Some observations about the art I saw in November 2018

I saw this Raphael, a portrait of Pope Julius II, at the Städel:

I saw these Raphaels at the Pitti Palace (sorry, about the bad lighting):

There’s also a similar portrait at the National Gallery in London. How many of these did Raphael paint?

The Städel has this Bronzino portrait:

The Uffizi has a number of Bronzino portraits:

Do the women all kind of look alike?

The instructor suggested these were idealized portraits, thus, the similarity. It seems to me that Bronzino had one ideal for women.

I haven’t mentioned Veronese much (if at all). But this was one of the prettiest paintings I saw, the Madonna and Child with St. Catherine by Veronese:

Look at the detail of the fabric on St. Catherine:

This was a wonderful Rembrandt I had not seen before at the Uffizi:

Seeing a Caravaggio is a sign of successful art viewing for me. I saw five. Two at the Pitti Palace:

Three at the Uffizi:

There are no Caravaggios in Venice.

After this tour, I can now tell the difference between the Bellini brothers. Gentile was an official painter for the Venetian Republic. His stuff is full of detail, but to me, not so remarkable:

Giovanni was the innovator who moved away from traditional methods and conventions earlier than his brother:

I didn’t know much about Tintoretto. There are A LOT of Tintorettos in Venice. The Palazzo Ducale has so many, most notably the Last Judgment in the Hall of the Full Council, one of the, if not the, largest painting in Europe–25 metres wide.

And the Scuola di San Rocco is almost entirely Tintoretto works.

There are many Tintorettos in the churches in Venice. This is in San Giorgio Maggiore:

His work shifts from the balanced compositions of High Renaissance to more movement and diagonals–nearer to Baroque and the Counter Reformation styles. He also includes curious details. Notice the bottom right corner–servants, a cat and dog usually aren’t part of a Last Supper.

I also found his brushwork interesting–almost impressionistic, visible paint strokes, much like the mature works of Rembrandt and Titian. The exhibition at the Palazzo Ducale attributed this to Tintoretto’s desire to work fast so he could complete and sell more paintings. He wanted to be famous and make money; although he also performed charitable works and cared for his family.

This is one of my favourite Titians, his last painting.

The Accademia was renovating some rooms so this was in a hallway, making it hard to get a good perspective, but also allowed you to get really close to observe every detail.

You could see Titian used his fingers and even the palms of his hands to apply the paint. Some have said this was because he was going blind, but whatever, it’s a great painting.

Here’s another Titian with an unusual colour palette and unusual subject matter. It’s from the Book of Tobit, considered deuterocanonical by Catholics. The archangel Raphael appears disguised in human form as the travelling companion of Tobit’s son Tobias. Beautiful landscape background.

I also developed a greater interest in Mannerist paintings, the post High Renaissance movement that employs neon colours, and unnatural poses and body shapes.

Here’s a few examples in Florence:

Bronzino, whose portraits are above, was also a Mannerist. Here’s another one of his portraits.

My favourite professor ever, David Bershad, quipped that the fat baby looked so happy because he was about to eat the bird in his hand.

Maybe my next solo trip will be to study Mannerists.

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