2018年5月3日 星期四

Self-Promotion, From Head to Toe 大師手繪全身像 成權貴公關利器

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2018/05/04 第214期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份
編輯小語 Self-Promotion, From Head to Toe 大師手繪全身像 成權貴公關利器
Through Opera, Debussy Reaches a New Audience 歌劇之美 讓德布西有了新知音
Self-Promotion, From Head to Toe 大師手繪全身像 成權貴公關利器
文/Cath Pound

We tend to think of public relations as a modern invention, but the desire for self-promotion is hardly new. In the days before the news release and the photo call, the most effective means of image control was the painted portrait.

In the early 16th century, a format of portraiture developed that was stunning in its impact, showing subjects life-size, full-length and standing. The scale was unprecedented in secular art, being previously reserved for depictions of God and the saints. It was also the most expensive form of self-promotion that money could buy. Such a portrait conferred instant status.



Originally the preserve of monarchy and of the high nobility, the full-length portrait was later adopted by those a little lower down the social scale. But they all used the format to communicate who they were — or who they would like to be.

In the exhibition "High Society," running through June 3, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has gathered almost 40 magnificent full-length portraits from the 16th to the 20th centuries by the leading artists of their day. The paintings offer a fascinating insight into the messages that the great and the good sought to convey about themselves.



The Habsburg emperor Charles V popularized the full-length portrait for the Europe's ruling elites in the 16th century. Fully aware of its religious origins, he was effectively declaring himself God's representative on Earth. He had five such portraits made during the 1530s to be hung in palaces across his vast territories, which included the Holy Roman Empire in Europe and the Spanish Empire that stretched to Asia and the Americas. He was evidently eager to make sure his subjects absorbed the powerful message.

"It was all about propaganda and PR," said Jonathan Bikker, the curator of the Rijksmuseum exhibition. "I think that's why the monarchy and the high nobility had such a strong hold on that format. They made it associated with them and them alone."



The nobility would often use the full-length portrait to celebrate the union of two influential families. Such was the case with Henry IV, duke of Saxony, and his bride, Catherine of Mecklenburg, whose 1514 portraits by German artist Lucas Cranach the Elder were opulently adorned in the colors of their coats of arms. The continuation of a powerful dynasty could also be emphasized by the inclusion of children.

The association of the nobility attracted the Dutch bourgeoisie to the format in the 17th century. Having gained wealth and power, they used their portraits to claim a comparable importance.




肖像畫(portrait painting或portraiture)是繪畫的一個類型(genre),原本主要以大人物(the great and the good)為描繪對象,後來有越來越多中產階級委託人(client)央請畫家為家人或同儕繪製。

肖像畫人物的呈現方式包括:全身入畫(full length)、半身(half length)、頭部與肩膀(bust)、僅描繪頭部、臉部略偏向一側(three-quarter view)或臉部正面(full face)。被描繪者可以穿衣或裸體,站著、坐著、斜倚著(recline)甚至騎在馬背上。


偶爾會有委託人或其家人對成品不滿意,要求畫家修飾(retouch)或重畫(do it over)或根本不付酬勞。

要畫出成功的肖像畫,必須掌握人體解剖學(human anatomy),熟知骨骼與組織結構。熟練的畫家知道人臉左右不對稱(asymmetrical ),畫出來的左右臉會有些微不同,達文西著名的肖像畫「蒙娜麗莎」即為一例。

Through Opera, Debussy Reaches a New Audience 歌劇之美 讓德布西有了新知音
文/Rebecca Schmid

It may seem a paradox that one of the most influential composers of modern sung theater completed only one opera. "Pelléas et Mélisande" brought French composer Claude Debussy instant fame in 1902, but the stage work achieved such a perfection of his artistic ideals that he never managed to repeat the success.

Skeptical of the theater establishment, relentlessly self-critical and plagued by illness in his final years, Debussy left behind a legacy that musicologists are, to some extent, still working to reconstruct. Even after a premiere performance, he would continue making adjustments, sometimes to more than one copy of a given score. And he left the majority of his stage works unorchestrated before dying at age 55.



The centennial of the composer's death this year provides an occasion to revisit the lesser-known corners of his oeuvre. The label Warner Classics in January released the first compilation of Debussy's complete works, a 33-CD set that includes four premiere recordings of vocal music.

On May 1, the Staatskapelle Berlin, under its music director, Daniel Barenboim, will perform "La Damoiselle Élue," which Debussy called a "little oratorio," and the "Trois Ballades de François Villon," among the few songs he orchestrated himself.



The légende dansée (danced legend) "Khamma," which had its premiere posthumously in an orchestration by Fauré protégé Charles Koechlin, will be heard at the Philharmonie de Paris on June 9 in a program of the Orchestre de Paris under Fabien Gabel. "Pelléas" also remains in repertoire on the world's stages, with a new production by Norwegian-German director Stefan Herheim coming up at the Glyndebourne Festival on June 30 and a revival of Ruth Berghaus' 1991 production at the Staatsoper Berlin from May 27 to June 14.

Barenboim said Debussy, despite being "one of the most important composers in the history of music," had "yet to really achieve his place in musical life." He emphasized the composer's deep connection to both literature and nature: "I think he was fascinated by nature not in the sense of what nature inspires the human being to think about but what nature in itself is.

"Pelléas" represents the culmination of years of exploring the possibilities of vocal music. Debussy wrote about 100 songs, half of which he produced from 1880 to 1886, before he turned 30. The composer was the first to set the poetry of Paul Verlaine, in 1882, while involved in a passionate affair with amateur soprano Marie Vasnier, the wife of a building clerk.

德布西的舞蹈傳奇「卡瑪」, 將在6月9日於巴黎愛樂廳演出,為巴黎管弦樂團音樂會的曲目之一,由費比恩.蓋柏指揮。「卡瑪」在德布西死後才首次公演,由作曲家佛瑞的門生夏爾.凱什蘭配上管弦樂。「佩利亞與梅麗桑」在世界舞台上仍不時演出,挪威裔德國歌劇導演史帝芬.赫海姆的一個新製作,定6月30日在英國的格林德波恩歌劇音樂節推出,另外,歌劇導演露絲.伯格豪斯1991年的製作,亦將於5月27日到6月14日在柏林國家歌劇院重登舞台。

巴倫波因說,德布西雖貴為「音樂史上最重要的作曲家之一」,但在「音樂生涯中,從未真正實現他應有的地位。」巴倫波因強調德布西與文學和大自然的深度連結 :「我認為他對大自然著迷之處,不在於大自然能發人深省,而是大自然的本身。」



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