Golden Age: Sustainability and Photography
I adore modern takes on classic looks. When I stumbled across The Golden Age by photographer Suzanne Jongmand, I was smitten. In a millisecond I was at her site looking for a price on one of these moody masterpieces. She has worked since 2007 on the series of ‘foam sculptures’: caps and collars, inspired by 16th and 17th century paintings, made from material that currently is used for packaging and insulation. It’s the materials that she uses that brings these photos into the 21st. century. I couldn’t figure out why I loved them so much. Then I realized that it is the sense of familiarity that they bring up in me that makes me feel enthralled with their nature.
Immediately I realized that they remind me of the prints that we have in our living room. They are a pair of stipple plate etchings by Francesco Bartolozzi after the portraits by Hans Holbein, published in London by Chamberlaine, 1798. This famous self-portrait of the great sixteenth century Flemish artist, Hans Holbein, and the accompanying portrait of his wife formed part of the collection at Kensington Palace. Holbein first came to England in 1526 and fell in with Sir Thomas More and his influential circle who were quick to commission his talents. He returned to Basel for a while but soon found that he was required to go back to London where, from 1532 onwards, he enjoyed the support and patronage of Henry VIII and his court.
Francesco Bartolozzi was born in Florence in 1728 and died in Lisbon in 1815. He began his working life by reproducing the works of Italian painters but came to England in 1764 where he was commissioned to reproduce Guercino’s drawings in the Royal Collection. By the time these prints were commissioned he had been officially appointed Historical Engraver to George III. (credit: Isaac Candede)
Long story short, those etchings have some huge historical significance for us and I love knowing the story behind them. I also love that Suzanne uses discarded materials to recreate similar scenes and poses to the ones in the prints. She raises the bar on loveliness. Brilliant, if you ask me. Historically accurate, moody, and mother effin’ sustainable. What more could we ask for?
Enjoy the weekend, lovelies! A little shout-out to Vanessa Vancour who had her little muffin, Melody this past week. Congrats!