mercoledì 18 marzo 2009

Circa il cibo. Arte figurativa. Louis de Caullery, Banchetto a palazzo.

Una suggestione per i nostri inviti a cena.


Louis de Caullery

He probably came from the village of Caulery near Cambrai, but moved to Antwerp in 1594 and trained with Joos de Momper. He was accepted as a Master in this town in 1602. The date he went to Italy cannot be determined; his works prove that he did however reside in Venice, Florence and Rome.

This artist was inclined toward genre painting and dealt with a highly variety of scenes : carnivals on ice, fireworks, bull-fights, open-air collections, allegories of the five senses and meetings painted in the spirit of the Fontainebleau School. The tallness of his characters, their exquisite postures, smooth faces and bare foreheads characterize his style. His colours are highly sophisticated. Under the influence of the Italian Masters, his palette proved to be an innovation in Flanders : half tones, ocher-yellow, Veronese green and Burgundy red. His depiction of buildings shows him to be concerned with fine precision, while being very skillful at presenting perspective.

Louis de Caulery, one of the pioneers of the genre of courtly gatherings in Flemish painting of the 17th century, has chosen to situate this impressive banquet inside a stately palatial interior.

The guests are particularly numerous and a long table has been placed at right angles in order to receive them all. In the left-hand corner of the composition, musicians provide accompaniment to the festivities according to the custom of the time.

The figures of the highest social rank, either the hosts or the high-class guests, can be distinguished at the end of the table by the bonnet and hat that they keep on their heads, unlike the other guests. In spite of their off-centre position, the attention of the viewer is naturally drawn towards them as a result of the procession of figures bearing their food and beverages.

While a wine steward holds before them a cup in precious metalwork, a young page in richly coloured garb steps forward to present an equally precious cup. He is just in front of a young woman restricted by her multiple farthingales who carries one of the decorative pieces made of cane sugar that enjoyed widespread popularity on the tables of the princes and aristocrats of the age.

In addition to the description of these somewhat ostentatious splendours, these numerous warnings against the excesses of the sensual pleasures form a moral justification of this genre of picture, which is in accordance with the message of its iconographical antecedents, such as, for the banquet scenes, the representation of The Parable of the Prodigal Son. It is also in this sense that the austere figure with a slightly caricatural face, dressed in black and standing amid the courtiers in the foreground, should be read. Whether he be a visiting doctor or the evening's entertainment, he appears to be absorbed in the contemplation of the scenes of battles, shipwrecks and other disasters of ill portent that appear in the grisailles on the room's decorative border, and introduces a slightly dissonant note into the atmosphere of courtly gallantry and insouciance that animates the crowd.

The decidedly complicated outfit of the young girl accompanying the page in the middle of the scene points the way towards an additional iconographical derivation and an alternative reading of this painting: In her many farthingales, the series of scarves pinned to her hair, and in the empty cup held by her companion, one could easily see a thinly veiled allusion to the Legend of John the Baptist, victim of the fatal dance of the young princess Salomé. Following this approach, the apparently innocent courtly banquet depicted in this panel would become an updated and somewhat adapted version of the notorious Feast of Herod.


L'immagine e la sua interessante descrizione, da

Se lo voleste acquistare, rivolgetevi alla Galerie de Jonckheere

Nessun commento:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...