The Jack and Belle Linsky Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art


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The present pic- ture depends from Sarto for its treatment of light and is, consequently, more likely to date to the early s, as Sale has argued, than about , as proposed by Niko- lenko. It is probably the earliest of the four. The earlier of these is the San Francisco picture, which dates about and shows the Virgin and Child seated on a bench in front of a wall with a window to either side.

The Virgin's legs are placed at an oblique angle, as in the Baltimore picture by Bacchiacca, but her head is viewed three-quarters rather than in profile. The underdrawing, however, estab- lishes that her face was originally conceived in profile, with her nose overlapping the Child's forehead, as in Bac- chiacca's pictures, and it is to this original conception that Granacci returned in the ex-Hardy picture of about Given the differ- ences, there can be no doubt that both Granacci's and Bacchiacca's pictures derive from a common, lost proto- type.

Several opinions have been advanced on the author- ship of this prototype: S. The question is a complicated one and, in the present state of knowledge, cannot be satisfactorily answered. One may, nonetheless, note that the composition as first drawn by Granacci and as treated by Bacchiacca is decidedly planar and would seem more appropriate to a sculpture in low relief than to a painting.

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Indeed, the modifications made by Granacci in the San Francisco picture are best understood as ac- commodating features of a relief to the demands of a painting by reducing the planarity of the composition. Furthermore, although there are Donatellesque aspects to the composition — the most frequent comparison is with Donatello's Madonna of the Clouds in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston — it is unlikely that Donatello was the author of the prototype. Granacci's friendship with Michelan- gelo, on the other hand, is well documented, and it would not be surprising if Granacci had access to a drawing or cartoon by him.

Bacchiacca worked with Granacci on the decorations for the Palazzo Borgherini from Sale, Christie's, London, Apr. Paintings by Old Masters , p. For both the San Francisco and the ex-Hardy pictures, see Hoist , pp. On Michelangelo's relation to earlier, Donatellesque re- liefs, see C. Michelis; Viscountess H.

Jack and Belle Linsky Collection in the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Leda and the Swan Oil on wood. The vertical edges have been cut, though probably not very much. On the whole the condition is good. There are scattered minor losses and a few larger ones in the foreground and on the left wing of the swan. The composition is dominated by the figure of the nude Leda seated with legs crossed on the back of the swan, whose vmgs are outstretched. Her left arm is placed around the swan's neck, while with her right hand she offers the bird her breast.


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To the left are two children, one astride a rock formation and leaning on the broken shell of an egg, the other seated on the ground with the other half of the eggshell on his head. To the right two children play on another broken egg, from which a fifth child emerges. Behind the figures is a dense copse of trees masking two-thirds of the background, to the left of which are two buildings with a seated figure approached by two standing figures.

Leda was the wife of Tyndareus, king of Sparta. Most commonly she is said to have conceived on the same night two children by her husband and two by Zeus, who came to her in the form of a swan. The children, hatched from two eggs, are generally stated to be the twins Castor and Pollux and Helen and Clytemnestra, but who was the child of whom varies from author to author Moreover, while Helen is said by Apollodorus to have been the daughter not of Zeus and Leda but of Zeus and Nemesis, whose egg was entrusted to Leda, Euripedes, mlphigenia atAulis, adds to Leda's two daughters a third, Phoebe.

The medieval text known as the First Vatican Mythogra- pher states that Castor, Pollux, and Helen all emerged from a single egg, and this was also the view expressed by the fourteenth-century Benedictine Pierre Bersuire in the popular Ovide moralise. That Bacchiacca was familiar with the Ovide moralise there can be no doubt. In both the Troyes and ex-Bohler pictures there is only one egg.

In the present picture the three children at the right also hatch from one egg and can consequendy be identi- fied as Castor and Pollux — the only infants shown with male genitals — and Helen, who is but partially hatched. The two children at the left must logically be Clytemnes- tra and Phoebe, though WiUiam Suida gives alter- native identifications. According to Shearman the posture of die swan depends from Sarto's painting, but in fact the closest parallel occurs in a small panel in the Ufiizi, Flor- ence, that bears a tentative attribution to the young Pon- tormo.

However, the peculiar iconography of his picture argues for a good deal of independence. Of Bacchiacca's five known pictures of Leda and the swan, the present one is by far the most individual and accomplished. Lada Nikolenko has dated it about and considers the Troyes picture somewhat earlier and the remaining three somewhat later There can be no reasonable doubt that, excepting the Berenson picture, the other four paintings are relatively close in date.

