The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 TeasersiSteve Blog
Albrecht Dürer
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information


Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Thanks, LOL, or Troll with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used three times during any eight hour period.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

Albrecht Dürer (or AD as he branded his voluminous works) painted this self-portrait in Nuremberg in A.D. 1500, shortly after he returned from Italy.

Dürer was a crucial figure in painting, engraving, and intellectual property, winning the first lawsuit against plagiarists in Venice in the early 16th century.

Dürer more or less invented the logo with his famous monogram that he put on all his prints and paintings.

The artist as celebrity probably emerged in Renaissance Europe in Italy, certainly by the time of Leonardo da Vinci in the later half of the 15th Century.

But self-portraits, especially head-on egomaniacal ones like this, were much rarer, in particular north of the Alps where artistic self-glorification was much rarer (e.g., we only have a vague idea who were the individuals who designed the Gothic cathedrals during the Middle Ages).

Hide 107 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
  1. Anon[371] • Disclaimer says:

    Antiquarianism to the max. What’s the news hook for this? Was Emmett Till a Durer fan?

    • LOL: JimDandy, polistra
    • Replies: @Jack Armstrong
  2. Altai says:

    On the topic of portraits has Steve seen this new paper?

    Tracking historical changes in trustworthiness using machine learning analyses of facial cues in paintings

    Social trust is linked to a host of positive societal outcomes, including improved economicperformance, lower crime rates and more inclusive institutions. Yet, the origins of trustremain elusive, partly because social trust is difficult to document in time. Building on recentadvances in social cognition, we design an algorithm to automatically generate trustworthi-ness evaluations for the facial action units (smile, eye brows, etc.) of European portraits inlarge historical databases. Our results show that trustworthiness in portraits increased overthe period 1500–2000 paralleling the decline of interpersonal violence and the rise ofdemocratic values observed in Western Europe. Further analyses suggest that this rise oftrustworthiness displays is associated with increased living standards.

  3. tyrone says:

    You scared me for a second….thought Durer was about to be canceled.

  4. polistra says:

    “I just washed my hair and I can’t do a thing with it!”

  5. El Dato says:

    Thanks Steve.

    Dürer, in his self-portraits, was calling into being an image of the artist as someone with more than just technical facility. The artist needed a more humanistic inspiration, partly from books, partly from God.

    I like that!

    On the antipodes of Dürer, where crayons, absence of talent and angry randomness reign supreme:

    Time for some NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism Research: Forget activism, here comes ‘artivism’ in support of BLM’s aims

    Advance press releases for ‘Thirteen Ways of Looking’ (opening on October 2) promise art by 13 artists, all discussed on the bases of identity and politics, as is expected in a British tax-funded public venue in 2020.

    Organisers at Herbert Art Gallery & Museum discuss the race, migration status and family origins of the artists involved, but neglect to describe their artistic achievements or the objects to be displayed.

    Topics to be covered include the marital disappointment of Pakistani women, the experience of a female Chinese migrant, and “Black female subjectivities within narratives of the future.” As a response to Black Lives Matter, the collective Hyphen-Labs is showing a virtual-reality piece about “Black women as neuroscientists using the domain of the beauty salon as a rebel underground network for a radically new shared system of communication.” What?

    This exhibition is linked to next year’s Coventry City of Culture events and the 2021 Coventry Biennial; organisers admit, “we [Coventry Biennial] are an activist organisation.” ‘Thirteen Ways of Seeing’ is “artivism” – the exploitation of art funding, venues and status by Neo-Marxist social-justice activists. This is facilitated by venues which need to meet race/sex/sexuality/immigrant quotas. Now that postmodernism has dismantled common standards of art criticism, neither artists nor administrators need to bother about disguising propaganda as art. Potential smears of racism, homophobia and xenophobia silence visitors and critics.

    Apparently you won’t be admitted if you won’t give your contact details for Covid Tracking.

    OT: UC Berkeley community mourns death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg


    Among her fans was Jessica Williams, a third-year student at Berkeley Law — where 66% of the students are women — who is co-editor-in-chief of the Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law & Justice and senior diversity editor of the California Law Review. Williams was in the audience at Zellerbach last year.

    “Ruth Bader Ginsburg made it possible for so many women to see themselves on the bench,” said Williams, who graduates next spring. “Losing her when we are so far from nine (women justices on the Supreme Court, a dream of Ginsburg’s) — in a year when it has become glaringly obvious our civil rights need fierce advocates — is deflating. She would want us to keep going. So, we will.”

    So she’s not talking about Assange but St. Floyd. This is going to get much worse before it gets better.

    Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of Berkeley Law, said, “All of us who were there had the chance to observe her compassion and her commitment to justice. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a model for us in how to use the law to make our society better. As a professor, an advocate, a court of appeals judge and a Supreme Court justice, she worked tirelessly to improve people’s lives through the law.” He also wrote an op-ed in Friday’s Los Angeles Times, “Democrats have a secret weapon to thwart a rapid Ginsburg replacement. They should use it.”

    Law is now actually “activism” knives in the back, partisanship and dirty tricks. We get it.

  6. Ano says:

    Yeah,…not bad… for a white guy…
    …but when it comes to a painting of a man portrayed as divine god made flesh, we all know nothing comes even close to that official portrait of Albarakt Obamerer.

    Like, derrrr!, where’s the sperm, Mr Sailer? Show – me – the – sperm!

    Everybody knows a portrait of a godlike genius painted by a genius has spermatozoa wriggling all over the face!

    Go back to Art School!

  7. Big Al Durer was obviously guilty of cultural misappropriation. Just look at his dreadlocks. Sherwin Williams must be turning in his grave.

    • Replies: @George
    , @YetAnotherAnon
  8. @Altai

    But what’s that got to do with black bodies?

  9. MEH 0910 says:

  10. theMann says:

    So, it only took until September 27th for a Major Media outlet to produce something interesting this year.

    Is this better than last year? Somebody, do the research!

  11. One of Da Vinci’s morning doodles:

  12. Anon[196] • Disclaimer says:

    Clearly the leftists who say “white people have no culture” don’t read the arts and culture section of serious newspapers.

  13. Old Prude says:

    Having read Paul Johnson’s biographical sketch of Durer, and looking at his physiognomy in his self portraits, it is seem he was of a persuasion that tends towards narcissism, hence this painting… Still a genius of high merit.

    • Replies: @I Have Scinde
  14. One of the pillars of the pillars of modern art is epiphany. In this case, by depicting himself as Christ, Durer is saying man is created in God’s image. It’s one of those rather obvious revelations that surprise you that it wasn’t immediately realized. It’s like after reading Faulkner’s Spotted Horses, sometime later you realize the black and white ponies are evil turned loose on the world, you can’t cheat an honest man, and greed is the key that opens Pandora’s box.

    • Replies: @SFG
  15. @Altai

    Okay, I’m sold. Now, can I use this software to make my next hiring decision?

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    , @sayless
  16. Fascinating study of the artist’s break from the norm of humble artist as obscure technician. It takes some explaining to get us moderns in the age of the selfie to appreciate the radical act of this self-portrait (before the invention of the flat mirror!) through which Durer asserts his vital identity as great artist.

  17. Also by sending Christ, by God becoming man, we are told that we are made in the image of God and therefore salvageable, hence redemption.

  18. Dürer the iconic blond Germanic Jesus hated by Afro-centrists, not knowing or capable of understanding the self portrait “find the Christ within yourself” angle.

    Dürer sporting dreadlocks in that picture? Hmm.

    1) Cultural appropriation to be cancelled?

    2) Or is Dürer a BLACKMAN after all? /smirk

  19. BenKenobi says:

    Social trust is linked to … more inclusive institutions

    I thought it was an established fact that social trust goes down as “inclusion” goes up?

  20. Anon[371] • Disclaimer says:

    Is the Roman numeral in the image in this post 28,000? The year 28000? Huh? Or 27,001, if the last i has no overbar?

  21. I was hoping Durer the Apostate got canceled for something, but alas. I forgot that Prots are the favored variety of good goyim.

  22. Anon[371] • Disclaimer says:


    Being Othered in a Hair and Makeup Trailer: An Oral History of Styling and Beautifying Black Stars in Hollywood

  23. I prefer Dürer’s woodcuts, but this is just more proof of his artistic greatness.

    In the realm of painting I prefer Titian.

  24. Uh, why the picture of the Duerer-logo-labeled rabbit in this article?

  25. gruff says:

    Playmobil did a Durer figure just a couple years ago. They’ve done several famous figures from German history.

    View post on

  26. anon215 says:

    Durer’s rhino engraving was based on a description narrated to him of what a rhino looked like. It’s pretty incredible how close he got:

  27. res says:

    Interesting. From their OSF page.

    The random forest model can be downloaded upon request for research and education purposes only.

    Any thoughts on how using paintings vs. photographs might have influenced their results?

    I wonder how their results will hold up. They do seem to have caused some outrage.


    This tweet was fun, but the comments (racist!) are even more amusing.

  28. Neuday says:

    Further analyses suggest that this rise oftrustworthiness displays is associated with increased living standards.

    “Associated with”, eh? In which direction does the arrow of causation point, or is there a third catalyst? It seems the experience of the past few decades show that trustworthiness “can” lead to increased living standards, but increased living standards for untrustworthy people results in predatory behavior (e.g. Cuba, South Africa, Lebanon, Colombia, China(?), India, California, U.S.A, et al.). I wonder what Russian history would have been without the involvement of a certain ethnic group.

