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Monday, May 25, 2009

Artwork Mentioned in Madame Serpent

As I was reading through Madame Serpent I came across a passage that contained a description of some artwork that King Francis I had in his posession. Having just finished studying Italian Art I had to go and look these up to see if they were actually in his posession; here is what I found.

Here is the passage from the book: "Summer came, and Fontainebleau was beautiful in summer. Francis, as restless as ever, found some peace in this palace among his statues and paintings. He would spend much time, between bouts of feasting and love-making, marvelling at his Italian pictures - Leonardo's Gioconda, Michelangelo's Leda, and Titian's Magdalen among them." (pg 163-164)

Leonardo Da Vinci - La Gioconda
Also Known As - Mona Lisa

Mona Lisa or La Gioconda by Leonardo Da Vinci
First of all, I had to look this one up because I had never heard of it called La Gioconda. Leonardo began this painting in 1503 and brought it to France with him when he moved there in his late life. King Francis I bought it from an assistant of Leonardo after his death and kept it at Fontainebleau. It was moved to it's current home, the Louvre, after the French Revolution.

Michelangelo Buonarroti - Leda and the Swan

Leda and the Swan by Michelangelo BuonarrotiThis painting is inspired by the Ancient Greek myth that Zeus came to Leda in the form of a Swan and inpregnated her. She later gave birth to 2 children - 1 being that of Zeus and 1 from her husband. Michelangelo's painting was lost - or destroyed - but his image survives today because of many reproductions done by other artists. According to the book Francis I by R.J. Knecht, Francis I had added this painting to his collection along with many other Florentine artists.

Titian - The Penitent Mary Magdalene
The Penitent Mary Magdalene by Titian
This painting is of the Mary Magdalene. I had a more difficult time with this piece. Titian definately did some work for Francis. He is said to have never met him, but painted a portrait of him as well as other commissioned works. I am unable to say whether or not he owned this painting - I can't find much about it, but I would think it is possible.

If anyone knows anything about these works, please feel free to leave comments, I only know what I could quickly find on the internet.

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1 comment:

  1. Isn't it intersting when reading a book for the story opens up so many more avenues of pleasure, thanks for sharing.


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