Wednesday, June 13, 2018

European Artworks on Vellum at the V&A

Anonymous Netherlandish artist
Design for cup
ca. 1500-1600
drawing on vellum
Victoria & Albert Museum

Bernardo Parentino
Venus and Cupid trampling on a serpent
before 1531
drawing on vellum
Victoria & Albert Museum

The Serpent

There was a Serpent who had to Sing.
There was. There was.
He simply gave up Serpenting
Because. Because.
He didn't like his Kind of Life;
He couldn't find a Proper Wife;
He got no pleasure Down his Hole;
He was a Serpent with a Soul;
And so, of course, he had to Sing:
And Sing he did, like Anything!

The Birds they were, they were Astounded;
And Various measures they propounded
To stop the Serpent's Awful Racket:
They bought a Drum, he wouldn't Whack it;
They sent, – you always send, – to Cuba
And got a Most Commodious Tuba;
They got a Horn, they got a Flute,
But Nothing did that Serpent suit.
He said, "Look, Birds, all this is futile;
I do not like to Bang or Tootle."
And then he cut loose with a Horrible Note
That practically split the Top of his Throat!
"You see," he said, with a Serpent's Leer,
"I'm Serious about my Singing Career!"
And the Woods resounded with many a Shriek
And the Birds flew off to the End of Next Week!

– Theodore Roethke (1950)

Robert Pyle
Apotheosis of Henry VIII
ca. 1546
drawing on vellum
Victoria & Albert Museum

attributed to √Čtienne Delaune
Design for salt-cellar with satyr on tripod
before 1595
drawing on vellum
Victoria & Albert Museum

Cruyl Lieven
River Tiber looking toward St Peter's and Castel Sant'Angelo, Rome
ca. 1667-1700
drawing on vellum
Victoria & Albert Museum

Johann Wilhelm Baur
Miniature painting - Port Scene
ca. 1620-40
watercolor on vellum
Victoria & Albert Museum

Bartholomaus Dietterlin
Miniature painting of bandits sacking a German village
1638
watercolor on vellum
Victoria & Albert Museum

Nicholas Dixon after Hans Holbein
Miniature painting - Noli me tangere
ca. 1673-80
watercolor on vellum
Victoria & Albert Museum

Sarah Stanley
Miniature painting of Joseph and Potiphar's Wife
1727
pigment on vellum, mounted on panel
Victoria & Albert Museum

The Exile

The young prince is placed under a bed.
He wonders if he is an heir, or the residue of the maid's neglect?

Should he sleep? Or should he simply do nothing?

Even so, time empties out of the banishment. The solitude grows weary and decays out of caring, and the kingdom in the distance merges with other distances.

One cannot help wondering if he had not been meant to be someone else.

And now the laughter of women in the hallway. The movement of feet, the rush and the flush of the living.

And he wonders if he is not just some of the darkness that floats in a dark room, that hangs by mirrors and drifts through the spokes of chairs . . .

Time gives the blossom its final ornament . . .

– Russell Edson (1973)

Pieter Pietersz
Portrait miniature of Anna Cernohorska of Boskovic
1589
pigment on vellum
Victoria & Albert Museum

Anonymous French artist
Portrait miniature of Anne of Austria
ca. 1620-60
pigment on vellum
Victoria & Albert Museum

Anonymous British artist
Portrait miniature of William and Mary
ca. 1690
watercolor on vellum, mounted in brooch
Victoria & Albert Museum

Jean-√Čtienne Liotard
Profile portrait, said to be of Sir Everard Fawkener
 ca. 1750
pastel on vellum
Victoria & Albert Museum

Jean-Louis Fesch
Mr Garrick as Benedict in Much Ado about Nothing
ca. 1770
watercolor on vellum
Victoria & Albert Museum