Tuesday, June 16, 2009

By Altichiero

The trouble with living in a place with so much going on is that you see things advertised, you turn to someone and say "we really must see ...." and then when you turn around its left town. It happened with the Bellini exhibition last year and several others that we just managed to miss. The Giotto e Il Trecento has been on since late March and is due to close the end of this month. My friend Simonetta and I started talking about going sometime in April and finally yesterday managed to brave the heat, and at a time when only mad dogs and Englishman should be out, ventured down to the Vittoriano for a look.

The problem with Giotto is that he was better at frescoes than anything else and its difficult to cart a wall away from a church - they get a bit shirty when you suggest it. So though there were several fine frescoes most of the Giotto work were his altar pieces etc; and frankly at the risk of being stoned, though he is a great fresco painter, I find much of the rest of his work static and at time unmoving. However the crafty curators solved that with the Trecento tag - Giotto and the 1300s. As a result much of what I, personally, found moving or interesting were works by his students.
Madonna con bambino (1370-1384) - Altichiero
Affresco staccato diametro 55 cm
Padova, Parrocchia degli Eremitan

And both of us were totally captivated by this sublime Madonna con bambino by Altichiero di Zevio, a follower if not a student of Giotto. Though the hands have that elongated appearance so typical of the Master from Bondone, the features have a more human look. To my eye this is a portrait of a loving mother and an adoring child as much as it is a representation of a spiritual subject.

16 giugno - Santi Quirico e Giulitta

5 comments:

sageweb said...

Wow, I dont think I tell you enough how lucky you are to get to experience stuff like this..atleast we are lucky you like to share.

Doralong said...

We're very lucky you like to share!

YELLOWDOG GRANNY said...

wow...how lovely...
i always wanted to see a picture of mary and jesus where she is jerking him up by the arm and swatting his ass...i dont care if he was jesus...he had to have done something bad when he was a kid..

Doralong said...

Jackie Sue- You ought to read Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore. Hysterical, trust me.

Elizabeth said...

Willym - That is just gorgeous! A lot of feeling in Mary's quiet face. And I like how the baby is reaching down for her hand. Very well observed and rendered.

Dora - I'm requesting that from my library as soon as I sign out!