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The feast of the rosary (feast of the rose garlands)

Painting, 1506, 162×194.5 cm

Description of the artwork «The feast of the rosary (feast of the rose garlands)»

It is believed that "Holiday beads" – the well-known altar paintings by Albrecht dürer – starts the Renaissance in Germany. "The feast of the rosary" written in Italian, but German customers, and among the actors of this "Holy interview" we will find like the Germans and Italians (and there is some political subtext), and kept the "masterpiece international" now in the Czech Republic: in 2006-m year, the national gallery (Prague) celebrated the 500th anniversary of dürer's paintings.

The circumstances of the creation of the "Holiday beads"


Almost every art description of the "Feast of the rosary" indicates that dürer created the picture in "the second Venetian period". This is an important remark, if you understand what is the difference between the first and second comings of dürer in Venice. When a native of Nuremberg, Albrecht dürer was the first time in the "city of lagoons", where the painting was dominated by the dynasty of masters Bellini (1, 2, 3), he was only about 23 years and nobody knew. The young dürer, who had not seen before "live" any of the ancient sculptures and not familiar with Italian painting that shocked him with its freedom in the handling of paint, light, a naked human body, as of a Wayfarer would visit the studios of famous Venetians and eagerly absorbed what they saw. Dürer and the Venetians reacted then to each other with cautious curiosity.

But after 11 years in Venice came a Mature 34-year-old master, "Messer Alberto on the other side of the Alps"whose fame in Northern Europe was already booming, though not yet brought stable income. Dürer has recently released their epic "the Apocalypse", a series of 15 magnificent engravings-illustrations for "Revelation" John the theologian, which sold a massive for its time numbers.

Arriving in Venice for the second time in the new status, dürer found that the Venetian painters met him jealously. He complained in letters to each Willibald Pirkheimer: "I have many good friends among the Italians who warn me to not eat or drink with their painters. Many of them are my enemies; they copy my work in churches and wherever they can find them, and then scold them and say that they are not in the ancient taste and therefore bad". Dürer apparently during this visit he met with artists of the new generation, whose talent threatens to outshine even in the future, Bellini – Giorgioneand Titianbut not found with them common language: the Venetians above all, art set color options, durasovsky engraving chiselled lines left them indifferent. The Italians unobtrusive given to understand dürer, in flavor in comparison with the Venetians almost a layman, his paintings "weak from the point of view of color".

In addition, he sadly discovers that in almost all art shops sell crude counterfeits of his prints, even if forged autograph – recognizable letter "A" and "D", which are located one above the other. Soon it becomes clear and the name of the plagiarist – someone not known to Durer Marcantonio Raimondi(a we know him as a student of Raphael). Outraged, he filed a lawsuit in the Venetian Signoria is the body responsible to take care of the public good and justice. But the fact he could not win: the court allows Marcantonio and then copy all they want, just remove the signature of dürer.

Not finding among the Italians understand, dürer was to stay close to his: in Venice were considerable and influential Diaspora of German entrepreneurs who owned a Palace on the Grand canal, the Fondaco dei Tedeschi is a famous German compound kind of financial and cultural center. Paid the artists, the Germans are quite generous, and the Italians were honored to receive their orders. When in the early sixteenth century German farmstead burned down (and evil tongues claimed that the fires that often falls on the German the merchants, was not accidental – it was a hint that their political and business interests hurt Venice), to paint the Fondaco dei Tedeschi took Giorgione and Titian.

Touched by fire was the German parish Church of St. Bartholomew, near which were buried the rich and noble of the Germans. To write for the rebuilding of the temple a large altarpiece, this time German merchants decided to entrust his compatriot, by the way, appeared in Venice, Albrecht dürer. The displeasure of the masters of the Italians was understandable: in the hands of the "German barbarian" left a large order, for which he was promised a substantial sum – a hundred and ten Rhenish guilders. About Durer went to Venice a nasty false gossip.

Features and secrets of the paintings of Albrecht dürer's "the Feast of the rosary"


In the beginning of 1506, dürer bought in the shops on the Rialto bridge, the best paint and went to work in the hope that by Easter it the "Feast of the rosary" will decorate the Cathedral of St. Bartholomew. He's not devoted customers in their ambitions, but for myself decided to film it should prove a vain Italian and Northern masters know something about painting and coloring.

The iconographic type of the "feast of the rosary" – "the Holy interview", Sacra Conversazionewhere Madonna and child are depicted surrounded by saints and donors. The problem of this type of painting to glorify the virgin, hoping for her patronage of the city or community. The theme of the painting, dürer chose "the feast of the rosary" or "the feast of the rose-laying of wreaths". Catholics believed that the rosary was invented in the thirteenth century, St. Dominic (founder of the Dominican monastic order). According to legend, the Holy virgin Mary appeared and presented the rosary, each of which was impregnated with the scent of roses. This story was particularly popular among the German Dominicans, so the left of the throne of the virgin, dürer has placed St. Dominic in a black monastic cloak.

