Götz Kluge

Götz Kluge

Posted on 08/11/2013

Photo taken on February  9, 2013

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Paintings Paintings

diptych diptych


M. C. Escher
The Bard
John Martin
Cimino Barbarano
Civita di Bagnoregio

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M. C. Escher's allusion to John Martin's "The Bard"

M. C. Escher's allusion to John Martin's "The Bard"

This discovery is a kind of "bycatch" from my Snark hunt: M. C. Escher's "Italian" scene shown above (left side) is not a copy like his version (1935) of a segment from a paintig by Hieronymus Bosch. The scene is a more subtile allusion to John Martin's The Bard.

[left] Maurits Cornelis Escher: Cimino Barbarano, 1929 (in Escher's "Italian" period)
[right] John Martin: The Bard, ca. 1817

For this side-by-side comparison, I redrew and then horizontally compressed Escher's lithograph after applying selective Gaussian filtering to the image in order to remove details which are not required for the comparison. Parts of the image on its sides have been removed. The top of Martin's painting has been removed too.

Earlier I thought that Escher here perhaps has combined an Italian scenery like Civita di Bagnoregio with what may be supposed to be a (Cambrian?) landscape, as it was there where Edward I went after the Welsh bards. But the landscape is not "Cambrian":
www.socialhistoryofart.com/19thCentury/ ... /John Martin.doc
"Ignoring the Welsh highlands, Martin clearly modeled his landscape on the Swiss Alps which had recently emerged as a major destination for English travelers thanks to the Romantic Alpine poems of Byron and Shelley, among others, and the Alpine landscapes of Koch and Turner. Spurning the tranquil and majestic “Alpine sublime” developed by Koch, Martin took the more dramatic Alpine compositions of Turner and transformed them with his own, quasi-Apocalyptic fervor. In so doing, he gave Alpine landscape the emotional turmoil found in Blake and Byron. And in all this, he took Gray’s Bard into completely new territory, leaving behind all traces of eighteenth-century restraint, decorum, reason, and quiet morality."
Robert Baldwin, 2010

The © for this image applies to the presentation of the discovery of the relation between Escher's print and Martin's painting. Escher's original illustration is © Cordon Art B.V. - Baarn - Netherlands.

See also: flipsideflorida.wordpress.com/2013/03/06/escher-the-bard

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John Martin

Version with completely desaturated colors (not required for shape comparison):
Escher's allusion(?) to John Martin's
4 years ago. Edited 21 months ago.
Götz Kluge
Götz Kluge
Henry Holiday's and M.C. Escher's allusions to John Martin's The Bard
Henry Holiday's and M.C. Escher's allusions to John Martin
Holiday "copied" shapes. Escher used Martin's whole composition.
4 years ago. Edited 3 years ago.
Götz Kluge
Götz Kluge
Another allusion by Henry Holiday in The Hunting of the Snark to John Martin's "The Bard"
Bellman & Bard
3 years ago. Edited 21 months ago.