RSS

Judith … and not much else

08 Apr

Some days, you just run out of things to say.  This is one of those days.

2006AE6554_jpg_l

Unknown artist, “Judith with the Head of Holofernes,” ca. 1550, Carved marble statuette, 48 cm, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK

 

The V&A website describes this as a statuette (a little statue) made of marble (a metamorphic rock) and carved in the round.  “The sculptor has paid great attention to detail, both on the front and back, where he has continued the fine floral pattern on the robe. He apparently used chisels for finishing the surface of the carving … The face and proportions of Judith’s figure reflect the decorative work at Fontainbleau.”

Decorative work at Fontainbleau?  What does that mean and how do they know that?

So I will take a stab at fleshing it out.  “Fontainbleau” (I assume) refers to the Château de Fontainebleau — the 12th century medieval castle and later residential château of French monarchs from Louis VII (1120-1180) through Napoleon III (1808-1873).  It was the center of two periods of artistic production in France during the late Renaissance that formed the French version of Northern Mannerism known as Ecole de Fontainebleau.  The first (and most influencial) period began in 1531 when King François I brought Italian artists Rosso Fiorentino and Francesco Primaticcio for extensive decoration of the palace — later joined by Niccolò dell’Abbate.  Their style was characterized by erotic figures with long limbs and sharply defined elegant profiles, imbued with an elaborate and sometimes mysterious iconography from allegories and mythology.  One of the best examples of the first Ecole de Fontainebleau is Diana the Huntress, found in the Louvre.

414px-Master_of_the_Fontainebleau_School_-_Diana_Huntress_-_WGA14546

Ecole de Fontainebleau, “Diana the Huntress,” ca. 1550 and 1560, oil on canvas, 192 x 133 cm, Louvre, Paris, FR

 

So somehow from looking at the statuette of Judith — the turn of her head, the shape of her breasts, the design chisled into her gown — an art historian can connect her to this style.  I sort of see it … and I sort of don’t, so I will take their word for it.  And hope that seeing her in person adds more to what can be said.  Until then …

See you at the V&A!

Advertisements
 
2 Comments

Posted by on April 8, 2015 in Exploring

 

Tags: , , , , ,

2 responses to “Judith … and not much else

  1. lentonist

    April 8, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    A curiously masculine Diana the Huntress?

     
    • judith2you

      April 10, 2015 at 11:30 am

      hmmm. She is a little boyish, come to think of it. Or have I been watching too much RuPaul’s Drag Race?

       

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: