DECORUM AND WIT: THE POETRY OF VENETIAN PAINTING. ESSAYS IN THE HISTORY OF THE CLASSICAL TRADITION
Philipp P. Fehl

1992
222 × 290 mm, 430 pages
224 b&w illustrations
clothbound, with jacket
ISBN 3-900731-10-1

Jacket illustration : Paolo Veronese, Marriage at Cana (detail), 1563, oil on canvas, Paris, Musée du Louvre.
 

The union of poetry and painting in the work of the great Venetian painters is the theme linking the eighteen essays by Philipp P. Fehl, brought together in this book. The author's careful study of individual works of art by Titian, Veronese, and the Tiepolos, among others, disposes once and for all of the notion that Venetian art is aesthetically sublime but intellectually shallow.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Philipp P. Fehl (1920-2000) taught art history in Kansas City, MO, in Nebraska, North Carolina, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  
He was born in Vienna and during the Second World War served with the US Army. In 1946-47 he was an interrogator at the Nuremberg Trials. He studied art and art history at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, at Stanford University and the University of Chicago. Among his teachers were Peter H. von Blanckenhagen and Ulrich Middeldorf. Early in his career as an art historian he had the good fortune to attend the Brussels Art Seminar conducted by Erwin Panofsky and to spend a year as a Research Fellow at the Warburg Institute in London. His mentor, as long as he lived, was Sir Ernst Gombrich.
From his earliest studies Fehl was concerned with art in its relation to memory, to the true and imaginative representation of the subjects chosen by the artist, to the history of the classical tradition in art and criticism. He was drawn especially to Venetian art, publishing essays on Canova, on Titian, and others, but also Dürer, Raphael, Michelangelo. IRSA published his Decorum and Wit: The Poetry of Venetian Painting in 1992. Together with Keith Aldrich and Raina Fehl he edited Franciscus Junius’ De Pictura Veterum and his Catalogus under the title The Literature of Ancient Art (Berkeley, CA. 1991).
From 1989 to his death he directed a joint project of the University of Illinois and the Vatican Library to reproduce on microfiches the entire contents of the Vatican's Fondo Cicognara, a project that is being continued. In 1996-97 he presented in Rome, sponsored by the Unione Internazionale degli Istituti di Archeologia, Storia, e Storia dell’Arte in Roma, a cycle of lectures on “Monuments and the Art of Mourning: The Tombs of Popes and Princes in St. Peter’s”, that is now being prepared for publication.

 

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION
I  INVISIBLE REALMS
CONCERT CHAMPÊTRE
THE PESARO MADONNA
II  POESIE
THE BACCHANALS FOR ALFONSO I D’ESTE
TITIAN’S RAPE OF EUROPA AND RAPHAEL’S GALATEA
BEAUTY AND THE HISTORIAN OF ART: TITIAN’S VENUS AND ADONIS
THE CAMERINO FOR PHILIP II
THE PUNISHMENT OF MARSYAS
III  HISTORIE
TRUTH AND DECORUM RECONCILED BY WIT: DÜRER, TITIAN AND PIETRO ARETINO
TINTORETTO’S HOMAGE TO TITIAN AND PIETRO ARETINO
TITIAN’S POETIC IRONY
MOURNING FOR LUCRETIA
IV  SPREZZATURA
VERONESE’S CHRIST AND THE CENTURION
VERONESE AND THE INQUISITION
VERONESE'S DECORUM
IMITAZIONE
RUBENS’ BACCHANALS
VENUS VERTICORDIA
VI  MEMORIES
AT TITIAN’S TOMB
FAREWELL TO JOKES
NOTES TO THE TEXT
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
ORIGINAL PLACES OF PUBLICATION
INDEX