Tag Archives: 17th Century

Art Books: ‘Caravaggio – The Complete Works’

Caravaggio, or more accurately Michelangelo Merisi da  Caravaggio  (1571–1610), was always a name to be reckoned with. Notorious bad boy of Italian painting, the artist was at once celebrated and controversial: violent in temper, precise in technique, a creative master, and a man on the run. Today, he is considered one of the greatest influences in all art history.

This edition offers a neat and comprehensive Caravaggio catalogue raisonné. Each of his paintings is reproduced from recent top-quality photography, allowing for a vivid encounter with the artist’s ingenious repertoire of looks and gestures, as well as numerous detail shots of his boundary-breaking naturalism. Five accompanying chapters trace the complete arc of Caravaggio’s career from his first public commissions in Rome through to his growing celebrity status and trace his tempestuous personal life, in which drama loomed as prominently as in his canvases.

The author

Sebastian Schütze was a longtime research fellow at the Bibliotheca Hertziana (Max Planck Institute for Art History) in Rome. He is a member of the academic board of the Istituto Italiano per gli Studi Filosofici in Naples, and a member of the Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften. From 2003 to 2009 he held the Bader Chair in Southern Baroque Art at Queen’s University in Kingston. In 2009 he was appointed professor of early modern art history at Vienna University.

New Art Books: ‘Vermeer – The Complete Works’

In his lifetime, however, the fame of Johannes Vermeer (1632–1675) barely extended beyond his native Delft and a small circle of patrons. After his death, his name was largely forgotten, except by a few Dutch art collectors and dealers. 

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Despite numbering at just 35, his works have prompted a New York Times best seller; a film starring Scarlett Johansson and Colin Firth; record visitor numbers at art institutions from Amsterdam to Washington, DC; and special crowd-control measures at the Mauritshuis, The Hague, where thousands flock to catch a glimpse of the enigmatic and enchanting Girl with a Pearl Earring, also known as the “Dutch Mona Lisa”.

Outside of Holland, his works were even misattributed to other artists. It was not until the mid-19th century that Vermeer came to the attention of the international art world, which suddenly looked upon his narrative minutiae, meticulous textural detail, and majestic planes of light, spotted a genius, and never looked back.

This 40th anniversary edition showcases the complete catalog of Vermeer’s work, presenting the calm yet compelling scenes so treasured in galleries across Europe and the United States into one monograph of utmost reproduction quality. Crisp details and essays tracing Vermeer’s career illuminate his remarkable ability not only to bear witness to the trends and trimmings of the Dutch Golden Age but also to encapsulate an entire story in just one transient gesture, expression, or look.

The author

After completing his studies of art history and archaeology at the University of Vienna, Karl Schütz joined the staff of the Gemäldegalerie of the city’s Kunsthistorisches Museum, serving from 1972 as a curator and from 1990 to 2011 as its director. His particular scholarly interests include Netherlandish and Flemish painting, early-16th-century German painting, courtly portraiture, and the history of the Gemäldegalerie collection.

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French Views: The Lasting Legacy Of King Louis XIV

Louis XIV embodies absolute monarchy more than any other French king. The Sun King, who ruled from 1643 to 1715, left his mark on many places in France, from Versailles to Saint-Jean-de-Luz and the Gobelins tapestry factory in Paris. Even today, his legacy lives on in all of them. FRANCE 24 takes you on a tour.

Art: ‘Rembrandt – Master Of The Dutch Golden Age’

Arguably the greatest master of the Dutch Golden Age, Rembrandt is famed for several types of works: his monumental history paintings, his self-portraits and, as beautifully exemplified by the transcendent Abraham and the Angels, his intimate biblical scenes.

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was a Dutch draughtsman, painter, and printmaker. An innovative and prolific master in three media, he is generally considered one of the greatest visual artists in the history of art and the most important in Dutch art history.

The Dutch Golden Age was a period in the history of the Netherlands, roughly spanning the era from 1581 to 1672, in which Dutch trade, science, and art and the Dutch military were among the most acclaimed in the world. The first section is characterized by the Eighty Years’ War, which ended in 1648.

Arts & History: ‘The Book Of Citrus Fruits’ By J.C. Volkamer (Taschen)

Ordering plants by post mostly from Italy, Germany, North Africa, and even the Cape of Good Hope, the Nuremberg merchant Volkamer was a devotee of the fragrant and exotic citrus at a time when such fruits were still largely unknown north of the Alps.

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Famous First Edition: First printing of 5,000 numbered copies

Have you ever thought of citrus fruits as celestial bodies, angelically suspended in the sky? Perhaps not, but J. C. Volkamer (1644–1720) did—commissioning an extravagant and breathtaking series of large-sized copperplates representing citrons, lemons, and bitter oranges in surreal scenes of majesty and wonder.

His garden came to contain a wide variety of specimens, and he became so obsessed with the fruits that he commissioned a team of copperplate engravers to create 256 plates of 170 varieties of citrus fruits, many depicted life size, published in a two-volume work

In both volumes, Volkamer draws on years of hands-on experience to present a far-reaching account of citrus fruits and how to tend them—from a meticulous walk-through of how to construct temporary orangeries, glasshouses, and hothouses for growing pineapples to commentary on each fruit variety, including its size, shape, color, scent, tree or shrub, leaves, and country of origin.

