Anthropomorphism is unusual enough to find the word in a newspaper, let alone two different articles covering the entirety of a single page. Both articles in the Journal's weekend edition, Sept. 19-20, 2020, about works by German artists, their lives separated by centuries.
The word leaped from the Journal's page to me who did not know the meaning, but, ask me now!
To those unlearneds, "anthropomorphism" is "having human characteristics" (like Trump).
One article, "Rediscovering a Renaissance Man" by J.S. Marcus, is about the Louvre's new exhibition on works by Albrecht Altdorfer (c.1480-1538), who was forgotten for several hundred years until "rediscovered by 19th-century German art historians," and used in the next century by a different group of finders, the Nazis. They thought Mr. Altdorfer was a "folk artist" and used his art to convey their message. Current experts say they got it all wrong.
Mr. Altdorfer is generally considered one of the founders of the movement which came to be known as the Danube School.
The Louvre's Altdorfer exhibition was delayed from April and set to begin October 1, according to WSJ (whoops! This just in: Delayed until Jan. 4 , 2021 !), with 191 works or "more than a third of his surviving oeuvre."
(If only the French would let us back in! With the show's delay, maybe you can gain entry before it closes whenever that might be.. The National Gallery of Art in Washington has 167 Altdorfers in its collection,Who is WSJ writing for, anyway? Is Trump going to arm wrestle his good friends, President Macron and his wife, into opening the gates to France so Trump can toot the French horn? I imagine that in the time it's taken me to learn how to spell "anthropomorphism." Trump has probably written a symphony which will likely not impress his pals, the Proud Boys. What are they proud of anyway? Tatoos? Motorcycles? Looking like every other Harley-Davidson rider? You see what art can do!)
It's easy to see anthropomorphism in Mr. Altdorfer's Landscape With Spruce Tree, pictured in the Journal. The long, tall tree becomes long, tall Sally with stringy hair, sinewy arms, maybe wearing an apron and carrying a birdhouse purse. (The next time you're at the National Gallery of Art's Sculpture Garden, check out Roxy Paine's Graft for anthropomorphic examples.)
At age 34, Ms. Hesse died of a brain tumor.
If you are still reading, I hope you have added a new word to your vocabulary, or maybe you knew it already. Can you spell it? No peeking!