    “Globalism” is death for people of Western European heritage and unhealthy for many others.

  29. @Almost Missouri

    Okay, I’m sold. Now, can I use this software to make my next hiring decision?

    Yes. But only on white men.

  30. Anon7 says:

    I agree that this piece is beautifully done, and presented, on an Internet web browser.

    But the New York Times finally trashed their brand (for me, anyway) during the 2016 Trump campaign, and I was waiting for the Times’ own brand mark. I was not disappointed.

    In this case, the use of Frida Kahlo, who according to Wikipedia uses art to examine “questions of identity, postcolonialism, gender, class, and race.”

    And then there’s Sarah Lucas, who “appropriates masculine constructions to confront and dissect their nature.” Of course she does.

    I guess we’re supposed see these two artists (along with wacky homosexual Andy Warhol) as the pinnacle of Western Civilization.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  31. Intellectual property?

    That’a the idea that lets Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerburg rule the world, isn’t it?

    Way to go, Al.

  32. Brings up a good lesson for alternative media–to be truly influential you can’t be op-ed all day every day. Putting out high-quality articles on politically neutral topics lends credibility to the opinion side of things. It also acts as a gateway for people who would not normally be interested in an opinion site that is outside the mainstream.

    It’s also absolutely necessary that your coverage of this politically neutral stuff is as consensus and mainstream as possible. If the science section is all about perpetual motion machines and flat earth stuff, and the home and garden section is all rants about Monsanto (regardless of the merits of those rants) people will not take any of your op-eds seriously, regardless of their merits. Just give them tips for how to grow great tomatoes.

    Anyway these sorts of articles, along with the meticulous attention to graphic design, are why the NYT retains credibility despite the craziness of much of its content. Most people are not bright enough to figure out that any information source has some stuff that is true and useful, some stuff that is bad, some stuff that is dangerous, and parse what’s what. They just label you ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ You’ve got to pick up as many ‘good’ points as possible on the neutral areas of the board if you want to go against the zeitgeist in other areas.

    • Agree: Lot
  33. But what does this have to do with Negroes being inferior?

  34. j mct says:

    The first artist as celebrity was Giotto, who was a contemporary of Dante. Giotto was also famous for his painting being ‘naturalistic’, which wasn’t and isn’t easy to do, and there is a chapel in Padua where his work is still on display. In Giotto’s day, painters were though more like ‘illustrators’ might be now, the ‘artist’ didn’t exist and weren’t celebrities in of themselves and owning stuff that was done by this or that ‘artist’ wasn’t a thing.

    Guys like Giotto became normal in the Renaissance, both for the naturalistic style and in the fact that artists could become celebrities.

  35. @SimpleSong

    I should also add I think one of the biggest problems we face is the sort of people who quietly keep their heads down and write these politically neutral articles while disagreeing with the op-ed section. Their work is what allows the op-ed screechers to do their their thing. Same thing with Universities and the ‘politically neutral’ classes like Calc I and all that. Same thing with other organizations–time has come to pick a side. You don’t need to do big things but you need to do some little things.

  36. wren says:

    He appropriated the Ise Shrine Torii design. The most sacred site in Japan. I’m sure the Shinto Kami and priests welcomed his IP theft however, and had no interest in lawsuits.

  37. Lace says:

    Yes, this is the one kind of thing that makes me sorry I cancelled my NYT subscription this month. I may decide to re-subscribe because, even with the propaganda, it’s maybe the best way to know exactly how the propaganda is being framed daily (despite the pain of reading it.) Not going to re-subscribe to WaPo though.

    On the other hand I think I won’t. New York Review of Books has all the liberal writers, but much better coverage of the Arts, exhibitions, and books about them. I remember an extraordinary one about Tintoretto. Also, paywall only for come articles, and they have a blog every day with real articles in it (at least in form.) So a lot of good non-political stuff at NYRB for free. I’m tired of paying for NYT and WaPo since they piss me off so.

  38. Anon[338] • Disclaimer says:

    OT: Biden says he started college at an historically black college.

    He’s beginning to pander worse than Kamala Harris, which is a very high standard to match.

    • Replies: @Kolya Krassotkin
  39. @Jonathan Mason

    No, the Rastas stole Durer’s locks. No transatlantic slavery in 1500.

  40. SLM says:

    Brings up a good lesson for alternative media–to be truly influential you can’t be op-ed all day every day. Putting out high-quality articles on politically neutral topics lends credibility to the opinion side of things.

    Yes. As we have learned, culture precedes politics. Quillete seems to get it.

