Wednesday, September 9, 2015

3 Olympian deities in classical Greek and Roman religion, with details

Friedrich Stahl (German, 1863-1940) Portrait of Diana Silvarum
Friedrich Stahl (German, 1863-1940)
Portrait of Diana Silvarum
signed, dated and inscribed 'Fried/Stahl-/Florenz/1920' (lower left); inscribed 'DIANA SILVARUM.CULTRIX.CASTISSIMA.EST' (upper edge)
oil on panel 
35.5 x 27cm (14 x 10 5/8in)

Diana Silvarum. Stahl portrays his sitter as Diana, the hunter Goddess with her decorated quiver subtly slung over her shoulder. The inscription in stylised Latin lettering roughly translated as 'Diana of the forest is devoted and chaste', gives a sense of this not being a straight forward commissioned portrait, but something much more intimate and important. Stahl was pulled in two directions in his career; the pull of society pictures depicting bourgeois subjects with Impressionist influenced brushwork working against his more radical tendency as embodied by this portrait. 

Friedrich Stahl,  (German, 1863-1940), studied at the Munich Academy in 1878. At the age of 21 he moved into his own studio in Berlin where he was active from 1886 until 1898. He co-founded the 'Vereinigung der XI' which had its first exhibition in 1892 at the Galerie Schulte in Berlin. He was later appointed as a member of the Society of German Watercolour Painters and for a period was active in the Munich Secession.

Stahl travelled to England in 1899 in order to further his interest and study of the Pre-Raphaelites that were the foundation of the English brotherhood, the template for much of his own work for the remainder of his career.

The artist subsequently moved to Florence in 1904, where he remained until 1913 studying the works of the early Italian Renaissance. The present lot is a direct result of this influence. 

After a brief time in Munich in 1914 Stahl moved to Feldafing for 12 years where it is likely the present lot was painted. He then returned to Rome in 1925, eventually dying there in 1940 after receiving the Goethe medal under the direction of Martin Bormann. More 

Jan Brueghel the Younger Hendrick van Balen Antwerp 1601 - 1678 Antwerp 1575 - 1632 VENUS, CERES AND BACCHUS brushed on the reverse: no 1067 and charged on the reverse with the arms of the Violieren Chamber of Rhetoricans in Antwerp oil on oak panel 52.5 by 86.4 cm.; 20 5/8  by 34 in.
Jan Brueghel the Younger Hendrick van Balen Antwerp 1601 - 1678 Antwerp 1575 - 1632
brushed on the reverse: no 1067 and charged on the reverse with the arms of the Violieren Chamber of Rhetoricans in Antwerp
oil on oak panel
52.5 by 86.4 cm.; 20 5/8  by 34 in.

This Painting This is amongst Jan Brueghel the Younger and Hendrick van Balen’s most successful collaborations. It is an optimistic scene, with Venus, Bacchus and Ceres enjoying the plentiful bounty of a summer’s harvest that continues apace in the fields beyond. The subject provided the perfect marriage of Van Balen’s idealised and highly polished figures with the intricate handling of Brueghel’s brush for the landscape and still life elements. More

Jan Brueghel the Younger; (13 September 1601 – 1 September 1678) was a Flemish Baroque painter, and the son of Jan Brueghel the Elder. He was born and died in the 17th century in Antwerp. He was trained by his father and spent his career producing works in a similar style. Along with his brother Ambrosius, he produced landscapes, allegorical scenes and other works of meticulous detail. Brueghel also copied works by his father and sold them with his father's signature. His work is distinguishable from that of his parent by being less well executed and lighter.

Jan the Younger was traveling in Italy when his father died of cholera, and swiftly returned to take control of the Antwerp studio. After the death of his father he changed his signature from 'Brueghel' to 'Breughel'. He soon established himself and was made dean of the Guild of Saint Luke in 1630. That same year he was commissioned by the French court to paint Adam Cycle. In the following years, he also produced paintings for the Austrian court, and worked independently in Paris, before returning to Antwerp in 1657. More

Hendrick van Balen or Hendrick van Balen I (1574 or 1575 in Antwerp – 17 July 1632 in Antwerp) was a Flemish Baroque painter and stained glass designer. He played an important role in the renewal of Flemish painting in the early 17th century. He became a member of the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke in 1592-1593 at the age of 17. In 1608-1609 he was the second dean of the Guild and in 1609-1610 he was the first dean.

From about 1595 to 1602 he studied art while traveling in Italy. On his return to Antwerp, he became a member of the Guild of Romanists. It was a condition of membership that the member had visited Rome. In the year 1613 the Guild chose him as its dean.

Van Balen led for over 30 years a successful workshop and had many pupils. He was the teacher of his son Jan van Balen, Anthony van Dyck and Frans Snyders. He was also a contemporary of many of the other famous Flemish artists, such as the Brueghels, Jan and Pieter. More

Benedetto Gennari CENTO 1633 - 1715 BOLOGNA DIANA AND ENDYMION oil on canvas 177 by 224.5 cm.;  69 3/4  by 88 1/2  in.
Benedetto Gennari - CENTO 1633 - 1715 BOLOGNA
oil on canvas
177 by 224.5 cm.;  69 3/4  by 88 1/2  in.

In Greek mythology, the moon goddess, Selene, drives her moon chariot across the heavens, although she was also regarded as the personification of the moon itself. Selene is best known for her affair with the beautiful mortal Endymion, the young shepherd who used to sleep on a mountain, and with whom she had fifty daughters. The late 7th-century – early 6th-century BC poet Sappho had apparently already mentioned Selene and Endymion's history. In Roman mythology, Diana has the attributes of Selene and she was mentioned as the goddess who falls in love with Endymion. Both goddesses were regarded as lunar goddesses, except for the fact that in Roman mythology, Diana became a virgin goddess. More

Benedetto Gennari II (October 19, 1633 – December 9, 1715) was an Italian painter active during the Baroque period. He trained at the workshop of the celebrated master, Guercino, hence his style was always very close to that of his teacher. Upon Guercino's death, Gennari inherited his studio which he ran with his brother Cesare.

With a restless spirit, Gennari traveled to Paris in March 1672 to work for the court of King Louis XIV. The French nobility received him with open arms, and the multitude of commissions encouraged him to prolong his stay. In September 1674, he moved to London where he became court painter to King Charles II of England and his successor James II. He painted allegorical and mythological scenes, and above all portraits. Catherine of Braganza and Mary of Modena, Catholic wives of Protestant kings, commissioned artworks for their private worship.

Gennari had to leave England when King James was dethroned; he followed James's court to Saint-Germain-en-Laye in 1689. By 1692, he was back in Bologna.

Gennari was an outstanding portraitist who eventually developed a style far removed from the principles taught in the school of Guercino. In the mature phase of his style, he came to acquire characteristics of the art of northern Europe, which he learned through his travels. In 1709, he was one of the founding members of the Accademia Clementina. More

14 Christian-themed Mughal miniatures from the courts of Akbar and Jehangir

A wide variety of Christian images and iconography entered the Mughal artistic milieu during the second half of the sixteenth century through European prints and illustrated Bibles brought to India by Jesuit missionaries and other European travellers.

Mughal Emperor Akbar (r. 1556-1605) holds a religious assembly in the Ibadat Khana (House of Worship) in Fatehpur Sikri
the two men dressed in black are the Jesuit missionaries Rodolfo Acquaviva and Francisco Henriques
illustration to the Akbarnama
miniature painting by Nar Singh
ca. 1605

The Virgin Mary holding a book
attributable to Basawan, Mughal, circa 1585-90
brush and ink heightened with gouache and gold on paper, laid down on stout paper
drawing: 5.9 by 4.1cm.
leaf: 11.9 by 9.3cm.

Mother and Child with a White Cat
Attributed to Manohar (active ca. 1582–1624) or Basawan
San Diego Museum of Art

The imagery was enthusiastically taken up by Akbar's artists, encouraged by the emperor himself, who was fascinated by Christianity and other religions and by Christian and European works of art. Basawan was among the artists influenced by this development, and western traditions of realism, portraying character and the use of advanced perspective were soon incorporated into his style. 

Mother Mary and Child Christ
Mid 18th century, late Mughal, Muhammad Shah period

This miniature represents mother Mary with child Jesus in her lap and a number of people around. They include a bearded tall male in long saffron gown with green neck and button-loops characteristic to the costumes of the persons in medieval Christian hierarchy, and an alike clad and long haired female: perhaps the persons from ecclesiastic order representing the celestial beings believed to emerge with gifts when the Holy child was born, a maiden with a dark face wearing a heavy green turban on her head and a thick green sheet on her back examining the child : perhaps one from the nursing line, and yet another woman with hardly any specificity behind mother Mary, obviously representing the common devotee.

