Entry: FINE ART Friday, November 14, 2008



I went to the Getty Museum last month with my family to check out the BERNINI EXHIBIT OF BAROQUE SCULPTURE.  I've been a fan of Bernini's work for a while, but was still unprepared for how impressive his stuff is in person.  It's just stunning.  I came armed with drawing materials with which to sketch, but had a difficult time doing so for two reasons.  1.  As is always the case, I didn't have enough time (I'm not the fastest person with a pencil) 2.  The place was packed.  Tons of traffic parading around the sculptures had the effect of not only obstructing my view but distracting my concentration. 

We happened to arrive at the exhibit at the exact same time as Jack Black, who was yacking on a cell phone while I was trying to appreciate and study these magnificent marbles.  There weren't many places to sit and this was one of the few I could get a good look at from a bench....

Upon closer inspection of the description, I discovered this wasn't by Bernini at all but rather another sculptor who participated in the Baroque movement.  While still obviously beautiful, I was slightly frustrated and marched over to one that was famously made by Bernini's hand...

This is Constanza Bonarelli (sounds like she's from Jersey) and was the wife of one of Bernini's assistants as well as Bernini's lover.   It's arguably the most famous bust that he sculpted and has fascinated people for hundreds of years.  I made this drawing with black and white chalk stumped on blue paper.  I did this after falling in love with the life drawings of another artists,  Pierre Paul Prud'hon, who FAMOUSLY USED THIS TECHNIQUE

Prud'hon was part of the Neoclassical movement in France in the late 1700s.  I've been reading some books about this movement as well as Prud'hons half-hearted participation in it.  A big reason for the renewed interest in classical art during this time, was the publication of THE HISTORY OF THE ART OF ANTIQUITY in 1764 by Johann Joachim Wincklemann.  The book was a huge success -- in no small part because of how much more serious the scholarship was when compared to previous studies on Greek and Roman art -- and in many ways brought the study of art history to new levels.   

I happened to be in the middle of the book when I went to the Bernini exhibit.  Considering how influential it was at the time, it's interesting to read it hundreds of years later.  Wincklemann spends much time correcting assumptions made by previous art historians and seems to greatly enjoy doing so.  Moreover, was deeply in love with his own opinions.  One artist who he liked to beat up on in particular was, ironically, Bernini. 

"In others, the climate did not allow the delicate feeling for pure beauty to mature.  Either this feeling was hardened in them by their skill, that is, by the effort to apply their knowledge everywhere in the production of youthful beauties, as with Michelangelo; or this feeling was over time completely corrupted in them by a vulgar flattery of the coarser senses so as to render everything more readily intelligible to the eye, as happened with Bernini.  The former occupied himself with the contemplation of high beauty, as we see from his published and unpublished poems, in which he reflected upon it with noble and elevated expressions, and with massive bodies, he is admirable.  But for these same reasons, his female figures are creatures of another world in their build, action, and gestures.  Michelangelo is to Raphael what Thucydides was to Xenophon.  The same course that brought Michelangelo to impassable places and steep cliffs plunged Bernini, by contrast, into swamps and puddles.  He sought to ennoble forms taken from lowest nature by exaggeration, as it were, and his figures are like common people who have suddenly met with good fortune; their expression is often contradicted by their action, as wen Hannibal laughed in extreme grief. Nonetheless, this artist has long sat on the throne and homage is paid to him even today (1764).  The eye of many artists is as faulty as that of the uninstructed..."

I'm not sure I get every last thing he's saying here, but Wincklemann goes to great lengths to tie beauty to youth and I think he disapproved of Bernini making so many sculptures of elder subjects.  It's also interesting to see Michelangelo not getting off  easy!   

"This view will surprise those who are aware that through one single man, such as Bernini, a corruption was introduced to art that continues to this day."   

Wow.  Considering how narrow Wincklemann's view of what great art is (not much gets a passing grade outside of the age of Pericles) I wonder what Winckleman would have thought of modern art?  But he's just plain wrong about Bernini. 

