Hubar, Arbeid & Bezieling Sam en Vatting Engels


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LABOUR AND INSPIRATION An iconological interpretation of the façade of the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum as devised by P.J.H. Cuypers, J.A. Alberdingk Thijm and V.E.L. de Stuers Bernadette van Hellenberg Hubar SUMMARY and passive process of artistic creation of P.J.H. Cuypers, J.A. Alberdingk Thijm and V.E.L. de Stuers as they were expressed in the sculpture of the façade of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and the decoration of the Arts & Crafts School in Roermond. Although in both cases the design of the
    LABOUR AND INSPIRATION  An iconological interpretation of the façade of the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum asdevised by P.J.H. Cuypers, J.A. Alberdingk Thijm and V.E.L. de StuersBernadette van Hellenberg HubarSUMMARY Labour and Inspiration (Arbeid en Bezieling  ) is a study of the theories on the activeand passive process of artistic creation of P.J.H. Cuypers, J.A. Alberdingk Thijmand V.E.L. de Stuers as they were expressed in the sculpture of the façade of theRijksmuseum in Amsterdam and the decoration of the Arts & Crafts School inRoermond. Although in both cases the design of the ornament was supervised byCuypers, the programme of meanings to be expressed in and through the deco-ration was devised in frequent consultations between the aesthetician and man of letters Alberdingk Thijm , the civil servant De Stuers and the architect Cuypers. Inorder to present their theories on both the active creative process of making a workof art and the passive artistic experience of the public and to interpret their formalexpression in the Rijksmuseum and the Arts & Crafts School in Roermond, themethods of iconography and iconology have been used. In spite of their drawbacks,these methods have proved themselves to be useful instruments for an inquiry intothe meaning of these decorationprogrammes. However, it should be remarked atthe outset that the aim was not to reach quasi-objective results, but to enter into adialogue with these works of art, leading to interpretations and reflections in whichthe role of the educated guess is openly acknowledged. Labour and Inspiration  is devided into three parts, called after a triad of conceptswhich play a central role in Thijm's view of the development of a contemporaryChristian art formed after a devine model: the Holy Type of Unity and Multiplicity, Order and Movement, and Harmony and Diversity   . Part I ( Order and Movement  ) presents the opinions of the three men on the practical and idealis-tic aspects of the creation and enjoyment of art. In three chapters Cuypers' educa-tion as an architect, Thijm's aesthetic theories and De Stuers' policy concerning artistic education and public art collections are discussed. Each chapter is precededby a short biographical sketch of the dramatis personae  of this study.A close study of the years Cuypers spent at the Académie des Beaux Arts inAntwerp reveals not only the wide range of - often conflicting - theories of art thatprevailed in Belgium and The Netherlands in the first half of the nineteenthcentury, but also the artistic practice at that time. The transformation of the classi-cist ideal of the `universal master' into a romantic, quasi-mediaeval ideal of the Magister operum  is a central theme in this chapter; another is the discovery thatCuypers' professors, under the influence of J.-F. Blondel's Cours d'Architecture  ,held a rhetorical view of architecture which was a major factor in determining     Dr Bernadette van Hellenberg Hubar421 Cuypers' ideas on the meaning and impact of architecture, on the role of iconolo-gical programmes and on the use of building styles and ornament.Thijm's aesthetics is presented by means of a discussion of one of his most beautifulhistorical novellas, The Organist of the Cathedral  ( De Organist van den Dom  ,1848). In this work Thijm combines without effort typical Renaissance motifs suchas the furor poeticus  and the furor melancholicus  with a general romantic andcatholic atmosphere, thus throwing new light on the mediaeval Cathedral of Utrecht, where the action takes place.To end Part I, De Stuers' cultural and educational policy is discussed. Both thestate-supervised national programme for schooling in the arts and crafts and theidealistic programme of the National Museum for History and Art ( Nederlandsch Museum voor Geschiedenis en Kunst  ), a subdivision of the Rijksmuseum, weredictated by the same vision on the role of the arts and crafts in society. One of DeStuers' preoccupations was the problem of translating a creative concept into apracticable drawing and subsequently into an artistic product; another