Tag Archives: renaissance

Before the eReader there was the wheelReader

I particularly enjoy how this plate depicts each element of the mechanism — some of which are disassembled upon the floor.

Agostino Ramelli, Le diverse et artificiose machine del Capitano Agostino Ramelli (The various and ingenious machines of Captain Agostino Ramelli), 1588.

Agostino Ramelli, Le diverse et artificiose machine del Capitano Agostino Ramelli (The various and ingenious machines of Captain Agostino Ramelli), 1588.

Advice from Jan

Jan Steen, Fantasy Interior with Jan Steen and the Family of Gerrit Schouten, c. 1659-1660.

From the Nelson-Atkins Museum collection, Jan Steen, Fantasy Interior with Jan Steen and the Family of Gerrit Schouten, c. 1659-1660.

In keeping with the theme of yesterday’s post here is another great work from The Neslson-Atkins Museum of Art: Jan Steen’s, Fantasy Interior with Jan Steen and the Family of Gerrit Schouten. Like many paintings from this region in the 17th century, I am immediately attracted by its symbol saturation. This painting is trying to tell you something. I particularly relish how overt some messages continue to be and how other allusions have become obscured by the passage of time.

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And exaggeration for wit’s sake

G.K. Chesterton said:

In the beginning there was art for God’s sake, then in the Renaissance there was art for man’s sake. Beginning with Impressionism there was art for art’s sake. Now, unfortunately, we have no art, for God’s sake!

It was just a game

One of the human species’ greatest strengths is our ability to see order and patterns everywhere we look. One of our greatest deficiencies is in our discernment to tell the difference between repeatable, predictive patterns and complete balderdash. My explanations for this is that balderdash has the most attractive narratives. Continue reading

Ship of Fools

Frontispiece to Sebastian Brant's, Ship of Fools 1494.

So much has been written about Sebastian Brant’s Ship of Fools it would be foolish indeed to attempt to say anything original in this lowly post. Nonetheless, I feel compelled to explain why I love this book and why it continues to be a source of inspiration to me: Continue reading

I saw four gondolas punting

Yesterday’s post reminded me of these pendants from the book, Renaissance Jewellery by Yvonne Hackenbroch. I suppose these may look garish to the eye accustomed to clean, cold jewelry designs. Nothing cold about these little vessels. Don’t they beckon for a closer look?