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, 1939), pp. 269-271 Published by: The Warburg Institute Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/750106 . Accessed: 27/06/2013 06:30
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The musicians who try to lure the sufferer to their side. P. of Systole and Diastole. though the phlegmatic man prefers the internal application to the external one. In the background a young man looks in and seems to watch the proceedings with curiosity. 55. due to their excessively dry constitution. In describing the young men who will not enter into a thorough study of philosophy but rest content with acquiring a superficial acquaintance with the different schools."2 Actually. His opponent again prefers the internal to the external treatment. 1905. The German word for tap is Hahn (cock). are not as active as they desire: which tends to increase their sadness. There is no evidence that his melancholy partner on the left does not really share his prejudice. The melancholy man on the left leans against a water tap.1 A more good-natured side of his wit appears in the woodcut "Minnerbad" (P1. The melancholy attitude of the bearer now assumes a new significance with regard to the drinker on the other side. very fittingly placed next to the drinker.DORER'S "MANNERBAD" : A DIONYSIAN MYSTERY 269 explicit.227. Plato compares them to the type of youth who will go to the city Dionysiaca as well as to the country Dionysiaca. The four bathers exhibit four different forms of purification. He is faced by a man who holds a flower.).43.18 on Thu. Heinrich W61ffiin. W61fflin took a very solemn view of this print: "Hier liegt eine ganz grosse Absicht zugrunde. the other country. Diirer has not only placed the DtYRER'S "MANNERBAD": A DIONYSIAN MYSTERY tap in the correct relation to the body of drawing of Orpheus and his Diirer's engraving of the Gallic Hercules reveal his power as a satirist. while the man sitting in the back -a distinctly phlegmatic type drinking from a mug-is the only one of the four whose allegiance to Dionysus is clear at first sight. 3 Cf. Die Kunst AlbrechtDiirers. one would not assume that these very profane demonstrations are to represent his sacred rites. The liquid which the one absorbs as wine might be released by the other as water : a very plain illustration of Systole and Diastole. true to the melancholy temperament. for the place is a public bathing establishment isolated from the outside world by a low wall in the foreground and a fence in the back. De Hominis Dignitate. the city makes This content downloaded from 192. It is one of the disabilities of melancholy men. so the man with the cleansing knife advocates with some ferocity the virtues of scratching. that their digestive organs. p. Within these precincts there are four bathers and two musicians. We may infer from the arrangement of the figures before this background. The two in the back believe in ablutions. 2 the man but has also decorated it with a little cock. Pico della Mirandola. 206. and also in the view of Pirckheimer who must have inspired this woodcut. for Diirer has indulged at this point in a robust pictorial and verbal pun. He is for inhaling the scent of a flower. including their bladders. but do no more than just inquisitively look in. A parallel argument applies to the two men in the front. were it not for the fact that the landscape in the background is clearly divided into two halves. We shall find later that he is the key figure to the whole story. that in Diirer's view.3 The name "Mannerbad" describes the picture correctly. to a text. I would hesitate to claim that the young man looking in from the back at Diirer's scene is meant to be this Platonic youth watching the Dionysiaca. seem to know the cure for his ailment. Though Dionysus is the god of purification and purging. 27 Jun 2013 06:30:45 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . As the man at the water tap seemed to contemplate (in the first reading) the merits of washing. Each of the bathers is supplied with a particular attribute. the fierce-looking fellow in the left foreground has in his hand a scraping knife. The contrast is clear: the one believes in removing the dirt from one's skin. one city. The picture refers. for though he leans against the water tap he makes no effort to use it. the other in absorbing the aroma of purity through the nose. It is based on a passage in Plato's Republic (Book V. seem intent upon luring to their side the melancholy man at the water tap who. 41a). His relation to that tap -or rather of that tap to him-is one of the 'problems' of the picture. and to make his meaning 1 See above. it is a broadly humorous travesty of the Dionysian mysteries of inspiration and purification. The purification which the melancholy patient craves can be produced by the methods of his phlegmatic opponent. however. 475 St. is susceptible to the attractions of music. Again Diastole as opposed to Systole. The two musicians.
