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“杀戮画派”与施虐狂?西班牙画家理贝拉的暴力艺术

更新时间:2018-10-21 10:25:55 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Ribera: Was this the vision of a sadist
“杀戮画派”与施虐狂?西班牙画家理贝拉的暴力艺术

No artist has ever managed to put the pain in painting quite like the 17th-Century Spaniard Jusepe de Ribera, whose macabre canvases of flayed flesh and unflinching drawings of executions are the focus of a gritty new exhibition in South London’s Dulwich Picture Gallery, Ribera: Art of Violence. For Ribera, the brutal suffering (real or imagined) of everyone from early Christian martyrs to mythological satyrs was more than merely a recurring subject. Torture was his favourite colour.

17世纪的西班牙画家理贝拉(Jusepe de Ribera)在作品中对肉体痛苦的呈现,毋能出其右者。位于南伦敦地区的达利奇美术馆(Dulwich Picture Gallery)有一个栩栩如生的新展——《理贝拉:暴力的艺术》(Ribera: Art of Violence),对这位画家笔端下令人毛骨悚然的皮开肉绽之作,以及对行刑场面不加避讳的残酷刻画进行了关注。对理贝拉来说,从早期的基督教殉道者到神话中的森林之神,他们遭受的锥心之痛(无论是真实的还是想象的)不仅仅是一个反复出现的主题。酷刑就是他最喜爱的色调。

Attempting to capture the ferocious essence of Ribera’s vision, the 19th-Century French poet and art critic Théophile Gautier described the Baroque painter’s legacy as representing a “slaughtering school of painting, which seems to have been invented by some hangman’s assistant for the amusement of cannibals”.

19世纪的法国诗人、艺术评论家戈蒂埃(Theophile Gautier)曾经尝试捕捉理贝拉视野中的残忍本质,将这位巴洛克时代画家的艺术遗产,描述为一个“杀戮画派,似乎是某个刽子手的助手为了娱乐食人者而发明创立的”。

Ribera may never have dabbled in cannibalism, but his reputation is not so easily scrubbed clean of persistent rumours of barbaric behaviour by historians convinced that only a hands-on approach to cruelty could explain the shocking authenticity of his work.

理贝拉可能并无食人经历,但一直以来他有过野蛮行为的流言挥之不去,因为艺术史专家们相信,只有亲身经历过残忍的行为,才能解释其作品为何有如此令人惊骇的逼真残忍。

Born near Valencia, Spain, in 1591, Ribera migrated in his early 20s to Rome where he acquired a disarming nickname, ‘Lo Spagnoletto’ (or ‘the Little Spaniard’), and honed his skills in the arts of drawing, painting, and racking up dangerous debts. Fleeing impatient creditors, Ribera ran south in 1616 to Naples, then under Spanish rule, and there found himself a wife and a network of wealthy patrons eager to support his distinctive blend of breath-taking realism, melodramatic shadowing à la Caravaggio, and ghastly subject matter.

理贝拉于1591年出生于西班牙瓦伦西亚附近,20岁出头的时候移居罗马,在那里他得到了一个令人不禁莞尔的绰号——小西班牙人;他的绘画技能得到了磨练,同时也欠下累累债务。为了躲开气急败坏的债权人,1616年,他逃到南部的那不勒斯,当时那是西班牙的地盘;在那里,他有了妻子,以及一群富有的赞助人,他们很欣赏其独特的艺术风格。他的艺术手法将惊人的写实主义、卡拉瓦乔(Caravaggio)式的夸张阴影,以及骇人的主题混合在一起。

Flesh and blood

血与肉

It has long been whispered that Ribera made sure that competition for commissions in Naples was kept to a minimum not merely by perfecting his craft (using live models to capture every flex and flinch of tormented human muscle), but by bullying and perhaps even killing rivals. The organisers of Ribera: Art of Violence are quick to push back against historic accusations that he was ever engaged in mafioso-like efforts to intimidate his peers or that he had anything to do with the untimely death by poisoning of the Bolognese painter Domenichino – a charge that has dogged Ribera for centuries.

一直以来有各种风言风语,说理贝拉为了确保那不勒斯的绘画市场委约竞争保持在最低限度,不仅努力完善自己的画技(使用真人模特来捕捉受到酷刑的肌肉呈现出的收缩状态),还威吓甚至杀害竞争对手。但《理贝拉:暴力的艺术》的组织者毫不犹豫地对那些古老的指控予以了驳斥,否认理贝拉像黑手党一样恐吓同行,或者要为波伦亚派画家多梅尼基诺(Domenichino)的中毒横死负责——在几个世纪的时间,这个指控一直与理贝拉如影随形。

“Ribera did not necessarily have to be a sadist,” insists Edward Payne, co-curator of the exhibition, “in order to produce his images of violence, and an artist’s painterly or graphic production is not necessarily indicative of his personality.”

