The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Tuesday, July 23, 2019


The Museo del Prado announces the recent acquisition of the Juan Bordes Library
Sketchbook by the studio of Rubens (Bordes's manuscript). S. XVII, Madrid, Biblioteca Museo Nacional del Prado.


MADRID.- The purchase of this important library has also brought the Museum an important notebook of sketches by the studio of Rubens. The Museo del Prado is providing detailed information on the content of one of its most recent acquisitions: the Juan Bordes Library. This is one of the most important bibliographical holdings in the world for the study of the human figure, consisting of treatises and drawing manuals from the 16th to the 20th centuries. Within this acquisition, the Museum has received as a donation a sketchbook by the studio of Rubens. It is currently considered the closest to the lost original by the master and also includes two original works by his hand.

The Juan Bordes Library is a unique example of a bibliographical holding specialised in the key areas within artists’ training and the theory of the human figure.

Comprising around 600 volumes assembled by Bordes, the library focuses on texts and manuscripts that were used in the training of artists from the 16th to the 20th centuries. Due to their functional nature, these texts have not in the past merited the attention of bibliophiles or art historians. As Gombrich noted in his book Art and Illusion: “It is no mere paradox to say that the rarity of these books in our libraries is symptomatic of their past importance. They were simply, used, torn and handled in workshops and studios, and even surviving ones are often poorly bound and incomplete.”

As a result, these manuals and treatises constitute an extremely valuable holding for a knowledge of the methods employed in the training of artists and amateurs in studios and academies. They also tell us about the evolution of aesthetics and the dissemination of artistic models.

The Bordes Library is structured intosix large sections, organised to reflect the key disciplines in an artist’s training, in addition to a group of manuscripts of different types, notably the sketchbook by Rubens received as a donation.

The importance of this library is reflected in Juan Bordes’ own book, History of the Theories of the Human Figure. Drawing, anatomy, proportion and physiognomy (Madrid, Cátedra, 2003), in which he studied the function and history of these books and their role and significance in artists’ training.

This bibliographic holding now joins other specialist libraries acquired by the Prado in recent years: the Cervelló Library, specialising in art theory and celebrations; the Correa Library, which focuses on the art of printmaking and the illustrated book; the Madrazo Library, an example of a library belonging to a dynasty of artists; the libraries of José Álvarez Lopera and Julian Gallego, which are characteristics libraries of art historians who primarily specialised in Spanish art; and the library of Félix de Azúa, centred on aesthetics and the philosophy of art. Through this strategy of acquiring specialist libraries, the Museo del Prado is not only helping to preserve the Spanish bibliographical heritage but also to provide its Study Centre with the research tools necessary for fulfilling its primary mission.

The structure of the Bordes Library

1. Drawing manuals

This is undoubtedly one of the most important and valuable areas within the Bordes Library, both for the number of items and their rarity. The eminently functional nature of these manuals means that very few of them survived, on occasions only as single copies. Given that they were copied or republished in response to the different requirements of each moment, on many occasions they varied from one edition to another, so that each surviving copy is now almost unique.

As a whole this group is extremely important as the study of it will reveal not only differences in the way of teaching drawing at different historical periods but also the models selected,thus reflecting taste of the time.

It can be said that this group represents the systematic assembly of the largest surviving group of drawing manuals. Among its contents are three of the founding texts of this type by Fialetti, Cousin and Carracci, as well as examples of the most important ones fromlater centuries by Rubens, Ribera, Bloemaert etc.

2. Artistic Anatomies
Combining scientific knowledge and art, from Vesalius’s pioneering text onwards, treatises on anatomy reveal the key role of the study of the human figure in artists’ training. Together with life drawing and the copying of plaster casts, the study of anatomy through printed treatises, with particular attention to the study of bones and muscles, was one of the basic principles of an artist’s training. The increasing availability of images in the 19th century made high quality visual media available to students, encouraging a naturalistic approach to the representation of the human body in art. The Bordes Library is particularly rich in treatises from that century, copiouslyillustrated and with colourassuming a key role. Their relationship with the art of their time is striking, as evident, for example,in the numerous drawings by José Madrazo in the Prado’s collection. Particularly important was the interest in “anatomising classical sculptures”, in other words, anatomical models based on the great paradigms of classical sculpture, once again indicating the close links between science and art.

