Van Eyck

JAN VAN EYCK (1390-1441) Belgium

The Man in a Red Turban: thought to be a self portrait.

Isabella of Portugal

Van Eyck is accredited with developing techniques with the recent innovation of oil paints. For most of his career he was sponsored and is believed to have been secretly sent to Spain to broker the marriage of Philip of Spain to Isabella of Portugal whose portrait he painted. This all took place against the background of exploration when Columbus set out on his voyage of discovery.
It was the fashion for women to scoop up their rather voluminous robes as depicted in this portrait, so the bride is not necessarily pregnant!

The Arnolfini Portrait.

The Ghent Altarpiece

This painting, probably done by both Jan and his brother Hubert, is regarded as being one of the earliest major paintings in oils. Napoleon is reputed to have stolen it, then the Calvinists threatened to burn it and the Nazis coveted it. In 1935 one of the panels was stolen and has yet to be recovered.

Van Dyck

THE OLD MASTERS: DUTCH AND FLEMISH ARTISTS

VAN DYCK

ANTHONY van DYCK (1599, Antwerp – 1641, London)
Van Dyck’s portraits, predominantly of the aristocracy during the time of Charles I, were defined by their elegance and colour and they were in huge demand and he was knighted for his efforts. Neither of these facts are surprising when one reads the following comment on Queen Henrietta Marie . . .

Self Portrait

Queen Henrietta Marie

. . . In 1641, when Sophia, later Electoress of Hanover, initially met Queen Henrietta Maria, in exile in Holland, she wrote: “Van Dyck’s handsome portraits had given me so fine an idea of the beauty of all English ladies, that I was surprised to find that the Queen, who looked so fine in painting, was a small woman raised up on her chair, with long skinny arms and teeth like defence works projecting from her mouth…”
If you are interested in history and want to know more about the aristocracy during the time of
NOTE: When you explore the links related to these artists you will find quite a few mentions in the descriptions of pictures which include the phrase “after the artist”. What this means is that the picture was probably painted by a pupil or contemporary in the style of the artist and is not the actual work of the artist under discussion.

Rembrandt

REMBRANDT (1606-1669) Leiden, Netherlands
Man with the Golden Helmet

IMPORTANT FACT: This familiar painting is now considered to NOT be by Rembrandt but by one of his contemporaries. Please check THE OLD MASTERS LINKS FOR DUTCH AND FLEMISH ARTISTS for further information

Self Portrait

Rembrandt van Rijn’s painting of the Night Watch demonstrates why he was considered to be the master of light and shade using the technique known as chiaroscuro. He was also a portrait artist, in addition to which, he painted self-portraits nearly every year of his painting life. However, he seemingly painted more ‘selfies’ than he did of other people and some critics point out that he was not very good at portraiture as he adjusted his work to what he wanted to see which was not necessarily what was in front of him. However, other critics feel he was playing when he portrayed himself with curly hair or with a nose broader than his own. His landscapes include this self-indulgence of painting what he wanted to see. He was a prolific worker producing about 300 paintings, 300 etchings (a lot of himself) and 2000 sketches. During his lifetime Rembrandt’s reputation was built on his etchings not his paintings.

Man with the Golden Helmet

Rembrandt broke the mould of tradition or group portraiture, and this painting was rejected by the group of militia who commissioned it, and it was banished to a storeroom. The title of ‘The Night Watch’ is actually a misnomer. It was applied in the late 1700s because of the perceived darkness of the picture, but on renovation and cleaning, it was found to have been painted showing daylight.

The Night Watch

Many lectures on anatomy for prospective medical students are introduced with this painting “The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Tulp”. In those days, a dissection procedure had great spectator value. Two points of note, apparently Rembrandt got his anatomy a bit wrong in the placement of the arm muscles, and secondly, the valve between the large and small intestines which prevents a backflow, is named the Tulp Valve.

