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Posts Tagged ‘Wilhelm Grimm

“What beauty is, I know not, though it adheres to many things”*…

Albrecht Dürer (German, 1471 – 1528 ), Saint Eustace, c. 1500/1501, engraving

Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer was on a constant hunt for inspiration– and found novelty everywhere on his travels…

In 1520 Albrecht Dürer was in Brussels when the contents of a treasure ship sent back from the Americas by Hernán Cortés were put on display to celebrate the coronation of Charles V. The cache contained, among other items, obsidian weapons, jaguar pelts, feathered shields, gemstones and mosaic pieces, and gold wrought in innumerable inventive ways. Dürer, the son of a Nuremberg goldsmith, was flabbergasted. “All the days of my life I have seen nothing that rejoiced my heart so much as these things,” he wrote, “for I saw amongst them wonderful works of art.” But then, for him, everything was a work of art – either God-made or man-made. His well-known watercolours of a piece of turf and the iridescent wing of a blue roller bird are themselves marvels of creation that show marvels of creation.

For Dürer, even more than for most artists, the world was a place of wonder. If Leonardo da Vinci, his senior by 19 years, looked longest and deepest at natural phenomena – from the flow of water to the action of veins and sinews – Dürer (1471-1528) was in thrall to materiality, where sight became an extension of touch…

How a Renaissance master and inveterate traveler journeyed in a permanent state of fascination: “The wonders of Albrecht Dürer’s world,” from Michael Prodger in @NewStatesman.

* Albrecht Dürer


As we wonder, we might spare a thought for Ludwig Emil Grimm; he died on this date in 1863. A painter, art professor, etcher, and copper engraver, his subjects included his two brothers, the folklorists Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm.

self-portrait, 1813


Lest we forget…

As we round the turn into 2010, it’s natural enough to sneak a peak back.  In the spirit of Michael Hughes (whom readers may recall), Jason Powell has created “Looking into the Past,” a Flickr pool devoted to collages that combine old photos of locations, buildings, and people with those of their present day realities.

Photo: Jason Powell, via Ed Hunsinger, via Laughing Squid

See the whole collection.  And see highlights curated by Ed Hunsinger (to whom, ToTH), Paulo Canabarro, or Wired UK.

As we contemplate the space-time continuum, we might raise a toast to a pioneer of a different sort of exploration:  Jacob Grimm, German folklorist and philologist, the elder half of the Brothers Grimm (with his brother, Wilhelm); Jacob was born on this date in 1785.

Jacob Grimm

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