In the early days of the Renaissance, the themes of the artists often represented concepts and values such as love, mythology and of course religion. But what would these artists have thought about society and technology today?Many works since (both written and not) have taken quite a bit from this book and others like it. Besides the time travel aspect, there is also the aspect of anachronism and objects out of time and place. Within these stories and art are themes draw us to ponder on what it would be like to live in past times as well as how people of that time would react to the technology and culture of today.
While it is not clear what Leonardo DaVinci or the other masters such as Vermeer, Durer or Van Gogh would have thought about a cell phone or a blender or a motorcycle or if they would have incorporated them into their works, (they probably would have if they were part of their everyday life) but as an inventor, DaVinci probably would have had every gadget imaginable in his house and would have used them as props.One of my favorite stories when I was growing up was “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court” written by Mark Twain and published in 1889. This novel is one of the earliest literary examples of time travel.
Manhattan based painter Kathleen Gilje seemed to ask these questions when she put out of time objects and themes into her work to create the sumptuous look of the Renaissance masters juxtaposed with the dichotomy of trappings and troubles of today’s world that both gives us pause for thought as well as some humor. More of her work can be seen here as well as on her webpage. Enjoy.
The cover photo is a study I purchased of "Girl with the Pearl Earrings" by Shirley Schultz, a Michigan artist. (Copyright-TS Enterprises)