval

work

that time. Poussin's teaching

the sumptuous character of Versailles

impact on

unique.

On

Colbert's death in 1683,

artist

Lebrun

fell

into disgrace. In the

Chancellor Seguier,

his style

had a decisive that can be seen in his re

ith

i

dramatic feelings

alculated poise

The

in a theatrical scene.

last

years of his

life,

deprived

important commissions bv Pierre Mignard, he devoted his energies

of

to easel painting.

entourage. In this

shows

the

his gratitude to his first

protector, bv depicting

himsell as the squire

holding the parasol.


I

Hyacinthe Rigaud

Hyacinthe Rigaud

Portrait of Louis

XIV

(Perpignan, 1659-Pans, 1743)

.i

I

foi

gifi

ih.ii

a

shrewd

court of the Sun King and

around the

work

Ins

world. Having completed his

in

16SI Rigaud

in

moved

I

yons,

ol

pot

ti

in this offii Lal

the subjet si

i

Sun King, which plays ol. u ith

ayal ol the

ond. ii

\

ol

t

i

a

to the royal

rhetorical paint

respet

attributes. The dais, the

.

I,

I

Grand

he sumptuous

1701 Louis XIV ordered Ills official court painter to

materials and hangings, the

paint a portrait intended as

the-

In

was admitted to the Royal Academy

.iiuo

I.

exemplifying the parade Si.

where he

to Paris,

pompous and

a

Louvre, Path

tins

artistic

Montpellier and

work,

portraits ol the

provides singular documentation ol

Spain

oil

observer ol the

Parisian aristocracy orbiting

apprenticeship

on canvas, 109% X 74% in. (279 x 190 cm)

oi

would keep the

In

1701

Rigaud was

V

Philip

h tlun decided, however,

I

iya!

i

li

lal

i

'l

<

i

mine and

royal insignia

all

t

throne, the classical .

..Iiinin,

hangings

and the theatrical all

contribute to

the grandiose effect ol the

scene.

Vrt

three years later with the help ol his 1 ehrun. Influenced Flemish tradition, he modeled portraits on those of van Dyck.

protector Charles h\ the his

Noticed by the king's brother,

who

commissioned a portrait ol himseli and one of his son, Rigaud was appointed court painter in 1688. He painted two portraits of Louis XIV, in 694 and 1701 creating an image of the king that has become 1

,

established in the collective In the portrait of Louis

the

pomp

XIV

memory. in

the Louvre,

of the drapery and the bright

range oi colors oiler

a distinct

image of

As court painter, Rigaud was a resounding success, and his list ol clients

regality.

expanded to include all the European cope with the ever increasing flow of commissions, he

courts. In order to

employed assistants and divided his workshop on a specialized basis, Sevin de la Pennaye being responsible for clothing,

Monnover

for inserts with

(lowers, Charles Parrocel for battles,

and Francois Desportes for landscapes and animals.

=

253

\


^ rt

<L>

cr

1

t

r

j ^

c t

i

|

(

i

iQ

<D

co

Franz Anton Maulbertsch pper, detail 56'/,

!


..MM

.*,

i

*.

%


Cosmas Damian Asam Vision of after

St.

Bernard

1720

fresco

Abbey Church, Aldersbach

This

chapter examines developments connected

with painting

in a vast geographical

area that can be described, with

al

simplification, as the It

and cultur-

some

over-

German-speaking world.

made clear from the outset that, number of undeniable common traits, there are artistic and political differences between Germany

should, however, be

despite a

great

and Austria. For both nations, the seventeenth century

was

a difficult period, characterized

ing threat of Turkish invasion siege of Vienna in also the

end of

by war and the loom-

from the southeast. The

1683 marked the dramatic climax but

this

age-old nightmare. Freed from the

pressure of a long Dark Age,

Germany

(especially the

eastern regions of Saxony and Prussia) and Austria en-

joyed a period of great brilliance in the seventeenth century,

when

the figurative arts provided a splendid frame

Rococo culture. The history of painting for

Germany and

in

central

the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries

is

influenced bv the historical situation and, to

Europe

in

thus strongly

some

extent,

bv the incompletely resolved question of relations both

between Catholics and Lutherans and between the

vari-

ous local centers of power making up the fragmented

German empire. The whole

of central Europe was dis-

rupted by the long and tragic Thirty Years'

War

(1618â&#x20AC;&#x201D;1648), which halted every possible cultural

movement and brought

appalling devastation. The sacking

of Prague by the Swedes and the resulting dispersal of

Emperor Rudolph of Hapsburg's collection

is

spectacular and varied

known of a whole series of redrew the map of German art in

only the best

events that drastically

the seventeenth century.

The end of the Renaissance in Germany than else-

(which actually went on longer

where)

also

marked the end of the

classicism adopted in

many

tradition of Mannerist

princely mansions,

its

place

being taken by an interesting variety of ideas and

influ-

ences reflecting

German

polycentrism.

ing seventeenth-century artists

Some

of the lead-

were influenced by

Italian

painting and spent longer or shorter periods of study in

Venice,

Rome, or

Naples. By contrast, the eighteenth

century saw a complete reversal of this trend, as Venetian painters sought

Venetian and

work

at

German

courts.

The influence of

Roman painting can be seen in the brief but Adam Elsheimer, a painter of rare and

almost "Romantic" interpretation of the century style of painting. Johann

new

seventeenth-

Liss, a highly

exuberant

painter clearly inspired by his studies of Rubens, found a

second

home

in Venice,

in the difficult

and

his

luminous, ebullient paint-

some of the more

ings constitute

successful achievements

period of seventeenth-century Venetian

art.

Johann Carl Loth and Johann Heinrich Schonfeld benefited greatly from their contact with the centers of production of Italian art.

While the south,

artists displayed a certain predilection for the

German

collectors appear to have shared the taste

of their middle-class counterparts in Flanders and Holland for

genre painting

episodes of everyday still lifes

(still

life,

lifes,

landscapes,

scenes and

and portraits). The production of

thus flourished in the seventeenth century in Ger-

some highly distinctive features. Georg Flegel exemplifies the

poetical career of

many, where

precious talent, capable of giving a lyrical and indeed

Didactic and ultra-precise,

it

displayed


widespread taste for "moralized" references, whereas

with symbolic

still lifes

Abraham Mignon's work resembles

the illustrations for scientific treatises

mology. The most fascinating of

on botany and ento-

however,

all,

is

the enig-

matic Sebastian Stosskopf, a painter from Alsace (and as

such claimed by both French and

German

painting), the

author of deeply evocative metaphysical compositions. Despite the presence of interesting

artists,

seventeenth-

centurv central European painting did not give rise to an authentic unified school. This

time of feverish activity

came

in the

next century, a

in the fields of architecture,

orna-

mentation (stucco and inlaid wood), and of course painting in Austria and the Catholic regions of brilliant

Germany. This

period can be divided into two parts.

we have

On

the one

monumental (and at times a little monotonous) decorative work carried out for princely pahand,

trons

the

or the great reconstructed

Benedictine abbeys,

where the Asam brothers played the leading

role;

on the

some sketches for larger works, but others independent compositions with the same freshness and immediacy as sketches, almost as though painted "in one go." Among the many other hand

is

a rich harvest of small paintings,

eighteenth-century Austrian artists recognized as great

masters of the Rococo

style, attention

Paul Troger and Franz

most

brilliant of

century, a

them

movement

Sebastian Stosskopf or Allegory of the Five Senses

Summer

1633 oil on canvas, 44Vix 71 in. (113x 180.5 cm) Musee de L'Oeuvre de Notre-Dame, Strasbourg

should be drawn to

Anton Maulbertsch, perhaps the all.

Then,

in the

second half of the

to "moralize" art began to spread

from Germany.

The very country that gave birth to some of the brightest and most imaginative Rococo works also provided theoretical foundations and concrete

examples for neo-

classicism, a rigorous style of art based

on the example

of classical antiquitv. Anton Raphael Mengs was one of its earliest

and most committed exponents.

257


Adam (Frankfurt,

A

Elsheimer

1578-Rome, 1610)

great artist of the

same generation

as

Caravaggio, Rubens, and Guido Reni,

Elsheimer unfortunately died very voung, thus interrupting the development of a poetical style of painting that had

begun

works of rarity and charm. Attracted from an earlv age by

with great delicacy

in

moved to Venice came into contact with Hans Rottenhammer (who had worked

Italian in

1

Renaissance art, he

598, where he

with Jan Bruegel

in

watershed that was not merely symbolic many early Baroque masters, Elsheimer moved to Rome, where he spent the last ten years of his short life. In the livery circles of "Romanized" Nordic painters, Elsheimer altered his style to focus primarily on landscape painting, but also real for

previous \ears) and

Elsheimer struck a note

scientific.

movements of his

Elsheimer was familiar both with the Caravaggesque handling of light and the tranquil sweeping day,

views of the

Annibale Carracci. His

Tintoretto's paintings in the Doges' Palace in Venice. In the fateful year

of 1600, a

in the early history

of landscape painting.

12V4x 16V4 in. cm)

The

(31 x 41

Munich

This enchanting nocturnal Elsheimer's best-known

experience gave rise to Elsheimer's most ambitious religious works, whirling

bv

well as a real cornerstone

1609 on copper,

both

and romantic, idealized and Keenly interested in the artistic

Roman

countryside bv

own

technique was,

however, to remain firmly linked to his northern roots, and was characterized

by exquisite, painstaking execution and impeccably suffused with light.

in the early

oil

elegy

classical

produced

seventeenth century, as

Egypt

of intense expressive originality that was

studied Tintoretto's work. This Venetian

celestial visions directly inspired

Elsheimer

Flight into

Alte Pinakothek,

as did his friend Paul Brill. In this field,

Adam

is

unquestionably

work. Despite size, it

as

its

small

can be regarded

one of the most

fascinating paintings

perfect depiction

of the heavenly vault,

where the Milky Way and the constellations sparkle in a sky illuminated full

by

a

moon, demonstrates

Elsheimer's great interest

world of science, and the work of Galileo in the

in particular.


Adam

Elsheimer

The Good Samaritan c. 1605, oil on canvas, 8!4 x lOVi in. (21.2 x 26.5 cm) Louvre, Paris

Elsheimer 's small canvases

is

form

sixteenth century Venetian

Âťi

delightful

compendium

of the trends

to be found in painting in

reminiscent of the

masters, especially rintoretto's lair

early seventeenth-century

in tin-

Rome, This landscape

in

works

Scuola di San Rocco

Venice,

Adam

Elsheimer

clearly

demonstrate

his

Holy Family with Angels

links

and the Young John the

late

Baptist

work, and were reinforced in particular by the two

c.

oil

1599 on copper,

14% X

9Vl

with Tintoretto's

sixteenth-century

years he spent in Venice in his youth.

in.

this influence

(37.5 x 24.3 cm)

with his

own

However, is combined exquisite

Gemaldegalerie, Berlin

handling of light to Elsheimer's small paintings

create the effect of a

on

golden sunset.

religious subjects

Adam

Elsheimer

landscape, Elsheimer

and Mercury in the House of Philemon and Baucis

Jupiter

x

8%

welcome rest taken by the two divine wayfarers are set in the calm, precisely

portrayed interior of a

Gemaldegalerie, Dresden visit

paid bv Jupiter

and Mercurv to the

in disguise

humble dwelling

of the aged couple

is

a

peasant's dwelling

illuminated by shafts of light. In

the early years

of the seventeenth century,

Elsheimer thus established

model of realism

mvthological and literarv

a

episode frequently

handling of

depicted in seventeenth-

environment, and light that was to be taken up by painters from

centurv painting. While

Rubens uses

it

as a

for a spectacular

i.

kindlv, rustic hospitality

in.

(16.5 x 22.5 cm)

The

human element. The of the elderly hosts and the

1608 oil on copper, 6'/2

focuses on the delicate

pretext

stormy

all

human

in the

figures,

the European schools.

I

259


Georg Flegel (Olomuc,

I

ittle is

7

566-Frankfurt. 1638)

known about the training and who was a

career of this artist,

fundamental point of reference for the early

development

ot "archaic" still-lite

painting north of the Alps.

The evident

with the Flemish painting of the fifteenth century and the Renaissance links

period

make

worked

it

in the

very likelv that he initiallv Netherlands. This tradition

also accounts for Flegel's delight in the

precise reproduction of objects, accurately

observed and painted with respect to shape, volume, material, and differences in the refraction of light

mark

.

a significant step

Flegel's

works

also

lorward compared

to late sixteenth-centurv Flemish and

Dutch first

painting, since thev are

examples of pure

still life

among

the

without

figures. Stress should also be laid on his complete independence with respect to Italian art, which exercised great influence on manv German masters in the early-

seventeenth century.

Georg Flegel

with various objects

satisfaction,

Cabinet with Shelf

arranged

delight in the painstaking

c 1610 on canvas, 36'/2 x 24'/2 in. (92 x 62 cm)

like small

collections of rare items.

representation of elegant

This was a very popular

objects, feelings that

genre

to be subtly

oil

Xarodni Galene, Prague

One

interesting

compositional invention bv Flegel consists of paintings

depicting cupboards, cabinets, or display cases

harmony, and

in the

seventeenth

were undermined

century, particularly with

bv the disquieting impact

art collectors in central

of Stosskopf 's metaphysical

and northern Europe, and some masters developed these compositions so that thev practically verged on trompe-l'oeil. Flegel conveys a sense of order,


Georg Flegel Still

Life

allusion to the

with Stag Beetle

1635 oil

W

(25 x 38

displayed together with

in.

cm)

Wallraf Richartz Museum,

Cologne

For

all its

I

being prominently

on wood, x 15

a fish, the

age old symbol

of Christ.

In

still life,

more

specifically art historical

terms, apparent

simplicity, this

Redeemer's

and enter fasting, bread and wine sacrifice

is

it

possible to

detect echoes of the (

rÂŤ

in. 111

tradition, for

directly inspired by a

example

modest snack, lends itself to a whole variety of

naturalistic depiction of

interpretations, including

by Durer.

in

the exact

the stag beetle inspired

a possible religious

261

\


Johann (Oldemburg,

Liss 1595-Vemce, 1629)

c.

Like his friend and near contemporary Domenico Fetti, Liss died verv young.

The lew

short years of his career were,

however, generousl) filled \\ ith work spanning a broad range ol subjects and stylistic

points of reference, journeys, and lations

with the collectors

time and other

As

artists.

a result

ol tin-

of his

delight in travel and contact with different cultures, Liss

became an

intelligent

exponent of various forms ol figurative expression, especially during the third decade of the seventeenth century. While his best-known works draw inspiration above all from sixteenth-century Venetian art, his career began with a series of journeys to the Netherlands and stays in Antwerp, Amsterdam, and Haarlem.

These provided important opportunities for contact with Rubens's studio, and Flemish and Dutch Caravaggesque painters like

Jordaens andTerbrugghen. His taste and peasant festivities

for genre scenes

of clearly Flemish derivation dates from this period. He arrived in Italy in 1621

and studied in Rome from the following year to 1624, thus gaining first-hand experience of the different versions of the Caravaggesque style produced bv the northern masters. The decisive turning point came with his move to Venice. In a

somewhat mediocre period

of Venetian painting characterized by the tired repetition of

models drawn from

Tintoretto, the arrival of Liss was a breath

of fresh

air.

His richlv sparkling, luminous

painting inspired bv Veronese and Titian

gave the Venetian school a timely

paving the

way

imminent

for the

arrival ol

in the longer

Bernardo Strozzi and,

thus

jolt,

term,

laving the foundations for the renewal of

Venetian art in the eighteenth century.

Johann

Liss

The Finding of Moses c.

oil

1626-1627 on canvas,

61 x

41%

in.

(155 x 106 cm)

Musee des Beaux-Arts,

Lille

The presence of similar canvases in various princely collections

is

explained by the fact that Liss painted various copies,

with few variations, of his

more

successful

compositions. Scenes such as this

amply

justify the

painter's popularity with

the art lovers of his day.

The scene

is

Hooded with

an all-enveloping wave ol

Irom which the shapely forms ntily clad maidens

soft, radiant color,

il

force,

biblical


I

Johann

Liss

Vision of St C.

oil

Jerome

1627 on canvas,

88V2X 69 in. (22i* 175 cm) thunh of San Nicold det

Tolenum, Venice

The masterpiece of

Liss's

religious works, ibis

is

perhaps the most original

and important altarpiece painted

whole

m Venice

ol

the

in

the seventeenth

Comparison with

century.

the great religious

produced same period

paintings it)

the

111

Italy,

Flanders, and Spain

demonstrates the

German

painter's absolute creative

freedom. Centering on

between Jerome and the splendid angel on the lett, the scene expands into

the conversation St.

the billowing clouds

and

tin-

gradual

progression ol soft, refined colors from the dark,

bottom right hand corner to the luminous apotheosis above

265


-

Johann

Liss

Peasants Fighting c.

1620

oil "ii

26'/2

canvas,

x

323/4 in.

(67.4 x 83

cm)

Gcrmunisches

Natwnalmuseum, Nuremberg

The two works on this page show the "other side" of

work. Trained Dutch-Flemish

Liss's

in the

tradition, Liss

to try his

hand

was at

led

the

characteristic genre scenes that

were popular with the

artists

and collectors of

Amsterdam and Antwerp, but also appreciated in

Rome. The German master always uses rich, thick

and his monumental approach differs sharply from the milder treatments paint,

of similar subjects

produced bv the Bambocaanti.

Johann Peasant

Liss

Wedding

Feast

1620 oil on canvas, 25% x 32 in. (65.5 x 81.5 cm) c.

Museum of Fine Arts, Budapes In his

genre and peasant

scenes, Liss does not hesitate to accentuate

coarse, almost caricature like effects

comparable works

to those found in

bv Jordaens and later Steen, but he eschews

the explicit moral

messages of

Dutch

his

and Flemish colleagues.

The staggering dancers are

inebriated

realistically,

though somewhat unpleasantly, juxtaposed to the

drunken man

vomirinp on the

left.


Johann

Liss

Venus Dressing c.

oil

1627 on tain. is,

!7M

in.

69 cm) llffi/i,

Florence

Such enchanting scenes as this

make

it

all

the

more

regrettable that Liss died so young, thus prematurely

barring the wa) to an

development in Baroque painting. While the echoes of Titian and original

the unquestionable links

with Rubens 's sumptuous Ityle

must be pointed out, composition

this delightful is

a tresh,

independent

expression ot the radiant

young

talent of a brilliant

master.

The

artist's

anticipation ot

themes

and devices characteristic of eighteenth-centur) Venetian painting

is

particularly striking.

265

I


Johann

Liss

Vision of

St.

Anthony

1620 oil on wood, 9'/4 x 7 in.

c.

(23 .3 x 17.8

cm)

Richaru .Museum,

Walliaj

Cologne In his handling ot this

which was very northern European painting and

subject,

popular

in

traditionally seen as an

opportunity to conjure

up hizarre creatures from hell, Liss

returns to the

characteristic features of

genre works, painted

his

with wild and deliberately excessive exuberance.

Johann

Liss

Judith

c oil

1625 on canvas,

50% x

41

in.

(129 x 104 cm)

Museum oj Fine Arts, Budapest Portrayed as a flambovant

Baroque heroine, Lisss Judith graces the walls of various European

museums made

thanks to the copies

by the

artist

himself for

different princely collections.

w ork

The

spectacular

hinges on the

contrasting

momentum

of the terrible decapitated

body of Holofernes and the twisting body of Judith. Her dress, wide and rippling

like a sail

swelling in the wind,

wave of color that whole painting. The eve tollows is

a

illuminates the

the swirling

movement

of folds and creases until

comes to rest on the round neckline and the soft, smooth, gleaming it

skin of the exotic,

seductive, vet tcrrilving

young woman.


267


Johann

Carl Loth

(Munich. 1632-Venice, 1698)

Loth has been placed immediately alter countryman Liss, though this

his Fellow

sliohtlv alters the correct chronological

sequence of the

artists

presented in

this

chapter, because of the similarities between their respective careers. After initial

training in the north, Loth also mi

where he spent most of his working life and became so Italianized that he was also known as "Carlotto," a delightful quasi-dialect version of his name. to Venice,

There are, however, substantial differences between the stvles of the two artists. Loth arrived in Venice around 1650, at a very distinct time, artistically speaking.

Following

Liss's

death a good

manv

years

before, the deaths of Fetti and Strozzi had

interrupted the development of a rich,

luminous

stvle of painting,

which was

reminiscent of Titian and the Flemish painting of the period. Seven teenth-

centurv Venetian art was characterized

bv the work of the Tenebnsti, painters of dense, weighty compositions in

predominantly dark colors. Loth took

up

this

form of expression

in his eclectic

quest for dramatic impact and a carefully

planned chromatic range. Studies in

and other

cities

helped

to attenuate his stvle and keep

with the

latest

Rome

in later years it

in line

developments.

Johann Carl Loth

Wiirzburg,

The Good Samaritan

provides excellent proof of

references on which the

Loth's popularity with

work

aristocratic collectors of

classical,

before 1676

on canvas, 49 x 42 Vi in. (124.5 x 108 cm)

this painting

oil

held by the historical

nude

The

relaxed,

figure of the

wounded vouth, drawn directly

drawn from the well-

known New Testament parable,

Still

based.

period. While the subject is

Collection, Pommersfelden

is

the European Baroque (oval)

Graf von Schbnborn

the rich series of formal

is

in line

its

treatment

with the tastes

family collection of the

of a cultured, sophisticated

prince -bishops of

public capable of grasping

from ancient

sculpture, effective.

is

particularly


1

Johann Carl Loth

We

and Mercury in the House of Philemon and Baucis before 1659 oil on canvas, 70 x 99!/4 in.

encountered this subj< from )\ ill's Metamorphoses

Mercury and Jupiter about

(178 x 252 cm)

the

Jupiter

Kunsthistarisches

Vienna

Museum.

have already

massive, 1

1

in

paintings by

Elsneimer. tin-

I

Rubens and

oth focuses on

conversation betwi en

reward

to be

bestowed

on the pious and hospitable While the

peasants.

figuri

lull

an

bloodl d

n minis* ent

sew nh nil, ntury Flemish Genoese painting (in other words, Rubens ol

1

,

,

and Strozzi), the Squawking duck on the lends an amusing everyday touch to the mythologii al I

â&#x20AC;˘

i

1

scene.

