Wednesday, September 2, 2015

12 Works, RELIGIOUS ART - Paintings from the Bible by the Old Masters, with footnotes, 3

ADA FLORENCE HOWES, AFTER JEAN-JACQUES HENNER (France, 1829-1905) - 'The Magdelene", oil on canvas, a copy of the 1878 original, painted while Howes was an art student at Yale 1898-1901/1903-1904. She has inscribed the stretcher. Ada Howes was the winner of the 1901 Ethel Childs Walker Prize for consistent excellence in graphic design. The canvas was restored by Martha Cox of Shapleigh, Maine, who detailed her work on back. Housed in what is probably the original gold painted ribbed frame. OS: 56 1/2" x 47"

Carl HENRICI (1737-1823)
Madonna with sleeping child 
Oil on canvas
91 x 66 cm 

This Painting. Among the numerous paintings presenting a devotion subject made by Carl Henrici in his stunning artistic career, this work has to be distinguished from others by the diligence of its execution, and the careful study of the characters’ posture. The artist seems to welcome in his formal repertoire new influences from the roman neoclassicism, imported in Bolzano by Martin Knoller and Joseph Schöpf. On the base of these indications, which bring in mind the elegant and delicate manner of Pompeo Batoni, the roman neoclassicism leader, this painting can be dated around 1790. According to Rasmo Nicholas (1977), Carl Henrici "was without doubt, after the death of Francesco Unterpergher in 1776 and on the eve of the XIXth century, the most famous painter that regularly worked in the region of Atesina". More

Johann Josef Karl Henrici (1737 in Schweidnitz - 1823 in Bolzano ), was an Austrian Baroque painter and creator of the Sacred Heart of Jesus image in the Bozen parish church.

He left his home, when he was eighteen, and came to Bolzano in 1757. There he joined the workshop of copyists Mathias Twinger a married his daughter in 1759 and took over his workshop. In order to perfect himself professionally, he moved to Verona in 1761 on a teaching assignment. Henrici painted many portraits , created numerous images of saints , also paintings in churches and noble houses.

Carl Henrici had thirteen children, but only three grew up. However, even they died young. his old age was unhappy and sad. He went blind in 1798. More

The Master of the Female Half-lengths ACTIVE IN ANTWERP DURING THE FIRST HALF OF THE 16TH CENTURY MARY MAGDALENE HOLDING THE UNGUENT JAR oil on oak panel 29 by 23 cm.; 11 1/2  by 9 in.
The Master of the Female Half-lengths - ACTIVE IN ANTWERP DURING THE FIRST HALF OF THE 16TH CENTURY
MARY MAGDALENE HOLDING THE UNGUENT JAR
oil on oak panel
29 by 23 cm.; 11 1/2  by 9 in.

This Painting. The master derives his name from the series of works depicting half-length female figures behind a writing desk, reading, or playing a musical instrument. Here the figure holds, as if to open, an unguent jar that identifies her as Mary Magdalene. 

Few of the Master’s half-length females, if any, are as richly ornamented as this. The pristine condition of the paint surface preserves each of the finest details, every strand of hair and thread of gold, of this mysterious Mary Magdalene. More

The Master of the Female Half-Lengths was a Netherlandish painter, perhaps a group, working in the area of Antwerp in the first half of the sixteenth century. Rather than being a single artist, it is believed that the Master was actually a studio, specializing in small panel paintings of young aristocratic ladies. The subjects were in half-length and devotional scenes, hence the name. They are engaged in various pursuits, such as reading, writing, and playing musical instruments; the interiors in which they are depicted usually are panelled in wood, although sometimes the backdrop is neutral. Some are shown with a jar of ointment, traditionally a symbol of Mary Magdalene. More

Jan Sanders van Hemessen HEMESSEN CIRCA 1504 - 1556 ANTWERP VIRGIN AND CHILD BENEATH A VINE oil on oak panel 86.5 by 68.3 cm.; 34 by 26 7/8  in.
Jan Sanders van Hemessen - HEMESSEN CIRCA 1504 - 1556 ANTWERP
VIRGIN AND CHILD BENEATH A VINE
oil on oak panel
86.5 by 68.3 cm.; 34 by 26 7/8  in.

This Painting. This is an exceptionally rare early work by Jan Sanders van Hemessen. In each of its elements it perfectly illustrates the strides made in the 1520s towards this new artistic language and describes Hemessen’s transition to the italianate tendency that would characterise the remainder of his career. The general mise-en-scène of this Virgin and child, with the Virgin supporting the standing, Christ child before a wooden structure adorned with vegetation, is one to which he would return time and again. The plentiful vine, a common symbol of the Christian faith with its allusion to the wine drunk at the Last Supper, achieves a most intimate setting.  Besides the vine the scene is crowded with symbolism, specifically in the bitten apple held by the Virgin that reminds us of the sins Christ has been born to save, and the small Crucifix in the background that, together with the explicit vines, pre-empt the events that will befall Christ at the end of his life.

Not the least striking aspect of this painting is the Virgin’s smoothly rendered face, painted in very light tones. Besides its polished finish, it is of a type that we see in other females from the same date. A very low-set jaw weighed down by plump cheeks, and set off by finely delineated strands of hair, each painted or drawn as if individual threads of gold. More

Jan Sanders van Hemessen (c. 1500 – c. 1566) was a Flemish Renaissance painter. He played an important role in the development of genre painting, through his large scenes with religious or worldly subjects, which focused on human failings such as greed and vanity. He was born in Hemiksem, then called Hemessen or Heymissen. He traveled to Italy, around 1520, Where he studied both models from classical antiquity, such as the Laocoön as well as the contemporary works of Michelangelo and Raphael. He returned to Antwerp where he entered the local Guild of Saint Luke as a master in 1524. More

The Master of the Piasecka Johnson Madonna ACTIVE IN GERMANY CIRCA 1522 THE VIRGIN AND CHILD ON A GRASSY BANK inscribed in monogram: E or (LC?) and dated lower left: 1522 oil on panel 86 by 58.5 cm.; 33 7/8  by 23 in.
The Master of the Piasecka Johnson Madonna - ACTIVE IN GERMANY CIRCA 1522
THE VIRGIN AND CHILD ON A GRASSY BANK
inscribed in monogram: E or (LC?) and dated lower left: 1522
oil on panel
86 by 58.5 cm.; 33 7/8  by 23 in.

This Painting. In a sunlit landscape, the Virgin Mary is shown seated on a grassy bank, with the Christ Child standing on her lap. She offers Him some grapes, while behind them the landscape spreads out, leading across lakeside houses and bridges and pastures towards a distant hill top castle.

The subject of the Virgin on a grassy bank, stemmed from a combination of two earlier Marian iconographic themes, the Madonna of Humility and the Madonna in the Rose garden. The grassy bank and the posture of the Virgin seated upon it are symbolic of Mary’s humility, while the grapes that she proffers her Son are symbolic of the blood of Christ and hence forewarn of His Passion to come. Iconographically this type of Icon was derived in German art from the earlier work of Martin Schongauer (circa 1440–91) and particularly Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528). More

Stylistically, this painting has always been closely associated with the work of Lucas Cranach the Elder, and there can be little doubt that its author must have been closely acquainted with his work and may well have trained in his workshop. Iconographically the composition, with the Virgin seated full-length in a landscape, was derived in German art from the earlier work of Martin Schongauer and particularly Albrecht Dürer, who had both explored the theme in a series of woodcuts and engravings from the 1480s onwards.


This painting was part of the Barbara Piasecka Johnson Collection, and after the death of the collector it was sold through Sotheby's in July 2014. Profit from the sale goes to the Barbara Piasecka Johnson Foundation for Autistic Children created in 1974. The anonymous painter of this extraordinary panel is referred to as the Master of the Piasecka Johnson Madonna. More

Willem van Nieulandt the Younger ANTWERP 1584 - 1635 (?) AMSTERDAM THE ADORATION OF THE MAGI signed lower right on the base of the column: . GVILo. VAN . NIEVLANT . oil on oak panel 67.9 by 106.5 cm.; 26 3/4  by 42 in.
Willem van Nieulandt the Younger - ANTWERP 1584 - 1635 (?) AMSTERDAM
THE ADORATION OF THE MAGI
signed lower right on the base of the column: . GVILo. VAN . NIEVLANT .
oil on oak panel
67.9 by 106.5 cm.; 26 3/4  by 42 in.

Willem van Nieulandt the Younger went to Rome in 1602–03. There he studied with his uncle, Willem van Nieulandt the Elder, before serving an apprenticeship with Paulus Bril, who operated a sort of artistic finishing school for his fellow Netherlanders. Van Nieulandt settled in Antwerp by 1605. He produced some 115 engravings of Italian subjects, predominantly of classical ruins in Rome, based on drawings he made there.

This Painting. Van Nieulandt’s antiquarian interest is powerfully manifest in this picture, which is one of his finest. The subject is set before an array of Roman structures, including to the left the Pyramid of Caius Cestius, and to the right is Trajan’s Column. In the foreground lies a substantial Corinthian capital. 

The figure in a green cloak and makeshift turban in the right foreground immediately above the artist’s signature is a most likely a self-portrait. More

Follower of Hieronymous Bosch THE TEMPTATION OF SAINT ANTHONY oil on oak panel 53 by 60 cm.; 20 7/8  by 23 1/4  in
Follower of Hieronymous Bosch
THE TEMPTATION OF SAINT ANTHONY
oil on oak panel
53 by 60 cm.; 20 7/8  by 23 1/4  in.

This Painting. In a rocky landscape teeming with a demonic rabble, Saint Anthony is meditating on the Holy Scriptures. He is identified by his companion pig and the 'tau' (Greek letter T) emblem on his cape, the symbol of the Antonine Order that bears his name. His struggles with his spirituality are here depicted in the traditional Christian forms of attacks both by demons and erotic visions. The former take the form of two-legged demons, and the latter the elegant young woman who rises from the river and offers him a cup, symbolic of lust. Behind him stands a hollow tree, the medieval symbol of the seat of evil-doing or alchemy. At the top of this is a tent, inside which quasi-religious figures such as a monk vomit or handle a vase, symbolising the sins of gluttony and lust. The significance of the curious apparition in the foreground, in which a feathered tent is surmounted by a palisade and fronted by an ornate scythed shield is less clear and may simply be fantastical. In the background we see Saint Anthony again, this time beset by two demons, who drag him towards a curious egg-shaped structure.

There is no doubt that the principal inspiration behind this lively panel was the work of the Flemish painter Hieronymus Bosch (1453–1516), who was the first to explore the theme of the hermit saints in such vivid pictorial terms. More

The temptation of St. Anthony is an often-repeated subject concerning the supernatural temptation reportedly faced by Saint Anthony the Great during his sojourn in the Egyptian desert. Anthony's temptation is first discussed by Athanasius of Alexandria, Anthony's contemporary, and from then became a popular theme in Western culture. More

Saint Anthony of Egypt, (born c. 251, Koma, near al-Minyā, Egypt—died January 17, 356, in Dayr Mārī Antonios hermitage, near the Red Sea), was a religious hermit and one of the earliest monks, considered the founder and father of organized Christian monasticism. His rule represented one of the first attempts to codify guidelines for monastic living.

A disciple of Paul of Thebes, Anthony began to practice an ascetic life at the age of 20 and after 15 years withdrew for absolute solitude to a mountain by the Nile now called Dayr al-Maymūn, where he lived from about 286 to 305. During the course of this retreat, he began his legendary combat against the Devil, withstanding a series of temptations famous in Christian theology and iconography. About 305 he emerged from his retreat to instruct and organize the monastic life of the hermits who imitated him and who had established themselves nearby. When Christian persecution ended after the Edict of Milan (313), he moved to a mountain in the Eastern Desert, between the Nile and the Red Sea, where the monastery Dayr Mārī Antonios still stands. There he remained, receiving visitors and, on occasion, crossing the desert to Dayr al-Maymūn. He ventured twice to Alexandria, the last time (c. 350) to preach against Arianism, a heretical doctrine teaching that Christ the Son is not of the same substance as God the Father. More

Workshop of Albrecht Bouts LEUVEN CIRCA 1452/5 - 1549 PLACE UNKNOWN CHRIST CROWNED WITH THORNS oil on paper(?) laid on panel, gold ground 36 by 26 cm.; 14 1/8  by 10 1/4  in.
Workshop of Albrecht Bouts - LEUVEN CIRCA 1452/5 - 1549 PLACE UNKNOWN
CHRIST CROWNED WITH THORNS
oil on paper(?) laid on panel, gold ground
36 by 26 cm.; 14 1/8  by 10 1/4  in.

This Painting. This extraordinary image of Christ crowned with thorns during the Passion, its profound spiritual air enhanced by the graphic depiction of His wounds, was formed out of a growing piety for the suffering of Christ that developed in the late Middle Ages and flourished at the end of the fifteenth century. Its small scale indicates that it was undoubtedly intended for private devotional use; its owner’s meditation upon the Passion, in hope of finding the path to their own salvation, being enhanced by contemplation of the bloodshot eyes, streaming tears and rivulets of blood, all represented in intense, lifelike detail. It is one of the very finest such images to have come down to us from the Bouts workshop, and may very well have been painted at least in part, if not entirely, by Bouts himself. More

Aelbrecht Bouts (1450s - March 1549) was a Belgian painter of the Early Netherlandish era. He was born into a family of painters in Leuven. More

Netherlandish School, circa 1510 THE ENTOMBMENT OF CHRIST WITH THE HARROWING OF HELL AND THE DESCENT FROM THE CROSS BEYOND; VERSO: A BISHOP SAINT oil on oak panel 73.8 by 41.5 cm.; 29 by 16 1/4  in.
Netherlandish School, circa 1510
THE ENTOMBMENT OF CHRIST WITH THE HARROWING OF HELL AND THE DESCENT FROM THE CROSS BEYOND
oil on oak panel
73.8 by 41.5 cm.; 29 by 16 1/4  in.

This Painting. This panel would probably have originally formed the right-hand side of a triptych, flanking a Crucifixion or a Resurrection of Christ. The highly original diagonal of the tomb into which Christ’s body in being laid, and the figure of the kneeling Magdalene in the left foreground immediately in front of it can, for example, be paralleled in a panel of the Entombment of Christ by the Master of the Brunswick Diptych, also painted in Haarlem in 1490–1500. More

School of Northern France, early 16th century EARLY 16TH CENTURY THE PRESENTATION OF THE VIRGIN Oil and gold on panel Verso: a Pope and a bishop saint, en grisaille   76 by 87 cm.; 29 7/8  by 34 1/4  in.
School of Northern France, early 16th century - EARLY 16TH CENTURY
THE PRESENTATION OF THE VIRGIN
Oil and gold on panel
76 by 87 cm.; 29 7/8  by 34 1/4  in.

This Painting. Although the principal subject depicted in the centre of the panel is The Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple, two other subjects from the Life of the Virgin are also included: the Apparition of the Angel to Joachim in the background, and the Meeting of Joachim and Anne at the Golden Gate to the left. Like many depictions of the Life of the Virgin, this account is based on Jacobus de Voragine's thirteenth-century text The Golden Legend. More

The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is a liturgical feast celebrated 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. More

Apparition of the Angel to Joachim. God sent angel Gabriel to announce to Joachim of the birth of the Virgin, the mother of the incarnated God. This righteous man and his wife Anna (Hannah) were stricken in years and had no children for Anna was barren. The children of Israel used to insult him because he had not begotten a son. Because of this, they were sad, and prayed continually, and entreated God by day and by night. They vowed that the child they would beget would be made a steward for the temple.

While Joachim was praying over the mountain, he fell into a deep sleep and Gabriel, the angel of the Lord, appeared to him and announced to him that his wife Anna would conceive and bear a child, that would delight his eyes and please his heart; and likewise all the world would rejoice and be glad. When he woke from his sleep, he came to his house, and told his wife about the vision, which she believed. Anna conceived forthwith, and brought forth our Lady, the Virgin Mary, and St. Anna became more honorable than all the women of the world. More

Meeting of Joachim and Anne at the Golden Gate. The story is not in the New Testament, but is in the Protoevangelium of James and other apocryphal accounts; however it was tolerated by the church. 

An angel informs Anne of her conception, while at the same time asking her to meet her husband at the city gate in Jerusalem. On meeting, the couple entwine in joy. According to Chelidonius: "Overjoyed Anne threw herself into the arms of her husband; together they rejoiced about the honour that was to be granted them in the form of a child. For they knew from the heavenly messenger that the child would be a Queen, powerful on heaven and on earth". In traditional depictions of the occasion, the pair embrace, but don't kiss. More

Frans Francken the Younger ANTWERP 1581 - 1642 THE ISRAELITES, AFTER CROSSING THE RED SEA, AT THE TOMB OF THE PATRIARCH JOSEPH signed and dated lower left: ffranck . IN et f./ Ao.1630 . oil on oak panel 65.6 by 109.5 cm.; 25 3/4  by 43 in
Frans Francken the Younger - ANTWERP 1581 - 1642
THE ISRAELITES, AFTER CROSSING THE RED SEA, AT THE TOMB OF THE PATRIARCH JOSEPH
signed and dated lower left: ffranck . IN et f./ Ao.1630 .
oil on oak panel
65.6 by 109.5 cm.; 25 3/4  by 43 in.

Joseph's Tomb is a funerary monument located at the eastern entrance to the valley that separates Mounts Gerizim and Ebal,  on the outskirts of the West Bank city of Nablus, near Tell Balāṭa, the site of biblical Shechem. One biblical tradition identifies the general area of Shechem as the resting-place of the biblical patriarch Joseph, and his two sons Ephraim and Manasseh. More

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. More

Pieter Brueghel the Younger BRUSSELS 1564 - 1637/8 ANTWERP CALVARY signed and dated lower left: P . BRVEGHEL .1615 . oil on oak panel 99.9 by 147.5 cm.; 39 3/8  by 58 in.
Pieter Brueghel the Younger - BRUSSELS 1564 - 1637/8 ANTWERP
CALVARY
signed and dated lower left: P . BRVEGHEL .1615 .
oil on oak panel
99.9 by 147.5 cm.; 39 3/8  by 58 in.

This Painting. In this landscape Pieter Brueghel sets out the scene of Christ’s crucifixion as narrated by the Gospels. The events unfurl on a bumpy plateau, overlooked on the right by a vertiginous series of rocky and forested cliffs, and further back on the left by a cliff top stronghold, while beyond them in the centre can be seen the city of Jerusalem, distinguished by the circular form of the Holy Sepulchre. The scene is viewed from above, the scale of the protagonists deliberately left small to accent their insignificance in the face of nature and the events taking place. Christ and one of the two thieves are already in place upon their crosses, while the soldiers struggle to hoist the third and last cross into place. Behind them in the middle distance a fourth cross still carries the remains of its earlier victim. Behind the right hand cross, almost indistinguishable by their tiny scale, the figures of Mary and her companions can be seen fallen to the ground in their grief. With the exception of a small group of soldiers, who can be seen in the left foreground squabbling and playing dice over Christ’s clothes, all the protagonists have their attention turned away from the spectator and focused upon the figure of Christ. Among them, a curious cowled figure raises the tablets of  the law to the crucified thief above. The soldiers below raise a lance towards Christ, upon which sits a sponge soaked in vinegar, meant to torment the thirst of its victim. All are seemingly oblivious to the great darkening pall which is spreading across the sky from behind the cliffs and towards Calvary and Jerusalem. In the very centre of the picture, the figure of the crucified Christ stands out, pale and isolated against the coming darkness. More

Pieter Brueghel the Younger or Pieter Bruegel the Younger (c. 1564 or 1565 – 10 October 1636) was a Flemish painter, known for numerous copies after his father Pieter Bruegel the Elder's work as well as his original compositions. Traditionally, he has been nicknamed "de helse Brueghel" or "Hell Brueghel" because it was believed he was the author of several paintings with fantastic depictions of fire and grotesque imagery. These paintings have now been attributed to his brother Jan Brueghel the Elder. More