Sunday, March 31, 2013

Page 15

Donatello, Saint John the Baptist, 1438, 
Santa Maria dei Frari, Venice

Donatello, David, c. 1444-1446, 
Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence

The use of stone and bronze for sculpture also feels there is an interesting parallel to God. The sculptors of the Italian Renaissance seem to be like they were born in heaven or were part of God's domain. The use of stone, for example, Carrara marble, from the side of the mountain, would be like a substance originally from a volcano from the bottom of the sea, a place where many believe heaven exists or you are led to when you die, cleansed on the volcanic journey projected towards the sky. So, the substance is already from Gods divine earthly domain or nature. Bronze on the other hand would be made underground or in caverns using melted elemental properties such as copper mixed with brass or zinc, so, perhaps would be thought of as being associated with underworld Gods from ancient Rome or Greece. Therefore, Settignano's and Donatello's Saint John, made of marble, was already made from a divine substance of nature, fashioned by two divine principals of God, so twice as heavenly. The bronze and wooden sculptures of Donatello seem equally as divine. 

Donatello, Amore-Attis (detail), c. 1440-1443, 
Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence

Desiderio da Settignano (attributed to), 
Portrait of a Lady, said to be Marietta Strozzi, 1460,
Bode Museum, Berlin

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Page 14

Hans Holbein the Younger , St John the Apostle, 
c. 1517, Kunstmuseum Basel

Settignano's and Donatello's Saint John the Baptist was already covered in a golden fleece. The garden feels like it exists more in the hearts and souls of men rather than its reflection in nature but with the grace of heaven in your eyes and gods love in your heart, heaven on earth is also apparent. All earth is affected by Gods divine garden or love.

Matteo Civitali, Saint John the Baptist, 
c. 1480, Bode Museum, Berlin

Friday, March 22, 2013

Page 13

Saint Mary Magdalene (detail), c. 1453-1455, Donatello

The tendrils of love seem to have echoed the footsteps of the Christian pilgrims who followed the divine pathway to God or to a garden of earthly delights. With Settignano you get the impression that his soul or blood ties were of a very royal or refined nature and his reflection of the love of Christ was also apparent with other secular themes. Donatello, although a different sensibility and personality also had a very profound understanding of his eternal relationship to God. His sculpture of Mary Magdalene reminds us of her spiritual vocation and finding God in the desert almost with the covering of her body with her hair.  

Friday, March 15, 2013

Page 12

Pisanello, Portrait of Leonello d'Este, c. 1441, 
Accademia Carrara, Bergamo

Pisanello, Portrait of Princess Ginevra d'Este, 
c. 1435-1449, Louvre Museum, Paris

The garden theme seemed quite common as a subject amongst the artists of Padua and surrounds or those en route of their Christian pilgrimage. For example, Pisanello's paintings of the family d'Este who seem to be surrounded by flora and butterflies. The High Altar of Donatello also suggests a garden theme as well as the artists of Francesco Squarcione's workshop. This is evident in paintings of Botticelli in Florence and Settignano also seems influenced by this equation with God.

Sandro Botticelli, Primavera, c. 1482, 
Uffizi Gallery, Florence

Sandro Botticelli, The Birth of Venus, c. 1483-1486,
Uffizi Gallery, Florence

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Page 11

Andrea del Sarto, Saint John the Baptist, c. 1528, Pitti Palace, Florence

With circular thoughts it is hard to not equate reality and dream or consciousness and the unconscious or the rational and irrational with God the infinite and finite beings. Some feel the presence or death in forests or where you would find spirits of goddesses others think they live in the walls of houses. This equation with nature seems quite prevalent in Italian thinking, even today. One feels like talking about a tree would be the same as talking about God. You feel nature in Italian art as well. For example, Saint John the Baptist's fleece, although highly refined, we are still reminded of the smell of the earth and the rest of the flock. In talking about religious subjects there is the idea of the garden being synonymous with God.

John Everett Millais, Christ in the House of His Parents 
(The Carpenter's Shop), c. 1849, Tate Britain, London

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Page 10

Martelli Saint John, ca. 1440-1457, Donatello and Settignano

Sculpture seems like an occupation that consumes a different outlook and pattern of thinking. The ephemeral quality some assume God to have, given an earthly presence or thinking with philosophy. Some people tend to think only in straight lines or as though the world is flat. This comprehension always felt like it was describing the equator rather than the circumference of the earth. Almost as if you had an orange and cut it in half, this would be the equator. So, when thinking about sculpture and the human being as a microcosm of the macrocosm for example, you would not think of the head as anything than in the round. But you would be making an assessment about width and depth, for example, there being an equator through the mind and the north and south pole equalling the top of the head and your oesophagus opening or chin, respectively. Stone sculpture could therefore describe the equation of the valley and the mountain again. Planet earth being an old star, or made of rock and the rock also being above earths surface or as mountains to equal facial features such as the nose or the cheek bones. The centre of the earth would contain something like the pituitary gland in the centre of the skull or dark matter containing stardust and an entry to the universe. The earths surface or temperature would equal hell and above and below earth would equal heaven.

Wilhelm von Pluschow (1852-1930), Et in Arcadia ego