Thursday, June 11, 2015

27 Works - RELIGIOUS ART BY THE OLD MASTER PAINTERS - Paintings from the Bible Explained!

Susanna or Shoshana, Saint Apollonia, Saint Roch or Rocco, Madonna, SAINT FRANCIS, SAINT JEROME, Saint Catherine of Alexandria, PONCE PILATE, SAINT PIERRE, SAINT PAUL, SAINT BARNABÉ, The woman from Samaria, Susanna and the Elders, The Woman taken in Adultery, Saint Cecilia, Mary Magdalene, The Marriage of the Virgin, Adoration of the Shepherds, Saint Paul the Hermit, The Presentation of the Virgin at the Temple, The Meeting of David and Abigail, Christ in the house of Simon the Pharisee, Saint Lawrence

By: GIUSEPPE CESARI, Schmidt, Martin Johann, Oberitalienisch, Francken II, Frans, Hendrick Goltzius, Luca Longhi, Paolo Caliari, Simon Vouet, Giovanni Battista Pittoni, Gerard van Honthorst, Joachim Beuckelaer, Francesco Solimena, Giuseppe Cesari, Giulio Clovio, Giuseppe Nuvolone, Jürgen Ovens, Adriaen van der Werff, Paolo de Matteis, Zacarias Gonzalez Velàzquez , Circle of Sir Peter Paul Rubens, Lambert Suavius, Adam Elsheimer

Joachim Beuckelaer
ANTWERP TO 1534 - 1574 TO
Dated center left column 1565
Oil on panel  
110 x 165 cm; 43 1/4 by 65 in

Joachim Beuckelaer (c. 1533 – c. 1573/4) was a Flemish painter specialising in market and kitchen scenes with elaborate displays of food and household equipment, genres which Beuckelaer continued to paint when he established himself as an independent master in 1560. His market scenes, often incorporate biblical episodes into the background.

Paul the Apostle, originally known as Saul of Tarsus was an apostle (though not one of the Twelve Apostles) who taught the gospel of Christ to the first-century world. He is generally considered one of the most important figures of the Apostolic Age. In the mid-30s to the mid-50s, he founded several churches in Asia Minor and Europe. Paul used his status as both a Jew and a Roman citizen to advantage in his ministry to both Jewish and Roman audiences.

Barnabas, born Joseph, was an early Christian and one of the prominent Christian disciples in Jerusalem. Barnabas was a Cypriot Jew. He and Paul the Apostle undertook missionary journeys together and defended Gentile converts against the Judaizers. They traveled together making more converts (c 45-47), and participated in the Council of Jerusalem (c 50). Barnabas and Paul successfully evangelized among the "God-fearing" Gentiles who attended synagogues in various Hellenized cities of Anatolia.

The scene shows events, during a visit to Lystra where the two saints, Paul and Barnabas were considered gods after the occurrence of a miraculous cure. He was told that St. Paul, who then professed a speech of faith on a cripple, felt his conversion work and then cried with a loud voice, " Stand upright on your feet! ". The patient suddenly being prepared " in a jump ", the inhabitants of Lystra suddenly mistook the saints and deities called Barnabas" Zeus "and Paul" Hermes ". The appreciative crowd, tied to their pagan habits are ready to sacrifice animals in response to miracle, when both the Saints stopped abruptly.

Giovanni Battista Pittoni
VENICE 1687 - 1767
Oil on canvas 
40.5 x 32.5 cm; 16 by 12 3/4 in

Giambattista Pittoni or Giovanni Battista Pittoni (6 June 1687 – 6 November 1767) was a Italian painter of the late Baroque or Rococo period, and was active mainly in Venice. He was among the founders of the Academy of Fine Arts of Venice, and became its second president in 1758. 

Saint Peter, also known as Simon Peter, Simeon, or Simōn, according to the New Testament, was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ, leaders of the early Christian Church. The Roman Catholic Church considers him to be the first Pope, ordained by Jesus in the "Rock of My Church" dialogue in Matthew 16:18. The ancient Christian churches all venerate Peter as a major saint and associate him with founding the Church of Antioch and later the Church in Rome, but differ about the authority of his various successors in present-day Christianity.

Attributed to Simon Vouet - PARIS 1590 - 1649
Oil on canvas 
88 x 75.5 cm; 34 5/8 by 29 3/4 in

Simon Vouet (French: 9 January 1590 – 30 June 1649) was a French painter and draftsman, who today is perhaps best remembered for helping to introduce the Italian Baroque style of painting to France.

He spent an extensive period of time in Italy, from 1613 to 1627. He was mostly in Rome where the Baroque style was emerging. He was a natural academic, who absorbed what he saw and studied, and distilled it in his painting: Caravaggio's dramatic lighting; Italian Mannerism; Paolo Veronese's color and di sotto in su or foreshortened perspective; and the art of Carracci, Guercino, Lanfranco and Guido Reni. Vouet's immense success in Rome led to his election as president of the Accademia di San Luca in 1624. In 1626 he married Virginia da Vezzo who modelled Madonnas for Vouet's religious commissions.

Venetian School in 1580, Paolo Veronese entourage
Pontius Pilate washes his hands
Oil on canvas 
152 x 130 cm; 59 7/8 by 51 1/8 

Paolo Caliari, known as Paolo Veronese (1528 – 19 April 1588) was an Italian Renaissance painter based in Venice, most famous for large history paintings of both religious and mythological subjects. With Titian, who was at least a generation older, and Tintoretto, ten years older, he was one of the "great trio that dominated Venetian painting of the cinquecento" or 16th-century late Renaissance. Veronese is known as a supreme colorist, and after an early period with Mannerist influence turned to a more naturalist style influenced by Titian

French School of the second half of the fifteenth century
Oil on panel 
24.3 x 19.3 cm; 9 1/2 by 7 1/2 in

Luca Longhi
RAVENNA 1507 - 1580
Oil on panel 
Slightly enlarged: 38 x 28.8 cm; 15 by 11 3/8 in  
original Dimensions: 36.8 x 27.7 cm; 14 1/2 by 10 7/8 in

Luca Longhi (1507–1580) was an Italian painter of the Mannerist period, born and active near Ravenna, where he mainly produced religious paintings and portraits.

His works include The Marriage of Saint Catherine (1529), The Lady and the Unicorn, Adoration by the Shepherds, and Virgin and Child with Saints Sebastian and Rocco, another work included The Martyr of Saint Ursicinus (oil on canvas) and Cesare Hercolani. A skilled portrait painter, he painted numerous portraits of local dignitaries, patricians, and professional men of Ravenna. He trained two of his children, Francesco Longhi (1544–1618) and Barbara Longhi (1552–1638). Barbara, as a woman was unusual among painters of the time, collaborated with him on several of his later works, including Marriage of Canae (1580), incorporating portraits of Barbara and Francesco Longhi. Both he and his daughter were among the artists mentioned by Vasari.

Saint Catherine of Alexandria, also known as Saint Catherine of the Wheel and The Great Martyr Saint Catherine is, according to tradition, a Christian saint and virgin, who was martyred in the early 4th century at the hands of the pagan emperor Maxentius. According to her hagiography, she was both a princess and a noted scholar, who became a Christian around the age of fourteen, and converted hundreds of people to Christianity. Over 1,100 years following her martyrdom, St. Joan of Arc identified Catherine as one of the Saints who appeared to her and counselled her.

Catherine was the daughter of Constus, the governor of Alexandrian Egypt during the reign of the emperor Maximian (305-313). From a young age she had devoted herself to study. A vision of the Madonna and Child persuaded her to become a Christian. When the persecutions began under Maxentius, she went to the emperor and rebuked him for his cruelty. The emperor summoned fifty of the best pagan philosophers and orators to dispute with her, hoping that they would refute her pro-Christian arguments, but Catherine won the debate. Several of her adversaries, conquered by her eloquence, declared themselves Christians and were at once put to death

Guiseppe Cesari , known as the rider Arpin
ARPINO 1568 - 1640 ROME
Oil on copper 
39 x 29.5 cm; 15 3/8 by 11 5/8 in

Giuseppe Cesari (February 1568 – 3 July 1640) was an Italian Mannerist painter, also named Il Giuseppino and called Cavaliere d'Arpino, because he was createdCavaliere di Cristo by his patron Pope Clement VIII. He was much patronized in Rome by both Clement and Sixtus V. He was the chief of the studio in which Caravaggiotrained upon the younger painter's arrival in Rome.

Saint Francis of Assisi, (1181/1182 – October 3, 1226) was an Italian Catholic friar and preacher. He founded the men's Order of Friars Minor, the women’s Order of St. Clare, and the Third Order of Saint Francis for men and women not able to live the lives of itinerant preachers, followed by the early members of the Order of Friars Minor, or the monastic lives of the Poor Clares. Francis is one of the most venerated religious figures in history.

Saint-Jérôme, The town is named after Saint Jerome (ca. 347 – September 30, 420), a church father best known as the translator of the Bible from Greek and Hebrew into Latin. His translation is known as the Vulgate.

Schmidt, Martin Johann
Susanna and the Elders
oil on canvas, relined. 
43 x 30 cm

Martin Johann Schmidt, called Kremser Schmidt or Kremserschmidt, (25 September 1718 - 28 June 1801), was one of the outstanding Austrian painters of the late Baroque/Rococo along with Franz Anton Maulbertsch.

Despite not having received formal academic training, in 1768 he was made a member of the imperial academy at Vienna due to his artistic merits, which by that time had already been recognized by a wider public inside and outside of Austria.

Primarily he painted devotional images for private devotion and churches, including a considerable number of large altar paintings. 

Susanna or Shoshana, is included in the Book of Daniel (as chapter 13). A fair Hebrew wife 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...

Gerrit van Honthorst (1592–1656)

Susanna And The Elders

first half of 17th century
oil on canvas
144 × 213 cm (56.7 × 83.9 in)

Gerard van Honthorst (Gerrit van Honthorst) (4 November 1592 – 27 April 1656) was a Dutch Golden Age painter. Early in his career he visited Rome, where he had great success painting in a style influenced by Caravaggio. Following his return to the Netherlands he became a leading portrait painter.

Oberitalienisch - around 1600
Christ and an angel
oil on alabaster
19.5 x 17.2 cm.

South German: around 1500
Saint Apollonia in a landscape
Oil on wood 
108 x 42 cm

Saint Apollonia was one of a group of virgin martyrs who suffered in Alexandria during a local uprising against the Christians prior to the persecution of Decius. According to legend, her torture included having all of her teeth violently pulled out or shattered. For this reason, she is popularly regarded as the patroness of dentistryand those suffering from toothache or other dental problems. French court painter Jehan Fouquet painted the scene of St. Apollonia's torture in The Martyrdom of St. Apollonia.

Francken II, Frans 
The Crucifixion of Christ. 
Oil on copper. 
34.5 x 27 cm.

Frans Francken the Younger (Antwerp, 1581 – Antwerp, 6 May 1642) was a Flemish painter and the best-known member of the large Francken family of artists. He played an important role in the development of Flemish art in the first half of the 17th century through his innovations in genre painting and introduction of new subject matter.

Flemish: around 1600

St. Rochus, praying

Oil on wood. 

71 x 53 cm.

Saint Roch or Rocco lived c. 1348 – 15/16 August 1376/79 (c. 1295 – 1327) was a Christian saint, a confessor whose death is commemorated on 16 August; he is specially invoked against the plague. He may also be called Rock in English, and has the designation of St Rollox in Glasgow, Scotland, said to be a corruption of St Roch's Loch. He is a patron Saint of: dogs; and falsely accused people; among other things.

Follower of Hendrick Goltzius
 Dutch: 1617. 
The Madonna in prayer
1616th The Madonna in prayer. 
Oil on wood. 
50.5 x 39.5 cm. 

The work dates back to the painting in Tondoformat of Hendrick Goltzius in the Speed ​​Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky. The artist in painted this work as a counterpart to "Christ as Salvator Mundi", also in Louisville. The painting,  dated in the 1616, is likely to have been made directly to the composition of Goltzius and his thus may have been a member of his workshop. More

Giulio Clovio (Modruš 1498-1578 Rome)
A page from an illuminated manuscript showing The Virgin Annunciate surrounded by a decorative border containing niches with statues of Moses and King Solomon, playful cherubs and decorative cartouches with trompe l'oeil insects 
gouache and gold on vellum laid on card, the reverse inscribed in a later hand 'Julius Clovius macedo monumenta hoec Alexandro/Farnesio cardinali domino suo faciebat MDXLVI'
14 x 11.5cm (5 1/2 x 4 1/2in).

Juraj Klović was born in Grižane, Croatia, in 1478. By 1516, however, he was in Venice painting his first miniatures after Albrecht Dürer under the name of Giulio Clovio. Thence he travelled to Perugia, where he produced between 1534 and 1538 what is now known as the Stuart de Rothesay Book of Hours, and then to Rome. In 1539 he entered the service of Alessandro Farnese for whom he created his masterpiece, the Farnese Book of Hours, on which he worked from 1537-46. By this time Clovio had established himself as a member of that elite of the High Renaissance whose members achieved widespread acclaim during their own lifetimes: Giorgio Vasari was to refer to this miniaturist as 'the new and little Michelangelo'.

Studio of Giuseppe Cesari, called il Cavalier d'Arpino (Rome 1568-1640)
Susanna and the Elders 
oil on copper
51.2 x 31.5cm (20 3/16 x 12 3/8in).

Christ and the woman from Samaria 
oil on canvas
153 x 207.6cm (60 1/4 x 81 3/4in).

But he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon.

A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, ‘Give me a drink’. (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, ‘How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?’ (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, “Give me a drink”, you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.’ The woman said to him, ‘Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?’ Jesus said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.’ The woman said to him, ‘Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.’
Giuseppe Nuvolone (Milan 1619-1703)
Christ and the Woman taken in Adultery 
oil on canvas
124.8 x 109.6cm (49 1/8 x 43 1/8in).

Jesus and the woman taken in adultery is a biblical episode from John 7:53-8:11 where Jesus encounters an adulteress brought before Pharisees and scribes, which has been depicted by many artists. Such a crime was punishable by death by stoning, however, Jesus says to them  "he that is without sin among you, let him first cast the stone at her".

Circle of Jürgen Ovens (Tönning 1623-1678 Friedrichstadt)
Saint Cecilia 
oil on canvas
67.9 x 54.1cm (26 3/4 x 21 5/16in).

Born to pagan parents, and perhaps converted through the instrumentality of a Christian nurse, Cecilia was raised in a noble Roman home during a time of persecution. We are told that, according to custom, Cecilia’s parents arranged for her to marry a young patrician named Valerian. Cecilia, however, had already vowed her virginity to God, desiring to root herself even more deeply in her Baptismal consecration. On her wedding night, she resolutely explained her vow to Valerian, whose initial anger and confusion were transformed into conversion under the influence of his wife’s strong faith and the instruction of the Christian bishop. Valerian and Cecilia subsequently helped to convert Valerian’s brother Tiburtius, and the three became known for their works of charity and their lives of Christian virtue.

Though arrested and threatened with execution because of their practice of Christianity, Valerian and Tiburtius refused to deny their faith. They were cruelly martyred, but not before they had succeeded in converting their executioner, who had been profoundly affected by the steadfast example of the other young men. Cecilia’s arrest soon followed. Despite the fact that the Roman prefect attempted to persuade her toward more “politically correct” behavior, Cecilia refused to submit. After a failed attempt to suffocate her in a heated bath in her own home, an executioner was sent to behead her.

Three blows mortally wounded Cecilia, yet failed to kill her immediately, and she survived for three days. We are told that, even in her dying condition, she continued to offer the witness of a vibrant faith, hope and charity that would not die. Cecilia bequeathed her possessions to the poor and her home to the Church, to be used as a house of worship. More

Adriaen van der Werff (Kralinger Ambach 1659-1722 Rotterdam)
Noli me Tangere (Do not touch me)
signed and dated 'Chevr vr/ Werff fec./1719' (lower left)
oil on panel
71.2 x 52.4cm (28 1/16 x 20 5/8in).

Noli me tangere, meaning "touch me not" or "don't tread on me", is the Latin version of words spoken, according to John 20:17, by Jesus to Mary Magdalene when she recognized him after his resurrection.

Paolo de Matteis (Cilento 1662-1728 Naples)
The Marriage of the Virgin 
signed 'Paulus de Mat***' (lower left)
oil on canvas
100.7 x 83.5cm (39 5/8 x 32 7/8in).

Paolo de Matteis (Cilento 1662-1728 Naples)
The Adoration of the Shepherds 
oil on canvas
100.8 x 83.7cm (39 11/16 x 32 15/16in).

The Adoration of the Shepherds, in the Nativity of Jesus in art, is a scene in which shepherds are near witnesses to the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, arriving soon after the actual birth. It is often combined in art with the Adoration of the Magi, in which case it is typically just referred to by the latter title. The Annunciation to the Shepherds, when they are summoned by an angel to the scene, is a distinct subject.

Roman School, 17th Century
Saint Paul the Hermit 
oil on canvas
41 x 32.1cm (16 1/8 x 12 5/8in).

The Life of Saint Paul the First Hermit, was composed in Latin by Saint Jerome, probably in 375/376. Paul of Thebes was born around 227 in the Thebaid of Egypt.

Paul and his married sister lost their parents. In order to obtain Paul's inheritance, his brother-in-law sought to betray him to the persecutors. According to Jerome's Vitae Patrum, Paul fled to the Theban desert as a young man during the persecution of Decius and Valerianus around AD 250.

He lived in the mountains of this desert in a cave near a clear spring and a palm tree, the leaves of which provided him with raiment and the fruit of which provided him with his only source of food until he was 43 years old, when a raven started bringing him half a loaf of bread daily. He would remain in that cave for the rest of his life, almost a hundred years.

Paul of Thebes is known to posterity because around the year 342, Anthony the Great was told in a dream about the older hermit's existence, and went to find him. Jerome related that Anthony the Great and Paul met when the latter was aged 113. They conversed with each other for one day and one night. The Synaxarium shows each saint inviting the other to bless and break the bread, as a token of honor. St. Paul held one side, putting the other side into the hands of Father Anthony, and soon the bread broke through the middle and each took his part. When Anthony next visited him, Paul was dead. Anthony clothed him in a tunic which was a present from Athanasius of Alexandria and buried him, with two lions helping to dig the grave.

Father Anthony returned to his monastery taking with him the robe woven with palm leaf. He honored the robe so much that he only wore it twice a year: at the Feast of Easter, and at the Pentecos

The Presentation of the Virgin at the Temple 
oil on canvas
52.3 x 35.2cm (20 9/16 x 13 7/8in).

The Presentation of the Virgin at the Temple, is a liturgical feast celebrated on November 21 by the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.

The feast is associated with an event recounted not in the New Testament, but in the apocryphal Infancy Narrative of James. According to that text, Mary's parents, Joachim and Anne, who had been childless, received a heavenly message that they would have a child. In thanksgiving for the gift of their daughter, they brought her, when still a child, to the Temple in Jerusalem to consecrate her to God. 

Circle of Sir Peter Paul Rubens (Siegen 1577-1640 Antwerp)
The Meeting of David and Abigail 
oil on panel
36.5 x 54.4cm (14 3/8 x 21 7/16in).

The painting depicts the meeting of Abigail and David. Abigail's husband, Nabal of Carmel, foolishly refused to pay for the protection that David had provided for Nabal's shepherds. Angered, David set off to avenge this misdeed with a large group of soldiers. Seeking forgiveness for her husband's offense, Abigail, shown kneeling in the foreground on the left, offers bread, wine, corn, raisins, and fig-cakes to David and his men. Impressed by Abigail's beauty and generosity, David dismounts and attempts to raise Abigail up. Although not shown here, the story ends with Nabal's dying from a stroke after learning of the disaster his wife had averted. David then proposed marriage to Abigail. More

Circle of Lambert Suavius (Liege circa 1520-1567 Frankfurt)

Christ in the house of Simon the Pharisee and other scenes from the Life of Christ
oil on panel
66 x 76.5cm (26 x 30 1/8in).

The story of Jesus's visit to the house of Simon the Pharisee is told in St Luke's Gospel (vii, 36-50). A woman from the city followed Christ there, 'and stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.' Simon condemned the attitude of his guest, saying : 'This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him; for she is a sinner.' Christ answered with a parable and the words: 'Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much; but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.'

Suavius ​​Lambert ( Liège 1510 - Frankfurt 1567 ), architect, painter, engraver, printer and poet. He was a pupil of Lambert Lombard , his brother. After training in Rome , he worked successively at Liege , Antwerp and Frankfurt.

After Adam Elsheimer, 17th Century

Saint Lawrence being prepared for Martyrdom 
oil on copper
26.7 x 21.1cm (10 1/2 x 8 5/16in).

Saint Lawrence was martyred for refusing to reveal what were thought to be treasures of the Church. In this work, however, the artist appears to imply a refusal to worship false gods, by the inclusion of the statue or idol on the right. Since Lawrence was martyred in Rome, the background architecture may well stand for the Forum. The picture was probably produced soon after Elsheimer settled in Rome in 1600.

The vivid depiction of the flaming gridiron in the background, on which the saint was to be martyred, is characteristic of Elsheimer's interest in contrasts between light and darkness.

Adam Elsheimer (18 March 1578 – 11 December 1610) was a German artist working in Rome who died at only thirty-two, but was very influential in the early 17th century. His relatively few paintings were small scale, nearly all painted on copper plates, of the type often known as cabinet paintings. They include a variety of light effects, and an innovative treatment of landscape. He was an influence on many other artists, including Rembrandt and Peter Paul Rubens.