The Blanton Museum of Art recently acquired a new, ivory sculpture to its permanent collection. A gift from Kurt Dolnier and Alessandra Manning-Dolnier, the petite sculpture, Madonna of the Grapes, is just four and a half inches tall on its own and seven inches when including its pedestal. The sculpture was named for the grapes that are held in the Virgin’s hands. Aside from the medium and subject matter, there is few information on this work. This essay compiles a broad set of information consisting of iconography, date and composition, place of origin, and artists related to this work.
Examining the iconography in this sculpture, there are two details to note. The first is the grapes in the Virgin’s hand. The grapes represent …show more content…
Her robes sweep over her to accent the child’s struggle to free himself from his mother, and in contrast only her determined maternal grasp prevents him from stepping down and away from her. Yet another similarity is the Madonna’s sad yet knowing expression of the fate of her child. Michelangelo’s sculpture was created in the early 16th century by commission in the late 15th century by a Flemish merchant by the name of Mouscron. So, there is the possibility of the work dating to this time period or later. However, the ivory statues of the 16th century were more similar to those of the 15th century than the Blanton sculpture. Moving on to the 17th century, while there are not any sculptures with the same composition aside from the Bruges Madonna, the style of the ivory sculptures during this century are the most similar to that of the Madonna of the Grapes. The rendering of the drapery is much more natural along with the plumpness of the infant and the expression of the Madonna. For example, the drapery in the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception (Fig. 16), completed by an Anonymous artist in the late 17th century, falls naturally over the Virgin’s head and down her body, and her facial expression reflects the same serenity seen the Madonna of the Grapes. Another example is a Child awakening (Fig. 19), done by an unknown Netherlandish sculptor in the mid-17th …show more content…
Although it is not unprecedented to assume that the work is Italian because it drew from influences of Michelangelo, there are not any comparable Italian sculptures in terms of style from the 17th century. In addition, the Bruges Madonna was given to the Church of Notre-Dame in Bruges and “with the exception of its confiscation in the wars, the Madonna remained [there].” There are no known print reproductions of the Bruges Madonna that could have been circulating, so it is likely that a the artist who created the Blanton sculpture was a Flemish artist or an artist who came to Flanders and saw the Bruges Madonna in person and was influenced by it. While “ivory carving became extremely popular throughout the whole of the seventeenth and succeeding centuries,” it was especially in Flanders and Germany as productions in Italy declined. It is difficult to distinguish Flemish and German carvers, but comparing the two styles, there are two noticeable differences. For instance, German sculptors produced “extremely complicated baroque or rococo ornament,” (Figs. 17 & 18) which varies from the more muted and subdued details of Flemish carvers. German sculptors were influenced by Italian Classicism, while many northern artists, such as those in Flanders, adhered more to realistic detail within more classical and balanced forms (Fig. 16). For this reason, it is
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At first glance, the pottery appears to be somewhat simple but it does have a unique appeal. The calm, innocent, and humble appearance while in a painful moment is unprecedented, and it was enough to let the viewer admire and fall in love with this sculpture and its meaning. The distinctive character of glazed terracotta is the smooth, bright, often polychrome cover that has largely contributed to the success of such artifacts, and which recalls, in its plastic compositions, the works by Verrocchio and Filippo Lippi. However, Giovanni‘s art in this sculpture is elegant, remarkable, and a mix of the sophisticated religious themes with antique mannerisms and with the monumental emphasis.
The Merode Altarpiece is a triptych painting that represents the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary. This work displays the main characteristics of the Northern Late Gothic period. There is so much detail in this work of art. Campin utilizes many symbols in this altarpiec. The setting of the painting is in a Flemish middle class house. The Annunciation theme is being depicted in the central panel. A scene of Saint Joseph at work as a carpenter occupies the right-hand panel. The portraits of the donors are depicted in the left hand panel. Campin failed to understand the scientific perspective. To illustrate, there is no focal point in the painting and the table looks tilted. Campin used no aerial perspective. To illustrate, the background is still very crisp when seen from a distance. The most important aspect of the painting is the symbolism. For example, the lilies represent Mary's purity, the candle represents the Holy Spirit, even the mouse traps represent trapping evil. Campin also made use of bright, rich colors. In the central panel, the drapery of the figures are filled with colors of red and white. Campin has also made a good use of illusion of the space by making the town seem to be far away by distance by making them appear blurry. Furthermore, Campin has created figures that are not in proper proportion. To illustrate, the figure’s head is small and the bodies are big and it seems that if they get will hit their head if they get up. They look very unrealistic. Although they are not in proportion, the figures seem to have very sharp edges. The figures also look very stiff and rigid. In Merode Altarpiece, the light is arbitrary and the figures do not cast any...