该展览的联合策展人佩恩(Edward Payne)坚持认为,“理贝拉不一定非得是施虐狂,才能创作出那些暴力形象,而且一个艺术家的绘画或平面作品,并不一定是其个性的体现。”

Whether or not Ribera conspired with his contemporaries Belisario Corenzio and Giovanni Battista Caracciolo (alleged partners in the so-called ‘Naples Cabal’), as has long been maintained by scholars, his gruesome imagination – memorialised in a bloody trail of torture scenes – is one of art history’s darkest alleys.

不管理贝拉是否与同时代的科伦齐奥(Belisario Corenzio)和卡拉乔洛(Giovanni Battista Caracciolo)如学者们一直所认为的那样阴谋勾结(所谓的那不勒斯阴谋集团成员),其可怖的想象力——以酷刑场景的血迹令人铭记——是艺术史上最黑暗的巷道之一。

Ribera: Art of Violence invites visitors down that grisly passage. The exhibition opens with a morbid meditation on the martyrdom of Saint Bartholomew, who was flayed alive and then beheaded for his steadfast faith. Gallery goers will be greeted by a range of depictions of the torture of the apostle that have been borrowed from collections in Florence, Barcelona, and New York. A relatively early oil on canvas devoted to the subject (from 1628) finds Ribera in a moment of uncharacteristic restraint, content with envisioning the anguishing seconds just before the hideous torture commences. The saint’s eerily luminous flesh is still unsevered in the centre of the work, as a blade is sharpened in the margins by a knifeman whose face is half swallowed by shadow.

《理贝拉:暴力的艺术》邀请观众走过那条可怕的通道。展览以对圣巴塞洛缪 (Saint Bartholomew)殉难的病态沉思开始——耶稣门徒圣巴塞洛缪因其坚定的信仰被活活剥皮,之后被斩首。参观展览的观众将会看到从佛罗伦萨、巴塞罗那和纽约等地的收藏中借来的一系列表现这位使徒受尽酷刑的作品。在一件表现该主题的相对早期的油画作品中,观众会看到理贝拉处在一种不寻常的克制状态,他满足于想象可怕的折磨开始之前那令人痛苦的几秒钟。在作品的中心位置,那位圣人发出诡异光亮的肉身,皮肉还未被剥离;在画作边缘,一名行凶者正磨刀霍霍,他的脸被阴影吞噬了一半。

By contrast, a later canvas from 1644 sees the artist going all in on explicit barbarity. Here, a snickering executioner slowly slivers the skin off Bartholomew’s forearm with the slavering relish of a peckish carnivore slicing strips of serrano ham.

相比之下,1644年之后的一幅油画作品中,可以看到这位艺术家变得野蛮十足。在这幅作品中,一个窃笑着的刽子手缓缓地撕下圣巴塞洛缪前臂的皮肤,像是一个饥饿的食肉动物一边切塞拉诺火腿一边馋得流口水。

In order to peel back the layers of Ribera’s imagination, the show has been organised into thematic sections designed to help visitors dissect the artist’s achievement. To substantiate the show’s broader claim that the painter has been somewhat unfairly singled out by posterity as a savant of savagery, a range of contextual source material has been gathered that demonstrates the contemporaneity of his violent vision. For a section of the exhibition entitled ‘Crime and Punishment’, handwritten criminal proceedings that chronicle the dreadful punishments to which convicts were sentenced – from floggings to burning at the stake – illustrate how widespread the consciousness of callousness was in Ribera’s day.

为了抽丝剥茧地呈现理贝拉的想象力层次,展览被分为多个主题,帮助观众仔细分析这位艺术家的成就。为了证实此次展览更为广泛的主旨,即这位画家被后人当作一个野蛮之才,在某种程度上是有失公正,主办方还搜集了一系列背景材料,表明画家的暴力视野有其时代性因素。在名为“罪与罚”(Crime and Punishment)的展览环节里,手写的刑诉记录记载了那个时代罪犯被判处的各种可怕刑法,从鞭刑到火刑不一而足,这表明在理贝拉时代,残酷无情的意识是何等的普遍。

A selection of graphic plates from the French printmaker Jacques Callot’s Les misères et les malheurs de la guerre (The Miseries and Misfortunes of War), published in Paris in 1633 – now showing a mass hanging, now the etched flames of an immolation – is intended further to corroborate the culture of coarseness in which Ribera’s imagination emerged.

