A-typical III

by Nandia Foteini Vlachou

A painter’s identification with a pictorial genre can be a defining condition of how s/he is perceived. Critical and commercial acceptance may further encourage painters’ dedication to one genre in detriment to others, and later perceptions of their work are invariably colored by the predominant genre (for example, Joshua Reynolds and portraiture). This week’s (and the next’s) A-typical entries deal with that problem. Also: the viciousness of criticism when painters veered from their perceived as ‘appointed’ course.

Jessica exhibited 1830 by Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851

[The answer to last week’s a-typical is: Annibale Carracci – I will update the post later with the drawing’s information. Meanwhile, try to picture the Smiling Sun side by side with some of Annibale’s work for the Palazzo Farnese in Rome – its incongruity will become instantly apparent. The Palazzo Farnese was Annibale’s towering achievement, but by no means representative of his range, which was breathtaking – indeed, I consider him one of the most fascinating figures in the history of painting, and the quintessentially ‘a-typical’ artist]