3. Proportion
As Michelangelo noted, having a compass in one’s eye for constructing harmonious, well-proportioned figures was one of the basic principles of artistic creation. SinceAlberti and Dürer’sfundamental treatises, the quest for ideal human proportions within the variety of the human body has been an ongoing interest of artists, evolving in parallel to aesthetic changes. As a result, over the course of the centuries numerous treatises were published that offered artists a repertoire of proportions, either of real human models or of classical sculptures, determining the principles that should govern the construction of the human figure. Although fewer in number than the works in the previous sections, the Bordes Library has examples from different periods and centres, ranging from the 17th to the 20th centuries and from Europe to South America. These texts reveal the spread of a teaching model based on mathematics.

4. Physiognomy
Facial expressions were the subject of the fourth area of an artist’s training. Starting in the Renaissance with Della Porta’s Della Fisionomia dell’ Huomo, followed by the works of Le Brun and Lavater (also represented in this library by a manuscript) and concluding with 19th-century treatises such as Duchenne’s, physiognomy has been a subject of interest both to artists and writers. The Bordes Library contains a notable group of these works, with the principal authors represented by several different editions, allowing for an understanding of the evolution of artistic concerns.

5. Treatises on painting and drawing
Complementing the four fundamental areas outlined above, the Bordes Library also has treatises on the practice of drawing and painting, in which these disciplines are related to anatomy, proportion and physiognomy. These varied treatises were widely disseminated and of enormous theoretical importance. Leonardo, Alberti and Hogarth are among the authors represented in different editions.

In other cases these treatises, published in different European countries, have hardly been the subject of study, although they must have provided the theoretical bases for many artists.

The importance placed on art theory in recent years means that not only the major treatises but other works represented by fine copies in the Bordes Library are of enormous scholarly value.

6. Iconography
Repertoires of portraits and works of art, both paintings and sculptures, make up the smallest section within the library although one that represents a type of publication which was widely disseminated in the past. The fact that repertoires of this type were normally costly, large-format publications and thus not within the reach of all artists led Juan Bordes to focus on books which were more accessible to them, normally in small format and simply illustrated. Nonetheless, the library contains notable examples of visual repertoires, including Perrier’s on classical sculpture and Padre Nadal’s Imágines de la Historia Evangélica, which was exceptionally important for the dissemination of Counter-Reformation models.

7. Manuscripts
The Bordes Library includes a small but exceptional group of manuscript treaties. They are of equal rarity to many of the manuals referred to in the first section and can be classified into two principal groups: manuscripts that constitute the original of a subsequently published or unpublished text (Lavater and his treatise on physiognomy), and those that take the form of notebooks made in the context of the artist’s studio, copying sketches or other notebooks by the master.

Outstanding among them is the above-mentioned notebook by Rubens, known as the Bordes Manuscript. This is a remarkably important example as it constitutes the first proof of the existence of a lost notebookby Rubens in which he set out his ideas on anatomy, proportion, symmetry, optics, architecture and physiognomy and also made numerous drawings. The Bordes Manuscript is the most important of the four known copies, given that in addition to being a direct copy of the original it contains two drawings by Rubens himself. The Museo del Prado houses the largest and finest collection of paintings by Rubens.

Other additions to the collections of the Museo del Prado in 2014
In addition to the acquisition of the Bordes Library for the bibliographical holdings of its Study Centre, in 2014 the Museo del Prado continued its strategy of adding to its holdings with the acquisition of three works that enrich its permanent collections. Notable among them is the Triptych of the Birth of Christ by the Master of the Triptych of El Zarzoso, acquired from the Várez Fisa family. This is a work of exceptionally high pictorial quality which reveals the uniqueness of the style of this master, trained within the International Gothic context and influenced by Flemish models.

