The beginnings of modern life as we know it
The Renaissance period was of course a profoundly influential period, not just for art but for many other social, cultural and scientific developments.
It must have been an incredibly exciting period to live in. Trade and travel became easier. New countries were discovered and there was an increased understanding of astronomy. New technology like the printing press meant a proliferation of literature, such as poetry, novels and new and philosophical ideas.
It was a period of relative stability and prosperity, with a new wealthy class emerging. But at the same time, there was increased interest and respect for the Greeks and Romans, their knowledge, philosophy and values.
Renaissance art is both legendary and pivotal in the history of art.
The High Renaissance framed between about 1495 and the date of its own invasion and sack in 1527, Rome, The Papal State, took the place of Florence and laid claim to its artistic preeminence.
At the same time, Rome became the artistic capital of Europe. The popes, living in the opulent splendor of secular princes, embellished the city with great works of art, inviting artists from all over Italy and providing them with challenging tasks.
Famed artists of the time such as Leonardo, Raphael and Michelangelo changed the status of artists for the first time, from one of a humble craftsman to that of creative genius. Artists during the short duration of the High Renaissance produced works of such authority that generations of later artists were instructed by them.
New paints, such as oils, meant new mediums to work in. New techniques such as perspective, use of light and shadow and improved composition meant a new realism.
Painting, sculptures, architecture and decorative art flourished, influenced by the Greeks and Romans but also with an element of enchantment with nature and natural beauty.
And behind every work of art, was a story. Sometimes mysterious, often symbolic, philosophical or religious. Understanding the art of the Renaissance period sheds a light and understanding not just on the period itself but on life today as we know it: it explains attitudes, styles, concepts. It explains how and why we evolved into the society we are and what from the past, still influences us today.
The new Triumph of the Renaissance Tour
All of which is why we are excited about our next art history tour at the National Gallery - Triumph of the Renaissance, which is run by Sanela Tomlinson. It will be a journey from Italy to the Northern Europe of Early and High Renaissance art by masters such as Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, Titian and more.
Making art relevant
The aim of the tour is really twofold. It’s a luxurious look and examination of some of the greats of this time, which will leave you with a deeper understanding of both them and art in general.
If you’ve ever spent time in a gallery but felt you were really only skimming the surface in terms of appreciating and understanding the genius and beauty of some of the works of art, this tour is ideal.
Each artist and his work will be explained in a compelling and very memorable way. The stories behind the work will unfold for you like the pieces of a puzzle falling into place. You’ll start to understand the social and cultural significance and recognise Renaissance concepts in today’s world.
Art Tour details:
Saturday the 12th of January 13:00 - 15:30 with Sanela Tomlinson
The ticket is £30 and you can book your place via this link. The ticket includes a networking after the lecture and tea/coffee/lunch in the museum restaurant (food and beverages are not included).
A striking neoclassical villa on the edge of Hampstead Heath, a former stately home, is now proudly a part of
We chose this remarkable survival of an 18th-century gentleman’s estate as a highlight of our summer program for various reasons of its significance. It's served as a seat for the aristocratic Murray and Guinness families and had various tenants. Welcome to our tour on Saturday, the 18th of August at 13:00-15:30 with Sanela Tomlinson, followed by networking in the garden cafe — learn more and book.
Wish to have a quality day out with friends, family or colleagues — book a private tour with us
1. Robert Adam’s Masterpiece had a WOW-effect on noble guests.
The library or Great Room at Kenwood was built between 1767 and 1770 by Robert Adam and his craftsmen. It is one of the most famous of Adam's neoclassical interiors and represents the grand climax of the guest route through the house. Adam proudly illustrated it in 1774 in The Works in Architecture of Robert and James Adam and explained how 'the great room, with its anti-room was begun by Lord Mansfield's orders in the year 1767 and was intended both for a library and a room for receiving company.' The unusual shape of the room — a double cube with semicircular apses and a coved ceiling — was inspired by Adam's interest in antiquity and by his travels in Italy the ceiling in particular ' n the form and style of those of the ancients, and his studies during the Grand Tour to Croatia and Italy.
