Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Thoughts On The Lecture: The Ship Engravings of Master W with the Key As Cultural Crossroads

This last Saturday,  I saw a lecture presented by John Byck, a PhD candidate from the Institute of Fime Arts, NY University. The lecture was about how Master W with the Key's works compared with other works from the 1500s.

One of Master W's prints.
The neat thing about Master W is that his works are among the first secular (non-religious) prints. What we focused on in the lecture was the naval prints that he made, and he made about 10. Or, at least, that's all we have left. His other works are pretty fascinating, too. He made a lot of very detailed prints of architecture and ornamentation.

A Venetian print.
In the lecture, Byck compared Master W's prints to some Venetian prints of the time. His stipulation was that Master W's prints were made first, although we really can't tell, for sure. The Venetian and Master W's prints both look very similar, both in style amd subject matter. One of my fellow participants made a fair point that Master W's prints looked distorted, as if he'd been copying the Venetian prints.

After the lecture, I was curious as to whether Master W with the Key had been commisioned by anyone or if he had had a regular patron. I asked Byck. He said that Master W had probably been in the court of Charles the Bold. Although there's no dtrong evidence that Master W was commissioned by anyone, there's a possibility that he was influenced by Charles the Bold.

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