Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Austria - A painting by Joachim de Patinier in Museum of Art History, Vienna (US-336722)

I receive art cards rather rarely and I think there's something good about it, even though I enjoy receiving them. My knowledge about art is very limited, I'm not one of those people, who often go to galleries and can spend a whole day there. I've been to several galleries so far, but when my brain gets too much information in a subject that I have no idea about (like art) - nothing lasts in my memory. I think in my case there's more use of receiving art cards sometimes :) You see, when I have just one painting, I look at it carefully, I'm looking for interesting details, then I google for some further information... And I think it actually makes me learn a bit more about art. The other reason which makes me like this card is that I like religious art.

This card was sent from the USA, but I decided to label it as Austria, because it was issued by the Museum of Art History (Kunsthistorisches Museum) in Vienna. This painting, called Baptism of Christ, was painted by Joachim de Patinier about 1515. He was Flemish Northern Renaissance history and landscape painter from the area of modern Wallonia.


In this painting the religious scene in the foreground and the broad landscape that surrounds it share an equal importance. Landscape was Patinier’s favourite subject, but he felt compelled to justify it by the inclusion of the baptism of Christ in the foreground. The eye of the viewer is drawn as much to the bizarre rock formation in the middle distance, with the River Jordan circling round it, as it is to the figures depicted in the foreground. Despite the seemingly disparate themes of landscape and religious narrative, Patinier is able to unify them. The central rock formation occupies a spit of land that juts into the pictorial space from the left. The land formation provides a narratively separate space for the sermon of John the Baptist in the Wilderness. In the far distance, the view widens to a panoramic landscape. The overall blue tone of this portion of the landscape results from Patinier’s understanding use of aerial perspective.

I'm not sure if I should post also the stamps along with an art card, but in this case stamps are very nice and are not the standard ones, so I decided to share them with you too.

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