269


,

his followers

had by then declined

Johann Heinrich

portrayal ol

Schonfeld

Inn

ommoo

Johann Heinrich

and

Schonfeld

of the French masters, the triumphant

Scythians at the

Baroque of Bernini and Pietro da Cortona, and the small paintings of everyday subjects produced bv the northern Bamboccianti and the members

of Ovid

classic al

1640 on canvas, 4314 X 36% in.

touch of an unusual groin] of eastern "tourists") is

(Biberach an der

Riss,

1

They had been replaced by the classicism

609-Augsburg,

1683) Like his fellow countrymen Liss and Loth, Schonfeld is a German painter who spent very important periods of his working in Italy

In addition to the

life

unquestionable

Rome and the other Italian one should not forget the tragic consequences of the devastating Thirty Years' War, which constituted a very concrete obstacle to the development of painting and the art market in Germany. attraction of cities,

It is

significant that shortly after the

war

came

to an end with the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, Schonfeld returned to Germany, where he was very successful

both with collectors and in terms of commissions for religious works. His work as a highly regarded engraver also contributed to his fame throughout the seventeenth century. Having completed his artistic training in southern Germany, he settled in Rome in 1633. It should be noted that the popularity of Caravaggio

oil

(llOx 93.5 cm) Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest

Rome founded

by Cornelis van Poelemburgh. In this context, Schonfeld became a leading artist thanks to his exquisite workmanship and the unusual compositional device of causing his figures to recede toward the background. This success was repeated during his long and important stay of over a decade in Naples, where he moved in 1638. In Naples he apparently took little interest in Ribera's full-bodied and occasionally brutal realism. If anything, he was attracted bv Bernardo Cavallino's success in producing scintillating, dynamic

Prolonged contact with the northern painters present in seventeenth-century

Rome

stimulated Schonfeld

i

in the later

seventeenth

but also

in the

century,

when Roman

became

ruins

characteristic

shadow of the

ancient ruins. Unlike the Bamboccianti, he did not

exotii

in view of the future development of European art and culture, not only

the everyday world to be in the

tin

also particularly significant

to try his hand at depicting

found

folk

ruins This painting

(which includes

C.

of the Schildersbent, the association of Dutch painters in

Tomb

i

aptured the poetii and evocative Inn of the i

eighteenth

a

background from the Enlightenment to German Romanticism.

for paintings

linger over the realistic

effects capable of illuminating generally brownish, somber settings. He gained

considerable experience in the

Johann Heinrich

It is

composition of very large, theatrical

Schonfeld

this

Hippomenes and Atalanta

Reni's historic

canvases, suitable for representing the

triumph of ruling houses.

interesting to compare work with Guido

interpretation of the

1650-1660 on canvas, 48V2 x 79 in. (123 x 200.5 cm)

representation of the

episode including the

same

running track, the

arrival,

which Schonfeld was probably familiar. While the classical

and the spectators. The

Bolognese master focuses

almost transparent

subject, with

oil

\iewer and give a narrative

on

monumental depiction the two nudes, Schonfeld a

Brukenthal National Museum,

ot

Sibw, Romania

prefers to distance the

paint, applied lightly with

the tip of the brush and

parts,

in

some

seems to foreshadow

certain eighteenth-century effects.


At the same time, Stosskopf

Sebastian Stosskopf (Strasbourg,

1

work

.

Stosskopf often verges on trompe-l'oeil.

597-ldstein, 1657)

All his

A

s

remains totally original With his almost maniacal passion for precision,

painter working on the "borderline," as

works explore the inner nature

of things. The objects appear as though

Sebastian Stosskopf Still

Life

with Basket

of Glass Objects

aristocratic objects.

The

crystal glasses in the straw-

basket are

all

do not form

different and a single set

1644 oil on canvas,

but a small, select

x 24V2 in. (52 x 62 cm)

astonishing imitative

collection, depicted with

20'/2

befits

one

an artist born in Alsace, Stosskopf

of the

specialists in

is

most mvsterious and fascinating in Baroque still life. He trained

the Rhine-land and Flanders, but a series

of parallels can be drawn with other painters of the period, including

Georg

Hegel and Jan Davidszoon de Heem.

metaphysically transfixed, immobile,

and yet precarious, threatened by the possibility of

imminent

in the

moment

of silence

often deafening concert

of Baroque art.

des Beaux-Arts,

disaster. Fragile,

precious, and defenseless, Stosskopf 's rare paintings are like a

Musee

One

of the glasses

skill.

is

broken, however, and the

Strasbourg slivers of crystal,

now

Reserved for an elite group of patrons, some of Stosskopf 's works

introduce the poignant

Sebastian Stoskopff

theme of the

Trompe-l'oeil

depict precious collections

nature of beauty.

of sophisticated,

completely useless, fleeting

(etching of the Triumph of Galatea attached to a tablet with sealing wax)

1643-1644 on canvas,

oil

25'/2X 21!4 (65 x 54

in.

cm)

Kurnthistoriseh.es

Museum,


273


Abraham Mignon (Frankfurt,

1

640-Wetzlar, 1679)

works were to remain milestones in German taste and were to be constantly imitated right up to the Biedermeier period in the

Abraham Mignon's

belong to a highlv characteristic seventcenth-centurv genre of illustration poised midway

between

still lifes

and science. His precise, and perfectly legible technique make them excellent examples of a cross between Baroque exuberance and the taste art

exquisite,

late

training in his

nineteenth century. After

hometown, Mignon

Utrecht in 1659, together with the master Jacob Morel, to work with Jan Dayidszoon de Heem, an excellent Dutch painter of

mid-seyenteenth century. Mignon alternated periods of residence in Frankfurt widi stays in in the

still lite

From then

on,

for analytic, naturalistic representation.

Utrecht, where the records

The

he was

result of unquestionable talent

and

an assured sense ot composition, Minion's

left for

in

a

1669.

member

show

of the Guild of

that St.

Luke

Abraham Mignon

and insects

Nature as a Symbol

the color and fragrance

of Vanity

of magnificent flowers.

1665-1679 oil on can\as,

surrounded by countless

31 x 39 in. (78.7 x 99 cm)

is filled

with

However, these flowers are deadly snares.

The

painting can thus be

interpreted Hessisches Landesmuseum, as

Darmstadt

an allegory of the yanity

of earthlv things, the

The moist undergrowth

fading ot beauty, and

teeming with small

the all-de\ourina passage

animals, reptiles,

ot time.


Abraham Mignon with Fish

Still

Life

and

Quail's Nest

c.

1670

ml on canvas,

i5x 28V4 in. (89x71.5 cm) /Museum In-

I

dI

of Fine Aits,

Budapest

distinguishing Feature

Mignon s

clarity,

art

is

its

based on

meticulous drawing

and painstaking attention to detail. Experts have also

put forward interesting allegorical interpretations (it

Ins still litis,

which can

often be read as a choice

between wood and

evil.

In tact,

"negative" creatures

such

voracious snails

as

arc juxtaposed to "positive"

ones a

like

symbol

the butterfly, oJ the soul

freeing itself

cocoon of

from the

sin.


Paul Troger c

H

(Monguelfo

1698-Vienna,

in Val Pusteria,

1782)

Born

in

Alto Adige ami an outstanding

figure in the eighteenth-centur) Austrian

school, Troger took up and developed the motifs of Italian Baroque painting in the brilliant context ol Viennese Rococo,

of which he settled in

is

a

leading exponent.

Vienna

of his working

important

in

there, obtaining

life

official

positions and

the director of the Arts. Troger artists

He

1728 and spent much

Academy

was born into

becoming

of Figurative

a family of

and successfully combined the

imaginatiye approach of Rottmayr and

other Austrian colleagues with the Venetian

and Neapolitan traditions, drawing

on Solimena's works, which were highly regarded in Vienna. The result particularly

is

a

vigorous style of painting with an

energetic handling of light and shade in sketches and small canyases, but also

huge decorative works suffused with light. Among the painter's most celebrated fresco a great ability to tackle

compositions, attention should be drawn to the decorations for the library

of the Benedictine Abbey of Melk, on the Danube (Triumph of Reason, 1731-1732) and the ceiling of Bressanone cathedral (Adoration of the Mystic Lamb,

1748â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 1750). The main groups of canyases museums in Vienna (especially the Austrian Baroque Museum, Behedere Castle) and the Museo

by Troger are held by

Diocesano

in

Bressanone.

Paul Troger Christ Comforted

Intense popular feeling, charged w ith pathos and

by an Angel

dramatic emphasis,

c

developed w

1730 oil on canyas, Museo Diocesano, Bressanone

is

ithin a highly

refined pictorial format, in

which elongated swathed in light.

figures are


Franz Anton

Maulbertsch (Langerargen, 1724-Vienna, 1796)

German bv terms of

in

birth but Austro- Hungarian style

and where he was

active,

Maulbertsch is one of the most interesting exponents of European Rococo. He trained in Vienna, where he assimilated Troger's teaching and admired Andrea Pozzo's bold st\le.

Maulbertsch was an international

artist,

capable of appreciating the brilliant

taste ot the

southern

German

courts

and the rapid, fragmented, luminous brushstrokes of Venetian masters such Sebastiano Ricci and Piazzetta.

as

He made

particularly close study oi Giambattista

a

Tiepolo's works, and actually

met the

Venetian master during his stay at

VYur/hurg. Ticpolo was a twofold source of inspiration for Maulbertsch, both for his

impetuous for his

style as

an easel painter and

decoration of vast spaces with

light,

and imaginative, Maulbertsch had a brilliant career at court and ÂŤ ith ecclesiastical patrons in Austria airy frescoes. Aristocratic

(attention should be in

drawn to the frescoes

the Piarist church in Vienna and the

Hofberg

in

Innsbruck), Bohemia, Slovakia,

and Hungary.

momentum

Franz Anton

briskness and

Maulbertsch

of sketches, but are

leaves others in shadow,

The Education of Mary

independent compositions

and an all-enveloping sense

in their c.

oil

175

own

right.

The

illuminates

some

of dynamism that

parts but

is

5

subject, repeatedly painted

on canvas,

23'/2X 11 34

in the historv

in.

(60 x 30 cm) Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe

Maulbertsch 's most characteristic

work

of art

in the

customary terms of delicate domestic intimacy, is treated bv Maulbertsch as an opportunity for a highly imaginative

work

consists of easel paintings

featuring a flight of angels,

that display

a

all

the

brilliantly controlled.

handling of light that

277

I


Franz Anton

Maulbertsch Dawn

Allegory of c.

1750

Oil 'in

(

.imas,

26V4 x 20Y4

in.

(67 x 5? an) Wallraf-Richartz Museum,

Cologne

Maulbertsch makes no distinction

between

religious subjects and

mythological or allegorical

themes. His painting always strikes a lofty note of imaginative idealization.

Whenever

possible, he

introduces whirling

airborne figures in wildly unpredictable athletic

poses in line with the light-hearted taste

of Rococo art.


Franz Anton

Maulbertsch St.

Narcissus

in

Glory

1750 oil on canvas, 63% x 40'/2 in. (162 x 103 cm) c.

Akademie der bildenden Kiinste, Vienna

As is typical in Maulbertsch 's work, the face

is

practically

unrecognizable, lost in the great mystic flight of light

and color and the swirling

momentum

brilliantly

imparted to the painting a whole.

Franz Anton

As often happens,

In the decoration of large

Maulbertsch

Maulbertsch's frescoes

areas of wall or ceiling,

Allegory of the Sciences

prove more

Maulbertsch again uses the

(detail

with figure

of Diogenes)

1794

and

effervescent sketches.

lighter palette of Tiepolo and the international

This tendency

Rococo

is

artists.

accentuated in the later

works, which also had

fresco librjr\

static

contrived than his

of Strahov Abbey,

to take into consideration

the

Prague

new

neoclassical style.

Franz Anton

Franz Anton

Maulbertsch

Maulbertsch

Abduction Scene

Sacrifice of Iphigenia

c.

as

c 1750-1752

1760

on canvas, 29 x 20 /2 in.

oil

oil

(73.5 x 52.4

on canvas,

48!/2 x 36'4 in.

l

cm)

tforavska Galeric,

Brno

(123 x 92 cm)

Muzeum Narodowe, Warsaw

Franz Anton

In a dazzling aura of divine

Maulbertsch

splendor, the shining

Marriage of the Virgin

Madonna

is

set at the

intersection of the

1760, oil on canvas, 23 [/4X 14 in. (59 x 35.5 cm)

perspective diagonals

Private collection, Vienna

is

c.

on which the painting expertly based.

279


Cosmas Damian and Egid Quirin

of the great Baroque architecture,

Asam

worked

(Benediktbeuren, 1686-Munich, 1739)

the churches of Andernach, Rohr,

(Tegernsee,

especially Bernini's creative output. Alter

returning to roles.

1

692-Mannheim, 1750)

all

Asam

in the

brothers played the leading role

period of great Rococo decoration

predominantly Catholic regions of southern Germany. Architects, painters, and decorators, they translated the in the

scenographic feeling of

late

in

1714, they always

Baroque into

masterpieces of Bavarian Rococo. Egid

who showed

Quirin,

a talent for sculpture

and moldings, produced altars, groups of statues, and ornamental stuccos. Cosmas

s

in

Rome, where il

study

Abbey Church, Aldersbach It is

very difficult to

capture in photographs the striking effect of the

brothers.

open

1733, the brothers began

abbeys and their particular

the construction and decoration

theatrical effects should be

skv. In

Munich. Built at their steps awav from their home, the church (also known as the Asamkirche) is designed

i

1720

fresco

developed freely to include forms, colors, and perspectives leading away into the

both the rw onstruction work and the perfectly integrated decoration of stucco, 1711, the two brothers

after

churches built and

work on

'leath in

Abbey

Damian worked primarily as a painter; his work was based on his studies in Rome but

charming exuberant forms. They worked above all on the majestic abbeys, executing

d furnishings. After their

Interior of the

Church, Aldersbach

Their most important works include

Weingarten, Weltenburg, and Straubing,

Born to the craft (their father Georgera was a reputable painter of frescoes), the

Germany

closely together, often exchanging

Cosmas Damian and Egid Quirin Asam

of the church of

St.

Nepomuk in own expense, a few

John

as a dazzling theatrical

work

that

culminates in the apotheosis of the saint

above the high

altar.

decorated by the

The

Asam

light

interiors of the

Rococo

seen and appreciated

dynamically bv moving

around inside the vast spaces and enjoying the succession of spectacular views.


Cosmas Damian and Egid Quirin Asam Assumption of the Virgin after

1720

fresco Cupola, Abbey Church, Aldersbach

The cupola over the high altar creates a highly

effective optical illusion

of piercing the ceiling.

Here we can see the continuity established

between the sculptural elements and the paintings through the close

between two brothers.

collaboration the

"


Anton Raphael

Mengs (Aussig,

A

1728-Rome, 1779)

painter and theorist oi ureat importance

in the history

of art, Mengs

is

rightly

regarded as one ot the founders of Neoclassicism

or, to

be more precise,

as

the leading figure in the phase of transition

between the late Baroque and the changes brought about in art and culture by the Enlightenment. Trained by his father Ismael (a miniaturist at the Saxon court), Mengs spent his childhood and early youth

between the Dresden of Augustus III of Saxonv, and Rome. During his travels in Italy, the young Mengs developed a passion for the study of archaeology and came under the spell of Raphael's painting. While such interests are hardly unheard similar tastes were displayed a century of in this earlier bv Guido Reni and Poussin

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

case they constitute a theoretical stance

intended as

a radical alternative to

the

dynamic virtuosity and animated, but often excessive, style of Baroque art. Even a journev to Venice, where the great eighteenth-century school of Tiepolo was then developing, did nothing to change

Mengs 's mind. After settling in Rome, Mengs became the advocate of a return to a serene, intellectual form of art grounded in the classical rules

of decorum, harmony,

and composure, and imparted these precepts as director of the Accademia Capitolina. In 1755, the arrival in

Rome

of the philosopher and writer

Winckelmann marked of

a

the beginning

noble period devoted to the study and

revival of ancient art. The fresco Parnassus on the ceiling of Villa Albani 761 summarizes the return to Raphael and classicism. The spreading of Enlightenment ideas and aesthetics paved the way ( 1

for a radical change in taste. In

1762, Mengs published the

first

edition

of his treatise Reflections on Beauty and in Painting, a

Taste

fundamental theoretical

known throughout Europe, and he established himself as an study soon

outstanding cultural authority in the fields

of art and ideas. His highly controlled and aristocratic frescoes for the royal palace in

Madrid, where he worked for two long

periods, gave the definitive coup de grace

toTiepolo's creative exuberance and

put forward

a

new model

in the neoclassical era.

that ushered


Anton Raphael Mengs Glory of St Eusebius

1757 fresco Ceiling,

Church

oj Siint'Eusebio,

Rome

Mengs could not sever ties

all

with Baroque art

works,

in his public

and especial Iv those commissioned tor churches in

Rome.

is,

It

however,

possible to detect an

emphasis on formal and intellectual control over the-

painting that curbs

excessively bold

foreshortening and

subdues dramatic impetus.

Anton Raphael Mengs with Red Cloak

Self-Portrait

1744 pastel

on paper,

2P/4X 16% (55.5 x 42.5

in.

cm)

Gemdidegalerte, Dresden

Mengs was

also highly

regarded as a portraitist. This earlv work, painted

when he was only is still

sixteen,

partly influenced

by the free brushwork of Venetian art. Mengs subsequently painted a

number of

self-portraits,

which he sent to the courts of Europe in order to spread his fame.

283


-

1

J 1

I**

9^H


the intellectual capital of Europe: a that Paris, was incontestable from 1715 on, when Philip of title

Orleans assumed the regency on behalf of Louis

XV Parisian

emony

and the refined,

atmosphere of

intellectual

drawing rooms was preferred to the solemn cer-

of the Versailles court.

was

It

this

period that saw

the rapid spread of the Querelle des anciens

which had already emerged

at the

et des

modernes,

end of the seventeenth

century, and the birth of the Enlightenment, a cultural that was to extend to the rest of Europe. A whole range of directions and interests converged

movement

around the dominant role assigned to reason. History

was understood

as the

slow process of civilization, and

as

the liberation from the sway of the sacred and the irrational,

which meant

that the principal targets

were

reli-

gious confessions, considered to be the source of ignorance.

The new

figure of the intellectual

began to play

a

He was fundamentally eclectic and willing to explore new disciplines and to share his ideas in a constant relationship with the public. Two particularlv influleading role.

were Voltaire, the author of Candide (1759), whose irony was an effective weapon against hatred, fanaticism, and passion, and Baron de Montesquieu, whose De l'esprit des his (1748) describes the regulatory mechanisms of society, beyond religious and metaphysical influences. The ideas of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the most problematic and complex figure of the Enlightenment, ential figures

evolved in a substantially opposite direction. His writings, Discours sur

les sciences et les arts

first

(1750) and Dis-

couts sur l'origine de l'inegalite (1755), consider history as a

gradual decline and corruption compared to an origi-

nal state in

which men were innocent and equal. The

most significant cultural achievement of the Enlightenment was, however, a collective work, the Encyclopedic ou Dictionnaire raisonne

(1751 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 1772),

des

jor French intellectuals Francois Boucher

The Toilet of Venus 1751 oil

on canvas, 33V4

in.

(108 3 x 85 cm) Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

mon

sciences,

des

arts

et

des

metiers

macom-

to w^hich Voltaire, Rousseau, and the all

contributed, united by a

desire to fight the obscurantism and the prejudices

of traditional culture. The editor of the encyclopedia was the writer and philosopher Denis Diderot, author of the Paradoxe sur

le

comedien, a

major contribution to the

lively

debate on the theater that developed in the eighteenth centurv, which led to the revaluation of genres such as farce

and the drame

bourgeois, traditionally

be inferior. Also important in

this sense

considered to is

the painter


Jean-Honore Fragonard The Love Letter c.

1770-1780

on canvas, 32-% x 26'/4 in. (83.2 x 67 cm) Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York oil

Watteau, whose theatrical vocation finds

on Dancourt's play

subject, based

on the comedy

rather

The

Les trois cousines,

ballet La Venitiene,

is

amorous The unattainable and mysterious Eros is, in

one of

his favorite

masks, such as

the

Gilles

from the Commedia

a desire to

stage, but

record the

ic

from the enclosed,

effortlessly

life

of

aims rather to carry out a

process of symbolic transfiguration. His

move

fact,

(Louvre, Paris). However, Watteau 's

does not stem from

contemporary

initi-

themes, together with that of theater

interest in the depiction of scenes Jell' Arte

or

a theatrical

scene that represents the various levels of ation.

ex-

its fullest

pression in Embarkation for Cythera (Louvre, Paris).

work seems

artificial,

to

and iron-

world of the theater to the magnificent foliage of parks

whose only concern seems moment. Here there appear

inhabited by Arcadian ghosts to be to capture the fleeting

to be curious affinities with music, especially with that of

Mozart, whose pictorial counterpart Watteau can be considered.

The

figures captivate us not because of the

theme, but for the order

seem

to have

comedy

in

which they are arranged: they

been born under the

ballet

lights

of opera or

performances and to pursue an almost

pre-Wagnerian dream of

a fusion

of the various

The work of Jean-Baptiste- Simeon Chardin

is

arts.

far

from

the artificial fantasies of Watteau 's fetes galantes, country

and comedy actors, representing instead everyday

balls,

aspects of position,

life.

His disarming simplicity, balanced com-

and delicate use of colors, with

a

preference for

white and light blue, are evidence of a refined technique

and an extraordinary lucidity of analysis, in a manner that

seems

in

some ways

to anticipate Cezanne. His four ver-

sions of Boy Playing With Cards, for

same

silent,

immobile world

flayers. In his late

as

example,

recall the

Cezanne's series of Card-

maturity, Chardin abandoned oil paint-

ing in favor of pastel, a technique that

duced into France

in the

had been intro-

second decade of the eighteenth

century by the Venetian painter Rosalba Carriera, and that

met with

great favor

among

portrait painters.

Maurice Quentin de La Tour appreciated the rapidity of execution, which allowed

him to seize aspects of his figwould otherwise be indefinable, such as the spontaneitv, freshness, and immediacy of expressions. The work of Liotard, on the other hand, moves in a com-

ures that

pletely different direction, using the technique of pastel

not in order to exploit nuances of semi-tones and subtle

287


Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin Still Life with Cat c.

oil

1728-1730 on canvas,

28%

x 41

Vi in.

(73 x 105 cm)

Metropolitan Museum New York

of Art,

blending but, on the contrary, to define the figures with firm, clear strokes free

An

from any

lyrical effects.

itinerant court painter, Liotard

worked

for Austrian,

French, English, and Dutch nobles, avoiding the grave

poses that characterized Baroque portraits. objects he preferred as accessories chairs, books, letters,

were

Among

the

furs, tables,

and baskets of fruit: against a plain

ground, often gray-brown, the image

is still,

without chiaroscuro. Examples are the

in a light

Self-Portrait

and

The Chocolate Girl (both in the Gemaldegalerie, Dresden), painted around 1745.

lore brilliant and inventive, although uneven, io

was i

free of the tyranny of

is

models

was to some extent influenced

by Watteau, especially

in

works such

as the Birth ofAdonis

and the Death ofAdonis (both in the Matthieu Goudchaux Collection, Paris), painted around 1730. The mythological scenes that

form the

essential

and most successful

part of his output are accompanied by the fine portraits in which his extraordinary decorative most evident. As well as painting, he also prac-

and landscapes ability is

ticed drawing, set design, and tapestrv, giving a

on

life

new

lease

to the Gobelins factory.