从法国版画家卡洛(Jacques Callot)1633年在巴黎出版的《战争的苦难与不幸》(Les misères et les malheurs de la guerre)当中选出的一些图版——展现了大规模的绞刑和焚烧一名牺牲者的火焰——也意在进一步证实诞生出理贝拉想象力的那个时代文化之粗粝。

A display devoted to ‘Skin and the Five Senses’ explores, through a series of unsettling studies, Ribera’s fascination with flesh and his agility as a draughtsman of distressed human anatomy. Among the more haunting of the works assembled here is a riddling red-chalk drawing from the early 1620s entitled A Bat and Two Ears. The painstakingly detailed image depicts a grinning bat that grips in its talons a Latin scroll that reads ‘Virtue shines forever’ as it swoops towards us above a floating pair of disembodied left ears.

在名为“皮肤和五感”(Skin and the Five Senses)的环节,通过一系列令人不安的研究,探索了理贝拉对肉体的迷恋,以及他作为一名苦恼的人体解剖素描画家的机敏。在这里汇集的展品中,令人难忘的是一幅创作于17世纪20年代初期的神秘红色粉笔画《一只蝙蝠和两只耳朵》(A Bat and Two Ears)。这幅画细致入微地描绘了一只咧嘴而笑的蝙蝠,它的爪子握着一幅拉丁文卷轴,上书“美德永放光芒”,它朝着前方飞过来,下方漂浮着一对脱离了身体的左耳。

Though the curators note – in the show’s eloquent accompanying catalogue – that the bat is a conventional emblem for the artist’s native region of Valencia (owing to a legend that one landed on the helmet of King James I of Aragon while he fought to recapture the territory in the 13th Century), no adequate interpretation of the drawing definitively decodes its inscrutable symbolism. In attempting to navigate the ambiguous gloom of Ribera’s dark art, our taunted senses flap about blindly.

虽然策展人在展览目录流畅的文字解说中指出,蝙蝠是艺术家的老家瓦伦西亚的传统象征(根据传说,在13世纪,当阿拉贡国王詹姆斯一世为了夺回瓦伦西亚的领土而战的时候,一只蝙蝠落在他的头盔上),但仍然无法充分解释出这幅画作神秘的象征意义。为了在理贝拉黑暗艺术的模糊幽暗中寻路,我们遭到嘲弄的感官就如蝙蝠般盲目地振翅而行。

The show’s examination of the alarming allure of choreographed cruelty concludes with a display of Ribera’s lyrically lurid masterpiece, Apollo and Marsyas, painted in 1637. Returning to one of the artist’s favourite themes, the skinning alive of traumatised bodies, the work depicts – on a disturbingly grand scale – the horrendous execution of the satyr Marsyas, pitilessly punished for losing a musical competition to Apollo. Ribera is ghoulishly complicit in Apollo’s sadistic torment of Marsyas.

这个画展检视了经过精心安排的残忍意象的惊人魅惑力,画展结尾是理贝拉抒情的惊悚杰作《阿波罗和马耳叙阿斯》(Apollo and Marsyas),创作于1637年。这件作品又回到这位艺术家最喜欢的主题之一——让受伤的身体活生生地被剥皮。作品以一种令人不安的宏大尺寸刻画了森林之神马耳叙阿斯可怕的受刑过程,他因为在音乐比赛中输给了阿波罗,而遭到无情的惩罚。在阿波罗对马耳叙阿斯的施虐折磨中,理贝拉是残忍的同谋。

Like a maestro of misery, the artist conducts, brushstroke by brushstroke, a mute symphony of mellifluous brutality. Our eyes listen in revulsion as discordant notes are shredded from the wrenched body of Marsyas, which Ribera has laid out before the god of art and music like a howling harmonium. “Every detail,” as Gautier noted with mingled awe and disgust, “is rendered with horrible truthfulness”.

这位艺术家就像是一位苦难的大师,一笔又一笔地指挥着一曲无声又动听的残忍交响乐。我们眼含厌恶地聆听着马耳叙阿斯因痛苦而扭动的身体中发出的刺耳音符,理贝拉把马耳叙阿斯摊开在这位艺术和音乐之神面前,像一架咆哮的风琴。戈蒂埃怀着敬畏和厌恶兼而有之的情绪说,“所有的细节,都带有可怖的真实。”

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