Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Milan Kundera on History And The History Of Its Arts

"While History (mankind's History) might have the poor taste to repeat itself, the history of an art will not stand for repetitions. Art isn't there to be some great mirror registering all of History's ups and downs, variations, endless repetitions. Art is not a village band marching dutifully along at History's heels. It is there to create its own history, which in itself represents no value. The one thing that has some chance of enduring is the history of its arts."

from Milan Kundera The Curtain: An Essay In Seven Parts (Translated from the French by Linda Asher)


Saving the National Anthem, no American classical music on the programs of either the National Symphony nor the New York Philharmonic gala opening concerts this week. The San Francisco Symphony opening gala tomorrow, on the other hand, rightfully will feature American classical music: "Prime-time MTT: music with which he has come to be identified, from American classics by Copland and Adams to Prokofiev’s brilliant score for Romeo and Juliet—which the SFS and MTT recorded in their Grammy-winning first CD together. The great soprano Renée Fleming will be featured in some of Ravel’s most sensuous songs."

Hans Burgkmair: Preco, the Announcer of the Triumph; and Hans Springinklee: The Emperor's Wars

Hans Burgkmair (1473 - 1531)

"With his outstanding activity as a painter and designer of woodcuts, he was one of the artists who shaped the style of German Renaissance. Except for some journeys, one of which leading to Italy in 1507, he was working in Augsburg. His friendship with Konrad Celtis and Konrad Peutinger, two prominent humanists of the time helped him to become a leading master of Emperor Maximilian's woodcut projects. About half of the 139 sheets of the Triumphal Procession as well as a significant part of the woodcuts for the Weisskunig and the Theuerdank were designed by him. He also played a main role in the development of printing in colour."


Hans Springinklee (1490/95 - 1525 után)

"Born in Nuremberg and active in his native town all through his life as a disciple and follower of Albrecht Dürer. Although he was engaged in important assignments also as a painter, today he is mainly known of his woodcuts. Between 1516 and 1521 he designed book illustrations co-operating with Erhard Schön, another former apprentice to Dürer. He took part in several woodcut series perpetuating the fame of Emperor Maximilian. A few sheets were done for the Weisskunig and a good number of brilliant ones representing the Emperor's Wars for the Triumphal Procession. His other great contribution was to the Arch of Honour, where the Family Tree placed in the middle and some of the episodes from the Emperor's life originate from him."

from Durer and His Contemporaries at the Szépmûvészeti Múzeum (Museum of Fine Arts), Budapest, Hungary, European Union.


Image and caption credits: (c) Szépmûvészeti Múzeum, Budapest. All rights reserved. With thanks.


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