  41. Is that illustration meant to honor Amy Coney Barrett?

    It would also fit Tony Coelho, the California representative succeeded by Gary Condit and Norman Mineta, and who himself succeeded some guy named Bernice. Coelho means “rabbit” in Portuguese.

    • Replies: @Cortes
  42. Cortes says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Conejo is “rabbit” in Castilian (Spanish); it’s also “pussy”.

  43. Makers marks and signatures go back to antiquity. One interesting example I read about recently was this playful signature from a 2nd century BC Hellenistic mosaic:

    Duhrer signing his work may have even had the opposite connotation than is implied in that article, because it was an established practice with the more utilitarian craftsman of his time.

  44. Albrecht Duerer = Bad curler there.

    • LOL: Buffalo Joe
  45. @SimpleSong

    You’ve got to pick up as many ‘good’ points as possible on the neutral areas of the board if you want to go against the zeitgeist in other areas.

    The master of this in the dark ages forty-to-eighty years ago was Reader’s Digest.

    1973: Is the Electric Car Coming Back?

  46. El Dato says:

    Before the age of Trump I never even knew I was virulently antisemitic but now I’m no longer so sure.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  47. “Five hundred years ago, in the summer of 1520, the artist Albrecht Dürer saw an exhibition that changed the way he thought about the world. In Brussels Town Hall, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V had put on show the treasure of Moctezuma, emperor of the Aztecs, sent across the Atlantic by the conquistador Hernán Cortés. And when Dürer saw the “sun all of gold” and “wondrous weapons … much more beautiful to me than miracles”, his jaw dropped in amazement. “All the days of my life,” he wrote, “I have seen nothing that rejoiced my heart so much as these things, for I saw amongst them wonderful works of art, and I marvelled at the subtle Ingenia of men in foreign lands.””

    From the review of the book Conquistadores by Fernando Cervantes in today’s London Times by way of coincidence.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  48. vinteuil says:

    My first thought was that Dürer surely never even saw a black guy – so how could he ever have formed or expressed any opinions about them that could get him cancelled?

    But I was wrong.

    What a draughtsman he was.

  49. @tyrone

    On the contrary the LGBTQ plus 50 other genders mafia would like to turn him into their icon because of works such as The Men’s Bathhouse.

    They might even make a movie about him like Alan Turing.

  50. In my teen years I fancied myself to be an artist,mostly chalk on board or pen and ink. Regrettably I attended a Catholic boys HS where art appreciation was taught but no art classes. I tried so many times to replicate Durer’s rabbit but mine resembled Bugs Bunny not his classic. Also,look up anything by Breugel, same school I think. Breugel painted a bride and groom and in the background he painted his self portrait in a mirror hanging on the wall behind the couple. But, of course there was no culture in Europe. Don’t believe me, ask the nyt.

    • Replies: @jallynn
  51. @Anon

    Imagine the golf courses he could have designed!

  52. @obwandiyag

    But what does this have to do with Negroes being inferior?

    That’s a load you’re taking off of Steve’s shoulders.

  53. J.Ross says:
    @Ali Choudhury

    And supposedly Picasso is riffing off West African sculpture. But that still leaves explaining how Durer and Picasso did what they did.

    • Replies: @Sparkon
  54. J.Ross says:
    @El Dato

    Oh no, that’s a common mistake: the deep, vomitory, violent loathing of the slimy abomination that is David Frum is actually quite separate from anti-Semitism.

  55. @Old Prude

    As long as I would never have to interact with someone as egotistical as he.
    (From 15:29)
    Pay homage to your own genius by depicting yourself as God? Thank you, there are plenty of other artists with work as good and not nearly so insufferable. I generally agree with Kenneth Clark’s assessment and comparison to Da Vinci, though I do not see why he is such a pivotal figure.

    (As an aside, that Civilisation episode gets more interesting and relevant to today toward the Protestant reformation topics, in which you see the destruction of statues, replaced by nothing. It also gets one thinking if the Protestant reformation is a delayed after-effect of the printing press, is the Great Awokening a delayed effect of the internet, or of smartphones?)

  56. @Morton's toes

    You slipped one past the censor!

    • Replies: @Morton's toes
  57. Herzog says:
    @Morton's toes

    Interesting! The great Leonardo seems to think there is a tube providing a direct link between a woman’s womb and her breasts / nipples.

  58. Anon[908] • Disclaimer says:

    Surprise they allow his racist artwork to remain at the Met. He was the first articst to use the white power hand gesture and even did a self-portrait demonstrating the white power symbol

  59. Anon[232] • Disclaimer says:

    OT: Atlanta BLM Founder Arrested After Spending $200,000 In Donations On House, Entertainment, & Suits

    (They should have let him keep it going until the cash was all gone!) By the way, the photo of the scammer is bizarre. Christ, he’s even whiter than Talcum X.

