In addition to making use of easiły recognized symbols, in six of his most important paint-ings Van Eyck devised symbols to be discovered only during the process of prolonged medi-tation, with the intention of stimulating an experience of mystic revelation. This symbolism was conceived primarily in terms of visual interactions that provide the means for its disguise and, paradoxically, offer the best proof of its presence through the coherence and expressive power they contribute. The argument is made that in six of Van Eyck’s most important pic-tures certain configurations compel the viewer who notices them to regard them either as de-liberately expressive symbolic interactions or else as the unintended result of garbled pictorial structure. The consistency of form, effect, and concept strongly argues for the first view. In the second part of this article, the symbolism in three of Van Eyck’s paintings—the Virgin in the Church, the Virgin with the Chancellor Rolin and the Virgin with Canon van der Paele—is examined in greater detail. The ideas are the familiar ones of Christian redemption and rebirth, and they rely on familiar imagery. But the imagery’s symbolism is enhanced by an interplay of forms that seems to animate the picture in the process of being recognized as significant—as if the picture acted out its message, passing from an inert state to that of a vision, alive with meaning, and through this stirring of inner life, affirming the promise of rebirth in Paradise.
This article discusses Marcillat’s role in disseminating the art of High Renaissance Rome to central Itały. On the basis of a prominent career at the papai court, Marcillat was attracted to Arezzo and given stained glass and fresco commissions in the Cathedral (1516–1528). He clearły imitated the most up-to-date works of Michelangelo, Raphael and Sebastiano, and there is some evidence that this was at the request of his patrons and a large part of his appeal. As such this example challenges the dismissal of provincial patrons and artists by Enrico Castelnuovo and Carlo Ginsburg in their essay: “Centro e Periferia”.
While the divided south wall of the Stanza della Segnatura offers a balance of Civic Law that follows traditional practices in the classification of legal literature in medieval libraries its subjects, Justinian and Gregory IX, encouraged a view of the present in terms of its relation to the history of civilization. Thus could Roman law and Canon law be viewed, by an ambitious pontiff who saw his own situation as forged from the inheritance of both, as the greatest influ-ences on—and explanations for—his own governmental ideas and actions. A Ciceronian in-terpretation of the Law as deriving from the supreme authority (above) would suggest that the three suavely articulated and interconnected female figures above represent the Three Graces or the legal "sisters," daughters of Zeus who supervise the benefits of the Law. Thus is it tempting to imagine the possibility that through the (Greek) graces, the (Roman) Justinian, and the (Christian) Gregory, a grandiose concordance, or harmony, of Greek Law, Roman Law, and Christian Law is offered in the three interrelated scenes of this wall.
Peter Paul Rubens’ portrait of The Duke of Lerma, Equestrian (Prado) was painted in Val-ladolid in 1603. This is the first important state-portrait to introduce a new variation on eques-trian representation, and, according to the formula established by Rubens, the horse is viewed from an oblique angle and is seen advancing towards the viewer. In 1633, Van Dyck repeated the scheme in his Equestrian Portrait of King Charles I, where he “restored” a triumphal arch enframement which Rubens had chosen to omit. As is argued here, the source for these and other examples of the obliquely viewed imperial horseman was an illustrated pamphlet by A. F. Oliviero, Carlo Quinto in Olmo (1567). Oliviero’s text describes the triumphal entry of the Emperor Charles V in Ulm following his military successes over the Protestant League, the historical source of the most famous equestrian of all, Titian’s depiction of Charles V at Muhlberg (1548: Prado). The source for the architectural motif shown in the Italian print of 1567 (and “restored” in 1633 by Van Dyck) turns out to be the Triumphal Arch of Trajan, as previously illustrated in Serlio’s Architettura (1540).
Both versions of The Presentation in the Temple by the Italian Renaissance painter Lorenzo Costa are discussed here, but special attention is devoted to the one which was destroyed in the Second World War. That canvas possessed a unique feature in that it showed the prophetess Anna holding a tablet with Hebrew lettering - an apparent innovation in depictions of the Presentation. The inscription is based on Isaiah 53:8 and 9:6 and tells of the coming of the Messiah and his death in behalf of mankind. The artist thus has Anna confirm Simeon’s prophecy that the Infant Jesus is in fact the Messiah.
The author of the article suggests that Anton Galeazzo Bentivoglio, who ordered the altarpiece for the church of Santa Maria della Vita in Bologna, probabły initiated the use of He-brew in the work. It is also proposed that he himself appears in the picture, as both participant and donor.
A re-examination of documentary and iconographical evidence demonstrates that Van Dyck’s Holy Family with Partridges, now in the Hermitage Museum, was painted in England for Queen Henrietta-Maria. It is not, as often accepted in the past, the now lost version that belonged to Frederick-Hendrick of The Netherlands. Visual sources for the painting are found in Christian and pagan works by Rubens and Titian and the symbols used are both Catholic and classical, reflecting the Neo-Platonic atmosphere at the English court. Themes and motifs found in court masques, plays and poetry - including the ring of dancing putti - are paralleled in the Hermitage painting. The inclusion of a sunflower and the prominence of autumn fruits and flowers suggest monarchical allusions as well. Inigo Jones and Ben Jonson are among those who may have played a role in Van Dyck’s choice of iconography.
Vestals in the Work of Jean Raoux around 1730, Inspired by Scientific Literature and the “Opera-Ballet”
The basis for the study is the painting Two Vestals (1730) by Jean Raoux, currently in the Herzog-Anton-UIrich-Museum in Brunswick. The vestals provide here an interesting stimulus for the anałysis of the interrelation between literature, opera, and painting, not only from the art-historical perspective, but also from the point of view of the social and human sciences in the first half of the Eighteenth Century in France. The painting by Jean Raoux turns out to be more than just a simple “portrait historie”, as which it has been regarded up to now. Instead, it appears to have been inspired by two events: 1) the publication Histoire des Vesta/es, avec un traite de luxe des dames romaines by Abbe Augustin Nadal (Paris 1725), and 2) Les elemens, an “Opera-Ballet” by the poet Pierre-Charles Roy. Both events awakened great interest for the subject of vestals within the French society of that time.
Labyrinthine references in With Hidden Noise and implied by viewers’ eroticized, life-enhancing “readings” of it reveal messages found there and in other intimately related Hermetic works by Marcel Duchamp and his colleagues. Aspects of popular and esoteric culture, sciences, fine arts, literature, music, psychology, and fashion, as well as temporal idiosyncra-cies of biography, bore decisively upon Duchamp’s selection and identification of “ready-mades” and related works, contributing to their form and significance, whether presented as images or in words. This investigation heips to expose otherwise enigmatic core elements la-tent (by intention and by chance) in these multilayered designs, which elicit proliferating as-sociations.
The recent cleaning of the frescoes on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel revealed, among other long obscured details, a lovely female figure within the embrace of God the Father in The Creation of Adam. She has been variously interpreted as the "idea" of Eve and as the Shekhina, the female component of the divine nature. In view of the fact that Michelangelo was deeply religious and enjoyed the pope’s confidence, his source of inspiration is more likely to have been the Holy Scriptures that he knew so well, rather than either Neoplatonism or the Cabala. Therefore, the female figure is identified here, on the basis of a passage in the Book of Proverbs (8:22-31), as Sophia, or Divine Wisdom, who accompanied the Lord from the beginning of Creation.