Friday, September 16, 2016

Renaissance Newsletter #8

The Ritchie Blackmore Story Is Definitive Visual Retrospective of a Guitar Legend (DVD REVIEW)

It’s always been solely about the music. That is the most poignant statement that comes through the recent documentary, The Ritchie Blackmore Story. Through intimate interview clips with Blackmore and some of his guitar brothers-in-arms, personal photographs and video footage from Deep Purple, Rainbow and Blackmore’s Night concerts, it’s always about the music. Blackmore may stare into the camera lens with a stern, unsmiling, void of emotion face but his fingers do all the talking. They always have. Until now. Blackmore breaks his silence and tells stories about himself and the music he helped create. Fans will eat this up and rightly so.

As an unopened book, fans were left to draw their own conclusions about the man from myths, gossip, disgruntled former bandmates, disheveled journalists, peers in the industry and a sprinkling of interviews from the Somerset, England-born guitarist himself. “I have a bad reputation but I don’t mind,” he once famously said in a 1978 interview. To come out and call him an asshole may be a little presumptuous but he never did much to dispel the tag. “I won’t do what I’m told to do,” he says in the DVD with a straight face. He reckons he has always been that way, remembering a time when he was a five year old having his photo taken and feeling it was a ridiculous waste of time. The ensuing photo speaks volumes of the man he would become.

At seventy, Blackmore has found a contentment in the renaissance music he produces with his wife Candice Night, summoning up chords of yore while dressed in costume of a time and place that no longer exists in the modern world. Devoted fans of Blackmore get it, this music he pulls from perhaps a past life amidst the woods of Nottingham or the foggy moors. They have followed his changes, his experiments, and enjoyed the ride, while others have held fast to the bluesy rhythms of Purple or the piercing notes of Rainbow. Whichever incarnation you prefer, it’s all about the music.

Complete review:

In the Age of Giorgione

12 March–5 June 2016 

In March 2016, the Royal Academy of Arts will present In the Age of Giorgione, a focused survey of the Venetian Renaissance during the first decade of the sixteenth century. The exhibition will shed new light on this pivotal period,which laid the foundations for the Golden Age of Venetian painting. It will bring together around 50 works from public institutions and private collections across Europe and the United States, by celebrated artists such as Giorgione, Titian, Giovanni Bellini, Sebastiano del Piombo and Lorenzo Lotto, while offering an opportunity to rediscover other less well known artists such as Giovanni Cariani. 

The exhibition will also consider the influence of Albrecht Dürer who visited Venice in1505–6. By the beginning of the sixteenth century Giovanni Bellini had revolutionised Venetian painting, favouring a new naturalism, yet it was the next generation, most notably Giorgione and Titian,who became the protagonists ofa new style. Giorgione emerged during the first decade of the sixteenth century, greatly influencing and rapidly transforming the stylistic evolution of Venetian art. 

These developments were advanced by the young Titian, who would soon become the leading artist in Venice. Little is known about Giorgione’s life, yet the elusive and poetic quality of his work was so powerful that, despite his early death in 1510, his legacy was profoundly felt in Venice and beyond.

Giorgione worked largely for a new type of patron, that of the cultured and sophisticated connoisseur. He proposed a new, more poetic type of portraiture and created a serene bucolic world as a backdrop to both sacred and profane subjects. Today, there are only a few works that can be attributed to Giorgione with certainty. The exhibition will address the question of attribution, taking a closer look at many of the finest works from the period.

The most important artist to emerge from Giorgione’s shadow was Titian, who became the preeminent artist in Venice following Giorgione’s premature death. While Giovanni Bellini remained in high demand for the commission of altarpieces, it was Titian who developed Giorgione’s soft and sensuous use of colour on a larger scale. 

Titian’s life-long artistic experiments led to a new era that has since become known as the century of Titian. The exhibition will include key works by Giorgione and the young Titian.

Maniera. Pontormo, Bronzino and Medici Florence

The Städel Museum is presenting the large-scale exhibition “Maniera. Pontormo, Bronzino and Medici Florence”. With the aid of some 120 prominent loans, the exhibition will acquaint the German public with a key chapter in the history of Italian art – Florentine Mannerism – in all its diversity for the first time.

Works by Jacopo Pontormo, Agnolo Bronzino, Andrea del Sarto, Rosso Fiorentino, Giorgio Vasari and others will be on view. Altogether fifty paintings as well as eighty-one drawings, sculptures and works in other media will offer an experience hitherto possible only in Florence – a broad survey of a stylistically formative epoch characterized by the art historiographer Giorgio Vasari with the colourful term “maniera”. Devoted to Florence as the first centre of European Mannerism, the large-scale special exhibition will cover the period from the return of the Medici to that city in 1512 and the early artistic forays by the new generation around Pontormo and Rosso to the 1568 publication of the second edition of Giorgio Vasari’s Lives, a work still influential today.