While Watteau took delight in painting fetes galantes and Boucher preferred allegories and pastoral scenes, Jean-

Honore Fragonard,

the last of the great French painters

of the eighteenth centurv, combined scenes of familv

life

with

all

lively taste

these, depicting

and

a realistic,


Jean Antoine Watteau Gilles c.

oil

1717-1719 on canvas,

72'/2 x

58%

in.

(184 x 149 cm) Louvre, Paris

though by no means sentimental,

"A genius of

virtuosity," the

spirit.

Goncourts were to

call

him.

Fragonard's appeal stems from the refinement and at the

same time the seemingly improvised spontaneity of

his

works, executed in magnificent reds and deep rust tones, anticipating the great art of the Impressionists, especially

Renoir,

who was

his spiritual heir.

long undervalued, Fragonard

is

An

eclectic painter,

probably the finest rep-

resentative of the sensual, courteous eighteenth century that

was to end with the revolutionary deeds of the bour-

geoisie,

who

populate his work throughout his long ca-

reer until his death in 1806.

289


Jean Antoine

Watteau (Valenciennes, 1684-Paris, 1721)

The

greatest French artist of the early

eighteenth century, he chose the intimacy of genre scenes, the witty improvisation

of the

Commedm

or pathetic

idvll

Jell' Arte,

and the frivolous

offetes galantes, in open

contrast with the rhetorical and

pompously

of the Academy. In the Querelle des modernes, which raged at

classical style des anciens ex

the beginning of the century in France, he immediately showed himself to be

frequented the workshop

He

anti-Academy.

of Pierre and Jean Mariette, collectors and printers, representatives of a trend that

opposed the official taste of the court and the Academy, preferring the most free and open currents of French and Flemish-Dutch

•.

painting. In opposition to the classical style

of Poussin he favored the wide, free rein of the imagination, whose fullest expression

not in classical theater, in the theater but in the contemporary genres of comedies-ballets and Comedie ltalienne

was

(Commedia

resumed

dell'.lrte),

m

performances of which

after the death of Louis

XIV

in

1715. This type of theater, populated by comedians, clowns, and masks, constituted

'vffi

main theme of his work. A fundamental experience in his development was his stay with Claude Audran, the keeper of the the

Luxembourg

Palace, the

home

of the great

of Marie de' Medici. This contact with the work of the Flemish

Rubens cvcle of the

Life

master was to prove decisive from a thematic and formal standpoint. His style became more free and immediate, his painting ductile and rapid, the tones delicate

and bright, and the figures fluid and light. While it is impossible to order his works chronologically,

it is

possible

thematic point of view

—from

to identify

a

V-

two

main lines: theater scenes and fetes galantes, imaginary gatherings of ladies and

gentlemen evoked in a sweetly nostalgic atmosphere and in a swift, ductile manner that combines the warm colors of Rubens with the iridescent tones of the Venetian school. It was precisely as a painter ofJetes galantes that

he was received into

the Academy.

Almost the whole of Watteau 's output was executed in the last six years of his life, between 1717, the date of Embarkation for the date of Gersaint's Shop Cnhera, and 72 1

Sign, a eulogy of

most

1

«l

,

modern

painting and of

illustrious predecessors

its

(from Rubens

to van Dvck), considered to be his artistic

testament.

Jean Antoine Watteau

groups

Reunion Champetre

collage. Unlike in classical

like

frames

in a

.*T

composition, there are

I718

no main characters and no hierarchy of figures. The imaginative, rhythmic 'ion and the

phere ;>ible

IfW

-

A

'


5V-\.

;

:

.

-r-'.-

.

.

.

": '

:

.

'

' .

.

s%

.

.

^

:'

.;•

-

•'

!


Jean Antoine Watteau Mezzetin

1717-1719 oil

on canvas,

17x 21%

in.

(43.1 x 55.2 Metropolitan

New

cm) Museum of Art,

York

Here the painter employs his favorite theme of masks for a highlv effective

psvchological investigation.

A Commedia

dell' Arte

Mezzetin

represented

is

mask,

he sings, accompanying an

as

himself on the guitar

elegant image, with a subtle veil of melancholy.

Jean Antoine Watteau Embarkation for Cythera

1717 on canvas, 50'/2 x 76 in. (128 x 193 cm)

oil

Louvre, Paris

The painting can be read as a theatrical

scene that

unfolds from right to

left,

from the rose -garlanded bust of Venus to the couples of lovers

j?

who

j^,J

are about to board the boat for the island of Venus,

the goddess of love, born in the sea off

The on

^5W^P

Cvthera.

scene, perhaps based

a play

by Dancourt,

is

to be read as an invitation to

embark

»

for the island

r

of love, and every detail is

a variation

on

flBF

this

invitation: the boat

is

a

'i

\

:

a

*•

^I^HP'

£

4b

magnificent golden

i

gondola and the journey illy,

h

iv

*

the

used

-

M '

j&

1

afflr '

.


Jean Antoine Watteau La

Game d'Amour

c.

1717 on canvas,

oil

20!4x 23^

in

an atmosphere pervaded

by iridescent displays a

light,

and

In the

National Gallery, London

foreground

is

oljetes galantes,

perspective.

against a

strikingly original.

the main group, oblique

belongs to the genre

painting,

main

is

complex

and evasive, behind them a statue of Pan, which creates a double

The

in the

figures in the scene

composition.

in.

(51.3 x 59.4 cm)

.

and separation

of luxuriant nature

which is

set

background

The

feeling

of psychological absence

293


Jean Antoine Watteau Shop Sign

Gersaint's

1720 oil on canvas,

64'4x

120'/2in.

(163 x $06 cm) (

harlottenbuia

One

masterpieces, painted lor GersaJnt,

Âť

iili

it

his

was nd

frii

dealer

tin- art

w liom he

1719, \ci\

astle, Berlin

(

ol his last

sia\<-d

when he was w

ill

from

already

tuberculosis.

iili

The unusual breadth of the composition

raises

new some

genre

painting to

heights;

to the left

assistants

place a portrait of I.ouis

XIV

(attributable to

Lebrun) in a box, while a gentleman, perhaps Watteau himself, invites a lady to admire examples of

modern

painting

hanging on the wall.

To the

right Gersaint

his wife are

and

busy showing

items to their customers,

probably the patrons.

The

artist's

main

sobriety

and originality of the color combinations, and the brushwork, at times nervous and rapid, at times applied calmly in wide, subtly

modulated

are precursors of

Impressionism.

sections,


painting The Ru\ (Louvre, Paris),

Jean-Baptiste-

Simeon Chardin (Paris,

1699-1779)

A

controversial artist,

but

at

ol

Cubism

at

times almost

in his

a

use ol space,

times capable of tender, contained

emotion, Chardin was perhaps the only great painter of the eighteenth century \\

ho had no Academy training and

never traveled to

Italy.

who

The Academy

in

in Place

Success, however, only

precursor

shown

Dauphine in an open-air exhibition, won him admission to the Vcadeim as a "painter ol animals and Iruit." 1728

did,

however, manage to win him back: his

when he

tame

alter 1737,

exhibited seven genre scenes

at

the Salon, including the Cnrl uuh Rocket

and Shuttlecock

(llffizi,

Florence). In 1743

time -i onsuming duties, he redu< ed his output and began to paint copies and variations ol previous works.

From

animated by a desire to change and to surprise, Chardin turned to pastel, a medium that he used only for portraits, analyzing the features ol Ins models with 1771

the

,

still

same

careful attention he had brought

game

Chardin was elected counselor of the

to fruit and

Academy, in 175 5 he became treasurer, and from 76 he was the "hanger"

Before him only Vermeer had matched the

of the Salon, an event of international

the Bunch of Flowers in a white china vase

renown. Taken up by these increasingly

decorated with

1

1

in his

still lifes.

particular pictorial treatment evident in

a

blue pattern (National

Gallery ol Scotland,

dinburgh), with the subtle interplay ol white and blue, m a milky light, that demonstrates an I

almost magical ability to combine great power and great simplil itv.


Jean-Baptiste Chardin

A central

The Young Schoolmistress c. 1736

bare composition of this

oil

on canvas,

24V4 x 26'/4 (61.

in.

ix 66.5 cm)

\ational Gallery, London

painting

element

is

the long hatpin

voung woman, seen

in profile, points

out the

letter of the alphabet to

This work, whose theme

century Dutch painting,

and gray tones, presents

evokes the transitoriness

a classical pyramidal

Chardin to bring out

c. 1739 oil on canvas, 24 x 24% in. (61 x 63 cm)

of earthly things and

structure.

the psychological depth

Metropolitan

of the character.

"Sew York

much

with which the sweet figure of the

Jean-Baptiste Chardin Soap Bubbles

young

in the

her

pupil.

It is

not so

the careful rendering

of the features as the subtle use of color that allows

Museum

oj Art,

is

taken from seventeenth-

at

same time the fickleness of women's

feelings.

based on

The composition, a plav of brown

the

297


Jean-Baptiste Chardin Pipes

and Drinking Pitcher

1757 oil on canvas, 12% x 15% in. (32.5 x 40 cm)

Jean-Baptiste Chardin

Louvre, Paris

Self-Portrait

c.

Owned

bv the

the painting

drawn up on a

the death

wife

I

in

in

[ere, too, there

steel

blue satin. is

a

harmony of blues

and whites.

pastel, 18

x 15

in.

Jean-Baptiste Chardin

(46 x 38 cm)

Boy Playing with Cards

Louvre, Paris

1737:

rosewood case with

handles, lined

delicate

1775

was described

the inventory

in detail in

ol his first

artist,

Exhibited

at

the Salon

775 together with the portrait of his second wife of

1

Marguerite Pouget, he married

in

1

744,

much admired by and public

alike.

whom it

was

critics

Writing

about the painting at the end of the nineteenth

1737 on canvas, 32V4 x 26 in. (82 x 66 cm)

oil

Sational Gallery of Art, Washington

This

is

the

last

of four

same one of many

versions of the subject,

centurv, Proust praised

related to childhood

Chardin

and children's games.

s

eccentric

originality in portraying

The

himself as an old English

yet elegant

tourist.

and the physical

simplicity of the bare

composition

and psychological characterization ot the boy anticipate Cezanne's

famous

painting the Card-Players,


a

rff

G?

-?.

• 299


Jean-Baptiste Chardin The Cook 1758 oil

18

on canvas, x 14'/2in.

(46 x 37

cm)

Alte Pmakothek,

Munich

Here Chardin adapts a theme typical of seventeenth-century Hutch painting: next to the

woman, who slightly

is

leaning

forward, he places

round objects characteristic of the

furnishing of a

There

interior.

no aspect

homely is,

however,

ol social critique,

but rather a desire to highlight the ordinariness ol the

scene by avoiding

any picturesque detail.

The broad brushstrokes i

over the canvas with a

thick layer of paint.

Jean-Baptiste Chardin The Return from Market 1739 oil

on canvas,

W/ix

IS

(47 x 38

in.

cm)

Louvre, Paris

Exhibited at the Salon of 1739, the painting is particularly striking

due

to the brilliant

composition. To the the

left,

doorway opening onto

the copper tank creates a background perspective that projects the

pourvoveuse, captured in a distracted attitude tbat contrasts with the realistic

setting,

toward the viewer.


Pierre Subleyras (Saint-Gilles-du Sard,

1699-Rome, 1749)

ihus

becoming one

ol the public painters

of eighteenth century Rome, Sublevras worked in large and small

formats With notable results.

He

Sublevras trained in Paris in the workshop

tine portraits,

(Museum, ChantilK and the Abbess BattistmaYernasca (Musee Fabre,

de

enes. In 1727 he

Rome

won

die Prix

for his Bronze Serpent

(Fontainebleau), and the following year

he

mo\ed

to Italv.

A protege of Cardinal

1740 he was admitted to the 74-3 he di San Luca and in obtained the commission for the Mass of St. Basil, one of the altarpieces in the basilica of St. Peter's, where he worked together withVouet, Poussin, and Valentin, Valenti, in

Accademia

1

St.

Catherine de'

Ricci

painted

of Jean-Pierre Rivalz, a painter ol lowerl

Pierre Subleyras The Marriage of

such as Benedict XIV

c.

oil

1740 1745 on canvas

)

Pi irate

i

ollection,

Rome

Montpellier), as well as magnificent

The

altarpieces such as the Crucifixion (Brera,

ol light

Milan) and the Miracle of St. Benedict in the church of Santa Francesca Romana in

heightens the center of the picture,

where the mystical

Rome,

union

celebrated, while

His

last

revealing hidden talent as a colorist.

works

display an almost Jansenist

rigor in the spare lines of the composition and the limited range of color, reminiscent of that of Philippe de Champaigne.

skillful

is

distribution

and shadow

an enigmatic, isolated figure to the right

draws

the viewer's attention.


Pierre Subleyras St.

Ambrose Converts

Theodosius

1745 on canvas

oil

Calieria Nazionale, Perugia

Painted for the church of the Olivetans in Perugia, both the composition and the limited range of colors

demonstrate

a Jansenist


Pierre Subleyras

Mass

of

altarpiece in the Basilica

174? oil

dei Frari in Venice, or the

on canvas,

Madonnas and Saints of

52*4 X 31'/2 in. (133.5 x 80 cm) Hermitage,

This

is

model

St.

Paolo Veronese). The is dominated by a

scene

Petersburg

controlled sense of

the magnificent

composition, beginning

for the altarpiece

with the monumental

executed for the church

architecture in the

of Santa Maria degli Angeli

background. The two

in

Rome. Perhaps

his

masterpiece of religious painting,

it is

no

C.

oil

line of seventeenth-

and

eighteenth-century

which extends from the allegories of Jan Bruegel and Rubens to painting,

1747-1749 on canvas

Academy of Fine

Arts,

Vienna

the

museum images

of

Having reached the end

early neoclassicism, such

of

as

his career,

effectively

Subleyras

and evocatively

remembers

his

oeuvre.

Taking the form of

Zoffany's Tribuna of the

Ujfizi.Th,e artist's poetic sensibility can

be seen in

such as the figures with their backs to us,

details

a self-portrait in his studio,

becomes a summary of the artist s

which may even remind

works and

of Painting. Particularly

the painting

i

also,

through

he presence of classical I

his

sources

luer is. This

work

an important

us of Vermeer's Allegory

touching

is

the small figure

of the fair-haired boy intent (it

seems) on drawing.

fluted

columns give

a sense

of rhythm to the space and create an atmosphere of

The

coincidence that Subleyras

high solemnity.

placed

it

are arranged along a clear

of The

Painter's Studio

at

the center

figures

diagonal axis, but, despite

reproduced below. He draws from and develops

the rigid control, the scene

number of different sources, achieving a work

Subleyras unfurls his

memorable whites

of high nobility and great

the center of the canvas,

composure. The starting

creating the bright

points are the Holy

luminosity that

Conversations of sixteenth-

distinctive feature.

a

Pierre Subleyras The Painter's Studio

century Venetian painting (such as Titian's Pesaro

St. Basil

remains

lively.

Once

is

again

in

his

most


Maurice Quentin de La Tour

concerned with appearances, and toward which he adopted a detached, ironic, and

(Saint-Quentm. 1704-1788)

After his training

An

artist

who recorded

official sick- ol

the

pomp

contemporary

life

with considerable professional

and the

in

skill

at

times scornful attitude. in Paris in

I

the

workshop

of J. Spoede, a painter of still lifes, in 1725 he went to England, when- he staved for

France

two

and an

received

years.

On

his

I

painted portraits of

I

0111s

XV

ouvre), ol

and of great

mem hers

ol

ill

and the

nervous, impulsive temperament

the

artist, his rapidit) ol exe<

the aristot

rat

matched

\

encyclopedists Voltaire, Rousseau, and D'Alembert.The medium he used for

become popular to

Pans (1720

portraits,

the Academy, taking part regularly in the

Venetian pastelist Rosalba

evidence of a society that was only

Salons.

proved to be the medium best suited

Camera.

C

a r.ipiditv ol vision that

extreme undermine

refined elicits, achieved through

technical virtuosity, does not

in France after the stay 1721) of the will known

eye lor psychological analysis, he painted portraits, all of them in pastel, that arc

l>\

ol thi

ution was

allowed him to capture his sitters in vibrant tones. His search for luxurious,

Intellectuals, including the

these portraits was pastel, which had

return to Paris he

numerous commissions for and in 1737 he was admitted

le

Marquise de Pompadour (both

in

the spontaneity and freshness of pastel painting.

Pastel to the

Maurice Quentin de La Tour Portrait of

Mile Ferrand

1753 oil on canvas Ake Pinakothek, Munich

A

cultured voung lady

portrayed as she takes a pause from her reading of a

work on Newton.

In

the mid-eighteenth century, the ideas of the English scientist,

who had

died in 1727, had reached a vast

public, including

women, with

the

publication of

works

//

\e\rtoniamsmo per

like

le

dame

(The Science of Newton for

(1737) byFrancesco Algarotti.

Ladies)

305


Jean-Marc Nattier (Paris,

1685-1766)

made by in

1

portraits of Louis

of mythological portraits, Nattier

completed the works Raoux had left unfinished, an experience that was to prove decisive in his development. In 1710 he was commissioned bv Louis XIV to make engravings of his drawings of Rubens 's The Life of Marie de' Medici in the

Luxembourg

official

portrait

He produced XV, Queen Marie

painter to the court.

After training in the studio of Jean Raoux, a painter

Jean-Marc Nattier

his godfather Jouvenet,

742 he became the

Palace, and in

the

Academy

juently, i

1715

as a

however, he trait painting, i

ient

hed b\

Leszczynski, and the king's daughters.

were portraved innumerable times, depicted as nvmphs, shepherd girls, or young goddesses, in a form

The

latter

of "posed" portraiture that preferred an unreal though measured elegance

characterized by classical

composure

and Albani, acquire emblematic value, becoming the svmbols of a societv, an environment, and a lifestyle marked artificial

d elegant e.

grace and

1751

on canvas, x 3214 in. (70 x 82 cm)

oil

27'/2

Ujfi/A, Florence

the rouged cheeks, and still

reminiscent of the art of Domenichino

by the taste for

Maria

astonished expression,

psychological interpretation. His

world

Madame

In this portrait the

of attitude and pose to anv kind of portraits, the last record of a

Portrait of

Zeffirina

the coy gesture of stroking

her lapdog

all

contribute

to the sitter's doll-like

appearance.


,

Jean-Etienne Liotard (Geneva, 1702-1789) After his apprenticeship in Geneva in the workshop of Daniel Gardelle, where he

mainlv learned the technique ol miniature

on china, in 1723 Liotard moved where he began to work as a miniaturist and engraver. Individualism was both his limit and his strong point. Having painting

to Paris,

attempt to enter the Academy

tailed in his in

1733, he devoted himsell exclusively to

portrait painting, establishing himself as a

master of pastel,

medium

a

introduced into

France by Rosalba Carriera. Linlike other masters

who

exploited the semi-tones and

Jean-Etienne Liotard The Chocolate

Girl

1744 1745 pastel on parchment 32'/2 x 20 3/4 in.

the sfhmato transitions of pastel, Liotard

(82.5 x 52.5

denned his figures with clear lines, avoiding any form of lyricism. A cosmopolitan

Gemaldegalerie, Dresden

artist,

he painted the Austrian, Lrench,

English, and the

whole

Dutch

nobility, leaving

out

array ol curtains, drapes,

crowns, and other

trills

court portraiture.

He

that characterize

depicts his characters

cm)

Liotard's masterpiece, it

was already praised his contemporaries

by

for the technical perfection

achieved in the use of

Count Francesco

with remarkable simplicity, with clear,

pastels.

well-defined surfaces, as though they are

Algarotti,

engraved, without recourse to elegant,

the painting in 1745 in

cloving formulas.

Venice for the royal

779 on he received no more commissions. Concerned by the development of political events, he retired

From

to his

who purchased

collections of Dresden,

1

country house

southeast ot Geneva, still liles

in a village to

the

where he painted

of naive beauty and unexpected

modernity.

He

died in 1789, one

month

praised

its

likeness.

astonishing

The

refined use

of a limited range of colors is

particularly effective:

the white apron stands out against the

background

betore the beginning of the French

tones of gray, pink, and

Revolution.

ocher,

which are also used on the cup.

for the pattern

307


Francois Boucher (Paris,

1703-1770)

and for brief periods in Naples and Venice. He painted mythological themes such as the Birth ofAdonis and the Death of \donii (both

Boucher, a brilliant decorator and colorist and a protege of the Marquise de Pompadour, represented the elegant, rehned taste of the court of Louis XV.

He

painted

all

his subjects

with great

perfection and taste, happy to try his hand

wide range of genres and themes, from mythological subjects to pastoral scenes, from landscapes to portraits. After training in the workshop of Francois at a

Lemovne, he traveled to staving in

Rome

at

Italy in

the French

1

727,

Academy

in

the Matthicu

Goudchaux

Ins style are

treatment. to

given

Tin-

work with

a

more

individual

following year he began

the Royal Manufactory

ot Beauvais, for

which he produced the

Collection, Paris), and the pastoral scene

cartoons ol lourteen tapestries

Woman

Fetes de village a 1'itahcnnc, rustic

at the

Fountain

(J.

B.

Speed Art

Museum, Louisville). He returned to Paris in 1731 and was admitted to the Academy as a history ,

painter in 1734, presenting Rinaldo and ArmiJa (Louvre, Paris) as his morceau de

1735 he received his first commission: the decoration of the

reception. In official

Queen's room with four in

in the palace

grisailles

of Versailles

depicting the virtues,

which the Italian-influenced aspects of

with brightly-colored figures

in

in

the series

scenes relaxed

poses against a highly evocative background of woods and ruins.

Despite the evident influence ofWatteau,

Boucher evolved an unmistakably aimed at exalting beauty and eroticism. In 1742 he began to work with the Paris Opera, producing magnificent stage sets; this comes as no surprise, since his theatrical individual pictorial language

to( .limn

and

his

is

evident

in

both

Ins painting

drawing. In 1755 he was appointed

painter to tin- king, after which he continued to alternate religious and pastoral subjects, landscapes and countryside or mythological scenes, confirming his fame as a charming

painter of grace and joy.


Francois Boucher Nude Lying on a Sofa

Francois Boucher Rinaldo and Armida

I7S2

17 34

on canvas, 2314 x 28% in.

oil

oil

(59 x 73 cm) Ahe Pinukothck, Munich

\\ it

/

nudity

air,

the girl's

to tradition, Hon.

of the cushions,

and the pink

own

features and

with those of

flesh

beauty

and sensuality

1746

Commissioned by

the

on canvas, in.

cm)

day: morning, noon,

Swedish ambassador Count

afternoon, and night.

Tessin, an assiduous visitor

light, precise

Boucher household well as an admirer of

to the

(64 x 53

many

ol his paintings.

Francois Boucher Morning

20%

Armida

his wife,

in various guises in

of the age.

2514 x

I

woman of renowned who appeared

a

representation of the

oil

hi

depicted Rinaldo with his

ereate a perfect

frivolity

to the

<

the curtain and the clothing,

onto XVI ol Torquato

(

won him admittance \. ademj V ording

The daring pose,

silk

cm)

Parti

lasso's Jerusalem Delivered,

the reflection of the light

on the

re,

This painting, based

provocative yet

is

graceful.

nm

on

K a rather

mischievous

35.5 x 170.5

(1

Gently reclining on the safe,

on canvas, x 67 in.

5 3 '/2

as

Mme

Boucher, the painting

was to have been part of a

The

design and

the skillful representation

of the drapery are the most characteristic features of

Francois Boucher

decorated wall and

the intricate rocaille

Breakfast

on the

of the bronzes,

of bourgeois domesticity,

1739

on canvas, 32 x (81.5 x 65.5 cm)

oil

floor in a scene

25%

a subject that in.

for Boucher.

was unusual

The

anecdotal scene.

A

Stockholm

four different times of the

shadows on the

diagonal light casts dark richly

silver.

probably represents the family of the artist,

series of four, depicting

of the

painting

Louvre, Paris this richly

tiatioaalmuseum,

and the reflection

who

takes delight in depicting

the folds of the garments,

309


Francois Boucher

Francois Boucher

Triumph of Venus

Diana Leaving Her Bath

1740 oil on canvas,

oil

51 x

63%

1742

in.

on canvas,

22 3/4 x 29V4 in. (57.5 x 74 cm)

30 x 162 cm Sanonalmuseum, Stockholm

louvre, Paris

A

mythological scene

A work

in

which Boucher displays

perfection and great

( 1

ol

extraordinary

to spread light and joy.

chromatic harmony, it is perhaps Boucher's

The composition

masterpiece. In the pink

his unrivaled ability

is

characterized bv the rich

impasto of color and the refined use of tones.

fleshiness of the nudes, it

presents a young,

mischievous model of femininity.

Francois Boucher The Birth of Venus The Toilet of Venus 1743

on canvas, 40 x 34 1/2in. (101.6 x 87.6 cm) each Private collection. New York oil

These are

fine

representations of the aspirations and illusions

of an age marked by

its

taste for an elegant,

frivolous lifestyle. is,

in fact,

There

nothing very

sacred about the

two

figures of Venus,

who

look

like elegant society ladies

occupied with an idle game, reclining gently to reveal the rich impasto

of their

flesh.


t^Rfir'

.-#**#

fi

V

yr

S


Francois Boucher Winter

1755 oil

on canvas, x 28 in.

21%

<55.3x 71.3 cm) Fnck

Collection,

This canvas

is

NewYork

one

ot a

series of four paintings

depicting the four seasons,

commissioned bv the Marquise de Pompadour, perhaps to be hung over the doors in one of her residences.

Francois Boucher Portrait of the

Marquise

de Pompadour 1756 on canvas,

oil

79'/4x

61%

(201 x 157

in.

cm)

Alte Pinakothek,

Exhibited

at

Munich

the Salon

of 1757, the painting presents the sumptuously

dressed Marquise with a

book open on her

in

lap,

an aristocratic interior

depicted in a manner that highlights Boucher's

masterv ot decoration.

Francois Boucher The Marquise de Pompadour at Her Toilet 175S

Pompadour

on canvas.

portraved

in

her boudoir. Everv detail ot

her precious outfit

is

depicted with painstaking i

oil

is

are,

from the bracelet

cameo to the powder box, Irom the with

the

gilt

Mowers decorating her hair ittered on the table ibbons and laci \ ite

dressing


3

Francois Boucher Marquise

Portrait of the

de Pompadour 1759 oil

on canvas,

35 3/4 x 27'/4 (91

in.

m

x 69 cm)

Wallace Collection, London

Commissioned

tor the

W A

Castle ofBellevue in 1758,

4•

,,

]

fe

the painting represents the

Marquise

in a

small

wood

next to Pigalle's statue of Lore and Friendship.

The

figure of the

>% * MF

woman,

with her noble pose

r

''

and sumptuous dress,

dominates the composition, which almost entirely

in

is

shades

<T*™eK^«

1

of ocher.

1

.

W^^^*-**rr^&fP'^

A^ML±>

.A

m .

~

-i^mmsJm

'

v>

T

1

i

V...

-5f)

^

A

.

/ffl T i v

> .

.

"

;>

v

''

Hlf

yT *

"^o^vnfeJsX

^HrS*'

A

Y

'"JF1 S

11V gst

r

si r.

«

v

^

" '

%jy

VMS

.

m

M&

'^9

k

1^

i.

31


Jean-Honore Fragonard (Grasse.

1732-Paris, 1806)

The

great master of

In

last

trained in Pari*, I

in

the

si\

Loo.

ol

when he

autumn

there until the

Rome,

for

left

staving at

French Academy for four vears. Here he devoted himsell to landscape painting, influenced bv great Italian masters such as Tiepolo, who taught him to draw and to paint with light, and Barocci, who taught the

European Rococo, where he had moved at Chardin,

as a pupil

He remained

of 1756,

After spending

workshop

pted helped to pr<

Proteges, directed bv Jean-Baptiste van

a

in

few months 1750 he

of Boucher, and .'ins

lor the

and Beauvais "li

the Prix de

him the

art of brilliant

composition Aftei a brief stav inTivoli and a jourm Naples, in 1761 he returned to aris where I

lie

staved lor the rest of his

briel trips to

Holland

in

and Germany in 1773. In 1765 he was elected iy,

a

life

apart from

1769, and to

member

Italv

of the

but he remained independent,

"mi

the bourgeoisie

and the new nobilitv. For them he painted mainlv sweeping landscapes in the Dutch style, and "small paintings" of gallant subjects or of evervdav life, the success of which earned him a reputation as a facile, superficial painter.

Around

1

780

his painting

took

a decidedly

neoclassical turn, although he maintained

own

his

personal touch.

Some

of his

distinctive characteristics, such as the

swathes of color applied without any preparatory drawing, the brushstrokes,

and the striking colors, remained constant throughout his career, whatever genres he tackled. I

lis

"I

versatility led

him

to

make

use

those he considered to be his masters.

from Rembrandt to Rubens, Tiepolo, Watteau, and Boucher, with confident ease, as

if

to test out his ability.

A

painter

of gallantrv and nature, though also of

domestic scenes and childhood, he left an extremelv varied oeuvre that seems, with the decline of the monarchy, to evoke all that had society.

been dear to eighteenth-century


Jean-Honore Fragonard

Jean-Honore Fragonard

La Gimblette

The Swing

(The Ring-Biscuit)

1766 32

on cam as, x 2 51/2 in.

(81

x 65 cm)

1765 1772 oil on canvas, 2VA x 34'/4 in.

oil

(70 x 87 cm)

Wallace Collection, London

c.

hmdation Cailleux,

Paris

Commissioned by Baron de

\ frankly libertine stone

in

1766

St. Julien,

depicting a reclining young

the erotic nature of the

woman

scene

lapdog.

as she plays

The

light

with

a

enhances

the pink tlesh tones of her

body

in a

composition

characterized by a sort of parallel

Hce,

lit

between the girl's up by a slight

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

the classic love

triangle in

which the

lover has himself depicted

reclining in the (lowers, furtively

watching

as she

is

pushed by her is overshadowed

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

smile, and the raised legs

husband

and right arm, which

to

attenuate the sensuality

skillful play

ol the scene.

his

mistress on the swing

some extent bv

the

of colors used

to create a dream-like

atmosphere reminiscent of Watteau's idealized landscapes.

Jean-Honore Fragonard

Louveciennes,

The Declaration of Love

the Frick Collection in

1771 oil

84%

in

Despite the

influence of seventeenth-

on canvas,

125'/4X

New York.

now

century Dutch and Flemish in.

painting, Fragonard

(318x 215cm) Fnck Collection, New York

displays great

Together with The Climb, The Pursuit, and The Lover Crowned with Flowers, the

an unreal atmosphere.

painting

in

is

part of the

freedom

of expression. The effective use of color gives the scene

In the

center

is

the girl

the tender embrace

series the Progress of Love

of her lover, while to the

commissioned by Mme du Barry for the decoration of the games

right the figure of Venus,

room

protect the couple.

in

the castle of

standing on a

tall

pedestal,

seems to watch over and 315


Jean-Honore Fragonard Music Lesson

Jean-Honore Fragonard

1769 oil on canvas, 43'/4 x 47>/4 in.

The

28% x

(110x 120 cm)

scene of bourgeois

in

which the feeling the voung man toward is

life

rendered with

extraordinary,

unsentimental immediacy.

A

faithful

spirit

mirror of the

of his age, Fragonard

ensures that the scene retains a

composed

by using

a

on canvas,

36>/2 in.

Louvre, Paris

A

the girl

oil

(73 x 93 cm)

Louvre, Paris

ol

Bolt

1778,

grace

limited range ind avoiding

This animated indoor scene

A

is

typically libertine.

is

attempting to escape from

girl

amorous advances of a young man, depicted as he draws the bolt on the door. The theatrical nature of the scene, in which an unexpected stream of light isolates the bodies of the two voung people, leaving the the

rest of the

room

in

shadow,

creates an atmosphere of soft sensuality.

J16


Jean-Honore Fragonard The Reader C.

oil

1776

young

on canvas, x 25 /2 in.

(S2 x 65

intent

Portrayed against

cm)

National Galley

women

o)

Washington

lit,

background, the

posr

oi the

ilding the

hand

hook

is

deliberate!) affe< ted,

expression

is

a

vague

girl's

rapt, while

Jean-Honore Fragonard

Music

Venus Refusing a from Cupid

1769

on canvas,

c.

Kiss

1760 on cam as,

3P/2X 25V2in. (80 x 65 cm)

oil

Louvre, Pans

(37 x 34 cm) (oval)

The

li

on

Jean-Honore Fragonard

oil

the'

their private occupations.

l

32'/4

Considered one oi Fragonard 's masterpieces, this is a scene of bourgeois life from his series <>l

Whx.

13'/2 in.

Private collection

figure of the musician,

seen from behind, with his

turned to the viewer, bathed in an uneven light

This

work

is

one of the

4p

late is

that creates strong

contrasts.

The

composition, based mainlv

on shades of ocher, is one ot the group of portraits

series of oval paintings

depicting real and

imaginary female figures in affected poses, according

to the conventions of the rising bourgeoisie.

symbolizing poetrv, singing, theater,

and music.

317


25

KM

Gtandomenico Tiepolo


f


Sebastiano

Ricci

Venus and Adonis

1705-1706 on canvas, 27'/2x 15*4 in. (70 x 40 cm) Musee des Beaux-Arts,

oil

Orleans

The

great revolutions of the eighteenth century

shifted the

main thrust of

away from

Italy

and

historical progress

something of a

left it as

backwater. While the smoke from the tories

began to

rise

over the green

first fac-

of England,

hills

Italy

struggled in vain to free itself from an agricultural tradi-

made

tion that tal

it

impossible to compete on the continen-

market. Impoverished and torn apart by the great pow-

ers in their fight for control of the ancient duchies, Italy

was

a

subdued onlooker

at the great events characterizing

the eighteenth century Highly precious items of art and culture left the country to embellish the

new

lections of the

homes and

col-

sovereigns of Saxony, Prussia, Russia,

Sweden, Poland, and other nations. The palaces of the cen-

European

tral

political

of reference for

world became the

Italian artists in

essential points

search of work. Great

humble laborers, celebrated masters and anonymous craftsmen, experts in stuccowork and unskilled house painters left Italy (Lombardy and the Veneto painters and

in particular) to settle

abroad and play

Rococo movement. Only

a

tained any contemporary glory, while

cities in Italy re-

most of the penin-

was "relegated" to the realm of memory

sula tial

a leading role in the

few areas and

stage

on the

cultural tours

crats of "modern"

made by

the

as

an essen-

young

aristo-

Europe.

The precarious state of the old patrician families, and in some cases their definitive collapse, led to a dramatic outflow of masterpieces toward the courts of central and

northern Europe. Like the Gonzaga family century, the Este family lection, gallery.

come

were forced to

previous

which became the main nucleus of the Dresden

The

still

dispersal of Italy's artistic heritage

was to be-

greater during the Napoleonic period, and the

onlv possible remedy at the tem of Italian museums as a

new

in the

sell their art col-

local level

was to

set

foreign collections to safeguard at least the

of the glorious past.

museums were

Many

up

a sys-

protective bulwark against the

of the leading

Italian

memory

and foreign

thus founded between the eighteenth and

the nineteenth centuries. In accordance with the spirit of

Enlightened Rationalism, these collections do not share the celebratory and decorative character of the princelv

seventeenth -centurv collections, but displav an anthological

and didactic purpose, the desire to create

a systematic

overview of the evolution of the different schools with the art criticism of the period.

in line


Giambattista Tiepolo

Seated Man and with Vase c.

oil

Girl

1755 on canvas,

65 x

21'/4 in.

(165 x 54 cm) National Gallery, London

During the eighteenth century, the image of Italians

Italy

and the

became dishearteningly stereotyped: wonderful

landscapes

Hooded with Mediterranean

light,

embellished

by ancient ruins or historical monuments, and peopled by garlanded shepherds dancing with their nymphs.

And

all

was observed with "anthropological" detachment by

this

travelers in search of strong emotions. In short, the try of painting

This

is,

coun-

became the country of the "picturesque."

of course, an exaggeration. Despite the general

background of acute economic and

social difficulty, there

was no lack of illustrious personalities and centers of considerable

constant vitality and variety of

the

vigor:

Neapolitan culture, the laboratory of ideas and projects created by the rising

House of Savoy

in the youthful city

of

Turin, and the stern Milan of the early Enlightenment and

was Marco

the founding of La Scala. But eighteenth-century Italy

above

all

Venice. The Serenissima Repubblica di San

rose again after

make

its

last

eclipse in the seventeenth century to

its

century of independence one of dazzling

splendor as one of Europe's greatest cultural centers of the figurative arts, theater,

music, and

many

other

fields.

Although the international importance of Venetian painting

is

unquestionably such as to merit absolute precedence

with respect to the other schools of eighteenth-century Italian painting, for this

overlook

artists, cities,

the risk of falling into

mena, for example, late

very reason

and ideas

it is

that

important not to

might otherwise run

unmerited oblivion. Francesco

strikes the rich

Neapolitan Baroque, a tradition of imagery that spread

beyond the boundaries of painting to

far

Soli-

resounding note of the

affect the

whole

range of figurative arts at every social level, from the precious, dainty porcelain

ornaments for the court to the

Christmas creches for the forget the impetus given tion of the

Roman

cities

common

folk.

Nor

should

we

by the Bourbons to the excava-

buried by Vesuvius. In the second

Herculaneum became an immense treasure trove of models for the burhalf

of the eighteenth century, Pompeii and

geoning Neoclassical school. The arrival in Naples of the Farnese collections, previously held in Parma, also served to

make

the city's

museums

an indispensable point of ref-

erence both for archaeology and for Renaissance painting. In the

north of

Italy,

Eighteenth-century

attention should be

Lombard

culture

drawn

to Milan.

was greatly

influ-

enced by an important historical event. In 1706, during the

War

of Spanish Succession, Milan was occupied by

321


Giambattista Piazzetta Saints Vincent Ferrer, Hyacinth, and Louis

Bertrand

1738 on canvas,

oil

135%

x

67%

in.

(345 x 172 cm) Santa Maria dei Gesuati, Venice

Prince Eugene of Savoy and passed from Spain to the Aus-

Empire. The territory of Mantua shared the same

trian

while the lands on the other side of the River Adda,

fate,

namely the provinces of Bergamo and under Venetian jurisdiction despite

remained

ty to Milan. This situation

Brescia,

remained

their cultural proximisubstantially stable,

with minor modifications in favor of the House of Savoy, until the

end of the century, when the

was to throw

all

As the cradle of Enlightenment wholly

new form

arrival of

arrangements into

territorial

ethics,

Napoleon

disarray.

Milan developed

Giacomo Ceruti

of "social" painting.

a

in-

troduced images of the poor, the disadvantaged, and the marginalized into

art.

His paintings are striking because of

their direct depiction of reality (in fact, they recall the

work of another Lombard

painter, Caravaggio)

and the un-

usual sense of outrage and involvement conveyed by the respect, they occupy a very important place

artist. In this

in

European

art.

As pointed out above, Venice deserves separate treatment. Indeed, any discussion of eighteenth-century Venetian art

must

also include

works executed

great distance from

at a

The experiences of Canaletto in London, Tiepolo inWurzburg and Madrid, and Bernardo Bellotto at various central European courts provide the most celethe

Rial to.

brated examples of the truly European dimension

sumed by it

as-

the Venetian school and the decisive leading role

played in the development of eighteenth-century art in

all

countries.

While the Venetian

state

plummeted

decline that culminated in 1797 with the Treaty of

into a

Campo

Formio and annexation by the Austrian empire, Venetian art enjoyed a period of splendor with specialized masters in various sectors.

Indeed, the eighteenth-century Venetian school offers the greatest possible variety of subject matter, dimension, and

medium, from monumental scenes of everyday icate

views of the

life,

city.

frescoed ceilings to minute

from sumptuous

The

altarpieces to del-

starting point for the rebirth of

the Venetian school was the decisive

abandonment of the

"shadows" of the seventeenth century and

a return to the

"sunlight" of the Renaissance. Sebastiano Ricci, Piazzetta,

and Tiepolo openly acknowledged that they drew upon the great sixteenth-century masters, especially Veronese, to

produce sumptuous scenes

full

of color and movement,

adding a taut, effervescent vein of inspiration to the cal

models. Giambattista Tiepolo,

in particular,

classi-

reached


Francesco Guardi Town with Canal

Canaletto Procession of Knights of the Order of the Bath Before Westminster

oil

Abbey 1747-1755

1 % x 20% in. (30x53 cm)

oil

1

1

on canvas,

39 x 39%

765-1 770 on canvas,

Uffizi,

Florence

in.

(99 x 101 cm) National Gallery, London

immense

the climax of a luminous expressive crescendo in secular allegories,

color irresistibly

Tiepolo

is

which were an explosion of

and

light

propelled toward the heavens.

perhaps the most important and influential

European Baroque. Impetuous and

painter of the late

overpowering, capable of orchestrating broad theatrical effects

without neglecting descriptive

marizes the rise and reer.

Having reached

detail,

Tiepolo sum-

of the Rococo style in his long ca-

fall

its

Rococo

height around 1760, the

became unfashionable almost overnight, supplanted and practically ridiculed

by Neoclassicism. This explains

how

one of Europe's most celebrated and sought-after painters could

from

come

away

to die alone and almost forgotten, far

his native land, in the

space of a few short years.

Another characteristic aspect of Venetian painting

is

veduta, or view, the particular type of landscape

made

who was

famous throughout Europe by Canaletto, worthily succeeded by his

the

nephew Bernardo

Bellotto.

Based on the observation of reality but also on the use of subtle optical devices to correct perspective theatrical effect, vedute

were by

far the

and enhance

most popular type

of painting with travelers, especially the English. Their generally small format facilitated transport and the fasci-

nating image of Venice increased their appeal

.

This ac-

counts not only for the great length of time spent abroad

by the most successful tal

absence of their

vedutisti,

work

but also for the almost to-

in Venice. In actual figures, the

Venetian museums, with their wealth of local masterpieces, have only three paintings Bellotto.

The exception

is

by Canaletto and one by

Francesco Guardi, whose

rough-and-ready, "dirty," and poetic painting offers an

image of Venice that

is

far less attractive

than the lumi-

nous array of monuments rising above the lagoon provided by Canaletto. Guardi's

work

artistic history

of Venice, eroded by

of its past. The

last

brings to an end the

damp and

Tiepolo, the son of the great Giambattista and father's

the weight

images are provided by Giandomenico

assistant, the

initially his

painter of canvases and frescoes

where the melancholy of an era drawing to

a close

is

pered with irony, an interest in everyday

detail,

and an

awareness of the small pleasures,

and inevitable

trifles,

tem-

tricks of existence.

323


Francesco Solimena

Francesco

Judith with the

Solimena

Head

Solimena displayed an

mil

equal mastery ol

flu-

fres<

i

national re< ognition,

works

si

ni in

Vienna

Holofemes 1728-1753 oil on canvas,

and easel painting, being

1747)

4l!4x SWi

compositional

naturally oriented toward

A

(105 x 130 cm) Kunsthistorisches Museum,

became

the dramatic. This formula

reference lor Austrian

Vienna

was to receive

Rococo

of

(Canale di Serino, 1657-Barra, Naples,

long-lived and brilliant painter of

European renown, Solimena was the leading painter of southern Italv from the end of the seventeenth to the

mid-eighteenth century, especially after Luca Giordano moved to Madrid. Solimena

was trained in the workshop of his father, a fairlv good painter of the Neapolitan school, and made his debut in the intense, dvnamic atmosphere of seventeenthcenturv Neapolitan

art.

The

first

frescoes

executed independentlv (for the chapel of St. Anne in the church of Gesu Nuovo in Naples, painted at the age of twenty in 1

677) display a careful study of Baroque

decoration and an early taste for rich,

dvnamic, monumental compositions. During the 1680s, Solimena received increasingly important commissions for

work

in

Neapolitan churches and

established himself as

one of the leading

painters of the local school.

With

their

spectacular impact and expressive tension, the frescoes in the sacristy of San Paolo

Maggiore constitute an authentic masterpiece.

The vigor of his

contrasts

during a stay

partially attenuated

in

was

Rome

shortly before the year 1700. Contact with artists

connected with the Accademia

San Luca and the French Academy

di

at Villa

Medici led Solimena to address mythological subjects with a restraint

drawn from classicism. In Naples, Solimena was for many years the unchallenged leader of the artistic scene, a role

confirmed by the great frescoes executed at an advanced age, such as the Expulsion of Heliodorusfrom the Temple on the broad secondary facade of the Gesu Nuovo.

Solimena 's

style

was

a source of inspiration

not only for painters but also for those

working such

as

in the various decorative arts,

goldsmiths, silversmiths, and the

creators of the characteristic figurines used in

Neapolitan Christmas creches.

Francesco Solimena St.

Bonaventura Receives

the Banner of the Holy

Sepulchre from the Virgin

Mary 1710 on canvas,

oil

94!/2X 51'/4in.

(240 x 130 cm) Cathedral qfAversa (Cascrta)

Solimena 's religious works are a triumphant spectacle

of striking poses, gestures,

and colors. He uses taut sculptural modeling based on a strong contrast of I

shadow

to stage

roque

in.

able to rely

on expert

handling of

light

and

alt ai

piece commissioned

by Prince Eugene of Savoy

a

flair that

(including a large

was

significant

for

tin-

Belvedere chapel) precise

pi

painters.

mils o!


Francesco Solimena

^Bfe-4^/ &2ai

Br

.