The Anatomy Lesson of Dr Tulp

He did not paint many landscapes of which ‘The Stone Bridge’ is one. The menace of the approaching storm is emphasized by the shaft of sunlight on the tree.

The Stone Bridge

The Three Trees

The Shell

The method Rembrandt employed for his etchings was uniquely his own and has never been used since. Again he used his mastery of chiaroscuro to great effect.

Frans Hals

FRANS HALS (Born in Belgium 1580 – 1666 died in the Netherlands)
HALS1 HALS2
Self Portrait The Laughing Cavalier
HALS3 The magic of Hals’ portraiture is that he captures the character of his subjects. He is also noted for the intricate delicacy of the lacework that many of his subjects wore. He followed in Rembrandt’s footsteps with the arrangements of his group portraits.
Banquet of the Officers of the St George Civic Guard
HALS4 HALS5
Laughing Boy The Lute Player
Much of the charm of Hals’ formal portraits is that the many of subjects are smiling – a convention sometimes frowned upon by his contemporaries. The “Laughing Boy” epitomises Hals ability to capture character with sensitivity, and while ‘The Lute Player” is one of the many paintings Hals did for pleasure – he painted everybody from the village idiot to boys sneaking a cigarette to fishermen and musicians.
HALS6 HALS7
Catharina Hooft with her Nurse Detail from Portrait of a Sixty year old Woman
A trick used by Hals to give the impression of movement is how he posed his subjects. Here it would appear that both the nurse and her charge were distracted as they both look up, their attention taken from the apple the nurse is holding. The details of the brocade gown and the exquisite lacework are almost a trademark of his portraiture as is also depicted in the attention he paid to the careworn hand and delicacy of the cuff in the portrait of a sixty year old woman.

Rubens

THE OLD MASTERS: DUTCH AND FLEMISH ARTISTS

RUBENS

PETER PAUL RUBENS (1577 Germany – 1640 Belgium)
Self portrait of “the prince of painters and the painter of princes”
Rubens was one of the most diverse artists, and the subjects of his work bear testimony to this. In the following paintings we find his interests ranging from quietly domestic scenes to depictions from mythology and legends as well as of events from both the old and new testaments.
Night Scene Daniel in the Lion’s Den
Perseus and Andromeda St George and the Dragon
The Head of Medusa Three Crosses
Rubens loved painting voluptuous women, and it is from these portraits that women with fuller figures are often described as being “Rubenesque”. It is thought that the portrait below was finished by Jacob Jordaens after Ruben’s death. Symbolism continues to be found in works from this period and Rubens was no exception. Prosperity is indicated by the clothing and the elaborate setting, while the blue parrot – an exotic creature – is also indicative of wealth. Some think that the colour of the parrot also gives the nod to the Virgin Mary.
The Three Graces Deborah Kip, Wife of Sir Balthasar Gerbier and her Children
Detail from the family portrait of Deborah Kip.
Rubens did a number of studies and sketches as featuring facets of portraiture. This was common practice amongst artists who incorporated the profiles and expressions of the models into other artworks. Similar studies were done of hands.
Four Studies of a Head
Rubens only started producing landscapes in his later years and once again his mastery of light is both inspired and an inspiration. His method of painting and experimentation with technique influenced many other artists, amongst them Turner, Constable, Van Dyck, Watteau, Manet, Renoir, Cezanne and Picasso.
“Forest at Dawn” or “Dawn Hunt

Jan Havickszoon Steen

JAN HAVICKSZOON STEEN (1626 – 1679) Leiden, Netherlands

On the left is one of the few self portraits in which Steen displays himself in formal attire. His art generally portrays him as a man who is in love with life, which is more accurately displayed by the joyful rendition of him playing the lute in the self portrait on the right.

