Europe 1300 - 1800
Christus, Portrait of a Young Girl
Petrus Christus, Portrait of a Young Woman, c. 1470, oil on oak, 29 x 22.50 cm (Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin). In the Google Art Project: http://www.googleartproject.com/collection/gemaldegalerie/artwork/portrait-of-a-young-woman-petrus-christus/324332/. Created by Beth Harris and Steven Zucker.
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- I want to know what makes the artist Flemish? Is that where he was from?(13 votes)
- He is Flemish because he is one of the Flemish people, known as Flemings. The Flemings speak a variant of Dutch, sometimes called Flemish, and come from a region known as Flanders. Today, the region is part of the country of Belgium.(19 votes)
- I wanna know why they only talked about this painting for a minute and forty nine seconds?(10 votes)
- Maybe because they don't know very much about the painting and who she was.(15 votes)
- At0:40it is mentioned that this artist was the first Flemish artist to place his subject in an actual space, but didn't the Flemish painter Jan Van Eyck put the Arnolfinis in an actual space well before this?(7 votes)
- When we use the word "space" here, it of course references creating physical location altogether. You're right, this had already been done by Jan Van Eyck, but not comprehensively. This is a great example because it is a portrait and does not depict an event like we see with historical painting or genre painting. If you look at Jan Van Eyck's portraits (here's a link to some of his paintings http://goo.gl/vF5cle ) you will notice that in none of his portraits do his subjects have a physical location. On the contrary, from what we know of Petrus Christus, he consistently desires his portraits to have a sense of the momentary, their niche in time. "This person I have painted exists, and she is [here]", so to speak. (check out some of Christus' work here http://goo.gl/s8DG2b )
Petrus Christus is believed to have been a student or apprentice of Van Eyck, taking over his workshop after his death and rising to become one of the most significant painters in the north, yet he remains rather mysterious to many. In fact, some of his work is believed to be falsely attributed to Van Eyck.
The point is that Petrus Christus took what Jan Van Eyck was doing a step further. It wasn't enough for space to exist properly, space needed to exist period! (Or rather, exclamation mark)(6 votes)
- How old would this girl have been?(3 votes)
- When did artists first start painting with oil-based paints? I can't help noticing that this painting along with the van Eych paintings in the previous videos were able to achieve a new degree of realism, and it seems like some of that had to do with the paint they used...(1 vote)
- It is a legend that dear Jan Van Eyck (ca. 1390-1441) invented oil-painting. Obviously he didn't and oil-painting evolved over time. What is essentially true is that he perfected the technique and even managed to make it regarded as standard for highest quality paintings. This technique is what they called in van Eyck's days the Glaccis or today the glazing technique http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glaze_(painting_technique) .
It is indeed very true that with this technique painters managed to realize a much more profound naturalism than with tempera or certainly afresco. The reason for this is really simple: oil-paint dries much slower than tempera and afresco, on top of that they used the glazes or thin layers of almost transparant paint, this gave them the ability to work really detailed and precise. It obviously goes with long periods of working on the same panel, for which we see much more creative reaction in those days. I mean to say that painters usally worked from a primarily fixed idea and then painted it, sticking to their idea. After the development of serious oil-painting techniques we see the artists reacting to their own paintings in the midst of the proces, adding or cancelling subjects or objects, changing or restressing compositions, etc.. Reshaping their painting until absolute perfection!
Hope this can be an answer for you!(8 votes)
- Why is the painting so cracked? Is this normal for this type of paint or was this exposed to a poor environment?(4 votes)
- Because its so old, Its kinda withered over time. Its kinda like a worn out pair of shoes you know?(2 votes)
- When an oil painting has lots of "crackelure" like this one, is it possible for it to be restored to a smooth finish again?(3 votes)
- If it were possible outside of Photoshop, appraisers and Art Historians would consider this akin to putting a new finish on 17th century French furniture. It would be a different work of art. Forgers spend considerable time making sure craquelure of their works match similar authentic works. If the craquelure is only in the varnish, then that may be re-done, but then "aging" is considered part of the work.(2 votes)
- This painting looks more like Barque art then Northern Renaissance art,does anybody else think the same way?(2 votes)
- For me, not really - the clear-cut edges of the girl's face, the clothing, the particular use of oils - it is all very Northern Renaissance. I associate Baroque art with many more ripples in fabric, more complex compositions, more hues of color on the face, more emotion, and sometimes more chiaroscuro (though this last feature depends on the artist). Good question though!(2 votes)
- Has the identity of the girl been researched at all?
Are there any ideas on who she might be or information about her?(2 votes)
- Why is there so many cracks in the painting?Was it just made that way or because it's just old like Michelangelo's Sistine chapel wall.(1 vote)
[MUSIC PLAYING] DR. STEVEN ZUCKER: Art historians generally like to discuss, things that they do know, things that they discovered, things that they're sure of, but so often, we don't know much. DR. BETH HARRIS: And that's certainly the case with this stunning portrait by Petrus Christus called only, "Portrait of a Young Woman." DR. STEVEN ZUCKER: So let's start with what we do know. We know that this is a young woman. We know who the artist is. We know that the artist is Flemmish, and the portrait was made around 1470. We, of course, know its dimensions. It's quite small. It's made out of oil, and it's on panel. And we know that it's exquisite. And we also know that this portrait is somewhat revolutionary. Petrus Christus was the first artist in Flanders to place his subjects in an actual space. And although there's not much, we do see a bit of molding, a rear wall, and that it does place her in space. DR. BETH HARRIS: So what do we want to know that we don't know about her? DR. STEVEN ZUCKER: I'm really hungry for information. I want to know so much. I want to know, who she is. DR. BETH HARRIS: I want to know what she's thinking about. DR. STEVEN ZUCKER: I want to know where she's looking. DR. BETH HARRIS: I want to know what, if anything, she's holding in her hands. DR. STEVEN ZUCKER: I want to know who this portrait was made for. Who commissioned it? And what was its purpose? DR. BETH HARRIS: I want to know if this is the first time she's ever worn this fabulous dress. DR. STEVEN ZUCKER: I want to know what that little loop is just over her forehead that peeks out from under her hat. DR. BETH HARRIS: I want to know what she dreams about at night. I want to know if she has any ambitions. I want to know how old she is. DR. STEVEN ZUCKER: But you know what? Even though we know so little about this, I still love looking at it. [MUSIC PLAYING]