was theappeal of the work of art on its public, whose participation is made possible by themoving effect of aesthetic experience. This rhetorical view of art, in which itscapacity to move the beholder is so central, is one of the characteristics of De Stuers'museum ideology. This ideology was partly based on the propre musée   located atthe house of Cuypers' first mentor Charles Guillon. Both preoccupations of DeStuers have clearly informed the conception of the Rijksmuseum and its annexe,the Art Training School ( Oefenschool  ).Part II ( Harmony and Diversity  ) is devoted to the Arts & Crafts School inRoermond and especially to its tile decoration of images of Labour and Inspiration.Although the Rijksmuseum antedates the Roermond School, the latter is discussedfirst because this offers the opportunity to present the thoroughly catholic andmediaeval pair of concepts `inspiration'/`conception' and `labour'/`craftsman' asthe background to the partly `Oudhollandsche' (Old-Dutch) and partly classicistuse of these concepts in the façade of the Rijksmuseum. To begin with, the building history and the architectural composition of this Gesamtkunstwerk  is elucidated.Because of its liveliness and subtle balance between variety and variation,movement and asymmetry it is one of the outstanding Dutch examples of `pictures-que' architecture. Cuypers `picturesque' and varied design received added lustre bythe colourful decoration of the exterior, where different kinds of brick, complexmasonry motifs, sculpture and tile pictures were used. Secondly, the programmewhich formed the basis of all this ornament is interpreted. The representation of `inspiration'/`conception' is based on Mariological metaphors as they occur in thedogma De immaculata conceptione  (1854); it strongly resembles the iconography of the decorations designed by Cuypers for the piano he gave as a wedding present tohis second wife, Thijm's sister Nenny. The figure of `inspiration'/`conception'expresses an analogy between the `inspiration' of Christ in Mary and the inspirationof the creative concept in the artist. This analogy was based on the interpretation of the articles devoted to Mary by Thijm's friend, the priest and theologian CornelisBroere. The figure of `labour'/`craftsman' on the other hand shows the romantical,`mediaeval' labor ethic of the three friends, which was held up to the citizens of Roermond as a harmonious model of a prosperous society.   Summary ‘Arbeid & Bezieling’422  Part III, Unity and Diversity  , is devoted to the iconography and iconology of the Schauseite  of the Rijksmuseum. The analysis of its content and meaning ispreceded by a chapter which reconstructs the development of the plan, the building history and the façade sculpture, and describes the complex. The statues of Labourand Inspiration which support the façade, are the central themes here. In Thijm'saesthetical theory and the series of conceptual associations which form an importantpart of it this pair of concepts is identical with that of Matter and Spirit. `True'works of art can only be created in and through their interaction. The matter andcraft aspect is reflected in the complex of meanings attached to the figure of Labour-Luke-Appeles as a patron of Painting, which combination goes back in essence tothe apocryphal biblical story of Saint Luke painting the Madonna. In therepresentation of Labour-Luke, drawing takes precedence over painting becausedrawing is the visual equivalent of verbal language. Labour-Luke thus illustratesthe belief of Thijm, Cuypers and De Stuers in the Renaissance notion of drawing asthe mediator of Platonic Ideas. The srcins of this conviction can be traced throughcontemporary art criticism, philosophical treatises and the `Oudhollandsche' artistictheory to the Platonist humanism of Marsilio Ficino and his classical sources.Inspiration on the other hand turns out to be John the evangelist, represented asthe personification of the art of building, beholding the perfection of the heavenlyJerusalem. He is pictured in accordance with both the type of  Meditatione  and thatof the furor poeticus  , derived from the `Oudhollandsche' edition of Cesare Ripa's Iconologia  . By this typology, which was extremely popular, the young man Inspi-ration symbolizes Thijm's view of the creative power of sublimated melancholy.This theme, which was known above all through Dürer's Melencolia I  , can also betraced back to Ficino.Next comes the interpretation of the decoration programme of the façade, pre-sented as a book for the laity. The strikingly classical design of the sculpture can beexplained by connecting it with the double aim of emulating both the Parthenonand the Amsterdam Town Hall by Jacob van Campen. By means of a constructionof