Donatello’s Pazzi Madonna

Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi (Donatello), ca. 1386-1466
Madonna and Child (the Pazzi Madonna), 1420-25, Marble, 74,5 x 73 x 6,5 cm, Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin
https://www.theartnewspaper.com/2021/11/30/first-major-donatello-exhibition-in-nearly-40-years-to-open-in-florence

…Donatello was so admirable in knowledge, in judgment, and in the practice of his art that he may be said to have been the first to illustrate the art of sculpture among the moderns; and he deserves the more commendation because in his time few antiquities had been uncovered. He was one of those who aroused in Cosimo de’ Medici the desire to bring antiquities into Florence. He was most liberal and courteous, and kinder to his friends than himself; nor did he care for money, keeping it in a basket hanging from the ceiling, where his workmen and friends could help themselves without saying anything to him. When he got old, therefore, and could not work, he was supported by Cosimo and his friends. Cosimo dying, recommended him to Piero his son, who, to carry out his father’s wishes, gave him… enough… Giorgio Vasari writes back in 16th century Florence, to pass the rest of his life as friend and servant of the Medici without trouble or care.  Please allow me to present Donatello’s Pazzi Madonna of c. 1420, as an introduction to Donatello, The Renaissance Exhibition, currently at the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi and the Musei del Bargello in Florence, Italy (March 19-July31). http://www.artist-biography.info/artist/donatello/ and https://www.palazzostrozzi.org/en/archivio/exhibitions/donatello/

Celebrated as one of the greatest Renaissance artists, Donatello’s Pazzi Madonna, depicts both mother and child with their faces turned towards one another and away from viewers, says Francesco Caglioti, curator of the Donatello, The Renaissance Exhibition. Their foreheads are touching, and they share a profoundly intimate moment which every mother has experienced, he continues. It is a profoundly intimate, emotional, and thus, a powerful work of art, proving Donatello to be an exceptionally talented artist in translating nature into art. https://www.theartnewspaper.com/2021/11/30/first-major-donatello-exhibition-in-nearly-40-years-to-open-in-florence

The Pazzi Madonna in the Berlin Staatlichen Museum is believed to originate from the Palazzo Pazzi in Florence, where according to a 1677 Florentine Guide Book, the sculpture could be seen in the Palazzo Garden. Although this identification is challenged, it is worth reading the Renaissance text… In the house of Francesco Pazzi there is a beautiful marble Madonna in low relief by Donatello; the Christ Child, seated upon a cushion, is supported by the Virgin’s right hand, while he, with his raised left hand, holds the veil that hangs from her head. It is charming in every part, the draperies are most beautiful, and the Virgin’s tenderness toward her son is expressed with great art and is such, that in the following succession, Alessandro, the father of Francesco, bought it for 500 scudi according to the valuation that was made. http://www.smb-digital.de/eMuseumPlus?service=ExternalInterface&lang=en

Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi (Donatello), ca. 1386-1466
Madonna and Child (the Pazzi Madonna) (detail-faces), 1420-25, Marble, 74,5 x 73 x 6,5 cm, Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin
https://www.palazzostrozzi.org/en/upcoming-exhibitions/
Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi (Donatello), ca. 1386-1466
Madonna and Child (the Pazzi Madonna) (detail-lower part), 1420-25, Marble, 74,5 x 73 x 6,5 cm, Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Donatello_Bode_Madonna_Pazzi_05.jpg

Donatello’s Pazzi Madonna is greatly admired for its Renaissance “modernity.” The artist revived, for example, Antiquity by using and “playing” with monochrome, off-white coloured marble for his bas-relief, diverging from the popular tradition of using color in sculpture. He employed linear perspective to present spatial perception, a novel, introduced in 1415, “invention” by Filippo Brunelleschi. He used strong foreshortening to accentuate the best point of vision for the viewer. He created a tender, yet emotionally powerful, very “humanized” composition. The Pazzi Madonna is a Donatello masterpiece that still inspires and enchants viewers today.

Today, Francesco Caglioti, curator of the Donatello, The Renaissance Exhibition believes that Donatello is a colossal artist, more important than Giotto, Raphael or Caravaggio because those three revolutionized the traditions of their time. Donatello broke with tradition completely, taking inspiration from the art of antiquity and the Middle Ages and mixing all those elements with his own vision to create an entirely new language for art. Donatello, The Renaissance Exhibition is currently on view in Florence (March 19-July31), will be presented in the Berlin Gemäldegalerie (September2-January 8 2023), and in London at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2023. This is a historic Exhibition hosting over 130 works from the world’s leading museums and collections set out to reconstruct the astonishing career of one of the most important and influential masters of Italian art of any age. https://www.theartnewspaper.com/2021/11/30/first-major-donatello-exhibition-in-nearly-40-years-to-open-in-florence

For a new PowerPoint on Donatello’s Masterpieces, please… Click HERE!

Teaching with Donatello is a set of student activities and worksheets inspired by the great Italian artist I much admire… Click… https://www.teachercurator.com/art/teaching-with-donatello/

The commemorative Donatello, The Renaissance Exhibition Book https://www.artbook.com/9791254630068.html

La Fornarina

Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino known as Raphael, 1483–1520
Portrait of a Woman – La Fornarina, about 1519–20, Oil on Panel, 85×60 cm, Galleria Nazionale di Arte Antica (GNAA), Palazzo Barberini, Rome, Italy
https://el.wikipedia.org/wiki/%CE%91%CF%81%CF%87%CE%B5%CE%AF%CE%BF:La_Fornarina,_por_Rafael.jpg

The life of Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino was short, his work prolific, and his legacy immortal. This is how the National Gallery in London experts introduce their audience to the blockbuster Credit Suisse Exhibition on Raphael (9 April – 31 July 2022)… But I want to return to Giogio Vasari… The liberality with which Heaven now and again unites in one person the inexhaustible riches of its treasures and all those graces and rare gifts which are usually shared among many over a long period is seen in Raphael Sanzio of Urbino, who was as excellent as gracious and endowed with a natural modesty and goodness sometimes seen in those who possess to an unusual degree a humane and gentle nature adorned with affability and good-fellowship, and he always showed himself sweet and pleasant with persons of every degree and in all circumstances… and take another look at La Fornarinahttp://www.artist-biography.info/artist/raphael/ and https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/exhibitions/the-credit-suisse-exhibition-raphael#content

Ever since I saw La Fornarina at Palazzo Barberini in Rome, I was intrigued by its captivating beauty and mysteries. Who is the beautiful woman who modestly tries to cover herself?

Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino known as Raphael, 1483–1520
Portrait of a Woman – La Fornarina (detail of the face), about 1519–20, Oil on Panel, 85×60 cm,  Galleria Nazionale di Arte Antica (GNAA), Palazzo Barberini, Rome, Italy
Foto di Mauro Cohen https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/exhibitions/the-credit-suisse-exhibition-raphael/a-brief-introduction-to-raphaels-life-and-times

Giorgio Vasari describes Raphael as a very amorous man,  fond of women, …always swift to serve them. This description “helps” Raphael enthusiasts identify the woman portrayed in La Fornarina with Margherita Luti, Raphael’s Roman lover, the daughter of a baker in Trastevere. Unfortunately, there is no description or record of such a painting created by the artist at the time. There are, however, “hints” that supporters of this interpretation like to consider. For example, her right-hand rests, gently, over her heart, holding her exposed breast. More so, her left hand, the hand of the heart, is adorned with a luxurious armband bearing the inscription “Raphael Urbinas,” the painter’s signature and her fourth finger is adorned with a ruby wedding ring, hidden under flesh-coloured paint for almost five centuries, and revealed in 2001 when an x-ray analysis was carried out on the painting. According to primary sources, Raphael died a young, unmarried man of 37, engaged at the time to a woman named Maria Bibbiena, the daughter of his patron Bernardo Dovizi. Could La Fornarina truly be the portrait of Margherita? There are “hints” but no evidence… https://www.barberinicorsini.org/en/opera/la-fornarina/ and http://www.artist-biography.info/artist/raphael/ and https://www.walksofitaly.com/blog/art-culture/art-history-mystery-la-fornarina-raphael

Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino known as Raphael, 1483–1520
Portrait of a Woman – La Fornarina (detail), about 1519–20, Oil on Panel, 85×60 cm,  Galleria Nazionale di Arte, Palazzo Barberini, Rome, Italy
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Fornarina_03.jpg

Then come the Palazzo Barberini experts who have a different “reading” on the identity of the elusive young woman… They suggest that Raphael’s female Portrait in their Collection presents no other than Goddess Venus. The position of her hand, for example, one placed on her lap and the other on her breast, follows the classic statuary model of the “Venus Pudica”: a gesture of modesty that yet directs the viewer’s gaze to what she actually seeks to conceal. Other symbols are to be found in the painting’s background… the myrtle bush, laurel, and branches of quince are sacred emblems of Venus, marriage, lust, and fertility. Plausible but not decisive… https://www.barberinicorsini.org/en/opera/la-fornarina/

Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino known as Raphael, 1483–1520
Portrait of a Woman – La Fornarina (detail), about 1519–20, Oil on Panel, 85×60 cm,  Galleria Nazionale di Arte, Palazzo Barberini, Rome, Italy
https://claudiaviggiani.com/fornarina-di-raffaello-in-palazzo-barberini/

Finally, I enjoyed reading Rona Goffen’s article on Raphael’s Designer Labels: From the Virgin Mary to La Fornarina (Artibus et Historiae Vol. 24, No. 48, 2003). pp. 132-135). Raphael, the author believes, tantalized, and still tantalizes his audience with clues to the woman’s identity but withholds her name. Whatever La Fornarina’s real name might have been, the author concludes, whatever (personal amorous) considerations might have motivated Raphael, he painted her portrait as the embodiment of the beauty of his art, that is, not universal, but idiosyncratic, individual, unmistakable for any other. Redefining beauty according to his own criteria, asserting his possession of her, whose image he created, Raphael asserted possession of art itself. And so Raphael signed the Fornarina without a date, because his possession is forever, his achievement immortal. This is an article worth reading! https://www.jstor.org/stable/1483734?read-now=1&refreqid=excelsior%3A2d02ae94d96f8d5167a5b6a3fb35f281&seq=13#page_scan_tab_contents pp. 132-135

For a PowerPoint on Raphael’s Portraits of Women, please… Check HERE!

Byzantine-Style Mosaic Necklace with Christ and Twelve Apostles

Unidentified Artist from Murano, Venice? 
Byzantine-Style Mosaic Necklace with Christ and Twelve Apostles, the 1870s-1910s, gold with glass and shell inlay, Smithsonian American Art Museum, USA
https://americanart.si.edu/artwork/byzantine-style-mosaic-necklace-christ-and-twelve-apostles-30961

Sargent, Whistler, and Venetian Glass: American Artists and the Magic of Murano(October 8, 2021 – May 8, 2022, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC, USA) brings to life the Venetian glass revival of the late nineteenth century and the artistic experimentation the city inspired for visiting artists. It is the first comprehensive examination of American tourism, artmaking, and art collecting in Venice, revealing the glass furnaces and their new creative boom as a vibrant facet of the city’s allure… write the Smithsonian American Art Museum experts, and I was “hooked” to virtually explore this amazing Exhibition. I was particularly intrigued by the reference to the Magic of Murano, and the age-old Venetian industry of glassmaking. Exploring the artworks exhibited, I came upon a Byzantine-Style Mosaic Necklace with Christ and Twelve Apostles in the Smithsonian Collection, and I was determined to learn more about it! Well, I learned more… and less… https://americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/sargent-whistler-glass and https://s3.amazonaws.com/assets.saam.media/files/documents/2021-09/SWAVG%20checklist_FINAL.pdf

Exhibition Sargent, Whistler, and Venetian Glass: American Artists and the Magic of Murano Installation Photography, Courtesy Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2021, Photo Credit: Albert Ting https://americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/sargent-whistler-glass

Back in 1929, the Byzantine-Style Necklace was part of an impressive donation to the Smithsonian’s “National Gallery of Art” (now SAAM), by the art collector John Gellatly. Originally, it was thought to be a piece of 6th century Byzantine Jewelry, but contemporary conservators believe it’s more likely a nineteenth-century imitation or forgery.  

