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Christian Kleinbub

Christian K. Kleinbub is Professor of Art History at Ohio State University and Co-Director of the New Foundation for Art History. He has written two books: Vision and the Visionary in Raphael (2011) and Michelangelo’s Inner Anatomies (2020).

Are All Artists Mystics?
The Case of Leonardo da Vinci

There has always been another image of Leonardo, one that associated him with hidden things, esoteric knowledge beyond common perceptions.

Matvey Levenstein

If you knew nothing about Matvey Levenstein’s work, but something about art history, you would find yourself in the pleasurable position of surveying his recent paintings at Kasmin Gallery the way I did, as an introduction to a painter who you really ought to know, and whose works hit you like an encounter with the unknown.

Hans Holbein: Capturing Character

You might think that Holbein’s use of such diverse strategies of characterization would result in portraits that feel overburdened or heavy-handed, except that Holbein’s sense of the appropriate was pitch perfect. Although he sometimes idealizes, Holbein makes us forget this in his remarkably lifelike handling of strategic details.

The Medici: Portraits and Politics, 1512–1570

If you think yourself immune to the seductions of visual propaganda, go check out the current Met exhibition, The Medici: Portraits and Politics, 1512–1570. It will test you.

The New British Galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Here, Britain’s engagement with the outside world comes to the fore, and the galleries highlight both the oppression and the wealth brought on by precocious imperialist activity, industrialization, and commercial enterprise.

The Tudors: Art and Majesty in Renaissance England

The Tudors may have taken what they needed from others, but the admixture looks all their own. You might come to see how the Tudors used images politically, but you stay to piece together the subtleties of elite Tudor aesthetics in their broader dimensions.

Andrea del Verrocchio: Sculptor and Painter of Renaissance Florence

About midway through the National Gallery’s exhibition Andrea del Verrocchio: Sculptor and Painter of Renaissance Florence, you find yourself standing in front of a beautiful young woman carved from marble that has mellowed to a honey-brown hue.

Titian: Women, Myth, and Power

Love, loss, pain, desire, hope: these are the strongest emotions that we know. Throughout life, one or more is our constant companion. When the Venetian Renaissance painter Titian (ca. 1490–1576) received his greatest commission in 1550 from Philip II, the future King of Spain (r. 1556–1598), he was clearly involved in thinking through the resulting human problems.

Leonardo da Vinci

Is anyone’s art worth the effort of a sleepless six-hour redeye flight? Leonardo would not have hesitated to say yes. When praising the art of painting, he pointed out the great lengths people go to simply to enjoy pictures, and noted how people fell in love with paintings or worshipped them. Accordingly, when Leonardo installed a full-scale drawing made in preparation for a painting of the Virgin and Child with St. Anne in Florence in 1501, hordes rushed to see it. Apparently, some things haven’t changed.


The Brooklyn Rail

JUNE 2023

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