One of the most exquisite works in the Städel holdings –Bronzino’s famous Portrait of a Lady in Red (Francesca Salviati?) (ca. 1533) – formed the point of departure. The project is being carried out with special support from the museums of Florence, above all the Uffizi, the Galleria dell’Accademia and the Galleria Palatina, which are all contributing exceptional selections of works. Further key loans will come from such prominent institutions as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, the Paris Louvre, the Prado and the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid, the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, the Szépművészeti Múzeum in Budapest and the Brera in Milan.

Owing in great part to Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael, the High Renaissance of the early sixteenth century is generally considered a zenith in the development of art in Italy. In altogether eight chapters with differing temporal and thematic emphases, the Städel Museum exhibition will now impressively demonstrate that a number of especially outstanding artistic accomplishments can be attributed to the following two generations of artists.

 “The art of Mannerism in Florence has many facets: it is elegant, cultivated and artificial, but also capricious, extravagant and sometimes even bizarre. Sophisticated elegance and creative eccentricity characterize the painting of the ‘maniera’ as one of the most fascinating phenomena in Italian art”, notes Bastian Eclercy, the show’s curator.  

“Maniera” will spread out over both floors of the exhibition annex. To start with, it will focus on the most prominent exponents of a young generation of Florentine painters, Pontormo and Rosso. With the aid of variations on the Florentine pictorial theme of the “Madonna and Child with the Infant St John”, this section will show how Pontormo and Rosso emancipated themselves increasingly from the artistic ideals of the High Renaissance – here represented by Raphael –, deliberately playing with the stylistic rules then in effect.

With his Portrait of a Goldsmith (ca. 1518, Musée du Louvre, Paris), Pontormo also commended himself as an innovative portraitist of his time. What is more, his drawings of this phase are distinguished by a virtually unsurpassable dynamic, as is evident, for example, in his  Three Studies of a Male Nude (ca. 1517, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lille).

Between 1519 and 1525, for example in the  Holy Family with the Infant St John  Rosso found his way to expressive new means of artistic expression, as will be evident in the following section of the show.

His fellow artist Pontormo developed his own very distinctive artistic fingerprint during this phase, strongly inspired by his study of art from north of the Alps, and translated prints by Albrecht Dürer and Lucas van Leyden into a blend of Florentine and German styles. His famous  Adoration of the Magi (ca. 1519–23, Galleria Palatina, Florence), which has never been outside Florence until now, is a case in point.

As the next section of the show will illustrate, the history of the Florentine art of those years – and that of the town itself – bear a close relationship to the events unfolding in the papal metropolis of Rome. Under the Medici Pope Clement VII, a number of young talents converged in that town, among them Rosso Fiorentino, Parmigianino, Polidoro da Caravaggio and Perino del Vaga. The pillage of the city by the mercenary troops of Charles V (Sacco di Roma) would bring this productive constellation to an end in 1527. Rosso had arrived in Rome in 1524 and initially produced frescoes and panel paintings. Soon, however, he shifted his artistic focus to printmaking, for example the Gods in Niches (1526) on view here, a series belonging to the Städel Museum’s Department of Prints and Drawings. 

The plundering of Rome also had consequences for Florence. The faction of the Medici’s opponents drove the family out of town and proclaimed the Republic. In the autumn of 1529, however, imperial troops laid siege to the city, ultimately forcing the Republic of Florence to surrender in 1530. This phase of political and societal upheaval was one of the most creative and productive periods in Florentine painting, as is evident in major works such as Andrea del Sarto’s Sacrifice of Isaac (ca. 1529/30, Museo del Prado, Madrid) or Bronzino’s St Sebastian (ca. 1528/29, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid). 

The historic events taking place in Florence in those years are also mirrored in the four differing versions of the Martyrdom of the Ten Thousand (ca. 1522–30) by Pontormo, Bronzino and Perino del Vaga brought together in a single venue for the first time ever by this exhibition.

Next the show will take a look at Bronzino’s rise to become Florence’s leading portrait painter under its first duke, Alessandro de’ Medici. Here the highlight will be Bronzino’s brilliant Portrait of a Lady in Red (Francesca Salviati?) (ca. 1533) (above) from the Städel collection, a key work of Florentine portrait painting. As a monumental, prestigious likeness of a lady it embodies a new portrait type whose emergence this exhibition reconstructs for the first time, assembling a number of closely related likenesses of women around the Portrait of a Lady in Red.

The prelude to the second floor of the show will be devoted to the so-called “paragone” – the rivalry for pride of place between the media of painting and sculpture that was a topic of lively discussion in the Venus and Cupid (ca. 1533, Galleria dell’Accademia, Florence), likewise on display here for the first time outside of Florence, after a design by Michelangelo. 

Bronzino’s appointment as court painter to the new Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici in 1539 will be the theme of the second room in this part of the show. The artist painted the likenesses of the duke, his consort Eleonora di Toledo and their children, thus creating an entire portrait series. In the process, he shaped the genre of the courtly child’s portrait to a decisive degree, as exemplified by the Portrait of Garzia de’ Medici (ca. 1550, Museo del Prado, Madrid). 

