Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Fra Bartolommeo – The Divine Renaissance Exhibition

The Pavilion and Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam. Photo: studio Hans Wilschut.

Along with Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, Fra Bartolommeo was one of the driving forces behind the High Renaissance. He is known for his majestic figures, delicate colors and skilled depiction of the draping of clothes. The exhibition displays 11 paintings and 140 drawings. The number of paintings is limited but span from his early to later pieces.

Owner of the World’s Largest Collection of Fra Bartolommeo Drawings
The Museum Bojimans Van Beuningen owns the largest collection in the world of Fra Bartolommeo’s drawings because its founder Daniel George van Beuningen owned two albums that contained 500 drawings by the painter. A Florence collector had bought the albums in 1792. They were purchased by Van Beuningen in 1940.

The Painter’s Intention Traced Back to the Drawings
There is no other 16th century artist whose drawings survive in such large numbers. For example, more than 60 drawings have been identified as studies for the fresco The Last Judgment. Bartolommeo made numerous drawings before finalizing a figure’s composition or pose. He used a mannequin with movable joints to study a person’s pose. He depicted the differences in personality and emotion that result from minor adjustments of the angle of the neck, the raising of an arm or extension of a knee on the ground. Carefully examining how these would affect the folds in the robes cloaking the bodies, Bartolommeo made numerous sketches before deciding on the best pose. Viewing the drawings in chronological order reveals clearly what the artist paid attention to in his revisions and final decision.
At the exhibition, in addition to the drawings and paintings, photographs of black-and-white printouts of the paintings will be posted near the drawings. The monochrome emphasizes the delineations, allowing viewers to study the similarities between the sketches and painting.

Fra Bartolommeo – The Divine Renaissance Exhibition Until Jan. 15, 2017
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
Museumpark 18-20
3015 CX Rotterdam
the Netherlands
Opening times:
Tuesday – Sunday 11:00-17:00
Dec 5、Dec 24, Dec 3 11:00-16:00

Mondays and Jan 1, April 27, Dec 25

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Magritte: The Treason of Images Exhibition

Fig. 1 René Magritte, La Décalcomanie, 1966, Huile sur toile, 81 × 100 cm, Dr Noémi Perelman Mattis et Dr Daniel C. Mattis, © Adagp, Paris 2016, © Photothèque R. Magritte / Banque d’Images, Adagp, Paris, 2016

Commemorating its 40th anniversary this year, the Centre Pompidou opened “Magritte: The Treason of Images” exhibition on September 27. The Belgian painter Rene Magritte was known as a surrealist who used imagination to its utmost and combined everyday images that on one glance appear unrelated. Magritte attempted to create a world of “hyper reality” where dreams and reality unite without contradicting each other (fig 1). Magritte interacted with philosophers including Michel Foucault whose influences on his work are clear.

The language of Magritte’s pictures
Fig.2 René Magritte, La Trahison des images (Ceci n’est pas une pipe),
1929, Huile sur toile, 60,33 x 81,12 x 2,54 cm, Los Angeles County Museum
of Art. Purchased with funds provided by the Mr. and Mrs. William Preston
Harrison Collection, © Adagp, Paris 2016, © Photothèque R. Magritte
/ Banque d’Images, Adagp, Paris, 2016
This exhibit proposes interpreting Magritte’s work from the viewpoint of ideology and art. Magritte repeatedly employed a number of motifs – curtains, letters, framed spaces and shadows – each with their own meaning. Magritte spoke through his paintings with this pictorial language like a philosopher presenting a well-argued theory. For example, his frames and segmented spaces refer to Plato’s allegory of the cave, and his shadows can be interpreted as the discovery of painting described in Pliny’s Natural History.

This is not a pipe
In “The Treason of Images (this is not a pipe)” (fig. 2), the words “This is not a pipe” are written below the painting. The picture and words seem to contradict each other, but even though the illustration could be mistaken for an actual pipe, it is still an illustration. The conflict between words and imagery has a long history that dates back to the biblical era when Moses, angered by the Israelites idolizing icons, destroyed the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments.

Magritte: The Treason of Images Exhibition until Jan 23, 2017 (closed Tuesdays)

Centre Pompidou
19 Rue Beaubourg
75004 Paris
Opening times:
11:00-23:00  Closed on Tuesday