Even though the initial years of training taxed the apprentice's physical and creative energies, he acquired an intimate, hands-on knowledge of his craft with added advantage of being exposed to a solid business model. Training with a recognized master was expensive. On the average, the family of a young apprentice who continued to live with his parents paid between twenty and fifty guilders per year.
Without board or lodging, the apprentice could disburse fifty to one hundred guilders in order to study with a famous artist such as Rembrandt or Gerrit Dou — , although highly productive pupils might be exempted from paying fees. Some even received wages. If we consider that school education in the Netherlands generally cost two to six guilders a year and that apprenticeship generally lasted between four and six years, the financial burden of educating a young artist was considerable.
The parents had to do without their son's potential earnings because everything he made was property of his master. Evidently, the allure of social advancement and future earnings must have been significant for many families. Architectural painting is a form of genre painting where the predominant focus lies on architecture, both outdoors views and interiors. While architecture was present in many of the earliest paintings and illuminations, it was mainly used as background or to provide rhythm to a painting.
In the Renaissance , architecture was used to emphasize the perspective and create a sense of depth, like in Masaccio 's — Holy Trinity from the s. In Western art, architectural painting as an independent genre developed in the sixteenth century in Flanders and the Netherlands, and reached its peak in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Dutch painting.
Later, it developed in a tool for Romantic paintings, with, a for example, views of ruins becoming very popular. In the seventeenth century, architectural painting became one of the leading genres in the Dutch Golden Age, together with portrait painting, Pieter Jansz. During the first years of the s, a small group of Delft church painters began to emphasize visual experience over fantasy. In a few years, they brought the art of church painting to its apogee.
Although Saenredam had no pupils or close followers, some art historians believe his works may have been a common source of inspiration for Houckgeest and De Witte, Delft's most accomplished practitioners of the specialization. Their close-up portrayals of Delft's two venerable churches, the Nieuwe and Oude Kerk , are flooded with a cool, crystal clear daylight suggested by delicately modeled patches of diaphanous grays. Huge columns are placed off-center in the very forefront of the painting, partially obscuring the viewer's access to the rest of the church.
The spectator is no longer overwhelmed by the vacuous space of the earlier church scenes, but feels as if he were able to move comfortably in and around these monumental, man-made constructions, the vaunt of Delft's citizenry. For the first time, figures, which had been previously employed as decorative filler staffage , become an integral part of the composition.
The Dutch men, women and children who inhabit the churches appear dignified and self-possessed, not stylized dolls. The reduced dimensions of the Delft church views—the architectural paintings of the nearby Hague were generally much larger to suit the exigencies of the princely patronage—may have been determined by the desire to create more intimate scenery, by specific demands of the art-buying public in Delft or by both.
De Witte and Houckgeest revolutionized the spatial construction of their church interiors by employing two-vanishing points which form a corner at the nearest foreground column, from which the perspectival orthogonals recede to both sides of the composition. Both lateral vanishing points are located outside the composition. This innovation creates a natural, and intriguing spatial recession which appears to expand "behind" the picture frame creating the sense of spatial breadth as well as spatial depth. By lowering the height of the vanishing point, which had been placed higher in earlier church paintings in order to create a wide panoramic view of the scene, the viewer of De Witte's and Houckgeest's works feel as if he is located "in" the picture, with his feet firmly on the church's pavement rather than suspended at an undetermined height somewhere above the ground.
In various Delft church interiors, De Witte, Houckgeest and Van Vliet, the latter a Delft painter of minor talent, placed hanging curtains, sometime brilliantly colored, to the side of the composition in order to increase the sense of spatial illusion. Sometimes the curtain's hanging rod is also represented see image left creating the illusion that the curtain does not belong to the space of the church itself, but is located in front of the painting, imitating curtains which were hung over precious paintings in order to prevent them from collecting dust.
The art historian Sergiusz Michalski traced this motif to Rembrandt — , who had used it occasionally in representations of mythological or biblical scenes. Due to the unquestionable naturalness of their works, most critics agree that De Witte and Houckgeest worked from life, although most likely in the form of drawing.
Painters of the time rarely set up their easels to paint in oils outdoors while records of painters drawing outdoors are relatively abundant. The exact sequence of church paintings created by Houckgeest and De Witte in the crucial first years of — is still open to argument. The so-called "Delft-type" of church interior painting had a significant impact on the development of the artistic types in the Gouden Eeuw , the Golden Age of Dutch painting. Vermeer painted two architectural landscapes which have survived, or more precisely, one cityscape , the The View of Delft and one cityscape, The Little Street.
A surviving document informs us another cityscape existed. The View of Delft is Vermeer's largest and most time consuming work of his oeuvre, except perhaps, the elaborate Art of Painting. Since nothing has come down to us concerning the artist's intentions in regards this or for that matter, any other work art historians have felt obliged to somehow fill the gap. Walter Liedtke believes that the view could have been commissioned by Vermeer's patron, Pieter van Ruijven who had collected more than half of the artist's artistic production including The View of Delft.
Furthermore, the art historian points out that Van Ruijven's collection the two small-scale cityscapes already mentioned as well as three architectural paintings by Emanuel de Witte, including a patriotic view of William the Silent's tomb in the Nieuwe Kerk which Vermeer spectacularly highlighted in his View of Delft. Van Ruijven would have also been aware of the historically proclaimed relation between an artist's reputation and the fame bestowed on his city.
Dutch citizens strongly identified not only with their republic, but with their city of birth as well.
