Tuesday, February 25, 2020

01 Painting, Olympian deities, by the Old Masters, with footnotes #42

Follower of Pietro da Cortona
A Roman Carrying a Sabine Woman 
Oil on canvas 
88 x 41 1/4 inches (223.5 x 104.7 cm) 
Private collection

Rape of the Sabine Women is the common name of an incident from Roman mythology, in which the men of Rome committed a mass abduction of young women from the other cities in the region. It has been a frequent subject of artists, particularly during the Renaissance and post-Renaissance eras.

Use of the word "rape" comes from the conventional translation of the Latin word used in the ancient accounts of the incident: raptio. Modern scholars tend to interpret the word as "abduction" as opposed to (sexual) violation. Controversy remains, however, as to how the acts committed against the women should be judged.

The Rape occurred in the early history of Rome, shortly after its founding by Romulus and his mostly male followers. Seeking wives in order to establish families, the Romans negotiated unsuccessfully with the Sabines, who populated the surrounding area. The Sabines feared the emergence of a rival society and refused to allow their women to marry the Romans. Consequently, the Romans planned to abduct Sabine women during a festival of Neptune Equester. They planned and announced a marvelous festival to attract people from all nearby towns. According to Livy, many people from Rome's neighboring towns attended, including folk from the Caeninenses, Crustumini, and Antemnates, and many of the Sabines. At the festival, Romulus gave a signal, at which the Romans grabbed the Sabine women and fought off the Sabine men. The indignant abductees were soon implored by Romulus to accept Roman husbands. More on Rape of the Sabine Women

Pietro da Cortona (1 November 1596/7 – 16 May 1669) was born Pietro Berrettini, but is primarily known by the name of his native town of Cortona in Tuscany. He was the leading Italian Baroque painter of his time and, along with his contemporaries and rivals Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Francesco Borromini, was one of the key figures in the emergence of Roman Baroque architecture. He was also an important designer of interior decorations.
Cortona worked mainly in Rome and Florence. He is best known for his frescoed ceilings such as the vault of the salone or main salon of the Palazzo Barberini in Rome and carried out extensive painting and decorative schemes for the Medici family in Florence and for the Oratorian fathers at the church of Santa Maria in Vallicella in Rome. He also painted numerous canvases. Only a limited number of his architectural projects were built but nonetheless they are as distinctive and as inventive as those of his rivals. More on Pietro da Cortona






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01 Work, RELIGIOUS ART - Interpretation the bible, With Footnotes - #133

Vincent Sellaer, (1490–1564)
Susanna and Elders, c. first half of 16th century
Oil on panel
Height: 105 cm (41.3 ″); Width: 85 cm (33.4 ″)
Private collection



A fair Hebrew wife named Susanna was falsely accused by lecherous voyeurs. As she bathes in her garden, having sent her attendants away, two lustful elders secretly observe the lovely Susanna. When she makes her way back to her house, they accost her, threatening to claim that she was meeting a young man in the garden unless she agrees to have sex with them.

She refuses to be blackmailed and is arrested and about to be put to death for promiscuity when a young man named Daniel interrupts the proceedings, shouting that the elders should be questioned to prevent the death of an innocent. After being separated, the two men are questioned about details of what they saw, but disagree about the tree under which Susanna supposedly met her lover. In the Greek text, the names of the trees cited by the elders form puns with the sentence given by Daniel. The first says they were under a mastic, and Daniel says that an angel stands ready to cuthim in two. The second says they were under an evergreen oak tree, and Daniel says that an angel stands ready to saw him in two. The great difference in size between a mastic and an oak makes the elders' lie plain to all the observers. The false accusers are put to death, and virtue triumphs. More about Susanna

The theme of the Old Testament is reproduced here in an unusual way as a remarkably calm scene, so that not the physical urgency of the two old men. As always, so too is the biblical theme cause and pretext to bring the female nude in the picture. The beautifully presented slim female figure, here only scantily clad, a breast released between the yellow cloths, corresponds to the elegant Mannerist taste of the time, also concerning the soft contours, the Sfumato, which here belongs exclusively to the female figure. The upper body of Susanna placed almost diagonally in the picture, in contrast to the two almost vertically rendered male figures in the background. The right bearded old man looks down at the young beauty with his hand held high, which is supposed to indicate his persuasion. Only the left male figure makes eye contact with the viewer. More on this painting

Vincent Sellaer (1490–1564), was a Flemish Renaissance painter known for his mythological and religious subjects. His works stand out through their monumentality of form and their mixing of Italian and northern styles.

Very few biographical details of this artist are known with any level of certainty, other than that he flourished in Mechelen around 1538. 

While there is still no consensus among scholars, a majority believe that Vincent Sellaer should be identified with the artist to whom the early 17th century biographer Karel van Mander referred as Vincent Geldersman. Van Mander described Sellaer as a good painter of allegories, such as Leda with two eggs, Susanna and the elders, and Cleopatra with the asp. Van Mander mentioned him in his Life of Frans Minnebroer as one of the notable painters of Mechelen. While many known versions of a Leda and the Swan have been attributed to Sellaer, none has survived that depicts a Leda with eggs.

Some art historians such as G.J. Hoogewerff have speculated that Sellaer worked for some time in Brescia and may have visited other Italian cultural centres. This Italian stay would be situated in the years 1521 to 1524.


Scholars believe that Sellaer was the foremost painter in Mechelen, and his patrons were likely members of the court and the city’s Great Council. More on Vincent Sellaer







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Friday, February 14, 2020

01 Work, RELIGIOUS ART - Interpretation the bible, With Footnotes - #133

Italian master of the 17th century
Caritas romanaRoman Charity 
Oil on canvas. 
118 x 149 cm.
Private collection

The illustrated story goes back to the Roman author Valerius Maximus (14 AD-37 AD).  The exemplary story of a woman, Pero, who secretly breastfeeds her father, Cimon, after he is incarcerated and sentenced to death by starvation. 

It was recounted approximately in 1362 by Giovanni Boccaccio (1313-1375). After him, several hundred paintings, drawings and sculptures were created, which took up the theme again. It tells the erotic story of a young woman breastfeeding an older man. In the painting in a simple interior with a window on the top right, one sees in the center of the young woman with brown hair and flowing wide red-brown noble robes. In front of her kneels an old man with a full beard, in the profile to the left, who has crossed his hands on her lap and to which she extends her breast to breastfeed with her right hand. Particularly striking her white flesh and her almost white face. Your shiny, well-filled eyes she has directed laterally upwards. More on this painting


Painting in 17th-century Italy was an international endeavor. Large numbers of artists traveled to Rome, especially, to work and study. They sought not only the many commissions being extended by the Church but also the chance to learn from past masters. Most of the century was dominated by the baroque style, whose expressive power was well suited to the needs of the Counter-Reformation Church for affecting images.

The drama and movement that characterized the baroque—in sculpture and architecture as well as painting—can be first seen, perhaps, in the work of Caravaggio, who died in 1610. His strong contrasts of light and dark and unblinking realism were taken up by many artists, including the Italian Orazio Gentileschi, the Spaniard Jusepe de Ribera, and the Frenchmen Valentin de Boulogne and Simon Vouet, all of whom worked in Italy. Other artists carried Caravaggio’s so-called tenebrist style to northern Europe.

The more classical approach of the Carracci and their students Guercino and Domenichino was also an important force in 17th-century painting. It provided a foundation for the rational clarity that structured the work of French artists Nicolas Poussin and Claude Lorrain, both of whom worked in Rome for most of their lives. More on the ITALIAN SCHOOL, (17th century)




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Tuesday, February 11, 2020

01 Work, RELIGIOUS ART - Interpretation the bible, With Footnotes - #131

Giacinto Brandi, (1621–1691)
Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, circa 1650
Oil on canvas
Height: 99 cm (38.9 ″); Width: 75 cm (29.5 ″)
Pinacoteca Vaticana

Gethsemane is an urban garden at the foot of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. In Christianity, it is the place where Jesus underwent the agony in the garden and was arrested the night before his crucifixion.

Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane refers to the events in the life of Jesus as recorded in the New Testament, between the Farewell Discourse at the conclusion of the Last Supper and Jesus' arrest. 

According to all four Gospels, immediately after the Last Supper, Jesus took a walk to pray. The gospels of Matthew and Mark identify this place of prayer as Gethsemane. Jesus was accompanied by three Apostles: Peter, John and James, whom he asked to stay awake and pray. He moved "a stone's throw away" from them, where He felt overwhelming sadness and anguish, and said "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass me by. Nevertheless, let it be as you, not I, would have it." Then, a little while later, He said, "If this cup cannot pass by, but I must drink it, your will be done!". He said this prayer three times, checking on the three apostles between each prayer and finding them asleep. He commented: "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak". An angel came from heaven to strengthen him. During his agony as he prayed, "his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down upon the ground".

At the conclusion of the narrative, Jesus accepts that the hour has come for him to be betrayed. More on Christ in the Garden

Giacinto Brandi (1621 – 19 January 1691) was an Italian painter of the Baroque era, active mainly in Rome and Naples. Born in Poli, in Lazio, he was trained in Rome in the studio of Alessandro Algardi, a noted sculptor, who noted that Brandi was more suited to painting. He joined the studio of Giovanni Giacomo Sementi. He traveled to Naples from 1638, and by 1647 had returned to Rome to work under Giovanni Lanfranco, where Brandi befriended Mattia Preti. The two latter artists would often collaborate.

His works are well distributed among baroque Churches of Rome. In 1647, he joined the Congregazione dei Virtuosi al Pantheon in Rome and from 1651 was inducted into the Accademia di San Luca for painters. In 1663, he frescoed the life of Saint Erasmus for the crypt of the cathedral of Gaeta. Some of his works are in Milan, Toledo, and Zaragoza. More on Giacinto Brandi





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Saturday, February 8, 2020

01 Work, CONTEMPORARY Interpretation of the Bible! With Footnotes - # 38

Aloïse Corbaz (1886-1964) 
Adoration of the Mages, c.  1960-1963 
Chalks on paper
13 x 3 15/16 in 
Private collection

The Adoration of the Magi (anglicized from the Matthean Vulgate Latin section title: A Magis adoratur) is the name traditionally given to the subject in the Nativity of Jesus in art in which the three Magi, represented as kings, especially in the West, having found Jesus by following a star, lay before him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, and worship him. The Adoration of the Magi

Aloïse Corbaz (28 June 1886 – 5 April 1964) was a Swiss outsider artist included in Jean Dubuffet's initial collection of psychiatric art. She is one of very few acclaimed female outsider artists.

Corbaz was born in Lausanne, Switzerland. She earned her baccalauréat in 1906. Although she dreamt of becoming a singer, Aloïse worked as a dressmaker until leaving for Germany in 1911. She eventually found work as a teacher and a governess, in Potsdam, at the court of German Kaiser Wilhelm II. While there, she developed an obsessive romantic passion for the Kaiser. The start of World War I necessitated Aloïse's return to Switzerland. Her imaginary romance with the Kaiser continued, leading to her being diagnosed with schizophrenia and committed to the asylum at Cery-sur-Lausanne in 1918. In 1920 she was moved to an annex of the hospital, la Rosiere a Gimet, where she remained until her death in 1964

She started drawing and writing poetry in secret circa 1920, but most of her early work has been destroyed; director of the hospital Hans Steck and general practitioner Jacqueline Porret-Forel first took an interest in 1936, and her work was finally discovered by Dubuffet in 1947. He believed Aloïse cured herself by ceasing to fight against her illness, by choosing to cultivate it and make use of it instead.


