Tag : painting

Another world

If I have to think of a particularly significant illustrator, an illustrator who best represents the alphabetical development of illustration and its language, then I think of Jean-Ignace-Isidore Gérard (1803-1847), better known as Grandville, whose work I consider to be the constitutive root of different imaginative universes to come. Grandville brings together the distorting heritage of the caricature tradition, which began with Annibale Carracci (1560-1609) in the early 17th century, with Giovan Battista Bracelli (1584-1650) and which can be traced […]

A bigger splash by Hokney

I would like to examine David Hokney’s (1937) famous 1967 painting A Bigger Splash, pretending to know nothing about the author’s life and analysing only the formal and chromatic elements in the painting. Convinced that an author of visual texts expresses everything he has to tell us through the grammatical elements of his discipline and that, in Hokney’s case, we find in the painting, within which unconscious elements of his personality, as well as of ours as observers, could also […]

The Altermodern failure

In Radicant, published in 2009, the French art critic Nicolas Bourriaud tries to construct an essayistic path aimed at identifying the new cultural routes that characterize the new millennium, putting it as a response to the current practices of globalizing capital and finding a possible solution in the practices implemented by some contemporary artists. In it he introduces the term Altermodern, indicating the current historical period, whose assumptions date back to the nineties of the previous century. As Bourriaud writes, […]

The alphabetical roots of the illustration

Giovan Battista Zelotti, Allegory of Libra (particolre), Villa Emo in Fanzolo, dressing room of the grotesques, c. 1565.   When the dungeons (caves) of Nero’s Domus Aurea were found in Rome around 1480, the effect on the painters of the time, and Raphael in particular, was a harbinger of unstoppable changes for the future visual alphabet. Those caves had, in fact, wall decorations which combined arboreal and floral elements with animal or human presences, often giving rise to beings of […]


Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Les hasards heureux de l’escarpolette (detail), 1767-68, Wallace Collection, London, photo Alonso de Mendoza   The provenance of an author’s language, from a previous tradition, is therefore part of the dynamics of normalization (a process whereby an innovative or exceptional phenomenon, over several decades, spreads in the popular imagination), although it does not deprive it of the research content that instead continues. He takes up a discourse that comes to him from afar. He discovers that he is […]


Edward Munch, Puberty (detail), 1894-95, Oslo National Gallery   The works of Edward Munch (1863-1944) have fascinated me more and more over the years. In Puberty of 1894-95, certain formal and perspective distortions typical of his mature language, to which this painting belongs, are not present. This work has a more intimate or apparently less explosive character than his other more violent and strident works, both in terms of colour and formal forcing. The explosiveness of this painting resides in […]

Line, gesture and matter

Vincent van Gogh, Cornfield with Ravens Flight, 1890   Up to now, in this blog, I have introduced the spatio-temporal trends of composition (https://www.danilosantinelli.it/danilos-blog/spatio-temporal-trend-of-the-composition/), the aspects of basic geometric forms (https://www.danilosantinelli.it/danilos-blog/aspects-of-basic-geometric-shapes/) and the aspects of colour (https://www.danilosantinelli.it/danilos-blog/color-aspects/), all of which are fundamental to conducting the analysis of a visual text from a grammatical point of view, given that, as has already been said several times, images use their own grammar that allows them to express themselves and make clear to […]

Aspects of basic geometric shapes

In one of my previous speeches I dealt with the spatio-temporal trends inherent in the composition (https://www.danilosantinelli.it/danilos-blog/spatio-temporal-trend-of-the-composition/), for the sake of completeness I would now like to introduce some aspects concerning the three basic geometric forms, which are also precious compositional tools: square, circle and triangle.     The square, distinguished by its four equal sides and angles, has no motion, it seems to close on itself, apparently motionless in its solidity suggested by the right angles. The stability and […]

Illusoriety of realism

Anonymous, View of an ideal city (detail), 1490-99ca   This, which I am presenting here, is the first in a series of interventions aimed at the dissemination of visual grammars. An aspect that, as I said in the introduction to the blog (https://www.danilosantinelli.it/danilos-blog/two-or-three-things-about-the-blog/), is closely linked to the analysis of the characteristic aspects of postmodernism, given the massive use of images and their wide dissemination implemented by postmodernism as a privileged linguistic vehicle and attributable to its characteristics of speed […]