4 December 2013
Giulia Lama – Judith and Holofernes
Great, I just came across this painting of Judith and Holofernes by Giulia Lama again. I found if about a year ago by pure chance. The reason might have been preparations for a talk on tags with the explorARTorium – but honestly, I can’t remember
When you compare this painting with the other paintings showing Judith and Holofernes (you just need to scroll down on this page a bit) you will recognize why Giulia Lama’s painting is somehow special … there is no sword shown …
If you know other paintings showing Judith and Holofernes without a sword, please, let us know!
As a side remark, Giulia Lama is quite interesting as an example to compare different language versions of Wikipedia … take the Netherlands version for example … their article on Giulia Lama starts with “Over haar is weinig bekend.” (roughly translates to “little is known about her”) … oh, how interesting
2 December 2013
Orazio Gentileschi – Madonna
That’s definitely one of my favorite paintings at the moment. It shows a rather quiet scene of a woman holding a little child on her lap. The little child seems to play with the clothes of the woman. Both seem to enjoy their presence together.
This painting was done by Orazio Gentileschi, Artemisia’s father. It may seem as if I have some gravity towards the Gentilschis recently; I hope you don’t mind
27 November 2013
Juan de Flandes – Portrait of Joan the Mad
Today’s Object of the Week is somehow special. Very special actually … it’s hosted on a shiny little new server … woohoo
The painting is special too. It shows a portrait of Joanna the Mad painted by Juan de Flandes.
This painter, by the way, also painted a portrait of Joanna’s husband, Philip the Handsome. This Philip, by the way, was the first Habsburg as King of Castile …
Since we have both paintings, a double Object of the Week is in order!
Juan de Flandes – Portrait of Philip the Handsome
Artemisia Gentileschi – Susanna and the Elders
It’s another nice day today – at least when written in US-American fashion
To celebrate this day, we have chosen a topic that is often used in art: Susanna and the Elders. It’s a story of two elderly men who watched Susanna taking a bath in her garden. They accused her of meeting a young man in the garden but promised not to tell if she agrees to have sex with them. Susanna refused, she is arrested and about to be sentenced to death when a young man appears who asked that the elders should be interviewed to tell the truth …
We have chosen the very first painting by Artemisia Gentileschi. She was only 17-years of age when she painted this picture! Additionally, with this painting, all paintings that are currently shown on Artemisia Gentileschi’s page on Wikipedia can also be seen on our Object of the Week …
There are, of course, many other paintings showing the scene of Susanna and the Elders available in the explorARTorium, just take these as further examples …
Pompeo Batoni – Susanna and the Elders
Tintoretto – Susanna and the Elders
7 November 2013
Caterina van Hemessen – Self-Portrait
There is quite a private story behind this Object of the Week painted by Caterina van Hemessen. The story started at the point where I read “Van Hemessen is often given the distinction of creating the first self-portrait of an artist (of either gender)” on her Wikipedia page – so, wow, that’s the first self-portrait then!
So I looked around in the explorARTorium for other (ok, perhaps older) self-portraits … I might think about a longer series of selected paintings entitled “Self-Portrait” – there are quite nice ones available in the explorARTorium
After an hour or so in the explorARTorium I finished reading this sentence from Wikipedia – in full length it goes like this: “While not an especially gifted artist, Van Hemessen is often given the distinction of creating the first self-portrait of an artist (of either gender) depicted seated at an easel.” OK, I got it now, it’s the issue of being seated at an easel
To be honest, the story actually had quite a different beginning: I was searching for a particular painting by Carlo Francesco Nuvolone that I “discovered” just yesterday at the KHM in Vienna. Sad enough, we don’t have this painting in the explorARTorium … but we have other paintings, this for example.
You are lucky, I had my mobile with me when visiting the KHM … so here’s the painting
4 November 2013
Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun – Self-Portrait in a Straw Hat
We are back in France with this Object of the Week by Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun who is, according to Wikipedia, recognized as the most important female painter of the 18th century.
This painting generated the largest number of direct accesses to the explorARTorium during October, quite well deserved!
By the way, this is the fourth self-portrait we show as Object of the Week – and each was done by female painters …
28 October 2013
Artemisia Gentileschi – Judith and her Maidservant
It’s the second time now that we have an object of the week painted by Artemisia Gentileschi, the painting is called Judith and her Maidservant. The painting shows two women who are both looking towards the same direction, maybe they heard something.
When you look carefully at the painting, you will realise that one of the women is holding a basket containing the head of a man. The other woman is holding a sword. She, thus, is Judith and the woman holding the head is her maidservant. The head, of course, is the head of Holofernes.
The painting shows the scene quite some time after Judith has beheaded Holofernes.
There are also two paintings by Artemisia Gentileschi showing the scene of beheading in the explorARTorium; quite bloody indeed!
Artemisia Gentileschi – Judith Beheading Holofernes
Artemisia Gentileschi – Judith Beheading Holofernes
If you like, you may scroll down to 6 November 2011 and compare Artemisia Gentileschi’s paintings to one of Caravaggio showing the same scene.
23 October 2013
Pieter Bruegel the Elder – Children’s Games
Come on, join us in watching children play games like those that are painted by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. Last week, Dieter spent quite some time in front of this painting at the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien. Some of the games still look familiar. However, do the people depicted in this painting really look like children? What do you think?
By the way, this painting is still missing tags in the explorARTorium – perhaps you might want to change that – thanks!
17 October 2013
Francisco de Goya y Lucientes – The Duchess of Alba
I definitely like that painting, perhaps because of the color contrast between the black hair and the white and red dress of the lady.
Or perhaps because of the tiny white dog beside her.
But definitely because of the tag Maschenliebhaberin (that might translate roughly to stitch lover) … thanks for this brilliant tag whoever provided it!
14 October 2013
Jan Gerritsz van Bronchorst – Sleeping Nymph and Shepherd
17 September 2013
Honoré Daumier – Don Quixote and Sancho Panza
I came across this painting totally by chance when opening the explorARTorium with a previously unused browser on a previously unused machine … So, sometimes it’s quite nice to use a new (old) computer
9 September 2013
Caravaggio – Amor Victorious
It’s about a year that we had our last Object of the Week … there are a couple of reasons for that for sure.
Anyway, we are very happy that we have another one today — it’s again a Caravaggio — and it’s a picture we saw in Berlin last November — and that’s it
16 November 2012
Sandro Botticelli – Portrait of a Young Woman
It’s about time to leave Berlin behind, a bit at least, and move forward to the early time of Italian Renaissance, again with a painting by Sandro Botticelli, again entitled Portrait of a Young Woman … just scroll down to 20 September 2011 to see another one!
But somehow, it’s difficult to leave Berlin behind … we saw this one, actually, in the Gemäldegalerie, Stattliche Museen zu Berlin …
Franz Krüger – Parade at the Opernplatz
Another interesting date today, well at least in the Austrian fashion. Americans celebrated this date already a month ago.
Since we are spending the day in Berlin, where we presented a paper at the EVA-Conference, we dedicate our Object of the Week to Berlin. So, there it is, another Franz Krüger, showing a parade at the Opernplatz, right at the beginning of the boulevard Unter den Linden and next to the Museumsinsel.