The phlegmatic man takes intoxicating drinks. the sense of taste by the drinker. but in the front rank inspiration is met by anger through which it drops back into dejection : from where. In the front rank the man who bases his defence on a flower has little chance against his adversary with the shaving knife. with Mercury. As the initiation into the mysteries proceeds by stages. with the help of the luring 1 I imagine that the contrast between the two caps which the men in the foreground are wearing. As a result the contest takes place on two levels. But it was not only for the fun of it that Durer took his text from Plato. Quattuor 3A complete hierarchy of types is thereby established. rounds off the group to a complete representation of the Five Senses. Diirer's representation of the Four Temperaments on the title-page of Celtes' Libri Amorum. and to produce thereby a poignant travesty of the different stages in the Dionysian ritual. It is clear that the country represents here the positive side. An etching by Burgkmair (P1. But each side contains also in itself the contrast between the active and the contemplative life. dejection is overcome by intoxication. the god of Melancholy. aquam with the element of water melancholy and choleric men. refer to the life of the senses. This "cure for melancholy" is exactly of the type which Diirer meant to satirize. In the back rank the drinker supported by the musicians is about to break the resistance of the melancholy man. . it is not impossible that one day we shall know the name of the particular man or the circle of men against whom the attack was directed.3 Viewing the distribution of forces between the parties. The sense of smell is signified by the man with the flower.4 SI have the suspicion that the circle belongs to Augsburg. the side of Diastole: inspiration and intoxication are on the side of the country. ". This content downloaded from 192. But he is consoled by Venus. 2 For the association of the sanguine temperament with zephyr and flowers. the sanguine inhales the soothing odour of a flower. the countryside sanguine and phlegmatic ones. The two inferior types are relegated to the second rank. and the sense of sight by the young man looking in. the god of Eloquence. by associating both. who offers him the arrow of Cupid. 4Ib) shows the melancholy Mercury over brooding. One cannot help marvelling at the ingenuity which.2 The choleric man releases his spleen through rubbing and scratching. the side of Systole. The lowest type of all is the melancholy man (in the second rank of the negative side). For the inquisitive youth at the back. the sense of touch by the man with the scrubbing knife. One of the musicians.227. the process can start over again. cf. though in reverse order. and the melancholy one listens to music and hopes for water. there can be no doubt as to who will be the winners and who the losers in this fight. it is safe to assume that it represents a point of view which was prevalent in Augsburg before. In view of the precision and poignancy of the satire. the cycle appears to be complete. anger and dejection on the side of the town. whose presence defines the scene as Dionysian.43. in inverse order. and in two opposite directions. which stood to Nuremberg in a relation like that of Venice to Florence. A common denominator between Burgkmair's Mercury and Diirer's Melancholicusis to be found in a passage by Pico della Mirandola who coordinates Saturn. manages without visible effort to unite in one formula the images of the Four Temperaments and the Five Senses. Though Burgkmair's etching is probably later in date than Diirer's woodcut. To complete the joke. very much like Diirer's Melancholicus. the two more dignified oppose each other in the front. . and the city the negative side. In addition to being a capital joke the picture is also a powerful indictment of the false Dionysians. Durer has not failed to indicate that these mysteries. in making a footnote to a passage in Plato. corresponds to the opposition between city and country. while in the city the active state (anger) is far less humiliating than the contemplative (dejection). wears a plaited cap like the Sanguinicus. who are placed on the side of the country. It attacks the people who think that the right way of treating melancholy is by getting drunk and who praise the entertainments of a country tavern as the best music for inspiring and purging the soul. Durer compares them to the silly youth in Plato's Republic who superficially glanced at the mysteries but never became initiated in them. the sense of hearing by the melancholy man listening to the musicians.1 and that the Dionysian rites provide for each temperament a specific purge. 27 Jun 2013 06:30:45 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . the highest type is the sanguine man (in the front rank of the positive side). In the country the contemplative state (inspiration) is more refined than the active (intoxication).18 on Thu. The picture represents the Dionysian ritual as seen through the eyes of an outsider.270 MISCELLANEOUS NOTES musicians. being dedicated to Dionysus. a fountain in the vulgar shape of a watertap. In the back rank.
21o) 21O) This content downloaded from 192. Etching :: ---:: :-: NPRO 19 ::: ::: :: : -a-Dtirer. GAL-. LES LES CC Vi: LES GAL. Staff.. 1529 1529 Tory. LICVS LICVS i~b6~ ~ii~i~ m ?_H?so . Mercury's Mercury's Froben Froben of of Mar Mark k Printer's Printer's 2 212) ((p. "Hercules d-Geofroy Tory. p.227." From "Hercules Gallicus. 271) Etching (pp. 27 Jun 2013 06:30:45 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . a-Diirer. Cols. Mercury and Venus. d-Geofroy (p.18 on Thu. - cv ccv. c-Holbein.41 41 b-Burgkmair. ~ From Champ Gallicus. I2) LE HREO H ER H ERi." Woodcut ::: -:-: :: :: Staf ." Champ Fleury. "Mannerbad. Fleury. c-Holbein. 2 II. 211.43.c F~RAN~ FRAN-.
