Tag Archives: 17th Century

Tours: Highclere Castle Of ‘Downton Abbey’ Fame

Downton Abbey has become THE British cult series. The story about the fate of a noble family and their servants at the beginning of the 20th century in Yorkshire, England, is even set in a real palace: Highclere Castle. There aren’t servants anymore, but it still has a countess. The lady of the house takes us on an exclusive tour of the castle where Downton Abbey has been shot. Some of the locations may look familiar, especially since the second film is now being released after six successful seasons on TV.

Highclere Castle is a Grade I listed country house built in 1679 and largely renovated in the 1840s, with a park designed by Capability Brown in the 18th century. The 5,000-acre estate is in Highclere in Hampshire, England, about 5 miles south of Newbury, Berkshire, and 9.5 miles north of Andover, Hampshire.

Art History: ‘Poussin And The Dance’ (The Getty)

“One of the hopes of this exhibition was really to try to enlist visitors’ bodily experience in their understanding of these works of art that can sometimes seem a little bit like they live entirely in our heads, a little bit intellectualized.”

Although Nicolas Poussin is widely regarded as the most influential painter of the 17th century—the father of French classicism—he is not as well-known as many of his contemporaries, such as Rembrandt, Rubens, and Caravaggio. This is due, in part, to Poussin’s austere painting style and erudite subject matter, which often came from Roman history or the Bible. As a result, his work can sometimes feel a bit cold or remote to today’s audiences.

But earlier in his career, Poussin was inspired by dance. His paintings of wild revelry, filled with dancing satyrs and nymphs, emerged as his signature genre from that time. Poussin and the Dance, organized by the Getty Museum and the National Gallery in London, is the first exhibition to explore the theme of dance in Poussin’s work. By supplementing his delightful dancing pictures with new dance films by Los Angeles–based choreographers—this unique exhibition invites viewers into the world of Poussin in a fresh, relatable way.

In this episode, Emily Beeny, curator in charge of European paintings at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and curator of Poussin and the Dance, joins Sarah Cooper, public programs specialist at the Getty, to delve into Poussin’s process and love of dance.

The exhibition, which received generous support from the Leonetti/O’Connell Family Foundation and is sponsored by City National Bank, is on view at the Getty Center through May 8, 2022.

History: Legacy Of French Playwright Molière

He’s known as the father of French #theatre, but the influence of #Molière goes well beyond France. His impact is still felt today all over the world. To mark the 400th #anniversary of the famed playwright’s birth, we speak to Georges Forestier, professor at the Sorbonne and a specialist in the works of Molière. We also take you on a tour of Molière’s Paris.

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