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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Mrs. Festini's Breakdown, parts 1358 - 1361

1358. So an egg was procured and the artists in turn tried to make it stand on end; but they were all unsuccessful. Then Filippo was asked to do so, and taking the egg graciously he cracked its bottom on the marble and made it stay upright. The others protested that they could have done as much, and laughing at them Filippo retorted that they would also have known how to vault the cupola if they had seen his model or his plans. 

1359. So they resolved that Filippo should be given the task of carrying out the work, and he was told to give more details to the councils and the wardens. (From the life of Filippo Brunelleschi, by Giorgio Vasari.) 

1360. Mrs. Festini was very fond of the renaissance artist and architect Filippo Brunelleschi, and I suppose the reason was because of her love of the science of perspective drawing which that artist was so instrumental in discovering. Festini was well aware that artists ever since the beginning of impressionism had tended to avoid the use of perspective. 

1361. She was even willing to admit that the paintings in museums done before perspective always tend to be more charming and imaginative. She herself pointed out that if you compare painting after the discovery of perspective to works done before, the latter tend to be dry and mathematical looking, lacking magic and curious inventiveness.

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