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September 1991

Vol. 133 | No. 1062

The Burlington Magazine


Frankfurt's New Cultural Skyline

  • A Coloured Flower Study by Martin Schongauer and the Development of the Depiction of Nature from van der Weyden to Dürer

    By Fritz Koreny

    WHEN surviving works are scarce, it may be difficult to evaluate the full stature of artists whose biographies indicate that they were greatly admired in the past. This is particularly true of Martin Schongauer. He was known as 'pictorum gloria' within his lifetime, and after his death his name was always mentioned with the greatest admiration. We learn from Jakob Wimpheling, Beatus Rhenanus, Bernhart Jobin, Lambert Lombard, Giorgio Vasari and other commentators - however defective their knowledge of the facts may occasionally be – that Schongauer's reputation and influence spread far beyond the borders of Germany: not only was he honoured as a pupil of Rogier van der Weyden, but he was seen as the figure who brought Netherlandish art to Germany and taught the next generation of German artists, especially Albrecht Diirer. There are, of course, some mythical elements in this picture, and a corrective was provided as early as 1515 by Christoph Scheurl, who reported Diirer's statement that, although he had been a welcome guest in Schongauer's brother's house in Colmar in 1492, 'he had never been a pupil of Martin's, indeed he had never even seen him'. Schongauer had, in fact, died a few months before Diirer's arrival. This statement does, however, indicate that the goal of Dfirer's journeyman travels was indeed Schongauer's workshop in Colmar. Moreover, it is demonstrably the case that Diirer, who was then twenty-one years old, acquired – whether by gift or purchase – drawings by Schongauer from the artist's brothers, for there are a few sheets by Schongauer which bear Diirer's handwriting.

  • Additions to Jacob van Ruisdael

    By Seymour Slive

    PEDANTICALLY speaking, there exist no preparatory drawings by Jacob van Ruisdael for his paintings or etchings. Evidently he was not the kind of artist who made squared, indented or pricked drawings for transfer, or, for that matter, scrupulously exact painted and etched copies of his own fully worked-up drawings. Nevertheless, some sheets can reasonably be classified as preparatory studies for paintings, while others, more or less related to finished painted compositions, qualify as preliminary sketches, aides de mimoire or first pensees. In his fundamental monographic article and catalogue of 113 Ruisdael drawings published in 1980, Jeroen Giltaij lists twenty-one sheets that belong to these less than water-tight categories. This number can be increased by a few works he catalogued which are connected to paintings he did not list, plus one other, in the British Museum, the authenticity of which is accepted by some students though it is not listed by Giltaij or by Jakob Rosenberg. Additionally, two unpublished paintings for which preliminary studies can be identified at the Bredius Museum and the Amsterdam Historical Museum respectively, and an unpublished drawing that served Jacob for a painting in the Ashmolean, augment Giltaij's basic list.

  • New Dated Works from Aelbert Cuyp's Early Career

    By Alan Chong

    SEVERAL paintings have recently appeared or re-appeared which permit a more precise chronology of Aelbert Cuyp's early development, long an area of confusion, to be established. In his catalogue raisonne of 1834, John Smith followed received opinion in assigning some finely painted pictures of horses, usually signed 'A.C.', to Cuyp's earliest period; these are now known to be by Cuyp's principal seventeenth-century follower, Abraham van Calraet.'  J.P. Richter, in his 1880 catalogue of the Dulwich Picture Gallery, recognised that many of Cuyp's early works closely imitate the rich impasto ofJan van Goyen's landscapes, and Cuyp indeed painted landscapes in this style for two group portraits by his father Jacob (Fig.47). These collab- orative efforts are dated 1641, providing some firm anchor for Cuyp's chronology. The paintings which preceded the van Goyenesque landscapes are crucial in establishing the visual sources which affected the early Cuyp. A farm scene in Besangon dated 1639 (Fig.39) has long been the touch- stone of Cuyp's earliest years, but its worn state has made it difficult to establish precise links with other works. A painting depicting the Melkport on Dordrecht harbour is also dated 1639, while two stylistically similar pictures must have been executed in the same year. Now another landscape signed and dated 1639 (Fig.40)7 has come to light, which further indicates the remarkably eclectic range of styles Cuyp used in the first year of his career.

  • W. W. Winkworth (1897-1991)

    By J. V. G. Mallet
  • Gerard David

    By Lorne Campbell
  • The Isenheim Altarpiece: God's Medicine and the Painter's Vision

    By Christiane Andersson
  • Diamante Gedenkzuilen en Leerzaeme Voorbeelden. Een bespreking van Johan van Gools Nieuwe Schouburg

    By Charles Ford
  • Caspar David Friedrich in seiner Zeit: Zeichnungen des Romantik und des Biedermeier [and: The Romantic Vision of Caspar David Friedrich Paintings and Drawings from the USSR; Caspar David Friedrich and the Subject of Landscape]

    By William Vaughan
  • Northern European Paintings in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. From the Sixteenth Through the Nineteenth Century [and: L'Or et l'ombre: catalogue critique et raisonne des peintures hollandaises du six-septieme et du dix-huitieme siecles conservees au Museaux des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux]

    By Homan Potterton
  • The Divided Heritage: Themes and Problems in German Modernism

    By Sean Rainbird