Lorenzo de Medici, Agnolo Bronzino,
Lorenzo de Medici, Girolamo Macchietti
Lorenzo de Medici, Raphael, 1518
Lorenzo de Medici, Giorgio Vasari
Bronzino was an extraordinary portraitist. I love looking at his portraits of children and then noticing what happens with his portraits that depict late adolescence and beyond. But if you love great drawing, as I know you do, Pontormo is stratospheric – no formulaic convention, just pure emotion.
I do love Pontormo… I’ve copied a lot of them. He was actually one of my favorite artists to copy. I have to put up some of his drawings…. also his paintings…. I love the kind of spatial confusion in the Pontormo below that drops conventional Renaissance perspective completely and so has dream space or surreal space. Yet I see the painting as completely unified and compelling:
Pontormo, Joseph with Jacob in Egypt, 1518
Pontormo is wonderful to copy. One can learn so much. Thanks for drawing our attention to your observation of his exciting departure from the depiction of Renaissance space and to the resultant cohesive pictorial space.
Always my pleasure, Margaret. Have a Happy New Year! 🙂
With the exception of the Raphael – which seems as interested in a fashion statement as a face – I can find a sustained resemblance (this is response to the JJ/Guardian comments thread) in the other three. The jutting jaw, long nose and cruel eyes – we are dealing with one tough hombre! A Tony Soprano of his day, to be sure.
The subjectivity is there obviously, but equally stands in contrast to some bedrock of accepted/recogniseable fatures.
No doubt they’re all painting Lorenzo. It’s just interesting to me how the particularities of the individual artist’s visions– expressed in the manner in which they paint– are also apparent simultaneously. And he certainly is “Raphaelized” in the soft one. I’m assuming Raphael was responding to the psychological element, which is invariably there…Raphael perhaps more aware of his sensitivity to poetry and the arts. Lorenzo’s mother was a poet and Lorenzo a patron. While the other artists might have been more responding to Lorenzo’s strength and despotic rule…. his Tony Soprano side.
The Raphael is of a different Lorenzo de Medici. That’s why it is so different. He was the grandson of Lorenzo, Il Magnifico, (the one pictured in the Bronzino and the Vassari, and I’m guessing in the Macchietti, though that one is not showing, at least on my computer). Lorenzo II, the “soft” one, was born the same year Il Magnifico died.
Thanks, L.Lopes, both for alerting me to the missing Lorenzo, which I’ve now inserted and for the identification of Lorenzo II. I’d picked it up from the internet mislabeled. This speaks to a habit of mine that, even with an awareness of it, I find hard to break. This is the habit to accept visual data and information from cyberspace when a good portion of it is misleading or false, particularly visual information as the quality of reproduction/translation of the originals is disastrous in my view, not to mention the reproduction replacing the original (as in Walter Benjamin’s notion of the aura of the work of art).
Part of this is that I’m not an art historian or scholar and my interests are solely those of a painter. In effect, it doesn’t much matter to me what works are certified by the Rembrandt “experts” as authentic or inauthentic Rembrandts. I’m interested in the paintings themselves, not in the fact that they’re by Rembrandt. The cult of personality is just one of a myriad of diseases that have struck painting and has led to its demise, at least its demise in relation to its former achievement (other factors contributing to this: TV/photography/technology, materialist/secular belief system, financial/institutional corruption, art critics/historians/scientists, theory vs. practice, dehumanization). Looking at the 3 Lorenzos (minus Lorenzo II) still indicates to me, at least, that the recording of “objective” appearance” was not a concern of Renaissance painters. That’s what is inside my field of interest.
But I greatly appreciate your writing in with the correction. I don’t view all art critics, art historians, and scientists as thoroughly destructive of painting. Just the vast majority. Why they’re so intent on its destruction is another question entirely.
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