A little-known fact about me is that I go nuts for art history, especially pre-17th century European stuff. You could then see why I’d be incredibly pumped about the new exhibit in the Frist – Northern Renaissance Art. Oh yeah, give me paintings by some old dudes with “van” in their names and I’m a happy camper.
Well, last night the Frist had a lecture about their Egyptian exhibit, and tonight they’re having a lecture on their other exhibit. It’s called “Picturing Faith and Telling Tales: Northern Renaissance Art” and it starts at 6:30pm sharp. You know, which is why that’s the title of this blog post. Anyway, let me just post the official event description:
Northern European art of the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries was characterized by exquisite craftsmanship and didactic intent. Netherlandish and German masters mixed technical virtuosity with inventive pictorial strategies designed to stimulate memory. Paintings, such as those on view in A Divine Light: Northern Renaissance Paintings from the Bob Jones University Museum & Gallery, were practical and beautiful devotional aids used for spiritual betterment. Such paintings could be found in churches as well as private homes. This lecture will explore the revolutionary paintings of artists Jan van Eyck and Rogier van der Weyden, among others, that transformed European art.
I love events like this because it helps people who are more analytically-minded appreciate art. I mean, I could never really appreciate art, especially older stuff, until I learned how it was used. Van Eyck and Hans Holbein were boring names that I had to know until I learned the history surrounding them. The amazing detail in their paintings (like the artist in the mirror in the picture shown) to anamorphic skulls, the more you know the more you see. So if you have a hard time “getting” art when you’re just strolling through a gallery you should seriously consider checking out a lecture. Like this one, perhaps.