Albrecht Dürer’s legendary engraving Melencolia § I (1514) is a quintessential work of art that has captivated the greatest minds across centuries. In this unique presentation, Gershman demonstrates for the first time that Melencolia § I is a complex visual synthesis reflecting Dürer’s knowledge of Christian Kabbalah and Natural Magic. At last the audience discovers the long lost identification of the main character. This cornerstone finding illuminates that the destination in Melencolia § I is a process of becoming a divine angelic being through a series of initiations. Melencolia § I reveals Dürer’s application of Divine Geometry fortified by his knowledge of talismanic objects such as protective herbs, coded angelic names, and Magic squares. Albrecht Dürer was not just interested in metaphysical aspects of Kabbalah—rather he practiced it in his art, creating an immortal talisman and transcending the margins of his own lifetime. This lecture follows the master’s wish; in Dürer’s own words “for it is the easiest thing in the world for the Arts to be lost and perish; but only with difficulty, and after long time & pains are they resuscitated”—thus the bridge between Dürer’s hidden message and the audience reception is finally established.
About the Presenter:
Zhenya Gershman is a well-known artist, art historian and museum educator. As a Founder of Project Awe she has dedicated her scholarly and charitable work to examine the influence of Esotericism on the Arts. Gershman seeks to provide new dimensions to understanding and experiencing the cultural icons of Western European heritage.
Gershman’s specific area of study and expertise is in the life and work of Rembrandt. In her pioneering article Rembrandt: Turn of the Key, published by Arion and featured by Huffington Post, Gershman was able to reveal the evidence for Rembrandt’s involvement with the early pre-Grand Lodge Freemason fraternity, bringing new light to understanding of this great master. She has worked for over a decade in the internationally acclaimed J. Paul Getty Museum, and has contributed to such exhibitions as Rembrandt's Late Religious Portraits and Rembrandt: Telling the Difference. Gershman’s groundbreaking discovery regarding the presence of a hidden Rembrandt self portrait was published by Arion, Boston University and was brought to European audiences by Le Monde, one of the most important international magazines. She is currently working on a book and TV series: Secrets of the Masters.