Friday, March 20, 2009

Albrecht Durer

Albrecht Durer is one of the most fascinating artists for me. Born from my favorite medieval country of Germany, he was an artist from the transition period, which is about the year1470 to 1530's, of the middle ages and the Renaissance. As far as I know, Germany and the Low Countries in that time was caught in this transition period, when the medieval style was starting to be abandoned for the new art fueled by the revival of the classics. But somehow, even if the Northern artists were somehow influenced by Italian art, they still visibly tied to the Gothic taste, wherein medieval and renaissance art are mixed, but the former yet distinguishable, unlike the paintings from further south, in which the heaviness and linearity of the earlier style was non-existent. And the best examples of the Northern Renaissance style comes from Durer's work.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

On Japanese Art

This is the only piece of original Japanese calligraphy that I own. It was done by a Japanese. It writes here my full name.

Well, I became interested in Japanese art when I took up an Asian Art History class just this semester. Among the Japanese art, I became much interested in Edo prints, namely the Ukiyo-e, particularly in the Musha-e, or warrior prints. The Edo prints are for me a very good example of the graphic arts. Aside from that, I really appreciate their meticulous detail of work, a quality somehow I want to achieve in my works.

There was once this picture where the cityscape of Edo at that time was clearly depicted in a byobu, or painted screens. The people their are vividly painted, especially the procession or the arrival of the Daimyo with his retinue at the old capital.

The manner in which they rendered their war scenes in the musha-e is strongly reminiscent of Albrecht Altdorfer's style. In his painting of "The Battle of Alexander at Issus," he showed almost every detail possible during a battle back in the Renaissance.

I also have a plan to illustrate an imaginary battle scene, based on my earliest story, back when I was in high school. I'd like to create it in ukiyo-e style, with a little of Aldorfer, and executed in a more graphical style.