Friday, November 6, 2015

20 Paintings, Olympian deities in classical Greek and Roman religion, with footnotes , the story of Medea the Sorceress

Medea before the murder of the children 
Fresco from Pompeii, House of Castor, ca. 62-79 AD
National Archaeological Museum - Naples - Italy

In Greek mythology, Medea is a sorceress who was the daughter of King Aeëtes of Colchis, niece of Circe, granddaughter of the sun god Helios, and later wife to the hero Jason, with whom she had two children, Mermeros and Pheres. In Euripides's play Medea, Jason leaves Medea when Creon, king of Corinth, offers him his daughter, Glauce. The play tells of Medea avenging her husband's betrayal by killing their children.

Medea (entire side of the sarcophagus) - Pergamon Museum - Berlin - Germany
Medea - II sec. BC - Pergamon Museum - Berlin - Germany

Medea - II sec. BC (detail) - Pergamon Museum - Berlin - Germany

Valentine Cameron Prinsep, (14 February 1838 – 11 November 1904)
British painter
Medea the Sorceress, c. 1880

Valentine Cameron Prinsep RA (Calcutta 14 February 1838 – 11 November 1904 London) was a British painter of the Pre-Raphaelite school. Born in Calcutta, India.

Prinsep was an intimate friend of G. F. Watts, John Everett Millais and of Edward Burne-Jones, with whom he travelled in Italy. He had a share with Rossetti and others in the decoration of the hall of the Oxford Union. With other members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, he taught at the Working Men's College during the mid-19th century.

Prinsep first exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts in 1862 with his Bianca Capella, his first picture, which attracted marked notice, being a portrait (1866) of General Gordon in Chinese costume. Prinsep lent the costume to Millais who used it in his own painting Esther. From that time to his death Prinsep was an annual exhibitor. Prinsep's chief paintings were Miriam watching the infant Moses (exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1867), A Venetian lover (1868), Bacchus and Ariadne (1869), News from abroad (1871), The linen gatherers (1876), The gleaners, and A minuet.[1]

In 1877, he went to India and painted a huge picture of the Delhi Durbar, exhibited in 1880 at the Royal Academy, presented to Queen Victoria and afterwards hung at Buckingham Palace. This "colossal work" attracted much favourable press criticism.

The best of his later exhibits were À Versailles, The Emperor Theophilus chooses his Wife, The Broken Idol and The Goose Girl. He was elected A.R.A. in 1879 and R.A. in 1894.[1]

Prinsep died at Holland Park, west London in 1904, and is buried in Brompton Cemetery, London. More

File:Anselm Feuerbach Medea.jpg
Anselm Feuerbach (1829–1880)
Medee et ses enfants, c. 1870
Color on canvas
Height: 198 cm (78 in). Width: 395.5 cm (155.7 in).
Neue Pinakothek

Anselm Feuerbach (12 September 1829 – 4 January 1880) was a German painter. He was the leading classicist painter of the German 19th-century school. Feuerbach was born at Speyer, the son of the well-known archaeologist and the grandson of the legal scholar Paul Johann Anselm Ritter von Feuerbach. The house of his birth today is a small museum.

Between 1845 and 1848 he attended the Düsseldorf Academy. He went on to the Munich Academy, but in 1850, along with a number of other dissatisfied students, he moved to the academy at Antwerp, where he studied under Gustav Wappers. He moved to Paris in 1851, where he was a pupil of Thomas Couture until 1854.[2] It was in Paris in that he produced his first masterpiece, Hafiz at the Fountain (1852).

In 1854, funded by Grand Duke Friedrich of Baden he visited Venice, where he fell under the spell of the greatest school of colourists, several of his works demonstrating a close study of the Italian masters. From there he continued to Florence and then Rome, where he was to remain, with brief visits back to Germany, until 1873.  In 1861 he met Anna Risi, who would be his model for the next four years. In 1866 she was succeeded as his principal model by Lucia Brunacci, an innkeeper's wife, who posed for his pictures of Medea. In 1862 Feuerbach met Count Adolf Friedrich von Schack, who commissioned copies of Italian old masters from him, and introduced him to Arnold Böcklin and Hans von Marées; the three artists became known as the Deutschrömer ("German Romans") due to their preference for Italian over German art.

In 1873 Feuerbach moved to Vienna, having been appointed professor of History painting at the Academy. In 1877 he resigned from his post at the Vienna Academy, and moved to Venice, where he died in 1880. Brahms composed Nänie, a piece for chorus and orchestra, in his memory. More

Medea is an ancient Greek tragedy written by Euripides, based upon the myth of Jason 
and Medea and first produced in 431 BCE. The plot centers on the actions of Medea, a barbarian and the wife of Jason; she finds her position in the Greek world threatened as Jason leaves her for a Greek princess of Corinth. Medea takes vengeance on Jason by killing Jason's new wife as well as her own children with him, after which she escapes to Athens to start a new life.

Beaux-Arts Nancy Klagmann 50108.jpg
Henri Klagmann (1842-1871), 
Médée (1868)
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nancy

Considered shocking to his contemporaries, Medea and the suite of plays that it accompanied in the City Dionysia festival came last in the festival that year.[1] Nonetheless the play remained part of the tragedic repertoire, and experienced renewed interest with the emergence of the feminist movement, because of its nuanced and sympathetic portrayal of Medea's struggle to take charge of her own life in a male-dominated world. The play has remained the most frequently performed Greek tragedy through the 20th century.

