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STEFAN ARTENI

Perspective as Form and Medium and the Interplay of Proportion Systems and Perspective IV

SolInvictus Press 2006

Theatrum Mundi
man as spectacle for the gods

theatron : a place for seeing theasthai : to gaze at

Pedro Calderón de la Barca named his 1635 work: El gran teatro del mundo (The Great Theater of the World)

The fascination with theater is apparent in the carefully “staged” paintings, the frequent use of the “play within a play,” the rhetoric of gesture in painting, the choreographed composition (choreia meaning dance in its ceremonial aspect and graphein meaning to write, to paint.)

A Greek temporary stage

Pronomos Painter: the cast of a satyr play during a back-stage celebration

Greek theatre, typical design [www.lucadibartolo. it/graftea/tgreco.jpg]

Roman theatre, typical design [www.lucadibartolo. it/graftea/troman.jpg]

Mérida Roman theatre - Spain

The dialogue between painting and theater is as old as the first aesthetic treatises from antiquity.

Room of the Masks wall painting

Room of the Masks 3D reconstruction

Villa of Oplontis wall painting

Villa of Oplontis 3D reconstruction

[Created by Richard Beacham, University of Warwick, and the THEATRON Consortium, www.didaskalia.net/issues/vol5no1/beacham/postlude.html]

Roman wall paintings inspired by theatrical scenery. They show uses of stage décor.
[Slide of Susan Bonvallet]

The Middle Ages The “Quem quaeritis” Trope The ’trope” in this case was a musical arrangement of a set dialogue enacting a specific episode from the New Testament… incorporated into the Easter Sunday liturgy. (The church liturgy, or order of service, was codified by Bishop Ethelwold about 925.) Three priests, with their albs, or vestments, over their heads played the parts of the three Marys approaching the sepulchre (represented by the church altar with the cross removed) to anoint the body of Christ. A fourth priest, playing the part of the angel guarding the tomb, asks them “Whom do you seek?” (“Quem quaeritis?” in Latin), and they reply that they are looking for Christ, whereupon the ‘angel’ chants “He is risen” and the congregation then sings the “Te Deum.” This joyous occasion, following Good Friday and the forty days of Lent, was later dramatically enhanced, so it is supposed, by the addition of a playlet involving a comic interchange between the three Marys and a spice merchant at a stall in the church aisle. Over time, the church interior accommodated several stages, called ‘mansions’ or in Latin ‘loci’… [Anthony M. Watts,
www.southernct.edu/~watts/medieval_theatre.html]

Gian Martino Spanzotti

Fra Angelico (Guido di Pietro da Mugello)

Simultaneous staging was a distinctive characteristic of medieval theatre. Medieval plays were staged on a number of small "platforms“, the performer and the audience (congregation) would move from one "platform" (or scene) to the next. The station, or mansion [as it came to be known in France], was the scenic structure used to locate the action of the play. Painters used the same basic concept.

Sassetta (Stefano di Giovanni di Consolo)

Gentile da Fabriano (Gentile di Niccolò di Giovanni Massi)

macchina teatrale medioevale [medieval theatrical machinery] Domenico Ghirlandaio - The Annunciation, Firenze, church of S. Maria Novella , detail [diagram by Caterina Pirina]

Domenico Ghirlandaio

The work as a scenographic machine – episodes montage [diagrams by Caterina Pirina]

Sacred representation with multiple stage, scenery for the Valenciennes Mystery Play, 1547, by Hubert Cailleau [from www.britannica.com]

Masaccio (Tommaso Cassai), predella fragment

Masaccio (Tommaso Cassai), predella fragment

Domenico Veneziano (Domenico de Bartolomeo), predella fragment

Domenico Veneziano (Domenico de Bartolomeo), predella fragment

Lorenzo Cavaro,1501 School of Fra Filippo Lippi, predella panels

This early 16th century altarpiece from Lofta [Sweden] shows the Nativity of Jesus almost as figures on a theatre stage.

Theatre - moveable pageant wagons

Humanist comedy, woodcut by G. Parabosco, Il Pellegrino, 1552, Venezia

Terence, as performed in the Renaissance

Renaissance stage gestures

Tudor drama

Theatre show, Cambrai, miniature of the 16th century

Moral comedy

Morality figures

ELIZABETHAN PLAYHOUSES

An actor

William Kemp, an Elizabethan clown actor

An intriguing view of a stage comes from an embroidery from Hardwick Castle in England.

Anonymous, portrait of Elizabeth I

Terry A. Gray’s reconstruction of Shakespeare’s Globe

The Swan Theatre (1594-1596) reconstruction Blackfriars in London [image collected by Larry Wild]

1620 and 1663 title pages of Christopher Marlowe's Dr. Faustus

The Almagro Theatre in Spain (near Madrid), a survival from the Renaissance period

Raffaello Sanzio, sketch for stage set design

Teatro Olimpico di Vicenza designed by Andrea Palladio (1580 - 1584)

Neoclassical stage with proscenium arch [from Paula S.Berggren et.al., photo Philip Greenspun]

Teatro Olimpico, Vicenza, with Vincenzo Scamozzi’s wooden sets [from Wikipedia]

Giovanni Battista Aleotti, Teatro Farnese, Parma (1618)

Cardinal Richelieu and King Louis XIII and his Queen, in the Cardinal’s private theatre in 1641.

Ekhof theatre, Gotha, a still functional baroque theatre;
The Friedenstein Castle and its theatre have been reconstructed according to the plans of Federic I of Saxony-Gotha-Altenburg around 1681 [Photos Lutz Ebhardt]

Inigo Jones’ designs for masques in the Stuart Court: a set design for Florimene and the design for the "House of Fame" from The Masque of Queens.

Inigo Jones, King's and Queen's costumes

Inigo Jones, two lady masquers
Portrait of Lucy Russell, Countess of Bedford, dressed in her masque costume for Ben Jonson's Masque Hymenaei (1606) for the marriage of the Earl of Essex and Lady Frances Howard.

Inigo Jones, designs for Court masques

Pieter Jacobsz Codde, Actors' Changing Room

Set design by Bartolomeo Neroni (Il Riccio) for l'Ortensio (1562)

Giacomo Torelli, BAROQUE SET DESIGNS

Stage-set design by Baldassare Peruzzi

LAURENT de La HYRE 1605-56 Panthea, Cyrus, and Araspus, 1631-34 [the background looks like painted set backdrops]

Stage-set design by Sebastiano Serlio

Scene for the Intermedio of La pellegrina by Girolamo Bargagli, 1589

Intermedi, the origins of Italian Melodramma (musical drama/opera): Forma di intrattenimento spettacolare, di origine italiana, basata su musica, ballo, canto, declamazione ed eseguita tra un atto e l’altro di tragedie, commedie, favole pastorali e simili. [Form of entertainment based on music, dance, singing, declamation, performed between the acts of tragedies, comedies, pastoral fables and similar.] Bernardo Buontalenti, disegno for the second Intermedio of 1589, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, Firenze

Caravaggio (Merisi Michelangelo), Suonatore di Liuto (The Lute-Player)

‘Ballet de cour’, 16th century

Louis XIV dancing in the Ballet royal de la nuit

Court ballet performed before Maximilian, Duke of Bavaria, in Vlasislav Hall, Prague Castle, in 1617.