At the same time, with his frescoes decorating Eleonora’s private chapel in the Palazzo Vecchio as well as his religious panel paintings, he set new standards for the art of the Florentine court. In 1546, Cosimo I founded a tapestry manufactory and commissioned Bronzino to design monumental pictorial tapestries celebrating his ducal sovereignty in complex allegories. The exhibition will feature the first of these works, the so-called Dovizia (1545, Galleria del Costume, Florence), along with several preparatory drawings.

Finally, the show will shine a spotlight on Giorgio Vasari. Known primarily as an art writer and architect, he will here be introduced as an important painter and draughtsman. From 1555/56 onward, in his capacity as court painter Vasari carried out a great number of fresco decorations in the Palazzo Vecchio, having first designed them in detailed drawings. He also executed a number of his most impressive panel paintings in this phase, for example the  Toilet of Venus (ca. 1558, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart). 
Complete post with images:

The 28th annual Renaissance Festival & Artisan Marketplace in the Phoenix metro area.
13 stage theaters on 30 acres, regularly scheduled jousting tournaments, and a feast
New to this years Festival are Sea Faires, featuring the Living Mermaids, Captain Sir Francis Drake, and comedy and songs by The Angels. All of which are included with your price of admission.
The very funny, "Hey Nunnie Nunnie!", is a must see show. No bad habits there. "The Clan Tykner Family Circus", is another show for all ages. If you have a thing for bagpipes and drums, then "Tartanic" will get you in a dancing spirit, and well worth your time. The comedic juggling of "The London Broil" will leave you in stitches. Zilch the Torystellar will challenge your vocabulary skills with stories told trippingly on the tongue.

Vegetable Justice is a place where someone will hurl insults at you, whether you are standing around or walking by. In return, you may purchase tomatoes to throw at the insulter. All I will say, is that I got my monies worth….

The Festival runs every Saturday and Sunday through March from 10am to 6pm. Costumes are encouraged, and will make your day more fun. One more thing, don't forget the sunscreen.
Complete article:

Scarborough Renaissance Festival announces Scholarship Program

Renaissance Festival® is proud to announce the introduction of an annual scholarship program as part of its long time commitment to supporting the arts and education in the North Texas community. For the 2015-16 school year, Scarborough Renaissance Festival® will award one $1,000 scholarship to a qualified High School senior from Ellis County who has participated in the band, orchestra, choir, art and/or drama-theater programs during their high school career.

Scholarship applications are available through the high schools within the Ellis County area and eligible students will have until April 18, 2016 to submit their applications and other applicable information.

The Scarborough Renaissance Festival® scholarship program is an outstanding addition to the Scarborough Student Days’ educational and performance program that has been taking place annually since 1989 and Scarborough Renaissance Festival® is hopeful that in the future this program can be expanded to include a greater number of scholarships and students to which they are offered.

"Nurturing the love for performing and visual arts within the youth of our community is at the heart of what we do at Scarborough Renaissance Festival each and every day”, says Coy Sevier, General Manager of Scarborough Renaissance Festival®. "We are very excited about the unveiling of this scholarship program and the ability to help students continue their education and expanding their love of the arts”.

The 36th season of Scarborough Renaissance Festival® is a North Texas tradition that is interactive fun for everyone, 16th Century Style set in the days of King Henry VIII! Full combat armored jousts, Birds of Prey exhibitions, Mermaid Lagoon, 23 stages of Renaissance entertainment, exquisite crafts, 200 shoppes, artisan demonstrations and games of skill, Renaissance rides. Plus, weekly special events and food and drink fit for a king!

Scarborough Renaissance Festival® will be open on Saturdays, Sundays, and Memorial Day Monday, April 9 – May 30, 2016, rain or shine, from 10 AM to 7 PM. Student Days will take place on Tuesday, April 26, 2016. Located in Waxahachie, Scarborough is just 30 minutes south of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex off of I-35E at exit 399A. Scarborough Renaissance Festival® is sponsored by Dr Pepper, Tom Thumb, Albertsons, MetroPCS and Waxahachie Autoplex.

For more information please call 972-938-3247 or visit

Renaissance Pleasure Faire, Irwindale, CA.

The Faire is looking for various types of people to participate at the Renaissance Faire. These participants include, parade participants, Banner carriers, puppeteers, and actors, just to name a few positions that are available. The work is weekend only and you must participate in the orientation classes (at no charge) to participate. You will be required to participate for a minimum of 4 hours a day. In exchange you will be fed a continental breakfast, lunch and soup at the conclusion of the day. You will also get admission to the renaissance faire to enjoy the activities there when you're not working.

Jordi Savall at Mandel Hall: English and Celtic folk music dating mostly from the high Renaissance.
 “Man & Nature: Musical Humors and Landscapes in the English, Irish, Scottish and American Traditions,” as the concert was laboriously subtitled, examined a largely and lamentably lost repertoire. Savall performed over thirty selections that he arranged into cogent sets of between four and six numbers, alternating between two period instruments—a 1750 six-string treble viol and a seven-string bass viol from 1697.

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