Marx Reichlich, A Jester, 1519-20

Marx Reichlich, A Jester, 1519-20, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut


Marx Reichlich, A Jester, 1519-20, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut. Marx Reichlich was born around 1460 in Brixen, South Tyrol, in Northern Italy, and was a student of Michael Pacher, who was one of the first painters to introduce Renaissance art into Germany. Reichlich, who worked primarily in religious and biblical format, as was characteristic of Medieval art, later shifted in his style towards the Early Renaissance, with his subjects becoming much more realistic, with the overall output showing a grasp for the concept of perspective and the use of light to make objects look more real, something that artists had new overall growing interests in science and mathematics to thank for. Medieval art, or Byzantine as it became to be called, emerged from the art of the Roman Empire, which itself was influenced by the art of ancient Greece. Due to these religious and biblical influences, the execution of the work was almost “abstract”, in modern terms, in the sense that it depicted more of the essence of the story or characters it was portraying, as opposed to a realistic approach, therefor, the works appear more symbolic as opposed to representational. Enter the Renaissance. With new scientific discoveries and religious and cultural reformations, art of the Renaissance saw much less religious depictions and much more landscapes and nature. Human depiction began to evolve to a more realistic format, understanding of perspective, such as drawing figures smaller made them appear further away emerged, and use of light to depict mood and atmosphere began to develop. This work, which depicts a Jester with a pet puppy, who is curiously leaning over the Jester’s shoulder to inspect the food the man is enjoying, comes from just the early stages of High Renaissance, which can be observed by the striking quality and realism of the details, such as the breakfast the jolly Jester is enjoying, as well as the embellishments on his outfit and the jewelry he wears. Pictured here is Marx Reichlich, A Jester, 1519-20, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut

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