Following my previous post, Paul Rumsey identifies the mystery print as one from the hand of Georg Lemberger, an Austrian artist so obscure he does not even have an English language Wikipedia page.
The scene takes place in a fantastic forest. St George is preparing to face the monstrous dragon, hitting him with a spear, while the horse rears its head and front legs, according to the traditional iconography.
The Four Seasons are a series of four paintings by Joos de Momper, allegorically depicting spring, summer, autumn and winter in the form of anthropomorphic landscapes. As of 2013, all four of these paintings are in private collections. At least one of them is believed to be in the collection of Robert Lebel. I saw all four of them over the weekend in Lille, France at the superb exhibition Flemish Landscape Fables. This weekend is your last chance to get a look at them.
If you see the work of grandfather and grandson side by side, both Jamnitzers seemed to have been plagued by the sleep of reason, the grandfather suffering from nightmares of abandonment and the grandson challenged by nightmares of being overwhelmed by the dark forces of nature.
In my previous post I argued for a revisionist approach to art history, favoring discarded art historical movements related to the grotesque and the fantastic. I called for a start of art history with the work of Bosch rather than Da Vinci. I realized when writing it that I sort of short-changed da Vinci since the latter has also made many lesser-known works including several grotesques and caricatures. See the book Leonardo Da Vinci: The Divine and the Grotesque by Martin Clayton.
From March 8 until June 8, 2008, the London Royal Academy of Arts will hold a retrospective of Cranach’s work. This advertising poster for the Cranach expo (which displays the Venus painting) was recently considered offensive to the officials of the London Underground, who banned it and stated that
“Millions of people travel on the London Underground each day and they have no choice but to view whatever adverts are posted there. We have to take account of the full range of travellers and endeavour not to cause offence in the advertising we display.”
Lucas Cranach the Elder (Lucas Cranach der Ältere, 1472 – 1553) was a German painter and printmaker in woodcut and engraving of the school now known as Northern Renaissance. His influence is readily displayed in the work of 21st century American artist John Currin.
Previous entries in Icons of Erotic Arthere, and in a Wiki formathere.
Coming back to the Northern Renaissance of earlier posts, I’d like to introduce you to the work of Hans Baldung Grien (c. 1480 – 1545). German Renaissance artist as painter and printmaker in woodcut. He was considered the most gifted student of Albrecht Dürer:
The 7 Ages of Woman – Hans Baldung Grien (1484-1545)
Three Ages of Man and Three Graces (1539) – Hans Baldung Grien
Image sourced here.
On the representation of the Graces, Pausanias wrote,
“Who it was who first represented the Graces naked, whether in sculpture or in painting, I could not discover. During the earlier period, certainly, sculptors and painters alike represented them draped … but later artists, I do not know the reason, have changed the way of portraying them. Certainly to-day sculptors and painters represent Graces naked.”
Death and Woman (1517) – Hans Baldung Grien
Baldung was extremely interested in witches and made many images of them in different media, including several very beautiful drawings finished with bodycolour, which are more erotic than his treatments in other techniques.
On the grotesque nature of his work the 1911 Brittanica remarked:
“Without absolute correctness as a draughtsman, his conception of human form is often very unpleasant, whilst a questionable taste is shown in ornament equally profuse and baroque. Nothing is more remarkable in his pictures than the pug-like shape of the faces, unless we except the coarseness of the extremities. No trace is apparent of any feeling for atmosphere or light and shade. Though Grün has been commonly called the Correggio of the north, his compositions are a curious medley of glaring and heterogeneous colours, in which pure black is contrasted with pale yellow, dirty grey, impure red and glowing green. Flesh is a mere glaze under which the features are indicated by lines.”
Three Ages of the Woman and the Death (1510) Hans Baldung Grien (1484 – 1545)
image sourced here. [Mar 2005]
Yesterday as I went for a quick book shopping trip to the city, I glimpsed a detail of the The Temptation of St. Anthony painting by Patinir and Matsys on the cover of a Dutch language book on the history of witchcraft in the Low Countries.