Tullio Lombardo

Tullio Lombardo (1460 - November 17, 1532) was an Italian Renaissance sculptor. He was the brother of Antonio Lombardo and son of Pietro Lombardo.  The Lombardo family worked together to sculpt famous Catholic churches and tombs. He is also known as Tullio Solari. The church of San Zanipolo contains the Monument to Doge Pietro Mocenigo, executed with his father and brother, and the Monument to Doge Andrea Vendramin, an evocation of a Roman triumphal arch encrusted with decorative figures. Tullio also likely completed the funereal monument to Marco Cornaro in the Church of Santi Apostoli and the frieze in the Cornaro Chapel of the Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari. He also participated in the work to decorate Santa Maria dei Miracoli, Venice

Led by Tullio Lombardo (c. 1455–1532), the great Venetian sculptors of the High Renaissance created new ideals of beauty, shaped by a poetic and nostalgic approach to classical antiquity. Their expression shares much with Mantegna, Bellini, Giorgione, and Titian, the northern Italian masters of Renaissance painting. In about 1500 painters in Venice went beyond traditional commissions for altarpieces and household devotional images to develop new art forms—imaginative evocations of ancient mythology, poetry, history, or philosophy made for a growing audience of private collectors. While their achievements are well known, the parallel experiments of Venetian sculptors are far less familiar, especially in America. Tullio, a brilliant carver inspired both by these painters and by ancient art, devised his own innovations in marble. Blending elements of the antique and the Renaissance, the sacred and the secular, his works raise provocative questions about his haunting subjects.

Sensuous and dramatic double-portraits in high relief: A Couple (c. 1490/1495) from the Galleria Giorgio Franchetti alla Ca' d'Oro in Venice and the "Bacchus and Ariadne" (c. 1505) from the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.


Johan Vermeer

Johannes, Jan or Johan Vermeer (baptized in Delft as Joannis on 31 October 1632, and buried in the same city under the name Jan on 16 December 1675) was a Dutch Baroque painter who specialized in exquisite, domestic interior scenes of middle class life. Vermeer was a moderately successful provincial genre painter in his lifetime. He seems never to have been particularly wealthy, leaving his wife and children in debt at his death, perhaps because he produced relatively few paintings.

Vermeer worked slowly and with great care, using bright colours, sometimes expensive pigments, with a preference for cornflower blue and yellow. He is particularly renowned for his masterly treatment and use of light in his work.

Recognized during his lifetime in Delft and The Hague, his modest celebrity gave way to obscurity after his death; he was barely mentioned in Arnold Houbraken's major source book on 17th century Dutch painting (Grand Theatre of Dutch Painters and Women Artists), and was thus omitted from subsequent surveys of Dutch art for nearly two centuries.   In the 19th century Vermeer was rediscovered by Gustav Friedrich Waagen and Thoré Bürger, who published an essay attributing sixty-six pictures to him, (although only thirty-five paintings are firmly attributed to him today). Since that time Vermeer's reputation has grown, and he is now acknowledged as one of the greatest painters of the Dutch Golden Age.


Cuzco: An Incan City

Cuzco, an Incan city located in the Andes Mountains (in Modern Peru) was a thriving metropolis at the time Francisco Pizarro arrived in 1533.  The Spaniards were quick to identify the most sacred sites of the city and replace them with symbols of the new Spanish authority.  The conquerors were happy to discover a wealth of gold and silver in the temples of the native population.

Cuzco (Qosqo) was the founding Incan city and eventual headquarters of the Incan empire.  Quechua, the language of the empire, was spoken there.  The quechua word for "navel" was Cuzco.  The Incans thought of this city as the physical and cultural center of their empire, like a navel on the human body.

Cuzco was at the center of an elaborate system of roads that  spanned the empire.  These routes allowed the chaski (runner-messengers) to spread information at about the same rate that it takes the post office to send packages around the U. S. today.  Considering the mountainous terrain of the empire, this was quite efficient.  Armies also traveled on the road network, allowing the Incas to discipline or conquer outlying villages.

Downtown Cuzco was in shape of a crouching puma

Naturally, there was an elaborate palace in the capital city.  The Incan emperors lived here.  Like many other Inca stone buildings, this structure featured finely crafted walls, as you see at the left. Inca artisans served their empire by creating beautiful, intricate objects.  Skilled artists produced work in gold, silver, textiles, architecture, and ceramics.  Some of these special objects were used in religious ceremonies

Edouard Manet

Édouard Manet (French pronunciation: [edwaʁ manɛ]), 23 January 1832 – 30 April 1883, was a French painter. One of the first nineteenth century artists to approach modern-life subjects, he was a pivotal figure in the transition from Realism to Impressionism.

The Railway, 1872-1873.

The Railway is one of Manet's most important and ravishing paintings. It's dominated by two figures. One, the little girl, was reportedly the daughter of Manet's neighbor, Alphonse Hirsch. The other was Victorine Meurent, the woman who posed for Manet's most sensational pictures, Déjeuner sur l'herbe and Olympia (Musée d'Orsay, Paris). They are pictured in the garden behind Hirsch's apartment house, at the edge of which was a tall, iron fence.

Behind them are railway tracks leading to the Gare Saint-Lazare, then the largest train station in Paris. The Station is suggested by the cloud of steam at center and the signalman's hut.

In the right background you can see one of the large masonry pillars and the end of the iron gridwork of the pont de l'Europe -- the bridge that funneled six city streets across the tracks. On the left is the facade and entryway of Manet's studio. His painting, which drops you into the midst of urban Paris and in the very neighborhood of the artist, is the essence of a modern picture


This week's featured art...