Victor Mottez (1809–1897)
Musée des beaux-arts de Blois

Victor-Louis Mottez (13 February 1809 – 7 June 1897) was a French fresco painter, painter and portraitist. He was born in Lille. His father was passionate about art and was himself a painter. Sent to Paris with a pension for some years, Victor was recalled due to the poor state of his father's finances and his studies were cut short. He followed courses at the École de dessin in Lille and worked under the direction of his father and his father's painter friends such as Édouard Liénard, student of Jacques-Louis David. He returned to Paris from 1828 to 1829 to enter the École des Beaux-Arts and at first studied under the direction of François-Édouard Picot, then as a free student of Dominique Ingres.

The Mottez family was highly religious and devoted to the House of Bourbon, and so the July Revolution in 1830 came as a catastrophe to them. Victor was again recalled to Lille by his father and married shortly afterwards. From there he made many trips, of which the longest and most notable was that to Italy and he came to consider its old masters as the absolute masters of painting. In Rome he met Ingres again. His Christ in the Tomb (now in the église Sainte-Catherine de Lille) and The Martyrdom of Saint Stephen (now in the église Saint-Étienne de Lille) date to this era. Also on this trip to Italy he became hugely interested in fresco art—Mottez painted his wife Julie in this medium and, showing Ingres the end result, pulled it off the wall at Ingres' request (it was later given to the Louvre by Mottez's two children).

Returning to France in 1838, he set up shop in Paris and exhibited at the Paris Salons, especially turning more and more towards the neglected genre of frescoes, notably religious ones. During the same years he frequented the Bertins' salon, alongside the main writers and artists of the time (a sketch of his for a portrait of Victor Hugo survives). He produced two frescoes for this salon, destroyed in 1854. After the 1848 Revolution Mottez set out for the United Kingdom, where he produced several portraits of British nobles and personalities and the exiled minister François Guizot, which were exhibited at the Royal Academy salons. He was an excellent portraitist throughout his career and it was that which mainly occupied him in the last years of his career. He returned to France in 1853 and worked with Delacroix at the Église Saint-Sulpice, at the start of the 1860s, where their highly opposed styles clearly showed the struggle between the neo-classical and romantic visions. Maurice Denis considered these frescoes at St-Sulpice (another Saint Martin) as "unforgettable". He designed the stained glass windows at the église Saint-Maurice de Lille. More

Paul Huet 1803 - 1869 FRENCH MEDEA (AFTER EUGÈNE DELACROIX) oil on board 14 by 9 3/8 in. 35.5 by 23.8 cm:
Paul Huet, 1803 - 1869
oil on board
14 by 9 3/8 in. - 35.5 by 23.8 cm

The present work is related to Eugène Delacroix's painting Medea of 1862 (Musée de Lille) See below.  When exhibited in Bordeaux, Huet’s composition was dated to 1864 (the year of Delacroix's death).  However, it is possible that the painting may date circa 1862 as it was completed in conjunction with Huet’s documented attempt to persuade Delacroix to make Medea’s expression reflect the impassioned murder of her children (Pierre Miquel and Marion Spencer, Paintings by Paul Huet (1803-1869) and some Contemporary French Sculpture, London, 1969, p. 24). Interestingly, such an emotional force is arguably more immediate in Huet's Medea than Delacroix's finished work.

Eugène Delacroix
Medea, c. 1838
Huile sur toile
Dimensions (H × L), 260 × 165 cm
Musée de Lille

Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix (26 April 1798 – 13 August 1863) was a French Romantic artist. His use of expressive brushstrokes and his study of the optical effects of colour profoundly shaped the work of the Impressionists, while his passion for the exotic inspired the artists of the Symbolist movement. A fine lithographer, Delacroix illustrated various works of William Shakespeare, the Scottish writer Walter Scott and the German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

In contrast to the Neoclassical perfectionism of his chief rival Ingres, Delacroix took for his inspiration the art of Rubens and painters of the Venetian Renaissance, with an attendant emphasis on colour and movement rather than clarity of outline and carefully modelled form. Dramatic and romantic content characterized the central themes of his maturity, and led him not to the classical models of Greek and Roman art, but to travel in North Africa, in search of the exotic.[2] Friend and spiritual heir to Théodore Géricault, Delacroix was also inspired by Lord Byron, with whom he shared a strong identification with the "forces of the sublime", of nature in often violent action.[3]

However, Delacroix was given to neither sentimentality nor bombast, and his Romanticism was that of an individualist. In the words of Baudelaire, "Delacroix was passionately in love with passion, but coldly determined to express passion as clearly as possible. More

Eugène Delacroix
Huile sur toile

Medea is centered on a wife’s calculated desire for revenge against her unfaithful husband. The play is set in Corinth some time after Jason's quest for the Golden Fleece, where he met Medea. The play begins with Medea raging at Jason for arranging to marry Glauce, the daughter of Creon (king of Corinth). The nurse, overhearing Medea’s grief, fears what she might do to herself or her children.

In 1818 Eugene Delacroix began to addresse the theme of Medea in his sketchbooks. His drawings, which extend until 1828, first focus on the overall composition of the table, and on the various body parts of Medea, and finally her face. Delacroix starts the work in 1836 completes it in 1838 for presentation to the Salon where it was a great success. Purchased by the State, it is exposed for a year at the Luxembourg Museum before being sent to the Lille museum. It is then presented to the World Expo 1855. 

