The Easel

Archives: Hyperallergic

5th January 2021

Lucas Cranach’s Gothic Carnality

Centuries after his life in stern Northern Europe, Cranach remains influential. Central to this are his luminous female nudes. To promote Protestant morals, he made his women dangerous – slim, pale, erotic. They are timeless images of temptation and its consequences. Add his shimmering depiction of furs and jewelery and you have a “precursor to Klimt’s Viennese fantasies.” A virtual tour (17 min) is here.

30th December 2020

Shiva the Inscrutable

Appreciation of an 11th century devotional statue of the great Hindu god Shiva. Here, he takes the form of Nataraja, the cosmic dancer. “His right foot crushes a demon. In his right hand he holds a drum — its boom represents the resonance of creation itself — and in his left, fire, which ravishes the world. His dance feels like an act of gymnastic brilliance … with nothing but his own miraculous powers of balance to stop him falling away into nothingness.”