II). that any serious eating would have been out of the question. a Spanish 3 The earliest examples of such renderings occur in catacomb paintings. p. and he shows it as a flat couch. Pfister. A background with water is appeared in Rome a volume entitled De the normal form also in serious pictures of inspiration Triclinioand containing a treatise by Pedro (see. VI. i o. 2 It is certainly not by accident that water is that artists derived the idea of representing represented in this picture no less than three times : the triclinium when they painted scenes in the foreground by the bath.THE TRICLINIUM The biblical words "spiritus ferebatur super aquam" run like a Leitmotivthrough the Renaissance theories of inspiration. He appears to be the first person to develop a clear idea of what the triclinium looked like. Saturnum inverso aquam senem. in which he illustrates the chapter on dining rooms5 with engravings. The author is still concerned only with the pagans. published in 1544. p. The impulse to render biblical feast scenes with the figures recumbent on couches came from the archaeologists. who shows classical feasts in the background of two of his engravings of the Caesars (Augustus and Vitellius). The matter was treated in a more scientific manner by Philander in his edition of Vitruvius.18 on Thu. This idea appears also in engravings after Giulio Romano. when it appears in a mosaic in S. cf. and in the sumptuous pageants of Veronese.expos. Kiinstle. running round three sides of the table.4 This form of representation reached its highest expression in the naturalistic religious paintings of I5th century Flemish painters. artists begin once more occasionally to represent such scenes with the figures recumbent. . though he placed them in such an attitude. W. see above.2 E.3 As interest in realism developed and artists felt the desire to treat Biblical stories as if they were scenes from everyday life. of the couches with which the ancients furnished these rooms. 277-8. in the background on the right by the well. date. IN RELIGIOUS ART THE TRICLINIUM IN RELIGIOUS ART When is devoted to the problem of how the ancients were placed at their feasts. presented the Last Supper or any the early Christian artists re- 271 But this case is quite different from what had happened in early Christian times. cap. pl. ch. The engravings illustrating his exposition Mercurium sidus . archaeologist and theologian attached to 1924. but his knowledge is more extensive than that of Philander. and they are sometimes illustrated by the figure of a muse blowing a flute over a fountain of water. entitled Artis Gymnasticae libri sex (1569). 41b). Apollinare Nuovo.6 The next stage is marked by the publication of a volume by the Florentine doctor. 27 Jun 2013 06:30:45 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . in which one chapter This content downloaded from 192. damnatae frigiditatis"! (Heptaplus. one or two people at the table. figs. It was apparently from the group of 1 Cf. in the more abstract version of Leonardo. 5. and in the work of Mannerists such as Stradanus. and when Raphael had to show Cupid and Psyche received by the gods in a fresco in the Farnesina.' The drawing of a vulgar bathing scene with musicians as the inspirerswas therefore a particularly effective conceit for the satirizing of a current theory of inspiration. . they naturally followed the usage of the day and showed the figures recumbent on couches round a table. with their feet away from the table. .227. In 1588 there left by the river. he chose to exhibit the inhabitants of Olympus lounging on couches at a celestial feast. pl. tum ordine versipelle are more elaborate than those in Philander's . commentary on Vitruvius which only show On the unusual physiognomy of Burgkmair's Mercury.43. Millet. such as Bouts. they rbandoned what had become an archaism and showed the Apostles seated on chairs or benches round a table. according to the practice of their own time. It survived in the East till a much later de l'Evangile. L'Iconographie 4 This form of the story is to be found in the Cambridge Gospels of the early 7th century (cf. and a deliberate pursuit of archaeological accuracy. however. From the beginning of the I6th century painters had used the evidence of ancient monuments about the correct arrangement of classical feasts. based on ancient monuments. . in the background on the from the New Testament. Iconographie 5 Bk. 414). for example. After the Renaissance. cf. der christlicien Kunst. note 2. for it was now a question of a conscious revival. Girolamo Mercuriale. Katakombenmalerei. But it remained usual till the 6th century. II. Chacon or Petrus Ciacconus. on which the guests lie at full length. with their feet towards the table. 6 other biblical subject which showed people partaking of a meal. 211. scilicet. the portrait of Alberto Pio in the National archaeologists to which Mercuriale belonged Gallery (Mond Collection).
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