Studies in Western Art No.12
Courts and Art

April, 2006



Special Theme

In Lieu of a Foreword

Shigetoshi Osano

Court Artists of the Renaissance
The Hues and Tones of their Achievement



Akira Akiyama
The Art Patronage of Albrecht von Brandenburg
in the Context of the Cult of Relics and Disguised Portraits

Nowadays Albrecht von Brandenburg is remembered primarily as the most notorious enemy of Martin Luther.But he was also one of the most prominent art collectors and patrons of his day in Germany.The core of his project, to transform Halle into not only a Renaissance palatial city but also a stronghold against the Reformation, was based upon the collegiate church, where he stored a vast collection of relics and reliquaries. Under the influence of the Wettin Princes, especially of Frederick the Wise, Albrecht adorned this structure as a Renaissance-style remodeled church with numerous altarpieces and statues. This article attempts to illuminate several characteristics of Albrecht’s artistic patronage through a study of relic display, relic catalogues and the disguised portraits of Albrecht.

Toshiharu Nakamura
Van Dyck and Charles I
A Review of the London Years

Van Dyck was remarkably successful throughout the years he spent in London in the service of Charles I.As 'Principal Painter in Ordinary to their Majesties,' his official duty was to paint portraits of the king and his family, and he was also generously patronized by the courtiers and other aristocrats.G. P. Bellori reports, however, that in his last years, the artist earnestly hoped to retire from the continuous routine of painting portraits.In fact, Van Dyck seems to have been eager to receive more commissions to produce history paintings.This paper examines, in the first place, Van Dyck's practices as a portrait painter with his workshop, and furthermore considers his unsatisfied ambition to be regarded as a history painter during the London period, especially in relation to his exquisite mythological painting Cupid and Psyche, which was presumably painted for the Queen's House at Greenwich.

Hiromasa Kanayama
A Court and a Palace:The Influence of Court Ritual on the Pitti Palace
in the 17th Century

In an age of absolutism, the palaces of sovereigns conformed to the activity of the courts therein.One of the most dominant activities in court life of this period was ritual. Ideally, the architectural setting of the palace realized not only aesthetic considerations and amenities, but also the necessary conditions for rituals based on prevailing etiquette and ceremonies.
This paper discusses the relationship between court ritual and the characteristics of palace architecture, examining the case of the PittiPalace in Florence, where the Grand Dukes of Tuscany resided and their court was located for several centuries. Consulting contemporary documents concerning etiquette and the way of arranging the rooms in the palace, this paper concludes that the characteristic system of the appartamento (state apartment) and the planning of the traffic line of the princes were influenced by ritual, thereby reflecting the hierarchical order of court society.

Yasujiro Otaka & Tae Morohoshi
From Courtier to Artist:The Late Years of Velazquez and Philip IV,
as Seen Through the Marriage of the Infanta Maria Teresa

The painting of the marriage ceremony of the Infanta Maria Teresa, which took place in the Isla de los Faisanes in 1660, is the last and most important work of Velazquez.He was at the time the ‘Aposentador del Palacio,’ in which capacity he best demonstrated his artistry cultivated in a long career designing and decorating the Alcazar.In particular the tapestry, most likely arranged under his supervision, must have functioned as visual propaganda at a political and religious level for the Spanish side, as its reconstruction shows.This analysis leads the authors to understand his self-portrait in Las Meninas as reflecting his pride in this honorable position of ‘Aposentador de Palacio.’

Yoshiki Ono
The Emergence of Modern Painters in Mid-Eighteenth Century France
Court Painters and the Reform of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture

After the establishment of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture in 1648, the painters belonging to it were regarded as court painters, or peintres du roi.They considered painting one of the liberal arts while painters of guilds, which were of medieval origin and referred to as the Community or Mastership, practiced their craft according to mechanical methods.It was Le Normant de Tournehem, inaugurated as general director of Art in 1745, who reformed the RoyalAcademy in order to revive the grand manner of the reign of Louis XIV.Under new circumstances, however -- the increase of fine art amateurs, the periodic exhibition of the Salon as well as the vital activity of the SaintLukeAcademy -- the enterprise of the director stimulated court painters like Boucher to recognize their own status, released from any restraint.Therefore this is the time period that witnesses the genesis of the typology of the modern painter.


State of Research

Yoshinori Kyotani
Notes on the Ephemeral Architecture in the Triumphal Arches of the Sixteenth Century

Sources and Documents: Translations with Annotations

Yoko Kitada
Court Artists in Documents
The Status of the Artists in the Court of Medici

Translation by Hidenori Kurita et al., with Commentary by Hidenori Kurita
Martin de Charmois, Petition to the King and to the Lords of his Council 1648
Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Letter to Poussin c1655


Book Review

Naoko Sugiyama

Alexander M. Schenker, The Bronze Horseman:Falconet’s Monument to Peter the Great


Exhibition Review

Christian Heck
Translation by Motokazu Kimata
Paris 1400. Les arts sous Charles VI (Paris, 2004)



edited by Shigetoshi Osano & Motokazu Kimata


The Others


Giles Constable
Translation and commentary by Hiroyuki Hashikawa
Mary and Martha in the Middle Ages

This paper is concerned with the historical, especially medieval, interpretation of the story of Mary and Martha in the Gospels.Every generation, almost since the beginning of Christianity, has tried to find in it a meaning suited to the Christian life of its time.Until the early Middle Ages, most of the commentators assumed that Christ’s apparent rebuke to Martha and commendation of Mary indicated his preference for Mary as a representative of the contemplative life over Martha as a representative of the active life.In the high Middle Ages, on the other hand, the distinction of the two sisters was made clearer, and Mary was seen by monks and canons as reflective of their monastic and contemplative way of life, superior to that of clerics and people.Notably, in the late Middles Ages, some friars and popular preachers came to praise the active nature of Martha and, occasionally, to rebuke Mary for her vanity in relation to her identification with Mary Magdalene.These shifting views about the story, detected in various types of written texts, correspond to contemporary iconographic representations of Mary and Martha.


State of Research

Shinsuke Watanabe
Reproduction Prints and Criticism:A Consideration of Apollo and Marsyas by Giulio Sanuto