Hi, my name is Thinkie, welcome to my blog!
I'm a student in cultural studies, a museum enthusiast, a scrapbooker and an art journaler. I love to travel within Europe and I enjoy photography. You can read more about me on my homepage.

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Lucas van Leyden and the Renaissance


Drieluik met de Aanbidding van het gouden kalf, courtesy of The Rijksmuseum

On March 23 2011 I went to Leiden. I started out with a visit to the exhibition Lucas van Leyden and the renaissance at the Lakenhal. I enjoyed listening to the provided audiotour and saw books, paintings, graphics, drawings and glass windows by Lucas and his contemporaries like Albrecht Dürer, Joachim Patinir, Aartgen van Leyden and Cornelis Engelbrechtsz. I didn't get to see the whole exhibition due to lack of time, but went back later in the spring with fellow students K., E. and L., we then took a guided tour of the exhibition. One of the things I learned about at this exhibition was how in the early 16th century it was a popular thing for artists to exchange graphics, made me think about Artist Trading Cards nowadays.

Leiden University joined in on the Lucas van Leyden theme. Their library had a little exhibition (Boek en Plaat, this link is in Dutch) on book illustration during Lucas van Leyden's days, about the development of the book in the early 16th century, when the printed book became an alternative for the manuscript and the development of printed book illustration took a flight. Good illustrations didn't only have an aesthetic value but were also very useful in scientific publications. You can look at the works that were in this exhibition here (texts in Dutch.) I visited the exhibition later that spring.

The university also organized a series of Studium Generale lectures on Lucas van Leyden and his work, of which, after dinner with F&R, I attended on March 23 the lecture on 'The renaissance in the Southern Netherlands - thoughts on artistic development in the visual arts and their uses', by Drs. Till-Holger Borchert, head curator at the Groeningemuseum in Bruges. Unfortunately due to his accent and tendencies to mumble and move away from the microphone, it was hard to make out what he was saying, but fortunately he had lots of illustrations to back up his story and the things I did catch and didn't already knew were quite interesting. Some of the things I learned:
- In medieval times it was all about the depicted persons, usually religious types. The more important they were, the larger they were depicted in their surroundings. In the renaissance, the background and ornaments gained importance and the size of people became better suited to the space they were depicted in. Typical of renaissance paintings are architectural borders, softness, wideness, less sharp contours. Borchert also mentioned a lot of the attributes by which different saints can de recognized.
- Lucas van Leyden started out painting religious scenes. Later, inspired by Dürer, he also started to paint portraits and more worldy scenes. Influenced by Gossaert he started painting mythical scenes. He never visited Italy but there was mutual influence between him and Italian artists like Marcantonio Raimondi.

Since Lucas van Leyden knew and was inspired by both Albrecht Dürer and Jan Gossaert, this exhibition and lecture provided a link between my visit to 'Van Eyck to Dürer' at the Groeningemuseum in Bruges in Januari and my upcoming visit to the exhibition on Jan Gossaert at the National Gallery in London in early April.

Geplaatst op 14-09-2012.
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