Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Cleveland Museum of Art: Renaissance Splendor (11/27/2018)

Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Cleveland Museum of Art Atrium with entrance to original building
Kent with Standing Mitt with Ball
(1973, by Claes Oldenburg)
Today we had tickets to two exhibitions at the Cleveland Museum of Art. We met Josefina and Fernando F, accompanied by Josefina's brother, Luis.
First, Renaissance Splendor, Catherine de’ Medici’s Valois Tapestries, with six of eight restored tapestries from the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy, displayed with related portraits and artifacts.
Saint-Porchaire ceramic ewer (1540-1567,
France) with intricate decoration
Portrait of Catherine de' Medici and French King Henri II
surrounded by other members of the royal family (KSS)
The tapestries are thought to have been commissioned by Catherine de' Medici, and illustrate various magnificences/festivities.
Fontainebleau (c 1576) illustrated a mock nautical battle
between soldiers dressed as Greeks and Trojans
Prominent in Fontainebleau were the reigning king,
Henri III, and his wife, Louise de Lorraine-Vaudémont
Henri III was the third of Catherine's sons to become king of France after the death of her husband.
Elephant (c 1576) showed a reenactment of the battle between the
Carthaginian General Hannibal and Roman General Scipio
Prominent in Elephant were two of Catherine's children, Marguerite and Hercule-François, with a nephew standing behind them.
A detail of the mock battle with a mechanized elephant
Journey (c 1576) depicted the royal retinue
departing from Château d'Anet (KSS)
Catherine de' Medici was pictured in all but one of the tapestries;
here she is in the litter at the lower right
To have been present in every tapestry was considered bad luck. Also, the tapestries showed only those who were alive at the time of their creation; thus Catherine's husband, Henri II, was not seen.
Whale (c 1576) showed actors dressed as Greek deities to
represent peace between France and Spain, who are battling
an artificial whale representing the monster of war
Catherine in widow's black is ferried with
other guests to an island for a better view
Tournament (c 1576) was the largest of the tapestries, and
illustrated jousting festivities to celebrate, perhaps, a peace treaty (KSS)
Here Catherine de' Medici is in the forefront, with her
son-in-law, Henri de Navarre, and daughter, Marguerite,
as well as one of her court dwarfs
Polish Ambassadors (c 1576) depicted festivities honoring the
arrival of ambassadors who will elect her son Henri as king of Poland (KSS)
Catherine watches a ballet with actors and musicians dressed as nymphs
performing on a specially constructed rock topped by Apollo
Two of the eight tapestries were too fragile
to travel; this one is Quintain showing a
contest among knights
Barriers shows another knights' contest
Fernando noted that these tapestries were unique in showing actual historical figures engaged in their normal activities, while typically tapestries depict subjects from either mythology or the Bible. Other tapestries in the Cleveland Museum of Art were referenced, and we saw the very modern "tapestry" in the ArtLens exhibit.
Smoke (2011, by Pae White), a computerized loom fabric 
Smoke detail
Next: Georgia O'Keeffe.

No comments: