-- A Cyberspace Review Of The Arts

Volume 17.13
February 25, 2010

Robert Sievert
Editorial Associates:
Eva Sievert


Publisher and Webmaster:
ETAOIN / Gordon Fitch
Artezine is a New York City - based review of the Arts and Culture by artists for artists.

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drawings at the Met

Bronzino, Head of a Young Woman

by Robert Sievert

Several interesting things emerge when one visits the Bronzino exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum (now through April 17). One thing is the scarcity of paper at the disposal of Renaissance artists. These drawings (60 of the known 62) are mostly done on letter-sized pages; many spaces are filled with more than one image.

Bronzino was a major artist of Florence at a time when the political climate of the city-state was in constant upheaval, (the sixteenth century). The Medici family staged several campaigns to maintain rule over Florence. An extraordinary artistic climate gave birth to Michelangelo and other giants of the Renaissance. There seemed to be an incredible will to produce and create art. Commissions were to be had. Yet most of the city's premier artists chose to operate outside their home environment, mainly because of the political climate.

This left Bronzino as the authoritive hand to record the likenesses of the Florentine notables. His artistic collaborations with Portomo were the height of Florentine art.

The drawings were mostly preparatory studies for painting projects and were not seen as finished products. But if one isolates the original intention of these drawings and views them as sole works of art they are incredibly satisfying. The beauty of his models are arresting. His 3/4-quarter view of a young woman's head is sweet beyond reckoning. Details and facial features are achieved through tonal shifts. As with most of his portrait drawings there is a psychological depth in which the artist seems to present a psychological essence as well as a physical likeness of his subjects.

There are examples of his compositional work. JOSEPH WITH JACOB AND HIS BROTHERS. This is an example of late renaissance art that somewhat fascinates me. Intense compositions of nudes in which little space is not occupied by twisting bending nudes together furthering a theme. It is as if the artists of the time tried to fit as much of a catalogue of anatomy as possible.

Included in the show are several paintings, one of which is the MARTYDOM OF ST. LAWRENCE -- a treat for torture fans to see Saint Lawrence barbequed on a grill. This painting was commissioned to honor Catherine Medici. You'll have to see the show as I was unable to find a reproduction; to be honest it's not that gory but it does reference the underlying sadism of the times.

All in all you'll need a good amount of time as the drawings are small, the rooms are crowded with art, and subsequently the viewers the night I saw it moved at a snail's pace to take in this intense show.


Copyright © 2010 Robert Sievert


Back to the Front

Book Reviews

Stuart Sherman Returns

Street Art Report

Taller Artifex at Blue Mountain Gallery

David Mollet at the Bowery Gallery

Socrates Goes To The Country

German Art at Blue Mountain Gallery

Lousie Guerin at Blue Mountain Gallery

Nicolas Carone at Washburn Gallery

Diana Manister: Visual Poetry

A New Format

Artezine 16

Artezine 15

Artezine 14

Artezine 13



February 25, 2010