In each plate, Volkamer pays tribute to the verdant landscapes of Northern Italy, his native Nuremberg, and other sites that captured his imagination. From Genovese sea views to the Schönbrunn Palace, each locale is depicted in the same exceptionaldetail as the fruit that overhangs it. We witness branches heavy with grapefruits arching across a sun-bathed yard in Bologna and marvel at a huge pineapple plant sprouting from a South American town. The result is at once a fantastical line-up of botanical beauty and a highly poetic tour through the lush gardens and places where these fruits grew.

Few colored sets of Volkamer’s work are still in existence today. This publication draws on the two recently discovered hand-colored volumes in the city of Fürth’s municipal archive in Schloss Burgfarrnbach. The reprint also includes 56 newly discovered illustrations that Volkamer intended to present in a third volume.

The author

Iris Lauterbach studied art history and romance languages and literature in Mainz, Pavia and Paris and obtained her doctorate in 1985. Since 1991 she has been a member of the research department of the Central Institute for Art History in Munich and teaches the history of garden architecture at the Technical University in Munich. Her main areas of research include France during the 18th century and the history of European garden art from the 16th to the 20th century, while she has also carried out extensive research about the restitution of artworks that were looted during the Second World War.

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Museum Tour: ‘Palazzo Barberini’ – Gallery Of Ancient Art, Rome (Video)

Palazzo Barberini is an imposing Baroque building that houses the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica, the National Gallery of Ancient Art. Commissioned by Pope Urban VIII, the mansion was the most elegant and luxurious villa of the period. 

In 1623, Maffeo Barberini, once made Pope (Pope Urban VIII), ordered the construction of the estate to Italian architect Carlo Maderno, who is responsible for the design of St Peter’s Basilica’s façade. The construction started in 1625 and was finished in 1633 by Bernini, after Maderno’s death.

In 1949, the Italian State bought the palazzo to house the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica, which was created from the donations of pieces of art by several noble Italian families.

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Cocktails With A Curator: ‘Murillo’s Self-Portrait’

In this week’s episode of “Cocktails with a Curator,” delve into the life and times of Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, one of the most celebrated painters of seventeenth-century Spain. Look closely at his self-portrait for clues about the Seville-born artist—a trompe l’oeil stone frame points to his fascination with the antiquities excavated in his hometown, and the sitter seems to be looking forward, into the future, after surviving a traumatic period when Seville was ravaged by plague. Acquired by Henry Clay Frick in 1904, the painting stayed with the family until 2014, when it was gifted to the museum by Dr. and Mrs. Henry Clay Frick II. This week’s complementary cocktail, the Rebujito, conjures the warm spring days of Seville’s Feria de Abril (April Fair) and goes well with Thanksgiving leftovers.

To view this painting in detail, please visit our website: https://www.frick.org/murilloportrait

Art: Experience ‘The Wine Harvest’ By 17th C. Flemish Painter David Teniers


Hear the voice of Downton Abbey star Jim Carter bring to life David Teniers’ monumental depiction of a 17th-century wine harvest. Immerse yourself in Teniers’ unrivalled talent for storytelling as we see grape harvesters unloading their bounty, coopers fixing up wine barrels, a wine merchant sealing a deal, and worse for wear villagers raising their glasses to the temple of Bacchus. Unseen in over a century, ‘The Wine Harvest’ is the finest work by Teniers to come to market in living memory.

David Teniers the Younger or David Teniers II was a Flemish Baroque painter, printmaker, draughtsman, miniaturist painter, staffage painter, copyist and art curator. He was an extremely versatile artist known for his prolific output. 

Culture Podcast: “Wine Windows Of Florence” Date Back To 17th Century

In the era of social distancing, Italians in Florence have revived the custom of serving wine through pint-size windows in centuries-old buildings.

Year 2020: The covid-19 pandemic arrives. Italy is under lockdown starting March 8th. Everyone is confined to home for two months and then the government permits a gradual reopening. During this time, some enterprising Florentine Wine Window owners have turned back the clock and are using their Wine Windows to dispense glasses of wine, cups of coffee, drinks, sandwiches and ice cream—all germ-free, contactless!

Year 1634: The Black Death or Plague has passed through the city of Florence, leaving death and havoc in its wake. The Florentine scholar, Francesco Rondinelli, writes a report about disease contagion and describes the use of the abundant Wine Windows in the city for the safe sale of wine, without direct contact between client and seller. Diletta Corsini describes this important document regarding Wine Windows and their uses almost 400 years ago.

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Cities & Nature Video: The “Alotment Gardens” Of Copenhagen, Denmark

The concept of kolonihave, a blissful combination of an allotment and a summer house, has shaped Danish cities since the late 17th century. Today, avid growers convene in these colonies to find a peaceful place to commune with nature as well as a community of diverse characters.