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

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.

Tutorial dates have shown up…

Unfortunately they are all in Leeds which is a bit of a pain to get to especially just for a couple of hours, but will have to link it in with other things or it just wouldn’t be worth the money in petrol and parking, so I suppose shopping or nip down to Wakefield for the sculpture park and some galleries.

Still looking forward to them though.

Still have to get the diary up to date with study plans and such, so will slot these dates into the diary and on a quick look they don’t seem to clash with anything else 🙂