1. The Bible
Their civic pride is testified by innumerable Dutch cityscapes many of which are so similar to one another that they are virtually indistinguishable expect a few characteristic church towers or large civic buildings. Curiously, even the earliest reference to The Little Street describes it as a "house" rather than a "street. In those times, Vermeer's house was not the kind of luxurious townhouse that was going up on the fashionable Oude Delft but a modest house from a distant past which had somehow resisted the misfortunes of the city, old but not dilapidated.
To anyone who gazed upon the Little Street in seventeenth-century Netherlands the now unfamiliar Dutch term, schilderachtig , would have come to mind. Schilderachtig , which means "picture worthy" or "worthy of painting" corresponds fairly well to today's "picturesque. Accordingly, an old woman, a dilapidated farmhouse, a village peasant scene or Vermeer's humble house would have drawn sneers since only grand Biblical or historical narratives were truly worthy of great art.
According to the Online Etymology Dictionary , the word "art" came into use as an English word in the thirteenth century, having been borrowed from the Old French in the tenth century which meant "skill as a result of learning or practice. Moreover, whereas modern aesthetics stresses the fact that art cannot be learned, and thus often becomes involved in the curious endeavor to teach the unteachable, the ancients always understood by art something that can be taught and learned.
Any simple definition of art would be profoundly pretentious, but perhaps all the definitions offered over the centuries include some notion of human agency, whether through manual skills as in the art of sailing or painting or photography , intellectual manipulation as in the art of politics , or public or personal expression as in the art of conversation.
In any case, many modern art philosophers hold that the definition of art has become so expansive as to be vacuous. Art criticism is the discussion or evaluation of visual art. Art critics usually criticize art in the context of aesthetics or the theory of beauty. A goal of art criticism is the pursuit of a rational basis for art appreciation but it is questionable whether such criticism can transcend prevailing socio-political circumstances.
The variety of artistic movements has resulted in a division of art criticism into different disciplines which may each use different criteria for their judgments. The most common division in the field of criticism is between historical criticism and evaluation, a form of art history , and contemporary criticism of work by living artists. Despite perceptions that art criticism is a much lower risk activity than making art, opinions of current art are always liable to drastic corrections with the passage of time. Critics of the past are often ridiculed for either favoring artists now derided like the academic painters of the late nineteenth century or dismissing artists now venerated like the early work of the Impressionists.
Some art movements themselves were named disparagingly by critics, with the name later adopted as a sort of badge of honor by the artists of the style e. Art has been traded ever since art was made. The Phoenicians were already active traders, and ancient Rome imported large amounts of Greek art. Auctions were held in imperial Rome and art dealers carried on their trade in well-know quarters. The structure of the demand and the social position of the artist in the Middle Ages was such that there was no space for an art trade outside relics and luxury items such as ivory combs and chessboards.
New forms of art trade arose only at the end of the Middle Ages owing to social changes and an increased demand for art. The growing bourgeoisie class began to buy and collect art by the end of the sixteenth century joining the church and the aristocracy, although they were unable to finance major works of art as the patrons had done before.
In addition to religious painting, portraiture and profane art, often more marketable than religious art, created new market, easier to appreciate. The creative status of the visual artist began to supplant the role of the painter as a mere workman although it did not disappear entirely. These accumulated factors facilitated the position of an intermediary between artist and buyer and spawned new forms of art trade in the works of living artists.
The birthplace of art trade as we know it today was in the seventeenth-century Netherlands. While commissions by nobility and the church stagnated, members of the increasingly wealthy bourgeoisie were able to afford oil paintings for the first time. Following the demands of the new market, the motifs as well as the techniques changed, lowering costs and producing new motifs. Lofty history paintings and mythological scenes were replaced by more down- to- earth still lifes , landscapes and genre images.
Prices ranged from a few guilders to vast sums. The explosive rise of art production in the Netherlands made it the leader of European art trade in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The first art dealers often were the painters themselves—almost every one of them in fact—supplementing the income of their own works with the sales of artworks of their colleagues. Even Rembrandt — and Vermeer acted as dealers.
Apart from artists, book traders, printers and general merchants traded with art. Despite the fact that guild tried to protect local production by prohibiting the sale of artworks from non-member paintings, there were many ways to get around this limitation, such as public raffles. Interested clients visited the dealer's studio. Some paintings were commissioned but the overwhelming of paintings were produced in response to market demand and sold on spec. Professional art dealers, including Vermeer's father, Reynier Vermeer , and Abraham de Cooge, another dealer located in Delft, dealt not only in their hometown, but the latter, presumably as far away as Antwerp and Amsterdam.
The could also sell the work of artists who were non members of the Guild of Saint Luke. A successful art dealer had to know which paintings were the most desired during a certain period. If he were also an artist he could either paint such works himself or arranged for them to be copied in his studio. As there existed no copyright protection for creative artworks, particularly salable paintings and subjects were copied time and time again by an army of young painters, who worked from dawn to dusk.
In Antwerp, one of the most important art markets in Europe, paintings were made to order in great quantities, and sometimes pictures were sold by weight. Today, many art dealers own their own art galleries in order to exhibit and sell art in a setting that encourages comparison and open discussion, but the reputation of the category has been and remains equivocal.
The role of an art dealer has been said to be a mix of nursemaid, fixer, connoisseur and capitalist. It is known that just like many other Dutch painters Vermeer dealt in the works of his colleagues. In an inventory of his living quarters various paintings by his colleagues are listed, including those of Carel Fabritius — In his time Hendrick Gerritsz van Uylenburgh c. In , Van Uylenburgh organized an auction of Gerrit Reynst's art collection and offered thirteen paintings and some sculptures from among those which had not sold at the auction to Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg.
However, Frederick accused them of being counterfeits and sent them back. Van Uylenburg then organized a counter-assessment, asking a total of 35 painters to pronounce on their authenticity, including Jan Lievens — , Melchior d'Hondecoeter c. In , Van Uylenburgh had financial problems, as a result of the war with France, falling art prices, and possibly due to the damage to his reputation from the Brandenburg affair.
His business went bankrupt and he moved to London, where Peter Lely — exerted his influence at court and secured him the post of Surveyor of the King's Pictures. In general, art dealers had to become guild members in order to work legally.
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In the twentieth century, the notion has been sharply critiqued by Walter Benjamin, among others. As the nineteenth century progressed, the exercise of artistic freedom became fundamental to progressive modernism. Artists began to seek freedom not just from the rules of academic art, but from the demands of the public.
Soon it was claimed that art should be produced not for the public's sake, but for art's sake. Art for art's sake is basically a call for release from was perceived as the tyranny of meaning and purpose. It was also a ploy, another deliberate affront to bourgeois sensibility which demanded art with meaning or that had some purpose such as to instruct, or delight, or to moralize, and generally to reflect in some way their own purposeful and purpose-filled world.
A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament. Its beauty comes from the fact that the author is what he is. It has nothing to do with the fact that other people want what they want. Indeed, the moment that an artist takes notice of what other people want, and tries to supply the demand, he ceases to be an artist, and becomes a dull or an amusing craftsman, an honest or dishonest tradesman. He has no further claim to be considered as an artist.
In the late-nineteenth century, we find art beginning to be discussed by critics and art historians largely in formal terms which effectively removed the question of meaning and purpose from consideration. From then on, art was to be discussed in terms of style—color, line, shape , space, composition —ignoring or playing down whatever social, political, or progressive statements the artist had hoped to make in his or her work.
However, with the rise of the modernist school of painting in the early s Vermeer's art began to be appreciated for its formal qualities which seemed to reflect the revolutionary concerns of avante guard contemporary painting. Wilhelm Valentiner, expert of Dutch painting, maintained that Vermeer focused primarily on the "purely aesthetic.
Philip Hale, Boston painter and art teacher, was the first American to write a monograph on Vermeer in Hale was deeply struck by what he perceived as "Vermeer's modernity. He anticipated the modern idea of impersonality in art One does not see by his composition what he thought of it all. Some years later, P. Swillens a Dutch art historian whose monograph on Vermeer was published in , was to have an important impact on the study of Vermeer.
He shared Hales' opinions and wrote that the artist had no interest in the "inner life" of his sitters and that he "reveals only what is of value to him as a painter. However, Swillen's overriding emphasis on the aesthetic content of a picture, which typifies the concept of art for art's sake, may miss one of the most compelling aspects of Vermeer's work: the emotional intensity of his figures.
Lawrence Gowing only two years after the publication of Swillens' monograph, exposed a new point of view. While recognizing ermeer's extraordinary capacities of pictorial organization— Gowing was a painter himself—he held that when the artist's perfect style is understood, his painting's "yield their strangely emotional content.
Art historians study objects in their historical and cultural contexts and ask questions such as: Who made them? What subject is shown? What are they made of? When were they made? How were they used? Who used them? How do they compare to similar objects, or other representations of the same subject? But perhaps the most important question he asks is: why does this object be it a painting, sculpture, building, or something else look the way it does? Art historians often pursue careers as curators , historic preservationists and archivists at the many museums and galleries across the country and internationally.
Others, use art history to hone their intellectual abilities in art for careers in media, advertising, publishing, fashion or design. A bachelor's degree is sufficient for many entry-level positions, but for advancement in an area of specialization an advanced degree may be required. Regardless of career choices, art historians must learn to seek out alternative perspectives and compare contrasting interpretations, convey complex information and in some cases, advocacy.
Cultural awareness, flexibility and openness to new ideas are necessary. Careers in museums, art galleries and auction houses as curators or managers in conserving, valuing or auctioning works of art, antiques and other collectibles are among the most commonly pursued. Other careers include arts administrator, archivist, museum education officer, picture editor or researcher, journalist, teacher or lecturer, exhibition or events organizer and antiques dealer.
The earliest surviving writing on art that can be classified as art history are the passages in Pliny the Elder's Natural History c. An exhaustive list of art historians may be found at Dictionary of Art Historians. Art history is the study of objects of art in their historical and stylistic contexts , i. This includes the "major" arts of painting, sculpture and architecture as well as the "minor" arts of ceramics, furniture and other decorative objects.
Much emphasis is given to the original context of their making and reception, as well as their subsequent circulation, collection, conservation and display. As a term, art history its product being history of art encompasses several methods of studying the visual arts; in common usage referring to works of art and architecture. Aspects of the discipline overlap. As the art historian Ernst Gombrich once observed, "the field of art history [is] much like Caesar's Gaul, divided in three parts inhabited by three different, though not necessarily hostile tribes: the connoisseurs , the critics , and the academic art historians.
As a discipline, art history is distinguished from art criticism , which is concerned with establishing a relative artistic value upon individual works with respect to others of comparable style , or sanctioning an entire style or movement; and art theory or "philosophy of art," which is concerned with the fundamental nature of art.
One branch of this area of study is aesthetics , which includes investigating the enigma of the sublime and determining the essence of beauty. Technically, art history is not these things, because the art historian uses historical method to answer the questions: How did the artist come to create the work? It is, however, questionable whether many questions of this kind can be answered satisfactorily without also considering basic questions about the nature of art.