    He also got caught impersonating an FBI agent three years ago. If he’d been in jail for that, he wouldn’t have been out scamming people.

    Of course, since FBI agents these days are also impersonating FBI agents, he doesn’t sound too scammy.

    “For a while, his con fooled some news media and prominent Black leaders in Atlanta. City of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Police Chief George Turner held a press conference with Conyers-Page by their side, as if to show cooperation between BLM and the Mayor’s office.”


    Favorite comments from Zero Hedge:

    Man, I bet the FBI is really pissed off he took all the laundered money they gave him and blew it on bling instead of gasoline and dynamite…..I bet Wray has already asked him for his badge and gun!

    This Albino Burn Loot Murder crook should be damn happy he lives in America. Black Africans would have cooked and eaten his Albino azz by now. They love them some Albino soup.

    Looks like an inbred from Deliverance.

    The perp has even been an extra in movies:

  60. @SimpleSong

    Anyway these sorts of articles, along with the meticulous attention to graphic design, are why the NYT retains credibility despite the craziness of much of its content.

    I suspect that you’re completely wrong. The text of the essay appeals to a small, dwindling number of older subscribers and stodgy alienated younger people that embody (or aspire to embody) a dying elite culture. It’s the “craziness” that embodies the new elite culture and that is driving the explosion of subscriptions and broader cultural influence. Cultural reporting that is pro tradition actually threatens their cultural power, which is why this essay shoehorned in female and mestizo artists and is so broadly unrepresentative of the paper as a whole.

    I agree with you about design and user interface though.

    • Agree: John Achterhof
  61. @El Dato

    Is all of the recent BLM hubub designed to pummel us into accepting that the vast majority of black women aren’t physically problematic? Is that why Zoomers sieg heil with their tiny white fists? Boy are we dumb. And by we I mean you; you’re dumb. I’m smart.

  62. @Morton's toes

    Da Vinci’s spinal cord ripping open what looks to be a human gut sack is redolent of the scorpion-like tail of the Alien in the popular movie franchise. Did he rip-off H.R. Giger?

  63. Sparkon says:

    Please don’t mention Picasso in the same breath with Dürer. Albrecht Dürer could draw; Pablo Picasso couldn’t.

    What little talent the Spaniard had he squandered when he sold out to Cubism, one of the cudgels of Modern Art used to smash and break up its classical forms, as illustrated by Dürer and other Renaissance masters. Picasso couldn’t render good representational likenesses of his subjects, so he turned to the semi-figurative — also called semi-abstract — arbitrary but colorful slop-fest known as Cubism, which was being pushed by a small coterie of collectors with the money, and art critics with the coverage.

    ‘Cubism’ remains one of the most brilliant innovations in the history of art, at least in the eyes of artists who can’t draw.

    What is worse, Picasso was a rapist who forced himself on his models, and physically abused them.

    not only are Picasso’s portraits the work of a selfish, self-indulgent, self-absorbed, egotistical monster; they’re not even particularly competent. The ‘philistines’ are right, and have been right for over a century: Picasso couldn’t draw, and wasn’t much of a painter either (never mind his ghastly sculptures). That said, he clearly was a genius. How else could he bamboozle so many people into thinking that he had any talent? What an admirable fraud.

    Finally, self portraits have little if anything to do with narcissism, and a lot to do with the self being a reliable and available model, and various shiny metals making do as usable mirrors from antiquity.

  64. Mr. Anon says:

    In this case, the use of Frida Kahlo, who according to Wikipedia uses art to examine “questions of identity, postcolonialism, gender, class, and race.”

    PoMo art-poseurs always use this kind of language – “to examine questions of indentity, postcolonialism, gender,……yada, yada, yada” Okay, so they question. What answers do they come up with? They never talk about that. What is the point of questioning something if you never arrive at an answer? The vague pretentiousness of it all is an obvious indicator that it’s all horses**t.

    • Agree: sayless
    • Replies: @AceDeuce
  65. jallynn says:
    @Buffalo Joe

    The mirror painting is by Jan van Eyck. “Als ich kan.”

    • Replies: @Rohirrimborn
    , @Buffalo Joe
  66. AceDeuce says:
    @Mr. Anon

    Well, I think that she had a decent mustache to go with her unibrow, so that’s “gender exploration” Somehow.

  67. @Anon

    Go easy on Biden. He’s been in the Senate since 1840, so he has a lot to remember.

  68. Joseph A. says:

    “Please don’t mention Picasso in the same breath with Dürer. Albrecht Dürer could draw; Pablo Picasso couldn’t.”

    Picasso’s Incredible Childhood Paintings Reveal a Different Side of the Modern Artist

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  69. @Sparkon

    Sparkie, before Picasso ventured into modern art he was quite an accomplished artist in the classical sense.

  70. @Joseph A.