The necklace consists of 15 medallions presenting Christ in the middle (the biggest in size), the Twelve Apostles (receding, slightly, in size, six on either side of Christ), and medallions with Constantine’s Cross (the smallest two of the fifteen), at the two ends of the necklace. The necklace medallions are connected with gold chains of hollow wire! The rims of each medallion are decorated with hundreds of small gold balls, applied in a technique called granulation… a technique invented in the ancient world… declined in popularity after the first century BC, and was revived by the Castellani jewelry firm in the mid-19th century. Could the use of granulation make scholars begin to question the necklace’s Byzantine attribution?

Unidentified Artist from Murano, Venice? 
Byzantine-Style Mosaic Necklace with Christ and Twelve Apostles (detail), the 1870s-1910s, gold with glass and shell inlay, Smithsonian American Art Museum, USA
https://americanart.si.edu/artwork/byzantine-style-mosaic-necklace-christ-and-twelve-apostles-30961

Apparently, the conservator’s examination brought up more questions than answers, and as the Pietre Dure technique was popular in Florence, they jokingly question if the Smithsonian necklace was created by an itinerant nineteenth-century Florentine Pietre Dure stone craftsperson who moved to Venice to restore the San Marco mosaics and was commissioned by a wealthy patron to make a Byzantine-style necklace… One can only wonder!

Unidentified Artist from Murano, Venice? 
Byzantine-Style Mosaic Necklace with Christ and Twelve Apostles (Detail), the 1870s-1910s, gold with glass and shell inlay, Smithsonian American Art Museum, USA
https://americanart.si.edu/blog/byzantine-art-mystery

Information on my presentation of the Necklace comes from the December 8, 2021article The Mystery Around a Byzantine-style Necklace – When SAAM’s “Art Doctors” Become Art Detectives by Ariel O’Connor and Sarah Montonchaikul… https://americanart.si.edu/blog/byzantine-art-mystery

For a Student Activity, please… Check HERE!

The Death of Socrates by Jacques Louis David

Jacques-Louis David, French Artist, 1748-1825
The Death of Socrates, 1786, Pen and black ink, over black chalk, touches of brown ink, squared in black chalk, 27.9 × 41.6 cm, the MET, NY, USA
https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/679783?searchField=All&sortBy=Relevance&ft=Jacques+Louis+David&offset=20&rpp=20&pos=40

Jacques Louis David: Radical Draftsman (February 17 – May 15, 2022 – the MET, NY) is the first exhibition devoted to works on paper by the celebrated French artist who navigated vast artistic and political divides throughout his life – from his birth in Paris in 1748 to his death in exile in Brussels in 1825. His iconic works captured the aspirations and suffering of a nation, while addressing timeless themes that continue to resonate today. Among the works exhibited at the MET, in New York City, The Death of Socrates by Jacques Louis David, a most delicate and fragile drawing of 1786, is a priceless treasure in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum. Every time I see the drawing or the oil painting of the same theme, I remember my senior High School year… reading The Apology of Socrates by Plato, on the quest for Wisdom, on piety and the corruption of youth… and the acknowledgment that philosophy begins with an admission of ignorance. https://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2022/jacques-louis-david-radical-draftsman and http://www2.hawaii.edu/~freeman/courses/phil100/04.%20Apology.pdf

In 1786, on the verge of the French Revolution, Jean Charles Philibert Trudaine de Montigny, French administrator, scholar, and scientist, commissioned David to paint The Death of Socrates, a theme inspired by a pivotal moment in ancient Greek history, when the ideals of Athenian Democracy were questioned and challenged. David was fascinated by Antiquity, Greek or Roman. The recipient of the coveted Prix de Rome, the artist first traveled to Italy in October 1775. By 1786, he was familiar with the dynamics of Classical Art, and although he declared, the Antique will not seduce me, it lacks animation, it does not move, he kept twelve sketchbooks with drawings of antique sculptures that he and his studio used as model books for the rest of his life. He was also acquainted with the German artist Raphael Mengs, who advocated the rigorous study of classical art. He was familiar with the writings of the German scholar, and many considered to be the founder of modern Art History, Johann Joachim Winckelmann, and in 1779, had visited the ruins of the newly discovered city of Pompeii. David, a great admirer of the High Renaissance, Raphael in particular, and Classical Culture was ready to render a theme of ancient Greek origin, The Death of Socrates, and do it justice. https://www.biography.com/artist/jacques-louis-david

Jacques-Louis David, French Artist, 1748-1825
The Death of Socrates, ca. 1782, Pen and black ink, with brush and gray wash over black chalk, with light squaring in black chalk 24.4 × 37.8 cm, the MET, NY, USA
https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/426600

Two drawings on paper, one in the Metropolitan Museum and the other in a Private Collection, testify to the fact that David was intrigued by the circumstances of Socrates’s Death, as early as 1782. Both these drawings were a starting point for the final version of the theme, an impressive oil painting,  dated 1787, in the MET Collection as well. https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/436105

Jacques-Louis David, French Artist, 1748-1825
The Death of Socrates (Detail), 1786, Pen and black ink, over black chalk, touches of brown ink, squared in black chalk, 27.9 × 41.6 cm, the MET, NY, USA
https://www.metmuseum.org/art/online-features/metcollects/the-death-of-socrates-video

Thanks to the MET Exhibition Jacques Louis David: Radical Draftsman, we can closely examine David’s 1786 preparatory Drawing of the theme of Socrates’s Death. Perrin Stein, an expert on the subject par excellence, emphasizes how David’s drawing in the MET,  is a working drawing, that sheds light on the artist’s main concerns. For example, the perspective lines in the lower left recede toward a vanishing point just above the head of Plato, the somber figure seated at the foot of the bed. In this subtle way, Perrin Stein explains, David calls attention to the special role of Plato, who was not present in Socrates’ prison cell, but who described the scene in Phaedo, one of his Dialogues. Another interesting feature is Socrates’s gesture toward the heavens which suggests that Socrates’s final moments were spent describing to his disciples his notions on the immortality of the soul. It is also interesting to note the ancient lyre, lightly sketched, just behind Socrates’s right leg. The musical instrument in David’s drawing figures—metaphorically—in Plato’s text as a proposed analogy for the relationship of the human soul (music) to the body (instrument). Finally, it is important to notice the many visible pentimenti, or changes, in the disciple’s hand holding the cup, in Socrates’s hand pointing up, and in both of Socrates’s legs, all indications of the artist’s exacting focus on the nexus of forms and gestures that would become the resonant and haunting focal point of the final oil painting.