Should you still be interested in seeing even more artworks of Franz Krüger, you can certainly so here…
8 November 2012
Franz Krüger – Prince Augustus of Prussia
Not quite sure how to put it, so, for the moment, let’s do it like this: We selected this painting by Franz Krüger showing a portrait of Prince Augustus of Prussia to honour the fact that we’ll have a take-off to Berlin later today for a presentation at a conference tomorrow
The winding side story how we found this remarkable painting in the depth of the explorARTorium starts with co-tag analysis and the quest to find a convincing example for uniform and badge of honour … upon seeing this one the reaction was like: yay, that’s it! … and now it’s not only our Object of the Week but of course also contained in our presentation slides …
By the way, can you remember the lady shown on the painting behind Prince Augustus? If you are curious, we had her in another Object of the Week some time ago, and we have exactly that painting in the explorARTorium, too … just here!
Addendum 14 November 2012:
Yes, Dieter managed to meet Prince Augustus while being in Berlin last week
2 November 2012
Francisco de Goya y Lucientes – The Dog
Well, that’s probably my favourite dog in art history, painted by Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, part of his Black Paintings series.
By the way, this paintings still has no tags in the explorARTorium, perhaps you might want to change that!
31 October 2012
David Teniers the Younger – Temptation of St Anthony
Ok, David Teniers the Younger for sure would not have thought about Halloween when working on that painting. We found it when searching for paintings showing a fledermaus (bat) in the explorARTorium … and realised that this painting makes a nice emblem for today
25 October 2012
August von Pettenkofen – Gipsy Children
You might not know, tomorrow is Austrian National Day in honour of the Declaration of Neutrality in 1955. It thus seems only fair to have a painting by the Austrian painter August von Pettenkofen as an Object of the Week.
17 October 2012
Pieter Bruegel the Elder – Netherlandish Proverbs
Welcome back to the time of Northern Renaissance with a painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder.
Just don’t hurry, take your time exploring this painting … by the way, it’s called Netherlandish Proverbs … you might find some that are still in use today
To check your guesses, there is a nice page on Wikipedia that points out the various proverbs … just here!
And if you are around in Berlin, like we are soon, you might consider seeing the painting in original!
Jan van Eyck – Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and his Wife
Just realised two things: (1) it’s a remarkable day today, at least when it comes to US-style of writing; (2) so far we never had a Jan van Eyck as painter of an Object of the Week, and that’s truly a shame!
Of course, we have chosen perhaps one of his most famous works, the Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and his Wife.
By the way, this painting also has a direct relation to our project as we used it in one of our earlier presentations of our (initial) ideas in front of a couple of museum people … and that turned out to be, well, a disaster …
During this presentation, we also mentioned that this painting is subject to contemporary remixes, as for example in the picture posted by Cea on Flickr.
7 October 2012
Hieronymus Bosch – The Garden of Earthly Delights
It took quite a while until we finally have a painting by Hieronymus Bosch as the Object of the Week, the monumental Triptych The Garden of Earthly Delights. When you are around in Madrid, spare some time to explore this painting in the Prado.
An extraordinary visual feast, of course, is to explore the painting in ultra high-resolution like here on Wikipedia … awesome! Just have a look at the four details below …
4 October 2012
Domenichino – Adam and Eve
Well, you might argue that we are about to overdo it with Objects of the Week a little. However, during the summer months we had been rather quiet for a while …
Perhaps you have already noticed that we are currently spending heaps of time to analyse the tagging behaviour with the explorARTorium … and that’s really exciting! So, at the moment we start to assemble demonstration material for our upcoming presentation at the EVA-Berlin conference. Hence, investigating co-tags of Eva (the German pendant to Eve) would be an obvious choice. And so we came across this painting by Domenichino illustrating an important part in the story of Adam and Eve, basically the moment when they got caught at having tasted the apple. What strikes me in this painting is the body language of Adam which I would interpret as it wasn’t me, it was her! That didn’t change the sequel of the story of course.
And if you are interested in the network structure of co-tags to Eva, here they are:
For a longer story as to the co-tags you’ll have to wait until early November – hope to see you in Berlin then!
1 October 2012
Gerard David – The Judgment of Cambyses
Again, it’s quite a winding story that finally led to this rather drastic Object of the Week painted by Gerard David. We were looking into co-tags collected with the explorARTorium and investigated a bit the tag martyrium (translates roughly to martyrdom). We saw quite an impressive landscape of tags referring to various instruments of martyrdoms. However, we thought, perhaps martyrdom is quite too specific a term, so looked for folter (torture). To cut the story a bit in length, we found The Judgment of Cambyses as being one of only two paintings as of today tagged both with martyrium and folter.
We, of course, found the painting to be quite explicit, yet had no idea about the underlying topic. A little research with the help of Google and Wikipedia revealed that the painting illustrates the misfortunate end of Sisamnes. Actually, he was found guilty of being a corrupt judge who accepted a bribe (!) and delivered an unjust verdict (!). What a difference in dispensation of justice compared to modern times, at our end at least.
And if you are interested in the co-tags we have analysed, well, here they are:
29 September 2012
Caravaggio – St Jerome
Happy Birthday, Caravaggio!
27 September 2012
Paolo Veronese – The Marriage at Cana
Honestly, we did not plan for another Object of the Week today but then, the subtle windings of the story that had its origin during discussion over lunch yesterday are way too long to be told here, came across this video where The Marriage at Cana got mentioned. So, to illustrate this event, which is the one where Jesus miraculously turned water into wine, the painting by Paolo Veronese is perfect.
The painter, Paolo Veronese, actually got under investigation by the Inquisition because of his painting Feast in the House of Levi, and that, of course, is excuse enough to have a double Object of the Week.
Paolo Veronese – Feast in the House of Levi
Both paintings, by the way, are enormous in size, measuring a couple of meters in both dimensions. To see them in original, make plans for visits to Paris and Venice.
So, thanks Rowan Atkinson for generating the sequence of events that led to this Object of the Week!
23 September 2012
Rosalba Carriera – Autumn
No doubt about that, autumn has finally arrived at our end. So, it’s time to show the allegorical painting of Autumn by Rosalba Carriera.
21 September 2012
Orazio Gentileschi – Rest on the Flight to Egypt
The theme Rest on the Flight to Egypt is often shown in art, you’ll find many examples in the explorARTorium. The story, told briefly, is that Joseph and Mary decided to flee to Egypt with their newborn child Jesus when they learned about a planned infant killing in their area. We have chosen the depiction by Orazio Gentileschi as one example. Just have a look at Joseph in this painting … fatigue made explicit!
By the way, Orazio is the father of Artemisia, you might remember her … if not, just scroll down a little
In case you want to see this painting in original, you have to visit the Louvre in Paris … highly recommended anyway. A short description is available in Louvre’s collection database. It’s mentioned there that several signed versions of this subject exist. Actually, one of those can be seen at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, see the respective entry in the collection database of the KHM. So, if you are around in Vienna, don’t miss out on that one!
Addendum 17 October 2012:
Actually, I couldn’t resist to take a photo of the KHM version of Orazio Gentileschi’s Rest on the Flight to Egypt, so here it is.
Annibale Carracci – Rest on Flight into Egypt
Talking about a prominent theme in art, it’s tempting of course to show other examples. In this case, we have a painting by Annibale Carracci from about the same time as Orazio’s.
Caravaggio – Rest on Flight to Egypt
Finally, there is also a version of this theme painted by Caravaggio, also from about the same time period.
17 September 2012
Fra Angelico – The Annunciation
It’s interesting that on the left hand side of the painting, you can see the scene of the expulsion of Adam and Eve from paradise. We were reminded of this fact last week when we examined co-tags assigned to Adam and Eve in the explorARTorium and found, amongst others, Mary and Annunciation … a bit to our surprise at first
On the lower end of the painting there are scenes of the life of Virgin Mary.