The Martyrdom of St. Placid and

V

St. Flavia

1697-1708 oil on canvas,

<5

29!/2

x 63V4

(75 x 153

in.

cm)

Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest This

is

another example

of religious drama staged

by Solimena. The work was

1

BUT V./

§ a;

i,

^

If

fa,

';

-a

classicism during a stay in

arV'i i'

',

^

);

)

«0I^A

>

""^^•S

."

Rome. For

this

reason,

the composition has a less

Pi 5$ lift",

^^^ ^^y^j 1

.

executed in the period of his closest contact with

agitated

/

rhythm than

usual,

with greater breadth and calm, and the figures

assume poses of noble elegance.

'

;

J

-

.

325


Giacomo "//

Ceruti

all

life

Pitocchetto " (Milan, 1698-1 767)

the scenes illustrating the grim and bitter

of the poor were

artist

of great moral nobility, Ceruti was

the leading exponent of the "pauperistic" in

eighteenth-century European

painting, firmly rooted in the wholly lition

of realism that also I

li-

worked mainly in i!u

solid

ipable il

liis

more

successful

Ceruti produced canvases of great intensity,

with

An

far

art.

a capacity to

move

century. Anticipating the moral and social

philosophy of the Enlightenment, Ceruti

drew attention to human problems seldom touched upon by previous painters. He addressed these subjects with

a solid

technique of great energy and solemn monumentalitv. Trie protagonists of this

human adventure

are not "minor"

figures but arc powerfully represented in a style I

Ceruti

1736 on canvas, 57 x SVA in. (145 x ISO cm)

are deeply

The

human

figures.

painter expresses

resignation and dignity

c.

the \iewer, equaled

by few other paintings in the eighteenth

everyday

Giacomo

Washerwoman

in a

masterpiece of

Giacomo

Ceruti

Evening

the Piazza

in

oil

Pinacoteca Tosio-Martinengo, Brescia In this

unforgettable intensity. Ceruti's pictorial is

readily

demonstrated by the handling of minor details

poor courtyard

c

1730 on canvas, 82% x 1 1714

oil

immediacy

such as the plant poking

setting, Ceruti's

out from beneath the

washerwoman and youth

washtub.

in.

(210 x 298 cm) Museo Civico J'Arte

Antica,

Turin

Ceruti captures the spark ol carefree joy children before

it

last

in

is

of painting that does not hesitate

extinguished In the sad

an epic tone.

burden

ot drudgery.


Sebastiano (Belluno, 1659-Venice.

An

worked

Ricci

in

Rome, Milan,

Florence, and

nine again Parma. .nil sta\ was marked l>\ works of steadiK increasing originality in which Ricci's style became more firmly established. He was accompanied by Ins 1

1734)

innovative artist, great traveler, and

dashing figure ot adventure, Sebastiano Ricci was of crucial importance for the

nephew Marco

new direction taken by European painting on the threshold of the eighteenth century. He boldlv decided to abandon the contrasts of light and shade, the somber hues, and dramatic violence predominant in seventeenth-century painting, and return to the luminous, brightlv colored, and

the grand scale: solid, well-constructed

imaginative painting ol the Venetian

returned to Venice. Although

Renaissance, drawing inspiration from the most sumptuous scenes depicted bv Paolo

which saw

Veronese. After his

initial

training in the

Veneto, Ricci began to travel. During his first stav in Emilia he had direct experience of the

work of

which led

in

the Carracci family,

turn to an admiration for

Correggio's swirling perspectives.

He

then

Ricci, an interesting

landscape painter. Sebastiano painted on

dynamic scenes featuring

figures in highly

light colors, virtuoso foreshortening, and

The

exquisite detail.

frescoes in Florence

but also as a result ol legal proceedings,

Sebastiano Rii he worked for

c

moved

i

li\

â&#x20AC;˘

ondon, where mainly producing

to

years,

1

some impressive decorative compositions. Having become a public figure of European renown (while passing through Paris he was made an honorary member ol the Academic easel paintings but also

Royale), he returned to Venice in 1716.

Among

his altarpieces, attention

be drawn to the

St. Peter

should

Freed from Prison

Sebastiano

Ricci

Christ Praying in the

Garden

c oil

of

Gethsemane

mo on canvas,

YlVl x 30

in.

(95 x 76

Kunsthistorisches

cm)

Museum,

Vienna

The elegance Ricci's late

of

Sebastiano

works can be

reveal the influence of Luca Giordano.

in

the church of San Stae, one of a set

appreciated not only in the

After a journey to Vienna (where he was

of canvases bv the leading painters of the

more theatrical and crowded compositions, but

to

make

a

number of visits),

Sebastiano this stay,

his first altarpieces for the local

churches, lasted only three years, sufficient to

mark

it

was

a decisive turning point

Thanks abandoned

for the Venetian school of painting.

to Ricci, the Venetian painters

dav. of

The

tonji

on the

ceiling of the

San Marziale confirm

his unfailing flair

for perspective and compositional virtuosity.

church

also in the smaller canvases

on concentrated, mystical themes. This episode from the Passion shows his talent for iridescent effects

(particularly in the angel's

the "shadows" of the seventeenth century

garments) that are clearly

for the blue skies of the eighteenth

reminiscent of Veronese.

centurv. In 171

1

,

at his

nephew's invitation


Sebastiano

Ricci

Bathsheba Bathing

1720 on canvas,

oil

4b , -x

78M

(118

v

s

Museum

in.

199cm)

of

Fine \n\, Budapest

This luminous

composition, repeated l>\

the master in a

number

of versions, pro\ ides a highly effective

summary

ol the characteristics oi

eighteenth-century painting.

Comparison

with Rembrandt's totally different handling oi the

me subject

is

quite

illuminating. Bathsheba's existential

dilemma

is

DO importance to Riu

The

biblical subject

merelv

ol i

is

a pretext for a

spectacular and enticing secular scene, focused

nude

the gleaming

on

figure

ol the beautiful girl

attended by

a

group

ol

handmaidens. Attention should also be drawn to the

two Muted columns

behind Bathsheba: here Ricci

borrows one of

Titian's masterstrokes

to introduce

two

apparently incongruous architectural elements,

which succeed, however, imparting a remarkable

in

upward

thrust to the

work.

Sebastiano

Ricci

Susanna and the Elders 1713 on canvas, 32% x 40V4 in. (83.2 x 102.2 cm)

oil

Duke

of Chatsworth

Collection, Chatsworth

(Devonshire)

Painted during Ricci 's stay in

England, this canvas

deftly focused

is

on the

complex twisting of the figures, which form a rotating group within a sophisticated architectural setting.

329


Sebastiano St.

Ricci

Gregory the Great

Invokes the Virgin to End the Plague

in

Rome

Sacra Conversazione for

with Saints

by Palladio

between the end of the

diagonals, one cutting

period of Ricci's youthful travels and the beginning

across the

kind of dramatic podium

parallel to

Basilica of Santa Giustma.

composed of the bodies of

figures of the

Padua

plague victims, above

and Child.

mature

in

the Veneto

artist.

moving scene

is

The

based on

I

i

whole work from the bottom left-hand corner to the canopy

of his work as a

Ri<

two strong

behind the kneeling a

saint,

and another running it

with the

Madonna

in front

of the basin of San Marco, containing celebrated

on canvas,

159%x

82

paintings by Tintoretto,

in.

Sebastiano Ricci went

(406 x 208 cm) Church of San Giorgio

straight

back to Veronese,

jumping one and

Maggiore, Venice

a half

centuries to the golden age

Sebastiano Ricci's entire

of cheerful, joyous painting

career must be assessed

bursting with color.

in

creates

the great church erected

1708 oil

which Sebastiano

painting forms a link

1700 on canvas, 141 x 74 in. (358 x 188 cm)

oil

Sebastiano Ricci Madonna and Child

This magnificent religious

terms of the two

parallel

placing of the

The Madonna

strands of his secular

to one side of the

works and

painting's

his altarpieces.

In the latter area, the ices to sixtecnth.

painting are !

still

.ind explicit,

paint a

is

major

axis

also a direct reference

to the compositional

layout introduced by Titian and developed

bv Veronese.

'-eijf*


Sebastiano

interpretation of Titian's

Ricci

The Meeting of Bacchus and Ariadne

painting in Baroque terms.

This

work shows how

Ricci's apparent creative c.

1713

oil

freedom and

on canvas,

30 x 25

movement

in.

based on very precise

>x 6 3 .2 cm)

l

(75.

compositional structures.

Sational Gallery, London

The

figure of the sleeping

snrl is

Ink

the luminous

It is

scene revolves,

possible to discern

the influence of the

The

horizontal line

of the

girl's

body

intersects at right angles

rum around which

this lively

interest in

are actually

works

with the vertical trunk of the tree to create

an orderly framework within which Ricci

johann

Liss painted in

arranges his animated

Venice,

which constitute

figures.

an interesting

Sebastiano

Ricci

Bacchus and Ariadne c.

oil

1713

on canvas,

74V2X 41

in.

(189 x 104 cm) Chiswick House, London This

is

another work from

his English

period that

demonstrates the highly sophisticated "gallantry"

of

some of Sebastiano

Ricci's secular subjects,

which were to influence the tastes of aristocratic

European collectors

in the

space of a few short years.

.

331


Guido Reni, but from Guercino's earlv compositions and

Giambattista

the Carracci familv or

Piazzetta (Venice,

their strong chiaroscuro contrasts.

On his

tackle

demanding

Rebecca

altarpieces and

Piazzetta shares with Scbastiano Ricci the

increasingly important commissions for

merit of opening up new horizons for

religious works.

eighteenth-century Venetian painting, thus

canvases for the church of San Stae, he

paving the way for the great decorative

frequently found himself working

This

alongside Sebastiano Ricci and the young

Piazzetta

works of eighteenth-centurv European

art.

Unlike Ricci, Piazzetta painted mostly religious

From

Giambattista Tiepolo.

works and never executed but his dynamic and dramatically

the time of the

The

Pinacoteca di Brem, Milan

among

work

when

interplay of

s

dates from late

period,

his canvases

were

sullused with a clear light

reciprocal influences, ideas, and cross

references established

at the Well

1740 oil on canvas, 40'/4 x 54 in. (102 x 137 cm) c.

return to Venice, he did not hesitate to

1683-1754)

Giambattista Piazzetta

the three

that indicates the influence

intense altarpieces are to be regarded as

masters led gradually to a general

of Tiepolo. The subject

cornerstones of international art. Considerable importance also attaches to

lightening of the chromatic range. In his

taken from the Bible, but

mature work, Piazzetta

portrayed

his

etchings and illustrations for books. i

arver, Piazzetta â&#x20AC;˘

II

The

also

opened up

to

"sunlight" and allowed light to flow freely

was to

into his canvases. After 1735,

er a

certainly through contact with Tiepolo that

rounded, light

he produced .

from

a

number

amorous themes In his

it

was

of works on

for private collectors.

old age, Piazzetta assumed

important teaching role, lis

initially

a

very

with the

pupils that passed through his ind then as li

founder of the

Helle Arti.

in

is

charmingly

secular fashion with narrative details precisely

depicted around the beautiful,

luminous central

figure ol the blonde girl.


Giambattista Piazzetta Idyll

on the Beach

1745 ml '.ii .in\.is, 77'/4 x 64'/2 in. i

146 cm) WUIIraj Ri,

ham

Museum,

ologne

(

In his rair secular

paintings, Piazzetta displays a

calmer and more relaxed

attitude than in his

dramatic religious scenes. The composition unwinds

rhythm

slowly with

the

of a largo

an eighteenth-

in

1

century concerto, and follow

s

How of light.

the

Thr figures, however, are always robust and

vigorously modeled

Overleaf:

Giambattista Piazzetta St.

to

James Being Led Martyrdom

1722-172? on canvas,

oil

65 x 54 /4 in. (165 x 138 cm) l

Church of San Stae, Venice

The chancel

Baroque

in the

church of San Stae (Sant'Eustachio) on the

Grand Canal

in

Venice

contains twelve canvases of identical

format and

similar subject matter

painted by twelve artists of the early eighteenth century. This authentic

"group exhibition" has fortunately remained intact in its original location

and

documents the developments of the precisely

Venetian school in the eighteenth century. Piazzetta

s

work

is

to be

regarded as one of the

most

interesting, alongside

those of Sebastiano Ricci

and the novice Giambattista Tiepolo. Piazzetta confines himself to

two monumental

figures, the burly cut-

throat and the intractable saint,

who

continues

to clasp a massiw

,

well-thumbed tome even at

the

moment

The dramatic

of capture.

inspiration,

concision, and

monumentalitv of the

work make

it

a

masterpiece greatly

admired by painters and experts in cighteendicenturv

art.


Giambattista Piazzetta

attenuated by a series of

Giambattista Piazzetta

The Apparition of the Madonna and Child

sophisticated compositional

Guardian Angel with St. Anthony of Padua and St Gaetano Thiene

to

St. Philip

1726,

172S

canvas

Neri oil

on canvas,

x 78 Vi in. (367 x 200 cm) 1441/!

Church of Santa Maria delta Fava. Venice

Tin- xertical elongation of the

scene

is

ilex ices

corrected and

shaft

The

is

structure of the

based on the vertical

of light moving slowly

oil on canvas, x 44 in. (250 x 112 cm) c.

to the right to follow the light

1729,

98'/2

garments of the Virgin and the kneeling saint.

A

from the angel

starts

diagonal

San

Vttale, Venice

in the

lower left-hand corner and

In this

ends

angel Hoods the superbly

in

in the

the dark blue drapery

opposite corner.

luminous image, the

cuted scene wi th

light.

335


Giambattista Tiepolo 1696- Madrid, 1770)

(Venice,

inimitable blend ol wild fantas) and minute

the Venetian school, but in

realism. In every composition, even

Rococo

Eighteenth-century European art figure

<>t

In the expansive,

always includes naturalistic details.

especially the

Giambattista Tiepolo,

who

set the

Baroque decoration ot stately palaces throughout Europe until the 770s, both dirough the numerous spectacular works executed by his own hand and through those of his many followers, mutators, and copiers. Tiepolo's sumptuous and fascinating large-scale frescoes are unquestionably the best-known tone lor die great

late

1

aspect ol his activities, so

there

is

a risk ot

much

so that

regarding him primarily as

a great decorative artist.

On

pupil ot Gregorio Lazzarini, Tiepolo

completed

is

overpowering

the contrary,

all

his training

include the important Irescoes executed

This period

marked

promising painter

based on an

sister ol the

his

Venetian churches, and

engaged

in

debut

ol religious in

^

a

1700 he was

San Stae. Encouraged by Piazzetta, the

young Tiepolo began to create

in

quadrature, illusionistic architectural settings I

iepolo

The climax

with narrative scenes. Tiepolo's consistent talent

filled

ol

allegories

A

is

ol Irescoes in

the

1726), a

ol the

offered

him the opportunity to fresi o the stain a and the most imposing ,u< a ol the great

i

Residenz, the architectural masterpiece of Balthazar Neumman. In 1750 Tiepolo hit lor

Germany, while

hi'

was to

stay for

VenetO, Tiepolo painted sumptuous and exquisite decorations for a number of villas

gestures, and developed a remarkable talent

(

works

who

was \er\ competently assisted by Girolamo Mengozzi Colonna, a specialist in

as a painter ol religious scenes

for the decoration of palatial interiors.

accepted the proposals

three years, accompanied by his son

that

elicits ol

finall)

li

Milan (Palazzo Archinto, Palazzo Dugnani, and Palazzo Clcrici) during the 1730s. I,

diffused lighting and bold, melodramatic

spectacular demonstration of this

lis

I

scenes for

die collective task of decorating

archbishop's palace in Udine

is

luminous period of Veronese and Palladio, and he worked on ommission both tor important Venetian chun lies and I

I

prince bishop ofWurzburg,

married Cecilia Guardi, the

provided by the series

His eclectic approach

Venetian sixteenth century art, and

for nobles in different regions.

painters Giovanni Antonio and Francesco.

Til-polo had not \el set loot outside Italy

I

i

and the early 1719 he

Giambattista Tiepolo was a versatile master

and formats.

uropean whole. Tiepolo was inspired

stages ot his career in Venice. In

capable of tackling a whole range of different subjects, techniques,

art as a

l>\

A dominated

th<

most extravagant and whimsical, Tiepolo

with

his

came

in

Venice

and secular

in the early

1

740s

almost simultaneous work on

canvases for the Scuola del Carmine and frescoes for Palazzo Labia. Though collectors and patrons throughout

Europe

splendidly rich and varied cycle of works

(including the kings of Sweden) were

that gave Tiepolo a leading role not only in

competing

for his services, at that

time

Giandomenico.

on in

his

return to the

tin mainland before leaving Italy again 1762 for the court of Madrid. Tiepolo

painted Ins in

On

last

great secular compositions

the palace of the Spanish kings, but was

exposed,

at

the

same time,

to competition

from Anton Raphael Mengs and burgeoning Neoclassicism. His last years in Madrid, yvhere he died in 1770, were filled w it bitterness at his sudden loss of favor.


Giambattista Tiepolo

w hose palace

Maecenas Presents the Arts

appears

to

oil

on cam

1

liis

Corinthian portico.

The complex allegorical theme is rendered in a

cm) St.

hresden

Palladian arches of tlic

Hermitage,

1

background

as,

JS in.

(69.5 x 89

in

beyond the impressive

Augustus

1744,

in the

Petersburg

1725,

oil

15%x

on canvas,

18Âť/2in.

(40 x 47 cm) Pinacoteca Ji Brera, Milan

spectacular hurst oi color,

brilliant painting

was

gesture, and expression

intended for Count Briihl,

in line

the immensely powerful

developments in Baroque theater.

prime minister

Giambattista Tiepolo The Temptations of St. Anthony

oi

Saxony,

\\

This delightful early

work

displays Tiepolo 's talent for

ith tlir

late

paintings on a small scale,

not only lor vast frescoes.

Giambattista Tiepolo The Triumph of Marius

Giambattista Tiepolo

1729,

The Rape of the Sabine

214% x 127%

Women

(545.5 x 324.5 cm)

c.

oil

in.

(288 x 588 cm) Hermitage,

St.

complex

artistic

his career.

He

sixteenth-century Venetian painting, filtered through

Sebastiano Ricci, but for

continues to

contrasts (reminiscent of Piazzetta's technique),

dramatic tone

Museum of Art,

part of the cycle

still

characteristic of the

seventeenth centurv.

residence of the patriarch

of Venice, Dionisio Dolfin.

Dismantled and dispersed various international

museums

and

in

1870, the

marked

turning point

a pivotal in

Tiepolo's

career between his early

period and the beginning of his maturity and artistic

use strong chiaroscuro

a

is

series

recaptures the spirit of

moment

This

in

relationships at the

the

York

for Ca' Dolfin, the

a very interesting insight

beginning of

New

in.

of ten canvases painted

Petersburg

Tiepolo's early works offer into his

on canvas,

Metropolitan

1720-1723 on canvas,

113'/2X 2311/2

oil

full

independence. The

magniloquent and heroic spirit

of the work, the

splendor of the colors and the handling ol perspective

are

all

characteristic

of European Rococo.


Giambattista Tiepolo Hannibal Recognizes the Head of His Brother

of the fundamental

for

CY

Doltin (see the

Triumph of Marias on the previous page), this work is paired in the

Hasdrubal

1725-1730 on canvas,

oil

150%x 71%

One

group of canvases painted

in.

Kunsthistorisches

Museum

(383 x 182 cm)

with another portraying

Kunsthistonsches Museum,

the Death of the Consul Lucius Junius Brutus.

Vienna

Giambattista Tiepolo Rachel Concealing the Idols c.

1726

fresco,

157V2X 196 3/4in. (400 x 500 cm) Galley of the Archbishop's Palace, Udine


339


Giambattista Tiepolo

ftepolo's exceptional

Apparition of the Virgin

mastery

to the Dominican Saints

is

Rose of Lima, Catherine

In this astounding

and Agnes of Montepulciano 1740, oil on canvas,

where die white sections are placed in the

133%x

and the

of Siena,

Venetian school of the

composition

Education of the Virgin

period were constantly

diagonal that starts in the

being called upon to work

bottom left-hand corner

1732, oil on canvas, 146'/2X 78% in. (

372 x 200

The Venetian

altai pi

In the case ol the

and runs through the three

two

figures of St.

Anne, the

splendid works reproduced

infant Marv, and Joachim,

on

from whose head

this page, attention

should also be drawn to iportunity for a close

.ii

in the history

i

century painting

340

the same churches.

based on a

i

Santa Maria Jclla Fara, Venice

form

in

is

irtisi

-on offered by ks

on

tolo's

two

proceeds

in

it

then

the opposite

direction, following the flight

of angels, to end in

the top lelt-hand corner.

again demonstrated

work,

foreground toward the

architecturall} framed between the corner ol a building on the right and a Corinthian olumn. is

composition

i

The Viroin slightly

light

(340x 168 cm)

deep colors of the Virgin's garments

Church of Santa Maria

are in the

66'/4 in.

dci Gesuati, Venice

Giambattista Tiepolo

oi

solid,

penumbra of the middle ground. The setting

is

placed

toward the

and Tiepolo, with

a

right

true

master's touch, balances all

the elements with the

simple addition of the bird.

little


Giambattista Tiepolo The Triumph of 174?

Flora

1744

on canvas,

oil

28'4 x (72 x 8 1/

//

l

>.m,

./i

Young Memorial

Museum. San

I

rarn isco

This exuberant mi\ thologii mi.iIK

Giambattista Tiepolo Rmaldo

in

Armida's Garden

l/,i(

,

.il

oil

1745

lo

on canvas,

73V2X

Institute,

were

great favorites with

drew

who

Count

and an allusion

Bruhl's

once again with the fountain from the

Chicago

Literary subjects

Tiepolo,

the

residences thus appears

102!/4 in.

(187 x 260 cm) The Art

ith

enas Presents the Arts

to Augustus, c.

work was

paired ÂŤ

frequently

inspiration

from

minister's villa It

should

In-

in

Dresden.

remembered

that Tiepolo had never been to Saxony, and based his painting

of these details

celebrated pages

on drawings and

of classical poetry.

descriptions of the period.

The episodes he tound most congenial, after

his

wilder early period, were

romantic scenes such as this instant bliss for

of rural

the protagonists

ol Jerusalem Delivered.

Attention should again be draw n to the exceptional

handling ot naturalistic detail.

341


Giambattista Tiepolo

portrayed the

Neptune Offers to Venice

of the Republic of the

the Riches of the Sea

1748-1750 oil on canvas, c.

5314 x 108'/4in.

(135x 275 cm) Doges' Palace, Venice

Giambattista Tiepolo

the most important w ork

Giambattista Tiepolo

The Banquet of Cleopatra

undertaken on a

Portrait of

palace in Venice.

1744 on canvas, 98 x 1 in. (249 x 346 cm)

patri cian

Antonio

Riccobono c.