 

 

 

 

   50 comments

sewa mobil jakarta
September 24, 2012   11:41 PM PDT
 
Nice drawing, thanks for sharing.
Oakley Goggles
June 29, 2012   01:10 AM PDT
 
http://www.showoakleysunglasses.com/
discount oakley sunglasses
cheap swim suits
June 29, 2012   01:05 AM PDT
 
white swimsuit http://www.newbikinimall.com/edhardy-bikini-white-apple-pattern-p-202.html
clearance swimwear http://www.newbikinimall.com/edhardy-bikini-jp-women-p-184.html
maternity swimwear http://www.newbikinimall.com/edhardy-bikini-green-pattern-p-183.html
bikinis and swimsuits http://www.newbikinimall.com/polo-bikini-blue-p-182.html
bikinis swimsuit http://www.newbikinimall.com/polo-bikini-black-three-p-181.html
bikini swimsuit http://www.newbikinimall.com/polo-bikini-whiteblack-stripe-three-p-180.html
nike shoes shox
June 29, 2012   12:55 AM PDT
 
cheap jordan shoes,http://www.topairshoes4sale.org/
nike air jordan,http://www.topairshoes4sale.org/
jordan shoes,http://www.topairshoes4sale.org/
air jordan,http://www.topairshoes4sale.org/
air jordan 10,http://www.topairshoes4sale.org/air-jordan-10-max-c-53.html
air jordan,http://www.topairshoes4sale.org/air-jordan-10-max-c-53.html
Cheap Louis Vuitton
May 15, 2012   03:46 AM PDT
 
I read a lot of your articles and this is my first time commenting. I just wanted to thank you for your writing.
Gucci Bags
May 14, 2012   01:05 AM PDT
 
Thanks a lot for giving everyone a very terrific opportunity to discover important secrets from here.
Cheap Coach Handbags
May 11, 2012   02:00 AM PDT
 
what you have said in this article has deeply impressed me and i wish you can write more about this subject.
Chloe Handbags
May 7, 2012   03:37 AM PDT
 
Unquestionably believe that which you whispered. Your favorite justification appeared to be on the web the easiest thing to be aware of.
Gucci Belts
April 25, 2012   11:10 PM PDT
 
Dexterity comes by experience.
Louis Vuitton Speedy
April 23, 2012   01:18 AM PDT
 
He that thinks his business below him will always be above his business.
Beats By Dre Beatbox
April 20, 2012   12:41 AM PDT
 
Wit once bought is worth twice taught.
Ads-1s
April 18, 2012   10:23 PM PDT
 
OPEL car is usually highly popular and recommended for their good performance 100Z
Commercial Plumbling
April 10, 2012   11:44 PM PDT
 
Wow these are fantastic drawings, i like the way they are shaded!
Best Hair Straighteners
April 4, 2012   07:40 PM PDT
 
Thanks for sharing this opinion. Regards for you. Good job! Very helpful information This is a cool blogging platform.
Hermes Birkin
March 27, 2012   08:04 PM PDT
 
I believe this website contains some real good info for everyone
Hermes Birkin
March 27, 2012   08:04 PM PDT
 
I believe this website contains some real good info for everyone
Hermes Birkin
March 27, 2012   08:03 PM PDT
 
I believe this website contains some real good info for everyone
Hosting Raja reviews
March 21, 2012   05:13 AM PDT
 
The good thing about your information is that it is explicit enough for students to grasp. Thanks for your efforts in spreading academic knowledge.
Chanel Glasses
March 21, 2012   01:21 AM PDT
 
what you have said in this article has deeply impressed me and i wish you can write more about this subject.
Coach Handbags
March 19, 2012   07:14 PM PDT
 
Surely agree with simply what you said. Your explanation was certainly the simplest to comprehend.
Louis vuitton sale
March 15, 2012   12:37 AM PDT
 
Great article! I am agree with the writer¡¯s way of thinking.
The failure of info usually leads a person to some a sense of discouragement.
So that you can solve this challenge, the specialists have launched a lot of info restoration solutions.
Just in case of data deletion condition, a user needs to have a knowledge of appropriate important information recovery tool.
free PC game download
March 6, 2012   07:51 PM PST
 
Very informative and I really like to bookmark this page.What an awesome great
idea !
Dubai homes
February 15, 2012   06:42 AM PST
 
Some people really make difference. Blog carries great informative material. One should read this one and appreciate. Thanks.
web hosting india and reseller
February 10, 2012   02:13 AM PST
 
Glad to visit this professional blog... I would love to learn more and more about technical and programming related things.. Great work!
Debtreliefs
November 18, 2011   09:37 PM PST
 
