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10 December 2011 @ 03:12 pm
De Young: Venetian Masters  

Masters of Venice: Renaissance Painters of Passion and Power from the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna


From the DeYoung Museum’s website: Masters of Venice: Renaissance Painters of Passion and Power is a worldwide exclusive presentation of 50 paintings by Venetian painters Titian, Giorgione, Veronese, Tintoretto, Mantegna, and more, primarily from the sixteenth century, all on loan from the Gemäldegalerie of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. Featured are outstanding examples of the work of these artists that were collected by the archdukes and emperors of the Habsburg family, which are among the most celebrated holdings in the collections of the Gemäldegalerie.
Key works include Titian’s sumptuous Danáe (1560s), Mantegna’s tortured Saint Sebastian (1457–1459) and four rare paintings by Giorgione, including The Three Philosophers (ca. 1508–1509) and Portrait of a Young Woman (Laura) (1506). The exhibition also includes works by Palma, Bordone, Bassano, and more. Together, these examples represent the range of Venetian accomplishment in Renaissance-era painting.


I went with Marianna and Danielle up to the De Young for our Venetian Renaissance Art class. Dr. J had given our class a rare opportunity; instead of sitting for a regular final, we could visit the museum and write a visual analysis of one of the paintings in this collection. Dr. J is not at all the sort of teacher who likes to give her student easy ways to raise their grade – but with such an excellent collection of paintings located close by that were so relevant to the course, it seemed almost criminal not to take advantage of it.

Several of the paintings were pieces I’d seen back in Boston in 2009, during a similar show. Not that it’s a bad thing, of course, to see Tintoretto’s St. Jerome or Titian’s Danaë more than once. I was just surprised to find that the paintings were still traveling! I would think that the parent museum would like to have these star attraction paintings in their own gallery once in a while. I wound up selecting a Tintoretto to write my paper about – I guess in a way he’s my backup artist, the one I write about when I have to crunch a paper together in a relatively short amount of time, because I know what to say about his style and influences. I guess that’s rather lazy of me, but sometimes there just isn’t enough time to be truly creative!