WA

oil

Sational Gallery of Victoria,

(120x 90 cm)

Melbourne

Accademia

rhis sketch

dei Concordi,

Rovigo is

part

of a large group of studies

Few though

there are,

and

Tiepolo

!*-ried

constitute an interesting

s

portraits

section of his oeuvre.

Being obliged to restrain his

sit ters

dvnamic expression; seeking to capture

1745 on canvas, 4714 x 35V2 in.

oil

the artist gave his

customary

vigor,

the figures in action

Serenissima in this allegorical

work. The onset

of decline can onlv be

glimpsed

in the

melancholy expression of the lion beneath the arm of the magnificent female

Conscious of his position

figure symbolizing Venice,

as heir to the great

queen of the

Venetian tradition, Tiepolo

E^Xâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;Vj^E

triumph

last

seas.


Giambattista Tiepolo The Immaculate Virgin with

Six Saints

1755

1756

oil Oil

canvas,

28 3/< x 22

in.

(72.8 x 56 cm)

Museum Tins

of Fine

Irti,

Budapest

extremely unusual

altarpiece constitutes a brilliant

and even witty

tour de force in

its

solution

problem of combining a group to the

of very different figures in

very different forms

of dress, from

friars in

tattered habits to the

somewhat perplexed nobleman in splendid garments and footwear

who

represents

St.

Louis

of France, and seems to have stepped straight out of the court of Versailles.


Giambattista Tiepolo Frescoes

in

the main wing

and guest wing of

Villa

Valmarana, Vicenza

The

the great classical

(the Iliad, the Aeneid,

of the main wing and"room of the gods" in the guest wing

Jerusalem Delivered), and

Orlando Furioso, and

the Sacrifice of Iphigenia

fresco,

1

37%

x 27SVi

in.

(350 x 700 cm) Mars, Cupid and Venus

78% x 72% (200 x 185 cm)

fresco,

in.

poems

1757 "portego"or portico

room

in the guest

wing

The frescoes in Vicenza are works of exquisite,

frescoed bv Giambattista

luminous beauty.

bv

The scenes in the main wing are inspired bv celebrated passages from

is

flanked by those decorated his

son Giandomenico.


Giambattista Tiepolo

Valmarana, and

Rmaldo and the Magical

particular from the

Mirror

splendid

in

room dedicated

to Jerusalem Delivered.

diseni last

is

on canvas, 27 x in.

(68.8 x 87.2

(165 x 54 cm)

National

National Gallery, London

Washington

I

his

work

is

derived from

one of the frescoes

at Villa

This

is

at

I

iepolos

who

of Art,

oi

I

)aphne,

prefers transformation

into a laurel hush to capture,

The spacious luminosity work

touched hv the

already

ol the

with

scene contrasts

tile

(

harac hustle ol tin

suspended feeling

I.

it.

works painted by Tiepolo in

M.idi

id,

when

the rigor

of Neoclassicism, which

was to make

the

metamorphosis

cm)

(..///.-n

a late

ol

halted in sorrowful

amazement

WA

on canvas, 65 x 2lÂť/4in. oil

hantment

years. Apollo's rush

toward amorous conqtiesl

1766

1765 oil

1755

c.

Giambattista Tiepolo Apollo and Daphne

thi

effervescent virtuosity and

whimsical

lant.is\ ol tin

Rococo look completely "outmoded" in the space of a few short years, was |ust

beginning to spread.

345


Giandomenico Tiepolo

Giandomenico

The Offering

Tiepolo

Lunar Divinity

(Venice,

1727-1804)

Peasant Family at Table

manv

Giambattista Tiepolo had

two of

whom

children,

Guest wing, Villa Valmarana

in their father's

footsteps, first as his assistants and then

embarking on

own

their

careers to pursue

their respective inclinations.

Lorenzo

distinguished himself as a portraitist and

engraver, but without ever completelv

abandoning

his father's sphere.

1757 frescoes

(Giandomenico and

Lorenzo) followed

of Fruit to a

On the

j!

\am,

The

Vicenza

fresco

shown above

other hand, Giandomenico took advantage

of the building. The taste

of the training received in his vouth, the journevs undertaken with his father, and

for chinoiserie spread

work

the

carried out alongside

him

forge an unmistakable stvle of his

to

own

was to make him one of the most

that

interesting painters in the second half

of the eighteenth centurv. of Giandomenico

s

The

stages

early career are

throughout eighteenthcentury Europe with very striking results.

Attempts

to imitate the celebrated

and extremely expensive porcelain led in the various

courts to an almost

sign-posted bv his father's great works in Venice,

Wiirzburg, Vicenza, Stra, and

obsessive fascination with the Orient. Pagodas were

Madrid. Giandomenico soon established

erected in aristocratic

himself as his father's principal and most

gardens from England

faithful assistant.

He

acquired a perfect

to Prussia, the

rooms

mastery of fresco technique and executed a splendid Stations of the Cross in the Venetian

and facades of princely

church of San Polo, which was

with "Chinese" motifs, and fashions supposedly

a

superb

tribute to the stvle of Giambattista. Yerv

soon, however, Giandomenico was to strike out

on an expressive path of his own life, viewed

linked to themes of everyday

with a hint of ironv but also with a sincere spirit of involvement. Excellent examples of this are furnished bv the frescoes in the guest wing of Villa Valmarana in Vicenza.

He in

1

residences were decorated

deriving from Cathay

were imitated even in Giandomenico

food.

Tiepolo illustrated a less sumptuous China for this family of the provincial nobility,

but the elegance

followed Giambattista to Madrid

of the frescoes in the

762 and experienced

"Chinese room" in the

first

hand

the sudden demise of Tiepolesque art, since

its

popularity with the court was

guest wing of Villa

supplanted bv the Neoclassicism of Mengs.

Valmarana is unequaled by the Chinese-style

The

vears in Spain were, however, verv important for the contact between

decorations found

Giandomenico and the voung Gova, who was influenced bv the Venetian's particular

Against pale, luminous

and highlv effective way of interpreting On his father's death in 1770,

reality.

Giandomenico returned to

Italy

and

executed important decorative projects in Brescia, Genoa, and Venice. In later vears the decadence of Venice led Giandomenico

withdraw to Zianigo in the country, where the moving cycle of frescoes on the to

walls of the family villa display lightness

of touch, but also the melancholy of a highly aware and disenchanted

is

from the "Chinese room" in the guest wing of Villa Valmarana, one of the most interesting parts

artist.

anywhere

else in

Europe.

backgrounds,

Giandomenico Tiepolo painted groups of figures

and single trees to conjure up human situations and landscapes with verv simple means in precisely the

same way

as the art

of the Far East.


Giandomenico Tiepolo Pulcinellas C.

1791

on a Swing

179

5

detached fresco, 78% x 67 in. (200 x 170 cm)

Ca Rezzonico, '

Venice

This work comes from the Tiepolo family at

villa

Zianigo, between Padua

and Venice, where

Giandomenico frescoed number of rooms with

a

scenes expressing his

mood

of cheerful

disenchantment.


Giandomenico Tiepolo A Dance in the Country 1756 on canvas, 2934 x 4V/4 in. (75.6 x 120 cm)

c.

oil

Metropolitan

New

Museum

In this interesting

example

ol brilliant, bustling

painting,

genre

Giandomenico

observes his

The

of Art,

York

own

period.

influence of his father,

Giambattista, can be seen, despite the great difference in subject in

matter, above

all

the bright costumes and

the theatrical handling of the action.

move the enormous mounted on an

Giandomenico Tiepolo

canvases of a great cycle

in a

Bringing the Trojan Horse

of paintings on the Trojan

than "old-fashioned" style.

horse,

inadequate platform

into the City

1773 oil on canvas, 15 3/4x 3

m

in.

(40 x 85 cm) National Gallery,

London

contemporary rather

Horse commissioned by an

Even

as yet unidentified patron.

literary

All the compositions are

Giandomenico does not

characterized by an

choose the path of

fantasy,

unusual and asymmetrical

like his father did,

but

approach that crowds all the figures into one half of the canvas and

prefers to concentrate on

in a cycle

on

a

with wheels, by hauling

theme,

descriptive and realistic aspects. In this case, for

This effervescent

leaves the other half free

example, he

composition was the

for landscapes executed

with a certain precision

xlel to

of the

in

deep perspective

to

illustrates

the efforts of the Trojans

it

with ropes.


Giandomenico Tiepolo The Summer Walk

1757 fresco Guest wing, Villa

Valmarana,

icenza

I

Giandomenico Tiepolo's masterpk'i e

is

unquestionably the cycle

executed

ol frescoes

in

succession in the lairK

rooms

small \\

in the

ino of Villa

just outside

guest

Valmarana

Vicenza. While

Giambattista covered the uallx of the

main wing

with a magnificent cycle of fantastic images inspired

bv the heroes and

memorable episodes ol the great epics, Giandomenico openlv chose quite the opposite approach,

by-

juxtaposing his lather's flights

of fancy with highly

concrete figures and situations that are,

however, never merely banal.

the

Giandomenico 's

remains elevated,

st\le

work

is

painstakingly

executed, and the handling of light

is

faithful to

extraordinarily

nature (as in the

effect of early

autumn on

the foliage ol the trees). In a

period of transition

European art, midwav between the last excesses of the Rococo and the reform of taste initiated lor

bv the Enlightenment,

Giandomenico Tiepolo adds a \ery interesting

note of realism.

An work shadow

apparently "minor"

executed

in the

of his father, the frescoes in Villa

Valmarana actually

constitute a valuable

themes that were to be developed in

anthology- of

come. The scenes of peasant the decades to

life,

example, are a precise precedent for Goya's early work. for

349


In Rome he had the opportunitv to see and study the work of van Wittel, and came into contact with important painters

Canaletto Giovanni Antonio Canal

1697-1768)

(Venice,

of classical ruins. His

first

paintings

were

in fact depictions of the ancient buildings

Canaletto

and ruins of

the leading figure in the

is

history of the veduta or view painting, that particular, art that

independent

was

first

style of landscape

introduced

the end

at

of the seventeenth century bv the Dutch painter Gaspar van Wittel, and spread all

over

Naples.

Italy

He

from

is

also

Rome

to Venice and

one of the world's

best-known and best-loved painters. His production of works for export to

tireless

aristocratic collections

is

a constant

hymn

to beauty: to the splendor of architecture,

Rome

that displayed a bold

first

person to appreciate the young

both

activities

alive with the bustle of countless and transfixed eternally as a

legend that history cannot mar, but only enrich with

new

no coincidence

episodes.

that

certainly

It is

even now, over two

centuries after his death, Canaletto's

work

remains constantly in great demand on the art market, regardless of changes in fashion itrical

scene

fathers I

work

ind the

to

1

spent a successful period of ten years in

England, during which he painted a (based on painstakingly detailed drawings

He

capital

of thirty, Canaletto began to paint views

return to Venice, he took up the chair in

at European gentlemen on the Grand Tour. His choice of spectacular settings and clear blue skies soon brought him fame, and the British

perspective

of Venice aimed primarily

subsequently bought en bloc by George

city,

moved

memorable views of the

native city. Canaletto's Venice

a fabulous

746 the London and

off as his celebrated uncle. In "real" Canaletto

he had taken with him).

consul in Venice, the highly cultured

is

Italy,

work was a theatrical impresario, the Londoner Owen Mac Swinney, who drew the attention of his fellow countrymen to Canaletto. At the age artist's

wonders of the heavens, and the enchantment of nature. The most famous works are of course those depicting his

the

pseudonym "Canaletto" outside

almost as though seeking to pass himself

constant stream of views of Venice

and theatrical handling of perspective.

The

the

collector Joseph Smith, to paint

and

now

English countryside that were to provide inspiration for the local painters.

III

constitute the exceptional

Windsor

Canaletto

Canaletto's use of optical

avoiding any focus on

The Basin of St. Mark-Looking Eastward

instruments and his

details in the foreground.

painstaking study of

The monuments

perspective.

the world, held by

Buckingham

Castle. Using his

training as a painter of stage sets and his

perspective distortion to obtain

skill in

oil

1738

assumes

on canvas,

Museum of Fine Arts,

Boston

Perhaps Canaletto's

engravings, which increased his fame

certainly still

with Canaletto became synonymous with success throughout further. Links

it is no coincidence that his rnardo Bellotto was to adopt

ind Bi

one of the most

audacious views painted in

the eighteenth century,

this large

but not

in the area

of

Dogana at the mouth of the Grand Canal, where his horizon the Punta della

absolute masterpiece, and

paintings but also in drawings and

a raised

viewpoint

model

for views of Venice not only in

The painter

precisely determinable

49'4 x 80'/2 in. (125 x 204.5 cm)

spectacular effects, Canaletto established a

nephew

his

Giambattista Tiepolo.

c.

the British royal family at

Palace and

On

at the Accademia di Belle Arti founded by Piazzetta and directed by

collection of Canaletto's works, the largest in

produced and the

commissioned him

dozens of paintings. These were

and most important

also

canvas (over two

meters wide) underscores the importance of

opens up with the effect of a wide-angle lens to encompass a vast panorama. Canaletto maintains

a

sharp clarity

of vision even in the furthest distances by

lining

the Riva degli Schiavoni

and the church of San Giorgio Maggiore, placed practically in the center,

do not constitute the

final

visual objectives, but are

absorbed within a single, choral image cadenced by masts and crowned by a sky that generations of painters

were to seek

in

vain to imitate for nearly a century.


Canaletto Reception of the French

Ambassador 1726 1727 on canvas,

oil

Canaletto

7114 x 102

in.

View of the Grand Canal

(181 x 259

cm)

c.

oil

Hermitage,

1735

on

28%

canvas,

x

50%

(73 x 129

St.

Petersburg

was above all in the works of his youth and It

in.

cm)

early maturity that

Hhllraf-Richartz Museum,

Canaletto chose to depict

Cologne

festivities

Canaletto 's numerous

occasions in order to

views of the Grand Canal the series of etchings based

enhance the charm of Venice even further. This painting adopts a steep

on them bv Antonio

perspective monumentally

Visentini. Canaletto

cadenced by the succession

authoritatively established

of arches of the Libreria

were

also

made famous bv

the canonical views of the city,

which are

and splendid

Sansoviniana.The

dome

of the church of Santa

still

repeated today bv amateur

Maria della Salute

and professional

the background serves as

photographers. Even

when

no famous buildings or sights are

case), the

shown (as in this monumental

sweep, the handling of

in

the perspective focal point for the

sumptuous

setting

opens with the gold of the boats and the that

liveries in the

foreground.

perspective, the splendor

of the lighting, and the reflections

on the water

celebrate the flawless

enchantment of Venice.

351


Canaletto The Brenta Canal and Port in Padua 1740 on canvas,

1735 oil

+3 in. (62.5 x 109 cm

i

Sational Gallery of An,

Washington

Ever) SO often, as was the

custom of the more

affluent inhabitants ot

Venice, Canaletto allowed

himself a holiday on the

banks of the Naviglio

di

Brenta, the canal between

Mestre and Padua, lined villas and pleasant

with old

towns. These occasions

produced

a

number of

delightful paintings in artist

abandons

monumental

theatrical

which the his

settings for enjoyable views

of the countrvside.

1730 on canvas, 27 x 44V4 in. (68.6 x 112.4 cm) Metropolitan Museum of Art, Wen )ork c.

oil

not a view but

1765 oil

painting applied to a

on canvas,

wholly imaginary building.

36'/2X 51 "4 in. (92 x 1 30 cm) Accademia

The

a

demonstration study of perspective and scene

It

\\,i^

probably painted for

teaching purposes in the

di Belle Arti,

Vance

context This late work

is

one

of the

few by Canaletto that have remained in Venice. It is

ol Canaletto's

essons lor students

at tin-

Academy, where he taught perspective.

difference in spirit

between Canaletto and Francesco Guardi illustrated bv a ol

is

clearly

comparison

the views of Piazza

San Marco painted b\ the

two

artists

point

at

from the same same hour

the

of the dav, but with very different results.


Canaletto

Every year

progress and development

exhibition by the

The Doge's Procession to the Church of San Rocco 1735, oil on canvas, SVA x 78>/4 in.

August the painters ot

ot the local school. This

(in (he center,

Venice would exhibit their

occasion also enjoyed

works

offidal recognition,

National Gallery, London

ili

in the

in front

San ROCCO

lair that

month

ot

of the Scuola

ill

.1

hustling

displayed the

some

and

Canaletto's painting depicts

the

visit

paid to the

Doge

beneath the

the height of the

paintings were

a

hung on

ili.- facades of the building and an awning was

parasol, wearing heavy

robes of gold thread trimmed with ermine

and the Venetian senate)

Hie

at

summer!

extended over the routi In protect the \isitors from

ili.

un

I

hi

holes lor the

polls used to support the avi

ning

i

an

tcidax in the

still hi-

seen

square adjat viil

to the Scuola and

tin

church of San Rocco.


Canaletto The Bucintoro Returning to the Quay on Ascension Day 1730â&#x20AC;&#x201D;1735, oil on canvas, 30V4 x 49'A in. (77 x 125 cm) Royal Collections, Windsor

Canaletto

Here we see the other

of the lagoon. This time

but there

through the presence of the

View of San Giovanni dei Battuti on Murano c. 1725-1728, oil on canvas,

Bucintoro, or Doge's gallev,

26 x 50V4

to the constant splendor of

(66 x 127.5 cm)

is one of the works commissioned bv the consul, Smith, and then

of attesting

purchased for the

This

Venice's

collections of the British royal family.

It is

difficult

more

completely to the beauty of

to

imagine a painting capable

public

monuments

life

in Venice.

and,

Hermitage,

in.

St.

Petersburg

side

The

light is the is

same,

a greater sense

Venice appears as a distant

of space and even the

presence in the

figures appearing in the

background and the work focuses on the "minor" life of the canals of Murano.

modestly than the Venetian

painting are dressed

citizens.

more


Canaletto Capriccio with Palladian Buildings

1730 ml on canw, 22 x 31 in. (56 x 79 cm) c.

Parma

Galleria Nationale, In lliis early

work,

Canaletto create!

a

"virtual" image- ol the

Grand (anal in Venice with Palladio's redesigned Rialto bridge (a project

never got beyond the drawing board) and lined that

with other buildings

by the great architect.

Canaletto The

Interior of

the

Ranelagh Rotunda in

London

1754 oil on canvas, 18 x 29% in. (46 x 75.5 cm) National Gallery, London

This

is

one of the most

important works of Canaletto

English period,

s

and again demonstrates absolute mastery of perspective.

The

his

painting

can be seen as an exposition of the concepts involved in representing space in depth, but also as

evidence of the painter's great interest in the

new

architectural context

encountered during

his

long stay in London.

Canaletto The Eastern Facade of Warwick Castle c.

oil

1751

on canvas,

16'/2X 28 (42 x 71 City Art

in.

cm)

Museum, Birmingham

Canaletto chose cloudless days flooded with light to celebrate the beauty

of the English countryside. His clear identification of the relationship between

parks and historic buildings

was

to

become

a

model

for the entire tradition

of landscape painting right

up to Constable and Bonington.


Bernardo Bel lotto (Venice,

1721-Warsaw, 1780)

small figures used to animate views.

ones.

At the age of seventeen, he was alreadv registered

member

a

of the guild of Venetian

painters, but left soon afterward for his

Bernardo Bellotto, Canaletto's nephew on mother's side, was a great traveler. He

his

made onlv

rare, brief stays in Venice (and I

rv

minor role in Venetian more important 1

ighteenth>!

with

first

long journey. His route took him to

Rome, but by way of many other cities.

Even

in the early years

Italian

of his career,

Bellotto displayed a great ability to capture

the architectural, environmental, and even

atmospheric features of the places he visited. Even more meticulous and precise

light.

Above all, his work is dominated byWherever he was, Bellotto waited

for the finest days and clear, fresh skies to

observe the panorama with absolute precision and perfect clarity.

On

his

Empress Maria Theresa summoned Beilotto to Vienna, where he produced views of the capital of the Hapsburg Empire. The prince-elector of Bavaria then invited Bellotto to Munich, where

1747, at the age of onlv twenty-six, he accepted the invitation of Augustus III,

followed another stay

the prince-elector of Saxony, and

moved

Onlv in very special circumstances would he repeat views alreadv painted,

produced two

new

also a

took him to Rome, Florence, Turin, Milan, the lakes of Lombardv and Verona), in

to Dresden. His first stav in Saxony

since he always preferred to seek out

Count Bruhl, who was

to Venice after his travels in Italv (which

than his uncle, Canaletto, Bellotto loved variety.

return

minister,

patron of GiambattistaTiepolo. In 17S8,

series of splendid canvases

his stav

was prolonged

his final years

There Dresden and then

for five years.

in

were spent

in the service

Warsaw, which he depicted with loving care in views that later served as models lor of Stanislaw

II

depicting the "Florence of the Elbe,"

reconstruction

painted for the prince and for his prime

of World

War

of Poland

work II.

in

after the devastation


Bernardo Bellotto The Kreuzkirche in Dresden between 1747 and 17S6 oil on canvas, llVi x 7W2 in. (197 x 187 cm) Hermitage,

A

St.

Petersburg

tew years later, during

his

second stav in Saxony, was to paint the

Bellotto

demolition of the Gothic church, which had been

bombarded and was in Rococo style,

rebuilt

Bernardo Bellotto Piazza della Signoria in

Florence

c.

1742,

24 x

oil

on canvas, x 90 cm)

35*72 in. (61

Museum

<A Fine Arts,

Budapest

Bellotto visited the

wonders

ol Florence,

Rome, and other cities in a very different way from the tourists of todav.

Although

perfectlv recognizable, the piazzas, the

monuments,

and even the

somehow

light

look

diflerent.

The

appeal of Bellotto 's art also lies in his abilitv

to arouse

admiration for beautv and regret for a

bvgone

age.

Bernardo Bellotto View

of

Gazzada

1744 oil on canvas, 2Wix 39 z4in. (65 x 100 cm) 1

Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan

Bellotto was above

all

a

painter of urban settings

and architectural views,

which makes

his rare

canvases depicting the

countryside appear

still

more precious and entrancing. This work depicts the

moorland area

of Gazzada in Lombardy

with Monte Rosa in the distance.

With

exquisite

sensitivity to nature

(worthy indeed of his great Venetian forerunners

from Giovanni Bellini to Giorgione and Titian), Bellotto captures the

first

russet hues of the leaves at the

and

beginning of autumn

a light

the linen

breeze stirring

hung out to dry

by the washerwomen on the left.


Bernardo Bellotto View

of the

New

Market

in

Dresden 1751

on canvas, 53Vix 93 in. (136x 236 cm)

oil

Gemaldegalerie, Dresden

Dresden is the city to which Bellotto devoted most attention in very large canvases with an

incredible feeling of space.

While the views of cities

Italian

arouse nostalgia,

those of Dresden are a terrible,

moving journey

back into the past. The capital of Saxonv and of European

Rococo was

razed to the ground bv

bombs in 1945 and onlv a few monuments have been reconstructed This .

is now modern and unrecognizable. The great

imposing square entirelv

Marienkirche with stone

dome

is

its

a pile of

rubble and the decision to rebuild

made

it

has onlv been

recently.

