Thursday, December 24, 2020

Background Cities

I am fascinated by the little worlds one glimpses in the backgrounds of Renaissance landscapes and history paintings, a wonderful array of castles, towns, cities, and mountains. There are hundreds of these little wonders lurking in painting after painting; the problem is finding images big enough to show the necessary detail, since some of these wonders are quite small. Above, the Limbourg Brothers, from the Tres Riche Heures.

Van Eyck, the Ghent Altarpiece, 1432

Albrecht Durer, from The Sea Monster.

Herri met de Bles, Landscape with Saint Christopher, 1535 - 1545

Two from Albrecht Altdorfer, The Battle of Alexander at Issus.

Didier Barra, Landscape with Buildings

Vittore Carpacci, Holy Conversation

Herri met de Bles, The Road to Calvary, 1550

Another Durer, St. Michael the Archangel

Three by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Gloomy Day, The Parable of the Sower, and Hunters in the Snow, all dated 1565.

Lucas Gassel, Panoramic Landscape with Judah and Tamar and Return of the Prodigal Son

Joachim Patinir, Landscape with St. Jerome, c. 1520

And another Patinir, an imaginary Jerusalem from a cycle that depicted all the main episodes in the life of Jesus on one canvas.

1 comment:

pootrsox said...

I recall having learned that Renaissance portraiture would add distant landscape to demonstrate understanding of perspective painting and show off artistic skill sets.

These landscapes are one of the things I spend time appreciating when actually in museums looking at paintings.

Since I moved away from CT I have not been to the Met and I miss it dreadfully.