    Picasso claimed he could draw like Raphael when he was young. Seems like the reality was in-between: he could do okay representational paintings when young, but lots of Spaniards could do as much.

    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
  71. @Chrisnonymous

    We know porn when we see it and that is not it! This is from the desk of the fellow who revolutionized the science of human anatomy.

  72. anon[207] • Disclaimer says:

    It’s not all about you, dude. Really, it’s not.

  73. Michelle says:

    I have the same hair as he! His self portrait has long fascinated me for that reason and also because he was beautiful to look upon.

    • Replies: @wren
  74. @George

    He could do it with men and women? Well, that is a Renaissance man for you.

  75. @Oo-ee-oo-ah-ah-ting-tang-walla-walla-bing-bang

    I can’t read greek (it’s greek to me) but it just says “Hephaistion created it”. By calling it playful I was just referring to the fact that it looks like it’s about to be blown away. Especially ironic given that it’s still here after 2000 years.

  76. @El Dato

    “Advance press releases for ‘Thirteen Ways of Looking’…..”

    The reference is of course to the great Wallace Stevens poem “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird”. Stevens was of course the Whitiest of Whitey Whitenheimers — he condescendingly referred to even Whitey-White Catholics with a sneering “you people”, and his poem “Dutch Graves in Bucks County” could be re titled, “We Were Here First, George Kaufman, and We Settled and Built This Place, You Scheming, Grasping Jew”.

    So in other words the entire multi-cult exhibit is already deeply complicit in White Supremacy.

    It’s sort of hard not to be. Unless you want to give up electricity, running water, indoor plumbing, antibiotics, human rights, surgery, dentistry, computers, universalistic Christian ethics, air travel and movies. Not to mention pretty much everything else.

    Thought experiment — ask yourself: what day is it today?

    If you answered something like “Thursday” and not “N’Gongo- Muawala-kwaa” then you are neck deep in White Supremacy. Off to Senegal with you in your magic flying pyramid!

    • Replies: @Kibernetika
  77. wren says:

    Some of his self portraits come across as somewhat feminine by modern standards, but perhaps that was the style of the day.

  78. @Sparkon

    “self portraits have little if anything to do with narcissism…”

    True dat.

    Highly recommended: John Ashbery’s great poem (his peak if you ask me) “Self-Portait in a Convex Mirror”, which begins as a meditation/description of Parmigianino’s great painting, then moves into an actual poetic self-portrait.

    High octane.

    “As Parmigianino did it…”

  79. @Sparkon


    This comment comes out of left field, but bear with me.

    Not everybody is fooled by Picasso. Adam and the Ants did a song a few years ago, Picasso visita los planetos de los simios, that calls down the pernicious poseur quite openly. Adam came from that art school background from which other British pop stars came from, and must have had his reasons for thinking in this way.

    Lyrics are posted in the slideshow.

  80. Anon[350] • Disclaimer says:

    That rabbit is a little funny, and it occurred to me why: It’s an isosmetric projection of a rabbit. It’s an architectural drawing technique used on an organic creature.

  81. @JerseyJeffersonian

    People here I think are being a bit harsh on Picasso for not painting like Jacques-Louis David, but the thing is, Picasso wasn’t a fraud or a poseur, he was just a part of the Modernist tide that swept the early twentieth century. Modernism happened for three main reasons:

    1. They felt they could no longer go on imitating the Victorians and Neo-Classicists, they thought something new simply had to be done;

    2. They felt that the twin traumas of the Machine Age and the aftermath of the Great War had left a scar on European culture and a nascent unprecedented sensibility which required a new approach;

    3. They felt (rightly or wrongly) that earlier models of art and literature were not capable of describing the new Machine Age inner consciousness, and they were looking for new ways to do that: this is why James Joyce wrote “Portrait” and “Ulysses”, and why as a 19-year-old punk he confronted the proto-Modernist WB Yeats in a Dublin street and scoffed, “It’s a shame, you’re too old to teach you anything.”

    But back to Picasso….

    If he did nothing else in this life, he inspired one of the funniest rock songs ever, Jonathan Richman’s epic “Pablo Picasso”…

    Some people try to pick up girls
    And get called an asshole.
    This did not happen to
    Pablo Picasso.

    Girls would turn the color
    Of an avocado
    As he drove down your street
    In his El Dorado.
    He was only five foot two,
    Yet girls could not
    Resist his stare…
    And so,
    Pablo Picasso
    Never got called an asshole.
    Not like YOU!

  82. @jallynn

    Interesting. “Als Ik Kan” is the motto adopted by Gustav Stickley for his furniture company. I didn’t know the origin so thanks.

  83. SFG says:
    @Space cowboy

    That was his excuse.

    In practice by getting people to depict him as Jesus for the next few centuries he performed one of the great megalomaniacal artistic coups in history.

    It’s long forgotten, but being a painter’s girlfriend was one way to have people looking at how cute you were for centuries after you were gone. Where do you think they got the models for all these ladies from?

  84. @Steve Sailer

    Sparkon was correct. Picasso couldn’t draw. In this context, “drawing” refers to the representational aspect of 2-dimensional art. For example, if you looks at the paintings in the link Joseph A. provided, you can see that there is consistent failure to deal with foreshortening of the limbs correctly so that they often appear to be unnatural lengths or impossibly located in space.

    His modeling was not strong either. See, for example, “Academic study” 1895 in the above link with its flat left inner thigh, which would get critiqued poorly in a decent undergraduate studio class today. The portrait of his mother, if the value is correct, was done in very difficult lighting, but still the side of the head and the eye socket in profile are relatively flat compared to the ear and nose, which are treated much more aggressively.

    You can argue that he still did “pretty okay” compared to his contemporaries. I don’t know because I haven’t surveyed a lot of work by non-famous and amateur artists of that time. However, I’d bet that there were a lot of amateur artists who could do as well as or better than he since the training at that time was entirely focused on developing that facility.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  85. @Chrisnonymous

    Europe in 1895 was awash in poorly paid artists who could draw as well as Picasso.

  86. @Steve Sailer

    “There is a tide in the affairs of men,
    Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.”
    — Julius Caesar

    “Men must endure their going hence,
    Even as their coming hither.
    Ripeness is all.”
    — King Lear

    There’s a lot to be said for being in the right place at the right time. Picasso was sitting at the very center of Modernism when it burst forth, just like Spielberg, Scorsese, Coppola and Lucas were sitting at the right place during a turning point in cinema.

    Picasso could draw, not as well as Titian, but well enough. More importantly, he understood what drawing IS. Take it from a guy who copied his portrait of Igor Stravinsky upside-down nearly fifty times.

    James Joyce’s actual poetry is terrible; he couldn’t write a credible Petrarchan sonnet to save his life. That didn’t stop him from re-inventing the novel.

  87. @Steve Sailer

    “There is a tide in the affairs of men,
    Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.”
    — Julius Caesar

    “Men must endure their going hence,
    Even as their coming hither.
    Ripeness is all.”
    — King Lear

    There’s a lot to be said for being in the right place at the right time. Picasso was sitting at the very center of Modernism when it burst forth, just like Spielberg, Scorsese, Coppola and Lucas were sitting at the right place during a turning point in cinema.

    Picasso could draw, not as well as Titian, but well enough. More importantly, he understood what drawing IS. Take it from a guy who copied his portrait of Igor Stravinsky upside-down nearly fifty times.

    James Joyce’s actual poetry is terrible; he couldn’t write a credible Petrarchan sonnet to save his life. That didn’t stop him from re-inventing the novel.

    • Replies: @TheLatestInDecay
  88. wren says:

    I remember doing the upside down Stravinsky too so many decades ago, lol.

    Right side, left side, I don’t know, but since then I’ve learned to unlock the autism side of my brain when sketching portraits (which is extremely rarely) and have impressed one or two people over the years.

    I can feel my brain get into the autism zone when doing it.

  89. @jallynn

    jallynn, Thank you. Fuzzy memory.

  90. @wren

    You too, eh. Did you also have to copy the Book of Kells?

    What a world, what a world.

    • Replies: @wren
  91. wren says:
    @The Germ Theory of Disease

    My parents did own a beautiful facsimile, but I was never expected to reproduce it.

    However, I was severely traumatised by Mrs. Johnson, my year six teacher in primary school in England.

    She was determined that her students would all leave her class at the end of the year with beautiful “Modern Hand,” which is indeed beautiful, and something I never mastered.

    I was one of those students that would get ink all over my hands, and start playing with the nibs and cartridges and generally make a muddle of it.

    It was a Victorian-era classroom with ancient desks that had spaces for inkwells, and I sometimes thought of all the misery that must have occupied that room over the years…

    Of course, I have made sure to provide my children with various fountain pens and ink bottles, and even an old guide to “Modern Hand.”

  92. @The Germ Theory of Disease

    Disclaimer: I’ve had several glasses of an amber beverage, but…

  93. Lagertha says:

    Durer could draw… and was gifted unlike the 99.5% who are not.

  94. @The Germ Theory of Disease

    Joyce’s poem “The Holy Office” remains a cracking piece of abusive and self-praising verse, even though it is substantially unintelligible if you don’t know who he is abusing. “Bahnhoffstrasse” from “Pomes Pennyeach” has a peculiar appeal. I have always liked the closing stanzas of “Epilogue to Ibsen’s ‘Ghosts’”:

    Blame all and none and take to task
    The harlot’s lure, the swain’s desire.
    Heal by all means but hardly ask
    Did this man sin or did his sire.