Bernardo Bellotto The Moat of the Zwinger Dresden

in

1749-175 3 on canvas,

oil

52!4 x 92 Vi

in.

(133x 235cm) Gemaldegalerie, Dresden

The extremely unusual Zwinger Palace, consisting of a series of pavilions

arranged around courtyard, a

is

a vast

fortunately in

better state of repair.

This historical painting (with the unforgettable detail of soldiers cheerfully

performing their duty of feeding the swans in the moat) depicts the main entrance to the

palace as well as the

sixteenth-century castle of the prince-electors in the middle ground.

Opposite page:

Bernardo Bellotto The Kaunitz Palace and Gardens in Vienna

1759-1760,

oil

52 34 x

in.

9VA

on canvas,

(134 x 237 cm) Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest


Bernardo Bellotto View of Vienna from the Belvedere

759â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 1760,

oil

83%

in.

1

S3'/4x

on canvas,

(135x 213cm) Kunsthistonsches Museum,

Vienna

Commissioned by Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, this masterpiece shows Vienna's

hills in

the

background and the

monuments

rising above

the historic center. is

The view

seen from the terrace of

the Belvedere, the villa built just outside the city gates

by Eugene of Savoy. Bellotto used this vantage point to create an image of the city that

is

extremely

clear,

but in no way cold or

anonymous.

On

the

contrary, Bellotto has

chosen to portray the parade of splendid though

somewhat bored

figures

of the local nobility in the

warm

afternoon

light.

359


Francesco Guardi 1712-1793)

(Venice,

Francesco Guardi Canaletto and

Unlike the other

redutisti

Bellotto, Guardi

remained

life.

He

in Venice all his

never ventured abroad, and his

rapid, impulsive, often dramatic technique

The Fire at the Oil Warehouse at San Marcuola

1789-1790 on canvas,

gained him far less success with travelers

oil

and collectors. His images of a wearv, impoverished Venice in decline are,

(42.5 x 62.2 cm)

however,

moments of loftv and

heart-

16% x

24'/2in.

Alte Pinakothek,

Munich

rending poetry in the European art of the eighteenth centurv. The brother of Giovanni Antonio Guardi, an important

late

figure painter,

and brother-in-law of

Gondola on the Lagoon c.

oil

GiambattistaTiepolo, Francesco Guardi started painting views at an advanced age after

abandoning

9%x

IS

Museo

Poldi Pezzoh,

in.

(25 x 38 cm)

Milan

his earlier career as a

painter of religious scenes and copvist.

His views are often those depicted in celebrated and dazzling works bv Canaletto, but given a completelv different interpretation so that the triumphant â&#x20AC;˘

1780 on canvas,

Venice shimmering in the its

palates reflected a

subdued,

poor people forced

These two works dating trom Guardi s last vears poeticallv svmbolize the

decline of Venice.

The

gondola seems to

float

on a timeless horizon, suspended between sea and skv in a general blurring

of outline.

The

great fire

of November 28, 1789, is turned into an allegorv of

a

last

dying city during

its

days of independence.


Francesco Guardi View of the Canale di

Cannaregio

1788 on canvas, 18% x 29!4in.

after oil

(47.6 x 74.3

cm)

National Gallery of Art, Washington

As an alternative to the views of the city,

classic

Francesco Guardi Piazza San

Marco Toward

the Basilica

c 1760-1765 on canvas, x 46% in. (72.5 x 119 cm)

oil

Guardi focuses on a lesser-known Venice to reveal the incredible appeal

of this very particular

28'/2

National Gallery, London

but also to stress the

The great views of the most spectacular urban

melancholy of decay

settings

and decline. The waters

Venice are

urban environment,

of the canal are

and

a

muddy

leaden sky looms

and monuments of among Guardis

masterpieces.

The

typical

image of Piazza San Marco

over the dilapidated

is

buildings as though about

way

to crush

the unusual relationship

them.

depicted in an original since the focus

is

on

between the threatening sky and the architectural scene. All the figures are

animated by the impetuous, effervescent style of painting.


v

PQ

Joseph Wright of Derby nent with an Air


t

l\


the eighteenth century, English society was char-

In

acterized by a combination of aristocratic culture

and middle-class morality.

ideal

(1660â&#x20AC;&#x201D;1702) class,

In the

Augustan period

1702â&#x20AC;&#x201D;1714) and under the Hanovers, the classical that had formed during the Restoration

(

also

became

and thus absorbed

among

established

its

At the beginning of the century, painting was nated by mediocre foreign

and

Italy;

the middle

moral values.

artists,

domi-

still

generally from France

only very slowly did a national culture of paint-

ing take hold, in

which portraiture, the only

real source

of income for English painters, assumed fundamental

importance. This was particularly true from the third

decade onward, with the emergence of painters Allan

Ramsav and Joshua Reynolds, and

later

like

Thomas

Gainsborough.

The main patrons of

art

were

still

the aristocrats,

who

commissioned familv portraits against the background of landscapes, gardens, or interiors that would displav the extent of the wealth and influence deriving from their for the decoration of their large country residences

landed properties. This led to the rise of the conversation piece, that

is

the

informal group portrait, a pictorial genre that was born in the

Netherlands and in early French Rococo, and that

was welcomed with particular favor

was

identified with patronage of a

in

England, where

wider

it

social range, in-

cluding the minor landed nobility and the middle classes. In the search for a national artistic identity, the English artists

created and funded a series of private academies in

which they drew up a common set of pictorial rules. First among them was the Great Queen Street Academy, active

from 1711

to

1720, which promoted greater

awareness of the anatomy and physiognomv of the Thomas Gainsborough

figure through the study of the nude.

Master John Heathcote 1770 oil on canvas, 50 x 39'/2 in. (127 x 101 cm)

was behind many of the

National Gallery of Art,

Washington

to

efforts

made during

improve the education of English

human

William Hogarth

artists

this

period

and to pro-

mote patronage; between 1720 and 1724, when he was among the members of the Saint Martin's Lane Academy, he made a vital contribution to the reformulation of anatomical studies, initiating a substantial reappraisal of the depiction of the female bodv. Hogarth can be consid-

ered, to lish

all

intents and purposes, the founder of the Eng-

school of painting, whose

dor came during the

1

moment

of greatest splen-

760s. The decade opened with the


first

great exhibition of contemporary English art, and

saw the birth

1768 of the Royal Academy of Arts

in

official institution

ian

Academies

—upon

pressure from the artist

Academy and with

of the Saint Martin's Lane age of King George the

Grand Tour,

an

capable of rivaling the French and

III.

Ital-

members

the patron-

Equally important was the role of

began with the

a tradition that

Eliza-

bethans as the finishing school of the English ruling classes

and extended

fect

and gentlemen the chance to per-

education in the

their

century to the middle

in the eighteenth

classes, giving artists

For young English

arts.

Grand Tour was generally

painters, the

particularly to

Rome,

a

journey to

the cradle of classical art.

Italy,

The

ex-

periences of individual travelers, the publication of travel

journals

such as the guide for art lovers published by

Jonathan Richardson in 1722

—and

the

growth of the na-

tional artistic heritage contributed to the

renewal of the

Hogarth, however, was

pictorial language of English art.

opposed to the Grand Tour, for he believed that a decisive role in

played

it

undermining the market of contempo-

rary English art by encouraging the sale of ancient and

modern

painting from abroad.

It

was

largely Hogarth's

farsightedness that led to the foundation, in 1761

,

of the

Society of Artists of Great Britain (1761-1791) and the

Free Society of Artists (1761—1783), exhibition societies that presented

for the

themselves above

all

as points of reference

market by providing annual opportunities for en-

counters between artists and buyers. Exhibitions encour-

aged both novelty and variety, promoting a popular art

compromise between portraiture and historimore demanding genre not traditionally practiced by English painters. We might think, for example, of the modern moral subjects by Hogarth, which that

was

a

cal painting, a

provide enigmatic images of daily ters

and

setting,

life

combining charac-

and lead the observer to an awareness of

the social issues that afflicted the eighteenth century. In this

phase

of transition,

painters such as ley

was

the

presence of American

Benjamin West and John Singleton Cop-

decisive; they

brought

new

life

to the historical

John Singleton Copley Mrs. John Winthrop 1773

on canvas, x 29 in. (90.2 x 73 cm) oil

genre, favoring the gradual passage from classical subjects to those of

ple of this

is

contemporary

the "first great epic

lutionary scope

England.

life.

An important exam-

The Death of General Wolfe by Benjamin West,

was

work

in

also to

modern be

felt

dress,"

35'/2

Metropolitan Museum New York

of Art,

whose revo-

beyond the shores of 365


William Hogarth

1732, driven bv a desire to increase his \\ ider audience,

In

earnings and to reach a

(London, 1697-1764)

Hogarth created

modern moral

An engraver and first

approach to painting came

workshop of

Sir

stories of

art theorist, Hogarth's in the

James Thornhill, the most

successful painter in England in the early

in

Queen

Academy, active from 1711 to 1720, he was mainly attracted bv subjects of contemporary life, despite returning on various occasions to school, the Great

new form of art: the He translated

contemporary

life

Street

<

characteristics of the English school

of painting, of which he tin

is

tlie

considered

Lobster-Seller

true founder.

c

into paintings

oil

draw in

25 x 20!/2

some of the characters Opposed to the official

inspiration for

Tom Jones.

academy

that leads to excessive rigidity in

William Hogarth

were willing to do anything

Mode. After the Wedding.

to obtain social prestige,

Marriage a

la

even it.

1734-1735 on canvas,

if

they had to purchase

In this painting, the

second

in the series, a

oil

historical or mythological themes. His fame initially rested almost exclusively

on book illustrations and satirical prints which the influence of the minor Dutch artists

in

can be seen.

He began

to devote himself to painting

around 1728;

his first

works are

conversation pieces and portraits, distinctive feature

is

whose

a lively feeling for the

representation of scenes, a completely

development

in English painting.

new

ideas about art and to the codification of

and development, Hogarth upheld the freedom of the market and the deregulation of the academy.

27!/2X 36

in.

(70 x 91 cm)

artistic practice

Hogarth always lived in England, apart from a brief trip to Paris in 1743 with the painter F. Havman. In 1757 he became court painter, an appointment made by George II and renewed by George III. In 175 3 he published The Analysis of Beauty, a theoretical treatise in which he argued

in.

cm)

National Gallery, London

were

widespread among the English public. Fielding himself used Hogarth's cycles to

1740 on canvas,

(63.5 x 52.5

influence of Lord Shaftesbury's ideas ideas that

Opposite page:

William Hogarth

and engravings, conceived as theater si cms, in which it is possible to discern

on the moral duties of art,

whose daughter he 1729. The heir toThornhill's

eighteenth century,

married

a

subject.

against classicism and outlined the

National Gallery, London

For the

six scenes

forming

conversation piece

is

depicted ironically: the

monumental

Palladian

architecture and the refined

Marriage a la Mode, Hogarth

decoration of the drawing

drew

from the

room

for

contrast to the attitude in

inspiration

growing fashion

matrimonial alliances

between the old aristocratic families and wealthy middle-class traders,

who

are in striking

which the characters are depicted, which is more suited to a tavern than to

an aristocratic environment.

Unique

spontaneity

in its

and freshness, the that

charm of is

a

it

possesses

painting

dashed off without

preparatory drawings, reminiscent of the manner of Frans Hals and

a

precursor of the

developments of Impressionism. This work

appeared

in Christie's sales

catalog of

1

790 under

title Lobster-Seller.

the


William Hogarth The Strode Family

u 1738 oil on canvas, 34'/4 x 36 in. (87 x 91.5 cm) Tate Gallery,

This

is

';,<'

-

B

>vSr

London

BH i

example of a

a fine

3

conversation piece, a genre practiced bv Hogarth

•"^5*

at

the beginning of his career,

'

.

and provides a precise picture of contemporary life.

In the intimacv ot a

%

bourgeois interior,

William Strode, a of

a

member

wealthv family

merchants,

is

'

v

M*m

m1

:

•^^.-•j

^~T~~

ot

portrayed

with his wile Anne, the

--

butler intent on pouring

whom

he had met

i*£A>

<g

and two guests: Mr. Smvth, the future Archbishop of Dublin,

tea,

<*?

A

V

in

t> t

Venice during his Grand Tour, and Colonel Strode,

who

is

mm

pointing to his dog

with his

rifle.

pi.

\ s

-

*

4

William Hogarth

William Hogarth The Wedding of Stephen

with Pug

Self-Portrait

Beckingham and Mary Cox

1745

on canvas, 35!/2 x 27'/2 in. (90 x 70 cm)

1729

oil

c.

Tate Gallery,

on canvas, x 40 1/2 in. (128.3 x 103 cm) Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Through

oil

50'/2

London

a series

of

emblematic objects arranged with skillful theatricality,

makes

poetics. as

Hogarth

a statement of his

He

depicts himself

an image painted

in

an

on top of a pile of books, which on closer inspection prove to be volumes by Shakespeare, Swift, and Milton; in the foreground, on the other oval placed

hand, he depicts a dog, signifying his loyalty to

nature, and a palette, the

symbol of

his profession,

traversed by

a

curving

line,

with the words "The Line I

race"


William Hogarth

subjet i" of elections,

Canvassing for Votes

which Hogarth painted between 75 i and 1758.

si

1754

on canvas, 40 x 50 in. (101.6 x 127 cm)

The scene

is

filled

v\

Museum, is

London This

is

emblematic (

iti/<

n

mone) from

the representatives oi both

two

])arties.

Whigs. Corruption

rife; in

under the second in a

the

political parties, the Tories .mil the

Sir John Sonne's

the

receii ing

itb

representatives of the

is ,i

1

oil

cik

the

two

inns

siege, the suppoi

ti

i

of the two sides are busy

series of four paintings

handing out bribes and

on the "modern moral

favors, In the (enter

of the

369


Ramsay

Allan

(Edinburgh, 1713-Dover, 1784)

The son of a Scottish poet, Ramsay moved to London in 7 34 after learning the 1

rudiments of painting

in

Edinburgh.

two vears later, he went on a journey to Italv, which took him first to Rome and then, in 1738, to Naples, where he frequented the workshop of Francesco Solimena, whose work he appreciated

From

for

here,

classical style

its

and for the

fine plav

of chiaroscuro.

He returned settling in

to England the following year,

London, where he

swiftly

Allan Ramsay Queen Charlotte with Her Eldest Children

established himself as the greatest portrait

painter of his time.

work

is

A

salient feature of his

the combination of

classicism

and English tradition. The

characters, depicted in

modern

dress, are

arranged according to the compositional

schemes of classical

statuary.

continuous reference to the the preference for

Roman

taken from

and

movements and gestures statues to confer

solemnity on scenes of private

life, do not from retaining the grace and the lofty though light tone

prevent livelv

his portraits

that characterize the

cosmopolitan style in

Europe.

Compared

Ramsay evolved

a pictorial

style capable of capturing the recesses

of the souls of the characters portrayed, in a

manner

that

by Reynolds.

In

would be adopted later 1755 he returned to Italv,

where he stayed for two vears, drawing at the French Academy. His stvle consequently became more refined, as is shown by the series of full-length portraits of the royal family, painted after his return

London in 1758. In the last vears of his Ramsay preferred archaeological studies, which, from 1765 onward, became his exclusive occupation, leading him to return twice more to the imposing ruins of imperial Rome. to

career,

98 x 63% in. (249 x 162 cm) Royal Collections, Windsor

From 1758 to 1765, when he abandoned painting, Ramsay portrayed the royal family

on

several

occasions in paintings of elegant,

composed

naturalness, characterized

by a delicate chromatic range that combines light

to Hogarth's crude

expressiveness,

1765 on canvas,

Castle

The classics,

c.

oil

Roman

effects

and silvery

shadows.


Allan

Ramsay

Portrait of

George

III

c

1762 oil on canvas, 31'/2X 25 in. (80.3 x 64.3 cm) National Portrait Gallery,

London This

is

a portrait of

unquestionable charm, in

which the rich plav of light and shadow on the fabric enhances the refinement of the figure, arranged in a

ol

pose reminiscent

van

Dvck.The true

subject of the painting

is

the luxurious cloak and

decorations, which serve to increase the idealization of the subject.


Joshua Reynolds (Plympton

Devonshire,

Earl,

723-London,

1

1792)

A

major exponent of the great period of

English portrait painting, Joshua Reynolds

began

his training in

1

740

the

at

London

studio of the fashionable portraitist Thomas

Hudson, but,

at

same time, he also took work of

the

a considerable interest in the

Hogarth and Ramsay. His journev to Italy, begun in 749 with his friend Commodore Keppel, had a decisive effect on his development. During his stay in Rome from 1750 to 1753, interrupted bv brief visits to major Italian cities such as Florence, Bologna, and Venice, Reynolds was 1

particularly attracted bv classical statuary

and bv sixteenth-centurv painting, especially that of Raphael

and Michelangelo, although

parody of the School ofAthens, the fresco bv Raphael in the StanzeVaticane,

his fierce

might suggest a desire to distance himself from the solemn decoration that characterizes sixteenth-century art. .Although

he rejected the

of academician, he did

title

fact

nurture sincere admiration for

classical

art,

both ancient and modern. This

is

in the portrait

in

evident

Commodore

of his friend

Keppel (1753, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich), inspired bv the Apollo del stvle that

where he evolves a highly personal shows his debt to the great

Venetian

artists

Belvedere,

of the sixteenth century,

from Titian to Paolo Veronese, and to seventeenth-centurv Flemish and Dutch painting, from Rembrandt to Rubens and van Dvck. In 1753 he settled in London, where he staved for the rest of his

life,

except for a

brief journev to Belgium and Holland in 1

78 1 which confirmed ,

in the

his lively interest

dramatic possibilities of color

and in the momentary, impetuous gesture, characteristics he had admired in the paintings of Rubens.

Around

1

774,

his

unquestioned fame as a overshadowed

portrait painter began to be

by the rising star Thomas Gainsborough.

Joshua Reynolds Colonel George K. H.

Coussmaker,

Grenadier Guards

1782 oil

on canvas,

93% x 57%

in.

(238.1 x 145.4 cm) Metropolitan

New

Museum of Art,

York

Against the background

of a tvpicallv English landscape, the aristocratic figure of the colonel

captured

in a

is

pose of

studied nonchalance, in

which the is

line

of the body

repeated in the trunk of

the tree and the extended

neck

ol

tli.

horse, thus

underlining the noble bearing of the figure.


Joshua Reynolds George Give and

His

Family with an Indian Servant-Girl

1765 oil "ii

i

,m\as,

55 x 6V/4

(140x

in.

171

cm)

GemalJegalene, Berlin

A bourgeois

interior

depicted with

of landscape to the

which

is

a section left,

casts a ray of light

on the mother and

that falls indirectly

figures of the

who

are

spectator.

On

the young girl, facing

tin-

Lord Clivc, leaning on the back of a chair, watches the scene, his gaze the kit

almost merging with that of the viewer.

Joshua Reynolds Lady Cockburn and Her Eldest Children

1773 on canvas, 553/4 x44'/2in.

oil

(141.

5x 113cm)

National Gallery, London

This painting shows

manv

different influences,

from Italian painting to Dutch painting. Of central importance is the reference to the allegory

of Charity as depicted by

van Dyck, Pontormo, and

Guido Reni, whose

overall

composition Reynolds follows.

By altering the

pose and the expression of the mother and the children,

who form

crown around

a

her,

Reynolds displays an extraordinary ability to use different sources to create a

wholly individual

pictorial style.

_


Joshua Reynolds

refined female figure w lÂť>

Lady Delme and Her

iv< .ills

Children

Italian painting,

and

At the woman's side, two children and a dog

on canvas,

94 x 58

manner of

especially Correggio.

1777-1780 oil

the

in.

complete the scene, which

(239 x 147 cm)

falls

National Gallery

of Art,

Washington

into the category of

the conversation piece, a

genre that was greatly

Framed by an elegant

appreciated by middle-

English park, in the

class patrons.

foreground

is

a majestic,

Joshua Reynolds

is

Lady Sunderlin

clearly influenced

a

landscape

by

Leonardo da Vinci. The

1786 oil

seen against

on canvas,

93 x 57 in. (236 x 145 cm)

figure of the

woman

stands

out against a dense clump of trees, while to the right of the painting the various

Cemaldegalerie, Berlin

planes disappear into the

The female

figure,

depicted in a manner

reminiscent of van Dyck,

Joshua Reynolds Portrait of

Lord

John Campbell,

Cawdor

1778 on canvas Cawdor Castle, Scotland

oil

J74

horizon

in a play

and depth.

of light


Joshua Reynolds Master Hare c.

oil

1788-1789 on canvas,

30V4 x 2S in. (77 x 64 cm) Louvre, Paris

This

is

refined

one of the most examples of child

portraiture, a genre in

which Reynolds was an unrivaled master.

The

informal atmosphere, the tantasv

and lightness of

touch, and the of light

make

skillful

use

this portrait

an extremely tine example

of Reynolds 's great

freedom of interpretation.

375


Thomas Gainsborough

Thomas

Conversation

Gainsborough (Sudbury, Suffolk,

)

727-London, 1788)

Gainsborough differed from his great rival Reynolds in both temperament and artistic stvle. Whereas Reynolds's art was solemn and objective, Gainsborough's was characterized bv

approach, learned from French art, which was much in fashion in eighteenth-century England. Reynolds himself, in the famous

Academy-

several months after Gainsborough's death, acknowledged his rival's greatness, his "powerful intuitive perception," and his

impeccable art hidden behind an apparently

tacile,

coarse language.

from Suffolk, he trained in London, where he worked as an assistant to Hubert Gravelot, a French cloth merchant

The son of a

draftsman and engraver.

Sudbury

in

On his

749, he began to

1

return to

work

as a

portrait painter for local customers

minor nobles)

(magistrates, tradesmen,

who demanded a

good

above

identification

were simple and,

when

to 1806,

at a Christie's is still

it

back was sold

auction, and

highly debated.

The

strongest doubts relate to the male figure; the bright

red clothes, the book resting

on the

above

all

fitting

emblem

artist, all

legs,

and

the sword, not a for an

point to a young

nobleman. However, the work does undoubtedly portray a married or engaged couple, and the detail of the sword, like the temple in the background, heightens the romantic atmosphere.

inexpensive.

all,

Throughout in

portraits that presented

likeness, but

Louvre, Paris

The current

ol the painting dates

a delicate, lvrical

Discourse delivered at the Roval

a Park

in

1740 oil on canvas, 28% x 26*/4 in. ( 73 x 68 cm) C.

his life,

from

his first stay

London on, Gainsborough

also

devoted

himself to landscape painting, the genre in

which he regarded himself to be most

gifted, despite the lack of In actual fact, his talents

distributed

commissions.

were equally

between landscapes and he was able in both genres

portraits, for

to achieve a perfect marriage of nature and culture, spontaneity and artifice. In 1759 he moved to Bath, the fashionable spa town, where he began to be appreciated and sought after, even though his natural,

vigorous painting

still

lacked

elegance and depth. In 1774 he returned

London, where he worked for important patrons and achieved a new to

The favorite George III and Queen Charlotte, he painted numerous portraits of members of the royal family. In 1 784 he painted the height of refined elegance. painter of

portrait of the three eldest princesses, a

work

that was cut in vandalistic one third of its original size in order to hang it above a door in one of the rooms of Windsor Castle, where it is still

splendid

manner

to

held.