Of course there are many other details to be discovered on this painting … so perhaps you even want to watch the Smarthistory video dedicated to this painting. If you are around in Madrid, just don’t miss out to see this painting in the Prado!
6 September 2012
Francesco Hayez – The Kiss
1 August 2012
Francisco de Goya y Lucientes – The Meadow of San Isidro on his Feast Day
Honestly, not quite what I expect … but anyway, this painting by Francisco Goya is tagged with Urlaub (translates to vacation) … and since that’s what is ahead, it’s a legitimate choice for an Object of the Week!
Enjoy the remaining summer (at least in some parts of the world)
22 July 2012
Bernardino Luini – Saint Catherine
Yes, you are quite right, we got a bit lazy with our Object of the Week lately. That’s for a couple of reasons, summer time and vacation season might be one of those
To compensate, there’ll be lots of paintings this time, dedicated to Saint Catherine of Alexandria. To get started, we have a painting by Bernardino Luini showing Saint Catherine reading a book. As you have observed, we are back in the time of Italian Renaissance.
It might thus be interesting to compare his Catherine with that of one of the great Renaissance painters, Raffaello Sanzio.
Raffaello Sanzio – Saint Catherine of Alexandria
By now, you might wonder about the prominent wooden wheel in the painting. If you look carefully, you’ll detect one in Luini’s painting of St. Catherine, too. The wheel in fact is shown as a symbol of her matyrdom. We’ll come to that final point soon.
As the legend tells, Catherine of Alexandria approached Roman Emperor Maxentius to convince him to no longer persecute Christians. Maxentius invited the best pagan philosophers of the time for a dispute with Catherine over Christian religion. To make it short, the dispute ended with the fact that each of the philosophers converted to Christianity. Angry Maxentius decided then to let the philosophers be murdered and Catherine be put in prison.
The event of Catherine disputing with the philosophers in front of Maxentius is shown by Friedrich Heinrich Füger.
Friedrich Heinrich Füger – Catherine of Alexandria before the Emperor Maxentius
We now skip some parts of the legend regarding Catherine’s prison. Finally, Maxentius suggested that she’d become his wife. Catherine refused this suggestion and declared that her spouse is Jesus Christ, to whom she had consecrated her viginity. As a consequence, Maxentius ordered her to be murdered. The chosen object of torture was a wooden, spiked wheel. So, that’s why there’s a wheel in the paintings showing Saint Catherine.
Lucas Cranach the Elder – The Martyrdom of St Catherine
Lucas Cranach the Elder shows the sequence of events during Saint Catherine’s martyrdom. Actually, as you might guess from this painting, the scene did not develop as originally envisioned … In fact, the wheel got miraculously destroyed by an angel in answer to Catherine’s prayer. Francisco Ribalta depicted this particular moment quite drastically.
Francisco Ribalta – The Martyrdom of St Catherine
However, the failure of the original plan regarding the wheel did not save Catherine’s life. Instead it was decided to resort to a more straightforward way to terminate her life … beheading her with a sword.
And that’s why the sword is another symbol to identify Saint Catherine.
This close to final moment of Saint Catherine’s martyrdom is captured by Jan Provost.
Jan Provost – The Martyrdom of St Catherine
With this biography, no wonder that Catherine of Alexandria advanced to one of the heroines in Christianity and thus serves as a prominent topic in religious artworks.
Henri Lehmann – St Catherine of Alexandria
So, when you are walking through time in art history, you’ll find lots of paintings depicting Saint Catherine of Alexandria. Sometimes, though, you have to look rather carefully to find her symbol of the wheel in the paintings, just give it a go!
Fra Angelico – Virgin and Child with Sts Dominic and Catherine of Alexandria
Michael Pacher – St Catherine
Bernardino Luini – Madonna and Child with Sts Catherine and Barbara
Annibale Carracci – The Virgin Appears to Sts Luke and Catherine
Caravaggio – St Catherine of Alexandria
And if you wonder why we dedicated so much space and time to Saint Catherine …
The answer is quite simple, we met one in the Monastery of Griffen in Carinthia, Austria, just two days ago
Saint Catherine in the Monastery of Griffen
10 July 2012
Caravaggio – The Entombment
It’s time to get back to Caravaggio for our Object of the Week. The reason is quite obvious: presenting at IEEE ICALT in Rome was also a convenient chance for a private quest to see as many Caravaggios as possible in limited time … actually ended up with seeing 11 Caravaggios at various venues … yay!
The 11th painting was The Entombment at Vatican Museums, so it seems only fair to share it here too! And since photography is allowed in the Vatican Museum we can also provide an idea of the painting’s natural museum habitat.
In fact, if you feel afraid of being alone in a museum, the Vatican Museums might suit you well …
The painting by Caravaggio quickly got famous for the vivid depiction of the act of the entombment of Jesus. Only within 10 years of its creation the painting was copied by another great painter …
Peter Paul Rubens – The Entombment
And if you are curious now regarding the other 10 Caravaggios … here they are … feel free to search for these paintings in the explorARTorium … or in Rome if you happen to be around … enjoy!
26 June 2012
Judith Leyster – Self-Portrait
It’s only fair to dedicate this Object of the Week to Josef who completed his PhD defense just yesterday
This painting by Judith Leyster got tagged with frohsinn (cheerfulness) in the explorARTorium … quite sensible one has to admit … and that’s exactly the right feeling to celebrate Josef’s achievement!
22 June 2012
Jacob Philipp Hackert – Landscape with the Palace of Caserta and Vesuvius
Oh, sorry, time is running fast, particularly fast at the end of a semester at uni. But there is always the hope that the situation might change to the better. Hopefully towards a situation as shown by Jacob Philipp Hackert.
Actually, I found this one in the explorARTorium searching for artworks tagged with hektik (the German word for hectic By the way, this one, quite sensibly, it tagged with keine hektik (no hectic)!
10 June 2012
Parmigianino – Cupid
With this Cupid carving his arch we have an Object of the Week painted by Mannerist painter Parmigianino. Actually, his real name is Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola, Parmigianino is just his nickname, indicating that he originates from Parma in Italy.
By the way, a high-resolution version of this painting can be found here, thanks Google Art Project!
This painting got copied, amongst others, by Peter Paul Rubens and since both are in the collection of the explorARTorium it seems only fair to have this double Object of the Week for convenient comparison.
Peter Paul Rubens – Cupid Making His Bow
4 June 2012
Johannes Vermeer – The Astronomer
The Astronomer is our second Johannes Vermeer in the Object of the Week. We dedicate this one to all the (amateur) astronomers who are looking forward to the transit of Venus on 5/6 June 2012 – may you all have clear skies to watch this spectacle!
Transit of Venus
If you are not quite sure what to expect from a Venus transit, a couple of pictures from the last transit in 2004 might be found here … don’t wait for the next one … that will be in 2117
You might even want to consult Astronomers without Borders … they seemingly developed phone apps (iOS/Android) and will host a live Webcast as well …
Addendum 06/06/2012: Venus watching in Vienna
27 May 2012
Jean Il Restout – Pentecost
Just a quick reminder, that happened today, thanks Jean Il Restout for capturing the moment.
21 May 2012
Albrecht Dürer – Portrait of a Young Venetian Woman
If you are around in Nuremberg this summer, consider seeing the exhibition The Early Dürer at Germanisches Nationalmuseum.