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How- ever, the present picture is most likely to have been the earliest. The playfiiUy lascivious detail of the swan nib- bling Leda's breast, for example, must have been intro- duced via the seated figure in Diirer's print and then adapted for the standing Leda of the other three pictures. The closest analogies of style with the present painting occur in Bacchiacca's Legend the Dead King in the Ge- maldegalerie, Dresden, which was probably painted in or about Judging from the intentionally curved surface of the picture, it must have been conceived as part of a piece of fiimiture.

Illustrated in P. An attribution to Sarto has been argued by J. Shearman , pp. Meloni Trkulja For the paintings, see Nikolenko , figs. See L. The picture formed part of the series painted for Giovanni Maria Benintendi. Another picture from the same series, by Franciabigio, is dated see S. McKillop see note 2 above , p. Jack Lin- sky, New York Suida, Leonardo und sein Kreis, Munich, , p. Berenson, Italian Fictures of the Renaissance, Oxford, , p.

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Becker, Leipzig, xxxiii , p. Suida, in Leonardo da Vinci Loan Exhibition exhib. Rosenthal, in Bacchiacca and His Friends exhib. Shearman, Andrea del Sarto, Oxford, , p. There is a signed work by Bassante in the Prado, Madrid, showing the Adoration of the Shepherds, but it is only generically in the style of Ribera, and most critics now agree with Bologna that the Master of the Annunciations to the Shepherds is a distinct personality.

His ac- tivity seems to parallel that of Francesco Fracanzano, and there is a relation with the early work of Bernardo Caval- lino that has not been satisfactorily defined. The Master of the Annimciations to the Shepherds has been tenta- tively but inconclusively identified with Giovanni Do, of Spanish origin and active in Naples by The Sense of Sight Oil on canvas. These additions arc masked by the frame. In general the condition is excellent, though the contours have been strengthened somewhat and there is an old tear through the bust and left arm.


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With her right hand she arranges her hair, while with her left she holds a mirror at an angle that allows her face to be reflected frontally to the viewer. The attribution of the picture to the Master of the Annunciations to the Shepherds was first suggested by Jesus Perera and has not been questioned. When it was exhibited in , the picture was described simply as a girl with a mirror. Perera is almost certainly correct in interpreting it as an allegory of Sight.

In Ribera's earli- est treatment of the theme, in , Hearing is represented by a man playing a lute. Taste by a man eating, Touch by a blind man feeling a marble bust. Smell by a man hold- ing a.

However, its dimensions differ considerably from the Linsky pic- ture, and De Vito is almost certainly correct in associat- ing it with a second, earlier series of the senses by the Master of the Annunciations to the Shepherds, with which two other pictures can be associated: a girl with a rose Smell in the De Vito collection, and a man looking into a mirror Sight formerly on the art market, Paris. Chiarini, iv , p. See, in particular, Perera ; A. See, for example, the engraved series afi:er Hendrick Goltz- ius by Jan Saenredam, dating from about , where Sight is illustrated by a pair of figures in fancy dress, one of whom holds a mirror, or Jacob Backer's engraved series of about with a nude, fiiil-length, reclining female admiring herself in a minor 8.

See R. Fort Worth, Kimball Art Museum, , pp. Felton sec note 9 above , pp. The picture has also been identified as showing Socrates by D. See also N. Spinosa, UOpera completa del Ribera, Milan, , p. Whether or not this partic- ular composition formed part of a series of the senses, one very like it must have. De Vito see note 5 above , pp. Cook, Doughty House, Richmond about ; Mr. De Vito, letter, June 7, He remained in Milan until , and was there again from about to , after which he established himself in his native Genoa.

His principal biographer, Carlo Giuseppe Ratti, reports that Magnasco did not enjoy the celebrity in Genoa that he had had in Milan and in Florence, where he also worked. Magnasco specialized in paintings of genre or fanciful subjects with small, mannered figures; he sometimes collaborated with other artists. Few of his works are dated, and his chronol- ogy remains largely hypothetical. According to Ratti, he was widely imitated. Nuns at Work Oil on canvas. Seven nuns dressed in the habit of Poor Clares of the Franciscan order are shown in a simple room performing 46 a variety of tasks.

One, with her back to the viewer, reads. Another, at the left, embroiders. A third, in the center, makes lace, while another, farther back, embroiders or mends a piece of blue cloth.

The Jack and Belle Linsky Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art The Jack and Belle Linsky Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Jack and Belle Linsky Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art The Jack and Belle Linsky Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Jack and Belle Linsky Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art The Jack and Belle Linsky Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Jack and Belle Linsky Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art The Jack and Belle Linsky Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Jack and Belle Linsky Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art The Jack and Belle Linsky Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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