Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Gopnik's Daily Pic: Bacchiacca in Baltimore

By Blake Gopnik

The latest feed from my morning musings about art and objects at


A Virgin and child in a landscape from the Baltimore Museum of Art, painted by Francesco Bacchiacca in around 1540. Bacchiacca is one of the stranger artists I know - which is why I like him so much. It's never clear if his oddness is willed and sophisticated, as a mannerist device (he was a Florentine colleague of Pontormo and Bronzino) or is the product of someone trained in old-fashioned styles (he studied with Perugino) trying, and failing, to come completely up-to-date. Look at how the pleating in the Virgin's headdress and halo is matched by the pattern of the rocks behind her head: brilliant artificiality or naive conceit?

I've got a feeling Bacchiacca was someone who couldn't paint or even think worth a damn - and had the courage to forge ahead, anyway.

By Blake Gopnik  | November 1, 2010; 9:18 AM ET
Categories:  Blake Gopnik, Museums  | Tags:  Daily Pic  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Projections of Sudan photographs at Holocaust Museum
Next: Gopnik's Daily Pic: Fragonard's sacred heat

No comments have been posted to this entry.

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.

characters remaining

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company