Great art work

Thanks

http://federaldebtreliefs.com/
Debtreliefs
November 18, 2011   09:36 PM PST
 
Great art work

Thanks

http://federaldebtreliefs.com/
tadalis tabs
November 15, 2011   05:15 AM PST
 
nice creative blog.. its really amazing.. thanks for the post.. i have never seen this painting anywhere.. thanks for sharing..
tadalis tabs
November 15, 2011   05:15 AM PST
 
nice creative blog.. its really amazing.. thanks for the post.. i have never seen this painting anywhere.. thanks for sharing..
Agonda
October 19, 2011   04:34 AM PDT
 
Very nice blog and nice sculpture art too.
cyclosporine eye drops
October 10, 2011   10:11 AM PDT
 
Hey thats a wonderful creativity you have shown in this blog.. i like the pic...
Dissertation Help
September 21, 2011   02:06 AM PDT
 
Great post your given information does help me a lot knowing that you have shared this information here freely.
Write My Essay
September 21, 2011   02:06 AM PDT
 
Thanks for such a nice and updated information. I got some interesting tips from this post.
Help With Essay
September 21, 2011   02:05 AM PDT
 
Congratulation for the great post. Those who come to read your article will find lots of helpful and informative tips.
Cheap Custom Essays
September 21, 2011   02:04 AM PDT
 
Found very cool and unique info here in this blog. This is a great addition in my favorite blog list.
Buy Essay
September 21, 2011   02:04 AM PDT
 

Congratulation for the great post. Those who come to read your article will find lots of helpful and informative tips.
Essay Help
September 21, 2011   02:03 AM PDT
 
Quite interesting and nice topic chosen for the post. I would collect more information about this topic.
Cheap Logo Design
September 21, 2011   02:02 AM PDT
 
Your posts are helpful and informative as always. Thanks very much.
Logo Design
September 21, 2011   02:02 AM PDT
 
Your posts are helpful and informative as always. Thanks very much.
Content Writing Services
September 21, 2011   02:01 AM PDT
 
Good post. Fight lovers around the world will find it very interesting! Thanks.
Link Building Services
September 21, 2011   01:59 AM PDT
 
Very nice and informative post. Keep up the good work. Please remember that i m waiting for your next awesome post...
Pay Per Click Services
September 21, 2011   01:58 AM PDT
 
Congratulation for the great post. Those who come to read your article will find lots of helpful and informative tips.
Social Media Marketing Service
September 21, 2011   01:58 AM PDT
 
Very nice post even i would say that whole blog is awesome. I keep learning new things every day from post like these. Good stuff!
SEM Services
September 21, 2011   01:27 AM PDT
 
Good post. Fight lovers around the world will find it very interesting! Thanks.
SEO Services
September 21, 2011   01:26 AM PDT
 
Very nice post even i would say that whole blog is awesome. I keep learning new things every day from post like these. Good stuff!
SEO Company
September 21, 2011   01:23 AM PDT
 
Congratulation for the great post. Those who come to read your article will find lots of helpful and informative tips.
career tools
May 26, 2011   04:02 AM PDT
 
Brilliant blog posting. I found your post very interesting, I think you are a brilliant writer. I added your blog to my bookmarks and will return in the future.
frankenstein essays
March 23, 2011   09:43 PM PDT
 
Excellent posting here people will get lot of information with the help of posted information & topics from this blog. nice work keep it going.
thesis dissertation
December 2, 2010   11:41 PM PST
 
Wow Impressive!Your blog is very informative. However, it is pretty hard task but your post and experience serve and teach me how to handle and make it more simple and manageable.
Thanks for the tips… Best regards.
Name
November 17, 2008   09:16 PM PST
 
The great thing about making a comparison to Thucydides and Xenophon is the assumption that his readers will automatically get the meaning.
cliff snider
November 16, 2008   01:16 PM PST
 
Nice post, tom. I think Wincklemann would be proud to be on the winning team in terms of what modern society considers beautiful. But isn't representational sculpture largely irrelevant to the modern art establishment? From the little I know, that seems to be the situation. So, he'd probably be a scout for the Ford Agency or soemthing.

Michelangelo is to Raphael as:

a. Thucydides was to Xenophon
b. Odysseus was to Agamemnon
c. Eastman was to Laird
d. David Smith was to Henry Moore

Leave a Comment:

Name


Homepage (optional)


Comments