A couple of weeks ago, German newsmagazine Der Spiegel had a brilliant article on research findings regarding Albrecht Dürer … highly recommended read (in German, of course).
And if you were around in Vienna a year ago, you might remember the omnipresence of our Object of the Week in the streets back then
Addendum 23/05/2012: The young Venetian woman in her natural museum habitat at KHM Vienna
Yes, I know, crappy photo taken today with my mobile, but at least it should give you a hint as to the size of this beautiful portrait … also relative to another painting that we had as Object of the Week some time ago
16 May 2012
Giotto di Bondone – No. 38 Scenes from the Life of Christ: 22. Ascension
Watch out, that’s about to happen tomorrow; here in an epic depiction by Giotto.
Since this is now the third of the frescos painted by Giotto in Capella degli Scrovegni it seems only fair to give you an impression as to how this chapel looks from outside. Agreed, not that overly spectacular.
Capella degli Scrovegni, outside
But once you made your way inside the chapel, that’s what you see, at least part of what you see …
So, don’t miss out on that view next time you are around Padova, Italy.
Capella degli Scrovegni, inside, view from the entrance
By the way, if you look carefully enough, you should be able to spot the fresco of the Nativity, we had it as Object of the Week on 23 December 2011.
12 May 2012
Gillis van Tilborch – Family Portrait
Well, that’s a nice family portrait by the Flemish painter Gillis van Tilborch. Even the dogs were allowed at this family get-together.
Perhaps you’ll experience something similar tomorrow, hopefully with different paperhangings … don’t forget, it’s Mother’s Day tomorrow … at least in some parts of the world.
5 May 2012
Jean-Baptiste Regnault – The Genius of France between Liberty and Death
Quite frankly, I like the title of this painting by Jean-Baptiste Regnault: The Genius of France between Liberty and Death. The French original of this painting’s title is of course also adorable: La Liberté ou la Mort.
With this Object of the Week we also honour the fact that the French people have their final round of presidential elections tomorrow, and, honestly, I’m rather curious about its outcome.
1 May 2012
Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez – The Forge of Vulcan
Happy labour day!
That’s indeed a vivid depiction provided by Diego Velázquez of people working hard in the forge of a blacksmith. If you are wondering about the man on the left side of the painting, the one being looked at with rather surprised looks in the eyes of the workers, it’s the Greek god Apollo.
There’s a much longer story around this painting available here, thanks Wikipedians!
28 April 2012
Jan Steen – The Village School
It was about time to leave religious topics with our Object of the Week. So, this time, we return to genre scenes and selected one made by the Dutch painter Jan Steen. Yes, you are right, we are thus back in the time of Dutch Golden Age
In this painting a school scene is shown with lots of kids and two teachers. It seems, somehow, as if many of the participants are actually having fun in class. Ok, agreed, one kid fell asleep, some others seem to care about quite other things than education. Anyway, they seem to enjoy school. Looking closer at the kids, it seems as if they are quite different in age and come from diverse backgrounds. In total, I have counted 23 kids in this painting. Yet, since we can see only a portion of the classroom which seems to be much larger, we might guess that the number of kids is actually quite higher.
In so far, this painting might also act as an emblem for the current discussion regarding the tertiary education system at our end. Which is, at the moment, dominated by head counts on both sides. The virtues of inclusive vs exclusive education systems for a society at large are hardly reflected in this discussion.
21 April 2012
Antonello da Messina – Virgin Annunciate
With this painting we take you back in time to the Italian Renaissance. What is shown by Antonello da Messina, a painter from Sicily, is Virgin Mary being interrupted in her reading by the Angel of Annunciation, not shown in this picture of course.
In the explorARTorium this painting is described, amongst others, with the tag ungeschminkt schön, which might translate roughly to beauty without make-up. Perhaps you would like to donate other tags, there are still many paintings in the eplorARTorium without tags available!
15 April 2012
Caravaggio – The Incredulity of Saint Thomas
So, that’s probably the last Object of the Week dedicated to our Easter circle.
After his resurrection, Jesus appeared to his disciples. Thomas, however, missed out on that event and refused to believe what the others told him afterwards. Quite obviously, Jesus had to appear again to convince Thomas regarding the resurrection. It’s exactly this situation that Caravaggio tells in this painting in a remarkably convincing fashion.
8 April 2012
Peter von Cornelius – The Three Marys at the Tomb
Well, that must have been quite a surprise when the three Marys arrived at the tomb of Jesus to anoint his dead body, yet found the tomb to be empty. Just an angel sitting there asking the women to tell the disciples, and the world of course, about this fact. We see this scene in a painting by Peter von Cornelius.
Paolo Veronese – The Resurrection of Christ
The tomb was empty because of Jesus’ resurrection as illustrated by Paolo Veronese. One has to admit, indeed quite powerful depiction of the resurrection.
Tiziano Vecellio – Noli me tangere
Of course, Mary Magdalene recognised Jesus immediately when he appeared to her. However, she was not allowed to touch him. “Noli me tangere” were the words spoken by Jesus and used by Titian as the title for his painting depicting this scene.
Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn – Supper at Emmaus
Later that day, Jesus also appeared to two of his followers who were on their way to Emmaus, some 10 kilometers away from Jerusalem. They, however, did not recognise him until he broke the bread at a local taverna … Just watch the surprised looks in the face of one of them in Rembrandt’s illustration of this scene.
Talking about Emmaus scenes and looks of surprise, consider inspecting this one painted by Caravaggio, or the many others available at the explorARTorium.
6 April 2012
Duccio di Buoninsegna – Pilate Washing his Hands
After the capture of Jesus, things developed rather quickly, including trial and death sentence.
Duccio di Buoninsegna shows the scene when Pontius Pilate, then Prefect of the Roman province Judaea, washed his hands after failure in trying to set Jesus free. In the gospel according to Matthew, Pilate remarked “I’m innocent of this man’s blood”.
Tintoretto – The Crucifixion of Christ
After failure to grant amnesty, Jesus had to carry his cross to Golgotha, a place outside the walls of Jerusalem, where the death sentence in form of a crucifixion would take place. Tintoretto shows the scene of the Crucifixion of Jesus alongside two criminals.
Arnold Böcklin – The Deposition
After Jesus’ death on the cross, Joseph of Arimathea managed to get permission from Pontius Pilate to take Jesus down from the cross and bury him in the grave which, actually, was prepared for Joseph of Arimathea.
Arnold Böcklin, by the way our first Swiss painter providing an Object of the Week, depicts the scene when Jesus was already taken from the cross and his dead body being prepared for burial.
Andrea Mantegna – The Lamentation over the Dead Christ
We finish this quite quick recapitulation of events that took place on Good Friday with, probably, the most iconic depiction of the Dead Christ in art history by Andrea Mantegna.
5 April 2012
Benedetto Caliari – Last Supper
Today is an important day during the Holy Week according to Christian tradition. No wonder, the chain of events during the next days serve as prominent topics in art.
To start with, this day ends with Jesus washing his disciples’ feet and sharing his last supper with them. Both scenes are shown simultaneously in the painting by Benedetto Caliari.
El Greco – The Agony in the Garden
After dinner, Jesus went to the garden Gethsemane for prayer as shown by El Greco. Three disciples had the mission to guard the scene, yet failed by falling asleep.
Caravaggio – Taking of Christ
If you have examined El Greco’s painting carefully enough, you have noticed the army approaching to capture Jesus. And this sequence of events, i.e. (1) kiss of Judas, (2) detention of Jesus, (3) flight of the disciples, is shown by Caravaggio who managed to portray himself as the man illuminating the scene with a lantern.
1 April 2012
Giotto di Bondone – No. 26 Scenes from the Life of Christ: 10. Entry into Jerusalem
31 March 2012
Francisco de Goya y Lucientes – As far back as his grandfather
In honour of recent mentioning of donkeys, absurd theatre, etc, this painting by Francisco Goya with the accurate title As far back as his grandfather comes right on time.
By the way, this painting caricatures the pride of Spanish lesser nobility, many impoverished yet possessing a long line of ancestors …
25 March 2012
El Greco – Portrait of a Cardinal
Such a great portrait painted by El Greco. The portrait shows a cardinal, Fernando Niño de Guevara to be precise. Not an easy person by all means, as he was Grand Inquisitor of Spain. So probably not quite the person you wanted to get into conflict with back then.
Every time I see this painting, I feel intimidated by the looks of the eyes of Fernando.
A couple of weeks ago, I read a great novel about El Greco, Fernando Niño de Guevara, and the making of this particular painting: El Greco malt den Großinquisitor by Stefan Andres. I’m not sure if there’s an English translation available, but if you read German … it’s definitely worth the time!
21 March 2012
Rosalba Carriera – Spring
So long waited for, finally, spring has arrived at our end. Honestly, the last days of winter have not been grim anyway, lots of sunshine and warmth at least in and around Vienna. Quite perfect for lunch outside
So happy about the arrival of spring that an extra Object of the Week seems fair. We have chosen an allegorical painting showing Spring by Venetian Rococo painter Rosalba Carriera.
Needless to say, though, she’s also not mentioned in Ernst Gombrich’s The Story of Art …
17 March 2012
William Mulready – The Sonnet
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
To celebrate the day, we have selected a painting by the Irish painter William Mulready.
11 March 2012
Valentin de Boulogne – Martyrdom of Saint Lawrence
Our second Valentin de Boulogne as Object of the Week with a depiction of the martyrdom of Saint Lawrence. According to Christian tradition, Lawrence was grilled to death. He even joked during his martyrdom by asking “turn me over, I’m done on this side”. He is thus regarded as patron of cooks and chefs.
In one of the art history courses I attended last semester, this painting by Valentin de Boulogne was presented in contrast to Bernini’s sculpture of the martyrdom. These artworks were discussed as examples illustrating the Paragone, the debate which form of art is superior to all others. Decide for yourself, the sculpture by Gian Lorenzo Bernini is shown below.
Gian Lorenzo Bernini – Martyrdom of Saint Lawrence
8 March 2012
Sofonisba Anguissola – Self-Portrait
We celebrate International Woman’s Day 2012 with a self-portrait by Italian Renaissance painter Sofonisba Anguissola. She is not the only woman being not mentioned in Ernst Gombrich’s The Story of Art …
Coming all the long way from Renaissance to today, according to the European Commission the situation regarding the gender pay gap in the EU as of 2010 is as shown below.
4 March 2012
Andrea Mantegna – Agony in the Garden
That’s our first Object of the Week painted by Andrea Mantegna. Perspective is clearly a topic in this painting, just have a look at the winding road coming from the background of the painting.
By the way, Agony in the Garden refers to the sequence of events in the life of Jesus between the Last Supper and his arrest.
In this painting, Andrea Mantegna focuses on the event where Jesus went out to have a prayer in the garden Gethsemane accompanied by three of his disciples. When you have a look at the winding road again, you can see the guards for Jesus’ arrest approaching.
Giovanni Bellini – Agony in the Garden
We couldn’t resist to have a double Object of the Week this time, another Agony in the Garden, this one painted by Giovanni Bellini who was the brother-in-law of Andrea Mantegna. The same situation is shown: Jesus praying, his disciples sleeping.
If you want to study both paintings in original, you just have to visit the National Gallery in London.
29 February 2012
Théodore Chassériau – Sappho Leaping into the Sea from the Leucadian Promontory
We’ve got a leap year!
Celebrating this event with a painting by Théodore Chassériau … for no better reason than we found it in the explorARTorium because of the word “leap” appearing in the title
26 February 2012
Domenico Ghirlandaio – Portrait of Giovanna Tornabuoni
Welcome back to the time of Italian Renaissance!
Domenico Ghirlandaio, one of the teachers of Michelangelo, painted this beautiful Portrait of Giovanna Tornabuoni, a Florentine noblewoman.
If you are around in Florence, you can find a series of frescos by Domenico Ghirlandaio in the Tornabuoni Chapel such as this for example.
And if you are around in Madrid, you definitely should consider seeing this painting in original at Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza!
Caravaggio – Narcissus
19 February 2012
Tiziano Vecellio – Portrait of Jacopo Strada
So, last week we had Venice, this week we have a painting by the Venetian painter Tiziano Vecellio, known as Titian, as Object of the Week. The painting shows a portrait of Jacopo Strada, who, for some time, worked in Vienna for the Habsburg emperors. He was rewarded with the care of the Imperial Treasury (Schatzkammer).
If you are around, you can see this painting at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.
12 February 2012
Canaletto – The Riva degli Schiavoni
Arctic temperatures at our end during the last two weeks, right now -9 °C in Vienna at noon …
Hope that this painting by Canaletto brings back your memories of warmer days!
And if you consider an escape to Venice … remember to take some warm clothes with you … there was ice in the canals some days ago … see this photoblog for pictorial proof.
4 February 2012
David Teniers the Younger – The Gallery of Archduke Leopold in Brussels
In fact we invited people via our Facebook page to identify the depicted paintings … and have this Object of the Week now in honour of Mamen, who managed to identify six paintings. Bravo, Mamen!
27 January 2012
John Glover – A Corroboree in Van Diemen’s Land
Sorry, one day late, but better late than never … we are celebrating Australia Day with a painting by John Glover, an Englishman who moved to Australia, Tasmania to be exact.
By the way, a Corroboree is a ceremonial meeting of Australian indigenous people. Such a meeting in Van Diemen’s Land (the original name used by Europeans for the island nowadays known as Tasmania) is shown in this painting.
22 January 2012
Adriaen Jansz. van Ostade – Smoker
When Dieter saw this painting by Adriaen van Ostade depicting a smoker, he was immediately reminded on his New Year’s resolutions
How about your New Year’s resolutions? Successful so far?
18 January 2012
Honoré Daumier – The Uprising
Quite a remarkable day today as a number of Web-sites deliberately decided to black out in protest to the US of A Acts SOPA and PIPA.
Perhaps the most prominent amongst these Web-sites is the English version of Wikipedia.
So, the painting entitled The Uprising by Honoré Daumier is a nice emblem for today.
14 January 2012
Guido Cagnacci – Martha Rebuking Mary for her Vanity
Martha and Mary Magdalene, two sisters that appear quite often in religious paintings; at least when it comes to Christian religion, of course. Guido Cagnacci focuses here on a scene where Martha tells Mary to quit her excessive style of life. Mary did eventually follow this advice, you’ll find lots of depictions of a penitent Mary Magdalene in art, like here for example.
Dieter found this painting in the explorARTorium when searching for paintings tagged with “Schuhe” (shoes) – can you find them in the painting? The reason why he searched for shoes is a bit obscure, the trigger was a tweet by Prometheus … but the rest would be too long a story to be told here in detail
Anyway, thanks to whoever discovered and tagged this pair of shoes, wouldn’t have found this painting without your help. So, keep on tagging!
7 January 2012
Caesar van Everdingen – Winter
Welcome, hope you managed to arrive well in the New Year 2012.
At our end, it’s definitely winter by now, in some parts more severe than in others. If you happen to spend time in the more severe areas, you might be happy to find something to keep you warm as the device shown by Caesar van Everdingen.
Dieter spent the last days in southern Austria, not so much snow but blue skies (at least at times), and definitely freaky cold at night
30 December 2011
Egbert van der Poel – Celebration by Torchlight on the Oude Delft
Well, there is still some time left … do you have your fireworks ready for tomorrow?
So, wherever you are, whatsoever your plans for New Year’s Eve are …
… we wish you a happy and joyful New Year 2012 … and all the best for your celebrations
27 December 2011
Vincenzo Campi – Kitchen
Now that the holidays are gone, we found time for a quick analysis of the clicks generated by our advent calendar.
At least regarding the number of accesses, the kitchen scene of day #4 painted by Vincenzo Campi found the largest resonance.
23 December 2011
Giotto – No. 17 Scenes from the Life of Christ: 1. Nativity: Birth of Jesus
In any case, this is now the perfect time for wishing you a merry festive season!
18 December 2011
John William Waterhouse – Saint Eulalia
John William Waterhouse painted this description of the martyrdom of Saint Eulalia of Mérida. According to a legend from early Christianity, she was tortured and murdered at the age of 14 because of her refusal to believe in Roman Gods and Goddesses. When she finally passed away, a dove flew out of her mouth and snow covered her.
If you are quick, you can see this painting in original at the KHM, in their current exhibition Winter Tales. The exhibition in on show until 8 January 2012, so be quite quick, seeing this exhibition in general and this painting in particular is definitely worth a visit.
We recently added this painting to the collection of the explorARTorium. That means, if there is a painting that you would like to see in the explorARTorium, just drop us an email, preferably with all relevant information regarding the painting and a link for example to Wikimedia Commons, so that we can include the painting to our collection. So, the painting has to be in public domain, as with all the paintings on show in the explorARTorium.
12 December 2011
Gerrit van Honthorst – The Dentist
Honestly, this Object of the Week came quite unexpected, it’s just to show you what Dieter did today (and will do tomorrow) … it’s slightly less frightening nowadays compared to the time, when Gerrit van Honthorst painted this dentist.
By now you already might have noticed, Gerrit van Honthurst is another Dutch Golden Age painter influenced by Caravaggio
10 December 2011
Hans Holbein the Younger – Portrait of Edward VI, Prince of Wales
The unfortunate story of the cute looking Prince of Wales.
This portrait by Hans Holbein shows Edward IV, the son of Henry VIII, while he was still Prince of Wales. Edward was crowned in 1547, at the age of nine. His reign was marked by social unrest, a war with Scotland and the transformation of the Anglican Church into a Protestant body. At the age of 15 Edward fell ill and his illness became more and more severe. Half a year later he lost strength to fight his disease.
7 December 2011
Francisco de Zurbarán – Immaculate Conception
Just to remind you … that’s about to happen tomorrow!
Thanks Francisco de Zurbarán to show it in such an impressive fashion!
3 December 2011
Jacques-Louis David – Madame Récamier
In principle, the story could be told quite quickly: Dieter saw this painting in the explorARTorium and immediately realised that this might be a nice emblem for his plans regarding the weekend …
Seeing the title of the painting, though, kind of struck him … in fact, Dieter was not aware that a piece of furniture is named after the portrayed historical person Jeanne-Françoise Julie Adélaïde Bernard Récamier. And if you don’t know what kind of furniture we are referring to, just look here (no, honestly, by no means intended to convince you to buy one ).
In addition, the painter, Jacques-Louis David, is by all means a very interesting figure himself. He managed to get along quite well during a very tumultuous time of European history. He was recognised by the French King Louis XVI, he was a friend of Maximilien Robespierre and member of the Jacobin Club, and finally admired Napoleon Bonaparte. Indeed, a very interesting person this Jacques-Louis David in the era of the French Revolution.
We, of course, have a number of paintings by Jacques-Louis David in our collection, just take The Death of Marat or Napoleon at the St. Bernard Pass as two examples (just realised that both paintings have got no tags as yet, so you might want to change that ), the latter one you can currently see at the KHM in their special exhibition Winter Tales … highly recommended anyway and on show until 8 January 2012.
So, sometimes, looking for a painting just to tell you “that’s what I’m about to do during the weekend”, might trigger rather lengthy thoughts
26 November 2011
Valentin de Boulogne – Judith
Towards the end of this turbo-November, Dieter relaxed and enjoyed paintings by Valentin de Boulogne. Especially, this Judith is amazing, just look in her face! So, that’s our second Judith as Object of the Week, very well deserved! And by now, you might also remember the name of the man in the lower right of the painting … or, perhaps I should rather say, you might remember the name of the man who used to own the head shown in the lower right
In fact, Dieter was that enthusiastic about this painting, that he just dedicated four new levels in ARTournament to Artemisia Gentileschi and Valentin de Boulogne … one of the great benefits of having access to ARTournament’s level designer Web-frontend
By the way, we already had a self-portrait by Artemisia Gentileschi as Object of the Week … just scroll down a little!
So, if you are proud owner of an Android device and haven’t played ARTournament yet … well, perhaps now is the time
If you would like to suggest dedications of additional levels in ARTournament … just drop Dieter an email … remember, he’s got access to ARTournament’s level designer
Power to the Caravaggisti!
20 November 2011
Vittore Carpaccio – The Dead Christ
Very interesting painting by Vittore Carpaccio showing the dead Christ.
It was Max who found this painting in the explorARTorium and shared it on Twitter and Facebook. This week only little calculation was needed to realise that this painting attracted by far the largest number of accesses coming from Social Media
13 November 2011
Jean Baptiste Joseph Pater – Mme. de Bouvillon Tempts Fate by Asking Ragotin to Search for a Flea
Dieter came across this one when searching for an emblem for his “Information Search on the Internet” lecture this winter term at Vienna University of Technology. This immediately was it … basically when using Web search engines, we are more or less in the same situation as Mme. de Bouvillon depicted in this painting, just that instead of Ragotin we are asking Google, Bing, Yahoo!, etc. to search for fleas in the depths of the WWW …
Pieter Brueghel the Younger – Peasants Making Merry Outside a Tavern ‘The Swan’
Memorable date today … 11/11/11
And on top of that, we have presentations at two conferences today: ACE2011 and EVABerlin2011 … I’m pretty sure there will be time to celebrate afterwards
Perhaps it will be like shown by Pieter Brueghel the Younger
6 November 2011
Caravaggio – Judith Beheading Holofernes
At last, we have a painting by Caravaggio as our Object of the Week. We have chosen an extremely vivid depiction of the moment when Judith is beheading Holofernes. Just watch the facial expression of Judith in this painting!
The theme of Judith and Holofernes got wide reception in art as you can see in the explorARTorium (and not only there, of course). When you visit any of the large art museums, chances are high that you’ll find some paintings illustrating this theme. Also Wikipedia has a page dedicated to selected artworks covering the biblical topic of Judith.