Her work is erotic, consisting primarily of beautiful women with voluptuous curves and flowing hair attended by lovers in military uniform. She used the vivid colors of crayons, pencils, and flower juice to fill entire sheets of paper. Her compulsion to make marks on every inch of paper is a "horror vacui" remarkably similar to that of Adolf Wölfli. More on Aloïse Corbaz





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Tuesday, February 4, 2020

01 Work, CONTEMPORARY Interpretation of the Bible! With Footnotes - 25

William Kroll, United States
Eve Has Fallen
Oil on Canvas
15 H x 30 W x 1.5 in

Eve has fallen from grace upon the fruit of her own demise. She now rests upon the dark abyss of her soul. Despite her failings, the intrinsic natural beauty of form remains just as appealing... William Kroll

Eve is a figure in the Book of Genesis in the Hebrew Bible. According to the creation myth of the Abrahamic religions, she was the first woman. In Islamic tradition, Eve is known as Adam's wife and the first woman although she is not specifically named in the Quran.


According to the second chapter of Genesis, Eve was created by God by taking her from the rib of Adam, to be Adam's companion. She succumbs to the serpent's temptation to eat the forbidden fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. She shares the fruit with Adam, and as a result the first humans are expelled from the Garden of Eden. Christian churches differ on how they view both Adam and Eve's disobedience to God, and to the consequences that those actions had on the rest of humanity. Christian and Jewish teachings sometimes hold Adam and Eve to a different level of responsibility for the fall, although Islamic teaching holds both equally responsible. More on Eve

William Kroll was born a sixth generation Texan to a working-class family in 1958, Mr. Kroll’s passion for art was evident at an early age. By age four, Mr. Kroll had absconded with his mother’s Christmas gift, an oil painting set. He was found, hours later, having dutifully copied several of the family’s holiday greeting cards. His paintings are expressions of honesty about our world. He believes that the portrayal of his subjects, with artistic license and realistic detail, allows them to reach beyond their, often humble, origins. For the past thirty years he has also been a business owner.

He lives in Houston, Texas with his wife of thirty+ years. They have two children together, both attending university and pursuing advanced degrees. He, unlike many others around the world, has the privilege of not only creating art, but also the luxury of producing whatsoever he chooses. His paintings provide a personal insight about the society we live in and its values for this and future generations to come. The constant internal drive to create is Mr. Kroll’s daily bread. Like the water we drink and the air we breathe, art for him is necessary for life. More on William Kroll





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01 Work, Contemporary Interpretations of Olympian deities, with footnotes #22

Anatolij Brusilovski (1932 - ) 
Untitled 1978 (Europa?) 
Original ink and aerosal paint on paper 
64 x 86cm 
Private collection

In Greek mythology Europa was the mother of King Minos of Crete, a woman with Phoenician origin of high lineage, and for whom the continent Europe was named. The story of her abduction by Zeus in the form of a white bull was a Cretan story; as classicist Károly Kerényi points out, "most of the love-stories concerning Zeus originated from more ancient tales describing his marriages with goddesses. This can especially be said of the story of Europa".

The mythographers tell that Zeus was enamored of Europa and decided to seduce or ravish her. He transformed himself into a tame white bull and mixed in with her father's herds. While Europa and her helpers were gathering flowers, she saw the bull, caressed his flanks, and eventually got onto his back. Zeus took that opportunity and ran to the sea and swam, with her on his back, to the island of Crete. He then revealed his true identity, and Europa became the first queen of Crete. More on Europa

Anatoly Brusilovsky was born in the family of Rafail Brusilovsky in Odessa in 1932. A graduate of the Kharkov School of Art, his first book illustrations were published in 1953.


In 1957, Brusilovsky took part in the exhibition of young artists held in Moscow as part of the VI International Festival of Young People and Students. In 1960, he moved to Moscow and joined the nonconformist movement.

Brusilovsky became a popular book illustrator in the early 1960s. He collaborated with many journals, and his drawings for Nedelia, Sputnik and Jounost enjoyed great success, particularly with younger readers.

The human bestiary encountered in Brusilovsky’s figurative works is somewhat at odds with his narrative talent. An excellent example is his Human Pantomime cycle.

