Athenaeum Library Book Arts Lecture

Art History Lectures

Dreams and Enchantment: Jan van Eyck

Presented by Linda Blair

 

Thursdays, November 7, 14 & December 12, 2019

All lectures begin at 7:30 PM

 

Dreams and Enchantment is a three-part lecture series designed to transport us to an otherworldly realm of noble knights and dreaming ladies, caparisoned steeds, and fairytale castles—all our reveries of the Arthurian knightly dream—in short, to 15th century Burgundy and the last glow of late medieval art. 

 

I have taught art history for many years, revisiting the same artists year after year, and in the process forged a crucible of judgment, what I call a “durability” principle: with renewed acquaintance some artists grow in my esteem, while others fade to mere pinpoints of light. Yet there is one artist who has never waned but continues to glow brightly: Jan van Eyck.

Now, wouldn't you assume that after so many years of looking and loving Jan van Eyck there would be little I didn't know? I would have thought so ... but no! Last year's series on Leonardo da Vinci forced me to look anew at Van Eyck, at the impact of his discoveries, and to place him at the fulcrum of Renaissance and thereby all Western art.

I invite you to explore with me the wellspring of Leonardo's genius—a supreme technical expertise devised by Van Eyck—and to revel in the beauty, the richness, and, above all, the magic of Jan van Eyck. 

Linda Blair

 

November 7 » Van Eyck as Influencer

 

How could Jan van Eyck possibly relate to Leonardo? The insights and inventions that made his genius possible were born not in Renaissance Italy, but far away, beyond the Alps in Northern Europe, in small, patrician Bruges, center of the dukes of Burgundy and their court painter, Jan van Eyck. We will plumb Van Eyck's discoveries to look afresh at Leonardo’s art.


November 14 » Burgundy, Chivalrous Ideals, and Van Eyck’s Paintings

 

Burgundy, a tiny sliver of land, politically powerless but made persuasive as one of the most romantic, poetic, and refined of all the European courts, was so elegant it was slavishly emulated across Europe. It elevated the ideals of knightly culture—art, architecture, costuming, pageantry, tournaments, courtly ritual—captured in Van Eyck’s luminous paintings.


RESCHEDULED to December 12 » Van Eyck and the Intersection of Reality and Enchantment

 

Due to illness, this lecture was rescheduled from Thursday, November 21st to Thursday, December 12th at 7:30 p.m. Thank you for understanding! We apologize for the inconvenience.

 

Art has always been bedeviled by the tension—the irreconcilability—between realism and spirituality, between the material world and that of the spirit. But Van Eyck was able to reconcile the seemingly irreconcilable, rendering convincing, tangible settings, perfect cubes of light-filled spaces, that also resonate with the tensile strength of deep piety through use of symbolism. This is art that exists at the intersection of reality and enchantment.    

 

Joan & Irwin Jacobs Music Room

Athenaeum Music & Arts Library

1008 Wall Street

La Jolla, CA 92037

Click here for directions

 

Individual tickets: $14 member / $19 nonmember

Series tickets: $36 member / $51 nonmember

 

 

 

Online tickets are subject to ticketing fees.
 

Athenaeum Library Book Arts Lecture

Art History Lectures

Raphael

A Five-Part Art History Lecture Series Commemorating the 500th Anniversary of the Artist’s Death

Presented by Victoria Martino

 

Tuesdays, March 31, April 7, 14, 21, and 28, 2019

All lectures begin at 7:30 PM

 

In Memoriam Konrad Oberhuber (1935–2007), in Tribute to the 85th Anniversary of His Birth (March 31, 2020)

 

Join art historian Victoria Martino for an in-depth look at the life, work, and legacy of the great Renaissance master whose far-reaching influence on art and aesthetics still makes itself felt 500 years after his death. The consummate example of a “Renaissance man,” Raphael excelled in all artistic disciplines: exquisitely executed drawings, paintings, frescoes, mosaics, tapestry cartoons, preparatory drawings for engravings, and architectural designs. Beloved, admired, and emulated by all who knew him, he exemplified the essential virtues of the courtier, rising higher in the social hierarchy than any other artist of his time.

 

March 31 » The Early Years (1483–1504)

 

Son of Giovanni Santi, court painter to the Duke of Urbino, Raphael was trained from an early age as a painter and courtier. Orphaned at age 11, the precocious young artist took over the management of his father’s workshop. He was apprenticed to the Umbrian master Pietro Perugino, absorbing his teacher’s style so thoroughly that art historians still have difficulty distinguishing between their hands. Raphael’s prolific output during his years in Umbria indicates that he was already very much in demand as a painter throughout the region.


April 7 » Florence (1504–1508)

 

The young “master” broadened his artistic horizons by moving to Florence, cultural center of the Italian Renaissance. There he studied the works of Leonardo and Michelangelo, avidly assimilating aspects of their styles without losing his own developing style. In Florence, Raphael also began to immerse himself in the study of classical antiquity, incorporating elements from sarcophagi in his drawings and paintings. At the suggestion of the papal architect Donato Bramante, who was distantly related to Raphael, the new Pope Julius II invited the young artist to Rome, where he spent the rest of his life.


April 14 » Rome (1508–1520)

 

In Rome, Raphael was immediately commissioned by Pope Julius II to decorate his private library in the Vatican Palace with frescoes. These works met with such acclaim that Raphael was asked to paint frescoes in three succeeding rooms of the Pope’s private quarters. Further papal commissions included tapestry designs (cartoons) for the Sistine Chapel, and decorative frescoes for the loggie of the Vatican Palace. Raphael quickly became the most sought-after artist in Rome, painting portraits, altarpieces, and religious paintings, decorating villas, and designing chapels and churches.


April 21 » Workshop and Collaborations

 

Raphael received more commissions in Rome than he could possibly execute. Consequently, he built up a large studio of assistants, which grew to include fifty artists, some of whom later became famous in their own right. The universal demand for designs by Raphael led him to create preparatory drawings for engravings, which were executed by a master printer, Marcantonio Raimondi. Appointed architect for St. Peter’s Basilica after Bramante’s death, Raphael also designed and decorated villas for the patrician class.


April 28 » Critical Reception through the Centuries

 

At the time of his premature death at age 37, Raphael was the most beloved and renowned artist of his time. Thousands attended his grand funeral, and he was buried in great pomp in the Pantheon. Over the course of the centuries, he became the most important artist to imitate or rebel against. He was the hero of Renaissance humanism and classicism, and the antihero of Mannerism and the Baroque. In the 19th century, Raphael was the model for the German Nazarene movement and the nemesis of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in England.

 

About Victoria Martino: 

Victoria Martino is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard University and the University of California. She has taught art history and interdisciplinary arts courses at universities in the United States and Australia and has curated over two dozen major museum exhibitions. She is highly regarded for her thorough and impeccable scholarship and has been published in over 60 academic and museum publications in six languages. In the area of early 20th century art, she has conducted influential original research on Lyonel Feininger and Paul Klee and has published works on Wassily Kandinsky and Arnold Schoenberg.

 

Joan & Irwin Jacobs Music Room

Athenaeum Music & Arts Library

1008 Wall Street

La Jolla, CA 92037

Click here for directions

 

Individual tickets: $14 member / $19 nonmember

Series tickets: $60 member / $85 nonmember

 

 

 

Online tickets are subject to ticketing fees.