Art-Fabritius-The Goldfinch TB02
Friday, July 13, 2012
Texas, United States
In The Most Terrifying Thing You've Ever Seen...
This is not collectible.
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About This Item
This is one of a series of travel bugs made to recognize paintings seen, and admired by the bug owner. A digital copy of this painting was downloaded from the internet. The copy was reduced in size and proportions cropped to accommodate the laminating materials available to the owner. Regrettably these processes diminish the effort of the artist. One truly must see the original in person to fully appreciate the work. The text below is a mixture of my own observations and material gleaned from the internet (mostly Wikipedia and Web Gallery).
Carel Fabritius (1622-1654) was a painter during the Dutch Golden Age, the 17th century. Prior to this time most patrons of the arts were the church and royalty who largely wanted portraits and paintings with religious or allegorical themes. After the Renaissance, northern Europe became a center of commerce and the middle classes prospered to the point that they wanted art to decorate their homes. And, they had broader tastes is subject matter than institutional patrons. To satisfy the demand, the Dutch and Flemish regions developed an amazing number of artists. Portraiture and religious topics were still important, but landscape, seascape, cityscape, still life and commemorative paintings began to appear. However, another kind of subject matter really flourished at this time, genre paintings. These were scenes from everyday life, depicting people from all classes.
I had never heard of Fabritius before I saw this painting at an exhibit of Dutch Masters at the Phoenix Art Museum in 2007. For some reason it caught my eye and I kept going back for another look. It was common for a Dutch household to have a bird tethered to a roost. Why not a painting of same thing? At that showing the painting was hung on the wall above eye level, as I am certain it was supposed to be—look at it, the bird is peering down at you. However at its permanent home, the Mauritshuis, The Hague, it is at eye level. Fabritius had been a pupil of Rembrandt. From the master he learned to employ define form through the inflection of light. Rembrandt's method was to portray the subject in light surrounded by a much darker background. The paintings of Fabritius, of which The Goldfinch is perfect example, maintain an overall brightness. Light is still more inflected, not by toning it down or intensifying it, but by tingeing it with subtle hues of color.
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