Jacques-Louis David, French Artist, 1748-1825
The Death of Socrates, 1787, oil on canvas, 129.5 x 196.2 cm, the MET, NY, USA
https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/436105

For a  PowerPoint on Jacques-Louis David’s The Death of Socrates, please… Click HERE!

Jacques-Louis David, French Artist, 1748-1825
The Death of Socrates, after 1787, Oil on canvas, 133 x 196 cm, Princeton University Art Museum, NJ, USA
https://puamsab.princeton.edu/2019/11/death-of-socrates-anika-yardi-21/

An interesting MET Video titled: “What is the path to a masterpiece?” by Dr. Perrin Stein, who presents and analyzes the dynamics of  Jacques Louis David’s The Death of Socrates drawing… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FgWouRo_1hw

The Legacy of Jacques Louis David (1748–1825) is a short MET presentation worth reading… https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/jldv/hd_jldv.htm

The Exhibitions Catalogue… Jacques Louis David: Radical Draftsman by Perrin Stein with more contributions by Daniella Berman, Philippe Bordes, Mehdi Korchane, Louis-Antoine Prat, Benjamin Peronnet, and Juliette Trey, is published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and distributed by Yale University Press. https://yalebooks.yale.edu/book/9781588397461/jacques-louis-david

The Shropshire Gold “Sun” Bulla-Pendant


The Shropshire Gold “Sun” Bulla-Pendant, 1,000-800 BC, Gold, 3.6×4.7cm, British Museum, London, UK
Photo Credit: British Museum
https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2020/mar/04/british-museum-acquires-3000-year-old-shropshire-sun-pendant

Towering above the Wiltshire countryside, Stonehenge is perhaps the world’s most awe-inspiring ancient stone circle… write the British Museum experts introducing The World of Stonehenge an important Exhibition that will reveal the secrets of Stonehenge, shining a light on its purpose, cultural power, and the people that created it. The Exhibition (February 17 to July 17, 2022) follows, the British Museum experts continue, the story of Britain and Europe from 4000 to 1000 BC… a period of immense transformation and radical ideas that changed society forever. Visitors will be able to admire and learn from a variety of fascinating objects among them astonishing examples of early metalwork including the Nebra Sky Disc – the world’s oldest surviving map of the stars and the Shropshire Gold “Sun” Bulla-Pendant, I find particularly “beautiful.” https://www.britishmuseum.org/exhibitions/world-stonehenge

The Shropshire Gold “Sun” Bulla-Pendant is a breathtaking object! All we need do is imagine the impact this object would have had on the viewer worn in bright daylight, or in flickering firelight…  It definitely would have seemed as if it was constantly moving. https://archaeology.co.uk/articles/features/the-shropshire-bulla-bronze-age-beauty-and-a-mystery-from-manchester.htm

The Shropshire Gold “Sun” Bulla-Pendant, 1,000-800 BC, Gold, 3.6×4.7cm, British Museum, London, UK
Photo Credit: British Museum
https://museumcrush.org/spectacular-bronze-age-sun-pendant-heads-to-shrewsbury-museum/

Buried for centuries in the Shropshire Marches, the breathtaking pendant was discovered in May 2018, by an anonymous metal detector (detectorist). It is interesting how the Shropshire Finds Liaison Officer Peter Reavill who had worked with the detectorist in question for 15 years, regularly recording his finds, describes the initial telephone he received, and how he knew that something out of the ordinary had happened when the detectorist was almost too excited to speak. Soon after the discovery, photographs followed, and Peter Reavill found himself looking at a D-shaped gold pendant incised with delicate geometric decorations. Interestingly, and following the UK Treasure Act 1995, the discovered pendant was brought to the British Museum and the coroner (who adjudicates in Treasure cases) found the Shropshire Gold “Sun” Pendant to be Treasure and the independent Treasure Valuation Committee recommended the £250,000 price tag. In the words of the British Museum Neil Wilkin, curator of Early Europe and The World of Stonehenge Exhibitions… The elegant form and brilliantly executed decoration of the sun pendant was accomplished with an ingenious skill. It tells us how important the sun – and its path through the sky during the course of the day and the year – was to people’s beliefs during this period.”https://archaeology.co.uk/articles/features/the-shropshire-bulla-bronze-age-beauty-and-a-mystery-from-manchester.htm and https://www.antiquestradegazette.com/news/2020/british-museum-buys-3000-year-old-bronze-age-gold-pendant/

Before visiting The World of Stonehenge Exhibitions, and if interested in the Shropshire Pendant… read, if you please, https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/H_2020-8005-1 and https://www.britishmuseum.org/sites/default/files/2021-07/sun_pendant_press_release_updated.pdf

A short PowerPoint presentation can be accessed… HERE!

Hellenistic Golden Hairnets

Gold Hairnet with a relief bust of  Athena from Thessaly (Detail), 2nd century BC, gold, Diam. 0.111 m, Benaki Museum, Athens Photo Credit: https://mobile.twitter.com/tzoumio/status/1413408320489144320

Amarantha sweet and fair / Ah braid no more that shining hair! / As my curious hand or eye / Hovering round thee let it fly.    /    Let it fly as unconfin’d / As its calm ravisher, the wind, / Who hath left his darling th’East, / To wanton o’er that spicy nest.    /    Ev’ry tress must be confest / But neatly tangled at the best; / Like a clue of golden thread, / Most excellently ravelled.    /    Do not then wind up that light / In ribands, and o’er-cloud in night; / Like the sun in’s early ray, / But shake your head and scatter day… wrote Richard Lovelace, back in the 17th century… no Hellenistic Golden Hairnets for… Amarantha sweet and fair! https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/richard-lovelace

Gold Hairnet with a relief bust of  Athena from Thessaly, 2nd century BC, gold, Diam. 0.111 m, Benaki Museum, Athens Greece
Photo Credit: https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/642596 

The visitors of the Ancient Greeks: Science and Wisdom Exhibition in the Science Museum (London, 17 November 2021 – 05 June 2022) will be able to admire a rare, Hellenistic Golden Hairnet from the Benaki Museum in Athens and marvel at its amazing beauty and craftsmanship! This is a real treat as only a handful of such Golden Hairnets survive today scattered around major Museums around the world. https://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/see-and-do/ancient-greeks-science-and-wisdom

