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ARTH 375 February 12.docx

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Art History
ARTH 375
Ron Spronk Allcorrect

February 12, 2013 Petrus Christus (Bruges) and Dirk Bouts (Louvain) -Europe is changing rapidly at this time (14th and 15th c) -from rural to more urban society -trade developing quickly, more wealth, and wealth is more spread >a new class developed (burghers> merchants) >emphasize new status with luxury products -open art market developing fast ( created without a commission, paint on ‘speck’ (speculation); very very large market -14th c key centre of commerce, 46 000 inhabitants! -one of most important cities -main trade and banking centre -biggest trade centre for north western Europe >Paris other big one -imp for trade because of waterways> English products; English wool -home to very first trade exchange -textile industry big motor of wealth at the time -also major crises, 1437-1440 revolted against Philip the Good >siege, plague, famine (some say punished for this) -final ‘golden age’ in 1440-1500 with fast economic expansion -favorable climate production and consumption of luxury goods -main Borgundian court was located in Bruges> brigns lots of people, including artists -artists came from outside of Bruges; art moves away from it and to Antwerp later -downturn of Bruges started with death of Mary of Burgundy in 1482, but very slow and gradual -also silting of the Zwine (river?) -Antwerp, favoured by the Habsburg dynasty, became new economica centre in 16th c Map of Bruges by Marcus Gerards, 1562 Petrus Christus -died in Burges (1475/6) -had to become a citizen to become master> need to buy citizenship -guild did this to prevent outsiders/competition ; artists still paid -influences in Jan van Eyck AND Rogier van der Weyden >we don’t know where he trained -aquired citizenship 1444 -first artist to use single point perspective in Northern Art >suggests he may have travelled to Italy PC, Portrait of a Carthusian, 1446 -carthusians very active in commissioning art -small oak panel, dated 1446 -first time in a portrait in the north that a figure is place in the corner of a room> creates actual depth; architecture being used -fly at the bottom: tromp l’oieu -artist signed and dated the frame > first three letters of Christ are included ‘XPI’ in greek (with line above it which means abbreviation; the monogram of Christ Chi Rho ) >also seen with Jan van Eyck >typical -Anno 1446 was added at a later date -before 1992 restoration: Halo (not original, added 18th or 19th c) -should one remove it? Additions sometimes add a lot to this history of the painting. -why add halo? Maybe monk became a saint. Maybe the market was more favorable to saints than monks. PC, Saint Eligius, 1449 -saint in red. He was a gold smith. -we know little about the meaning of the panel -we don’t know who the couple is or why they’re there -we do know that it’s signed and dated like seen in other -Saint is weighing a ring, meaning or attribute to his gold smith? Another example of disguised symbolism? Is it wedding portrait or bethrothal? Idealized painting? Or vocational painting? -The Bruges chapel of guild gold and silver smiths was consencrted in 1449 >don’t know if related or not -Also a halo which was also removed in restoration >but this actually a saint! These kinds of decisions are tricky -Vocational portraits> trade, goldsmith, guilds? -very large, maybe it had a public or semi public function? Altarpiece? -According to Ainsworth, PC did not have a workshop but worked alone -but there are very differences in quality PC, St John the Baptist in Landscape -doll-like figures; eye placed low, high foreheads, slightly naïve >misses van eyck’s mastery of light and colour and emotionally charge of rogier vander weyden -doesn’t use same techniques as them. More like manuscript painter of more opague layers -or should we consider workshop after all? Explain difference in quality. >many more painters than oeuvresm and van eyck shop active until c1450 >group of painters being active which maybe CP was involved in -illuminator like technique> look at details like background; very high quality painter; comparable to turin-milan hours PC, Virgin and Child with Saint Barbara and Jan Vos, 1450 -cathusian (Jan Vos) with white habit -barbie like -saint Barbara with the tower in her hand PC, Lamentation, 1450 -comapred to RW, we do see influences -very linear approach, wonderful rhthm with virgin and right guy following the same contour
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