Articles From : SB Art Museum
In recent decades, interdisciplinary technical study of works of art, pooling the expertise of art historians, conservators, and conservation scientists, has provided valuable new insights into artists’ materials and working methods. Such collaborative research has productively addressed a range of far reaching art historical issues, including questions of authorship, chronology, creative process, and artistic intention.
That art has this power to haunt us to such a degree that we scheme of ways to see what we have heard about or seen in reproduction or can easily access on the internet is one of those fascinating mysteries of modern life. A mystery, because it is by no means certain that the thing that haunts me will have the same effect on someone else. Because in the end, our responses to works of art are complex and personal and attempts to intellectualize the process seem to me doomed to failure.
When Edgar Degas traveled across the sea to visit his Creole family in New Orleans in 1872, he continually expressed his anxiety about his sight and his difficulty apprehending or painting the black persons so novel to him. The artist claimed that the brevity of his visit justified his decision not to depict this foreign place so pervaded by a boldly visible racial difference. The unfamiliarity of the spectacle of blackness made Degas think about other French artists who might have attempted to meet such a challenge, for instance Manet.
According to his biographer Ascancio Condivi, Michelangelo created his first painting, "The Torment of Saint Anthony," when the young artist was only about twelve years old. This talk explores how the disciplines of art history, conservation and science united to help confirm the attribution of Michelangelo’s first painting, now in the collection of the Kimbell Art Museum.
Image: Michelangelo Buonarroti, :The Torment of Saint Anthony" (detail), 1487. Tempera on panel. Kimbell Art Museum.