The ceiling is decorated with a series of 19 oil paintings on paper by Antonio Zucchi. The scheme was probably devised collectively by the artist, architect and patron. The central image shows the choice of the semi-god Hercules between Glory and the Passions - a subject alluding to the wise judgement of the patron, Lord Mansfield, other panels contain symbolic figures of Theology, Jurisprudence, Mathematics and Philosophy. We wish to tell more during the tour to this beautiful sight.
2. The man who built this house as we now see it was “the legal genius of his generation”.
William Murray, 1st Earl of Mansfield (1705 - 1793) was a British barrister, politician and judge noted for his reform of English law. Born to Scottish nobility, he was educated in Perth, Scotland, before moving to London at the age of 13 to study. In 1742 was involved in politics and was a Member or Parliament. Lord Mansfield With became Attorney General and Chief Justice in 1745.
and learn something interesting at an easy pace
#summer2018 #sun #vacation #summerlovin #fun #vacationtime #summerbody ... while lying on the beach, sipping a cool cocktail and making a new social media post, why not browse some interesting youtube videos to learn something new, perhaps an inspiration for a conversation at a dinner with friends or just food for thought.
Auction house created a great platform of short educational videos to make us engage with the viewing of their highlight sale pieces (Masterworks by Sotheby's, Spotlight, etc.), learn about art history (Expert Voices, Anatomy of the Art Work, etc) and show the business part of art valuation. My favourite is the playlist The Value of Art where the auction experts focus on each aspect of an art appraisal process and factors: Authenticity, Condition, Rarity, Provenance, Historical Importance, Size, Fashion, Subject Matter, Medium and Quality.
Auction house celebrated 250 years in 2016 and it is always up to date with the most interesting and engaging information, for example, Great Art and Artists with 80 videos in this playlist, Extraordinary Objects, Collectors and Collections, Discovery and more!
Tate YouTube brings you weekly videos about art and artists from around the world. Subscribe for interviews with artists, exhibition walkthroughs, celebrity art fans, live performance art and more. Their weekly series TateShots features the best in international modern and contemporary art.
4. Smart Art History
Smarthistory is the leading not-for-profit producer of videos about art and cultural history. We work with archaeologists, art historians, curators and conservators to offer videos on the world's most influential works of art.
5. The Art Institute of Chicago
The Art Institute of Chicago collects, preserves, and interprets works of art of the highest quality, representing the world's diverse artistic traditions, for the inspiration and education of the public. Founded in 1879, the museum is home to approximately 300,000 works of art from all cultures and historical periods, spanning every medium, and host to more than 30 special exhibitions per year. Their YouTube Channel is well structured and includes Conversations, Architecture and Design, Art Installations, American Art and more.
My personal favourite - Art Explainer: The Power to Look, Surface and Depth, Light and Shadow.
Well, I hope you will find my recommendations enjoyable to watch!
Please comment with more suggestions of free self study sources, YouTube and others.
Now a small announcement - we only have 2 places left for private online courses in Art Management and Art History from September - Download the Agenda.
Email me for more details.
Private Art Education founder and your guide
Source: Leaving the Comfort Zone by Gabrielle Schwartz in Masterpieces London magazine.
Masterpiece Art Fair Tour
Let us guide you through this unmissable art fair and show you carefully selected and most interesting masterpieces!
Choose your date:
Friday, the 29th of June 18:30 – 21:00
Saturday, the 30th of June 13:00 – 15:30
1,5 - 2-hours art tour is followed by 1-hour networking in the fair's bar
£0.00 memebrs plus guest
£55.00 one-time visitor
Art fair ticket is included or excluded with discount, if you have have it already.
Masterpiece London (28 June - 04 July 2018) is the unmissable art fair at which visitors can view and buy the finest works of art, design, furniture and jewellery - from antiquity to the present day.
Historical Context and Major Features
The Dutch Protestants and the Flemish Catholics went their separate ways after the later sixteenth century. The situation is so completely different in Holland that it is difficult to imagine how, within such a tiny area, two such opposite artistic cultures could flourish.
Although closer in outlook to the Germans, the Dutch were ethnically the same as the Flemish, who were, in turn, closer in viewpoint to their neighbors to the south - the French. A Catholic, aristocratic, and traditional culture reigned in the Flanders of Rubens.