Toward the end of his career his technique became more fluid, his brushwork free and sensual, and his compositions highly individual.

was

Gainsborough combined what

his true artistic vocation,

painting and figures, and

it is

landscape precisely

Thomas Gainsborough Mr. and Mrs.

National Gallery, London figures portrayed mav be Robert Andrews and his

The

wife Frances Carter, or

from this marriage between subject and background, between fiction and nature,

may be

from the confines of traditional portraiture and gain the favor of the most demanding

brought

public.

Andrews

that his portraits take shape, escape

Andrews

1750 oil on canvas, 27'/2 x 47 in. (69.8 x 119.4 cm)

a

it

simple marriage

portrait. Frances Carter a

dowry of a came

property, which

into

the possession of Robert in

1750. The

painting that bears this

date can therefore be read as a triple portrait:

Robert Andrews, and his property.

J76

of

his wife,


Vm

I*.**

111


Prcucu

Thomas Gainsborough The

Artist's

Daughters

1750-1761 oil on canvas, c.

4*

in.

(75. 6x

62.9cm)

Sat tonal

Gallery,

London

Probably painted

in

Bath

shortly after the artist's arrival at the

work

this

end of 759, 1

an unfinished

is

draft: in particular, the cat

Margaret holds

that

arms

in

her

barely sketched.

is

Very different from the

on shows the

portraits painted

commission, artist's

it

daughters in

a

natural, familiar pose.

Thomas Gainsborough Mrs. Grace Dalrymple Elliott

c.

oil

1778

on canvas,

60Âť/2

x

92>/4 in.

(153.6 x 234.3 cm) Metropolitan

New

Museum

of.irt,

York

Exhibited

Academy painting

at

the Roval

in

1778, the

was commissioned

bv Lord Cholmondelev, the subject's lover, and

portrays one of the most

famous courtesans of the time, nicknamed "Tall Dally." Here the artist's mature style is easily recognizable in the

combination of van Dvck's monumental approach with the grace and c ofWatteau: the and richlv dress,

ind

378

'

'.rati,

hairstyle.

-

I

m

i


Thomas Gainsborough Mary, Countess of

Howe

1764 oil on canvas, 90 x 60 in. (244 x 152.4 cm) Kenwood House, London In his adaptations

of van

the position "I

or

tin

way

same

painting

a

this

"variation

One

legs

ill''

ins; in the

.ii

on

a

is

theme."

innovative feature,

however,

the use of

is

landscape as background,

common

to

all

his

portraits, a landscape

Dyck, Gainsborough makes an original, creative use of his source. While maintaining the main lines

depicted with the same

of the figure, he changes

figures.

Thomas Gainsborough

theater seasons, and posed

Mrs. Siddons

for several artists.

gradations of light and

shadow and the same intensity of color as in the

most famous

1785

Muse by Reynolds,

is

who

painted her in theater

costume.

was exhibited

It

National Gallery, at

London in

depicts the

greatest tragic actress of

the second half of the

eighteenth century.

portrait

Mrs. Siddons as the Tragic

on canvas, 49'/2 x 39'/4 in. (126 x 99.5 cm) oil

The painting

Her

From

1782 on, Mrs. Siddons dominated the London

the Royal

Academy

1784. Gainsborough,

on the other hand, chose to portray Mrs. Siddons in

an everyday setting:

the actress a stage

is

not wearing

costume, but a long

dress, a yellow silk cloak

edged with beaver, and a

black hat decorated

with ribbons and ostrich feathers.

The painting

remained unsold

in

the artist's studio in Schomberg House, and was then given to the Siddons family, in whose hands it remained

until 1 862, when it was purchased by the National

Gallery.

blue and white striped

379


Thomas Gainsborough The Marsham Children 1787 oil

on canvas,

95V2X

71'/2in.

(243 x 182 mi) GemalJcgalene, Berlin

The

painting belongs to

the genre of conversation pieces, namely, informal

group and

The

portraits.

portrayed

in lull

figures

length

size are the

life

children of a family well-

London

established in

society. In front of a fake

landscape background, they are framed by the foliage of the trees,

surrounded by a natural setting rendered with the

same

intensity of color

themselves,

as the figures

which creates

a subtle

blend of subject and background.

Thomas Gainsborough The Morning Walk 1785 on canvas, 93 x 70Y2 in. (236 x 179 cm) oil

\ational Gallery, London

Commissioned bv William Hallett on the occasion of his

marriage to Elizabeth

Stephen, in 1785, the painting shows the bride

and groom

in

wedding

dress. Elizabeth

with a black

wearing

is

an ivorv-colored

silk dress,

silk sash

around the waist, and an extravagant hat

\\

ith a

large green ribbon

and

ostrich feathers; William

wearing his hair

he

is

a is

is

black velvet suit,

powdered, and

holding

a

black hat.

In evident contrast to

the

extreme elegance and

nobility of the characters is

the presence bv their

side of a

Pomeranian dog.

This dog was often painted

bv Gainsborough, since it

belonged to

his clear

friend the viola da

composer Carl Abel.

gamba

Fricdric h


381


Johann Zoffany The Tribuna of the

Uffizi

1772-1778 oil on canvas, 48>/2X 61

in.

(123.5 X 155 cm) Royal Collections,

Windsor Castle

famous octagonal

In the

Buontalcnti

Room,

classical sculptures

on high

pedestals are arranged

manner, observed by a crowd of in a disorderly

ordinary spectators,

museum lovers.

walls

staff,

On

it is

and art

the red velvet

possible to

make

out paintings by Pontormo (Chanty), Reni (Suicide of Cleopatra), Raphael

(Madonna del la Seggiola, Madonna del Cardelhno, and Saint John

Rubens

the Baptist),

(Consequences of

War), Pietro da Cortona, Titian,

and Hals,

"paintings within the

painting" of exceptional

documentary

Johann Zoffany

-of theater scenes that, bv following a tradition established bv Hogarth, brought

(Frank fun, 1733-London, 1810)

him immediate His great

German by

birth, Zoffanv trained in the

workshop of Marteen Speer, one of the

success.

gift for

capturing a likeness and

his attention to detail constitute the

He

painted numerous portraits

leading exponents of Bavarian Rococo.

language.

From 1750 to 1753 he worked in Rome, where he met the portrait painter Anton

of the royal familv and

Raphael Mengs. In 1760 he moved to London, where he changed his surname from Zauffely to Zoffanv. Here he found himself in an artistic context in which the main demand was for portraits and conversation pieces. His meeting with the famous actor David

Garrick marked a turning point, for to the

commission of a portrait and

it

led

a series

main

distinctive features of his pictorial

in 772 was nominated as a member of the Roval Academy by George III. In the same vear he visited Florence, where he remained 778 to paint The Tribuna of the Uffizi, until commissioned bv Queen Charlotte. On his return to London in 1779, he found that tastes had changed and that his fame had been overshadowed bv the rising stars of English painting, Reynolds and 1

Gainsborough.

1

value.


.

Johann Zoffany Charles Towneley in

His Sculpture Gallery

1782 oil

on

canvas,

50 x 40 in. (127 x 102 cm) Towneley Hall, Art Gallery

and Museum, Burnley

The collector Charles Towneley is portrayed his library in the

in

company

of three friends: the politician

and art lover

Charles Greville, the

paleographer and curator of the British

Thomas

Museum and the

Astle,

French antiquarian Pierre

Around

d'Hancarville.

them

are marbles gathered

from various parts of the house, fine examples from his collection,

which was

purchased by the British

Museum on

his

death in

1805. The figure of the Discus Thrower, in the

bottom left of the painting, was added at Towneley 's request, after the discovery

of the statue in

1

79

1


Joseph Wright of Derby

Joseph Wright (Wright of Derby) (Derby,

Eruption of Vesuvius

1774

1734-1797)

gouache,

13x Tradition and modernity, admiration for the art of Caravaggio and,

at

the

Derby Museum and Art

time, an interest in scientific and technical

Gallery,

Derby

painting of Joseph Wright, which was in

This

one of a

manv ways

ol paintings ol

Vesuvius

executed after

his stay in

discoveries, intertwine and

century

merge

in the

atypical of English eighteenth-

art.

in the studio

Despite

his training in

London

of the portrait painter Thomas

an event often painted by

artificial lighting, in

manner of the Dutch

Caravaggists,

French and Dutch artists, by Neapolitan

the

from

as well as

van Honthorst toTerbrugghen. Hence his

journey to

Italv, in

landscape painters.

1773, was decisive,

bringing to a conclusion a line of research begun around 1750, documented bv his

manv

and illustrations of experiments and industrial

candlelit pictures

scientific

subjects.

His frequent

I

visits

to factories and

stemmed from

his need to draw from life scenes in which artificial fighting is employed. The results are paintings that

interest in technology of the British.

record the dawn of the Industrial

from Shakespeare,

Revolution and reflect the well-known

of his native Derbyshire.

foundries

series

during which he witnessed an eruption,

Hudson, Wright was actually more from the beginning, bv

compositions with

is

Italy,

attracted,

384

21 in.

(33x 53 cm)

same

In the last

twenty years of

his career,

he

painted classical themes and subjects drawn as well as landscapes


Joseph Wright of Derby

landscapes enjoyed

Landscape with Rainbow:

during

View

The frame of outlined

in

the Vicinity

his travels in Italy.

of Chesterfield

trees recalls the grottos

c

he greatly admired when he was in Naples

1795

on canvas, 32 x 42 in. (81 x 107 cm) Derby Museum and Art oil

Opposite page:

Experiment with an Air

Joseph Wright of Derby

Pump, the painting shows a group gathered around a planetarium with a lamp

A

Philosopher Gives a

Lesson with a Mechanical

in place

Planetarium

1766 oil

in.

(147.3 x 203.2 cm) Derby Museum and Art Derby

Exhibited

at the

is

Derby of his late

maturity,

animated

by an intense play of light and shadow that highlights

on canvas,

58 x 80

Gallery,

of the sun.

The canvas

Gallery,

A work

it

shows the

and Salerno. The landscape, observed from within a grotto, is crossed by a bright rainbow that further heightens the romantic atmosphere.

influence of the

the faces of the figures,

completely absorbed

in

the philosopher's lesson,

creating a self-contained

Society

of Artists in 1768 together with the

scene that totally excludes the spectator.

385


Joseph Wright of Derby The Indian

Widow

1785 oil

enslaved, but the subject

on canvas

Derby Museum and Art Gallery,

which the native is no longer to be considered an alien to be killed or

Derby

of scientific interest. Against the background

of an idealized landscape,

The

painting

is

the

expression of a view that

woman

was widespread

melancholy attitude

in

eighteenth-centurv

England, according to

i86

the majestic figure of a sits in a

at

foot of a ghostlv tree.

the


Benjamin West (Pennsylvania,

1

738-London, 1820)

An American who came to Europe,

at

an early age

West established

a

new kind

of history painting featuring contemporary

from 1760 which he came into contact with Winckelmann's circle, he settled in London, where he first set up as subjects. After his stay in Italy,

to 1763, during

a portrait painter.

He

subsequently devoted

himself to subjects of ancient history,

winning the favor of the court and of George III, who commissioned a series of religious painting, Dever completed, on themes from the Old and New Testaments, conveniently modified to suit Protestant requirements. He then began to evolve a new form of modern history painting, with figures in contemporary dress treated in classical and Baroque style. The Death of General Wolje and Perm i Treaty with the Indians arc typical examples of this new genre, in which the real and the ideal are combined in a rather confused way, after the classical manner,

On

in particular that ot Poussin.

the death of Reynolds in 1792, he was

nominated the second president of the Royal Academy (founded in 1768). His later works are more individual in style, and are also interesting due to the clear influence of the romantic theories of Edmund Burke and his meditation on the concept of the "sublime."

Benjamin West Portrait of

Guy

Colonel

Johnson c.

1775

on canvas, 80 x 54'/4 in. (203 x 138 cm)

oil

National Gallery of Art, Washington

West's preference for neoclassical canons

is

evident in his portrait of the British Colonel

Guy

Johnson, the officer

in

charge of problems regarding the American Indians. In the shade

behind him

an Indian

is

chief, his helper

and

advisor during the various

war

missions.

The

focal

point of the composition, the

mannered

figure of the

Indian, acts as a link

between the colonel and the scene in the

background, an Indian

camp

at the foot

waterfall, visible

of a

though

sort of opening on the

of the picture.

Some

a

left

of the

realistic details are

particularly evocative, such as the

symmetrically

arranged arrow and

rifle,

which symbolize the two different cultures.

387


painting depicts the

deep

conquest of Quebec in 1759, an episode that was

mam

decisive in the linal defeat

soldiers in prayer and an

of the French forces in

1770 oil on canvas, 60 x 84" 2 in. (152.6X 214.5

am

Saticnal Gallaj of

C

anaJa.

Ottawa

The

first

epic

contemporary

388

Among

Benjamin West The Death of General Wolfe

work

in

dress, this

stage.

the

painting was greath

Indian w ho, as well as

admired In George 111, w ho omniissioncd a op\ lor hnnst 11, and appointed West as histor\ painter to

the American colonies.

locating the event in

the

Adopting the iconography

geographical terms,

of Italian seventeenthcentury "depositions,"

allows the artist to cite

West arranges the figures in the measured space of a

Exhibited

people surrounding

the dying general are

c

two

lassical sculpture.

Academy

at

the Roval

in

1771, the

c

i

ourt.

c


Benjamin West

great Venetian school of

Penn's Treaty with

the fifteenth

the Indians

1771

1

772

75 x 108

oil

on

canvas,

in.

(190x 274 cm) The Pennsylvania Academ) oj Fine Arts, Philadelphia

The composition of this history painting recalls the

(

cntury.

ili.

ol

ground

fori I

thi

uropi ans headed by

Against the background of

Perm, wearing austere

an imaginary Landsi api

blai k

where

I

uropean

,

style

buildings are seen

sidi

by

<

whose

Mile with Indian huts, a real event unfolds: the

[oaks and hats,

attempts to establish a dialogue with the natives,

i

colorful,

[othei

a<

<

entu

humble 11

peace negotiations

inevitable contrast

conducted by William Perm with the Indians.

tin

two

between

civilizations.

In

389


London, Paris, Genoa, and finally Rome, which proved to be the decisive stage of his journey. It was in Rome that he heard the news of the American War of Independence, which broke out in 1 775

John Singleton Copley (Boston,

1

738-London, 1815)

In middle-class,

He

commercial Boston,

decided not to return to the United

States, but to

Copley did his apprenticeship in the workshop of the engraver Peter Pelham,

move with

his family to

painters, he soon evolved a distinct stvle of

London. Here his work was admired by George III, who made him a member of the Royal Academy in 1783. During his time in London he continued to practice

all his own. His practice of mezzotint engraving was evident in his

the concrete yet refined simplicity and the

manner of painting,

psychological perception that had marked

his

mother's second husband. Influenced

first

at

by contemporary American portrait

portraiture

especially in the

portrait painting, although his

American

work lacked

portraits. Following in the

gradations of light and shadow and the

his

refined, delicate use of colors. His portrait

footsteps of West, he also devoted himself

painting shows his evident desire to

to

Hne

fa

freshness

of everyday

life.

1774, encouraged b) his fellow American Benjamin West, hi began the Grand Tour that was to take him to

In

history painting, confirming his

modern life the same examples of virtue, pride, and dignity found in ancient models. desire to find in

'n attempt to convey the eity

modern

bent for contemporary themes, and his

a formal, classical vision of

John Singleton Copley

Brook Watson, and

Brook Watson and the

depicts an episode that

Shark

happened during

1778 oil

on canvas,

by

a

shark in the port

of Havana, he was saved

71Âť/2X WViin. (182 x 230 cm)

bv

Exhibited

at

National Gallery of Art, Washington

Academy

in

a

group of sailors.

the painting

The first painting of contemporary history based on a personal story, it was commissioned bv the English merchant

his

childhood: threatened

the Royal

1778, is

striking

for the grandeur of the

composition, which reminiscent of

is

a biblical


John Singleton Copley

broader brushwork.

The Copley Family

The influence of Reynolds

c.

oil

is

1776

7S'/2

x

figures according to the

90'/2 in.

(184.4 x 229.7 cm) National Gallery of Art, Washington

move to work shows

Painted after his

London,

this

the influence of Reynolds in the

also evident in the

arrangement of the

on canvas,

iconography of the

Italian

seventeenth-century masters.

The maternal

group is clearly based on the versions of Charity by Reni and Pontormo, while the self-portrait

is

reminiscent of the manner

gradual

Pompeo

replacement of the linear with which Copley

of

style,

a portrait

generally defined figures

was fashionable

and drapery, by

in

freer,

Batoni,

painter

who

England.

John Singleton Copley Paul Revere

c 1768-1770 oil

on canvas,

WA x

28

in.

(87.5 x 71.5

cm)

Museum oj Fine Arts, Boston

The

classical

nature of the

composition, clearly inspired by Titian, contrasts with the realism

of the scene.

The

subject

seems almost to be caught by surprise at a moment in his daily life, which is alluded to by the objects

randomly placed on the table.

The

intense

expression of the face and

composed attitude show the artist's desire to the

bring out the inner nature of the character.

391


15 JO

540

IS SO

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1620

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1630

1640

16 SO

1541-1614 I

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1560-1609

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1561-1627

1563-1639 I

Georg Flegel

1566-1638

Jan Bruegel

1568-1625

I

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I

1568-1649

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Guido Reni

1571-1610

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1577-1640

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1578-1610

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1588-1629 I

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Francesco Guardi

|

Allan

1704-1788

|

i

1712-1793

III

Ramsay

Bernardo Be lotto

1713-1784

1721-1780

I

m *ÂŤ * *

790

| Joshua Reynolds I

I

I

1723

I

792

I

Franz Anton Maulbertsch

1724-1796

I I

Giandomenico Tiepolo

I

1727-1804 i

i

I

I

I

| Thomas Gainsborough i I

>

Anton Raphael Mengs

1727-1788 i

<

I

1728-1779

Jean-Honore Fragonard I

1732-1806 I

Johann Zoffany

1733-1810

I

Joseph Wright of Derby

1

734-1 797

Benjamin West

1738-1820 i

I

John Singleton Copley

I

1738-1815

395


Index of Artists

Seventeenth-Century Spain

Seventeenth-Century

Italy

Seventeenth-Century Holland

68

Annibale Carracci

158 HendrickTerbrugghen

Diego Velazquez

72

Caravaggio

162

Jusepe de Ribera

82

Guido Reni

164 FransHals

14

El

26

40

Greco

Gerard van Honthorst

44

Francisco de Zurbaran

86

Guercino

1

70 Rembrandt van Rijn

49

Juan Bautista Maino

90

Orazio Gentileschi

1

86 Gerard

50

Juan Sanchez Cotan

92

Bernardo Strozzi

188 JanSteen

52

Bartolome Esteban Murillo

98

Pierro da Cortona

192

58

Juan de Yaldes Leal

102 Domenico

60

Alonso Cano

1

61

Juan Carreno de Miranda

106 Luca Giordano

2

1

108 Andrea Pozzo

2

1

Seventeenth-Century Flanders

Seventeenth-Century France

118 Jan Bruegel the Elder

222 Simon Vouet

04 Mattia

122 1

1

Fetti

Gerard Ter Borch

94 Pieter de Hooch

198 Jan (Johannes) Vermeer

Preti

Peter Paul Rubens

38 Anthonv van

1

Dou

Dvck

48 Jacob Jordaens

Jan van der 3

Hevden

Gaspar van Wittel

224 Valentin de Boulogne 227 Georges de La Tour 234 Nicolas Poussin 243 Claude Lorrain 248 Louis Le Nain

250 Philippe de Champaigne 252 Charles Lebrun 253 Fhacinthe Rigaud


The German and Austrian Baroque 258

Adam

260 Georg

Eighteenth-Century Great Britain

Eighteenth-Century France

Eighteenth-Century

Elsheimer

290 Jean Antoine Wattcau

324

566

William Hogarth

Flegel

296 Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardii

326 Giacomo Ceruti

370

Allan

328

Sebastiano Ricci

372

Joshua Reynolds

376 Thomas Gainsborough

Italy

Francesco Solimena

Ramsay

302

Pierre Subk

268 Johann Carl Loth

305

Maurice Quentin de La Tour

332

Giambattista Piazzetta

270 Johann Heinrich Schonlcld

306 Jean-Marc Nattier

336

Giambattista Tiepolo

382

272

307 Jeanne-Etienne Liotard

34(->

Giandomenico Tiepolo

384 Joseph Wright (Wright of Derby)

262

Johann

1

iss

Sebastian Stosskopl

\

ras

274 Abraham Mignon

308

276 Paul Trogcr

314 Jean-Honore Fragonard

277 Franz Anton Maulberwh

Francois Boucher

Johann Zoffany

350 Canalctto

387

Benjamin West

356

Bernardo Bellotto

390

John Singleton Copley

360

Francesco Guardi

280 Cosmas Damian and Egid Quirin

282

Asam

Anton Raphael Mengs

397


Photographic References Archivio Electa, Milan Archivio Mondadori, Milan

Thanks

also

go to the photographicmuseums and organizations

archives of the

that have provided the photographs.

The publisher is ready to supply further information on the photographic sources not mentioned to those entitled to request

it.

This volume was printed by at

Elemond

S.p.a.

the plant in Martellago (Venice), 1999.


BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY iiiii

3

mi ill

II

nil

9999 03773 584

WITHDRAWN No

of the longer the property Boston Public Library.

^^

benefited theUbrary. caieof this material

Jamaica Plain Branch library 12 Sedgwick Street

Jamaica

Plain,

f/A 62130 '

BAKES 4 IAYI.OB


This

handsome volume surveys approximately two centuries

European painting, beginning of the Italian Renaissance,

modern

in

the decades following the (lose

and concluding

era. Masterpieces by

l()()

at

of Europe's

the

dawn

faithful full-color j reproductions of original

of the

most Important

seventeenth- and eighteenth-eentur\ painters are shown

museums around

of

in

500

works from major

.the world. Artists include Italy's

Garavaggio,

Tiepolo. and Canaletto; Dutch and Flemish masters such as Bruegel, Hals. Rubens. Rembrandt, and Vermeer;

Spain's HI Greco

and Velazquez: England's Reynolds. Hogarth, and Gainsborough: Franee's Watteau and Fragonard: and

many

others.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

Baroque painting two centuries of masterpieces from the era preceding the dawn of modern art (art eb  
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