Eur 201 Extra Credit Lecture

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  • Topic: Eine kleine Nachtmusik, Human, Opera seria
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Extra credit lecture
Grotesque art
Early Renaissance – 20th century

Renaissance
I. Early Renaissance
a. Rabaleis: Freest in his treatment of carnival (very grotesque) b. Bosch, Hieronymus (c. 1450 – 1516) – Triptych (painted on three panels): Garden of Earthly Delights painting. i. Ideals of the body put forward normally, but Bosch embraces the strangeness 1. Closing the panels, a fourth painting appears, representing a scene after a flood, likely Noah’s. 2. Read left to right, telling a continuous story narrative. a. First panel – Likely Adam and Eve with God, a few animals, serene, Eden. b. Second panel – indulgent, wild, many people and animals, having fun c. Third panel – Dark scene, destruction, over-indulgence. d. Fourth panel – scene after a flood, likely Noah’s. ii. Born in the Netherlands, last name. Patronage of the Duke of Burgundy, known by prince of Spain – had quite a worldly reputation. Married an apothecary’s daughter. iii. Apothecary – pseudoscience, served as pharmacists but also got a bad rap as experimenters with alchemy. 3. Alchemy as a science – idea of changing metals into gold, matter into spirit iv. Grotesque

4. Etymology – grotto, Italian word, for ornamental art found in Roman bathhouses e. Any form of art that allows for interpenetration of overly rigid categories (i.e., human and animal, human and vegetable.) 5. Titus Bathhouse paintings telling narrative stories; type of art receptive to people around Europe 6. Medieval

i. Hierarchy of being had been rigid. Discovering Titus bathhouse paintings opened thinking. v. Interpreting Bosch
7. Common ideas
f. Thought to be the days of Noah (due to flood) – although, nothing really ties down to Noah’s time. In middle panel, there are lots of naked bodies – heretical group that was very popular in Bosch’s lifetime that embraced freedom and sexual lifestyle, Bosch likely judged it as a cult. g. Alchemical approach – Alchemy as a four part process ii. Conjunction – mixing of ingredients. Panel one – Adam and Eve mix ingredients. iii. Child’s play – slow cooking of ingredients – many people playing about –3rd panel iv. Putrifaction – when things begin to ferment and decay/burn – third panel v. Cleansing – 4th panel flood

vi. Not a convincing argument since there’s very little to do with alchemy. 8. Style
h. Some high style, some low. Interesting mixture. Biblical themes with bestial themes. Boundaries crossed – fusion of animal, human and vegetable; hybrids. i. Strangeness of being, exotic feeling. Topos is very experimental. Where are they? j. Images of fertility and cycles. Strawberry seems to be part of the man, part of the vine ends near his lower bodily strata. Fertility cycle. Man eats food, food is excreted, becomes fertilizer for new food, cycle goes on. k. Tree branches like hands, wrapping around a woman (breasts, womb). Tree has a mirror on it. l. Man holds onto woman near her womb, encased in a womb-like casing that seems to be part of a flower that is growing a strawberry in the same womb. m. Man in the water, strawberry placed between his legs n. On top of a strange carcass, a bird-like man leading a red man near a strange fruit that seems to be part of the man. Focus of decay and elimination c. Bosch portraits

vi. Sin
vii. Monsters
viii. Mythical creatures
ix. Mythical creature
x. Tree-man
xi. Triptych: The Last Judgement
9. Apocalyptic/biblical themes, focus on fertility II....
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