In Holland, severe Calvinistic Protestantism was puritanical toward religious art, sculptural or pictorial although many of the Dutch were Catholics, including a number of painters.
The churches were swept clean of images, and any recollection of the pagan myths, the material of Classicism, or even historical subjects, was prohibited in art.
During the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, religious subjects and, later, Classical and historical subjects had been the major stimuli for artistic activity.
Liberated of these sources, what remained to enrich the lives of wealthy Hollanders? For they were wealthy!
During the early part of Spanish rule, the Dutch, like the Flemish, prospered The East India Company was formed, and the discovery of the New World opened up further opportunities for trade and colonization. The wars of independence from Spain made Holland the major maritime country of Europe; its closest rival was England, another Protestant power in the times of the Spanish decline.
The great Dutch commercial cities, such as Haarlem and Amsterdam, had been stimulated and enriched, and civic pride was strong. Although it was not internationally recognized until the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, Holland in fact had been independent from Spain since about 1580 and was extremely proud of its hard-won freedom.
The Dutch are 'the envy of some, the fear of others, and the wonder of all their neighbours'. So wrote the English ambassador to the Dutch Republic, Sir William Temple, in 1673.
In the 17th century, the Dutch republic became an economic and military superpower. It was also an era in which Dutch science and arts blossomed. This era is usually referred to as the Dutch Golden Age.
Maurice Quentin de La Tour (5 September 1704 – 17 February 1788) was a French Rococo portraitist who worked primarily with pastels. Among his most famous subjects were Voltaire, Rousseau, Louis XV and Madame de Pompadour.
Contemporary accounts describe Quentin de La Tour's nature as lively, good-humoured, but eccentric. In many of his self-portraits he depicts himself smiling out from the frame towards the viewer and his artistic career he “seems to have produced more glad-faced self-portraits than any other artist” (1).
We chose this portrait as the personification of the Enlightenment and lets see why.
THE ENLIGHTENMENT, Philosophy and Society
The global expansion of European influence was matched by the extension of the boundaries of European knowledge that marks what has been called the Age of Enlightenment. It was in essence a new way of thinking critically about the world and about humankind, independently of revealed religion, of myth, and of tradition.
First comes the science.
We have observed (in the previous article on Baroque) its beginnings in the seventeenth century, with the mathematical and scientific achievements of Descartes, Pascal, Newton, and Leibnitz.
Throughout the century, England enjoyed great material prosperity generated by inventions industry and democratic and agriculture and by international trade.
THE EXPERIENCE OVER DOGMA - Doctrine of Empiricism
The middle-class, democratic values reflected in writings by Locke, whose works became almost the gospel of the Enlightenment. What we know, wrote Locke, comes to us through sense perception of the material world and is imprinted upon the mind as upon a blank tablet. From these perceptions alone we form ideas. Our ideas are not innate or God-given; it is only from experience that we can know (this is called the "doctrine of empiricism"). Human beings are born good, not cursed by original sin. The law of Nature grants them the natural rights of life, liberty, and property, as well as the right to freedom of conscience. Government is by contract, and its purpose is to protect these rights; if and when government abuses these rights we have the further natural right of revolution. (☝French Revolution 1789).
Happiness is to be gained by the rational pursuit of pleasure, which involves regard for the good of others. The founding documents of the United States clearly reflect these principles and these beliefs form the credo of American democracy. The work of Newton and Locke inspired the intellectuals of France.
What is HAPPINESS according to the 18th cent. philosopher?
English poet Alexander Pope, a contemporary of Voltaire had declared: "The proper study of mankind Man!" New philosophies of human beings and of society as part of physical nature were advanced thinkers in France. They criticized the powers of church and state as irrational limits placed upon political and intellectual freedom. They believed that, by the accumulation and propagation of knowledge, humanity could advance by degrees to a happier state than it had ever known. This conviction matured into the characteristically modern "doctrine of progress" and its corollary doctrine of the perfectibility of humankind. By the end of the century, the Marquis de Condorcet, in his Historical Picture of the Progress of the Human Mind, could make of the doctrine of progress a kind of religion of utopia.
THE ENCYCLOPEDIA 1745
Join us for the art tour