Wednesday, April 14

What Is A Tondo?

While doing my civic duty the other day, that is, sitting, standing, and shuffling around the criminal court system on jury duty, I ran across an art term that was new to me. Now how did he do that, you may be wondering?

Fortunately, I had carried a book with me to read during all the monotonous waiting that prospective jurors have to do. The book is a paperback, 50 Great Artists, by Bernard Myers, this edition published in 1965. So it’s old. I bought it for $0.50 USD (50 cents) at a used book store. Even though it’s 2010, I figure the 50 artists in this book would still be considered among the greatest today.

If you are a regular viewer of the OrbisPlanis art blog, then you know about the section over there in the right-hand column I call Artist Factoids. It’s where I add brief definitions of art terms of which I am not very familiar, at least before I look up the definition.

While reading the chapter on Sandro Botticelli, I ran across the term tondo, a term of which I wasn’t aware. It was clear from the context that it referred to a round painting, and you can see one in today's image. Anyway, I looked it up in Wikipedia and added it to the Artist Factoids section over there on the right if you want to go and look at it.

I also learned that Botticelli’s first name was Sandro, and that Botticelli means “little barrel” in Italian, a nickname he took from his elder brother who was a goldsmith. That makes no sense to me, but whatever.

Now you have something new to drop into your next cocktail party conversation.

Although I wasn’t selected to be on an actual jury (aw, too bad), I was able to use the time to enlighten myself with a little art education. Who says blogging isn’t educational?

Until next blog…

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