Development in art often follows two tracks: development over a period of time and also differences in regional development. Both changes are seen in the comparison of Barna di Siena’s Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine and Rogier van der Weyden’s Saint Luke Drawing the Virgin and Child. Originating in Italy, the Renaissance began in the mid to late 13th century. Barna da Siena was one of the early Renaissance artists influenced by Duccio di Buoninsegna and Simone Martini. Barna di Siena’s painting is dated around 1340 and Rogier van der Weyden’s painting was painted nearly a century later around 1435. Rogier van der Weyden had the advantage of development in perspective and modeling that developed over time, but was also from the Flemish school of art, a style totally different from that of the early Italian Renaissance artists. What lends these paintings so readily to comparison is the fact that the general symmetrical composition of two main figures and the sizes of the two are approximately the same. However, it is clear that a century and a different region has created stylized differences that are very clear.
The immediate background consists of natural mounds of dirt and a brick wall that enclose the Virgin, Child, and St. John, amplifying the protective effect that Mary’s figure has. The dirt mounds roll inward with a brick wall bordering them on the right, drawing the viewer’s attention towards the three figures. The background is painted in broad terms, with a simple, uniform depiction of tree leaves and smooth rock faces on the horizon. This contrasts with the fine-lined detail and texture of Mary’s hair, facial features, and veil, which further contribute to her elegance and highlight her
By most accounts, the year 1500 was in the midst of the height of the Italian Renaissance. In that year, Flemmish artist Jean Hey, known as the “Master of Moulins,” painted “The Annunciation” to adorn a section of an alter piece for his royal French patrons. The painting tells the story of the angel Gabriel’s visit to the Virgin Mary to deliver the news that she will give birth to the son of God. As the story goes, Mary, an unwed woman, was initially terrified about the prospects of pregnancy, but eventually accepts her fate as God’s servant. “The Annunciation” is an oil painting on a modest canvas, three feet tall and half as wide. The setting of the painting is a study, Mary sitting at a desk in the bottom right hand corner reading, and the angel Gabriel behind her holding a golden scepter, perhaps floating and slightly off the canvas’s center to the left. Both figures are making distinct hand gestures, and a single white dove, in a glowing sphere of gold, floats directly above Mary’s head. The rest of the study is artistic but uncluttered: a tiled floor, a bed with red sheets, and Italian-style architecture. “The Annunciation” was painted at a momentous time, at what is now considered the end of the Early Renaissance (the majority of the 15th Century) and the beginning of the High Renaissance (roughly, 1495 – 1520). Because of its appropriate placement in the Renaissance’s timeline and its distinctly High Renaissance characteristics, Jean Hey’s “Annunciation” represents the culmination of the transition from the trial-and-error process of the Early Renaissance, to the technical perfection that embodied the High Renaissance. Specifically, “Annunciation” demonstrates technical advancements in the portrayal of the huma...
The depiction of Madonna and Christ is among the most ancient and common in Christian iconography and has an extensive number of variations because apart from its symbolic religious functions, it allows one to interpret the link between mother and child in many aspects. (8)
In my examination of the works, I came across a particular sculpture that portrayed both beauty and craftsmanship. A 15th century sculpture (1490), made in Venice, Italy by Tullio Lombardo, shows a life-size figure of Adam. Titled Adam, the work is the most prominent in the gallery mostly because of its 6-foot standing. It immediately caught my attention and gave me a very realistic impression. One beige color and made of marble, Adam is depicted simply, yet the statue has intense emotions. His meaningful glance is seen in the upward and tilted head position. Adam has almost lifeless looking eyes and seems to be staring into the distance. With these sagging eyes, parted lips, and lacking posture I feel Adam’s guilt is displayed in this figure.
