Tag: baroque

Some Ridiculous Links

Some of you, beloved readers, expressed an interest in one title I mentioned in the previous post, Die Wiedererweckung des Lachens. Schwänke und Scherze aus dem sechzehnten Jahrhundert.
Here is a list of the content. I doubt that this book is translated, lets see whether texts in it may be available on the web. See also “jestbooks” (here).
For further reading …

Poggio BRACCIOLINI, Facetiae 1470 (something googlish)
Hieronymus MORLINI, Novellae 1520 (exists, nothing else found)
Giovanni Francesco STRAPAROLA, Vergnügliche Nächte (The Facetious Nights) 1550
Matteo BANDELLO, Novelle 1554
Francesco SANSOVINO, Cento Novelle 1560 (exists, nothing else found)

Augustin TÜNGER, Facetiae 1486 (exists, nothing else found)
Heinrich BEBEL, Facetien 1504-1514
Johannes PAULI, Schimpf und Ernst 1522 (terrible, nothing to be found, outdated links, so much for the actuality of the web)
Jörg WICKRAM, Rollwagenbüchlein 1555 (???)
Jacob FREY, Gartengesellschaft 1556/57
Martin MONTANUS, Gartengesellschaft 1558 (or later), Wegkürtzer 1557 (nothing !)
Michael LINDENER, Rastbüchlein 1558, Katzipori 1558 (exists)

From the Cent Nouvelles Nouvelles, post 1460 (translation)
From RABELAIS, circa 1550 (see the linked wikipage for links to works)
Bonaventure Des PÉRIERS, Nouvelles Récréations et Jouyeux Devis 1558
Guillaume BOUCHET, Serées 1584 (Ger. wiki, bit more detailed)
Étienne TABOUROT, Escraignes Dijonnoises 1608
Bérolade De VERVILLE, Moyen de Parvenir 1612 (only parts, about)
Sieur GAULARD, Sayings 1599 (see TABOUROT’s Escraignes, and here)

Nermberch Akademie

The Academy of Fine Arts Nuremberg (German : Akademie der Bildenden Künste Nürnberg) was founded in 1662 by Jacob von Sandrart and is the oldest art academy in German-speaking Central Europe.

That’s fine what wikipedia says in its article (Ger., Eng.), but how did they do it ? Did some blokes scramble in the seedy back-room of the Bratwurschtglöckla (Gartenlaube), knock back a few pints and finally say : “Yoh, we are ready for academy now !” ? That is basically what happened, except that the Akademie resided first in a private dwelling ; the beginnings are called “humble”, and it may have been a bit more complicated as the above cited sentence indicates. So says Ludwig GROTE (Ger.) whom I follow on this. *
An “Akademie” (Eng.) can be founded – even today – by anybody. It is not a university. Universities were founded by rulers or states that took good (more or less) care for the financial basis, payment for professors, housing for students, equipment (library !) etc.etc.pp., and in turn expected that the university would produce for example jurists for the dukedom’s administration or theologians for the territorial church. An Akademie can have another subject, the arts, natural science or trade ; it is not necessarily a place where students are educated, so young members of the Nuremberg Akademie were expected to have learned their profession as painters from a master before  they enter the institution. And the Institut was open for interested laymen too, they may be exercising an art themselves as dilettantes or they may be potential buyers of art.
The Akademie was founded by the copperplate engraver Jacob von SANDRART (Ger., Eng., ADB) (1630-1708), the city council member Joachim NÜTZEL von Sündersbühl (1629-1671), and the architect Elias von GEDELER (no information found, 1620-1693). NÜTZEL was there for official reasons : The city council had even in the late seventeenth century a problem with citizens coming together in unsupervised groups, too often – at least for the authority’s taste – from such gatherings unrest, even rebellion, had started.
GEDELER (or GÖDELER) was an Exilant / expatriate from Upper-Austria, and Jacob was the nephew of the painter Joachim von SANDRART (Ger., Eng.), who – according to GROTE – was the driving force behind the founding of the Akademie.
After the initial push business became a bit slow, what changed 12 years later when Joachim finally settled in Nuremberg (1674) –  and promptly became president of the society. He chose as assistants a man called EIMMERT, the brother-in-law of Jacob, and a man called AUER, Jacob’s son-in-law – the whole thing at this time was clearly an affaire of the SANDRART family. Also the artists who had migrated to Nuremberg in the fifteen years between the end of the Thirty-Years-War (1648) and the formation of the Akademie (1662) were all connected in one way or another to Joachim, either they were members of his family, or disciples & admirers.
Joachim von SANDRART (1606-14.X.1688) was not for the first time in Nuremberg. When the large congress or conference that marked the official end of the Thirty-Years-War took place in Nuremberg 1648, he was called in by Carl Gustav von Zweibrücken (Ger., Eng.) (1622-1660), Generalissimus and future king of Sweden – to portrait the attendees. SANDRART was the society painter of his age, who ever was something special needed a portrait by him. Carl Gustav threw honours at him, people queued in front of his painting room. And boy was he quick: He did one or, in a good mood, two portraits a day – earning tons of money, medals, titles … a Malerfürst, polyglot, with aplomb and self-consciousness.
An earlier try to found an Akademie in Augsburg faltered, but Joachim in his long career had contact to nearly any such undertaking, knew notably the Accademia della Crusca (Ger., Eng.) in Firenze. In Nuremberg the “academic idea” was already present : different circles existed since the days of the humanists like CELTIS & PIRCKHEIMER, there was a philological circle around HESSE & CAMERARIUS, a collegium medicum, the Pegnesische Blumenorden, an alchemical society with young LEIBNIZ as secretary (shortly !).
SANDRART wrote about his ideal, and of course the title of his magnum opus is “Teutsche Academie“.
In the centre is for him the informal meeting of artists, mainly to draw together from nature, nude drawing, and above this – following the Renaissance ideal – the engagement with anatomy, perspective, proportion theory, architecture, mythology et al. That is what he had learned to know notably in Italy, in Venezia, Bologna and of course Rome, where such private circles existed and where he met men like LORRAIN and POUSSIN.
What we can see here is that artists who had learned not only to draw but had educated themselves following a program, separate themselves from the “gemeine Maler”, the run-of-the-mill Pinselquäler, brush-tormenter. It is a sociological process that finds its expression in Emperor Rudolf II. granting the “Malerzeche” of Prague the right to call their “Handwerk”, their craft, “Malkunst” in 1596. They are allowed to have their own guild, the emblem is Minerva.
SANDRART btw is the first who in his “Teutsche Academie” gives not only a theory of art, a program for artists, but who collects biographies of artists as well, most notably GRÜNEWALD. He saw DÜRER as his predecessor and payed tribute to the great man by renovating his grave by own means.
SANDRARTs classical ideal is expressed by LESSING in one sentence : “Der Pinsel des Malers soll in Verstand getunkt sein.”
The painter’s brush should be tipped in sense / wit / intellect.
He said it himself a bit more elaborate :