Unfortunately the current disciplinary gap between art history and the philosophy of art aesthetics often hinders this inquiry. The historical backbone of the discipline is a celebratory chronology of beautiful creations commissioned by public or religious bodies or wealthy individuals in western Europe.
Such a "canon" remains prominent, as indicated by the selection of objects present in art history textbooks. Nonetheless, since the twentieth century there has been an effort to re-define the discipline to be more inclusive of non-Western art, art made by women, and vernacular creativity. Until the end of the Middle Ages , art transactions took place outside what is now understood as an art market. Most transactions involved the artist , or artisan , and a patron , who was a private individual but more often the Roman Catholic Church.
Being site-specific in form and meaning —as with a large-scale frescoes and altarpieces—many artworks could not trade hands easily. In a sense, the owner of the artwork was never the artist himself but the patron with whom the artist drew up a contract in which the subject matter, the number of figures and the prices of the materials, were always determined before the artist set out to work.
Nonetheless, an open market of portable commodities, such as ivory comb, chessboards, textiles, curiosities and antiquities began to take shape. Pilgrims often bought relics, but major artworks were not an object of commercialization. About , Rome began to challenge the supremacy of Florence and Venice as the center of artistic patronage, primarily because of its powerful popes. There was also an astonishing boom in the collecting of antiquities discovered in the city itself. In the art fever that ensued Michelangelo — died leaving real estate valued at over 12, florins while just a generation earlier the Sandro Botticelli c.
In the sixteenth century, dealers and agents emerged. Since the seventeenth century these professional intermediaries have dominated the art market. Members of the Academy were prohibited to sell their artworks stimulating an independent art trade, with art dealers acting as intermediary between artist and purchaser. That is why art trade in France developed earlier as an independent commercial branch and in contrast to other European countries, where for a longer period of time the art trade was handled mostly by the artists themselves.
Artistic patronage and collecting in seventeenth-century Rome was spurred by notable commissions by cardinals such as Scipione Borghese , who patronized Gian Lorenzo Bernini — and was also an avid collector of Classical antiquities and Old Master paintings. Caravaggio — started his career by creating still-life paintings for the open market in the s.
By , picture dealers were sufficiently numerous to be worth taxing, and by the s the Neapolitan painter and etcher Salvator Rosa was exhibiting his works for sale in his own studio.
By the end of the seventeenth century, a variety of annual sales exhibitions had been established in Rome. The evolution of the art market as it is conceived today depended on a growing group of collectors, movable works of art and mechanisms for trading artworks: fairs, markets and exhibitions in artists' shops and studios, or via art dealers and auctioneers. Auctions, which were relatively infrequent before the seventeenth century, have become major determinants of art values in today's art market, which has expanded enormously through globalization. The first great free market economy for art was born in the Netherlands of the s.
The Netherlands was the wealthiest and most urbanized nation in Europe at the time. Its wealth was based largely on textiles and breweries, as well as the domination of the global trade market by the Dutch East India Company. Such economic power produced a significant urban middle class with disposable income to purchase art. As a result of the Protestant Reformation, and the scarcity of liturgical painting in the Protestant Churches, religious patronage was no longer a major source of income for artists , and the House of Orange were modest patrons.
Furthermore, since most of the Dutch aristocrats had been Catholic they moved south after the Reformation. However, to some degree public patronage did exist in the form of militia portraits, battle paintings, cityscapes , maritime paintings made for town halls and other public buildings.
Thus without substantial patronage and working on commission, artists sold their paintings on an open market through their studios , in bookstores, fairs and through dealers. Paintings were made and consumed on unprecedented scale: it has been estimated that between five and ten million works of art had been produced during the century of the Golden Age of Dutch art.
The average upper class house in Amsterdam contained 53 paintings, while even the lowest class averaged seven. The proliferation of the open art market led to the development four categories of painting, the latter three of which were not formerly practiced as an independent motif: portraiture , genre scenes of everyday life , landscape and still life.
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History painting , which had dominated European art production for centuries, was, at least theoretically, the most prized, most expensive, and often largest in scale, often with biblical or allegorical, mythological themes. But without the financial security of commissions, many artists specialized in very specific categories, such as only painting night landscapes or flower still lifes, which meant that artists could hone an individualized style and create numerous paintings in little time.
Furthermore, each category of painting was subdivided into even more specific categories. Seventeenth-century Netherlanders had developed a particular a passion for depictions of city and countryside, either real or imaginary unfound in other parts of Europe.
Landscape painters, for example, produced naturalistic views of the Dutch countryside, cityscapes, winterscapes, imaginary landscape, seascapes, Italianate, nocturnal landscapes and even birds-eye view of the sprawling Amsterdam metropolis. Some artists, such as landscape artists, cultivated an abbreviated style that allowed them to have a high turnover of painting stock.
Other artists, such as Gerrit Dou —, Frans van Mieris — and Vermeer, catered to the upper end of the market and worked in a painstaking style that required they charge more for their paintings. The vicious market economy and the low profit margin for paintings sent some of the artists to take other jobs or at least, act as art dealer s for the work of their colleaugues.
The cost of paintings varied greatly in quality and price.
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A cheap engraving, for example, could be had for about a third of the price of a small fish or flower still life painting—and for about a seventh of the price of a more elaborate, high-finish banketje still life. On the other hand, a cutting-edge fijnschilder fine painting work of Dou might trade hands for 1, guilders or more, the cost of a small Dutch house. The Italianate landscape painters and the sumptuous still life artists also used the lavishness and exclusivity of their work to market themselves to a wealthier client.