Self Portrait

Jan Steen Playing the Lute

Steen’s characterisation is one of his strengths. The expressions captured in the next two pictures epitomise the Christmas spirit and the chaos of family gatherings. The characters in Rhetoricians at a Window also tell a story. Rhetoricians were drama and literary groups and here we have a member reading from a script, the author of which is probably the man looking over the reader’s shoulder. Unseen by the author is the look of glee (it’s either very good or is total drivel) while on the right could be either a critic listening intently or a dragooned member of the public who appears bored out of his mind. In the background is a jester who is milking the situation for all it is worth. The scene is set in a tavern – there is a figure in the background on the left drinking from a tankard.

Feast of St Nicholas

The Rhetoricians at a Window

He had a somewhat ‘divine’ sense of humour, portraying biblical scenes against 17th century Holland sometimes even using inscriptions to make sure the point of the picture was understood! A picture is worth a thousand words and each of his pictures tells a story and his art is well worth exploring!

The Dissolute Household

Tucked in amongst all the merry revelry, Steen moralised in a subtle way, Here is the description as written up on the Metropolitan Museum site: This painting depicts a “Jan Steen household”, a standard by which all later family dysfunction may be measured. The lady of the house tramples a Bible while having her wineglass refilled. Her husband and the maid join hands in a gesture suggesting service beyond the call of duty. The boy in blue fends off a beggar at the door, thus recalling the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, in which the more fortunate figure goes to hell. Fate hangs over the family’s head in the form of a basket holding a sword and switch (signifying justice and punishment), a crutch and a can (forecasting poverty) and a wooden clapper (used by lepers and the plague-stricken). In this (sixteen-) sixties sitcom, Steen himself stars as the father, his wife Margriet van Goyen as mom, and their sons Thaddeus and (next to grandma) Cornelis as themselves.
‘Beware of Luxury’ is of particular interest as interpretations vary depending on the perspective of the viewer. It has been used by the US National Library of Medicine comparing 17th century times with modern living and pointing out the similarities with regard to hygienic practices.

On the other hand, it is also a painting full of allegorical meaning as interpreted in a well researched blog by jonathan5485.

“In Luxury Look Out” or “Beware of Luxury”
Steen’s landscapes, of which he did not do many, are invariably peopled as illustrated by “A Winter Scene” and “Game of Skittles”.
A Winter Scene Game of Skittles

Leonardo Da Vinci

RENAISSANCE

LEONARDO di ser PIERO DA VINCI (1452-1519), Italy

Any person with a wide ranging interest and profound knowledge of many different disciplines is described as a Polymath, but there have been none from his time to this, who can match Leonardo!

Painter; Architect; Inventor; Scientist; Mathematician; Engineer; Writer; Botanist; Musician; Sculptor; Mechanic; Geologist; Cartographer; Town Planner and Anatomist.

ARTWORK

Da Vinci is probably best known for his painting of Mona Lisa which hangs in the Louvre in Paris.

This is probably the most controversial painting in its 500 year history. Debate has raged endlessly about her lack of eyebrows (thought to be the fashion at the time), the enigmatic smile and the identity of the model. There is a school of thought that the model was actually a male.

He paid meticulous attention to detail in all his work, as demonstrated by the perfect representation of the plants in his painting of the Virgin of the Rocks.

Many of his botanical sketches, accompanied by detailed notes, are in the Royal Library at Windsor

THE LAST SUPPER

Although painted on a wall, The Last Supper is an atypical fresco as Leonardo experimented by sealing the wall then treating his work as if he were painting on wood. To this day, despite extensive restoration, efforts are still being made to maintain the integrity of this masterpiece. Leonardo’s love of mathematics is conveyed by the perfection of the perspective and the balance of each group of three. The intricacies of the fine details displayed in the lacework on the cloth, the clarity of the glassware, the soft glow of the pewter are remarkable.

There is also controversy surrounding the interpretation of this work. Debate centres on whether it portrays the consecration of the bread and the wine, or whether it shows the reaction to Christ’s pronouncement of betrayal is ongoing. Some scholars feel that through the sheer brilliance of Leonardo’s interpretation, it is both.

