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Thursday, December 10, 2015

The best of post-Atlantean art

To celebrate the opening of a new bookshop in the neighborhood, an "esoteric bookshop" (in spite of the oxymoron implied by the very term), it was inwardly mandatory to buy something. Let's see . . .  something unusual: a book on Renaissance art! :-D

The keys provided by Rudolf Steiner's essays are surely different from the standard ones, e.g. Giorgio Vasari had not thought about presenting Michelangelo's works in the context of a "fifth post-Atlantean epoch." This high-sounding phrase basically means that Steiner loved the Northern European art of the 16th century better than Italian art -- and from this viewpoint he actually has something to teach, especially to Italians who tend to go self-referential when it is about the Renaissance. Steiner's most interesting insights concern late Medieval sculpture in Germany and Rembrandt's paintings, focusing in general on facial expressions and the use of light and shading, both of which turn out to be much more than embellishments.