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Where Art and Science Intersect Technology, Dutch Art and the Commercial Revolution Kimberley Sorenson The Waterford School 1480 E. 9400 South Sandy, UT.

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Presentation on theme: "Where Art and Science Intersect Technology, Dutch Art and the Commercial Revolution Kimberley Sorenson The Waterford School 1480 E. 9400 South Sandy, UT."— Presentation transcript:

1 Where Art and Science Intersect Technology, Dutch Art and the Commercial Revolution Kimberley Sorenson The Waterford School 1480 E South Sandy, UT 84093

2 Italian Renaissance Raphael’s Madonna of the Meadow, 1509 Platonic—believes that the ideal is more enduring and real than specific examples. Tableness, for example, lasts forever, though tables don’t. Narrative—telling a story. Perspective—seen from a unique vantage point. Chiaroscuro—light and shadow model three dimensionality

3 Many languages to describe the ideal Botticelli’s Birth of Venus (c. 1480) and secular humanism

4 The Cracking of the High Renaissance Francis I of France invades at invitation of Milan, 1494 Savonarola overthrows Medici; Machiavelli out of power Habsburgs come to “help;” occupy and sack Rome 1527 The Prince, 1532 The “Machiavellian Moment”: a ruler should be effective, not idealistic Last Judgment, , and Mannerism

5 Christian Humanism Northern Europe; next generation Anxiety re: secular humanism Humanism has the potential to deepen and purify man’s relationship with Christ Erasmus of Rotterdam ( ) In Praise of Folly, Handbook of the Christian Knight; translation of New Testament He was the Internet of his day; in personal communication with major thinkers all over Europe (Latin)

6 Northern Renaissance Art Jan Van Eyck begins as an illuminator— detail Oil paint had been around; he is the first to discover linseed oil, a varnish that dries at a consistent rate Oil holding pigment in suspension reflects light

7 “Disguised symbolism” Single candle and dog: fidelity in marriage Green: fertility and hope Shoes removed: standing in a holy places Gendered space: man is wearing outside clothes and pattens; woman is inside, with slippers Fascination with reflective surfaces: beads, chandelier, and mirror; perhaps camera obscura “Jan Van Eyck was here.” Witness, not creator.

8 Madonnas of Van Eyck (North) and Veneziano (Italy), c. 1450

9 Italian vs. Northern Attention to a few large things Objects modeled by light and shadow Legible situation in space more important than surface of objects Seen from single perspective Narrative/ideal Attention to many small things Light reflected off objects Surface of objects more important than situation in space No clearly situated viewer Objective record

10 16 th century historical context Beeldenstorm, 1566 Dutch Revolt and end of centralized authority Anxiety re: social order and importance of family as social unit and restraint on “embarrassment of riches”

11 Think Martha Stewart Living “Just as American sitcoms of the 1950s and 1960s offered a forum for new notions of home and family, Dutch paintings of the 1650s and 1660s worked out and reinforced ideals of proper domestic life.” Dollhouses that allowed women to pore over details of refinement

12 Family is source of learning (5 senses), including appropriate life roles

13 Formation of Family Catholic societies, best marriage is Christ with church (i.e. nuns, priests) Protestant societies, marriage is companionate He’s 35, she’s 30 Thistle is “man’s faith” Ivy is woman clinging to man Wedding ring on forefinger and hand on heart Garden of love in rear

14 Children are children, with their own needs and personalities The Sick Child The Lacemaker

15 Van Eyck, Vermeer and technological innovation Both experimented with techniques to mimic light Van Eyck: eventually found varnishes that made oil-base paint practical Vermeer put sand in paint Both used a camera obscura, which means they physically modeled their compositions Vermeer and Leeuwenhoek were friends; better lenses

16 Evidence All paintings have highly specific vantage point All are very specific Sizes correspond to size of reflection Vermeer’s secrecy and slowness “camera” viewpoints Lens-like highlights

17 Commercialization of Dutch Art 2 separate historical estimates: more than 5 million paintings during Golden Age 20% landscapes; perhaps nostalgia Small enough to hang and be affordable in homes Workshops, with masters doing faces and hands Specialization

18 Seeing as a way of knowing more completely; Willem Kalf’s lemons

19 Rembrandt

20 The Art of Describing “Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Tulp” (who changed his name because he loved tulips) Hand demonstrating the actions of the flexors Vesalius—first to deny Galen’s mistakes with empirical evidence Describing rather than interpreting

21 Francis Bacon and the Scientific Revolution “But to resolve nature into abstractions is less to our purpose than to dissect her into parts.” Novum Organum, Describing rather than characterising; empiricism

22 Robert Hooke, Christopher Wren, and the Royal Society Christopher Wren is astronomer who uses new lenses. His study group becomes the Royal Society in Robert Hooke named weekly “experimenter.” Robert Hooke fiddles with lenses, adds stage and water bladder, publishes Micrographia, 1665

23 “The eye, helped by the lens, was a means by which men were able to turn from the misleading world of Brain and Fancy to the concrete world of things…shewing, that there is not so much requir’d towards it, any strength of Imagination, or exactness of Method, or depth of Contemplation (though the addition of these, where they can be had, must needs produce a much more perfect composure), as a sincere Hand, and a faithful Eye, to examine, and to record, the things themselves as they appear.” --Sir Francis Bacon, Novum Organum

24 Hooke and Wren’s “sincere hands and faithful eyes” 1.52 churches after Great Fire of Function: want everyone to hear and see sermon, so invent central plan churches 3.Little experience. Builds models. Experiments with materials for acoustics and light.

25 Commercialization of architecture Had to build them quickly Had to build them cheaply: sacrificed exterior But King wanted footprint in London: beautiful steeples

26 Commercialization of Fashion From 14 th century, French send 300 pound “fashion doll” to English court once a year. Fashion cycle of c. 15 years 1770—Ladies’ magazines. Fashion cycle of 1 year. Painted fashion plates. Fashion cycle of 3 mos. 1790—paper dolls

27 Josiah Wedgwood and the commercialization of desire Same pattern of style (Herculaneum); technical innovation (transfer; new glazes; new clays) and lower pricing (canals) But he realizes that’s not sustainable MARKETING: regional warehouses, showrooms, frog service for Catherine the Great, money back guarantee, free delivery to London, traveling salesmen, ads and puffs

28 Commercialism of science itself Begin with collections Lectures sponsored by coffeehouses and local societies Museums, panoramas, zoos, etc. TOYS and BOOKS; Matthew Boulton and John Newbery


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