By Metropolitan Museum of Art, Maryan Wynn Ainsworth
Result of a systematic research of the substructure of thirty-nine work within the Metropolitan Museum's collections.
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Extra info for Art and autoradiography: Insights into the genesis of paintings by Rembrandt, Van Dyck, and Vermeer
With the head bending back at the top, the feet joined at the ankles, and the arms folded across the body, it was but a short step, sculpturally, to a reclining position. With a slight angling and inclination of the feet and some flexion of the knees—the latter already hinted at on certain precanonical works (pls. 19, 20)—the posture was easily transformed from one that was precarious at best to one that was safe and secure. Henceforth, when a sculptor wished to make a figure stand, he separated the legs all the way to the crotch, but the feet he carved on a base that enabled the image to maintain its stance with some stability (fig.
7B–10) Following the Plastiras and violin figures, or coeval with the later ones, are a number of variations on these types that are simpler than the former and more complex than the latter. To my knowledge, no hybrid images have been found in the course of systematic excavation. Typologically, they seem experimental, in the sense that they incorporate elements of both the schematic and the naturalistic approaches to the human form, which usually tended to be discrete but chronologically parallel (fig.
14 By contrast, some Neolithic figures are actually much broader through the shoulders than across their outsized hips. Still, to allow for forearms of adequate length, the elbows of Plastiras figures normally stand out well away from the body, and often enough the upper body is dramatically broad, providing correspondingly broad shoulders. This prompted at least one sculptor to risk boring the inner contour of the bend at the elbows (fig. 15 A noteworthy exception to Plastiras extravagance is the work illustrated in figure 4.
Art and autoradiography: Insights into the genesis of paintings by Rembrandt, Van Dyck, and Vermeer by Metropolitan Museum of Art, Maryan Wynn Ainsworth