Thursday, 23 October 2008

Renaissance Faces

Ritratto di Agatha van Schoonhoven by Jan van Scorel
Jan van Scorel's portrait of Agatha van Schoonhoven, whose pose prefigures that of Vermeer's The Girl With a Pearl Earring by 150 years. As a cleric Van Scorel could not marry her, but they were lifelong lovers and she bore him six children

Van Eyck's self-portrait
A really wonderful exhibition Renaissance Faces is on at the national Gallery it is stunning to look at and interesting as well, as the first image suggests. There was another beautiful painting of a 16 year old girl painted by Holbein to show Henry VIII what his future bride No 4 looked like. She was 16 and already a widow! Luckily for her, although he loved her face he did not get around to marrying her, finding temptation closer to home. One wonders what history would have been like if she had become his bride, and what a lucky escape she in fact had.

Photos from here and a review here

1 comment:

materfamilias said...

I'd love to be able to see this show -- portraits are one of my favourite genres. The implicit relationship between subject and object in them is mesmerizing and to stand and look at that now-lapsed intimacy . . .