the history of art that had been prepared symbolically by Thijm and rationally byViollet-le-Duc, Greek and mediaeval art could be considered as equivalents becausethey both represented the flowering of a culture. As a result of this specificconcordance masterpieces of Greek art - here the Parthenon - also served as a modelfor contemporary projects. The emulation of the Town Hall was legitimatedbecause its designers, Van Campen and Artus Quellinus, had tried in a similar wayto find a national, classicist-`Oudhollandsch' answer to the classics. In virtue of thecentral role of the Virgin, the sculpture of the Rijksmuseum can be interpreted as alitany in stone to the Madonna: the Parthenon, srcinally a temple devoted to avirgin goddess, had been consecrated tot the Mother of God in the early Christianage; the Amsterdam Town Hall had the Amsterdam Virgin as patroness, and theRijksmuseum the Dutch Virgin. In both cases, this use of a virgin patronesssrcinates in the use of Mary as a symbol of architecture, city-state or society.Moreover, in virtue of a multiplicity of `Oudhollandsche' motifs, the Rijksmuseumwould grow into a monument of patriotic feeling: a cultural and historical pantheonfor national heroes, exempla virtutis  , whose names and portraits were immortalized    Dr Bernadette van Hellenberg Hubar423 in the tympana of the windows on the exterior. Thus the decoration of the façadepresents us with a summa  in which varying motifs had been connected by the fertility and elasticity of the Christian-symbolical system   (Thijm). Variouscontroversial catholic elements received in this fashion a different, `Oudhollandsche'and `classical' interpretation.One of these `elastic' themes of the façade is represented in the relief `The Art of Drawing and Painting', which is in fact an anachronistically `Greek' variation of thetheme `Saint Luke paints the Madonna'. Instead of Luke we find the painterApelles and instead of the Virgin with Christ sitting on her lap we find VenusUrania with Amor. The analysis of this relief is preceded by the iconographicalexplanation of the tile tableau with the Three Graces `Beauty, Truth and Goodness'above the entrance to the Art Training School (Oefenschool). This pictureespecially demonstrates the importance of the part played by De Stuers as icono-grapher and the great knowledge of `Oudhollandsche' culture both he and Thijmpossessed. Ficino's concept of the Geminae Veneres  - heavenly Urania and earthlyPandemos - is mixed with that of the Three Graces as they are represented in thetile tableau. These twins also appear in the relief with the Greek `Luke' or Apelles:Venus Urania as a model, the other Venus drawing. The design of the relief of `TheArt of Drawing and Painting' is based on a harmony between a classical,humanistic and mediaeval motif, devised by Thijm as an allusion to the Concordia Veteris et Novi Testamenti  . Again, Mary is the link: she is prefigured as the highest ideal in art   by Venus Urania, who in turn is often used as a visual metaphor for theIdea of beauty.The counterpart for the relief of Apelles is the tableau depicting `The Art of Building and Sculpture'. Here, the motif of the Greek Magister operum  is repre-sented on the basis of a similar concordance. Holding a banderole showing thealmost magical emblem of circle, square and triangle, the architect refers as well toVitruvius as to the mediaeval technique of triangulation. Thus this representation of an architect can be linked to the portrait of Cuypers as an architectus doctus  paintedin Roermond by his brother in 1853: it shows the sitter against a richly filled book-case, with a drawing-case, an equilateral triangle and a Roman-Gothic capital.Similarly, the Amsterdam relief shows the symbiosis between vitruvianism andorganicism in Cuypers' thought and work in so far as the `master of the works' alsorefers to the demiourgos  , the architect of the universe. Analogous to this divinearchitect, the Magister operum  creates architecture as a second nature   (Thijm).Victory-imagination is the central theme of the last chapter of Part III. The threefriends considered imagination as a powerful creative instrument, active in apoetical, combining and perfecting way, but only if it is divinely inspired andrecognized as a gift from heaven. Because of the analogy between God and man thelatter is almost forced to use his imagination and to work creatively. From thisresults both the victory of mind over matter and the connecting link betweenheaven and earth. It is quite remarkable to see that this concept turns out to besimilar in countless points to the aesthetics of the agnostic Carel Vosmaer, the mostimportant opponent of Thijm, Cuypers and De Stuers.
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