They discovered two secrets. Elkins is also an academic art historian but was a painter earlier in life, and his words can seem as immediate as oil off the brush, as in this passage: Just take the alchemy with a grain of salt.
Some painting motions are like conversations, where the hands keep turning in the air to make a point. Understanding the alchemists, he says, should help readers see more deeply into the art of painting. James Elkins Routledge In a somewhat different vein, James Elkins looks squarely at paint, not through it, finding meanings in hues and brush strokes rather than in histories and biographies beyond the canvas.
Except for the quote, the story Beck tells is as much a piecework of suppositions as an act of scholarship: He is a poet and treats museums almost as a metaphor, leaping from the artwork to stories of the patrons, dealers, collectors, rivals, mistresses and scandals that surround it — especially the abiding and compelling scandals.
Smithsonian Magazine Subscribe June When you look at a great painting or sculpture, what more would you like to know about it? Beck transforms all these sources into stories.
As a student in the Medici Gardens, Michelangelo got into a dispute with the sculptor Torrigiani over the merits of their Florentine predecessor, the great painter Masaccio.
Three recent books examine familiar works of art from very different angles. First the brush would scrape wildly, epileptically, against the canvas, jittering across its own trail, breaking it up, laying down thick paint alongside dry paint, and then it would abruptly lift and swivel, turning the jagged edges into little eddies.
This "broad approach to the elucidation of art through social history" has its virtues. But biography, while it may broaden, does not always deepen our appreciation of the art itself.
Probably not, he concludes. Besides all this, he offers digressions into the workshops and writings of the alchemists, believing that painters and alchemists have shared a passion for transforming physical substance into transcendent results.
Viewing a Seurat show inspires Fenton to write at length on the question of whether the boys shown bathing in the Seine, in The Bathers, were actually bathing in raw sewage. The paint had to be of a shiny, resilient texture, "thicker than cream, more liquid than vaseline, more rubbery than melted candle wax.
There is much in this book that makes painting more alive to our eyes. Paul Trachtman is based in New Mexico. No one knows what paint does, and when an artist is fooled into thinking paint can be entirely understood, then the studio becomes an [arena of] annoying tedium.
Elkins offers similarly refreshing glimpses of Rembrandt, Tintoretto, Jackson Pollock and other painters at work. To Elkins, the gestures reveal an inward-turning concern with the act of painting, more typical of later, action painters.Leonardo Apos S Nephew Essays On Art And Artists Weebly website builder: create a free website, store or blog, weebly makes it surprisingly easy to create a high quality website, blog or online store over Jan 01, · Leonardo's Nephew has 14 ratings and 1 review.
James Fenton, one of England's most gifted poets, has in recent years been looking closely at works of art /5(1).
A poet and Oxford don, Fenton claims to have made no attempt to impose any overall thesis onto the 15 ingenious pieces gathered here on such topics as canon formation, patronage and the peculia.
Get this from a library! Leonardo's nephew: essays on art and artists. [James Fenton]. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for Leonardo's Nephew: Essays on Art and Artists at mint-body.com Read honest.
A detailed, somewhat contrarian collection of essays on the interpretation of art and artists. James Fenton, professor of poetry at Oxford, wrote these essays for The New York Review of Books. They reveal an academic's sensibility in their thoroughness and depth, but Fenton has the advantage of not.Download