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Posts Tagged ‘Frick’

From Her Palace

May 16, 2014 | by

La Schiava Turca,

Parmigianino, Schiava Turca, c. 1531–34

The Schiava Turca (Turkish Slave) is one of the many mysteries of art history. The painting, a 1530s Mannerist masterpiece by Parmigianino, is considered an icon of the artist’s hometown, but no one is sure of the sitter’s identity. Was it a noblewoman? A courtesan? Or just an ideal of feminine beauty? One thing is more or less certain: nickname aside, the woman pictured was almost certainly not Turkish. The painting acquired its commonly used moniker in 1704, when a cataloguer assumed its subject’s dress spoke of the East. Rather, her sumptuous costume and turban-like balzo headdress would have been characteristic of court dress of the Northern Italian Renaissance.

Aimee Ng, guest curator of the Frick’s current exhibition, “The Poetry of Parmigianino’s ‘Schiava Turca’,” has another theory altogether. As the show’s title indicates, she feels the portrait may have had everything to do with the literary culture of the era. She explains,

In the Renaissance, beautiful women and their portraits were often seen as poetic muses who inspired male poets and painters. This sitter is directly linked to poetry through the ornament on her headdress, which depicts a winged horse, the symbol of poetic inspiration. Perhaps, however, rather than a muse, the sitter is herself a poet. Seen in this light, her twisting pose … and forthright gaze would convey her creative force. She may even be identified with a specific female poet active in the area around Parma in the 1530s, such as Veronica Gambara, whom Parmigianino had many opportunities to meet.

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Art and Literature Are Teeming with Monsters, and Other News

January 3, 2014 | by

Bosch Hell

Art credit Hieronymus Bosch.

 

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Staff Picks: ‘Rules of Civility,’ Scott’s Photographs

October 21, 2011 | by

New restaurants hold no interest for me, and neither did restaurant reviews—until two years ago, when Sam Sifton took over at the Times. Who else would write, of an aged duck, “It looked like an abscess, frankly. It tasted like godhead”? He was the first thing I read every Wednesday. Now that he’s gone to the National desk, do I have to start reading the news? —Lorin Stein

I’ve been enjoying Amor Towles’s Depression-era Rules of Civility with delight; it’s a good read in every sense. —Sadie Stein

I’m excited to see this spectacle of a concert at the New Museum on Saturday. Pitchfork and its sister site, Altered Zones have invited a lineup of ten performers and five DJs to take over the museum lobby, auditorium, and sky deck after-hours alongside an installation by Nuit Blanche New York. —Artie Niederhoffer

I was curiously entranced and chilled by the newly discovered photographs of Scott’s expedition to the South Pole. They’re bleak, beautiful, and suffused with doom. Deirdre Foley-Mendelssohn

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