More than twenty years later, in 1859, Delacroix made a different version of the same theme for the amateur-Bouruet Aubertot then, in 1862, two more replicas of the original picture were made (See Below). More

Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione
Medea, 1660
96 x 81 cm (37,9 x 31,7 inches)

Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione (1609 – 1664) was an Italian Baroque artist, painter, printmaker and draftsman, of the Genoese school. He is best known now for his elaborate engravings, and as the inventor of the printmaking technique of monotyping. He was known as Il Grechetto in Italy and in France as Le Benédette.

Castiglione was born in Genoa. His early training is unclear. He may have studied with Sinibaldo Scorza. He was a passionate student of Anthony van Dyck, who arrived in 1621, and Peter Paul Rubens, who stayed in the city in the first decade of the 17th century and whose paintings were readily accessible there. He may have trained under the Genoese Bernardo Strozzi. He lived in Rome from 1634 to about 1645, then returned to Genoa. He also traveled to Florence and Naples He was back in Rome in 1647, before moving in 1651 to be court artist in Mantua for Duke Carlo II and his wife Isabella Chiara de Austria. He died in Mantua.

He had various brushes with the law in his lifetime. The Queen's Gallery in London, where an exhibition of his work was held in 2013, made the following statement: "Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione was also a violent and impetuous man, who was repeatedly in court for assault, allegedly attempted to throw his sister off a roof and was forced to leave Rome, probably after committing murder. The turbulence that characterised his life overshadowed his artistic brilliance, and Castiglione struggled to achieve recognition in his lifetime. Much of what is known about the artist is derived not from fulfilled commissions, but from court documents." More

File:Charles André van Loo - Jason and Medea, 1759.jpg
Charles-André van Loo (1705–1765)
Jason and Medea, c. 1759
Oil on canvas
63 × 79 cm (24.8 × 31.1 in)
Current location
Musée des beaux-arts de Pau

Carle or Charles-André van Loo (15 February 1705 – 15 July 1765) was a French subject painte. He was born in Nice, then part of the Duchy of Savoy. Van Loo followed his brother Jean-Baptiste to Turin, and then to Rome in 1712, where he studied under Benedetto Luti and the sculptor Pierre Legros. After leaving Italy in 1723, he worked in Paris, studied at the Académie Royale, where he gained first prize for drawing in 1723, and received the first prize for historical painting in 1727r. After again visiting Turin in 1727, he was employed by king Victor Amadeus II of Sardinia, for whom he painted a series of subjects illustrative of Tasso. In 1734 he settled in Paris, and in 1735 became a member of the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture and rose rapidly in the hierarchy of the academy. Madame de Pompadour and the French court were taking the artist under their patronage. He was decorated with the Order of Saint Michael and named First Painter to king Louis XV of France in 1762. He was a most successful court painter but his portraits as well as history paintings also enjoyed an enormous success throughout all Europe. He died in Paris on 15 July 1765. More

Creon, the king of Corinth, in anticipation of Medea’s wrath, arrives and reveals his plans to send her into exile. Medea pleads for one day’s delay and eventually Creon acquiesces. In the next scene Jason arrives to explain his rationale for his apparent betrayal. He explains that he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to marry a royal princess, as Medea is only a barbarian woman, but hopes to someday join the two families and keep Medea as his mistress. Medea. She reminds him that she left her own people for him, and that she saved him and slew the dragon. Jason promises to support her after his new marriage, but Medea spurns him.

File:Aimé-Nicolas Morot-Médée-Musée barrois.jpg
Aimé Nicolas Morot
Medea, 1876 
Barrois Museum (Bar-le-Duc)

Aimé Nicolas Morot (1850–1913) was a French painter in the Academic Art style. He was born in Nancy, where at age 12 he started his studies in drawing, painting and gravure printing at l'Ecole Municipal de Dessin et de Peinture de Nancy.  He continued his study in Nancy until the late 1860s and subsequently attended the atelier of Alexandre Cabanel at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He won the Grand Prix de Rome in 1873 with his first submission, the Babylonian Captivity (Super Flumina Babylonis), which is at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris.

The fellowship allowed him to travel to Italy and become a resident of the Villa Medici, where the French Academy in Rome was housed. Morot rarely set foot in his atelier in the Villa Medici, but produced paintings in a regular fashion anyway. His first submission to the Salon de Paris awarded him a third-class medal for the painting Spring (Printemps) in 1876. In 1877 He was awarded a second-class medal  for Médée, a first-class medal in 1879 for Les Ambronnes and the Medal of Honour for The Good Samaritan in 1880, competing against Joan of Arc by the realist painter Jules Bastien-Lepagel. In Rome, he worked with a model named Victoria, who posed for his 1877 painting of Médée.

He returned to Paris in 1880, where he met painter Jean-Léon Gérôme and married Suzanne Mélanie Gérôme (1867-1941), one of the painter's four daughters. The family lived in a townhouse at Rue Weber 11 in Paris.

In 1910 Morot ordered construction of Maison dite Ker Arlette in Dinard, a coastal village in North-east Brittany. He lived there until his death caused by a disease from which he had suffered for a long time. More

Corrado Giaquinto
Medea, c.1750/1752
Oil on canvas
162.5 x 122 cm
National Trust

Corrado Giaquinto, 1703–1765, (1703; 1766). Italian painter. Giaquinto was the most distinguished pupil of Solimena in Naples and is generally considered a member of the Neapolitan School, but he spent most of his highly successful career in Rome and subsequently in Spain (1753–62), where he worked for Ferdinand VI. He was mainly a fresco decorator and apart from Giambattista Tiepolo he was probably the most renowned European artist of his day in this field; he also painted altarpieces.

