Dürer’s Enigma: A Kabbalistic Revelation in Melencolia §I
According to Panofsky’s widely-accepted theory, the subject of Albrecht Dürer’s engraving Melencolia §I (1514) was intended as a feminine personification of the liberal art Geometry and the temperament Melancholy. However, we argue that this synthesized personification is a façade. This formulaic veneer was meant to camouflage a layer of meaning that was only accessible to those who were familiar with the writings of the Christian Cabalists Giovanni Pico della Mirandola and Johannes Reuchlin. The symbolism of Melencolia §I, like that of its counterpart engraving Saint Jerome in his Study (1514), was influenced by Dürer’s interest in Christian Hebraism. Our research findings show that this image can best be understood as a visual interpretation of Pico’s Humanist manifesto Oratio (1486). Viewed from this perspective the main character of Dürer’s Melencolia §I transcends the bounds of the formulaic personification of Melancholy perceived by Panofsky, and transforms into an important figure in Pico’s Oratio, the high angel of Jewish mysticism, Metatron.
On Friday May 15th, a historic event took place at the Los Angeles LGBT Center, recognizing renowned artist's model Mark Snyder with a Lifetime Achievement Award - a first in its kind. Mark Snyder delivered a moving speech on behalf of all models who never had a chance to express the importance of their profession."The Model's Artist," a complementary exhibition on view at Los Angeles LGBT Lily Tomlin/Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center through June 13th, 2015, reveals a unique 14-year collaboration between artist Zhenya Gershman and model Mark Snyder. This event was produced in collaboration with project AWE, a non-profit organization on a mission to support and explore the arts.
Read full speech here...
Image, top of the page: Jan van der Straet, The Invention of Book Printing (detail), Nova Reperta, c. 1599, Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation, Houston