My scanner, my microscope.
O ne of the enduring objects of my enthusiasm is eighteenth century music. I wrote about this in The Fate of the Artist where I also made this pastiche of a cd cover in the style of the Naxos series of classical music releases. I love the simplicity of that design template.
Not a month goes by without my finding the work of a composer of that era with whose work I was not previously familiar. Recent discoveries have included Thomas Erskine the Earl of Kellie, and George Vogler, whose Requiem I went to some trouble to track down. Latest is the one picked up this week. Five symphonies Karl von Ordonez of Vienna. I was hoping Naxos would get around to him sooner or later. I'm on the lookout now for his contemporary Leopold Gassman. But anyway, to my purpose. By the above means, which is to say indirectly, I have been developing a fondness for the topographical prints of Karl Schutz (1745-1800), which are likely to be selected to adorn the covers of cd's of music or composers originating in Vienna in the 18th c. I depicted him at work in the Fate of the Artist at the link above, even though I don't know what he looks like. In fact, this is when I got the idea of having actors play all these people, so that I could then still believe myself to be holding to a kind of authenticity. And sychronistically I happened to notice that Schutz seems to employ a little troupe of actors to people his prints. It's true of course that an artist does not have an unlimited supply of 'people' to trot out upon his paper and we are likely to see the same types used over and over. But it pleased me to think of Schutz' people as being in some way more real than the stiff mannequins in the prints of other artists.
These prints are essentially topographical. Their purpose is to record the look of buildings in and around Vienna. But what topographical artist ever took such pains to show us:
a guy indoors reading, framed in a window. Is it his own room? Is he stealing a look at that letter?
and are these three guys on the right talking about the guy in the blue coat behind his back?
what is the relationship of this overdressed woman to the young laddie? is he leading her somewhere, and how much will he receive for his trouble?
and there is always a lusty gallant, tipping his bonnet to a lady. Here he is greeting the woman taking a rest in her shop doorway.
and once again we must curse the cd booklet for being too damn small.
(edit: most pressing question of all, how did I get those piccies to wander into the sidebar?)
If I had as much dough as you think I have, I'd go and buy me one of these:
Sotheby's - New York - 2000
Lot 130 : Waldstein, Franz de Paula Adam, Graf von, and Paul Kitaibel. Descriptiones et icones plantarum rariorum Hungariae. Vienna: A.M. Schmidt, -1802-1812
first edition, 3 volumes, folio (650 x 300mm.), sepia aquatint view by Hirscher, 280 hand-coloured engraved plates by Karl Schutz after his father Johann, contemporary half calf, volume 1 preliminaries detached, some plates c... [Please sign in or subscribe to Artfact Professional to view more]