In any case, just as today, in seventeenth-century Netherlands the most successful artists marketed not only technical skill and creativity, but were able to position themselves on the market most effectively. Thus, the worlds of "art" and the "market" are not as separate as is often believed, but in a constant state of interaction. Humans have long preserved artifacts of the past. The ancient Greeks coined the term mouseion when they first built a temple to "the Muses," goddesses who protected the arts and sciences.
The Greeks filled their temples with both sculpture and scholars. The tradition was copied in the kingly treasure houses that followed—spoils of war were displayed in the halls of royal palaces and the cages of royal zoos. The precursor of the modern art museum were called cabinet of curiositie s Kunstkabinett or Kunstkammer : a bizarre, encyclopedic assemblies of paintings, sculptures, fine furniture, maps, globes, stuffed animals, mineral specimens, shells and exotic imports, with no real order or organization.
The cabinet of curiosities was regarded as a microcosm or theater of the world. Cabinets of curiosities were limited to those who could afford to create and maintain them. Many monarchs, in particular, developed large collections. An art museum, or art gallery as we also know it today, is a building or space for the exhibition of art, usually visual art. Art museums can be public or private, but what distinguishes a museum is the ownership of a collection.
Paintings are the most commonly displayed art objects; however, sculptures, decorative arts, furniture, textiles, costumes, drawings, pastels, watercolors, collages, prints, artist's books, photographs and installation art are also regularly displayed. On the other hand, a "private gallery" refers to an essentially commercial enterprise dedicated to the propagation of new or old artists and the sale of their art. The rooms in museums where art is displayed for the public are often referred to as galleries as well. The question of the function of the art museum has long been under debate.
Some see art museums as elitist institutions, while others see them as institutions with the potential for social education and uplift. Today, art museums are a major business, attracting millions of art lovers and tourists each year. Many art museums hold temporary art exhibitions , which present artworks by individual artists, groups of artists, collections or a specific forms of art. Particularly successful exhibits are often referred to as " blockbusters. Privately established museums open to the public were first established in the seventeenth century onward, often based around the former cabinet of curiosities type.
In the eighteenth century, in Rome there existed a long tradition in of private collections that became a sort of "semi-public" museum open to the elite. They were among they premier sights for aristocratic European travelers on the Grand Tour , who went to Rome expressly to visit them. The widespread notion that the first public art museum was the Louvre, which opened in , is generally associated with the values of the French Revolution, but it is not true.
Established under Pope Clement XII, it was the first public art museum of international importance and served as the model for such institutions as we know them today. The British Museum, established in as one of the earliest national collections open to the public. In the second half of the eighteenth century, many private collections of art were nationalized and opened to the public.
Until the age of the public museum and collection, the overwhelming majority or art works were accessible only to an elite. In the middle of the eighteenth century, the uderpinnings of the Enlightenment valued encyclopedic knowledge and the ability of human reason to organize this knowledge according to general principles.
Thus, the main purpose of collecting was geared toward systematic classification and exhibition according to scientific guidelines. The accumulation of natural and man-made curiosities gradually shifted to ordered groups of objects. At that point, the definition of the museum became tied to the specific building that housed collections for public view.
Private collections, sold or bequeathed to public museums, formed the core of these institutions. Yet what was "public" remained ambivalent, since access was initially intended for respected groups of the upper middle class and the aristocracy on an intermittent basis. The British Museum in London was the main example of the transitional phase from private to public viewing of collections. The British Museum, which was founded in by an act of Parliament, was on the threshold of the process of democratization of museums. The 35 paintings universally accepted by Vermeer are divided between Europe 22 and America Vermeer's Concert , once housed in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, was stolen on March 18, and has not been recovered.
Between Amsterdam and The Hague 60 kilometers apart there are seven Vermeer paintings including some of his finest works. Between New York and Washington kilometers apart there are 12 paintings. If you are traveling specially to view one or more paintings by Vermeer, always contact the museum beforehand to be sure the painting s you wish to see are on display at the moment. Paintings can be on temporary loan or in restoration. Click here to see a map of Vermeer's paintings in Europe, and here to view a map of Vermeer paintings in the United States.
Artisans practice a craft and may through experience and aptitude reach the expressive levels of an artist. An artist is a person engaged in an activity related to creating art, practicing the arts, or demonstrating an art. The common usage in both everyday speech and academic discourse is a practitioner in the visual arts only. The adjectival Latin form of the word, "technicus," became the source of the English words technique , technology, technical.
Most often, the term describes those who create within a context of the fine arts or "high culture," activities such as drawing , painting , sculpture, acting, dancing, writing, filmmaking, new media, photography and music—people who use imagination, talent, or skill to create works that may be judged to have an aesthetic value.
Art historians and critics define artists as those who produce art within a recognized or recognizable discipline. An artist is someone who engages in an activity deemed to be an art. An artist also may be defined unofficially as "a person who expresses him- or herself through a medium. During the Renaissance , the word "artist" as a generic term was not often used: a painter was called a painter, a sculptor a sculptor, and so on. What we call today artists were seen as members of a particular occupation, not as people with a special vision and a calling.
They had no special title which implied that, either by vocation or inspiration, they were different from any other group of craftsmen. The identity of the artist has been regarded as one of the most important facts about a work of art for centuries in the West. Beginning with the Greeks, names of great artists have seemed to be worth recording, and stories about them exist even when their works do not.