His style was light, colourful, and elegant. He returned to Naples in 1752, because of ill health. Most of his major works remain in situ in churches and palaces, but examples of the lively oil sketches he made in preparation for them are in many collections, including the National Gallery, London. More

Medea encounters Aegeus, King of Athens. He reveals to her that despite his marriage to his wife he is still without children. He visited the oracle who merely told him that he was instructed “not to unstop the wineskin’s neck.” Medea relays her current situation to him and begs for Aegeus to let her stay in Athens if she gives him drugs to end his infertility. Aegeus, unaware of Medea’s plans for revenge, agrees.

Medea then returns to plotting the murders of Glauce and Creon. She decides to poison some golden robes (a family heirloom and gift from the sun god Helios) and a coronet, in hopes that the bride will not be able to resist wearing them, and consequently be poisoned. Medea resolves to kill her own children as well, not because the children have done anything wrong, but because she feels it is the best way to hurt Jason. She calls for Jason once more and, in an elaborate ruse, apologizes to him for overreacting to his decision to marry Glauce. When Jason appears fully convinced that she regrets her actions, Medea begins to cry in mourning of her exile. She convinces Jason to allow her to give the robes to Glauce in hopes that Glauce might get Creon to lift the exile. Eventually Jason agrees and allows their children to deliver the poisoned robes as the gift-bearers.

Tiziano Vecellio, Titian
Medea killsthe children
Oil on canvas
cm 113,7x92,4

Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio (c. 1488/1490 – 27 August 1576), known in English as Titian, was an Italian painter, the most important member of the 16th-century Venetian school. He was born in Pieve di Cadore, near Belluno (in Veneto, Republic of Venice). During his lifetime he was often called da Cadore, taken from the place of his birth.

Recognized by his contemporaries as "The Sun Amidst Small Stars" (recalling the famous final line of Dante's Paradiso), Titian was one of the most versatile of Italian painters, equally adept with portraits, landscape backgrounds, and mythological and religious subjects. His painting methods, particularly in the application and use of color, would exercise a profound influence not only on painters of the Italian Renaissance, but on future generations of Western art.

During the course of his long life, Titian's artistic manner changed drastically but he retained a lifelong interest in color. Although his mature works may not contain the vivid, luminous tints of his early pieces, their loose brushwork and subtlety of tone are without precedent in the history of Western painting. He was noted for his mastery of colour. More

When the children arrived with the robes and coronet Glauce put them on gleefully and went to find her father. Soon the poisons overtook Glauce and she fell to the floor, quickly dying. Creon clutched her tightly as he tried to save her and, by coming in contact with the robes and coronet, got poisoned and died as well.

Since Jason brought shame upon her for trying to start a new family, Medea resolves to destroy the family he was willing to give up by killing their sons. More

File:Charles André van Loo - Mlle Clairon en Médée.jpg
Charles-André van Loo (1705–1765)
Miss Clairon in Medea, c. 1760
Oil on canvas
79 × 59 cm (31.1 × 23.2 in)
New Palace (Potsdam)

Euripides, (c. 480 – 406 BC) was a tragedian of classical Athens. He is one of the few whose plays have survived. Some ancient scholars attributed ninety-five plays to him. Of these, eighteen or nineteen have survived more or less complete. More of his plays have survived intact than those of Aeschylus and Sophocles together, partly due to mere chance and partly because his popularity grew as theirs declined, he became, in the Hellenistic Age, a cornerstone of ancient literary education, along with Homer, Demosthenes and Menander.

Paul Cezanne (1839 to 1906)
Medea, 1879-1882
20 x 38 cm

Paul Cézanne (9 January 1839 – 22 October 1906) was a French artist and Post-Impressionist painter whose work laid the foundations of the transition from the 19th-century conception of artistic endeavour to a new and radically different world of art in the 20th century. Cézanne's often repetitive, exploratory brushstrokes are highly characteristic and clearly recognizable. He used planes of colour and small brushstrokes that build up to form complex fields. The paintings convey Cézanne's intense study of his subjects.

Cézanne is said to have formed the bridge between late 19th-century Impressionism and the early 20th century's new line of artistic enquiry, Cubism. Both Matisse and Picasso are said to have remarked that Cézanne "is the father of us all. More

Euripides is identified with theatrical innovations that have profoundly influenced drama down to modern times, especially in the representation of traditional, mythical heroes as ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. This new approach led him to pioneer developments that later writers adapted to comedy, some of which are characteristic of romance. Yet he also became "the most tragic of poets", focusing on the inner lives and motives of his characters in a way previously unknown. He was "the creator of...that cage which is the theatre of Shakespeare's Othello, Racine's Phèdre, of Ibsen and Strindberg," in which "...imprisoned men and women destroy each other by the intensity of their loves and hates", and yet he was also the literary ancestor of comic dramatists as diverse as Menander and George Bernard Shaw.

Anselm Feuerbach - Medea mit dem Dolch
Anselm Feuerbach (1829-1880)
Medea with the Dagger, c.1871
127 x 192 cm
Oil paint on canvas

He was also unique among the writers of ancient Athens for the sympathy he demonstrated towards all victims of society, including women. His conservative male audiences were frequently shocked by the 'heresies' he put into the mouths of characters, such as these words of his heroine Medea:

Sooner would I stand
Three times to face their battles, shield in hand,
Than bear one child!

His contemporaries associated him with Socrates as a leader of a decadent intellectualism, both of them being frequently lampooned by comic poets such as Aristophanes. Whereas Socrates was eventually put on trial and executed as a corrupting influence, Euripides chose a voluntary exile in old age, dying in Macedonia. More

Alfons Maria Mucha ( listen); 24 July 1860 – 14 July 1939), often known in English and French as Alphonse Mucha, was a Czech Art Nouveau painter and decorative artist, known best for his distinct style. He produced many paintings, illustrations, advertisements, postcards, and designs. More

The Parisian actress Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923) was the single most influential figure in Mucha’s life as an artist.  It was his first poster for her, Gismonda, that made him famous and he grew both as a man and an artist through his professional collaboration and friendship with the greatest stage personality of the era. More

Maria Callas in Cherubini's opera Medea

Maria Callas in Medea
 Maria Callas in a screenshot from Pasolini's film of the opera Medea, 1969. Photograph: Emilio Lari 

Acknowledgement: Wikipedia, Sothebys

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

RELIGIOUS ART - Icons from the Bible, The Besadnaja Mother of God. Russia, 18th century


The Besadnaja Mother of God. Russia, 18th century.  Hardwood single board with two back side Sponki. Tempera on gesso, Konturritzungen. In the right frame, the Mother of God is depicted sitting in front of a tree. Before her kneels Jurij. Behind him is the blessing Nicholas, stretches of the Gospel toward the Mother of God, in front of an architectural backdrop. God the Father appears on a cloud bank at the top of the screen. Verso Cyrillic inscriptions. 30.5 x 25.5 cm 

Sveti Jurij is a village in the Municipality of Grosuplje in central Slovenia. The area is part of the historical region of Lower Carniola. 

Sveti Jurij is also known locally as Šent Jurij (Št. Jurij). The name of the settlement was changed from Sveti Jurij pri Grosupljem (literally, 'Saint George near Grosuplje') to Podtabor pri Grosupljem (literally, 'below the fort near Grosuplje') in 1952. The name was changed on the basis of the 1948 Law on Names of Settlements and Designations of Squares, Streets, and Buildings as part of efforts by Slovenia's postwar communist government to remove religious elements from toponyms. The name Sveti Jurij was restored in 1992. More

Saint Nicholas; also called Nikolaos of Myra, was a historic 4th-century Christian saint and Greek Bishop of Myra, in Asia Minor. Because of the many miracles attributed to his intercession, he is also known as Nikolaos the Wonderworker. More 

RELIGIOUS ART - Icons from the Bible, Mother of God, Buckle Church in Cappadocia

Mother of God, Buckle Church in Cappadocia. This icon comes from a Byzantine church in Cappadocia, known as church of the buckle (tokali kilise), the largest church in the area. The main nave contains ninth century frescoes in “provincial” style, the more recent additions are three apses of 11th century frescoes, in “metropolitan” style. More

RELIGIOUS ART - Icons from the Bible, Jerusalem Mother of God Icon comes from about the middle of the 19th century

The Jerusalem Mother of God Icon

This Jerusalem Mother of God Icon comes from about the middle of the 19th century and, according to people who have seen the Holy Virgin, including elder Paisios the Athonite, it resembles more than any other icon the Holy Mother of God. A comparison with the Cappadocian Icon, next, is very interesting for the similarity of the two, with the Byzantine being, as always, more spiritual and symbolical, and the Jerusalem icon, influenced by the western type of painting, tending to seem rather like a photo. Yet it is obvious that both hagiographers refer to the same person, young, with big eyes and eyebrows, long nose, intense lips.. More

According to Holy Tradition this miraculous icon was painted through the revelation of the Holy Theotokos to a nun named Tatiana from the Holy Monastery of St. Mary Magdalene, around 1870 AD. In 1870, there lived a monastic iconographer called Tatiana. One night, a lady appeared to her in a vision saying, "Sister Tatiana, I have come so that you can paint me." Tatiana replied, "Let it be, Blessed Sister; however, I am an iconographer and not a painter." The lady replied, "... well then, you should paint me using your iconographic style." Sister Tatiana was furious with the boldness of this lady's response and said, "I do not have any plank of wood to use." The lady then gave her the plank of wood the sister would need and told her to "paint." In obedience to her guest, the sister started her iconography. Sister Tatiana glanced at her guest, and she noticed the guest's appearance transfigure in front of her. The lady's mantle started to turn into gold and her face was glowing intensely. This change in the appearance of the lady worried Tatiana but the lady spoke to her, saying: "O Blessed Tatiana, you are the only person, after the Apostles and the Evangelist Luke, to have this opportunity to write an icon of me again." Sister Tatiana then realised that she was in the presence of our Holy Mother the Theotokos. In shock she awoke from her vision. She immediately went and informed her Mother Superior of the vision in detail. The abbess did not believe in the story but told her to go to sleep and the following day she could paint an icon of the Panagia with her blessing. Tatiana returned to her cell and before entering she noticed a bright light shining through the door. She hastened to the abbess, once again, to bring her to her cell to witness this light and understand that she was not lying about the visions. Together they returned to Tatiana's cell. Inside, they could smell a beautiful and heavenly fragrance and the light was so bright that only then did they realise that the aroma and the light were coming from an icon of the Virgin Mary. The mysterious and miraculous appearance of the icon had the sisters in shock but our Holy Mother the Theotokos appeared once more to Tatiana and said, "Now take me from here down to my home in Gethsemane of Jerusalem." This is what the abbess and the sister did. In iconography, this is termed "acheiropoieto" (Gr. an image not painted by hands) and is now located exactly where the Panagia wanted it to be, in her "home," her final resting place at her holy tomb in Gethsemane. The name "Ierosolymitissa" has since been adopted since it means the Most Holy Lady from Jerusalem and is extremely miraculous. More

RELIGIOUS ART - Icons from the Bible, The Jerusalem Icon of the Mother of God

The Jerusalem Icon of the Mother of God, by tradition, was painted by the holy Evangelist Luke fifteen years after the Ascension of the Lord at Gethsemane.

In the year 463, the icon was transferred to Constantinople. The Byzantine army carried the Jerusalem Icon into battle when they turned back an invasion of the Scythians. In 988 the icon was transferred to Korsun and given to the holy Prince Vladimir. When the people of Novgorod accepted Christianity, St Vladimir sent them this icon. In 1571, Ivan the Terrible transferred the icon to the Moscow Dormition cathedral. During the Napoleonic invasion of 1812, the original was stolen by the French and brought to Paris. An authenticated copy was placed in the Dormition cathedral.

RELIGIOUS ART - Icons from the Bible, The Saints of Rostov

Rostov  is a town in Yaroslavl Oblast, Russia, one of the oldest in the country. It is located on the shores of Lake Nero

The Saints of Rostov: Archimandrite Abraham the wonderworker (October 29, 1073-1077) Prince Basil (+ 1238) Metropolitan Demetrius (+ October 28, 1709 and September 21) Bishop Ignatius (+ May 28, 1288) Monk Irenarchus the Hermit (+ 1616) Bishop Isaiah, wonderworker (+ May 15, 1090) Blessed Isidore, Fool-for-Christ (+ 1474) Bishop James (+ November 27, 1391) Blessed John of the Hair-Shirt (the Merciful), Fool-for-Christ (+ 1580) Bishop Leontius (+ May 23, 1073) Peter, Tsarevich of Ordynsk (+ 1290) Archbishop Theodore (+ November 28, 1394) Yaroslav Wonderworkers: Princes Basil (+ 1249), Constantine (+ 1257), Theodore (+ 1299) and his sons David (+ 1321) and Constantine (XIV) Pereslavl Wonderworkers: Prince Alexander Nevsky (+ 1263) Prince Andrew of Smolensk (15th c.) Monk Daniel the Archimandrite (+ 1540) Monk Nikita the Stylite (+ 1186) Uglich Wonderworkers: Monk Cassian (+ 1504) Tsarevich Demetrius (+ 1591) Monk Ignatius of Lomsk (+ 1591) Monk Paisius (+ 1504) Prince Roman (+ 1285) Poshekhonsk Wonderworkers: Hieromartyr Adrian (+ 1550) Monk Gennadius of Liubimograd and ostroma (+ 1565) Monk Sebastian (+ 1542) Monk Sylvester of Obnora (+ 1379)

RELIGIOUS ART - Icons from the Bible, Our Lady of Rostov Russia, early 18th century


Our Lady of Rostov Russia, early 18th century. Softwood single table with two top-side Sponki. Egg tempera on gesso. On the left side full-length depiction of the Virgin Mary, holding the Christ Child in her arms. To the right, Eight Saints Represented full-length in the Episcopal vestments making a gesture of supplication included IsaiahLeontius and Ignatius. 31 x 27 cm.

Rostov  is a town in Yaroslavl Oblast, Russia, one of the oldest in the country. It is located on the shores of Lake Nero

Saint Isaiah of Rostov (fl. 1062 – died 1089 or 1090) was a Russian Christian missionary and bishop. Isaiah was born near Kiev. He was tonsured at Kiev Pechersk Lavra, and became abbot of Saint Dmitry's Monastery. In 1077, he became the second bishop of Rostov. As Christianity was not yet well established in the area, he spent his tenure converting pagans, destroying idolatry and encouraging the spread of Christianity.

St Leontius the Bishop and Wonderworker of Rostov. A Greek from Constantinopole, Leontius became a monk at the famous Monastery of Caves in Kiev (Ukraine). He was first monk of this house to become a bishop when he was appointed to Rostov (Yaroslavsk) in 1501. Although persecuted by the pagans, he became their apostle. Reputed to have had a gift of miracles, he did not escape death at their hands; however, this was from the ill-treatment he received rather than by formal sence of death. Leontius was the first martyr who was also a priest (heiromartyr).

St Ignatius the Bishop and Wonderworker of Rostov. Saint Ignatius was Bishop of Rostov, and shepherded his flock for twenty-six years. After his death on May 28, 1288, his body was broght to the church. Some people saw him leave his coffin, and float in the air above the church. He blessed the people and the city, then went back to his coffin.

Monday, November 2, 2015

RELIGIOUS ART - Icons from the Bible, Our Lady of Kazan Russia, Black Madonna of Kazan, 18th century


Our Lady of Kazan Russia, Black Madonna of Kazan18th century. Hardwood single board with two back side Sponki (lost). Tempera on gesso (plaster). Brustbildnis (half-lengthportrait) of the Virgin with the Christ Child standing on her left. He raises his right hand in a blessing gesture. Driven, engraved and gilded Metall oklad with floral decor. 31 x 28 cm

Kazan is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia. It is the eighth most populous city in Russia, and lies at the confluence of the Volga and Kazanka Rivers in European Russia.

Our Lady of Kazan, Black Madonna of Kazan (so-called both because of the often dusky color of their skin (in some cases, after cleaning, attributed to the accumulation of generations of soot from candles burnt under the images) and because in many cases they were either excavated from underground ruins or were originally worshipped in underground caverns, perhaps due to Marian persecutions). The history of the convent of Our Lady of Kazan is inseparably linked with finding, glorifying and honoring the mira­cle-working icon of Our Lady of Kazan in Russia. This icon is one of the most honored and esteemed in the Russian Church. 

At the beginning of July, 1579 there was a conflagration in Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan. The fire enveloped quite a district that joined the Kremlin's north­east. The yard of Danila Onuchin, the strelets sotnik (Russian light infantry command of a hundred men in Age of Empires), were burned down. Many families had lost their homes, and had to rebuild  before the Russian winter would come. Among those people trying to restore their homes was Daniel Onuchin. He had a daughter Matrona, nine years old.  

The Mother of God appeared in a dream to Matrona and commanded her to find Her icon, hidden in the ground by secret confessors of Orthodoxy, in the time of Moslem rule. Thrice the Mother of God appeared and pointed out the spot, where the wonder working icon had been concealed. Finally, Matrona, with her mother began to dig in the indicated place and they found the sacred icon. To the place of the miraculous discovery came archbishop Jeremii at the head of his clergy and transported the holy image into a church of Saint Nicholas situated nearby; then,  amidst a church procession they transferred it to the Annunciation cathedral – the first Orthodox temple in the city of Kazan, erected by tsar Ivan the Terrible. During the procession there occurred the healing of two blind men – Iosif and Nikita.

Tsar Ivan the Terrible gave orders to build at the place of its appearance a temple in honour of the Kazan Icon, and to found there also a women's monastery. Matrona and her mother, instrumental in finding the sacred icon, accepted monastic tonsure at this monastery. 

Invocation of the Virgin Mary through the icon was credited to the Russian commanders, Dmitry Pozharsky and Mikhail Kutuzov, with helping the country to repel the Polish invasion of 1612, the Swedish invasion of 1709, and Napoleon's invasion of 1812.

On the night of June 29, 1904, the icon was stolen from the church in Kazan where it had been kept for centuries (the cathedral was later blown up by the communist authorities). Thieves apparently coveted the icon's gold frame. The Orthodox Church interpreted the disappearance of the icon as a sign of tragedies that would plague Russia after the image of the Holy Protectress of Russia had been lost. Indeed, the Russian peasantry was wont to credit all the evils of the Revolution of 1905, as well as Russia's defeat in the Russo-Japanese War, to the desecration of the image. More

Vladimir Putin ordered that the Black Madonna of Kazan, the holiest icon of the Russian Orthodox Church, be flown over the Black Sea, many believed he wished to secure blessings for the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

RELIGIOUS ART - Icons from the Bible, Our Lady of Vladimir (Vladimirskaya) Mother of God, Russia, 17th / 19th Century


Our Lady of Vladimir (Vladimirskaya) Mother of God, Russia, 17th / 19th Century. Hardwood single board with two back side Sponki (lost). Double Kowtscheg (Ark), tempera on groundchalk . Background and border uncovered. Field used later in old board. Verso Cyrillic labels (scratched). Presentation of the The Mother of God shown in half-length with Christ in her right arm. Christ touching his cheek to his Mother's face. Border with losses. Almost Completely restored. . Field largely in the 19th century. Revised. Rand strong substance losses. 31.5 x 27.5 cm 

Mother of God Vladimirskaya: The Mother of God of Vladimir, also known under the name of Our Lady of Vladimir, Virgin of Vladimir Vladimirskaya, Our Lady of Vladimir, Our Lady of Tenderness, The Lady Who Saves Russia, is one of the icons orthodox most revered in Russia. The Theotokos (Greek Theotokos: Marie) is considered the patron saint of Russia.

The miraculous image given the title, Our Lady of Vladimir, is known as an Eleousa,the Greek word meaning, Mother of Tenderness. The Christ Child nestles tenderly close to his mother, he gazes at her and is so closely linked to her that his left arm embraces her fully. His right hand gently touches her left cheek. The original image is a large painting of the type known as the St. Luke icons. Mary looks out at the people. Yet, there is no doubt that she is intimately united to her Divine Son.

The origin of the ancient Marian icon, Our Lady of Vladimir, can be traced back to 1125. The oldest known representation of Our Lady of Vladimir  was commissioned in Constantinople by a Russian, who then had the painting taken from city to city during the period of united Ukranian-Russian history. In 1169, Duke Andrej Bogoljubskij had the icon brought from Kiev to the new cathedral of Vladimir. Due to the honor and reverence of the people, who attributed gracious assistance to Our Lady's help throughout the Ukraine, a large cathedral was built for her in Vladimir.

When the Mongol invasion threatened Moscow in 1395, the original icon was brought to Moscow, where she was honored as the unconquerable shield of the Russian people. Important state transactions took place before her image; her blessing was sought before battle. In time, Our Lady of Vladimir became the sign of the Russian Orthodox Church. More

Vladimir  is a city in Russia and the administrative center of the oblast Vladimir. Vladimir is part of the Golden Ring of ancient Russia around Moscow.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

RELIGIOUS ART - Icons from the Bible, Mother of God Vladimirskaya, Central Russia, mid-18th century


Mother of God Vladimirskaya, Central Russia, mid-18th century. Hardwood single panel with two Sponki (lost). Kowtscheg, tempera on chalk ground on canvas, Assist Gold and gold dispersion. Border and the background is exposed. Half-length, frontal representation of Mother of God, holding the Christ Child on her right arm. Christ pressed his cheek against his mother and hugs her tenderly. The dark maphorion of the Blessed Mother and the folds of the chiton of the Christ Child are in fine Assist gilding. 31.3 x 28.6 cm

Maphorion: garment covering the head and shoulders, mentioned in papyri of the 4th–6th Century

Chiton: a long woollen tunic worn in ancient Greece.

