Issue 35

February 2010

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At the end of the High Renaissance the artistic bar for painting was set very high. The Mannerist style that followed (c1520-1580) (as named by art historians) copied certain elements or mannerisms of this earlier period, and is identifiable by its exaggerated human proportions while striking difficult poses, complicated compositions and acidic colours.

Caravaggio (c1571-1610) broke with these conventions, using “real people” as models, simpler compositions than Mannerists, and dramatic lighting. This style influenced other artists, and to bring this closer to home, you can see an example locally, Georges de la Tour’s (1593-1652) ‘The Dice Players’ at Preston Hall museum in Stockton-on-Tees.

The Baroque period (c 17th cent) was a religion influenced style during the Protestant Reformation and Catholic Counter Reformation.

Peter Paul Rubens of Antwerp (1577-1640) was the chief and most successful artist of this period. He had learned “courtly manners” as a page in his youth, which helped him in later life as he worked for the Royal houses of Italy, Spain, England (the Banqueting House ceiling for Charles 1), France and the Netherlands. He was businesslike; he had a studio of assistants, and charged accordingly for work by himself, or his help.

During the Golden Age of Dutch Painting (17th cent), there was a period of peace in Holland and Flanders when the Dutch became very prosperous in manufacturing and trade. They had the freedom to accept their own society and depict it. They developed pride in their landscapes, townscapes, genre, still life and floral paintings. The volume of paintings increased as they were not all done on commission, but for sale at art fairs, and so the prices became lower and were much more available to the middle class.  

Rembrandt (1606-69) and Vermeer (1632-75) worked during this time.

Still to come are the painters Velázquez, Carracci, Poussin and Claude.

If you have a desire to know more about the paintings you see at in art galleries, Brian’s extensive knowledge and enthusiasm make his courses a pleasure to attend.

 

Judy Muscarella

Wear a Hat for Children in Need

Members of the Bridge Group which meets each Thursday at the Convent, raised a magnificent £80 for Children in Need. Well done to everyone for joining in and as always we had a very enjoyable afternoon.

 

Beatrice Cairns

‘Let There be Light‘- History of Art Course