VIew From the Edge - Apr/May 2019


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The Visitation, 1528-30 by Jacopo Pontormo

Currently on view at The Getty Center until April 28, 2019, The Visitation is a beautiful example of Jacopo Pontormo's artistic talent.  The painting depicts Mary and her cousin, Elizabeth, meeting when both are pregnant - Mary with Jesus and Elizabeth with John the Baptist.  It has recently been restored and the colors are breathtaking.  The altarpiece is from a small church in the town of Carmignano about 12 miles outside Florence, Italy.  This is the first time the painting has been exhibited outside of Italy.  I had the pleasure of viewing this painting on a visit to Carmignano in 2003 and could not resist seeing it again.  

Pontormo painted in and around Florence in the early to mid 16th Century.  He was a leading painter of his time and became the first painter of the early Medici court.  He is classified as a Mannerist which has many definitions.  Frederick Hart describes "Mannerism" as a "derivation of the Italian word mano(hand), the ascendancy of manual practice over visual observation and intellectual clarity".   Other definitions more readily obvious in The Visitationinclude the elongation of the human figure, distortion of perspective, emphasis on atmospheric effects, and the use of pure and intense hues (color).  It is thought that Pontormo's color palette may have been influenced by Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel where the colors are exceptionally bright and full of light.  Pontormo and Michelangelo were contemporaries.  As you will see when you view The Visitation, the robes are voluminous, the figures seem to float in their space, and there is an ethereal quality to the composition.

As mentioned above, this exhibit closes Sunday, April 28th.  If you have the time to take a drive to The Getty Center, it will be well worth your while and the price of parking ($20), there is no admission fee.  

I hope to have another View From the Edge posting in May for an exhibit with a longer viewing time.

Where you can find me:

Alta-Pasa-Dena Open Studios
May 24th  6-9 PM
Reception and Silent Auction
Altadena Library
600 E. Mariposa St.
June 1st and 2nd - Studio Tour
4283 Aralia Rd., Altadena

Art On Palm at Loma Alta Park
June 8th and 9th - 10 - 4 PM 
3330 Lincoln Ave. and Palm St.
Altadena, CA
Yes, 2 days and back on Palm St.!

More to come!