The Exhibited Hairnet comes to London from Greece, and specifically, the Benaki Museum in Athens. Gold Hairnets were created by exceptional goldsmiths for aristocratic, well-to-do Greek ladies of the Hellenistic period (late 4th to early 1st cent. BC), to contain a simple hair chignon at the back of their head. The Benaki Hairnet consists of a central gold medallion with a bust of Athena in high relief, and an intricate, gold net. Goddess Athena is depicted wearing a helmet with three plumes, a laurel wreath, and an oblique aegis with a mermaid. The bust of Athena is framed by concentric bands adorned with ornaments applied in the jeweler’s fine technique of filigree and granulation. The lavish decoration is mostly floral consisting of a wreath of beautifully executed pointed leaves, an exquisite, and complex band of floral designs, and a strip of eggs and tiny rosettes. The central medallion was further embellished with enameling and minuscule beads of garnet. The gold net around the medallion consists of a lattice of chains with intersecting points articulated with tiny rosettes. What an amazing achievement of workmanship! https://www.benaki.org/index.php?option=com_buildings&view=building&id=11&Itemid=533&lang=en and https://www.benaki.org/index.php?option=com_collectionitems&view=collectionitem&id=140287&lang=en&lang=el and https://ellaniapili.blogspot.com/2015/11/blog-post_328.html

Gold Hairnet with repousse bust of  Athena from Thessaly, 2nd century BC, gold, Diam. 0.111 m, Benaki Museum, Athens Greece
Photo Credit: https://www.myfaveplaces.com/contemp-galleries/2016/7/6/gold-gold-gold-plus-some-bronze-and-silver

Describing the Benaki Museum Medallion Berta Segall writes… The artist of the Benaki medallion wanted to achieve unity. The elements of the ornamental frame are part of a continuous, flowing design, the bust, by taking up as much as possible of the background and touching the border, gives the impression of a full length figure cut off by a wreath. Its modeling is an example of the “impressionistic” technique in relief which uses a soft, almost imperceptible gradation of planes from the high to the very low, and from there to engraving. Thus, the folds of the garment are indicated in low relief, and even shallower, almost disappearing into the background, are the two plumes of the helmet right and left of the face. Berta Segall, Two Hellenistic Gold Medallions from Thessaly, Record of the Museum of Historic Art, Princeton University, Vol. 4, No. 2 (Autumn, 1945), pp. 2-11 https://www.jstor.org/stable/3774132?seq=3#metadata_info_tab_contents

The Benaki Museum Hairnet was part of an unbelievable “treasure” of 44 pieces of jewelry sold to private collectors in Athens, in 1929. The “treasure,” a product of illegal excavations, came from Thessaly, and the exact circumstances of their discovery are not well established. According to one testimony, they were discovered inside a copper vessel near Almyros in Magnesia, according to a source, the “treasure” came from the area of ​​Lamia-Lianokladi. It has also been claimed that the 44 pieces of exquisite jewelry were found in Domokos, while the antique dealer, who sold 35 pieces of jewelry to the collector Eleni Stathatou (today in the Stathatos Collection in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens) and 9 to the Benaki Museum, assured that they were discovered near Karpenisi. https://ellaniapili.blogspot.com/2015/11/blog-post_328.html

For a PowerPoint on Hellenistic Golden Hairnets, please… check HERE!

Gold Hairnet with repousse bust of  Athena from Thessaly, 2nd century BC, gold, Diam. 0.111 m, Benaki Museum, Athens Greece
Photo Credit: https://twitter.com/AngHellenLeague/status/1464252708806873091/photo/1

The Science Museum in London promises a unique experience to the visitors of their free exhibition Ancient Greeks: Science and Wisdom (17 November 2021 – 05 June 2022). The Museum experts believe that curiosity and investigation are central to furthering our understanding of the universe today… and suggest that we step back through millennia… and discover how the ancient Greek civilization questioned, contemplated, and debated the natural world. If your steps take you to London, the Science Museum Exhibition Ancient Greeks: Science and Wisdom, is worth visiting! https://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/see-and-do/ancient-greeks-science-and-wisdom and https://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/guides for a free guidebook.

Theseus and Antiope

Theseus and Antiope, sculpture from the West Pediment of the Temple of Apollo Daphnephorus in ancient Eretria, late 6th century, Marble, 110 cm, Archaeological Museum of Eretria, Greece
https://www.esag.swiss/eretria/museum/

The multiple aspects of the concept of Kallos in the everyday life and the philosophical discourse of ancient Greece are presented in the major, emblematic, archaeological exhibition of the Museum of Cycladic Art, titled ΚΑLLOS. The Ultimate Beauty. Τhis exhibition displays three hundred emblematic antiquities from fifty-two museums, collections, and Ephorates of Antiquities throughout Greece, as well as from Italy, and the Vatican. The overwhelming majority appear for the first time outside of the museums of their provenance. They meet and mingle in the Museum of Cycladic Art, so as to give an integrated picture of the ideal of Kallos, inadequately translated into English as Beauty. On the 6th of November I presented you one such exhibit… the Kore from Chios today, I will present you a favourite Archaic work of art… Theseus and Antiope! https://cycladic.gr/en/page/kallos-i-ipertati-omorfia

The story of  Theseus and Antiope has it all… adventure, strife, love, and devotion! According to Pausanias and his Description of Greece… As one enters the city (of Athens) there is a monument to Antiope the Amazon. This Antiope, Pindar says, was carried off by Peirithous and Theseus, but Hegias of Troezen gives the following account of her. Heracles was besieging Themiscyra on the Thermodon, but could not take it, but Antiope, falling in love with Theseus, who was aiding Heracles in his campaign, surrendered the stronghold. Such is the account of Hegias. But the Athenians assert that when the Amazons came, Antiope was shot by Molpadia, while Molpadia was killed by Theseus. To Molpadia also there is a monument among the Athenians. https://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Paus.%201.2.1&lang=original

ΚΑLLOS. The Ultimate Beauty Exhibition Photo, Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens, Greece
Photo Credit: Paris Tativian, Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens, Greece
https://cycladic.gr/page/kallos-i-ipertati-omorfia?slide=1

The effigy of Theseus and Antiope, temporarily exhibited in the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens, was originally created for the West Pediment of the Temple of Apollo Daphnephorus in Eretria. Information regarding the Temple of Apollo in Eretria is unfortunately scarce. Eretria, a town in Euboea facing the coast of Attica, was first mentioned in Homer’s Iliad as one of the cities that provided ships against the Trojans. During the 8th century BC, the citizens of Eretria, a flourishing city during the Geometric and Archaic periods, built an impressive Temple to honour God Apollo, apsidal in architectural form. Soon after, a second, wooden Temple followed on the same site. Finally, around 520- 490 BC, a larger stone Temple was built, the remains of which are still visible today. Unfortunately, the Archaic Temple was badly destroyed during the Persian invasion of 490 BC. https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/classics/intranets/students/modules/greekreligion/database/clunba/

Theseus and Antiope, sculpture from the West Pediment of the Temple of Apollo Daphnephorus in ancient Eretria, late 6th century, Marble, 110 cm, Archaeological Museum of Eretria, Greece
In colour reconstruction on plaster and on paper, Investigations by Vinzenz Brinkmann, executed by Ulrike Koch-Brinkmann, 1992
https://www.wikiart.org/en/ancient-greek-painting/reconstruction-of-antiope-and-theseus–490
(c) Vinzenz Brinkmann 2018 & Ulrike Koch-Brinkmann, Polychromy Research Project
http://www.stiftung-archaeologie.de/Theseus_Antiope_ApollDahnephorosEretria.html
https://www.esag.swiss/eretria/museum/

The late Archaic period (510-500 BC) pediment sculpture depicting the abduction of Antiope by Theseus portrays the moment of Theseus stepping onto a chariot’s platform while tightly holding Antiope in his arms… a decisive moment in the development of the story, a key moment in the development of ancient Greek Art. Notice the depicted entwined torsos and think of the evolution accomplished as figural depiction moves from the frontal and immobile Kouros and Kore type of sculpture to the more naturalistic modeling of the classical era. Notice how the psychological drama unfolds, and consider the subtle ways the artist of Theseus and Antiope presents the understated surrender of the elegant Amazon, and the restrained triumph of the victorious hero. Notice how the heads of both figures slightly bend and observe the created interplay of light and shade, shapes and forms. What an accomplishment for the unknown artist. Could he be the famous Athenian sculptor Antenor? https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/classics/intranets/students/modules/greekreligion/database/clunba/

For a PowerPoint on the Theseus and Antiope theme, please… Check HERE!

Photograph of the actress Katharine Hepburn in the 1932 Broadway production of The Warrior’s Husband, March 1932
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Katharine_Hepburn_in_The_Warriors_Husband.jpg

The Borghese Dancers

Nicolas Poussin, 1594-1665
A Dance to the Music of Time, about 1634,
By kind permission of the Trustees of the Wallace Collection, London (P108) © The Trustees of the Wallace Collection
https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/exhibitions/poussin-and-the-dance/major-loan-announced-for-poussin-and-the-dance
Relief with Five Dancers before a Portico (The Borghese Dancers), 2nd century AD, Marble, 74×186 cm, Musée du Louvre, Paris, France
Photo: Ilya Shurygin 2014 – http://ancientrome.ru/art/artworken/img.htm?id=8452

Thence, fleet as thought, he leaves the earth for Olympos / and goes to the palace of Zeus and the company of the other gods. / Forthwith the immortals take interest in his song and lyre, / and all the Muses, answering with beautiful voices, / hymn the divine gifts of the gods and the hardships / brought upon men by the immortal gods. . Men live an unresourceful and thoughtless life, unable / to find a cure for death and a charm to repel old age. / And the fair-tressed Graces and the kindly Seasons / and Harmonia and Hebe and Aphrodite, the daughter of Zeus, / dance, each holding the other’s wrist. / Among them sings one, neither ugly nor slight of stature / but truly of great size and marvelous aspect, / arrow-pouring Artemis, Apollon’s twin sister. / And with them play Ares and keen-eyed Argeiphontes; / Phoibos Apollon, his step high and stately, / plays the lyre, enveloped in the brilliance / from his glittering feet and well-woven garment. / And Leto of the golden tresses and Zeus the counselor / rejoice in their great souls as they lookupon / their dear son playing among the immortals. This is how the ancient Greek Poet of the Homeric Hymn to Apollo (186-206) describes the fair-tressed Goddesses of Mount Olympus dance… and I can only think of The Borghese Dancers in the Louvre and the Poussin and the Dance Exhibition at the National Gallery (9 October 2021 – 2 January 2022)… and hope I can somehow see them… in London! https://escholarship.org/content/qt1bt36698/qt1bt36698_noSplash_b06fdd7a1448e726a360295a8d2c7f29.pdf and https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/exhibitions/poussin-and-the-dance

Relief with Five Dancers before a Portico (The Borghese Dancers), 2nd century AD, Marble, 74×186 cm, Musée du Louvre, Paris, France
Photo: Ilya Shurygin 2014 – http://ancientrome.ru/art/artworken/img.htm?id=8452

The Borghese Dancers is named after the Villa Borghese in Rome, where the sculptural piece was originally exhibited above the door of the grand gallery, since the early 17th century. The celebrated Roman relief displays five female figures in clinging draperies dancing to a gentle but measured step. It is a fine work of art, typical of the Neo-Attic sculptural style of the 2nd century AD, that emphasizes grace and charm, serenity, and restrained animation. Could the Borghese Dancers be a portrayal of the Dance of the Horae, the Greek Goddesses of the changing Seasons and Time? Could they be just “dancers” holding hands while moving gracefully in front of a wall with a row of Corinthian pilasters? Difficult questions to answer… In 1807, the Roman relief was purchased by Napoleon Bonaparte, brother-in-law of Prince Camillo Borghese. Between 1808 and 1811 it was sent to Paris where in 1820 it was displayed in the Musée du Louvre… where it can still be viewed today. https://wallacelive.wallacecollection.org/eMP/eMuseumPlus?service=ExternalInterface&module=collection&objectId=65841&viewType=detailView and https://www.worldhistory.org/image/10521/borghese-dancers/ and https://www.capronicollection.com/products/borghese-dancers-item-193 and https://collections.louvre.fr/en/ark:/53355/cl010275681

Nicolas Poussin, 1594-1665
A Dance to the Music of Time, about 1634, by kind permission of the Trustees of the Wallace Collection, London (P108) © The Trustees of the Wallace Collection
https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/exhibitions/poussin-and-the-dance/major-loan-announced-for-poussin-and-the-dance

The sculptural relief, known as The Borghese Dancers in the Louvre has been an amazing source of inspiration for many artists, among them the Baroque French artist Nicolas Poussin, whose paintings of revelry, dance, and drama are brought together in this first exhibition dedicated and titled Poussin and the Dance, at the National Gallery, in London (9 October 2021 – 2 January 2022). The Museum experts tell us how… Poussin’s paintings of dance are unique…  bringing to life the classical world of gods and mortals with wild and riotous movement. The Exhibition, by bringing together the antique sculpture the artist studied, invites us to trace the evolution of his ideas from marble to paper to paint. A pure Joy… Tambourines shake, wine spills, and half-naked figures whirl across the canvas and teach us …invaluable lessons!https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/exhibitions/poussin-and-the-dance and https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/exhibitions/poussin-and-the-dance#VideoPlayer103778

For a Student Activity inspired by The Borghese Dancers, please… Check HERE!

Preparing for the POST I came across and read with great interest Sarah Elizabeth Olsen Dissertation: Beyond Choreia: Dance in Ancient Greek Literature and Culture,  whose Abstract begins… The chorus of Euripides’ Bacchae heralds the arrival of the god Dionysus by promising that “right away, the whole world will dance in a chorus” (αὐτίκα γᾶ πᾶσα χορεύσει, 114). Their exuberant claim reflects the enthusiasm for dance generally expressed in early Greek sources. Indeed, it has been well established that dance – specifically choreia (communal song-dance) – played a significant role in archaic and classical Greek social life and was thus accorded a high level of value and esteem in art and literature… https://escholarship.org/content/qt1bt36698/qt1bt36698_noSplash_b06fdd7a1448e726a360295a8d2c7f29.pdf

“Κάλλος” and the Kore from Chios

The “Kore from Chios,” c. 510 BC, Marble from the island of Paros, H. 0.545 m, Acropolis Museum, Athens Greece
https://www.theacropolismuseum.gr/en/statue-kore-kore-chios

Kallos, according to the Museum of Cycladic Art experts, is an ideal developed in ancient Greek thinking and was expressed through the verses of the epic (8th century BC) and lyric (7th – 6th century BC) poets, initially as outward beauty. From the sixth century BC onwards, the concept was crystallized gradually through the texts of the philosophers, who referred to Kallos as a combination of physical appearance and virtues of the soul. It is on this dimension of Kallos that the exhibition of the Museum of Cycladic Art concentrates, enhancing the contribution of ancient Greece to defining the notion of beauty that prevails to this day.Κάλλος The Ultimate Beauty is a must-see Exhibition in the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens running from 29/09/2021 until 16/01/2022. “Κάλλος” and the Kore from Chios is my new BLOG POST inspired by this wonderful Exhibition… focusing on a unique exhibit from the Acropolis Museum in Athens. https://cycladic.gr/en/page/kallos-i-ipertati-omorfia and https://www.theacropolismuseum.gr/en/statue-kore-kore-chios

The “Kore from Chios,” c. 510 BC, Marble from the island of Paros, H. 0.545 m, Acropolis Museum, Athens Greece
https://www.theacropolismuseum.gr/en/statue-kore-kore-chios

The Kore from Chios is one of the most impressive Kore excavated on the Acropolis of Athens back in the late 19th century, part of the Perserschutt, the numerous remains of statues vandalized by the Achaemenids during the terrible years of the second Persian invasion… Ten years after the Battle of Marathon (490 BC), the Persians returned to Greece and after their victory at the Battle of Thermopylae, in September of 480 BC, they entered Athens. The small number of Athenians who had barricaded themselves on the Acropolis, hoping that the Wooden Walls of the Delphic Oracle will protect them, were eventually defeated, and Xerxes ordered Athens to be torched. Those Persians who had come up first betook themselves to the gates, which they opened, and slew the suppliants; and when they had laid all the Athenians low, they plundered the temple and burnt the whole of the acropolis. (Herodotus VIII.53). Months later, after the victory at Salamis, and the Battle of Plataea in 479 BC, the Athenians returned to their city… they respectfully buried the mutilated sacred statues of the Archaic period on the Acropolis and proceeded with reorganizing their civic and private lives… waiting for the right time to rebuild their Acropolis. https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/special-topics-art-history/arches-at-risk-cultural-heritage-education-series/xa0148fd6a60f2ff6:ruins-reconstruction-and-renewal/a/destruction-memory-and-monuments-the-many-lives-of-the-parthenon

In 1886, excavating the Perserschutt deposits, archaeologists discovered the head of the Kore from Chios east of the Parthenon while its body was discovered in 1888 south of the Parthenon temple. The “Chiotissa” as it is affectionately called by the Greeks, is an Archaic period (c. 600-480 BC) Kore, whose artist was most probably from the Aegean island of Chios. Statues of a Kore, plural korai, refer to a type of freestanding effigy of a maiden. Kore is a draped female figure—carved from marble and originally painted—standing erect with feet together or sometimes with one foot, usually the left, slightly advanced. The arms are sometimes down at the sides, but in most cases, one is brought up closely across the front of the body or is extended, holding an offering; the other is lowered, often clasping a fold of drapery. In the earliest korai, the bodies are so blocklike that they hardly seem to represent feminine form… Later, the drapery became more fluid, with a greater variation in the folds gained by having one hand of the kore pull the drapery tightly across thighs and buttocks. The garments worn by the kore figures changed in style as well, displaying a pattern, either on borders or as single ornaments scattered over larger areas. https://www.britannica.com/art/kore-Greek-sculpture, https://www.theacropolismuseum.gr/en/statue-kore-kore-chios. You can also check BLOG POST Daughters of Eleutherna https://www.teachercurator.com/art/daughters-of-eleutherna/

Kallos. The Ultimate Beauty Exhibition, Museum of Cycladic Art – from 29/09/2021 until 16/01/2022 – Photo Credit: Paris Tavitian
https://cycladic.gr/en/page/kallos-i-ipertati-omorfia
The “Kore from Chios” (in colour), c. 510 BC, Marble from the island of Paros, H. 0.545 m, Acropolis Museum, Athens Greece
My life and fortunes are a monstrosity, partly because of Hera, partly because of my beauty. If only I could shed my beauty and assume an uglier aspect, the way you would wipe color off a statue… by Euripides, Helen, 260-263. (Translated by R.Kannicht, Heidelberg 1969) https://www.theacropolismuseum.gr/en/statue-kore-kore-chios

