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Italian Painter Paolo Veneziano

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发表于 9-25-2021 12:20:19 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
本帖最后由 choi 于 9-25-2021 12:24 编辑

Peter Plagens, Worshiping at the Altar of Beauty; Exploiting a painterly style that would soon be outpaced by the Renaissance. Wall Street Journal, Sept 7, 2021, at page A 13
https://www.wsj.com/articles/pao ... issance-11630704754

Note:
(a)
(i) This is an exhibition review of
Paolo Veneziano; Art & Devotion in 14th-century Venice. Getty Center, July 13–Oct 3, 2021.
https://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/veneziano/index.html
("Paolo Veneziano led the premier painter’s workshop in late medieval Venice, producing work ranging from large complex altarpieces to small paintings intended for personal devotion. This focused exhibition reunites panels that originally formed a larger ensemble but are today scattered across different collections")
(ii) Paolo Veneziano; Art & Devotion in 14th-century Venice
https://www.frick.org/shop/art_f ... eziano_art_devotion
Is explained in paragraph 5 of the text.

(b) "Fourteenth-century Venice, with a population of 100,000, was not only one of Europe's largest cities, but also a wealthy maritime trading hub and a cultural center where the aesthetics of mainland Italy, Europe to the north, and exotic Byzantium to the immediate east all thrived. It was in this fortuitously rich and cosmopolitan environment that the painter Paolo Veneziano (c 1295-1362) lived and worked."
(i) Republic of Venice (697–1797 (surrender to Napoleon) )
(ii)
(A) fortuitous (adj):
"1: happening by chance rather than intention.
1.1 happening by a lucky chance; fortunate"
https://www.lexico.com/definition/fortuitous
(B) fortuitous
(Did You Know? -- "For some 250 years, until the early part of the 20th century, 'fortuitous' meant one thing only: 'happening by chance.' This was no accident; its Latin forebear, [adjective masculine] fortuitus [by chance, random] derives from the same ancient root as the Latin word for 'chance,' which is [noun feminine] 'fors.' But the fact that 'fortuitous' sounds like a blend of 'fortunate' and 'felicitous [ultimately from Latin adjective felix happy]' (meaning 'happily suited to an occasion') may have been what ultimately led to a second meaning: 'fortunate' ")
(C) The English adjective fortunate ultimately descends from fors also.
(iii) Paolo Veneziano's last name in Italian language:
veneziano (adj or n; from Venezia [Italian spelling of English place name Venice] +‎ -ano)
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/veneziano

Note the lower case of v; If v is capitalized, In Italian (as well as in English), Veneziano is a surname.
(iv) What amazes me is that Republic of Venice in its prime had only 100,000 in its capital, which is unsustainable,.

(c) "objets-d'art * * * In the words of the exhibition's lovely but somewhat scholarly and dense catalog, Veneziano 'responded to the needs of an elite clientele with technical advancements, reimagined typological forms * * * ' * * * Getty's senior painting curator Davide Gasparotto [says] that Veneziano himself invented the triptych that has closeable outside panels."
(i)
(A) English dictionary:
objet-d'art (n; borrowed from French, "art object")
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/objet%20d%27art
(B) French-English dictionary:
* objet (noun masculine; from Medieval Latin [noun neuter] obiectum [which did not mean "thing"]: "thing, object"
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/objet
(ii) dense (adj):
"1a: marked by compactness or crowding together of parts  <dense vegetation>  <dense traffic>
* * *
2a: slow to understand : STUPID, THICKHEADED  <was too dense to get the joke"
* * *
4: demanding concentration to follow or comprehend   <dense prose>"
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dense

Definition 4 fits the bill.
(iii) The letter i in "obiectum"?  A separate letter j in the alphabets (note the plural) is recent, only a couple of centuries ago.
(iv) advancement (n): "an improved feature : IMPROVEMENT"
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/advancement
(v) Davide Gasparotto is Italian by heritage, born and educated in that country. For the fist name, see David (name)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_(name)
(The spelling Davide is found in Filipino and Italian only)
(vi) It is probably that Veneziano created the first triptych, as I fail to find an earlier artist who did triptych.
(A) Press release: Getty Exhibition Reassembles Medieval Italian Triptych. Getty Center, July 12, 2021
https://news.getty.edu/paolo-ven ... entury-venice-1.htm
("Portable devotional triptychs, self-supporting and with closable shutters, were regularly made by artists and craftspeople in Venice throughout the fourteenth century. It is a type that seems to have been invented in Paolo Veneziano’s workshop")
(B) Closeable?

