Vermeer’s View of Delft has long been famous for the remarkably powerful impression that it projects. This article examines the painting to understand the manner in which Vermeer created such a naturalistic, yet imposing work of art. It discusses the techniques employed to create textures of buildings and walls. Through a comparison with old maps and town views it analyzes in detail the relationship of his scene to the actual site depicted. This information suggests that although many areas of the painting are extremely accurate, Vermeer did make a number of compositional adjustments to enhance the impact of the scene. Some of these al-terations are evident in x-rays and infra-red reflectographs of the painting. The existence of modifications in compositional design are important when considering the hypothesis that Vermeer worked with a camera obscura.
“Desiderare una ignuda”. A Kinetic Investigation of Giorgione and Michelangelo
The unique chronological and stylistic concurrence between Giorgione’s nudes for the Fondaco dei Tedeschi and Michelangelo’s in the Sistina Ceiling cannot be accounted for, at the present time, by a proven reciprocal influence. Indeed Michelangelo could not have stud-ied the frescoes of the Venetian Master, since he did not leave Bologna until departing for Florence (February 22, 1507) and Rome, and it does not seem possible that Giorgione would have been affected by nude drawings coming from Central Italy with such quality of move-ment. The kinetic analysis which is proposed here (carried out by using three different coding methods) brings out some basic differences which contradict commonly held interpretations. Giorgione’s nudes are far more sculpturesque, three-dimensional and complex in their pos-tures. The female nudes have positions which are definitively erotic as is shown by the iden-tity of the pose of the nymph in the Tempesta, with that of the lutist in the Concerto Campestre — a negative symbol of sensualism — as well as that of Leda, later painted by Correggio. Besides this, the possibility, which is shown here, of imitating with living models such Renaissance masterpieces, denotes the presence of a higher degree of “naturalism” as is acknowledged by modern historiography.
The article is a reconstruction of the David cycle on the wooden doors from the end of the fourth century in the Chiesa di S. Ambrogio in Milan. The work is based on the two extant original panels [1st Book of Samuel XVI, 10 and XVII, 34-35 as well as XVI, 11 and XVI, 13] and five drawings from the mid-18th century in Museo Sacro della Basilica Ambrosiana, as well as copies from 1751 in the present doors. The first drawing [XVI, 23 and XVII, 31; XVII, 32-33 and XVII, 38, as well as XVII, 51] portray the no longer extant originals. The fifth drawing [XVII, 40] is a pendant to scene XVII, 51, which proves that there were also other panels below on the 4th century doors. The copy with scene XVI, 19 can therefore be included in the original cycle. Its no longer extant pendant may have illustrated verses XVI, 14-18 or XVI, 20-22. The logic of the composition requires that two more panels from 1751 [XVII, 55-56 and XVII, 57 as well as XVIII, 6 or XVIII, 27 and XIX, 1] be included in the original. The fourth century cycle would therefore be composed of sixteen scenes. It is the direct continuation of the Itala fragment from Quedlinburg. The problem of the archetype is also taken into account [the pictorial unity of the Ciprian treasure, the Khludov Psalter and the Paris Psalter as well as the ideological sense of the cycle based on the exegesis of Hippolytus of Rome (David-Christ)]. Formally connected with early Christian sarcophagi, the cycle sym-bolically portrayed the victory of Christ over sin and death, much like the decoration of the doors of Christ’s Tomb on the plaques at the British Museum and Castello Sforzesco.
An Unknown Landscape Model by Veit Stoss
Through a philological critique of sources we manage to prove the existence of a sculptured, colored landscape model by Veit Stoss. The work, which probably marks the beginning of the history of landscape models, seems to be no longer extant.
The subject of uomini famosi, or cycles of famous men, has been recognized as a major form of secular iconography in the art of painting and sculpture of the Italian Renaissance since the early twentieth century. In addition to the many lost examples and surviving frag-ments of this tradition from various geographical areas of fourteenth to sixteenth century It-aly, extensive references to this subject in the literature of the Early Renaissance as well as in the revival of classical works in the manuscript and book production of this period make it clear that in devising such programs Renaissance patrons had antique precedent in mind.
Although antique examples are essentially all lost, surviving references to this tradition strongly suggest that in antique times this artistic practice derived directly from what had be-come established literary practice.
The development of the idea of citing illustrious citizens for their ancestry or for the glory they relinquished to a city in order to inspire imitation of their excellence in contemporary society is one which though it develops steadily in Greek literary practice does not emerge in the form of presenting collections of biographies assembled from the point of view of a heroic ideal until Hellenistic times. Further, the sources indicate that the idea was quite clearly a Roman one, and one which can be identified with some degree of precision as a Ciceronian invention and localized in time at about 40 BC.
Classical nudes were of course basic models for the Neo-Classic art of Blake’s time, and their influence and that of their Renaissance and later imitations appears everywhere in his very eclectic production. However, conflicting attitudes toward complete nakedness (and eventu-ally toward Classicism) characterize his art, which is full of both erotic and conservative symbolism. He variously presented nakedness with equanimity, evasiveness, exaggeration, or transformation. These several views of sexuality and his recurrent idealization of androgyny suggest that certain of his solutions resulted from adult and sometimes ambivalent reworkings of infantile material, as well as traditional and esoteric visual and literary prototypes. Several of his figure types (Apollo, Laocoon, Albion, Androgyne, Fire, Old Parr, and various female subjects) are discussed, with their proposed sources, as examples of his use of the nude as a motif and its meanings in his work.
This paper attempts to explain the recurrent appearance of works of art in the films of Lina Wertmuller. The article asserts that there is a symbolic connection between the artifacts used in her naturalistic ‘mise en scene’ and the thematic directions, often seemingly chaotic, of her narratives. This correlation between setting and theme brings to light interesting aspects of the director’s feminism and politics in general. The films discussed are Love and Anarchy , Seven Beauties and Night Full of Rain. The artifacts employed by this director are the Marcus Aurelius statue and the Neptune Fountain on the Capitoline Hill, The Roman Forum, copies of the Dioscuri statues and an antique statue of the Aphrodite. Further pieces are the Ara Pacis and Bronzino’s Allegory of Love.