The Kore from Chios is small in size but impressive in… Κάλλος! Created by a fine Eastern Greek sculptor… maybe the grandson of  Archermos of Chios, the fine-looking “Chiotissa,” is depicted stepping slightly forward pulling her skirt to the side with her left arm, creating thus, a fan of fine radiating folds. She wears the Ionian style of dress… a fine, crinkly chiton over which a short himation is draped diagonally. The carving is richly detailed, the paint even more so. The chiton is blue, the himation edged with a red and blue design, the Stephane was decorated with a Maeander, the earrings and a necklace painted, and the hair colored as well. I look at her and remember Eleni, Euripides’s heroine… My life and fortunes are a monstrosity, partly because of Hera, partly because of my beauty. If only I could shed my beauty and assume an uglier aspect, the way you would wipe color off a statue…  http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/artifact?name=Athens%2C+Acropolis+675&object=Sculpture and https://www.greece-is.com/the-colors-of-antiquity/

For a Student Activity on the Kore from Chios, please… Check HERE!

Portrait of a Halberdier

Jacopo Carucci, called Pontormo, 1494 – 1557
Portrait of a Halberdier (Francesco Guardi?), 1529–1530, Oil (or oil and tempera) on panel transferred to canvas, 95.3 × 73 cm, The J. Paul Getty Museum, CA, USA
http://www.getty.edu/art/collection/objects/824/pontormo-jacopo-carucci-portrait-of-a-halberdier-francesco-guardi-italian-florentine-1529-1530/?dz=0.5000,0.5000,0.62 

Reading Vasari’s Life of Jacopo da Pontormo, and preparing for the artist’s Portrait of a Halberdier, I would like to quote three remarks about his extraordinary abilities, by great masters of the time… Jacopo’s first work was, a little Annunciation, Raphael, upon seeing this, he marvelled, and foretold Jacopo’s future success. When Andrea del Sarto saw the figures of Faith and Charity painted by Pontormo for the central arch of the portico of the Basilica della Santissima Annunziata, he is reported saying to Jacopo, …your work is so good that I am sure you could not do better, and as you will have no lack of employment, use these designs (Pontormo wanted the painting changed and had created new designs for the portico) for something else. His work was of such beauty, continues Vasari, that for its new style and the sweetness of the heads of the two women and the charm of the infants it was the finest fresco ever seen till then. Michelangelo, on seeing it, and knowing it to be the work of a youth of nineteen, said… This youth, if he lives and continues to pursue art, will attain to heaven. http://www.artist-biography.info/artist/jacopo_da_fontormo/ and http://www.museumsinflorence.com/musei/Santissima-Annunziata.html

Jacopo Carucci, known as Pontormo, was a Mannerist  Florentine artist, the son of Bartolomeo di Jacopo di Martino Carrucci, an artist as well. He was famous for his ambiguous approach to pictorial space and perspective, wherein his figures, spiritual rather than physical, painted in vivid, crisp colours with fluid contoured lines, float in space, twist, swirl, and entwine, defying the forces of gravity. Pontormo was a versatile painter famous for religious scenes, secular compositions, and insightful portraits. His portraits presenting the ruling Medici dynasty in Florence, the educated elite, and his less aristocratic friends, possess a rare psychological dignity that is enhanced by the artist’s fine eye for symbolism (which, in the case of the Medici’s, alluded to their political and economic power). https://www.theartstory.org/artist/pontormo-jacopo-da/

Jacopo Carucci, called Pontormo, 1494 – 1557
Study of Francesco Guardi as a Halberdier, 1529-30, Red Chalk, 209 x 169 mm, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, Italy
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/98/Jacopo_Pontormo_-_Halberdier_-_WGA18130.jpg

My favourite Pontrormo Portrait, in the Getty Museum, presents a young, fashionably dressed, Florentine foot soldier, holding a roncone or a halberd, a combination spear and battle-axe weapon, standing before a fortress wall. His direct stare and swaggering pose are strikingly poignant, given the smooth unlined face and slim body that betray him as no more than a teenager. According to Vasari, during the siege of Florence in about 1529, Pontormo painted a “most beautiful work, a portrait of young nobleman Francesco Guardi as a soldier.” It was common practice during the 1529 siege, boys too young to fight took up arms and followed their fathers on patrols in defense of the republic. The historian Benedetto Varchi remarked that these Florentine youths offered “the most beautiful sight… because they were as well armed as they were splendidly dressed.”  Could the Portrait of the Halberdier portray young Francesco Guardi? I can only imagine how proud his father must have been! http://www.getty.edu/art/collection/objects/824/pontormo-jacopo-carucci-portrait-of-a-halberdier-francesco-guardi-italian-florentine-1529-1530/?dz=0.5000,0.5000,0.62 and https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/821849?&exhibitionId=%7b2c98eb4f-1cd0-43dc-912e-1fd5d5ef9c00%7d&oid=821849&pkgids=689&pg=0&rpp=20&pos=8&ft=*&offset=20

Pontormo’s Portrait of a Halberdier or young Francesco Guardi is currently exhibited in the Metropolitan Museum in New York, part of the magnificent Exhibition The Medici, Portraits & Politics, 1512-1570 (June 12-October 11, 2021). According to the MET experts… Through an outstanding group of portraits, this major loan exhibition will introduce visitors to the various new and complex ways that artists portrayed the elite of Medicean Florence, representing the sitters’ political and cultural ambitions and conveying the changing sense of what it meant to be a Florentine at this defining moment in the city’s history. The exhibition features over 90 works in a wide range of mediums, from paintings, sculptural busts, medals, and carved gemstones to drawings, etchings, manuscripts, and armor. Included are works by the period’s most celebrated artists, from Raphael, Jacopo Pontormo, and Rosso Fiorentino to Benvenuto Cellini, Agnolo Bronzino, and Francesco Salviati. I wish I could visit… to explore and marvel! https://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2021/medici-portraits-and-politics

For a PowerPoint on Portraits by Pontormo, please… Check HERE!