Representation of Alceste by Jean-Baptiste Lully

Costume design for Alceste by Jean-Baptiste Lully : Pluto Louis XIV representing the sun

Costume designs for court representations

Commedia dell’Arte

Il Capitano

Arlecchino

Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo, Pulcinella

Commedia dell’Arte performance, 1657

Jean-Antoine Watteau, Italian Comedians

The fourth wall is the imaginary invisible wall at the front of the stage. It is part of the suspension of disbelief and may be connected to exploitation of an audience's familiarity with the conventions. When an actor addresses the audience directly, it is called "Breaking the Fourth Wall."

Nicolas Poussin

Hugo van der Goes

Pontormo (Jacopo Carucci), Madonna and child with St Ann, St Sebastian, St Peter, St Benedict and the good thief, the figure on the right ‘breaks the fourth wall’

Breaking the Fourth Wall: El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos), [in the three versions of the painting, the figure located on the left and wearing a suit of armour gazes out of the picture]

El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos)
Bearsted Collection, Upton House, Warwickshire

El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos)
Alte Pinakothek, Munich

The Modern Era

Study for curtain (Don Carlos)

Mario Sironi

Stage-set design for Don Carlos Costumes for I Lombardi

The Modern Era

Mario Sironi

Stage designs for Ferruccio Busoni, Dottor Faust, 1964 Florence

Felice Casorati, stage set design for Elektra (R.Strauss)

The Modern Era

André Derain, stage set design for Fastes, 1933 Felice Casorati, stage set design for Didone e Enea

André Derain, costume sketch for Fastes

André Derain, stage set design for La Boutique Fantasque

The Modern Era

André Derain, La Boutique Fantasque 1950, backdrop design

André Derain, costume sketch for a daughter of the devil in Que le diable l'emporte by Roland Petit, 1948

André Derain, sketch for the curtain of La Concurrence

André Derain, costume sketch for Geneviève de Brabant by Erik Satie, 1926 André Derain, costume sketch for the Fée des Fleurs in Les Songes

The Modern Era

The Modern Era

Juan Gris (Jose Victoriano Gonzalez), costumes for the ballet Les Tentations de la Bergère

The Modern Era

Gino Severini, stage set design for Orazio Vecchi’s 1594 L’Amfiparnaso Gino Severini, costume for Orazio Vecchi’s 1594 L’Amfiparnaso

The Modern Era

Pablo Picasso, curtain for the ballet "Parade"

The ancient art of puppetry: man is a puppet of the gods

Hortus Deliciarum ("The Garden of Delights") by Harrad von Landsberg, in Strasbourg, dated AD 1170 [www.sagecraft.com]

Li Romans du Bon Roi Alixandre (The Romance of Alexander) which was written in 1338 and illuminated by Jehan de Grise in 1344 (Bodleian Library, Oxford)

The showman stands in front of the stage. He partly narrates and partly interacts with the puppets.

Pageant and Festivity

Frederic II Stupor Mundi

The coronation of William I on Christmas Day, 1066

Sacre of Philippe III le Hardi

Wenceslas II of Bohemia, 14th-century manuscript illumination

Frederic II, wall painting in Melfi castle

Frederic II of Hohenstaufen, miniature from his De Arte Venandi cum Avibus [art of hunting with birds]

A boar hunt

Matteo Giovannetti di Viterbo, Scenes of hunting and fishing, Palace of the Popes, Avignon

Matteo Giovannetti di Viterbo, Scenes of hunting and fishing, Palace of the Popes, Avignon

Medieval minstrels

Master of Engelbert of Nassau, a sung chain and ring dance (carole) within a garden corresponding to the locus amoenus and the hortus conclusus

Les entremets spectacles, Grandes Chroniques de France, 14th century Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale

Miniatures by the Limbourg brothers: Court Epiphany Banquet Court May Day

Double page from René of Anjou’s Book of Tournaments, 1480-1490

Stately Banquet, Histoire d'Olivier de Castille et d'Artus d'Algarbe, Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale

Entry of Isabeau de Bavière into Paris

Tournament in 1473 Marriage of Bianca Maria Visconti and Francesco Sforza, 15th century miniature

Louis XI presiding a chapter of the Saint-Michel order

Francesco del Cossa, the Ferrara Palio

Philip the Good, duke of Burgundy, being presented with a book by Bertrandon de la Broquière at the siege of Mussy l'Evêque

Les Grandes Chroniques de France Dagobert visiting the construction site of Saint-Denis France, Poitiers, 15th century Artist : Robinet Testard Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Département des manuscrits Français 2609

Jean Fouquet, the building of a cathedral

Initial project according to a medal by Matteo de' Pasti

Tempio Malatestiano, Rimini, designed by Leon Battista Alberti

Piero della Francesca

Wall painting in the Tempio Malatestiano

Portrait of Sigismondo Malatesta

Dance at the Burgundian court

Gentile Bellini, Procession in Piazza San Marco, 1496, Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice

Lucas Cranach the Elder (Kronach 1472-1553 Weimar) Stag Hunt of the Elector Frederick the Wise 1529 Wood H 80 cm, W 114 cm

Elizabethan royal hunt

Apollonio di Giovanni, Acrobats and jesters, 15th century, cassone detail, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Giorgio Vasari, Giostra in Piazza Santa Croce (Joust in Piazza Santa Croce), 1555-65, Palazzo Vecchio, Firenze
Miniature from the Ordine delle nozze di Costanzo Sforza e Camilla d'Aragona, Cod. Urb. Lat. 899

Albrecht Dürer, Triumphal Chariot

Allegorical wagons ( on the left, Apollo and the Muses confront the Furies.)

La Joyeuse et magnifique Entree de Monseigneur Francoys, Fils de France, ... Duc de Brabant, en sa tres renommee ville d'Anvers. C. Plantin: Antwerp (Belgium), 1582. [British Library]

Allegorical devices for the Parisian entry of Henry II on the 16th of June, 1549

Triumphal arch personifying the grandeur and prosperity of the Gallican past

Obelisk on the back of a rhinoceros and embodying all the glory of France

Specially built theatre for tournaments

Queen Elizabeth, attended by Fame, and a Herald of Arms, riding in an elaborate chariot. Sir William Teshe, England 1570. British Library

Sébastien Le Clerc, Marriage of Henry II and Catherine de' Medici

Catherine de‘ Medici's Magical Talisman

Life at the Court of Catherine de’ Medici, 16th Century, by Johannes Sadeler

Miniature of Catherine de’ Medici attributed to Jean Clouet

Anonymous, Ball for the wedding of the Duc de Joyeuse

The Wedding Dance

Peasant Dance

Pieter Brueghel the Elder

Pieter Jacobsz. Codde, Dancing Party

Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez, Philip IV as a Hunter

Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez, 'Philip IV hunting Wild Boar ('La Tela Real')'

Gabriel Bella, L'ultimo giorno di Carnevale (Last day of Carnival,)1788?

Gabriel Bella, Il gioco del calcio a Sant'Alvise (Ball playing at Sant’Alvise,) post 1779?

VICENTE LOPEZ PORTAÑA, Royal Court Painter Francisco de Goya

Charles Le Brun premier peintre du roi, Self-Portrait

The Game of Composition: Montage

Carnesecchi Triptych, predella painted by Masaccio (Tommaso Cassai)

Dierick Bouts

Instances of montage in simultaneity:

-superimposition

-embedding

-split-screen

http://ingemedia.univ-tln.fr/formation/licence-multimedia-internet.html

Jean Fouquet, Heures d’ Étienne Chevalier, around 1452-1460

Fra Angelico (Guido di Pietro da Mugello) Masolino da Panicale

Giovanni Bellini

Simon Marmion, Liévin van Lathem, Willem Vrelant, The Hours of Mary of Burgundy, around1470-1480, a picture embedded within a picture

Giulio Romano (Giulio di Pietro de'Gianuzzi)

Pietro Lorenzetti, split-screen

Maestro dell’Osservanza

Fra Angelico

(Guido di Pietro da Mugello)

Robert Campin (Master of Flemalle)

Sergei Eisenstein believed that montage (juxtaposing images by film editing) could have an impact not found in the individual images. Two or more images together create a "tertium quid" (third thing) that makes the whole greater than the sum of its individual images by means of macro / micro patterns and associations.

Byzantine Icon

Psautier de Blanche de Castille, around 1230

Pisano workshop

Serra workshop

Francesc Serra

Matteo Giovannetti di Viterbo

Matteo Giovannetti di Viterbo

Fra Angelico (Guido di Pietro da Mugello), Cappella Niccolina, Palazzi Pontifici, Vatican

Pietro Lorenzetti, , frescos in the south transept of the Lower Church, San Francesco, Assisi

Pietro Lorenzetti

Pietro Lorenzetti

Pietro Lorenzetti

Pietro Lorenzetti

Pietro Lorenzetti

Pietro Lorenzetti

Pietro Lorenzetti

Pietro Lorenzetti

Pietro Lorenzetti

Pietro Lorenzetti

Pietro Lorenzetti

Pietro Lorenzetti

Hugo van der Goes

Melchior Broederlam

Robert Campin (Master of Flemalle)

Master of the Judgement of Paris

Luca Signorelli (Luca d'Egidio di Ventura)

Luca Signorelli (Luca d'Egidio di Ventura)

The Modern Era

Mario Sironi

The Modern Era

Stefan Arteni

Continuity and Change

Byzantine Icon

El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos)

Byzantine Icon

Master of Forlí

Anonymous Pietro da Rimini

Master of the St. Bartholomew Altarpiece

Simone Martini

Fra Angelico (Guido di Pietro da Mugello)

Retable de la passion, detail. Deposition. Norman workshop. 1520-1530. Musée des Antiquités, Rouen

Icon

Bernardo Martorell

Paolo Uccello (Paolo di Dono)

Raffaello Sanzio

Tintoretto (Jacopo Robusti)

Roman Zeugma mosaic

Byzantine mosaic

Tiziano Vecellio

Palma il Giovane (Jacopo Negretti II)

Diana and Actaeon, Greek vase painting

Raphael Regius, Diana and Actaeon, woodcut

Tiziano Vecellio, Diana and Actaeon

The Little room of Diana and Actaeon
Parmigianino (Girolamo Francesco Mazzola), Fontanellato, Rocca Sanvitale

Henry Peacham's Minerva Britanna, Diana and Actaeon, woodcut

Joachim Wtewael, Diana and Actaeon

Roman wall paintings, The Three Graces

Raffaello Sanzio, The Three Graces

Raffaello Sanzio and assistants, Cupid and the Three Graces

Peter Paul Rubens, The Three Graces

Greek vase painting, The Judgement of Paris

Roman mosaic, The Judgement Of Paris

Peter Paul Rubens, The Judgement of Paris

Peter Paul Rubens, The Judgement of Paris

Pierre Auguste Renoir, The Judgement of Paris

Pseudomorphosis

The concept of pseudomorphosis, which describes a mineral having the characteristic outward form of another species, or the state of having, or the property of taking, a crystalline form unlike that which belongs to the species, is one that Oswald Spengler introduces as a way of explaining cultures. Specifically pseudomorphosis entails the appropriation of any deeply ingrained formal system for purposes different from those it was initially used for.

Roman wall paintings

Psautier de Paris, Around 975
[the composition was likely modelled on a Greco-Roman wall painting representing Orpheus charming the world with his music]

Psautier de Paris, Around 975
[prophet Isaiah and a female figure symbolizing Nyx, goddess of the night]

Psautier de Paris, Around 975, Crossing through the Red Sea

Psautier de Paris, Around 975, Ilness and recovery of Ezekia

Byzantine mosaic, Hosios Lukas monastery El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos)

Russian Icon

El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos)

El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos)

Russian Icon

The Assumption of the Virgin, a fresco at Sopocani, about 1260

Russian Icons

Icon attributed to El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos)

El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos)

Early Medieval relief

Romanesque wall painting

Benedetto Antelami

Mario Sironi

Mario Sironi

Persian miniature

Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse

Painting Writing

AN EGYPTIAN PAINTING ON LINEN, c. 1st millennium BC: hieroglyphs and solar symbol

Roman mosaics

Juan Oliver

Fra Angelico (Guido di Pietro da Mugello)

Mario Sironi, Study for exhibition poster

Jean Metzinger

The Modern Era

Mario Sironi, Fiat 1900A, 1950 ca., bozzetto and poster 26.875" x 39.375“, photo offset backed on linen

A Brief Foray into the Backgrounds to the Renaissance

Jan Brueghel the Elder, Allegory of Sight

Sketch of the 'Tempio della Pittura' [temple of painting] according to the "Idea del Tempio della Pittura" by Giovanni Paolo Lomazzo, Milano 1584 [from RAI International Online – Rinascimento]

Artemisia Gentileschi, Self-Portrait as the Allegory of Painting

Frans van Mieris the Elder, Pictura (An Allegory of Painting)

Benedetto Gennari, Allegory of Painting (the angel on the right holds the Ouroboros, a snake swallowing its own tail, symbol of the cyclical Opus)

Now it must be seen that the stone thus brought under the artist's hand to the beauty of form is beautiful not as stone—for so the crude block would be as pleasant—but in virtue of the Form or Idea introduced by the art. This form is not in the material; it is in the designer before ever it enters the stone; and the artificer holds it not by his equipment of eyes and hands but by his participation in his art. The beauty, therefore, exists in a far higher state in the art; for it does not come over integrally into the work; that original beauty is not transferred; what comes over is a derivation and a minor: and even that shows itself upon the statue not integrally and with entire realization of intention but only in so far as it has subdued the resistance of the material. (Plotinus)

God The Geometer, Bible Moralisée, 1215

The Muse of Geometry, woodcut from Gregor Reisch, Margarita philosophica (Basel, 1536)

Pinturicchio (Bernardino di Betto),
The Arts of the Quadrivium: Geometry

Pinturicchio (Bernardino di Betto), construction based on circles and armature of the rectangle [diagrams by Charles Bouleau]

Pinturicchio (Bernardino di Betto) [diagram by Charles Bouleau]

Geometric artifice
In occult thinking, symbol, meaning, and real object are blended. Symbol participates in the nature of the referent either because it contains a part of it, or because it reproduces the likenesses, or simply because it carries its name, thus consenting the magical action to become explicit in the symbolic object, provoking a mutation of the reality. This translation assumes an even greater weight if it refers to a mathematic-geometric symbolism, considered to be, within the context of the various cultures, capable of reproducing the primary origin that underlies the apparent chaos of the actual… …art came to be interpreted as a representation of ideal forms and became the preferred path in the search for truth. (Angela Pintore, "Musical Symbolism in the Works of Leon Battista Alberti: from De re aedificatoria to the Rucellai Sepulchre", Nexus Network Journal, vol. 6 no. 2 (Autumn 2004), http://www.nexusjournal.com/Pintore.html)

Dosso Dossi, Allegory of Music (with allusions to the investigation of sound by Pythagoras and the origin of the musical ratios)

Pythagoras performing vibration experiments by hitting bells with a hammer, Boethius manuscript, 'Boethius, Pythagoras, Plato and Nichomachus,' from ca. 1130 (Cambridge, University Library Ii.3.12, fol. 61v)
[www.jcsparks.com/painted/boethius.html]

This famous drawings of Pythagoras engaged in testing the relationships of music and numbers date from a 1492 book of Gaffurius: Theorica Musices, Milan, 1492.

As the story goes, Pythagoras was passing a blacksmith's forge one day when he heard the sounds of the metal being hammered and realized that the hammering made different notes. When he weighed the hammers, he discovered that they were all ratios of each other.

Raffaello Sanzio The School of Athens [detail: Pythagoras]

The mathematical harmonies of the universe, diagram of the tablet held up for Pythagoras

"We shall therefore borrow all our Rules for the Finishing our Proportions, from the Musicians, who are the greatest Masters of this Sort of Numbers, and from those Things wherein Nature shows herself most excellent and compleat." Leon Battista Alberti (1407-1472)

The Nine Muses inspiring Arion, Orpheus and Pythagoras under the auspices of the Personified Air, source of all Harmony, 13th century, Public Library, Reims

Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci and the use of Alberti’s musical ratios: diapason or double square including a central square between two half squares [diagram by Charles Bouleau]

The form of perspective as a medium for the creation of other forms. Perspective [perspectiva ars "science of optics," from perspicere "inspect, look through“] is an optical transform that implies a certain projective geometry. (Christopher W. Tyler) Perspective allows us to use a geometrical method - a visualization algorithm - for creating a visual equivalent on a two dimensional surface.
Algorithm - a step-by-step problem-solving procedure, especially an established, recursive computational procedure for solving a problem in a finite number of steps.

Visualization - the process of converting data into a geometric or graphic representation.

Botticelli and the illusion of perspective [diagram by Stefan Arteni]

Dierick Bouts and the illusion of perspective [diagram by Stefan Arteni]

Domenico Ghirlandaio [diagram by Stefan Arteni]

Paolo Uccello and the playful use of perspective [diagram by Stefan Arteni]

Perspective studies of Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper

Leonardo da Vinci, Alberti’s construction

(www.kinemac.com)

(www.roanoke.edu)

Jan Vermeer [perspective diagram by Stefan Arteni]

Jan Vermeer [diagram by Stefan Arteni]

Jan Vermeer [diagram by Stefan Arteni]

Alberti described in De pictura the method by which to create a perspective projection, referred to as the construzione legittima or the veil. One of the concerns of perspective theoreticians such as Alberti and Piero della Francesca (1410/20-92), was to show that, when projected onto the perspective veil, proportional relationships in real or imaginary space were 'translated', so to speak, into corresponding proportional relationships on the two-dimensional plane. (David A. Vila Domini, "The Diminution of the Classical Column: “Visual Sensibility in Antiquity and the Renaissance", Nexus Network Journal, vol. 5 no. 1 (Spring 2003), http://www.nexusjournal.com/VilaDomini.html)

True Grid Barry Smith Department of Philosophy, Center for Cognitive Science and NCGIA University at Buffalo, NY 14260, USA Alberti hereby anticipates contemporary work on so-called qualitative geometries.., which means: geometries based, not on abstract mathematical points, but rather on finite regions. Both his theory of perspective and his theory of the organization of marks or signs to form an istoria are formulated in qualitative-geometrical terms.

Girard Desargues: Perspective, Conics and Projective Geometry
(text and diagram by Kevin Heng Ser Guan Department of Physics National University of Singapore)
Girard Desargues (1591 – 1661) is credited with unifying the theory of conics. A highly competent and original mathematician, he conceived problems in three-dimensional terms…Desargues fully appreciated the power of this method, and used it to give a projective treatment of conics…Desargues wrote his most important work, the treatise on projective geometry, when he was 48. It was entitled “Rough draft for an essay on the results of taking plane sections of a cone” (Brouillon proiect d’une atteinte aux evenemens des rencontres du cone avec un plan)…One of the most important parts of his treatise can be viewed as a generalization of a theorem proved by Piero della Francesca…Desargues’ theorem allowed a way of defining the pattern of division even when the second line was not parallel to the first. In a sense, Desargues was generalizing perspective into becoming a technique of use to mathematicians. Diagram for Desargues’ proof of the theorem that if we have six points in involution, BDCGFH, then their images under projection from a point K onto another line, bdcgfh, will also be six points in involution.

