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

Tapestry in the Renaissance

I treated myself to this book as I was really lucky that a fellow student on the AA315 course no longer wanted it and I was able to acquire it for the cost of the postage.

My initial thoughts are that it’s a wonderful book and I’m really looking forward to getting a chance to explore it.