Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The 17C Family Portrayed Outdoors with the Fruits of their Garden

The Renaissance, from the 14-17C, marked a turning point in portraiture. Renaissance artists began to paint secular scenes, breaking away from the dominant religious art of medieval painters. Partly out of interest in the natural world & partly out of nostalgia for classical Greece & Rome, portraits became valued as symbolic & allegorical objects & as depictions of earthly success & status. The period in Europe was the cultural bridge between the Middle Ages & modern history. The relationship between man & nature was evolving as Francis Bacon (1561-1626) promoted man as "the minister & interpreter of nature." Portraits began to depict the wealthy & the middle class in natural landscapes & in more formal garden settings, where man was obviously controlling the nature around him.   As time passed, the Renaissance garden became as much as symbol of the owner's wealth & culture as his house, his clothes, or his art collection.
1640-50 Anselmus van Hulle (Dutch artist, c 1601-1674) Family Portrait Outdoors with the Bounty from their Garden