Friday, February 20, 2015

After Michelangelo

The Rijksmuseum preserves the wash drawing above. It was based on an oil self -portrait by the Dutch painter Jan de Bisschop (1628-1671). The original work in oil is thought to be lost.

Below, a selection of Jan de Bisschop's etchings and sketches, starting with a group of languorous nudes derived from Michelangelo. Collections of relatively inexpensive prints like these were among the chief means by which the fleshly arts of southern Europe infiltrated and overcame the heavily upholstered figure-drawing of the north.

In addition to the dominating models of Michelangelo and of ancient Rome, Jan de Bisschop adapted figures from Tintoretto, Jacopo Bassano, Annibale Carracci, Paolo Veronese, Titian, Rubens, and Anthony Van Dyck.

The final image is another wash drawing. Jan de Bisschop chose to depict a semi-surrealistic still life, with fabric cascading from the tabletop like a waterfall. An inscription is found on the back of the sheet  the picture was presented as a gift to a fellow Dutch artist in the 1660s.