The infant Christ places a wreath of roses (rosary, i.e. "wreath of roses" – the traditional name of the Catholic rosary) on the head of Pope Julius II, and the virgin Mary adorns the wreath to the kneeling of the German Emperor Maximilian. Dad crowded with the clergy, as the Emperor lay. The soaring angels putti holding behind Maria's green velvet curtains, and above her head is a Golden crown and also distribute all pink wreaths, as if in blessing, and including all without exception in General upbeat atmosphere of the festival. In wreaths that alternate white and red buds, the first of which symbolize joy (according to another interpretation, the purity of the virgin Mary), and the second – the future sufferings of Christ. In a dense crowd, typical of the Church festivities are distinguishable and specific historical figures. SV.Dominic lays his crown on the cardinal Domenico Grimani, a famous Venetian patron of the arts, and at the right edge of the picture, all in black, shows the architect Girolamo Todeski who designed the German compound. There among the characters and myself dürer – in the upper right corner of the tree.

For the "Feast of the rosary" Durer did a huge number of drawings, trying to get to crowded not perceived as congestion. In the spring he realized that his perfectionism Easter is not time, it soon became clear that no time and Trinity. Customers-Germans warmed, of course, Patriotic pathos of the picture (the German Emperor is depicted here as blessed as the Pope), but were not happy with the violation of deadlines, they hurried dürer and threatened to reduce the fee to 85 guilders. Dürer depicted in the corner of the picture, holding a scroll on which is written, that he had completed "the Feast of the rosary" in five months, but the letters dürer suggests that the work lasted much longer. Only in the autumn of 1506 the Germans got the picture.

The fate of "the Feast of the rosary" by Durer


The picture has not yet been transferred to the Church of the workshop of Durer, when the desire to see it expressed two of the most famous man of Venice is elderly, but still holding the palm and influence in the hands of the chief artist of the Republic Giovanni Belliniand the Venetian Doge Leonardo Loredana.

Visit of the Doge, he waited with an unpleasant feeling. Reason to fear the scandal he was good. And it wasn't that the picture could compete in its picturesque quality to the masterpieces of the Venetian. It was in politics: unity in the prayer of Pope Julius II and the German Emperor Maximilian Loredana could see the hint of unfriendly to Venice, the Union of Germany and Rome (and sometimes actually more than once: when, for example, in 1508, the year Maximilian will travel to Rome for the coronation, Venice will officially forbid him to cross their territory, and it will be an occasion for war, and another division of land). But Doge has behaved diplomatically and wisely. He reasoned that the Christian peoples wiser to maintain peace among themselves, because they have a common external threat – the Ottomans. And Albrecht dürer Loredana was invited to be the artist of the Venetian Republic (an honor for a foreigner!) with an annual income of 200 ducats. Dürer offer with gratitude, but also with relief rejected: even in Venice would have to leave his picture, and he returns home, he really misses Nuremberg.

Giovanni Bellini, according to legend, came from the "Holiday beads" in delight. Even say that dürer did in the picture is a direct nod to the master's art – angel with lute in the centre seem to have gone from the altar, Bellini. But not only that touched the man. "What shining pure colors! How much life in them!" he repeated to himself. Could not resist the comparison, implying himself and his brother Gentile: almost like the best of the Venetian masters! And what a fine job! But do not show any "Messer Alberto," he of the brush, which he used when he wrote "the Feast of the rosary"? Dürer readily put on the table their tools. Long old Bellini went through them, spit in his hands, and then said: "But there is no brush that you wrote hair of the blessed virgin!" "No– he replied Albrecht dürer, – all my brushes here". Then Bellini demanded from dürer to show how he holds the brush when prescribing the most subtle fragments of his paintings. If that's so, "German", almost perpendicular to the canvas? So here's the thing!..

More in Venice no one would dare to doubt that "Messer Alberto that side of the Alps" – the great master. Friend Pirkheimer in Nuremberg dürer comic boastfulness wrote: "I declare to you that the better my paintings you will not find in the whole world..." and added quite seriously: "I have silenced all the painters who said that in print I'm good, but painting I do not know how to handle the colors".

Exactly one hundred years spent painting dürer in Venice, in 1606, the year she was sent to Prague by Emperor Rudolf II Habsburg was a great connoisseur of art and at any cost wanted to get the legendary work of dürer. However, after the death of Rudolf II, the film went through hard times: the paint layer began to collapse, she was excluded from the collection of Prague castle and has long been hidden behind the walls of the Strahov monastery in Prague. The picture with the appearance of which is considered to be not only dürer but also all German art triumphantly stepped into the Renaissance era, a long time could not see the audience, in different periods it went through several rough restorations, making the paint began to look more aggressive and sharper. In the twentieth century, the government of Czechoslovakia a decade and a half led complex negotiations with Starkovski monastery, as a result of their in 1934, the year "the Feast of the rosary" was finally purchased by and transferred to the National gallery in Prague.

Author: Anna Yesterday

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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Religious scene

Style of art: Renaissance, Northern Renaissance

Technique: Oil

Materials: Wood

Date of creation: 1506

Size: 162×194.5 cm

Artwork in selections: 31 selections

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