Tuesday, August 31, 2010

#420 Czech Republic...Thanks Jiri!

This FDC was issued in 1994 featuring Engraving:Stary Posetilec A Zena by Lucas Van Leyden.

Lucas van Leyden (1494–1533) was a Dutch engraver and painter, born and mainly active in Leiden, who was among the first Dutch exponents of genre painting and is generally regarded as one of the finest engravers in the history of art.

He was the pupil of his father, from whose hand no works are known, and of Cornelis Engelbrechtsz, but both of these were painters whereas Lucas himself was principally an engraver. Where he learnt engraving is unknown, but he was highly skilled in that art at a very early age: the earliest known print by him (Mohammed and the Murdered Monk) dates from 1508, when he was perhaps only 14, yet reveals no trace of immaturity in inspiration or technique.

Lucas enjoyed a great reputation in his day, and Giorgio Vasari (who called him Lucas van Hollandt) even rated him above Dürer. He is universally regarded as one of the greatest figures in the history of graphic art, because he made etchings and woodcuts as well as engravings and was a prolific draughtsman. His status as a painter is less elevated, but he was undoubtedly one of the outstanding Netherlandish painters of his period. He was a pioneer of the Netherlandish genre tradition, as witness his Chess Players (Gemäldegalerie, Berlin) which actually represents a variant game called 'courier' - and his Card Players (National Gallery of Art, Washington), while his celebrated Last Judgement triptych (Lakenhal Museum, Leiden, 1526–27) shows the heights to which he could rise as a religious painter. It eloquently displays his vivid imaginative powers, his marvellous skill as a colourist and his deft and fluid brushwork.

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