“Es vermeinen etliche unsererer Teutschen, auch theils alte Künstler, es sei ihnen rühmlich und fördere zu großem Namen, wenn sie große wilde Fantasten sind und durch verkehrtes Leben wilde Würmer im Kopf erzeugen. Womit sie nur ihre törichte Einfalt zeigen und daß ihnen an Vernunft und Weisheit gar viel abgeht.”

Some artists, even old ones, believe they will win fame and get a big name by being phantasts and creating wild worms in their heads. They only show their simplicity and lack of reason and sapience.

But sometimes “wild worms” are necessary.


* GROTE, Ludwig: Joachim von Sandrart und Nürnberg, in: GROTE, Ludwig: Von Dürer bis Gropius. Aufsätze zur deutschen Kunst, zusammengestellt von Wulf SCHADENDORF, Nürnberg 1975 (Bibliothek des Germanischen Nationalmuseums Nürnberg zur deutschen Kunst- und Kulturgeschichte, 35), S.57-68.
Zuerst 1962 als Festvortrag aus Anlaß der 300-Jahrfeier der Akademie der bildenden Künste in Nürnberg am 20. Juni 1962.
Ausführlich in: Barock in Nürnberg. 1600-1750. Anzeiger des Germanischen Nationalmuseums 1962, S.10-21.

M. Arouet

Sorry, long tirade. It’s just about a fella from the 18th century.

François-Marie AROUET was born in 1694 and named after his father, a notary and royal councillor, in Paris. His mother from a Poitou (Ger., Eng.) noble family died when he was ten (or seven) years old. François, highly gifted and precocious, received a good education together with boys of leading French families at the gymnasium Louis le Grand (Ger., Eng.), run by Jesuits. According to the wishes of his father he started to study law at the Sorbonne (Ger., Eng.), with 17, but he spent more time in literary salons of noble ladies and at the “Temple”, a club of libertines and masons. His wit and ability for satire & slander made him welcome there, and feared. Father had sent the nineteen year old as Page (Ger., Eng.) to the French envoy at The Hague, but a love affaire put an end to this and he was brought back to Paris, under guard, only three months later.
When old Louis XIV. (Ger., Eng.) died in 1715 Philipp Duke of Orléans (Ger., Eng.) took over as regent for the still under age Louis XV. Philipp, a son of Liselotte, was a pleasure-loving man, to say the least, the whole air of public life & society changed, it became more liberal. Generally the Regent liked the slandering / Lästereien of M. AROUET, but when things became a bit too intimate & personal he had the blossoming homme des lettres first banned from Paris, and, in 1717, arrested in the Bastille (Ger., Eng.) : no lawsuit, no writing permitted, one year. But AROUET was allowed to read and he noted on the sides of his read verses of his first tragedy, Œedip – on stage in the Comedie Française (Ger., Eng.) half a year after our author came out of the can, 25 evenings. The Regent liked it lots, the theme of son’s love to mother ; let’s not look too close into his relation to his daughter. Nevertheless he threw out an honorarium for AROUET, 1.200 livres annually, the basis for his later not so miniscule wealth.
On the billet for Œedip our author surfaced for the first time under the name he would use for the rest of his life – the 25-year-old AROUET had turned into M. VOLTAIRE (Ger., Eng.).

The next years were pretty good for VOLTAIRE. He had arrived, moved in the highest circles of the French society, his plays came out in the Comedie. He did successful speculations, and wrote his Henriade, about le bon roi Henry IV. (Ger., Eng.), glorifying the kings tolerance for non-catholics. It was printed in The Netherlands, smuggled into Paris, sold under the table, the censors had not approved. An argument with a member of the noble ROHAN-family ended this seemingly easy times. ROHAN had VOLTAIRE battered by his servants, who in turn sought satisfaction by duel. In the end the writer had another stint in the Bastille. He was allowed out but had to emigrate and was banned from France. The commander of the prison brought him to Calais.

The years from 1726 to 1729 were spent in London, he learned English fluently, was impressed when he watched NEWTONs funeral, the philosophy of LOCKE (Ger., Eng.) and Francis BACON (Ger., Eng.) opened new horizons. He was allowed to dedicate his Henriade in English translation to the Queen, George II. signed for the luxury edition – when he finally was allowed back into France in 1729, and later into Paris, he returned as a wealthy man : “Voltaire financier”.
1730 brought a grievous blow, his friend the actress Adrienne LECOUVREUR (Ger., Eng., Fr.) who had taken many leading roles in his plays, died after a severe illness in his arms. She was denied an honourable burial by the church and was hastily buried in the knacker’s yard.
VOLTAIRE was appalled. He wrote a requiem for her, in which he inculpated the “cruel men who denied a burial to her who’d had altars erected in Greece.”
His “Philosophical Letters” and his “Notes to Pascal” were condemned by the parliament to public burning by the hangman. A poem (“Le Mondain”) was badly received, this time the printer had to go to the Bastille. VOLTAIRE evaded the impending arrest by a hasty retreat to Cirey in Lothringen, where his mistress, Marquise Émilie de CHÂTELET (Ger., Eng., SEP), possessed a small manor.

Seemingly good years. They never married, both wrote. She was especially interested in mathematics and physics and translated NEWTONs writings from English – that VOLTAIRE had tought her – into French ; he wrote Elements of Newton’s Philosophy, a text that popularized the new scientific thinking.
Here in Cirey VOLTAIRE received the first letter from a young man in Prussia called Friedrich (still Prince in 1736). Only three months after the latter became king in 1740 both met in Kleve, and the king gave the philosopher a manuscript to correct, his “Antimachiavell” (Ger., Eng.). The invitations to Berlin were friendly denied, VOLTAIRE did not want to leave la Marquise.

The mid-1740s saw a kind of reconciliation between Versailles and VOLTAIRE. His drama “Mahomet” was kindly received – kind of, some understood it well as attack on Rome, he even had to write to the Pope, and Benedict XIV. (Ger., Eng.) answered diplomatically that he “had read the tragedy with great joy”. Anyway, when the Dauphin had his wedding a play by VOLTAIRE (“The Princess of Navarra”) went over the ramp, music by RAMEAU, he was accepted back. He was appointed as the king’s historiographer, became a member of the Academie Française, and yes the Royal Society of London (and Edinburgh) and the Petersburg Academie also invited him.
He knew that all this was standing on shaky grounds.

Mon Henri quartre et ma Zaïre
Et mon americane Alzire
Ne m’ont valu jamais un seul regard du Roi;
J’eus beaucoup d’ennimies avec très peu de gloire;
Les honneurs et les biens pleuvent enfin sur moi,
Pour une farce de la foire.

When Émilie died in 1750 VOLTAIRE finally gave in to Friedrichs kind letters and went to Potsdam. He joined the king’s inner circle, helped to educate the young people at the court (“I’m not the king’s chamberlain, I’m his artigrapher” he wrote to his niece Marie-Luise DENIS, (Eng.) a daughter of his late sister, who, early widowed, cared for his household), and finished a pretty dangerous book, “Le Sermon des Cinquantes“, what he also read to the king and his fellows.
The first time in Berlin was nice, but the two were too similar, both highly gifted, full of esprit & wit, prone to satire, persiflage, sarcasm, & intrigue. VOLTAIRE showed not his best sides, Friedrich was touchy when he felt his royalty ridiculed – 1753 the gig was over. A nasty scene in Frankfurt am Main followed, when the king had the philosopher arrested – he demanded a book back, ha!
Paris was out of reach, Louis XV. did not allow him back, a nice gesture towards Friedrich. VOLTAIRE decided to settle in Geneva, over-pious sure, but it promised a bit more freedom of expression than oh so catholic France. 1754, at sixty, he purchased a manor with a large garden and called it Les Délices. Later, just to be safe, he purchased two baronies on the French side of the lake, Tournay and Ferney. He turned the latter into a kind of Mustergut, model manorial economy. With good success. He never used the title that came with the ground. His niece run the household, he organised the economy – and wrote. Especially articles for the great encyclopedie – they were later edited without his permission, and of course condemned by the French parliament and publicly burned by the Genevian hangman. Kept them busy, eh grouchy ?

VOLTAIRE had become an European institution and people came to see him, his correspondence (20.000 existing letters) was even for the letter-happy 18th century extensive, and he committed himself to cases of injustice, think of the case CALAS, the case of the SIRVEN-family, even shortly before his death he wrote a petition to the king in the interest of farmers of Burgundy. In this time in Ferney falls new contact with ROUSSEAU (Ger., Eng.) – and this imploded totally.
VOLTAIRE abhorred ROUSSEAUs “Back to Nature !” (“Retournons à la Nature!”), for him this was the total opposite of progress by ratio and education, of humanism and enlightenment – and he openly – and scornful – told M. ROUSSEAU. Who in turn denounced VOLTAIRE as author of the above mentioned “Sermon” from 1749/50 ; not very nice, more anger.

The last act began 1778. The 83-year-old man said Adieu to Ferney and went back to Paris, technically still banned, but the authorities looked in another direction. The last 110 days of his live were a triumph, a triumph that cost his last energy. Hie died on the evening of the 30th of May 1778. The priest of Saint Sulpice tried to bring back the nullifidian in the lap of holy mother church, but he refused – finally telling the Jesuit at his bed bluntly “Let me die in peace !”, of course the arch-bishop of Paris denied a Christian burial. Two of his nephews & friends sat the dead body in a coach and brought him to the abbey of Sellières (Fr., Ger.) near Troyes, where he was interred on the area of the abbey.
Eleven years after VOLTAIREs death the Revolution blew away the monarchy, and the church as dominating institution. At his 13th death-day his coffin was brought back to Paris and entombed into the Pantheon.
It’s a false rumour, but a poetic one, that another 23 years or so later, after the victory of the Restoration, ultra-conservative monarchistic  & catholic villains broke the sarcophaguses of VOLTAIRE and ROSSEAU and threw the mortal remains of the two philosophical antipodes into a hole somewhere on wasteland near the Seine, not to be found again.
In 1897 they looked, and he was till there.

I used:
BICKEL, Otto: Aufklärer, Agnostiker, Atheisten. Zum 75 Geburtstag von Otto BICKEL am 24. September 1982 [FS BICKEL 1982],  herausgegeben von Gerhard SZECZESNY. o.O. [München] 1982, S.104-113

Sunday Music

Here we are, a bit late as it seems, again ; ta – this habit should not form. In fact I very much dislike unpunctuality, and usually do not wait longer than ten minutes, cheerio call my office …
Did something special & extraordinary happen this week ? I am sure, but not in my life. I tried to focus on transcriptions, and miraculously it seems possible to reach the deadline. I think I’m contented with my work. I do not have the feeling that I left something out, that staring at two hundred year old brown paper would lead to any more success – there is always hope for satori (Ger., Eng.), but I do not much like koans (Ger., Eng.), I like it better when the text in front of me makes sense.
So it’s reading, comparing, combination, searching for strange words in lexica, but mostly staring. Two passages are still difficult, but it’s not much inspiration any more, we reached the transpiration part, usually the more boring bit. Everything will be wrapped up in a nice little parcel – in fact in some files -, containing the specimen, a little introduction of me, and of course my ideas about the adequate price. Either they like it, or not.
I hope You, my venerated readers, do like this Sunday Music, a 17th century chacony (Ger., Eng.). The author is an anonymous, but the piece found its way into Das Partiturbuch Ludwig (Ger.), an incredible source for music of the æra. Harmonie Universelle and Florian DEUTER have compiled a selection of pieces from the Partiturbuch, I do not know whether it is all available on CD.
Here is a gentle music, I hope you enjoy it – and have a good week.