Art Canon. With plenty of feeling!

I was quite thrilled when I saw Marie’s personal literary canon. And even though we are a bit tired of all this talk of canons, of course I had to make my own immediately. Just… mine is on art instead of literature.
I have been absolutely unable to make a priority so my list has no numbers and the pieces come in no particular order. Since I want to show you the pieces this post is quite long. But I preferred that to a lot of links. Here are my 25 works of art:

Albrecht Dürer: The Apocalypse, 1498. Series of 16 woodcuts illustrating The Revelation of St John.


Francisco de Goya: Los Caprichos, 1799. 80 aquatint etchings.
Sleep of Reason
Hasta la muerte


Michelangelo Buonarroti: Frescos of the Sistine Chapel, 1508-1541. The Vatican, Rome.
A virtual visit to the Sistine Chapel.


Melchior Lorck: View of the Roofs of Constantinople, c. 1559. Pen drawing. Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen.


N.A. Abildgaard: The Wounded Philoctetes, 1775. Oil on canvas. Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen.


Velásquez: Las Meninas, 1656. Oil on canvas. Museo del Prado, Madrid.


Bill Viola: Going Forth by Day, 2002. Video installation. Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin.
Going Forth. Deluge
Going Forth.


Rembrandt van Rijn: The Three Crosses, 1653. Drypoint etching.
Three Crosses
(this is the second state – I prefer the third state which is even darker)


Francisco de Goya: Self-Portrait with Glasses, 1797-1800. Oil on canvas. Musèe Goya, Castres.
Goya. Self-Portrait with Glasses


Michelangelo da Caravaggio: Judith Beheading Holofernes, c. 1598. Oil on canvas. Galleria Barberini, Rome.
Caravaggio. Judith


Gijsbrechts: Trompe l’oeil. The Reverse of a Framed Painting, 1670. Oil on canvas. Statens Museum for Kunst. Copenhagen.
Reverse of a painting


Christen Købke: Ida Thiele, the future Mrs Wilde as a Child, 1832. Oil on canvas. Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen.
Ida Thiele


Michelangelo Buonarroti: Pietá, 1499. Marble. St Peter’s, Rome.


William Blake: Jerusalem. The Emanation of the Giant Albion, 1804-1820. Illuminated book. 100 engravings.
Jerusalem. Frontispice
Jerusalem. Lamp


Edouard Manet: The Bar at the Folies-Bergère, 1882. Oil on canvas. Courtauld Institute, London.
Manet. Bar


Leonardo da Vinci: Virgin and Child with a Cat, 1478-81. Pen drawing. British Museum, London. One among several, this being the most relaxed. Later on the cat wants to leave and has to fight its way out of the child’s arms.Leonardo. Cat


Aubrey Beardsley: Illustrations for Oscar Wilde’s Salomé, 1894. Prints.


Whistler: A Series of Sixteen Etchings on the Thames, 1859.


Rubens: The Life of Marie de’ Medici, 1621-25. Series of paintings. Louvre, Paris.
Rubens. Medici

Paula Rego: The Abortion Series, 1999. Etchings.
Rego. Abortion Series

Francis Bacon: Study after Velàsquez’ Pope Innocent X, 1953. Oil on canvas. Des Moines Art Center, Iowa.
Bacon. Innocent


Gianlorenzo Bernini: Pluto and Proserpina, 1621-22. Marble. Galleria Borghese, Rome.
Proserpina. Detail


Olafur Eliasson: The Weather Project, 2003. Installation. Tate Modern, London.
Weather Project


Matthias Grünewald: The Isenheim Altarpiece, 1515. Oil on wood. Musée d’Unterlinden, Colmar.


Agnolo Bronzino: An Allegory with Venus and Cupid, 1540-50. Oil on wood. National Gallery, London.
Venus, Cupid. Bronzino

That was it!



November 3, 2006. Art, Lists.


  1. Denise Thea replied:

    Thank you so much for this! Especially The Weather Project . . .

  2. confidentialattachees replied:

    Thank you for your comment. The Weather Project was amazing! But I actually had a hard time choosing which piece by Olafur Eliasson I should include in my list. I really liked the work Beauty too:

  3. Denise Thea replied:

    And a double thank you. I am now a fan of the guy. Adding him to my blogroll! Wow.

  4. Alan Fisk replied:

    If you’re interested, Bronzino’s Allegory is the subject of my latest historical novel, “Cupid and the Silent Goddess”, which imagines how the painting might have been created in Florence in 1544-5.


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