NATURE SEEN THROUGH THE EYES OF A MATHEMATICIAN

In the following two examples, one of a plant and the other of a dog’s head, we find how Leonardo applied mathematical equations and geometry to everyday things. For example: Leonardo claimed “that each year when the branches of plants have concluded their maturation, when added together, the sum total of their cross-section is equal to the cross-section of the trunk.” This is illustrated by the image where you can also see his peculiar style of writing everything backwards.

He also discovered “that the distance from the tip of the dog’s snout to its brow is exactly equal to the distance from its brow to its ear, and that the lowest point of snout is on a line with the lowest point of the ear.”

THE VITRUVIAN MAN

Maths and Anatomy

A Roman architect named Vitruvius, who lived circa 1 BCE, was the first to propose the theory that a human body could fit inside both a circle and a square. He associated the circle as being symbolic with the divine and the square with secular aspects.

Leonardo, in his famous drawing expanded on this theory by using his knowledge of maths and anatomy to illustrate perfect proportions. The Vitruvian Man shows how the human body can be fitted perfectly within both a circle and a square. This drawing is now more commonly associated with health practices wishing to epitomise the fully balanced body.

TOWN PLANNING

The sheer brilliance of this man led him in many different directions. His vision of how a town should be planned demonstrated how the logics of mathematics could be applied to engineering projects, while he used the eye of the artist to combine beauty with practicality.

Had the town he planned in 1516 been built, it would have advanced the world at that time to an almost modern day standards of heating, communication and hygiene

His plan, for which he adapted the principle of Archimedes Screw, featured fresh water inlets as well as waste disposal and all homes had running hot and cold water.

He created machines to improve ventilation and even had pipes running through the walls of the buildings for heating and cooling the rooms. He designed automatic opening doors and to quote from The Last Years by Ton Pascal: The heavy main doors of each building, opened and closed automatically when approached, using sophisticated balance and pressure points on a crank mechanism system, only now put to use with the advent of computers.

Included in his plan were schools and centres for recreation. He paid attention to open spaces, avenues were lined with trees, artwork was displayed on corners and numerous fountains added to the ambience of a city that would be interactive with its residents and allow its residents to be interactive within it.

FLYING MACHINE

This is one of many inventions that Leonardo recorded in his Portfolios.

His design for a flying machine was based on his observation of birds in flight, and the ‘bat’ wings bear testimony to this. Everything about the design was carefully calculated allowing for balanced body weight and various cranks for levitation and direction. The only flaw was that manpower alone could never have got the craft off the ground!

However, the man’s mind did not stop working at this point. He figured out that there should be some sort of safety device in flight, and designed a parachute.

This parachute was recently tested (although the jumper also wore a backup ‘chute). It descended perfectly, the only issue being that it could not be steered or adjusted to accommodate the prevailing conditions.

FOR ASPIRING ARTISTS AND FOLK WHO WISH TO UNDERSTAND MORE ABOUT ART:

This extract form online Britannica, written by Ludwig Heinrich Heydenreich, presents a lesson from the Master himself.

“In defining painting as a science, Leonardo also emphasizes its mathematical basis. In the notebooks he explains that the 10 optical functions of the eye (“darkness, light, body and colour, shape and location, distance and closeness, motion and rest”) are all essential components of painting. He addresses these functions through detailed discourses on perspective that include explanations of perspectival systems based on geometry, proportion, and the modulation of light and shade. He differentiates between types of perspective, including the conventional form based on a single vanishing point, the use of multiple vanishing points, and aerial perspective. In addition to these orthodox systems, he explores—via words and geometric and analytic drawings—the concepts of wide-angle vision, lateral recession, and atmospheric perspective, through which the blurring of clarity and progressive lightening of tone is used to create the illusion of deep spatial recession. He further offers practical advice—again through words and sketches—about how to paint optical effects such as light, shadow, distance, atmosphere, smoke, and water, as well as how to portray aspects of human anatomy, such as human proportion and facial expressions.”

Visit the “Leonardo Links” page where you will find a select choice of sites which will give you further insight into this amazing man.

Michelangelo Buonarroti

MICHELANGELO BUONARROTI (1475-1564) Italy

Sculptor, Artist, Architect, Poet and Engineer

Michelangelo

PIETÀ

Michelangelo was only 25 years old when he created Pietà (Compassion or Pity) from a single piece of Carrara marble. The statue was commissioned as a memorial to be placed on a tomb. The term Pietà applies to any depiction of Mary and the body of Christ whether it is a sculpture or a painting.
 Christ's Hand The mastery of this extraordinary young man is revealed in the meticulous attention he paid to detail as shown in the delicacy of the veins on Christ’s hand, and the precision of the nails and tendons on Christ’s feet.

Christ’s hand

The flow of the folds is remarkable as is the tension in Mary’s hand holding the body. Here too, the definition of the arm muscles and the fold in the flesh in response to Mary’s hold is incredibly detailed. Christ's feet

Christ’s feet

Folds Mary's Hand

Folds

Mary’s hand

Mary's head Michelangelo hit a problem with proportions to which he found a creative solution. Mary’s head is rather small for the size of her body. If he had carved it in proportion to her body, she would have been 15 ft (4.5m) tall, so he bulked it out by covering her head in draped cloth to balance the rest of the body.

Mary’s head

Pieta David

Michelangelo’s Pietà in Saint Peter’s Basilica, Rome

The statue of David displayed at the Academia Gallery in Venice

This figure of male perfection is probably one of the most famous statues in the world which took Michelangelo two years to complete. Standing at nearly 14ft (4.2m) tall it is carved from a single block of marble which had lain abandoned for over 25 years as no other sculptor was prepared to work with it because of the proliferation of flaws. The statue weighs over 4500kgs (nearly 12500lbs) and it took 40 men four days to drag it a couple of blocks.
The marble was originally intended to be one of a series of statues to be placed in the niches in the Cathedral of Florence. The other sculptors feared that the flaws would compromise the stability of such a statue, but not the 26 year old Michelangelo.
Other statues of David depict him after his battle with Goliath, but not Michelangelo who chose to sculpt a contemplative David, armed only with his sling before the mammoth encounter. The statue portrays the tension David was experiencing but also exudes his confidence in himself.
David's eyes When one looks at busts and some statues, the eyes are often blank orbs. Michelangelo carved the pupils and irises which add to the intensity of David’s look. The detail of the musculature in David’s back is phenomenal. Little wonder that this statue is regarded as perfection.

David’s eyes

David's back Circular Hall

David’s back

The circular hall in which this spectacular statue is displayed in the Academia Galleria was specially designed for him. The dome allows for natural light

SISTINE CHAPEL, VATICAN CITY, ROME

Sistine Chapel Michelangelo was very reluctant to take on the commission of painting the ceiling of the Chapel. He felt that he was more of a sculptor than a painter, and secondly he had limited knowledge about painting a fresco. Frescos are created when paint is applied to wet plaster. He must have got the formula right as it has stood the test of time, unlike da Vinci’s Last Supper which has had to have extensive restorative and preservative work.
Since 1492, the Chapel has been the enclave where the cardinals gather to elect a new pope.

SISTINE CHAPEL CEILING

 Sistine Chapel ceiling Contrary to popular belief, Michelangelo did not lie on his back to paint the ceiling but he did create a complex set of scaffolding to support him. It was not an experience he enjoyed, he said his face felt like the floor to catch the drips and he wrote this poem to express himself:
The ceiling, completed in 1512, measures 40mX14m (131ftX45ft) M14.jpg
I’ve grown a goitre by dwelling in this den –
As cats from stagnant streams in Lombardy,
Or in what other land they hap to be –
Which drives the belly close beneath the chin:
My beard turns up to heaven; my nape falls in
Fixed on my spine: my breast-bone visibly
Grows like a harp: a rich embroidery
Bedews my face from brush-drips, thick and thin.
My loins into my paunch like levers grind:
My buttock like a crupper bears my weight;
My feet unguided wander to and fro;
In front my skin grows loose and long; behind,
By bending it becomes more taut and strait;
Crosswise I strain me like a Syrian bow:
Whence false and quaint, I know,
Must be the fruit of squinting brain and eye;
For ill can aim the gun that bends awry.
Come then, Giovanni, try
To succour my dead pictures and my fame;
Since foul I fare and painting is my shame.
The nine central panels take one through the story of Genesis. On either side are a series of Old Testament characters mixed with a few of the pagan figures which were regarded as also being prophets leading the way to the advent of Christ.
The ceiling is actually curved – it is not flat like a canvas, yet such is the artist’s genius, the figures appear as if they are in 3D form. The technique he employed is similar to that used by 3D Chalk artists Julian Beever and Kurt Wenner. This process is illustrated in the following clip: Link 1Link 2
A closer examination of the arches and columns separating each fresco depiction reveals that all is not as it seems. These are not architectural features but are painted to appear like concrete as shown in the following three images:
The detail of the ceiling The detail of the ceiling

The detail of the ceiling

The detail of the ceiling The detail of the ceiling
This particular scene shows God giving life to Adam, and is perhaps the most reproduced of all the ceiling frescos:
God and Adam width= God and Adam
The Michelangelo Links page has sites which take you on virtual tours, with highlighted details of all the frescos in the Sistine Chapel.

 

THE LAST JUDGEMENT

20 years after painting the ceiling, Michelangelo was commissioned to paint “The Last Judgement” above the altar.
The last judgement The Last Judgement
As he had done earlier with the ceiling, Michelangelo chose to represent both saints and pagan figures in this fresco, and in later years this upset some of the prelates who commissioned the ‘naughty’ bits to be covered up. Recent restoration has cleared the fresco of all these additions.
Christ as a Judge The Central Scene depicts Christ as judge
(Go to Michelangelo Links page for close-ups of this fresco.)

ARCHITECTURE

THE LAURENTIAN LIBRARY

The library was built on top of an existing convent. The staircase appears to flow up to the Reading Room in a style described as Mannerist Architecture and the entire room in which it is built is dedicated to it. He also designed the benches, made of walnut – the backs of which form lecterns. The floor is a mosaic made from wood. The Library was built to house the Medici Collection which is contained on a separate floor.
The staircase

The Staircase

The reading room

The Reading Room

The reading room benches

The Reading Room Benches

THE MEDICI CHAPEL, FLORENCE

The chapel is a mausoleum, and is an extension of the San Lorenzo Basilica. It is the only completed architectural structure in which Michelangelo was involved. Again he used architectural illusion, this time to make the room seem larger and higher.

The Medici Tombs

Medici tomb1 Medici tomb2
The interior and the dome which is modelled on the Pantheon
Interior Interior

PIAZZA DEL CAMPIDOGLIO, ROME

Piazza del Campidoglio Piazza del Campidoglio
This project involved either the creation or the restoration of three buildings. The building is now the City Hall and fittingly, tucked into a niche at within the apex of the stairs is a statue of the goddess Roma in whose hand is a globe symbolising the far reaching power of Rome in ancient times. A bronze statue stands at the centre of the courtyard. It is a reproduction of what is thought to be the only surviving bronze statue from bygone age which was relatively intact. Michelangelo designed the plinth on which it stands. The original statue is in the Capitoline Museum.
Piazza del Campidoglio Michelangelo moved the tower to a central position which served as an additional focal point to the stairs.
Piazza del Campidoglio The flat roof is a signature of Michelangelo’s architecture and the effect of the added pilasters serve to unite the two storeys.
Piazza del Campidoglio The starburst design whether viewed from above or laterally seems to pull the surrounding buildings in to create a more intimate space. It also creates an optical illusion.

ST PETER’S BASILICA, ROME

Michelangelo designed the dome, construction of which started in 1547, but did not live to see its completion in 1590. He died at the age of 89 in 1564.
ST PETER’S BASILICA ST PETER’S BASILICA
Please go to the Michelangelo Links Page where you will find additional sites covering all his achievements plus links to clips and videos with plenty more information about this fascinating and extraordinarily talented man.

MICHELANGELO THE ENGINEER

Link 1 and    Link 2

Gothic artists

THE OLD MASTERS

Pablo Picasso
Artists from the 1200s through to 1800 are considered to be ‘Old Masters’ although the definition of both artists and this time period are disputed. However, whatever the genre – these artists generally fall under the entire Renaissance movement which developed the Middle Ages.
The early Byzantine artists focused mainly on religious themes and during the late 1100s through to the mid 1400s we see the first notables like Giotto, Bosch and Dürer emerging. Their style is more ‘human’ in its approach, with less gold and far more vivid colouring. These works are sometimes referred to as being Gothic in style where great attention is paid to detailed symbolism. The paintings were often narrative and the fashion at one time was to present them as three panels – known as a triptych – which read from left to right. These early artists had not yet begun to explore human anatomy but their work displays a variety of human emotion in the facial expressions.
The architecture of this period is elaborate and intricate and many buildings – mainly churches of which Notre Dame is an example – are still standing.
Please click on the links page to see further illustrations of the work of artists and architectecture as well as more in depth biographical details.

GOTHIC ARTISTS (±1100 TO ±1450)

GIOTTO di BONDONE

Giotto
Florence, Italy 1266/7-1337
Giotto painted 38 frescoes (paintings done on fresh wet plaster) as well as being the architect of the campanile at the Florence Cathedra
The Arena Chapel Camponile
The Arena Chapel The Camponile (Belltower) at the Florence Cathedral
INTERESTING FACT: The Giotto spacecraft, launched in 1985, was the European Space Agency’s first deep space mission and was set to study Halley’s Comet – the flyby being recorded on 14 March 1986. It was named for Giotto who had used the comet as a model for the Star of Bethlehem in his 1304 painting “Adoration of the Magi”
Adoration of the Magi Adoration of the Magi

HIERONYMOUS BOSCH (±1450 – 1516)

Hieronymous Bosch Netherlands
Eric van Schaaik, writer and presenter of an animated feature called Hieronymous which is the story of a young rock ‘n roll artist living in an oppressed world has this to say of Bosch, “I call him the first heavy-metal artist.”
Although his talent is unquestionable, throughout the centuries, analysis of Bosch’s work is varied with wide-ranging interpretations of the obscurity of his symbolism. The latest research, however, presents Bosch as one of the first representatives of the abstract form as well as having an incredible insight into human nature.
INTERESTING FACT: “I’ve always thought of L.A. as the modern version of The Garden of Earthly Delights,” says author Michael Connelly who named his detective, ‘Harry’ Bosch, after the artist.
Garden of Earthly Delights Seven Deadly Sins Gluttony
Garden of Earthly Delights The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things Gluttony

ALBRECHT DÜRER 1471-1528

Dürer was a talented painter, draftsman and writer but is best known for his engravings and woodcuts which he took to a new level. Woodcuts were used to illustrate books but Dürer developed them into an art form giving them depth and perspective.
Albrecht Dürer Rhinocerys Six Knot Pattern
Netherlands Rhinocerys A six-knot pattern for embroidery
Dürer also excelled at watercolours.
Praying Hands Squirrels Pond
Praying Hands Pond Squirrels