Pliny the Elder and Pausanias, two Romans whose writings are among the richest sources of information about Greek art, approached their subjects as today's art historians do—from the distance of centuries, gathering what was said in older sources without necessarily having seen the original works.
The first history of art in the post-Classical world, Giorgio Vasari 's — Lives of the Artists , published in Italy in the mid-sixteenth century, also organizes the art in terms of the biographies of its makers. Since Vasari was a contemporary or near-contemporary of the artists, his vivid anecdotes suggest the authority of personal knowledge. Even assuming that the identity of the artist is an essential part of understanding a work of art, however, different artists suggest different questions, and different historians write very different kinds of studies.
For one scholar, the artist's life consists of an orderly succession of opportunities and achievements, with his or her relationship to the works determined by conscious choices made in response to external events. For another, perhaps even writing about the same person, every scrap of work reveals the genius of the artist, and obstacles that have been surmounted demonstrate the power of the person's talent. Artistic license, also called poetic license, is a colloquial term used to denote a deliberate distortion of a rule, conventional form or logic made by an artist in order to more effectively an idea.
If there were no such thing as artistic license, there would be no such thing as art in as much as the artist would be chained to observable reality or established forms of art. In general, a great mobility existed among early modern artists, more so than we generally assume today.
Not only did many of them travel to Italy to complete their training, or migrated in the wake of military conflict and economic hardship, for reasons of religion or lured by better opportunities elsewhere. In addition, artists did not hesitate to travel great distances on a temporary basis to complete a commission or visit with colleagues, friends or relatives. Artists appear to have been particularly eager to move between towns in the Low Countries. There were many reasons for this, but improved transportation facilities without a doubt acted as a catalyst. The province of Holland offered an unrivaled infrastructure in terms of roads and canals, facilitating relatively cheap and safe travel.
The Dutch Republic was an easy place to get around in thanks to an extensive network of canals and overland connections by coach. Particularly, barges provided a comfortable and reliable mode of transportation with regular services between the major cities, a network that would be developed in the course of the seventeenth century. Canals were being dug from Haarlem to Leiden and Amsterdam in the s and s that greatly enhanced each city's accessibility, but good connections with Antwerp existed prior to that.
The relative ease with which people traveled within the whole of the Low Countries emanates from travel books which mention timetables, costs and frequency of both overland connections and those via waterways, in addition to suitable inns where travelers could spend the night, and even places of interest in the respective towns. The early modern travel guides were widely disseminated allowing travelers to conveniently plan their trips. Using these and other sources, Jan de Vries and more recently Gerrit Verhoeven, have established that travel on these barges was particularly user friendly.
Verhoeven's research shows that by comparison to other European countries, travel in the Dutch Republic was the cheapest per kilometer. Furthermore, the perceived safety was equally high in the Low Countries, in other words, travelers were far less worried that they would fall victim to robbers compared to elsewhere. Surely there were impediments to swift travel, besides the fact that it was time-consuming and cumbersome, and it always involved costs. After the re-opening of hostilities in , passports were required once more to cross the frontline, but even then, the archives reveal many instances of artists traveling from South to North and vice versa.
For instance, Jacob Jordaens — and members of the Teniers family requested passports to travel to the Republic in the thirties and forties of the seventeenth century. Vermeer is documented to have traveled twice, once to Amsterdam on the part of his mother-in-law, Maria Thins , and to The Hague with a committee of experts in order to judge the value of a disputed collection of Italian master paintings.
No evidence exists that might suggest that Vermeer traveled to Italy as other Dutch painters had done. See also, studio and botegga. Today, in addition to designating an artist's studio, atelier is used to characterize the studio of a fashion designer. Atelier also has the connotation of being the home of an alchemist or wizard. Atelier is often used in the place of studio and botegga , although each term has a historical meaning of its own. Toward the end of the eighteenth-century, the a teliers of successful painters became lavish spaces, replete with gilded frames, Japanese screens and elaborate wooden furniture ceremoniously displayed by painters such as John Singer Sargent — , Albert Aublet — and Mihaly Munkacsy — These spaces feed into a mythology of the workspace: the artist is not just a creator, but is surrounded by beauty so that he may create it.
He had reduced the price of admission to ten sous. I stayed there alone for nearly an hour and discovered a masterpiece in the picture which [the Exposition universelle jury] rejected; I could scarely bear to tear myself away. He has made enormous strides…In …[ The Painter's Studio ] the planes are well understood, there is atmosphere, and in some passages the execution is really remarkable, especially the thighs and hops of the nude model and the breasts—also the woman in the foreground with the shawl.
The only fault is that the picture, as he has painted it, seems to contain an ambiguity. It looks as though there were a real sky in the middle of a painting. They have rejected one of the most remarkable works of our time, but Courbet is not the man to be discouraged by a little thing like that. In art, an attribute is an object or animal associated with a particular personage, often a saint, god or goddess. Christianity has used attributes from its very origins. In Europe history painting , images of Christian saints are traditionally identified by an attribute which they carry in their hands or which is placed nearby.
Attributes were used so that the illiterate could recognize a scene. Many attributes are reminders of how a saint was martyred, while others recall important actions or events from their life. On the other hand, doves are attributes of Venus, the goddess of love. Thus, a painter might identify a nude in his painting as Venus by representing a dove nearby the figure. A bow and arrows, together with hounds, are traditional attributes of the goddess Diana.
Since she was also goddess of the moon, a painter could identify a particular figure in his composition as Diana by placing a crescent moon in crescent in her hair, like the yellow clad figure in Vermeer's Diana and her Companions. Authenticity in art has a various meanings related to the ways in which a work of art is considered authentic.
The most important refers to the correct identification of the author of a work of art. Another refers to the degree sincerity, genuineness of expression or passion the artist puts into the work. Authenticity may also refer to the viewing experience, which, for a modern visitor to a museum may be entirely different from context what the artist intended.
It is doubtful that a fully authentic experience is possible to recapture. In modernity, authenticity has acquired a deeply moral dimension although such an intense interest in authenticity is relatively recent and largely confined to the western world. In the medieval period, and even the Renaissance and Baroque, authenticity was not as important as it is today.
Prior to the Age of Enlightenment and the Renaissance , most artwork was produced by unknown craftsmen. Signatures were rare. However during the Cinquecento artists began to develop their own recognizable styles rather than attempt to copy a prototype as closely as possible. The determination of authenticity, once the province of connoisseurs , is now determined by museum curators with the aid of conservators who are able to provide curators with objective information.
Art-historical documentation, stylistic connoisseurship and technical or scientific analysis, which complement each other, are the three necessary aspects of best practices for authentication and attribution. However, to speak of "authenticating" a work of art through scientific analysis gives a false impression of what science can accomplish.
Expert analysis can only 'de-authenticate' a work by proving it anachronistic or incoherent as to style or substance. One high-profile example is the Andy Warhol Foundation which recently announced that it is disbanding its authentication board. Other artist's foundations are reviewing their liability in the event of disputes over the authenticity of specific works. Consequently, provenance, the history of ownership of an artwork, is more important than ever as an element of authenticity.
With the advent of powerful digital technology, computational tools may be able to provide new insights into and techniques for the art and science of art authentication. Fractal analysis and various computational techniques have been applied to the analysis and classification of "craquelure," the crack lines that appear over time in a paintings.
Nevertheless, "objective scientific truth" is a practically unattainable goal. Scientific facts are still dependent upon their reading and interpretation. Using high-resolution digital scans of the original works, various computational techniques for authenticating works of art are under development, specifically paintings and drawings. A statistical model of an artist, including pen or pencil stroke patterns and other elements that represent an artist's style or aesthetic signature, is built from the scans of a set of authenticated works which are compared against other works.
This signature may be utilized to discover consistencies and inconsistencies within a single piece of artwork or among works by the same artist,. Similar methods, called stylometry, have been used to identify characteristics of works of literature and music such as the subtle choice of words or phrasing and cadence that are characteristic of a certain writer. It is common knowledge that the "fear of authenticity lawsuits has a dampening effect on opinions in the art world. Scholars, curators , dealers and other experts are often unwilling to pronounce on authenticity, for fear of being used for product disparagement, negligence, breach of contract, or defamation by a seller or owner.
This fear is aggravated by the fact that a scholar authenticating a work may not ethically charge a fee related to the work's value, even though the seller may be risking a lawsuit by giving an expert opinion. Specialists use the following terms to identify the level of authenticity of a given work of art some of the information below is drawn from "Categories for the Description of Works of Art," eds.
The listing of the artist's name in bold letters and without qualifiers generally means that the piece is accepted as the work of the named artist. The distinction between "workshop of," and "studio of" typically depends upon the historical period in which the artwork is created. An autograph painting is one which is thought to have been painted entirely by the specified artist, rather than being, for instance, partly, or wholly, by studio assistants. An implied or visible straight line in painting or sculpture in the center of a form along its dominant direction.
In painting, consciously employed axes are used to give structure and stabilize the composition, analogous to the spine does in the human body. Vermeer was very conscious of the stabilizing impact of vertical axes in his compositions. In the Woman with a Water Pitcher , the woman's leaning position is steadied by an axis which follows the vertical left-hand border of the map and runs directly through the center of the water pitcher. This visual anchoring gives the woman's momentary gesture an air of permanence and balance.
See also, spatial depth and overlap. From the picture plane the surface of the painting moving into the picture the different areas are called the foreground , the middle ground and the background respectively. If an artist has attempted to give an impression of space receding into the picture, then parts of that illusory space will seem closer to the viewer and other parts further away. The background is the furthest away. Although rarely discussed, the prosaic white-washed wall which set the stage for the artist's quite little dramas are crucial components of Vermeer's interiors.
The lumen naturae is the luminosity within the darkness recognizing itself as it illumines its own darkness. This archetypal experience of the luminescence of the divine being found in the translucent darkness is referred to in various mystical traditions by names such as the luminous darkness and the black sun. Everything that arises in the materialized world is inseparable from and a modification of the lumen naturae. At the same time, being the light of non-dual awareness prior to consciousness, the lumen naturae inspires, e-lucid-ates, il-lumin-ates, and en-light-ens consciousness itself.
Being non-dual, the lumen naturae non-locally and synchronistically con-figures co-arising events, both in the physical world and reciprocally within the landscape of our minds, as a way of revealing itself. The lumen naturae inspires our unconscious and animates our dreams. Not limited to giving shape solely to our night dreams, the lumen naturae also interpenetrates and materializes itself into and shapes our shared waking dream, literally orchestrating the situations we find ourselves in during the course of our life.
Because it is not bound to the laws of linear time and third-dimensional space, the lumen naturae is always extending and expressing itself everywhere. The lumen naturae is not the light that we see, it is the invisible light by which we see, in that it is the non-dual light of sentient awareness itself. It is a light which inspires the world and yet it has no objects separate from itself. The lumen naturae is not a light separate from the darkness. Shadows themselves are nothing other than an expression of light; light itself contains and generates shadows.
Where there are no shadows, there is no light.
Establishing ourselves in the viewpoint that can join the opposites, uniting the shadow and the light is to not only possess, but to create, genuine wealth within the core of our being. The lumen naturae reveals itself in, as, and through the darkness. Just like light, the darkness itself is the unmediated crystallization and revelation of the non-dual light of the lumen naturae. In being seen, the darkness helps us to increase consciousness. This is similar to how reflections in a mirror seemingly obscure the silvered face of the mirror while simultaneously revealing it.
At the quantum level, it becomes impossible to distinguish where light ends and darkness begins, as they reveal themselves to be indissolubly united, a true conjunction of opposites.
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The opposites, though seemingly polarized and adversarial towards each other, are intimately co-related, as they contain each other and help to bring the other into awareness and into manifestation. Without encountering the soil one would never realize the spirit; it needs that resistance of matter in order to reveal itself. All possible opposites are encoded in the lumen naturae in a state of open-ended potentiality.
The natural spirit of the lumen naturae is a quantum form of light in that it manifests either in its wave or particle-like aspect depending upon how it is seen. Because of its divine origin and nature, the lumen naturae deserves our highest veneration and respect. Lucifer, who could have brought light, becomes the father of lies whose voice in our time, supported by press and radio, revels in orgies of propaganda and leads untold millions to ruin.
The concept and experience of the hermetic vessel develops and emerges out of the unconscious itself as a result of contemplating and thus shedding light on the unconscious. In a mysterious way, the alchemical vase is identical with its contents. Feminine in nature, the spacious hermetic vessel is a receptive uterus and matrix of spiritual renewal and rebirth.
The life-giving alchemical container typically is portrayed as having a purifying fire underneath it, symbolizing the heat of introspective, contemplative awareness, which is needed to create sufficient psychological pressure for transformation. In alchemy, the fire purifies, while simultaneously melting and synthesizing the opposites into a unity. The alchemists used images of the gentle warmth of a brooding hen incubating her eggs and the baking of bread to symbolize this process.
If we try to escape the pain, frustration, and dissatisfaction of our existential situation by continually acting out our unconscious without reflecting upon what we are doing, we are postponing a deeper and more genuine relationship with ourselves.
In avoiding relationship with ourselves, we are like a hamster frantically running around inside of a wheel, and our suffering is totally neurotic and unproductive. But if we are able to hold the powerful psychic energies that get constellated when we go inwards, and try to consciously explore, express, and embrace the experience, our suffering becomes redemptive, and genuine transformation occurs. Creatively holding the tension of the opposites without splitting, dissociating, or projecting out one of the opposites is a conscious experience of darkness that nourishes and cultivates the light of the Self.
Instead of oscillating and being thrown back and forth between the opposites, a state in which we identify with one of the opposites while having no conscious connection with the other, we develop a container within ourselves where we are able to experience both opposites simultaneously.
Consciousness is a psychic substance that is produced by the opposites suffered, not blindly, but in living awareness. With a good container, the endless circling and cycling, instead of being a holding pattern that parasitically drains our energy, becomes a circulating spiral that leads both ever higher into consciousness and deeper into the unconscious, where it circumambulates, illuminates, and activates the latent creative source at its center. The alchemical vessel is symbolic of the importance of the psychic comprehension of the Self. Recognizing the wholeness of the Self is the very act that actualizes the Self in time.
We, through our consciousness or lack thereof, play the key role in the creation of the mystical vessel, and hence, ourselves. The multi-dimensional vessel, envisioned as a material substance, symbolizes the realization of divinity reaching down into and transforming matter. Each individual human being is the Holy Grail-like vessel in which God comes to consciousness. We are living, breathing alchemical vessels in flesh and blood, receptacles created and prepared by God for Its transformation and Incarnation. The alchemical adepts, by transforming themselves, transformed all degrees of existence, the full circle of their experience, which is to say the whole universe.
Alchemy is a means and path to cultivate a higher degree of inner alignment and coherence. This is something that only can occur in states of exceptional coherence and resonance within the system. This is to say that the system, in this case the alchemical adept, has to enter a state of deep integrity and self-congruity enabling them to overcome the entropy and inertia that characterizes the typically neurotic, split, and fragmented state of humanity. They are thus able to play with, express, transduce and manifest the formless creative spirit in the third-dimensional world of time and space.
This figure, whether it is called artist, alchemist, shaman, healer, bodhisattva, or dreamer re-presents and is symbolic of the archetypal figure within us who is actively participating in our own transformation, while at the same time helping to consciously and co-operatively create a more grace-filled and loving universe. Incarnating our true nature as living philosophical stones, we can create genuine wealth, both inwardly and outwardly in the world.
We are a tandem, intimately coupled together as a bi-unity with the Self. In different traditions this celestial twin is known by a host of names, such as the double, the guardian angel, the guiding spirit, the beloved and the perfect nature. In a reciprocal and mutually transformative relationship, our longing is for this very archetypal figure who is itself instigating our longing.
In communing with himself, he finds not deadly boredom and melancholy but an inner partner; more than that, a relationship that seems like the happiness of a secret love, or like a hidden springtime…It is the alchemical benedicta viriditas, the blessed greenness [interestingly, in ecclesiastical symbolism the color green is an attribute of the Holy Spirit]. We recognize that we exist relative to the Self. This is the birth of Eros, which is the principle and capacity in the human soul for relatedness, both within ourselves and out in the world with others.