Nicolas Poussin, perspective as geometry: perspective and musical ratio constructs coincide [diagrams by Charles Bouleau]

Nicolas Poussin

Perspective as geometry: perspective embedded within a construct based on the rabatment of the shorter side [diagram by Charles Bouleau]

Fibonacci (Leonardo Pisano)

Relationship between the Fibonacci sequence and the Golden Rectangle [diagram by Alex Mabini ]

Fibonacci Form and Beyond Louis H. Kauffman Forma, Vol. 19 (No. 4), pp. 315-334, 2004

Abstract. This paper develops a context for the well-known Fibonacci sequence (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, ...) in terms of self-referential forms and a basis for mathematics in terms of distinctions that is harmonious with G. Spencer-Brown's Laws of Form and Heinz von Foerster's notion of an eigenform. The paper begins with a new characterization of the infinite decomposition of a rectangle into squares that is characteristic of the golden rectangle. The paper discusses key reentry forms that include the Fibonacci form, and the paper ends with a discussion of the structure of the "Fibonacci anyons" a bit of mathematical physics that relates to the quantum theory of the self-interaction of the marked state of a distinction.

THE FAMILY OF METALLIC MEANS Vera W. de Spinadel www.mi.sanu.ac.yu/vismath/spinadel/index.html
Let me introduce you to the Metallic Means Family (MMF). Their members have, among other common characteristics, the property of carrying the name of a metal. Like the very well known Golden Mean [φ] and its relatives, the Silver Mean [σAg], the Bronze Mean, the Copper Mean, the Nickel Mean…Some of the relatives of the Golden Mean have been used by physicists in their latest researches trying to analyze the behavior of non-linear dynamical systems in going from periodicity to quasi-periodicity… Obviously, all of them are …a purely periodic continued fraction expansion. The slowest converging one of all them is the Golden Mean, since all its denominators are the smallest possible (ones). An elegant way of stating this result is

The Golden Mean is the most irrational of all irrational numbers.
The members of the MMF are intrinsically related with the onset from a periodic dynamics to a quasiperiodic dynamics, with the transition from order to chaos and with time irreversibility, as proved by Ilya Prigogine and M. S. El Naschie. …the sequences based on the members of this family possess many additive properties and are simultaneously geometric sequences, which is the reason why some of them were used as the basis of a system of proportions in Design.

Golden mean τ [usually φ] = (1+√5)/2 Silver mean θ = 1 + √ 2 Bronze mean ψ = 1 + √3

Complexity and Chaos Theory in Art by Jay Kappraff www.mi.sanu.ac.yu/vismath/jaynew/index.html G. Spencer Brown in his book Laws of Form has created a symbolic language that expresses these ideas and is sensitive to them. Kauffman has extended Spencer-Brown’s language to exhibit how a rich world of periodicities, waveforms and interference phenomena is inherent in the simple act of distinction, the making of a mark on a sheet of paper so as to distinguish between self and non-self or in and out…There is nothing new about this idea since our number system with all of its complexity is in fact derived from the empty set. We conceptualize the empty set by framing nothing and then throwing away the frame. The frame is the mark of distinction.

A mark of distinction separating inside from outside.

The Divine Proportion

Portrait of Luca Pacioli by Jacopo de' Barbari

Pentagon, pentagram, Pythagorean triangle, and golden section [diagram by Gyorgy Doczi]

Leonardo da Vinci, page of studies and detail of the proportions sketch

Medieval microcosmic/macrocosmic world view

Hildegard von Bingen, the Trinity

Medieval microcosmic/macrocosmic world view

Hildegard von Bingen, microcosmic man

The ‘Vitruvian’ man
[circle, square and triangle symbolism]

"De Harmonia Mundi Totius", 1525,woodcut

homo ad circulum [H. C. Agrippa, De Philosophia Occulta, Book II, Ch. 27]

homo ad quadratum [H. C. Agrippa, De Philosophia Occulta, Book II, Ch. 27]

Hermeticism, astrology, analogy between man and macrocosm [from Maurizio Elettrico, www.airesis.net]

Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian man [diagram from www.aiwaz.net]

Albrecht Dürer,

anatomical proportions

André Derain’s Vitruvian man

Leonardo da Vinci, Portrait of Isabella d‘Este [diagram by Franz Gnaedinger]

Neoplatonic and hermetic esotericism

The so-called ‘Mantegna’ tarot cards

The occult connection

Giovanni di Stefano, Hermes Trismegistus and two pupils, 1481-1485, marble intarsio on the floor of the Siena Duomo

The study of numbers and ratios were another aspect of hermetic study

Marsilio Ficino, head of Plato’s Academy at Florence, student of neoplatonic philosophy, the arts of astrology, and the Hermetic Corpus

Allegorical emblems

Prudence by Isaia da Pisa

Prudence by Domenico Guidi

Faith, from Cesare Ripa, Iconologia

Pietro Mazzoni, Faith and Charity, façade of Palazzo Spada

Liberalità, from Cesare Ripa, Iconologia

Botticelli’s allegory of abundance

Astrology, zodiac and man

Limbourg Brothers, Les Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, ‘Anatomical Man’ as an analogy between zodiac and human body or microcosm as reflection of the macrocosm

Astrological Star Signs on body, 1475 [The British Library]

Johannes de Ketham, Fasciculus medicinae, 1491

Leonardo da Vinci

Pinturicchio (Bernardino di Betto), Allegory of Astrology

The wheel of fortune

Lorenzo Spirito, "Wheel of Fortune with the Zodiac Sign of the Moon" in Libro de la Ventura (Book of Fortune), Milan: 1508 [The Library of Congress]

Mythology, astrology, allegory

Bronzino (Agnolo di Cosimo di Mariano Tori), Portrait of Cosimo I de’ Medici as Orpheus

Francesco del Cossa, Allegory of April : Triumph of Venus

Botticelli's La Primavera for which Marsilio Ficino provided the program

Raffaello Sanzio, Adam and Eve

Raffaello Sanzio, Apollo and Marsyas

Raffaello Sanzio, Astronomy

Giulio Romano [Giulio Pippi di Pietro de'Gianuzzi], Palazzo del Te, Mantova

Giulio Romano (Giulio Pippi di Pietro de'Gianuzzi), Pasiphae

Giulio Romano (Giulio Pippi di Pietro de'Gianuzzi), Rome, Palazzo Zuccari, Europa, before 1524

Giorgione (Giorgio da Castelfranco), The Four Elements in Concert

Tiziano Vecellio, Jupiter and Antiope ( The Pardo Venus)

Veronese (Paolo Caliari), Allegory of the Liberal Arts

Veronese (Paolo Caliari), Jupiter Smiting the Vices

Tintoretto (Jacopo Robusti), Peace, Concord and Minerva removing Mars

Tintoretto (Jacopo Robusti), Danae

Annibale Carracci, Palazzo Farnese, Rome

Annibale Carracci, Triumph of Bacchus and Ariadne, Palazzo Farnese, Rome

Annibale Carracci, Venus with Satyr and Cupids

Jan Vermeer, The Astronomer (perhaps an astrologer)

Evaristo Baschenis, Allegorical Still Life

Juan van der Hamen y León, Allegorical Still Life

Peter Paul Rubens, Venus, Cupid, Bacchus and Ceres

Peter Paul Rubens, The Drunken Hercules

Francesco Colonna Hypnerotomachia Poliphili (Poliphilo's Dream about the Strife of Love) Venice, 1499
"Like every real dream, the Hypnerotomachia is Janus-headed; it is a picture of the Middle Ages just beginning to turn into modern times by way of the Renaissance - a transition between two eras, and therefore deeply interesting to the world of today, which is still more transitional in character." C.G. Jung

Ovidian stories linked to allegorical readings - pagan lore as historia poetica defined as wrapping truths in obscurity (obscuris vera involvens) - formed one of the most popular subjects.

Ovidio metamorphoseos vulgare, Venice, 1501

Illustration to the 4th Book of Ovid’s Metamorphoses – Venus, Mars, Vulcanus , Virgil Solis, Edition 1581

Illustration to the 4th Book of Ovid’s Metamorphoses – Perseus and Andromeda, Ferrando Bertelli, 1565

Illustration to the 4th Book of Ovid’s Metamorphoses – Perseus and Andromeda, Johann Ulrich Krauss, Edition 1690

Illustration to the 6th Book of Ovid’s Metamorphoses - Minerva and Arachne, Edition: Lyon 1510

Illustration to the 6th Book of Ovid’s Metamorphoses Minerva and Arachne, Ludovico Dolce, 1558

Alchemy

Ouroboros is an ancient alchemy symbol depicting a snake or dragon swallowing its own tail, constantly creating itself and forming a circle. It is the Opus, the Wheel of Time - The Alchemy Wheel – and Francisco Varela selected the Ouroboros as an emblem for autopoiesis

Horapollon, Orus Apollo, édition J.Kerver, 1543

Autopoiesis—The process whereby an organization produces itself. An autopoietic organization is an autonomous and self-maintaining unity which contains component-producing processes. The components, through their interaction, generate recursively the same network of processes which produced them. Francisco Varela

Parmigianino (Girolamo Francesco Mazzola), painter and alchemist

Image of Alchimia, the embodiment of Alchemy. Woodcut published by Leonhard Thurneysser in 1574. Thurneysser was a student of Paracelsus.

De alchimia, Leyden, 1526

calcination

dissolution

separation

S.Trismosin, Splendor Solis (1582), Laboratory symbolism [from www.alchemylab.com/laboratory_artwork.htm]

conjunction

fermentation

distillation

coagulation

[from www.alchemylab.com/laboratory_artwork.htm]

The Studiolo of Francesco I de Medici had as its principal theme the dynamic relationship between the four elements, the four seasons, and the four temperaments.

A work from the Studiolo of Francesco I: Giovanni Stradano (Jan Van der Straet), Alchemy Laboratory

A work from the Studiolo of Francesco I:

Roman wall painting, a hypothetical model for Vasari’s painting

Perseus and Andromeda, by Giorgio Vasari

Painting as cultural memory

Clio, muse of history. Her symbols are a laurel wreath and a scroll.

Clio (Nuremberg, 1514)

Painting and Alchemy

The alchemist of Bourges

Montenegrin Icon and detail, Saint Luke, physician and painter

Paracelsus [Aureolus Philippus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim], 1493, near Zurich - 1541, Salzburg, alchemist, physician & surgeon, inventor of iatrochemistry

Sir Theodore Turquet de Mayerne (1573-1655)

Physician, carried out research on technical aspects of painting and collected recipes and instructions from Rubens, Daniel Mijtens and Anthony van Dyck contained in Pictoria sculptoria et quae

subalternarum artium

Sir Anthony van Dyck, Princess Elizabeth and Princess Anne

Sir Peter Paul Rubens, Selfportrait

Sir Anthony van Dyck, Selfportrait ['My best pupil', is how Rubens praised Anthony van Dyck]

Sir Peter Paul Rubens, Allegory

Paul Pontius, Portrait of Daniel Mijtens (after Sir Anthony Van Dyck)

Daniel Mijtens (known in England as Daniel Mytens the Elder), Portrait of Charles I

Giovanni Boccaccio, Of Famous Women

Giovanni Boccaccio, Of Famous Women

Hendrick Gerritsz Pot, The Painter in his Studio

Adriaen van Ostade, The Painter’s Studio

David III Ryckart, Painters Workshop, 1638 [from Kees Kaldenbach]

Gerard Dou (Gerrit Dou), Self-Portraits with palette

Jan van der Straet (Stradanus or Giovanni Stradano), Painter’s Studio, engraving by J.B.Collaert

Details of Jan van der Straet’s Painter’s Studio [from Kees Kaldenbach]

Job Berckheyde, The merchant of colors

Paint bladder, 19th century, Harvard Art Museums

Palette of Delacroix

Pigment manufacturing: Rosso è un colore che si chiama minio, il quale è artificiato per archimia. [Red is a color called minium which is artfully manufactured by means of alchemy.] Il libro dell'arte, or Trattato della pittura by Cennino Cennini da Colle di Valdelsa Separation of the pure essence of a substance from its impurities: distillation, oil extraction by cold pressing, oil purifying and bleaching

Late in the 15th Century the publication of The Great Surgery Book by Paracelsus described a fifth element, "quinta essentia" or essential oil, which he called the soul of the plant, and which has therapeutic quality.

Oil of Spike Lavender, an Essential Oil used in Painting Oil of Spike Lavender is one of the oldest known turpentine substitutes. It is the essential oil from the lavender plant and possesses a most wonderful scent. It evaporates more slowly than turpentine and is nonflammable. Since it is slower drying than turpentine, it is occasionally used to slow the drying time of oil paint. (Excerpt from ART HARDWARE: The Definitive Guide to Artists’ Materials, by Steven Saitzyk © 1987)

Paint grinding [from www.sinopia.com]

Jacques BLOCKX Fils s.a. [www.blockx.be] Samples from Stefan Arteni’s collection

The light color of both oils is quite remarkable, given that the samples have been stored in the dark for many years.

Amber: The “Tears of the Gods” By Ulrich Arndt [www.horusmedia.de]
“This is a noble medicine for the head, stomach, intestines, and other sinews complaints, the same also against stones.” Like this Paracelsus adores the amber-essence and he further writes: “That is the Magisterium Carabe (thus he describes amber), which showed in many ways wonderful virtues.” Georgius Agricola (1494–1555), a well-known doctor and alchemist, the pharmacist of town in Joachimsthal and Chemnitz, already discovered in his experiments with amber the extraction of amber-acid through distillation, which centuries later should be of great importance for the production of colours… Alchemical Processing “The practice for Carabe is as follows”, explains Paracelsus the first simple preparation of an amber essence in the sixth book of Archidoxis, “Take Carabe (= amber) well pulverized. Then add Circulatum (= a solvent of alchemy; for first experiments conditionally replaceable by high-proof alcohol) into a bottle and leave it in ashes for six days. Then distillate it as long as an oil is found at the bottom…” Nowadays the amber essence is produced again true to laboratory-art according to Paracelsus, where far more than the three mentioned distillations are carried out in order to achieve a high degree of purification. The reason: taste and smell of amber essence, as it had been always described, is “strange” or even “unpleasant”. Even the amber essence according to Paracelsus has still a slight resinous typical taste.

Jacques BLOCKX Fils s.a. [www.blockx.be] Samples from Stefan Arteni’s collection

Blockx Amber Varnish [left] It contains 36% pure dissolved amber resin…36% purified poppyseed oil and 28% turpentine. [From DickBlick.com]

Amber Painting Solution [right] Formulated with 57% amber varnish, 16% spike spirit and 27% poppyseed oil. [From DickBlick.com]

Venetian Grinds The secret behind Italian Renaissance painters' brilliant palettes By Alexandra Goho From Science News, Vol. 167, No. 11, March 12, 2005, p. 168.

[Conservators] found a variety of types of glass particles mixed with the paint. Upon closer examination, [Barbara] Berrie saw that the silica represented a high-quality form routinely used by Venetian glassmakers. During the Renaissance, they obtained it from quartzite pebbles along the Ticino River in northern Italy. They would then grind the quartzite into a fine powder, says Berrie, who presented her findings at the Materials Research Society meeting in Boston last December. "For the Venetians to be able to use this ultrapure source of silica was a real technological innovation," says [Jennifer] Mass. Traditionally, glass was made from sand, which is loaded with impurities such as iron. The iron gives glass a green tint. Using pure silica, helped Venetian glassmakers to create their colorless cristallo. Now, it appears that painters used glass to expand their choice of colors. For example, in Lotto's 1523 "The Nativity," Berrie found yellow glass particles in a sample taken from Joseph's orange robe. Unlike lead-tin yellow, the particles included antimony and potassium, as well as lead. The antimony gave the glass a hint of orange that would have enabled Lotto to achieve a warm tone, says Berrie. Claudio Seccaroni of the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy, and the Environment (ENEA) in Rome analyzed dozens of Perugino's works using a technique called X-ray fluorescence analysis. With this method, which does not require the removal of paint samples, Seccaroni and his colleagues detected significant amounts of manganese associated with layers of red lake. Normally, lake pigments do not include manganese, but that element was a standard ingredient in common colorless glass formulations. Coincidentally, manganese is a drying agent. [Barbara Berrie is a conservation scientist at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., Jennifer Mass heads the conservation-science lab at Winterthur Museum] Note by Stefan Arteni: Smalt [potassium glass containing cobalt] is ground glass of blue color and was the earliest of the cobalt pigments. De Mayerne mentions ground Venice glass used as drier. It is quite possible that Venetian artists have used a wider variety of ground glass as pigment and/or drier than previously known. However, there is another interesting question. Present day texturing mediums incorporate high-grade silica. Did the Venetians use pure ground silica – finely ground glass - for the same purpose?

During his second trip to Italy, Velázquez purchased this series of the Old Testament, painted by Tintoretto in 1555.

Parmigianino (Girolamo Francesco Mazzola), painter and alchemist

Parmigianino (Girolamo Francesco Mazzola), painter and alchemist [from www.parmigianino2003.it]

Saletta di Diana e Atteone Fontanellato, Rocca Sanvitale

Parmigianino (Girolamo Francesco Mazzola), Saletta di Diana e Atteone, Fontanellato, Rocca Sanvitale [from www.parmigianino2003.it]

Parmigianino (Girolamo Francesco Mazzola), Saletta di Diana e Atteone, Fontanellato, Rocca Sanvitale [from www.parmigianino2003.it]

Parmigianino (Girolamo Francesco Mazzola), Parma, Chiesa di Santa Maria della Steccata [from www.parmigianino2003.it]

Parmigianino (Girolamo Francesco Mazzola), Parma, Chiesa di Santa Maria della Steccata [from www.parmigianino2003.it]

Parmigianino (Girolamo Francesco Mazzola), Parma, Chiesa di San Giovanni Evangelista [from www.parmigianino2003.it]

Parmigianino (Girolamo Francesco Mazzola), Parma, Chiesa di San Giovanni Evangelista [from www.parmigianino2003.it]

Paint Alchemy

Burgundy, Martailly-Lés-Brancion (Saône-et-Loire), Brancion church. The paintings of the church were made between 1325 and 1330 apparently in a glue medium (distemper).

Dierick Bouts, c. 1450, The Entombment, National Gallery, London. Painted in glue size on linen.

Dierick Bouts, Flemish, 1450 – 1455, 35 7/16 x 29 3/8 in, Getty Museum. The muted and translucent colors are due to the use of a glue medium – distemper - applied directly to the sized linen.

Dierick Bouts, Resurrection, 1450-60, glue size on canvas, 89 x 72.5 cm, Norton Simon Museum of Art, Pasadena

Andrea Mantegna, The Holy Family With Saint Elizabeth and the Infant Saint John the Baptist, glue size on canvas, Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas [on the right, detail of the painting]

Andrea Mantegna, Ecce Homo, glue size on canvas, Musée Jacquemart-André, Paris

Albrecht Dürer, Head of a young man, about 1506. Glue size painting on a sketch in ink or black chalk, on fine canvas mounted to paper, 225 x 192 mm, Paris, Biblioteque Nationale

Albrecht Dürer, c. 1520. Distemper on canvas. 25.5 x 21.5 cm, Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris.

Edouard Vuillard, glue medium on paper, Neue Pinakothek, München

Edouard Vuillard, Portrait of Ker-Xavier Roussel, 1936. Glue medium on paper mounted on canvas, 124 x 142 cm, Musée d´Art Moderne de la Ville de París, París

Pablo Picasso, Theatre curtain for Parade, glue size on canvas, 10.500m x 16.400m, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris

Pablo Picasso, Theatre curtain for Mercure, glue size on canvas, 3.920m x 5.010m, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris

Gino Severini

Still Life with Mandolin , 1920,gouache on paper mounted on canvas, 32.5 x 50 cm Study for the mosaic - L'UNIVERSITA DI FRIBURGO E IL SUO IRRAGGIAMENTO 1949, gouache on cardboard, 45.5x67.5 cm

Composition,1954, gouache on paper glued to cardboard, cm 21x38 L'Italia, 1914, gouache on paper, cm 43.5x28.8

Mario Sironi

Stefan Arteni, Schmincke gouache series 12 on gessoed linen, varnished

An excellent modern product approximates the ancient glue size paints:

Finest Artists’ Gouache, series 12 In the past, the product used to be called: Künstler-Tempera, feinste Gummi-Leim Tempera Sorte 12 [Artist’s Tempera, finest Gum-glue size Tempera series 12] or Feinste Künstler- & Designer Gouache Sorte 12 [Finest Artist’s and Designer’s Gouache] There also were two mediums: Ei-Tempera Malmittel [Egg tempera painting medium] and Tempera-Malmittel 12 (Gummi-Leim Bindemittel) [Tempera painting medium 12 (gum-glue size binding medium)] The natural diverse opacity of pigments was not increased artificially by additives. Therefore the paint did not darken upon varnishing or overpainting with oil. Unfortunately, the range of colors has been drastically reduced recently.

Schmincke

Bozzetti, Damaged Works, Unfinished Works

Only the unfinished works, because uncompletable, solicit us to muse upon the essence of art. Emile Cioran

Byzantine Icon

Theophanes the Greek

Theophanes the Greek

Theophanes the Greek

Theophanes the Greek

Theophanes the Greek

Theophanes the Greek

Theophanes the Greek

Theophanes the Greek

Sinopia and restored fresco by Fra Angelico

Jan van Eyck

Pisanello
(Antonio Puccio Pisano),

fresco fragment

Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci

Michelangelo Buonarroti

Paolo Caliari Veronese

Pontormo (Jacopo Carucci)

Pontormo (Jacopo Carucci), Annunciation, detail

Pontormo (Jacopo Carucci)

Pontormo (Jacopo Carucci)

Pontormo (Jacopo Carucci)

Pontormo (Jacopo Carucci)

El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos)

El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos), Laocoon, detail

Peter Paul Rubens

Peter Paul Rubens

Peter Paul Rubens

Peter Paul Rubens

Peter Paul Rubens

The Modern Era

Edouard Manet

The Modern Era

Mario Sironi

The Modern Era
Mario Sironi Stained glass window restored, detail and bozzetti

Painting as Alchemy: The Painter’s Hand

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The Alchemy metaphor refers to the creation of “something out of nothing” (e.g. George Spencer-Brown’s initial mark as the root of form) or to the transformation of a substance of less value into a different substance of more value (e.g. the turning of colored powdered matter into valuable paint by mixing it with a liquid, or the turning of paint applied to a support into art.)

Portrait of a Noblewoman, Probably Isabella of Portugal (1397–1472), mid-15th century Netherlandish Painter Oil on wood; Overall 13 5/8 x 10 5/8 in. (34.6 x 27 cm), with added strips of 1/8 in. (0.3 cm) at each side, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

S.Trismosin Splendor Solis (1582) The alchemistic union, symbolized by the peacock’s tail (compresence of colors) and music (harmony), is achieved under the sign of Venus.

Deposition by DANIELE DA VOLTERRA [before restoration] Deposition by DANIELE DA VOLTERRA [after restoration]

DANIELE DA VOLTERRA, Deposition, detail

DANIELE DA VOLTERRA, Deposition, detail

DANIELE DA VOLTERRA, Deposition, detail

DANIELE DA VOLTERRA, Deposition, detail

"A painting is made of paint…paint has its own logic and its own meanings even before it is shaped into the head of a Madonna. To an artist, a picture is both a sum of ideas and a blurry memory of 'pushing paint,' breathing fumes, dripping oils and wiping brushes, smearing and diluting and mixing…painting is alchemy. Alchemy is the art that knows how to make a substance no formula can describe." James Elkins, What Painting Is, Routledge

Gino Severini, Selfportrait with palette

Masolino da Panicale

Masolino da Panicale

Piero della Francesca

Lorenzo Lotto

Jan Vermeer

Jan Vermeer

Jan Vermeer

Peter Paul Rubens

Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez

Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez

Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez

The Composed Landscape

André Lhote writes of the function of "screens" in the composed landscape: "This mechanical system of light on dark, dark on light, animates all the great traditional landscapes. . . . If a light plane pushes forward the dark plane in front of it . . . a succession of waves is started up. . . an incessant…movement of values which cancel each other out only after they have given the spectator the sensation of depth“. Such a system of staging the landscape is evidently a consummate contrivance of artifice, especially when the artist subordinates the landscape motif to the figures.

Piero di Cosimo (Piero di Lorenzo)

Pietro Perugino (Pietro di Cristoforo Vanucci)

Gérard David

Gérard David

Dierick Bouts

Dierick Bouts, detail

Vittore Carpaccio

Vittore Carpaccio

Giovanni BELLINI

Giovanni BELLINI

Giovanni BELLINI

Lorenzo Lotto

Tiziano Vecellio

Tiziano Vecellio

Tiziano Vecellio

Tiziano Vecellio

Tiziano Vecellio

Tiziano Vecellio

Joachim Patinir

Joachim Patinir

Joachim Patinir

Pieter Brueghel the Elder

Pieter Brueghel the Elder

Pieter Brueghel the Elder

Albrecht Altdorfer

Albrecht Altdorfer

Peter Paul Rubens

Peter Paul Rubens

Nicolas Poussin

Nicolas Poussin

Nicolas Poussin

Nicolas Poussin

Nicolas Poussin

Nicolas Poussin

Claude Lorrain

Claude Lorrain

Antonio Carracci

Annibale CARRACCI

Aelbert Cuyp

Jan Vermeer

Philips Koninck

Philips Koninck

Philips Koninck

Philips Koninck

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot

Félix Vallotton

Félix Vallotton

Félix Vallotton

Félix Vallotton

Félix Vallotton

Félix Vallotton

Albert Marquet

Albert Marquet

Pierre Bonnard

Pierre Bonnard

Pierre Bonnard

Pierre Bonnard

Pierre Bonnard

Pierre Bonnard

Pierre Bonnard

Pierre Bonnard

Pierre Bonnard

Pierre Bonnard

Pierre Bonnard

Pierre Bonnard

Paul Gauguin

Paul Gauguin

Paul Gauguin

Paul Gauguin

Paul Gauguin

Paul Gauguin

Paul Gauguin

Paul Sérusier

Paul Sérusier

Paul Sérusier

Paul Sérusier

Paul Sérusier

Paul Sérusier

Paul Sérusier

Juan Gris (Jose Victoriano Gonzalez)

Juan Gris (Jose Victoriano Gonzalez)

Juan Gris (Jose Victoriano Gonzalez)

Jean Metzinger

Milton Avery

Milton Avery

Milton Avery

Milton Avery

Georges Braque

Georges Braque

Georges Braque

Georges Braque

Raoul Dufy

Raoul Dufy

Raoul Dufy

Raoul Dufy

Raoul Dufy

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