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Monthly Masters DiscussionMonthly Masters' Discussion - September 2020 - Durer's Praying Hands

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minniev
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Re: Monthly Masters' Discussion - September 2020 - Durer's Praying Hands

Post by minniev »

uuglypher wrote:
Thu Sep 03, 2020 6:18 pm
An additional response to the question re: Dürer’s choice of colored background is acknowledgement that choice of a toned, colored ground on which to sketch, paint, of otherwise render an image provides a “tonal base” against which highlight and shadow detail can be expressed - technically as they would be within any work on a White ground - but with a very different visual effect of the final image as a whole. Highlight and shadow detail take on different effectual impact depending upon the value (“depth” of the ground beneath and around the subject.

Such “toned ground” art was being adopted by many artists from Dürer’s time and those early ventures into the non-traditional colored/toned ground has influenced graphic artists to the present time (including yours truly).
While I earlier said that I had no idea specifically why Dürer chose that particular blue-gray ground I should also have pointed out specifically why an artist would choose a toned ground as his choice for a finely detailed image involving subtle to strong shadow and highlight detail.

Other examples of use of toned ground by Dürer:
“Kneeling donor”, “Head of an Apostle”, “Study of Two Feet”, “An Elderly Man of Ninety-three Years”, “Head of an Angel”, “Hanns Dürer, Brother of Albrecht Dürer“.

Dave
Thanks for adding some important information that helps us understand the history behind the paper. Enjoyed this explanation a lot, and it makes sense and I didn't run across much discussion of the paper or its contribution to the overall work.
"God gave me photography so that I could pray with my eyes" - Dewitt Jones

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minniev
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Post by minniev »

I'll add a picture of my own, one of the bird whisperer I met in Ontario and one I took of my son with his youngest son shortly after Luke was born. It's a little trite but I liked it because it was them.
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"God gave me photography so that I could pray with my eyes" - Dewitt Jones

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Post by uuglypher »

Hardly “trite”!

Beautiful and touchingly impactful? Absolutely!

To my eye the impact and symbolism of your two images devolve from illustrating the gentle,loving impulse of our species toward those less powerful and in need of our concern, support, and love.

Personally, I would far sooner hang either or both of these images on my wall than I would Dürer’s “praying hands” - which portrays our species impulse to passive, fawning supplication , rather than to its proactive, loving, supportive nature and impulses.

This must just be the perspective of one secular humanist Unitarian Universalist (UU) with strong philosophic leanings toward the views of Baruch Spinoza!

Stay well and safe on this Labor Day weekend!

Dave

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Post by minniev »

uuglypher wrote:
Sat Sep 05, 2020 12:36 pm
Hardly “trite”!

Beautiful and touchingly impactful? Absolutely!

To my eye the impact and symbolism of your two images devolve from illustrating the gentle,loving impulse of our species toward those less powerful and in need of our concern, support, and love.

Personally, I would far sooner hang either or both of these images on my wall than I would Dürer’s “praying hands” - which portrays our species impulse to passive, fawning supplication , rather than to its proactive, loving, supportive nature and impulses.

This must just be the perspective of one secular humanist Unitarian Universalist (UU) with strong philosophic leanings toward the views of Baruch Spinoza!

Stay well and safe on this Labor Day weekend!

Dave
Thanks! I agree that the praying hands has been over-used, which is one reason I chose it, to see how people responded to that issue. The Durer original is more meaningful than the endless array of copies in every conceivable medium. I have a pair of brass bookends inherited from a distant relative, and I cannot count the church bulletins I've seen it on.
"God gave me photography so that I could pray with my eyes" - Dewitt Jones

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