Madonna is a controversial legend whose attitudes and opinions on sexuality have forced the public to take notice and change the image of females in society. Madonna believed women’s sexuality was a natural aspect of life; therefore, she dared to challenge the rules and definitions of femininity and sought to expand the meaning of it. In a male dominated world, she wanted to focus on the importance of women and let them have a voice of their own. Madonna shattered all the myths on traditional beauty standards and made her statement on sexuality and feminism, which changed how society viewed the standards of beauty. She impacted female power by encouraging sex- positivity into her music and her style. It is mainly because of Madonna that ordinary women, and women in modern entertainment have more choices and freedom which continues to influence further generations.
As I walked into the first gallery, I saw a wood sculpture that stood in the center of the room. This carving depicted “the crucified Christ, flanked by the Virgin Mary and St. John the Evangelist with Angels holding instruments of the Passion”. It was painted oak and very appealing to the eye. It stood approximately 15 feet in the air. The origin of this sculpture is unknown, but it was found in a Belgium church. This kind of sculpture usually stood at the entrance or at the center of the alter in the church facing the congregation. This image of the suffering Christ relates to the Christian ideas of suffering and Christ’s salvation of all mankind.
Have you ever heard a song once and was never able to get the tune out of your head no matter how hard you tried? I know that has happened to me on several occasions. Whether we enjoy the songs or not, there is something about music within popular culture that drives the American public wild. Sadly, for quite sometime the music industry was largely closed off to women. Of course there were obvious exceptions to this, since talented female artists have existed through the ages, but on the whole there were not many female artists that got a lot of airplay and certainly none were considered significantly influential in the music industry.
While the Flemish were proficient in oil painting, Italian Renaissance artists continued their predecessor’s use of tempera. Furthermore, the paintings were ultimately created for different purposes and separate viewers. Although both works are centered on the defining moment of the annunciation, The Merode Altarpiece incorporates this scene into a secular setting, therefore differing from Fra Angelico’s The Annunciation which was painted for a monastery. Finally, Flemish and Italian Renaissance paintings differ in levels of realism. Although the Flemish painters were skilled in portraying realism of physical forms, they lacked a full understanding of linear perspective. In contrast, the Italian Renaissance artists were well versed in linear perspective but lacked a complete grasp of the natural
The Italian Renaissance and the Baroque era are two major periods in art history, some of the types of art in those periods were painting, sculpting, and architecture. During these periods, many artist gained enormous fame from creating wonderful pieces of work that represented their beliefs and artistic thinking. This essay will analyze and evaluate two pieces from those major art periods. Rembrandt 's painting The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp and the sculpture David, by Michelangelo. These two masterpieces shed light of their significance in art history. David represents the Italian Renaissance for it being a strong symbol of the new republic, The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp depicts the focus on human progression.
The Renaissance in Western Europe brought a “rebirth” to the arts. No longer was the church the only accredited patron for the arts. Instead, a wealthy middle class arose as patrons and were able to purchase artist’s works. Although many pieces still had religious themes, the styles, freedom of creativity, and less reserved pieces were created. The Renaissance was not only confined to Italy, although it is often mistaken as the birthplace of the movement. All over Western Europe artwork flourished. Artists from the north came to Italy to study the classical arts and the renowned Italian Renaissance artists. Many of the same themes and subject matters were depicted throughout Western Europe. One such subject matter, the Annunciation, was portrayed by Jan van Eyck, a Flemish panel painter, as well as, Fra Angelico, an Italian fresco painter. In short, the Annunciation occurred when God sends the angel, Gabriel to deliver the message to Mary that she will give birth to his only son. Although both artists had the same understanding of the biblical account, their styles varied to agree with the concerns and interests of the people of the time as well as where they lived. They were able to establish their individuality through their artwork, even with the same subject matter. The Annunciation by Jan van Eyck is a perfect reflection of Northern Renaissance panel painting while Annunciation by Fra Angelico is the essence of Italian Renaissance fresco painting.
“The “Portrait of a woman with a man at a casement” dates from around 1440-1444. It is made with tempera on wood by a Florentine artist, Fra Filippo Lippi. The painting is 64,1 x 41,9 cm. A very interesting detail is the message on the cuff of the woman, reading the word “lealtà” which is Italian for loyalty. The painting is part of the Marquand Collection and is to be found at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where it was given as a gift by Henry G. Marquand in 1889.”