Monday, October 22, 2012

Kilian Grotesque Ornament

These images are from a 1607 suite of ornamental grotesque prints called 'Newes Gradesca Büchlein' by Lucas Kilian

In the middle Venus grabs Cupid's arrow, while his arch falls down by Lucas Kilian (1607) h'
Grotesque panel with Venus and Cupid; at centre; and two male half-length figures wearing helmets pouring liquid from large pitchers at upper centre from a series of thirteen plates with grotesque panels

A wagon is pulled by a winged satyr by Lucas Kilian (1607) d

A wagon is pulled by a winged satyr

In the middle is a man in oriental dress backwards on a donkey by Lucas Kilian (1607) e
Grotesque panel with a Turk sitting backwards on a donkey chased by wasps; at centre; half-length grotesque figures playing an organ and a harp at lower centre; male figures playing a lute and viola da gamba at centre left and right

A man in oriental dress with a banner sits on a drum in the middle by Lucas Kilian (1607) g
Grotesque panel with a Turk seated on a drum holding a banner; at centre; two Turkish horsemen below and two grotesque birds riding sows at lower centre

Sphere under a starry sky by Lucas Kilian (1607) c
Sphere under a starry sky

Bacchus sitting under an arch of vines, flanked by flower vases held by monkeys by Lucas Kilian (1607) j
Grotesque panel with a putto seated on a wine barrel at centre; two parrots in profile below; surrounded by festoons

Venus + 2 dolphins by Lucas Kilian (1607)
Grotesque panel with a nude female figure (Venus?) standing on a globe; at centre; half-length grotesque figures in various poses throughout

Diana + nymph by Lucas Kilian (1607) b
Grotesque panel with a female figure kneeling in front of a classical hunter (Venus and Adonis?) at centre; a hunter shooting a stag at upper centre, another attacking a boar with a spear at lower centre

A couple struggling in the middle by Lucas Kilian (1607) i
Grotesque panel with two male figures wrestling at centre; below a lion attacking a bull

Liquid from two horns by Lucas Kilian (1607) a
Grotesque panel with a half-length grotesque figure sitting on a shell holding two cornucopias at centre; liquid from the cornucopias flowing into bowls held by two seated figures below; with various animals throughout and two male figures at upper left and right roasting birds [Ed. I see kangaroos!]

A crowned woman stands in the middle flanked by two satyrs. Together they support a shell in which a figure sitting by Lucas Kilian (1607) f
Grotesque panel with a half-length grotesque figure sitting on a shell holding two sticks from which masks are dangling; below a whole-length figure standing underneath a canopy; grotesque figures reading and farting

Newes Gradesca Büchlein (title page) by Lucas Kilian (1607)
Title-page with a strapwork cartouche flanked by female personifications of sculpture and painting; at upper left and right putti holding a burin and a square and pair of dividers

Lucas (Lukas) Kilian (1579-1637) was a painter, draughtsman and engraver and was known to have worked for the publisher, Domenicus Custos [previously]. He spent three years in Italy, mainly in Venice, but lived the majority of his life in his home town of Augsburg in Germany, where he died.

Among the sparse web notes about Kilian is the inference that his independent prints (as opposed to the reproduction work he undertook in Italy to fund his travels) were influential with respect to the graded shade styling of auricular (ear-like) elements and in the novel dissolving grotesque tail appearances. It should be emphasised here that I'm parsing snippets of translated - sometimes garbled - mentions and it's equally possible that Kilian's work may simply be representative of a certain point in the evolution of grotesque embellishment rather than being at the forefront necessarily.

The images above are from an album called 'Newes Gradesca Büchlein' by Lucas Kilian, which he designed and published in Augsburg in 1607 and all but the last image comes from the Rijksmuseum. The British Museum was the source for the title page image and all the commentary below the images in black text (the blue is my rendering of the translation of the Dutch descriptions at the Rijksmuseum). There is, not unexpectedly, some minor contradictions between the commentaries at times.

It might be considered peripheral for the most part here, but one item of interest that surfaced when I was (mostly fruitlessly) searching for background to the Kilian print suite, is an old post from the esteemed misteraitch at Giornale Nuovo called Tales of the Arabesque.

1 comment :

Beulah Bee said...

The flatulence reference was difficult to spot but I'm glad I took the trouble as it was somewhat ingenious.

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