Saturday, May 13, 2017

Mastery of Masterpieces

Cristofano Gherardi
Pluto
1555-57
fresco
Palazzo Vecchio, Florence

Cristofano Gherardi
Mercury
1555-57
fresco
Palazzo Vecchio, Florence

"Let me warn you from the outset of a possible misunderstanding: in no way is this meant to be an introduction to the history of art.  So far is this from the case, in fact, that I would sincerely urge any novices among you to make themselves scarce.  Only advanced students who already possess some knowledge of all artistic periods, and who at least have the most significant monuments of each period firmly in mind, will be able to gain something from attending these lectures.  I will continually be citing particular examples and referring regularly to other monuments.  It is impossible to present all my examples in reproductions, though I shall certainly try my best to do so.  I am, however, limited in the materials I can use here, and, furthermore, I lack the physical potential to show you every single thing.  Detailed familiarity is therefore required and assumed."

 from the introduction to Historical Grammar of the Visual Arts, a course of lectures delivered by Aloïs Riegl in 1899 at the University of Vienna, translated by Jaqueline E. Jung and published in English by Zone Books in 2004

Hendrik Goltzius
Pluto
ca. 1590-91
drawing after Polidoro da Caravaggio
Teylers Museum, Haarlem

Hendrk Goltzius
Mercury
ca. 1590-91
drawing after Polidoro da Caravaggio
Teylers Museum, Haarlem

Jan Gossaert
Neptune and Amphitrite
1516
oil on panel
Gemäldegalerie, Berlin

Guido Reni
Blessed Soul
ca. 1640-42
oil on canvas
Pinacoteca Capitolina, Rome

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres
The Spring
ca. 1820
oil on canvas
Musée d'Orsay,  Paris

Claude Mellan
The Three Graces
1659
engraving (for title page)
British Museum

Alessandro Algardi
Two Kneeling Angels supporting a Reliquary
before 1680
drawing
British Museum

Enea Vico after Michelangelo
Prophet Isaiah from the Sistine Ceiling
before 1567
engraving
Teylers Museum, Haarlem

Giulio Bonasone after Michelangelo
Prophet and Sibyl from the Sistine Ceiling
before 1574
engraving
Teylers Museum, Haarlem

Georges Seurat
Sidewalk Show (Une Parade)
ca. 1883-84
drawing
Phillips Collection, Washington DC

Agnolo Gaddi
Four Saints in niches
ca. 1380-90
tempera on panel
Indianapolis Museum of Art

Jan van Eyck
Triptych with Madonna and Child, St Michael the Archangel and St Catherine of Alexandria
1437
oil on panel
Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden