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Monday, 8 July 2013

Act 3, Scene 10

The narrative began with Act 1, scene 1 on April 10, 2013.
To access all scenes, scroll to blog archive at the bottom of the page.

In the small campo outside the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, where our narrative began last April, a frazzled  photographer tries to direct a rather unruly group into some semblance of order, posing them for a group photo.

Photographer, loudly, in very apparent frustration:
OK everyone (claps his hands in an attempt to gain the attention of the 20 or so he has been asked to photograph), tall people in the back row please, about 8 in the middle and four or five in the chairs at the front.

Moving with glacial speed, and gradually breaking off their lively conversations, the artists make a show of complying. Only one or two give a damn about the group photo, or the photographer. Earnestly these few nudge shoulders and assist with the placement of tall and short participants. Someone is overheard saying, "For god's sake don't let Michelangelo anywhere near El Greco. He'll tear him apart."

Listen, people! This is what your host calls a legacy shot. So, as much as possible, you should be beside or close to some artist who influenced you. But still, try to keep the taller people in the middle at the back, thank you. Signore Da Vinci to the very centre of the back row, thank you. And M. Picasso on the chair, centre front row, please. No, no, no. Wait a minute – you should be standing at one end, sir. The chairs can be for anyone. So if you are tired or hung over, take a chair. OK, here we go, people. Let's hold those thoughts for a few minutes – no conversation just now, thank you. (limited success)

This group includes one of many "family trees" that illustrate clear lines of influence from one artist to another. These are artists who are directly tied to one another through their work, often as teachers or students. Each of these painters has been influenced by someone in this group (as well as by others who are busy with other group photos elsewhere). In an effort to "join the dots" for the reader, what follows is a lineage, an evolution in painting, beginning in the quattrocento (the 15th century) and culminating in the present day. This is not an exhaustive sampling of artistic influences from one generation to the next; that would be far too complicated. However, the interdependent influences described below will offer at least one path of investigation, featuring connections acknowledged by the artists themselves. A chronological list of these artists follows the examples of their work, which also appear chronologically where possible. 

AnnunciationBarthélémy d'Eyck (fl. 1444-1469) 

Virgin of the Annunciation, Antonello da Messina, (c. 1430 – February 1479)

Bellini, Giovanni St. Francis in Ecstasy, c. 1480, Tempera and oil on panel

Giorgione. The Tempest. c.1506-9

Titian, Bacchanal of the Andrians, 1523-5

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Historically accurate anecdotes are especially welcome.