After spending nearly 7 hours today at the Prado in Madrid and seeing many incredibly great and famous masterpieces, our first moment inside remains my favorite. Just as Susan and I were leaving the security scanner, a woman with a badge approached us. What follows is the actual dialog:
Woman (in heavily accented English): Do you want a guided tour to see the most important sites of the Prado in one hour?
Andrew M. Goldstein of Artspace.com has put together a useful collection of modern and contemporary artist names for anyone who has wondered if they were wrong. Boy, I could have used this when I first started teaching. Not that I still don’t need this. I’ll be sneaking a peak at this list for years to come. Don’t forget the link at the bottom with page two and more help.
Designed by Johannes Stradanus “Lorenzo de’ Medici in the Sculpture Garden,” 1571 [detail] Tapestry, 167 5/16 x 179 1/8 in. Museo Nazionnale di San Marco, Pisa
When he was only fifteen, Michelangelo was invited by the ruler of Florence, Lorenzo de’Medici, il Magnifico himself, to live in his palace and be trained in a school that he had established to foster the next generation of Florentine master sculptors. The sculptors were taught by an old man, Bertoldi di Giovanni, the last living student of the great Renaissance sculptor, Donatello. When Michelangelo arrived, the school’s star pupil was Pietro Torrigiani, a talented artist three years older than he was.
According to the Renaissance biographer Vasari, the day Michelangelo first visited Lorenzo de’Medici’s garden he noticed Torrigiani making small clay figures. Michelangelo thought he could do better, found some clay, and preceded to do just that. Torrigiani learned quickly that he was now facing a formidable rival. Soon his fellow students were studying the new arrival’s drawings, not his. At the dinners in the Medici Palace, he couldn’t help noticing that Michelangelo was often found sitting next to Lorenzo de’Medici himself — closer than il Magnifico’s own children.
These hand stencils found in the El Castillo cave in Cantabria, Spain, were probably made by a man (left) and a woman (right), respectively. Photographs by Roberto Ontanon Peredo, courtesy Dean Snow
An article in National Geographic presents research by an archeologist at Penn State that proposes that most of the pre-historic art found in caves was done by women. This is based on analysis of the hand stencil “signatures.”
A 3D animation which shows what Antoni Gaudi’s iconic Sagrada Familia in Barcelona will look like when completed has just been released. Begun more than 130 years ago in 1882, the push is on to finally finish the cathedral by the 100th anniversary of Gaudi’s death.