Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Thyssen, part 2

I think I exceeded some limit on images, so here is the continuation.

A lot of art from the 18th century seems to celebrate the wonderful state of European civilisation, like this painting of the Darsena at Naples by Caspar Adriaansz van Wittel:

(My photo was better, but it just would not load.) Paintings like that, large scale, don't translate well to small photos on the web. But trust me it is quite splendid in person. The interesting thing is that these kind of landscapes seem to undergo a kind of psychotic break in the 20th century. This is "Metropolis" by George Grosz from 1916/17:

Not surprising, given what was happening in those years. But it is hard not to look at this and other cityscapes painted in the 20th century and not see them as suicide notes from European civilization.

Let's end with another lutenist. This is a portrait of Count Fulvio Grati, who seems to have enjoyed his music, by Giuseppi Maria Crespi from the first half of the 18th century. Note the scores stuffed in the case:

Some music suitable for him might be a suite for lute by Sylvius Leopold Weiss, a friend of J. S. Bach. Here is a Chaconne in G minor, accompanied by paintings by Caravaggio:


Marc Puckett said...

I saw just now that the redoubtable Rev John Zuhlsdorf, a Catholic priest/blogger who knows his Greek and Latin letters and is (depending upon one's point of view) either reviled & mocked or else praised & assiduously read, has joined you in Madrid. He cheated and took photographs in the Prado. He's going to a bull fight later in the week... that on your agenda, by any chance? I watched one in Mexico in the 80s, which spectacle satisfied my vague interest, for life.

Jeph said...

Thank you for all the updates and beautiful pictures, Bryan. What a treat to enjoy Madrid vicariously through your posts. I'm not much of a traveller, but Spain will be high on my list if I ever get it together :)
Wishing you a safe and fruitful journey.

Bryan Townsend said...

Despite having spent almost two decades of my life in Spanish-speaking countries I have never made it to a bullfight. I was invited by a real aficionado once, but it got cancelled. I suppose I might go under the right circumstances.

Yes, if you are sufficiently surreptitious I think you could get quite a few photos in the Prado. I actually got two before they stopped me, but I didn't post them.

Do you have a link for the good reverend?

Thanks, Jeph! Yes, I find Spain impressive in a lot of different ways.

Marc Puckett said...

That post of Fr Z.'s is at [http://wdtprs.com/blog/2016/05/spain-day-1-jeronimo-and-real-deal/].