Caravaggio is very often present in our discussions. We also collectively enjoyed attending a wonderful and inspirational lecture on Caravaggio last year at University of Vienna. Of course, you might have already guessed our gravitation of interest in Caravaggio from playing ThIATRO or ARTournament. In both cases, the final levels are dedicated to this influential painter.
30 October 2011
Rogier van der Weyden – The Annunciation
It was about time, our first Rogier van der Weyden as Object of the Week! Rogier was very important for the development of paintings in Central Europe. This week’s object shows a very beautiful version of The Annunciation from ca. 1440. In fact, it’s the central piece of a triptych. To see the original, you have to visit the Louvre in Paris, highly recommended in any way
Of course, we also have the complete triptych in the explorARTorium … just here!
23 October 2011
Gerrit Dou – The Night School
A painting called “The Night School” by Gerrit Dou is our Object of the Week.
Quite a dark genre scene, where we are looking into a room and watch a group of people, probably a family. It’s amazing, though, how the painter uses candle light effects to illuminate the scene. This painter is clearly influenced by the works of Caravaggio and transformed this influence into the tradition of Dutch genre scenes.
Ok, it may seem as if we have some bias towards Dutch Golden Age paintings
Dieter came across this painting while working on slides for an upcoming presentation. As often these days, he played around searching for paintings in the explorARTorium based on Tags to illustrate the thoughts expressed in the presentation. In this case, the slide containing the agenda of the presentation, he searched for the (German) Tag “Aufgabe” and came across “The Night School”, tagged, amongst others, with “Hausaufgaben erledigen” (“doing homeworks”) … well, that’s quite nice a Tag, thanks to whoever assigned it!
Really, using the explorARTorium to search for Tags is not only entertaining but brings very interesting results as well … you should give it a go
16 October 2011
Lucas Cranach the Elder – The Paradise
In fact, that was quite tight this week, but the story of the Paradise painted by Lucas Cranach the Elder accumulated the highest number of direct access from social media. The painting is really brilliant, a selection of stories related to the Paradise (e.g. creation of Adam and Eve, original sin, expulsion from Paradise) are depicted together in one painting. It’s definitely a must see next time you visit the KHM (Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien).
Dieter put a reference to this painting on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. In fact, actually Dieter was playing around with HDR photography once again. He found a strange shine of light in one of the shots … and put this HDR photo on social media, with the note that this photo reminds him on that painting by Lucas Cranach (basically, the reference was a bit more obscure … if you don’t believe, here is his tweet … the Facebook and Google+ status updates were quite similar in wording).
And here is his HDR photo that triggered the tweet …
Addendum 13/12/11: By the way, that’s Lucas Cranach’s painting in its natural museum habitat at KHM Vienna!
9 October 2011
Jacopo Bassano – The Last Supper
Dieter used this painting as an emblem for “discussion” during his opening presentation for this term’s PhD Seminar. Actually, it worked quite well as an emblem and took out the strain from the presentation
Addendum, 23 October 2011: Just found this, how should I call it, replica, variation, citation, …, on Flickr
2 October 2011
Pieter de Hooch – Young Woman Drinking
This Dutch genre painting by Pieter de Hooch generated the largest number of direct accesses to the explorARTorium during last week. Surprisingly, these accesses where not triggered via Facebook, Google+ or Twitter, rather they did refer directly to this particular painting. I can only speculate why. In fact Michi uses this painting to demonstrate the workings of the tag recommender he developed for his Master’s Thesis. Actually, the recommender works beautifully for Dutch Golden Age genre paintings. The recommended tags for this picture are: woman, table, hat, jug … that’s fairly accurate, what do you think?
26 September 2011
Jean-François Millet – Haystacks: Autumn
Like it or not … autumn has arrived at our end.
When you move around you’ll likely find haystacks, yet they look quite different nowadays to the ones depicted by Jean-François Millet.
20 September 2011
Sandro Botticelli – Portrait of a Young Woman
This beautiful Renaissance portrait by Sandro Botticelli is the winner of week four in our social media experiment. Brilliant choice, indeed!
10 September 2011
Johannes Vermeer – The Procuress
Now, that’s nice for a couple of reasons. When we initially discussed possibilities for a common narrative within the project, we were taking paintings of Johannes Vermeer and in general Dutch paintings of the 17th century as examples. As often, many of these ideas never got actually implemented, but anyway they served as an area for discussion and were important for our mutual agreement on what might be interesting to concentrate on when putting Art History in the center of computer-based visualisation methods.
And now, in week three of our social media experiment, we have the painting The Procuress by Vermeer as the one generating most direct accesses to the explorARTorium. Additionally, that’s our first Vermeer we show on our Object of the Week.
3 September 2011
Jan Matejko – Stańczyk
When I first saw this painting by Jan Matejko I was immediately captured by the sad expression of the jester. A little research revealed the story around Stańczyk and the particular situation that is captured in this extraordinary painting.
By the way, a link to this painting shared on Facebook generated the largest number of accesses during week two of our social media experiment!
30 August 2011
Lucas Cranach the Elder – Saxon Princesses Sibylla, Emilia and Sidonia
It’s more than a week now since we introduced the possibility to share paintings from the explorARTorium with “friends” on social networks.
By now, the portrait of the Saxon Princesses Sibylla, Emilia and Sidonia by Lucas Cranach the Elder is the one that generated the largest number of accesses.
Many thanks, Beate, for sharing this painting on Facebook!
Addendum 13/12/11: That’s how the three princesses look like today in their natural museum habitat at KHM Vienna!
17 August 2011
Gustave Courbet – Cliffs at Étretat
A word of advice is in order: just be careful, sometimes looking at artworks might give you a flashback to holiday memories, as it happened to Dieter when discovering this painting by Gustave Courbet … nice memories of course
12 August 2011
Henri Regnault – Salome
9 August 2011
Peter Paul Rubens – Annunciation
Apart from that, the Jan Fabre exhibition at KHM if definitely worth a visit … it’s on show until end of August, so be quick!
26 July 2011
www.streetartupopia.com – Hoodie and the Velázquez
A replica of the Rokeby Venus by Diego Velázquez hung on the ancient walls of the city of York.
Part of an art project run by the National Gallery to get masterpieces seen by members of the public who would not normally step into a gallery.
The project in York called the Grand Tour sees 30 high quality full sized replicas displayed. They are built to handle all weathers and even vandals and are striking against the backdrop of the historic Roman city.
28 June 2011
Johann Peter Hasenclever – Hieronymus Jobs at His Exam
Exam week at the university!
Today an oral examination is far less glamorous than the one painted by Johann Peter Hasenclever. Glamour aside, I’m really happy that professors don’t have to wear wigs anymore when examining students!
11 June 2011
El Greco – The Pentecost
El Greco, one of Dieter’s favourite painters, illustrated what’s about to happen tomorrow …
2 June 2011
Pietro Perugino – The Ascension of Christ
Just a reminder … that’s why we have a day off today!
Dieter’s confession: I wasn’t aware of Pietro Perugino until yesterday evening when Doron demonstrated the current state of his Art History Information Landscape … won’t be long and you can see it too
31 May 2011
Artemisia Gentileschi – Self-portrait as the allegory of painting
Beautiful Caravagesque self-portrait of Artemisia Gentileschi
be quick, you can still see this painting in Madrid, it’s part of the Heroinas exhibition … but be quite quick, this exhibition is only on show until 5 June 2011
Addendum 14 November 2012:
Perhaps you might want to watch the smarthistory video on that painting.
