"What is striking about Moroni’s portraits is that he seems never to have retreated into a style, never flattered or generalized the sitter’s features. He kept himself open and empathetic to his subjects, even when they are perhaps a little tense and annoyed at having to be still for so long; even when they are analyzing him and by extension the viewer... By not developing a style, Moroni was able to become “almost anonymous” in his representations. Style, it could be said, is related to caricature, going from the exaggerated (Alice Neel) to the elegant (Alex Katz) to the photographic (Andy Warhol). Moroni’s non-style brought to mind a comment I have heard a number of painters make: There is no progress in art."
Gilbert writes: "There's a dead Christ with the Virgin Mary and St. John by the great Venetian painter Giovanni Bellini -- emotional and simply yet subtly colored -- and a mythological scene that some think is an early Titian. But the excitement in this small show is in discovering great works by artists who are obscure compared to those titans," including Moretto da Brescia, Giovanni Battista Moroni, Bergognone, Vincenzo Foppa, Giovanni Cariani, Bartolomeo Montagna, and Andrea Previtali.
Bruce Boucher writes an in depth review of the exhibition Lorenzo Lotto on view at the Scuderie del Quirinale, Rome through June 12, 2011. Boucher introduces Lotto as "an outlier in Italian Renaissance art, a portrait painter capable of capturing the soul on canvas, a man whose religious art struck a note of sincerity in an age bound by ritual and dogma, a figure overshadowed in life by Titian and Raphael and condemned to poverty and relative failure in his own day."
The Guardian's Jonathan Jones poses an interesting question: "In The Agony in the Garden, [Giovanni Bellini] attempted a true landscape 20 years before Leonardo's lauded sketch of the Arno river. Does that make him an innovator to rival Da Vinci?"
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.