Brusilovsky’s collages and drawings were often banned by the Soviet art authorities, on account of their absurdist and erotic nature. A special and unreal world arises out of his collages, particularly those that could not be exhibited for many years. Such works well reflect the artist’s ability to score a powerful and direct hit with his art.

Anatoly Brusilovsky currently lives in Cologne. More on Anatoly Brusilovsky



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01 Work, Interpretation the bible, With Footnotes - 130

After Abraham Bloemaert
THE EXPULSION OF ADAM AND EVE
oil on canvas
188.5 x 188.5 cm.; 74 1/4  x 74 1/4  in.
Private collection

Adam and Eve, according to the creation myth of the Abrahamic religions, were the first man and woman and the ancestors of all humans. The story of Adam and Eve is central to the belief that YHWH created human beings to live in a paradise on earth, although they fell away from that state and formed the present world full of suffering and injustice. It provides the basis for the belief that humanity is in essence a single family, with everyone descended from a single pair of original ancestors. It also provides much of the scriptural basis for the doctrines of the fall of man and original Sin, important beliefs in Christianity, although not generally shared by Judaism or Islam. More on Adam and Eve

Abraham Bloemaert (1564-1651) was a Dutch painter and son of sculptor and architect Cornelis Bloemaert received his education in Utrecht and Paris. In 1597 he registered as a citizen in Amsterdam and was active in Utrecht from 1611 onwards. Bloemaert was a representative of the Flemish school and refined history painting, portrait painting, genre and landscape painting. He greatly influenced Dutch painting, one of his students was Gerrit van Honthorst. Bloemaert's works can be admired at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, at the Louvre in Paris and at the galleries of Berlin. More on Abraham Bloemaert





Please visit my other blogs: Art CollectorMythologyMarine ArtPortrait of a Lady, The OrientalistArt of the Nude and The Canals of VeniceAnd visit my Boards on Pinterest

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Sunday, January 26, 2020

01 Painting, Olympian deities, with footnotes #40

Ellie Hesse, United Kingdom
AMAZON I
Acrylic, Gesso, Gouache, Ink, Oil on Wood
39.4 W x 39.4 H x 1.6 in

'There is something truly astounding about the way a horse can be transformed from a calm and seemingly domesticated creature, one moment, into an explosion of power and wired emotion, the next. I find this unpredictability and expressiveness, fascinating and a great inspiration in my work. Historical representations of the equine form are another major source of inspiration for me and am particularly interested in the symbolic, mythological and sacred place the horse has held, throughout history.' Ellie Hesse


In Greek mythology, the Amazons were a race of woman warriors.



The legendary Amazons were thought to have lived in Pontus, which is part of modern-day Turkey near the southern shore of the Black Sea. There they formed an independent kingdom under the government of a queen named Hippolyta or Hippolyte. This area is known to have been occupied in the Late Bronze Age by a transhumant group known to the Hittites as the Kaŝka; though they were not directly known to Greeks, modern archaeologists have determined that they finally defeated their enemies, the Hittites, about 1200 BC. According to Plutarch, the Amazons lived in and about the Don river, which the Greeks called the Tanais; but which was called by the Scythians the "Amazon". The Amazons later moved to Terme on the River Thermodon, northern Turkey. More on the Amazons

Ellie Hesse was born in New York in 1972 but spent most of her childhood in the Yorkshire Dales. Travel has always been an important feature of her life since then, exploring Asia and South America, as well as living and working in a number of different European countries.


Entirely self-taught, Ellie is mainly known for her vibrantly coloured townscapes, though in recent years, she has gone on to develop her art to include more figurative work, focusing on the horse in particular. Ellie uses a variety of different media and techniques, depending on the subject matter. The palette knife is her tool of preference for building up layers of texture and depth of colour.


By working intermittently on two very different subjects, Ellie has found that the two approaches seem to cross-pollinate. The looser drawing style of the equine work, feeding into the more structural work of townscapes, bringing new vitality into the painting style as well as composition, with the introduction of figures and animals. The creative tension that arises from contrasting solid, architectural forms with the fluidity of a natural and dynamic subject, creates a certain energy, keeping the painting process always fresh and exciting.. More on Ellie Hesse







Please visit my other blogs: Art CollectorMythologyMarine ArtPortrait of a Lady, The OrientalistArt of the Nude and The Canals of VeniceAnd visit my Boards on Pinterest

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Saturday, January 25, 2020

04 Works, CONTEMPORARY & 20th Century Interpretation of the Bible! With Footnotes - 32

Paul Strand (American, 1890 - 1976)
Oaxaca from The Mexican Portfolio, c. 1933
Photogravure
26.1 x 20.2 cm (10 1/4 x 7 15/16 in.) 
Private collection

This is a depiction of a sculptural work in a Catholic church in Tlacochoaya, Oaxaca, Mexico. In this tableau, the Christ figure is placed in a framed space that recedes behind him. His feet extend outside of the frame, drawing further attention to the three dimensional aspect of the sculpture. The frame is an ornate wood carving, while the figure of Jesus is also carved from wood. He is fully clothed and painted, wearing a crown, and holding a staff between his legs. He rests his head solemnly to the side, leaning on the left wall of the space in which he sits. The walls and ceiling are covered with a floral pattern, while the back wall contains an inscription. More on this work

Paul Strand (American, 1890 - 1976)
Cristo with Thorns, Huexotla, Mexico, c. 1933
Platinum print
24.8 × 19.2 cm (9 3/4 × 7 9/16 in.)
Private collection

Paul Strand's 1940 portfolio, Photographs of Mexico, included this image of a humble, careworn Christ, outfitted with hair and adorned in velvet. Made outside Mexico City, the painted sculpture constituted a sophisticated example of indigenous craftsmanship. For Strand, the deity was alive with the striving faith of the artisans who created the piece. 

By isolating the figure, Strand focused on a topic that was relevant to the contemporary viewer: the working man's daily struggle to attain redemption. More on this work

Ecce homo are the Latin words used by Pontius Pilate in the Vulgate translation of John 19:5, when he presents a scourged Jesus Christ, bound and crowned with thorns, to a hostile crowd shortly before his Crucifixion. The Douay-Rheims Bible translates the phrase into English as "Behold the man!" [John 19:5] The scene has been widely depicted in Christian art. More on Ecce homo

Paul Strand (American, 1890 - 1976)
Cristo, Oaxaca, Mexico, c. 1933
Photogravure. 1933
15 13/16 x 12 5/16 in. (402 x 313 mm)
Private collection

Crucifixion is a historical method of capital punishment in which the victim is tied or nailed to a large wooden beam and left to hang for several days until eventual death from exhaustion and asphyxiation. It is principally known from classical antiquity, but remains in occasional use in some countries. 


The crucifixion of Jesus is a central narrative in Christianity, and the cross (sometimes depicting Jesus nailed onto it) is the main religious symbol for many Christian churches. More Crucifixion

Paul Strand (American, 1890 - 1976)
Calvario, Patzcuaro, Mexico, c. 1933
Photogravure. 1933
15 13/16 x 12 5/16 in. (402 x 313 mm)
Private collection

The Descent from the Cross, or Deposition of Christ, is the scene, as depicted in art, from the Gospels' accounts of Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus taking Christ down from the cross after his crucifixion. In Byzantine art the topic became popular in the 9th century, and in the West from the 10th century. The Descent from the Cross is the 13th Station of the Cross.


Other figures not mentioned in the Gospels who are often included in depictions of this subject include St. John the Evangelist, who is sometimes depicted supporting a fainting Mary, and Mary Magdalene. More on the decent from the cross

Paul Strand (October 16, 1890 – March 31, 1976) was an American photographer and filmmaker who, along with fellow modernist photographers like Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Weston, helped establish photography as an art form in the 20th century. His diverse body of work, spanning six decades, covers numerous genres and subjects throughout the Americas, Europe, and Africa. More on Paul Strand




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