Mughal depiction c 1630 of Virgin Mary and Jesus (J.14,2). British Library:
Mughal depiction of the Virgin Mary and Jesus
c 1630 
British Library

Depictions of the Madonna reading a book, usually with the Christ Child on her lap, abound in European art of the sixteenth century, but in addition to these mention should be made of the numerous series of The Liberal Arts produced by European engravers in the sixteenth century, many of which featured female figures holding books, as well as the Puritas Regia frontispiece in Plantin's Royal Bible (the Polyglot Bible), which also shows a female figure holding a book. It was a copy of this edition of the Bible that the Jesuits presented to Emperor Akbar.

Adoration of the Christ Child
ca. 1630
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
H: 15.6 W: 11.0 cm 
Golconda, Deccan, India 

The presentation of the infant Jesus in the temple at Jerusalem, 40 days after his birth, 
c. 1600-1610
Possibly painted in Bijapur
Victoria and Albert Museum

Virgin & Child, 1600-25:
Virgin and Child dating to 1600-25. Mary is happily watching over an exploratory baby Jesus, who holds her hand and grasps flowers

The Virgin Mary and the Miracle of Changing Water into Wine
The Virgin Mary and the Miracle of Changing Water into Wine
Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
H x W: 23.2 x 15 cm (9 1/8 x 5 7/8 in)
Probably Bundi, Rajasthan, India
18th century

A crucifixion, with the Virgin and Saint Anne
from Akbar's court
Aga Khan Museum

The ascension of Jesus in the guise of a priest
Dastan-i Masih
San Diego Museum of Art

Keshav Das, St. Jerome, 1580-85:
Keshav Das
St. Jerome, 1580-85

“[Keshav Das] merged two sets of European imagery, the drunken Noah in slumber and the studious Saint Jerome holding a book of learning. Das was exploring a painterly technique more akin to European oil painting than to Indian watercolor, and the atmospheric haze of the distant city vista, again a gesture to European conventions, serves to heighten the dreamlike quality of Saint Jerome’s slumber.”

Tobias and the Angel
Attributable to Manohar, Mughal, circa 1610
drawing: 11 by 6.5cm.
leaf: 35.3 by 26.5 cm

Brush and ink heightened with gold and colour on paper, laid down on an album page with inner borders of gold scrolling flowers, wider outer margins filled with a repeating flower pattern in gold
Tobias and a seated angel, attributable to Manohar, Mughal, circa 1590 gouache heightened with gold on paper, laid down on an album page with green outer margin filled with chinoiserie-style foliate scrolls, inscribed on mount above miniature with the title in nasta’liq script; and above and below miniature, with verses in Persian painting: 14.7 by 10.4cm. leaf: 34.5 by 22.8cm.:
Tobias and a seated angel
attributable to Manohar, Mughal, circa 1590
34.5 by 22.8cm.

Gouache heightened with gold on paper, laid down on an album page with green outer margin filled with chinoiserie-style foliate scrolls, inscribed on mount above miniature with the title in nasta’liq script; and above and below miniature, with verses in Persian.

In the Biblical story (Book of Tobit, chapters 5-6), the young Tobias, son of Tobit, is sent by his father from Nineveh to the Median city of Rages (modern Rayy) to collect a debt. The angel Raphael, disguised in human form, offers to accompany Tobias, an offer readily accepted by both father and son. They set out, and on reaching the river Tigris, Tobias goes to the water's edge to wash, where he is confronted by a huge fish. The angel advises him to catch the fish by the gills and bring it ashore, which Tobias does. On the angel's advice he then guts the fish, preserves the heart, liver and gall bladder for warding off evil spirits and cooks the rest of the fish. More

Jahangir Preferring a Sufi Shaikh to Kings
From 1615 until 1618
Medium opaque watercolor
gold and ink on paper
Height: 25.3 cm (10 in). Width: 18 cm (7.1 in)
Freer Gallery of Art

If the Jesuits still retained any hope of converting either emperor, this painting by Bichitr would have snuffed that out. The painting, adorned with naked and clothed European cherubs  shows Jehangir snubbing King James I and VI of England in favour of a Sufi sheikh.

Jahangir by Hashim c. 1615-1620
Jesus by Abu’l-Hasan
c. 1615-1620
Chester Beatty Library, Dublin

Acknowledgment: Caravaggista, Scroll.inSotheby’s