Wednesday, June 24, 2015

RELIGIOUS ART - Drawings from the Bible by the Old Masters! Lazzaro Baldi - THE ANNUNCIATION TO JOACHIM AND ANNA

Lazzaro Baldi - PISTOIA 1624 - 1703 ROME
Point of the brush and black and brown wash heightened with white, with some indentations, on grey prepared paper;
a cut-out and made up pentimento for the entire figure of Joachim
304 by 219 mm

The tradition of the conception and birth of Mary has been part of the tradition of our Church since the earliest years, and although it is not recounted in the Bible it has a long standing history in the liturgy, music, and art of both the Eastern and Western Church.  

According to the “Protoevangelium of James,” Joachim was a wealthy man.  But when Joachim went to the temple to offer his gifts, as was the custom of his people, he was refused entrance.  He was told that since he had no children, he was not worthy to offer his gifts to God.  Joachim even researched the Twelve Tribes of Israel, and found out that he was the only one of the righteous men who did not have a child.  This greatly disturbed him, and instead of going home to his wife, Anna, he went out into the wilderness for forty days and forty nights and fasted, living only on prayer. 

Anna then mourned for both the loss of her husband and for being childless.   But because  it was a time of celebration in the Jewish faith, Anna cleaned herself up and put on her wedding garments.  She then went out into the garden, sat under a tree, and prayed to God to bless her with a child.  Just as Anna was lamenting, an angel appeared to her and told her that God had heard her prayer and that she would conceive and bear a child.  Anna rejoiced and said she would bring her child as an offering to God to minister all the days of his/her life.

Then two angels came to Anna and told her that Joachim was returning.  An angel had also appeared to Joachim and told him to go home because his prayer had been answered and his wife would conceive a child.  More

The story continues that on the next day, he returned to the temple with his offering of gifts, and this time his offering was accepted.  He left the temple and went home rejoicing and giving glory to God.  After nine months, Anna bore a daughter, whom she named Mary. 

Lazzaro Baldi (c. 1624–30 March 1703) was an Italian painter of the Baroque period, active mainly in Rome. Baldi was born in Pistoia and died in Rome. He is initially postulated to have been a pupil of a little known Francesco Leoncini in his native city. But he soon moved to Rome to form part of the large studio directed by Pietro da Cortona, where Baldi became adept at fresco technique. He painted a David and Goliath for Alexander VII in the Palazzo Quirinale, as well as frescoes (1658) for the church of San Giovanni in Oleo and a San Giovanni in Patmos(1660–1665) for San Giovanni in Laterano. He also painted an altarpiece of the Martyrdom of St. Lazarus for the church of Santi Luca e Martina. In 1695, he became principe of the Accademia di San Luca in Rome. He also worked in Camerino; Pistoia (an Annunciation for the church of San Francesco and a Repose in Egypt for the Umilta); and Perugia (Casa Borgia-Montemellino). As an engraver, Baldi is known for a plate on The Conversion of St. Paul.