20 May 2011
Planking @ Zwentendorf Nuclear Power Plant
The Zwentendorf Nuclear Power Plant was the first nuclear plant built in Austria, of 6 nuclear plants originally envisaged. The plant at Zwentendorf, Austria was finished, but never operated. Start-up of the Zwentendorf plant, as well as construction of the other 5 plants, was prevented by a plebiscite on November 5, 1978. A narrow majority of 50.47% voted against the start-up.
We chose the art form of “Planking” to call attention to this wonderful museum
12 May 2011
Heinrich Bürkel – Rain Shower in Patenkirchen
That’s how it is at our end right now
… just quite a bit darker and definitely less cows
6 May 2011
Pieter de Hooch – The Mother
Don’t forget, mother’s day is approaching fast (at least in some parts of the world)!
29 April 2011
Pieter Bruegel, the Elder – Peasant Wedding
Happy wedding day Kate and William!
26 April 2011
Diego Velazquez – Christ on the Cross
One of the many Dieter has seen in their natural museum habitats in Madrid.
18 March 2011
Well that’s a nice symbol for the discussion that we sometimes have regarding tablet gadgets … android vs ios
31 January 2011
Lorenzo Lotto – Portrait of a Man, 1506/10
Dieter’s opinion: I’m scared each time when I enter Room 3 at Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien. I always have the feeling that I’m watched by our Home Secretary. Do you agree that both faces share some striking similarities?
More so even than Giorgione and Titian, it is Lorenzo Lotto who should be considered the true inventor of the Renaissance psychological portrait. Lorenzo Lotto was born in Venice. Though he spent many years in Bergamo, and probably entered Alvise Vivarini’s studio there, for much of his life he was restless, continually moving from town to town. In their haste to identify the artist’s subjects with his way of life, many early historians of art found in his work traces of the instability and restlessness ascribed to Lotto in sixteenth-century accounts of his life. This has meant that Lotto, to whom the authorship of only a small number of paintings can be attributed beyond doubt, has come to be seen as the painter of a considerable number of idiosyncratic works whose authorship cannot finally be determined. The heterogeneous style and subject-matter of Lotto’s oeuvre thus seems to confirm the conflicting nature of his personality.
Reference to the “psychological” portrait here should not be understood in the modern sense of the epithet. The visual medium chosen by Lotto to portray mental states was less one of analytical disclosure than its opposite: enigma. His tendency to present the spectator with riddles was intensified by his mysterious symbolism, and by his frequent emblematical or hieroglyphic allusiveness. Although Lotto’s allusions, in their literal sense, could be fathomed perhaps only by the “cognoscente” of his day, they are nevertheless capable of inspiring a wealth of vivid associative detail. This can be a source of fascination, as well as of frustration, to the the spectator who has little access to their original meaning.
Lotto’s early portrait of a young man wearing a round black beret and buttoned, black coat still owes much to the traditional aesthetic of imitation. Scholars have rightly pointed to the influence of Giovanni Bellini here. The physiognomy of his powerful nose and searching grey-brown eyes, which, under the slightly knitted brow, seem to brood on the spectator, to view him almost with suspicion, is so faithful a rendering of empirical detail that we are reminded of another painter, one whose brushwork was learned from the Netherlandish masters: Antonello da Messina. What is new here is the element of disquiet that has entered the composition along with the waves and folds of the white damask curtain. A breeze appears to have blown the curtain aside, and in the darkness, through a tiny wedge-shaped crack along the right edge of the painting, we see the barely noticeable flame of an oil-lamp.
Curtains are an important iconographical feature in Lotto’s work. The motif is adopted from devotional painting, where it often provided a majestically symbolic backdrop for saints or other biblical figures. Since early Christian times, the curtain had been seen as a “velum”, whose function was either to veil whatever was behind it, or, by an act of “re-velatio”, or pulling aside of the curtain, to reveal it. To judge from the curtain which fills most of Lotto’s canvas, we may safely conclude that he intends to reveal very little indeed of the “true nature” of his sitter. What he finally does reveal is done with such reserve and discretion as to be barely insinuated. For the burning lamp is undoubtedly an emblem of some kind. It may, in fact, be an allusion to the passage in St. John: “lux in tenebris” (‘And the light shineth in darkness’, Joh. 1, 5). It is interesting to note that Isabella d’Este chose to cite this light/darkness metaphor in her own “impresa” in 1525, altering the original to refer to her isolation at the Mantuan court: “sufficit unum (lumen) in tenebris” (a single light suffices in the darkness). Perhaps Lotto intended to convey a similar message through his portrait of this young man.
31 December 2010
Webcam – Sydney Harbour Cam 1
In some parts of the world the fireworks have already begun … Happy New Year 2011!
21 December 2010
Based on Piero della Francesca – Nativity
There are still a couple of days to wait … but anyway, this is a great chance to wish you all a happy festive season and then a brilliant start into the New Year of 2011.
10 December 2010
Erwin Wurm – “Polizeikappe”
Some weeks ago I visited the Essl Museum in Klosterneuburg near Vienna, Austria. With the solo exhibition >PRIVATE WURM<, the Essl Museum presents very recent works by the internationally renowned Austrian artist Erwin Wurm. He employs gentle humor, interactivity and the natural curiosity of his audience. I took a picture of me, standing under this giant policeman’s cap. Here’s a description of Wurm’s work:
This idea of distorted perception was also at the root of the over-size Viennese policeman’s cap, which was specifically created for the exhibition and will be shown together with other recent artwork. The visitors will have the opportunity to ‘take shelter’ under the cap with its diameter of more than one metre.
3 December 2010
Kazimir Malevich – Suprematist Composition: White on White
Perfectly corresponding to the definition of suprematism as “the supremacy of pure feeling or perception in the pictorial arts”, this picture comes close to the view that we are currently confronted with in Vienna.
17 November 2010
Rembrandt – A Scholar
Dieter’s opinion: My first association when I came across this one while using http://vsem.ec.tuwien.ac.at/taggingtool/ was like … wow, that kind of reminds me on how, back then, I expected the life as a scientist to be … having time to think things through, discuss, describe the thoughts, and so on … now, however, I would rather say … you know, say goodbye to your illusions ;-(
November 4th, 2010
Jusepe de RIBERA
Magdalena Ventura with Her Husband and Son
Dieter’s opinion: “I was completely irritated when I came across this picture while providing may share of tags on http://vsem.ec.tuwien.ac.at/taggingtool/. It’s quite rare to see a picture of two men and a baby child where one of the men obviously breast-feeds the baby. After my irritation I started to research a little deeper regarding this picture – and that’s what I found out … seems as if I’m not the only person ever being irritated by this painting
Ribera painted this picture, his most unusual work in 1629 at the request of the duke of Alcala, one of Ribera’s major viceregal patrons. A lengthy Latin inscription, which describes the circumstances of the commission, implies that it was executed to record a wonder of the natural world. Magdalena Ventura was from the Abruzzi, a region in the kingdom of Naples, and began to grow a beard when she was thirty-seven. Fifteen years later, the woman and her husband, a timid sort wearing an understandably befuddled expression, produced the infant she holds in her arms. As the inscription further attests, the picture was completed on 16 February 1631 by “JOSEPHVS DE RIBERA HISPANUS CHRISTI CRVCE INSIGNITVS,” a characteristic reference to Ribera’s prized nationality and to the Order of Christ received from Pope Urban VIII on 29 January 1626. In this unforgettable image Ribera’s uncompromising realism permits no escape from the unsettling force of this aberrative family portrait.