    The shack’s ablaze. That canting scamp,
    The carpenter, has dished the parson.
    Now had they kept their powder damp
    Like me there would have been no arson.

    Nay, more, were I not all I was,
    Weak, wanton, waster out and out,
    There would have been no world’s applause
    And damn all to write home about.

  95. @wren

    When I was in second grade, my family moved to a different city and I suddenly got transferred to an archaic Catholic school with ancient desks that had inkwells.

    I had a kooky pencil-case (remember the thought of a pencil-case?) which was decorated with tame but yet foxy illustrations of exotic dancing beauties from all around the world, in their various native garbs. Chinese, Persian, Indian, Danish, English, Swedish, Italian.

    Being new in the school, the way that I made new friends was, I put the dancing-beauties pencil-case inside the desk, underneath the inkwell, and I lit it with a penlight, and shook it back and forth to make the girls all dance. It was a huge hit.

    Imagine: I was running a functional dance club in second grade.

    Trump better hope he beats Biden, because I’m next.

    • Replies: @wren
  96. @TheLatestInDecay

    Yeah, but think of how clunky that all sounds, compared to Yeats’s marvelous flow in “An Irish Airman Foresees His Death”, or “To a Friend Whose Work Has Come to Nothing”. Joyce really came to life in a looser, more spirited vein, like Molly Bloom’s great monologue, or the hilarious scenes in the bar with the Citizen, and in the newspaper office.

    Or, of course, the terrifying and vivifying “night-town” episode.

    • Replies: @TheLatestInDecay
  97. wren says:
    @The Germ Theory of Disease

    I didn’t have such good luck at the school in England as you did at the Catholic school.

    Not only did the teacher’s handwriting lessons traumatise me, but the class was filled with mean girls too.

    I see that the creator of the “Simple Modern Hand” led a full life of calligraphy.

    In 1937 he won a scholarship of fifty pounds to travel in Germany. Visiting Nuremberg in kilts, he and a friend were informed by some uniformed soldiers that their leader would like to meet the men in tartans, and they met Adolf Hitler.

    Gourdie returned to the art college, where he received instruction in calligraphy from Irene Wellington. He developed a deep interest in the history of writing and its various forms, alphabets and styles.

    During World War II, Gourdie joined the Royal Air Force and worked on camouflage and on three-dimensional maps used in preparing troops for landings in Sicily and northern France.[1] The War Artists’ Advisory Committee also purchased two paintings from him during the conflict, which are now held by the Imperial War Museum.[3][4]

    I once bumped into the American Poet Laureate in a grocery store and greeted him warmly thinking he was someone else. Either he thought I too was someone else or this kind of thing often happened to him because he returned my greeting just as warmly even though I had already figured out he wasn’t who I thought he was as we got closer, but was too embarrassed to say it.

    A few months later I figured out that he was the Poet Laureate.

    If I were a poet there would be a poem in there somewhere.

  98. @wren

    There is only one Poet Laureate in American letters, and his name is Walt Whitman.

    Everybody else is just somebody who’s simply doing a good job (Marianne Moore, WC Williams), or a kooky genius who has gone off the leash and run wild (Wallace Stevens, Frank O’Hara, James Dickey), or else a time-server who is merely Looking To Get Paid (Adrienne Rich, Jorie Graham, every black woman poet you ever heard of).

  99. @The Germ Theory of Disease

    Yes, of course. I was not arguing that Joyce’s work in verse was superb, just that there were some things in it worth noting. He is one of the six or eight greatest writers of all time in any language, so the things that he got up to in forms that were marginal to him are noteworthy regardless of any other consideration.

    Here’s a good poem by a man Joyce respected almost without reservation — the friend whom he asked to complete “Finnegans Wake” for him in the event that he died before he was able to complete it. They were born at the same hour, on the same day, in the same year, in the same city:

    The lanky hank of a she in the inn over there
    Nearly killed me for asking the loan of a glass of beer:
    May the devil grip the whey-faced slut by the hair
    And beat bad manners out of her skin for a year.
    That parboiled imp, with the hardest jaw you will ever see
    On virtue’s path, and a voice that would rasp the dead,
    Came roaring and raging the minute she looked at me,
    And threw me out of the house on the back of my head.

    If I asked her master he’d give me a cask a day;
    But she with the beer at hand, not a gill would arrange!
    May she marry a ghost and bear him a kitten and may
    The High King of Glory permit her to get the mange.

  100. Awaiting moderation breeds such sorrowful sweetness…

Current Commenter

Leave a Reply - Comments are moderated by iSteve, at whim.

 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments have been licensed to The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Steve Sailer Comments via RSS