In addition, once again in 2014 the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport contributed to enriching the collections of the Prado with the purchase and assignation to the Museum of a group of ten works. This group include collections of drawings, miniatures - such as Luis Paret y Alcázar’s Self-portrait, a small work of exquisite quality that is the only known miniature by this artist – and the following paintings: Christ seated on the cold Stone by Juan de Flanders, the only work from the artist’s early period in the Prado’s collection; Saint Peter by Juan de Juanes, which may have been part of a group of eight saints that surrounded the principal sculptures in the now separated Saint Eligius Altarpiece in the church of Santa Catalina, of which only three panels are known, one of which, Christ bearing the Cross, is in the Prado; and Saint Francis preaching to the Birds by Carreño de Miranda, a new acquisition which, together with Saint Anthony preaching to the Fish, means that the Prado possesses two very early works from the artist’s career.





Today's News

January 29, 2015

2,200 pillaged artefacts, many from ancient Egypt, seized in European crackdown

Britain's National Gallery set for 5-day strike; walkout will cause "serious disruption"

The Museo del Prado announces the recent acquisition of the Juan Bordes Library

Los Angeles collectors Jane and Marc Nathanson give major artworks to LACMA

Exhibition of two painted bronze sculptures by Georg Baselitz and Mark Grotjahn opens at Gagosian Athens

Property from an important Swedish collection to be offered at Sotheby's London

Snakes 70 million years older than thought: Study in the journal Nature Communications

Bart van der Heide announced as new Chief Curator of Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

Restored Detective Comics #27, Batman's 1939 debut, may bring $100,000+ in New York Comics Auction

High Museum of Art names Katherine Jentleson new Curator of Folk and Self-taught Art

New takes on modern design, William Wegman's art are highlights at Krannert Art Museum

World-leading project saves Robert Falcon Scott's and Ernest Shackleton's Antarctic legacy

Exhibition of Nordic digital, moving image, and light-based art opens at Scandinavia House

London based artist Ruth Ewan brings to life the French Republican Calendar

Pangolin London's first exhibition devoted to Breon O'Casey opens in London

Exhibition of handcrafted slide projections by Luther Price opens at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts

Street artists spruce up Spanish port

Joanna Mackiewicz-Gemes opens new gallery space with first UK solo presentation of Marek Szczesny

'Tony Oursler: template / variant / friend / stranger' opens at Lisson Gallery

Past meets present on February 12 at Saffronart's Live Auctions

De Bijenkorf starts Artist in Residence project at the Rijksmuseum: Room On The Roof

Solo exhibition of Iraqi artist Faisel Laibi Sahi's recent paintings opens at Meem Gallery

Carlton Rochell Asian Art announces Asia Week exhibition: Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian Art

Sarasota Sculpture Center announces 'Rubber, Metal & Stone, Small Works, Sculptures & Drawings'

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Original 'Star Wars' creators lift lid on special effects challenges

2.- Lost '$170 million Caravaggio' snapped up before French auction

3.- Mansell's 'Red Five' on pole for Bonhams sale

4.- Impressionism's 'forgotten woman' shines in new Paris show

5.- Sotheby's to auction the best-surviving NASA videotape recordings of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing

6.- Exhibition explores Dutch and Spanish painting of the 16th and 17th centuries

7.- Cyprus discovers 'first undisturbed Roman shipwreck'

8.- Sotheby's unveils 'Treasures from Chatsworth' with Leonardo Da Vinci drawing, Lucian Freud portraits, and more

9.- Infamous botched art restoration in Spain gets makeover

10.- 1958 Gibson Flying V Korina played by Dave Davies to grab center stage in Heritage Auctions' sale



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez


Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful