Second Leeds tutorial

This tutorial was to be based around the EMA and have a discussion about sculpture (in all its forms).

The EMA is broken down into several section:

  • Title/Question – think of this based around the work that you’ve seen
  • Essay – write to the question you’ve designed
  • Pro-forma – this is essential, fail without it
  • Presentation:
    • illustrations
    • referencing
    • primary sources
    • secondary sources
    • bibliography
    • appendix – what is an appendix for – not for shoving in loads of work not able to fit into the word count

We were then given two examples of past EMAs and given time to look through them. They were both written in a completely different style from each other, one was academic and third person whilst the other was written in the first person, I always feel more comfortable writing in the first person and it was good to hear that this was OK as long as caution was used.

We then had an opportunity to discuss possible ideas we had for our own EMAs even though it was early. I asked about my ideas on The Passion Altarpiece at the Bowes Museum and looking at its place in the making of altarpieces during that period in Brussels and whether the guild and workshop system would have influenced this. J. thought that there should be more than enough material here for an EMA.

So some task to take into mind when starting the EMA:

  • look to access the reading room at Bowes museum
  • visible description is extremely important – make sure that the fact you have visited the piece is very obvious
  • ensure that the essay is about Making and/or Locating and/or Viewing
  • find information on the Brussels sculpture guild and Netherlandish altarpieces
  • look for collection of EMA titles to give me an idea of how to phrase question
  • Rogier van der Weyden? his influence on The Master of the View of Ste-Gudule
  • remember to mention scale when discussing art works – especially sculpture
  • ensure pro-forma is on Dropbox so I can work on it wherever
  • book – Spufford – Merchant in Medieval Europe
  • book – Charles Avery – Florentine Renaissance Sculpture

Slides on sculpture

  • Modelling – plastic; includes clay, terracotta, wax, plaster
  • Carving – glyptic; includes wood, stone, marble, alabaster, gemstones
  • Metalworking – toreutic; includes gold, silver, bronze, iron
  • in the 20th century there is also assembly

Important considerations for sculpture:

  • location
  • audience
  • scale
  • function
  • patronage – relative costs
  • sculpture in the round – rediscovered skill, not done since classical Roman era

Allied trades: weapon making, bell casting, ceramics, enamelling, printmaking, painting/polychromy, public celebratory making, woodcarving and furniture making

AP Monthly Competition – November 2013

The theme for this month’s competition is ‘Wild World / Animals and Insects’, I think I’ve got a few strong images for this without having to take any more images.

I’m not sure which one to use but I think I’m leaning toward the Curlew, but I have a while to think about it.


I was reading an article on poetry yesterday when I came across the word ‘villanelle’ which was used with no explanations or clarifications and as always I wondered what it meant.

I decided to keep all these definitions of words connected to the art world together here so I can refer back to them.

A villanelle (also known as villanesque) is a nineteen-line poetic form consisting of five tercets followed by a quatrain. There are two refrains and two repeating rhymes, with the first and third line of the first tercet repeated alternately until the last stanza, which includes both repeated lines. The villanelle is an example of a fixed verse form. The word derives from Latin, then Italian, and is related to the initial subject of the form being the pastoral.

The villanelle consists of five stanzas of three lines (tercets) followed by a single stanza of four lines (a quatrain) for a total of nineteen lines. It is structured by two repeating rhymes and two refrains: the first line of the first stanza serves as the last line of the second and fourth stanzas, and the third line of the first stanza serves as the last line of the third and fifth stanzas. The rhyme-and-refrain pattern of the villanelle can be schematized as A1bA2 abA1 abA2 abA1 abA2 abA1A2 where letters (“a” and “b”) indicate the two rhyme sounds, upper case indicates a refrain (“A”), and superscript numerals (1 and 2) indicate Refrain 1 and Refrain 2.

Love the amount of information available on the Internet.

AP Monthly Competition – October 2013

The theme this month was ‘The Old and the New’ and since it has been a busy month there are only two possibilities and both are from the archive.

I’m going to go with the architectural shot as there is more of a contrast between the new sculpture and the old bridge in the background.

Gallery visits

I was in Edinburgh today and took the opportunity to visit a couple of galleries, one was specifically to view a painting that had been discussed at the tutorial previously. This was Allegory of Melancholy 1528, by Cranach the Elder.

The first exhibition was at the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art and was called Witches and Wicked Bodies, a depiction of woman as other, temptress, seductors, fornicators and consorts of the devil. Still playing on the depiction of women as the loss of innocence and of temptation away from the path of righteousness.

This was all done without a critical deconstruction of the power imbalance inherent in the propagation of images throughout the time period looked at in the exhibition. This imbalance excluded women from developing their own narrative and constantly reinforced the mainstream narrative.

This aside, the hanging was well conceived and had a flow, though at times the sectioning of the works seemed a tad forced and unneccesary.

There were some works that I found in the exhibition apart from the Cranach that could be of interest to the course and the possible EMA question.

The Witches Rout [The Carcass] c.1520, Augustino Veneziano (c.1490 – c.1540), an engraving which is usually found in the Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh

The Temptation of St. Anthony c.1500-20, Jost de Negker (c.1485 – c.1544), a woodcut which is usually found in the British Museum, London

The Four Witches 1497, Albrecht Durer (1471 – 1528), an engraving which is usually found in the Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh

Witch Riding Backwards on a Goat 1500, Albrecht Durer (1471 – 1528), an engraving which is usually found in the British Museum, London

Witches’ Sabbath 1510, Hans Baldrung Grien (1484 – 1545), colour woodcut from two blocks, tone block orange-brown which is usually kept in the British Museum, London

Allegory of Melancholy 1528, Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472 – 1553), oil (and tempera) on panel which is usually found in the Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh.

Melancholy is depicted as a sumptuous angel, whittling away as the world happens around her. ‘Melancholy is distractedly whittling away‘. Nude flying witches and beasts, flying toward what is possibly Venusberg, the mountain on the right, from German mythology.
‘all sadness, plagues and dejection come from Satan’ – Martin Luther
Beasts: Stags, goats, cattle, boar, strange beasts on a horse, cats, chickens – one of the beasts was flying backwards
Objects: Chisel, protractors, awl, perfection of the spheres, glass of wine (1 empty)
boats on lake/sea, very detailed backgrounds
Toads and bees/flies on the upper banner

Gib Frid (Let Me Go) early 1500s, etching which is usually found in the British Museum, London

The Three Fates 1513, woodcut which is usually found in the British Museum, London

First tutorial in Leeds

Attended the first tutorial in Leeds, was a small group. Will just get down some of the notes I took and probably leave them in note form.

  • write the TMA out as a bookmark on a 6×4 card to keep it handy in all the material I’m reading
  • look at Cranach in Edinburgh (Melancholy)
  • look at altarpieces in Bowes museum, with possible links to works in Brussels
  • Boccaccio exhibition in Manchester?

This course has several attributes that distinguishes it from a purely art historical course

  • getting away from ideas of connoisseurship, looking at material culture, socio-anthopological
  • broad range of materials considered through the course
  • reconsidered interactions between Northern Europe and the Italian peninsula during the Renaissance period
  • looking at workshop practices rather than just at individuals, anon. school of, master of, circle of, etc
  • looking further afield than the Italian Renaissance, from Northern Europe to Crete and looking at the developments there

All books build on each other for the TMAs. So Book 1 only for TMA01, Books 1 and 2 for TMA02 and Books 1, 2 and 3 for TMA04.

The Art of Melancholy, 1528, oil on wood, Cranach the Elder
The Art of Melancholy, 1528, oil on wood, Cranach the Elder
We then chose a postcard from an upside down pile that the tutor had, I luckily chose one I could recognise – The Art of Melancholy 1528, oil (and tempera) on wood, Cranach the Elder.

Some points

  • using oil and tempera on the same panel was mixing the older (Italian) technique with the newer (Northern) technique of oil painting.
  • wood rather than panel, canvas, paper, etc
  • Melancholy, one of the four temperaments – also famously explored by Dürer and Melancholia I
  • good size, large, 133cm x 74cm
  • no direct information on who it was produced for, but it is a secular subject, so would not necessarily have been for a religious building, the subject of Melancholy was part of the classic revival of the time with humanists referring back to the classical period of the Romans and Greeks
  • using an idealised landscape to frame the symbolic treatment of a Temperament, esp. it’s link to dreams and thoughts
  • the symbolism is similar to Dürer’s Melancholia I in that there are a lot of mathematical and architectural tools, hounds, sleeping dog, heady fruits
  • the face of the woman is similar to that used by Cranach the Elder in a lot of his paintings, this had helped me recognise the artist when I initially received the card – this could point to the use of templates and assistants

Sort out SCONUL access to Durham University library.