Triptych
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triptych  
(A triptych "is divided into three sections, or three carved panels that are hinged together and can be folded shut or displayed open. * * * The middle panel is typically the largest and it is flanked by two smaller related works, although there are triptychs of equal-sized panels")


(d) The Coronation of the Virgin. Frick Collection, undated
https://collections.frick.org/ob ... ation-of-the-virgin   
("Medium  Tempera on panel
Dimensions: 43 1/4 x 27 in. (109.9 x 68.6 cm)
Credit Line: Purchased by The Frick Collection, 1930
Accession number: 1930.1.124")
(i) tempera (n): "a process of painting in which an albuminous or colloidal medium (such as egg yolk) is employed as a vehicle instead of oil"
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tempera
(ii) colloid
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colloid
(iii) Coronation of the Virgin
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coronation_of_the_Virgin

Both Wiktionary and Lexico.com state the etymology of colloid is Ancient Greek noun feminine kólla glue+ -oid.

(e)
(i) The Generosity of Saint Nicholas
(A) I search diligently and there is NO painting by anyone of this title.
(B) It should be
The Alms of Saint Nicholas. The Uffizi, undated
https://www.uffizi.it/en/artwork ... s-of-saint-nicholas  
("Date 1340-1347 c * * * Technique Tempera on panel, gold base[;] Inventory Contini Bonacossi No 7")
(ii) Saint Nicholas
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Nicholas   
(270 – 343; his legendary habit of secret gift-giving gave rise to the traditional model of Santa Claus; section 2 Life and legends, section 2.2 Generosity and travels)

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 楼主| 发表于 9-25-2021 12:20:28 | 显示全部楼层
---------------------------text (~95%)
Fourteenth-century Venice, with a population of 100,000, was not only one of Europe’s largest cities, but also a wealthy maritime trading hub and a cultural center where the aesthetics of mainland Italy, Europe to the north, and exotic Byzantium [present-day Istanbul] to the immediate east all thrived. It was in this fortuitously rich and cosmopolitan environment that the painter Paolo Veneziano (c. 1295-1362) lived and worked.

That the exhibition "Paolo Veneziano; Art & Devotion in 14th-century Venice" -- small by art-historical blockbuster standard, but deceptively magnificent -- has happened at all is something of a miracle. Seven-hundred-year-old altarpieces that were superseded in style by the Renaissance (relative flatness obsolesced by more convincing three-dimensionality) were first relegated to storage and then cannibalized for their parts. Unscrupulous middlemen sold them off in pieces and scattered the individual panels to the winds. This, plus contemporary museological difficulties -- logistical, administrative and, most recently, Covid-19 related -- in bringing some of those parts back together, is the reason that "Art & Devotion" is, astonishingly, the first exhibition dedicated solely to the Venetian artist.

Contained in a single forest green gallery at the Getty Center (the color reinforces the art's beauty and significance without making it look precious), the show consists of two altarpieces and several individual panels (some of which had been part of other altarpieces) by Veneziano, along with some contextual objets-d'art (including intricately patterned textile fragments and a simply stupefying small carved ivory telling a complete altarpiece story). The modest room has an impact, albeit gradual rather than instant, equal to if not greater than a museum gallery filled with bigger, more recent, and more bombastic Old Master Paintings.

Paolo Veneziano came from a family whose business was painting. His father, brother and three sons also plied the trade. He ran a sizable workshop that included carpenters, woodcarvers and gilders. It ran on commissions from civic and religious organizations (although, in those days, the two were intertwined). In the words of the exhibition's lovely but somewhat scholarly and dense catalog, Veneziano "responded to the needs of an elite clientele with technical advancements, reimagined typological forms, bold pictorial design, and an intense engagement with the visual stimuli of his native city." Altarpieces were a major part of the workshop's business and it may well be, says the Getty's senior painting curator Davide Gasparotto, that Veneziano himself invented the triptych that has closeable outside panels.  

If a single work could be said to be the feature of the show, it would be "The Coronation of the Virgin" (1358), which Paolo painted with his son, Giovanni, and is his last work. The 43-by-27-inch panel is owned by the Frick Collection in New York. The Frick was to have been the the second venue for 'Art & Devotion" (it published the [exhibition] catalog), but was forced to drop out because of complications from Covid-19.

* * * If I do have a favorite [in the exhibition] -- as any attentive viewer will -- it's "The Generosity of Saint Nicholas" (1340s). St Nicholas achieved canonization partly by giving away his inherited wealth to the poor. Imn this panel, he passed three balls of gold into the house of an impoverished judge to ensure a future for the judge's three daughters. It's not so much the narrative (which is probably not immediately apparent to contemporary American viewers) as the lovingly rendered anomalies of architectural space that make the painting so compelling.

"Paolo is a forerunner of the great masters of the Venetian Renaissance, Giovanni Vellini and Titian," the catalog tells us, and that's certainly true. * * *

During the 1860 suppression of Italian religious orders by Giuseppe Garibaldi, a Veneziono panel (not in the exhibition) depicting 14 saints survived because it was hidden , disguised asa bedroom screen, in the home of a peasant. The necessity of such small favors of fate make [sic; should nbe makes] it a wonder that exhibitions such as this happen at all. "Art & Devotion" won't ever be repeated, so a visit to the Getty is for lovers of Venetian art a bit of a last chance.
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