Mother of God Vladimirskaya: The Mother of God of Vladimir, also known under the name of Our Lady of Vladimir, Virgin of Vladimir Vladimirskaya, Our Lady of Vladimir, Our Lady of Tenderness, The Lady Who Saves Russia, is one of the icons orthodox most revered in Russia. The Theotokos (Greek Theotokos: Marie) is considered the patron saint of Russia.

The miraculous image given the title, Our Lady of Vladimir, is known as an Eleousa,the Greek word meaning, Mother of Tenderness. The Christ Child nestles tenderly close to his mother, he gazes at her and is so closely linked to her that his left arm embraces her fully. His right hand gently touches her left cheek. The original image is a large painting of the type known as the St. Luke icons. Mary looks out at the people. Yet, there is no doubt that she is intimately united to her Divine Son.

The origin of the ancient Marian icon, Our Lady of Vladimir, can be traced back to 1125. The oldest known representation of Our Lady of Vladimir  was commissioned in Constantinople by a Russian, who then had the painting taken from city to city during the period of united Ukranian-Russian history. In 1169, Duke Andrej Bogoljubskij had the icon brought from Kiev to the new cathedral of Vladimir. Due to the honor and reverence of the people, who attributed gracious assistance to Our Lady's help throughout the Ukraine, a large cathedral was built for her in Vladimir.

When the Mongol invasion threatened Moscow in 1395, the original icon was brought to Moscow, where she was honored as the unconquerable shield of the Russian people. Important state transactions took place before her image; her blessing was sought before battle. In time, Our Lady of Vladimir became the sign of the Russian Orthodox Church. More

Vladimir  is a city in Russia and the administrative center of the oblast Vladimir. Vladimir is part of the Golden Ring of ancient Russia around Moscow.

RELIGIOUS ART - Icons from the Bible, Saint Stylianos of Paphlagonians


Signed two fields icon, Balkan, dated. 1877 Walnut board with two back side Sponkis. TeA signed icon painted in two registermpera on gesso. The upper frame shows the Hodegetria. The Blessed Mother in half figure carries the Christ child in her left arm. With her ​​right hand she has her son, who holds a scroll, he raises his right hand in a blessing gesture. The maphorion of the Mother of God is rich with Chrysographie. In the lower frame half-length depiction of the Saint Stylianos of Paphlagonians, the patron saint of children. Signed '' Georgantas (?) '' And dated. Berieben. 34.5 x 26 cm.

Maphorion: a garment covering the head and shoulders, mentioned in papyri of the 4th–6th Century

Chrysographie: a technique used in manuscripts, letters, or painted objects (crowns, nimbuses) where a gold tincture has been designed. In the early Middle Ages were also writings held exclusively in gold letters in both the Byzantine and the Western culture. These fonts are also called Codex Aureus . In the High Middle Ages, the use of gold was reduced and limited mostly to larger initials.

Saint Stylianos was born during the 6th century in Adrianopolis (in modern day Turkey) into a very wealthy family. At a young age, Stylianos joined the hermits of the desert with a view toward cleansing his soul and pledging his life to Jesus Christ. Unlike most other hermits, however, he did not withdraw from society altogether, preferring to occasionally go among the people for whatever good he might do.

According to the church tradition, one night while he prayed, Stylianos felt a divine presence of the Holy Spirit. The next day, with a spirit of exultation and serenity he had never known before, he started his customary rounds, wherein he counselled and comforted, he felt compelled to place his hand on a stricken child, something he had not up to that time dared to do; he felt the power of the Lord being transferred to the ailing youngster through his extended arm. The child immediately recovered, and thenceforth Stylianos was sought after by every suffering soul for miles around, young and old. His cave became a magnet for the sick and suffering, many of whom received complete cures.

During this period, Stylianos concerned himself primarily with children, not just the physically afflicted but also with those who were in need of spiritual guidance. Families from all walks of life were said to have entrusted to Stylianos the enlightenment of their children, and he was forced to seek out larger headquarters and to recruit from the ranks of his hermit friends the assistance needed to tend to so many. His was probably the first day-care centre in the world, where mothers could safely leave their children while tending to other matters of the home.

Stylianos was to become the patron saint of children yet to be born, owing to stories of his miraculous intercession for a young woman who helped him with children but could bear none of her own. When the woman conceived, her husband out of sheer joy spread the word of this miracle, and before long many barren women came to the great hermit. More

RELIGIOUS ART - Icons from the Bible, The Virgin Hodegetria, Balkan, 19th century.

Hodegetria Balkans, 19th century. Hardwood single panel. Tempera on  ground chalk, gilded background . Image-filling representation of The God Mother showing half-length with Christ in her left arm. He is blessing and holding a scroll in his right arm. Framed. Losses. 26.5 x 20 cm

A Hodegetria (literally: "She who shows the Way"; or Virgin Hodegetria, is an iconographic depiction of the Theotokos (Virgin Mary) holding the Child Jesus at her side while pointing to Him as the source of salvation for mankind. In the Western Church this type of icon is sometimes called Our Lady of the Way.

The designation of Hodegetria or “She Who Points the Way” did not originate from Mary’s gesture toward her son. Instead, it refers to the famous prototype of the miraculous icon of the Virgin—the model for all other icons of this type—belonging to the Hodegon Monastery of Constantinople.

No evidence exists for the Hodegon Monastery, or any Hodegetria icons, before the Byzantine iconoclastic controversies of the 700s and early 800s.

The Virgin Hodegetria came to prominence in the early 11th century, triggering the creation of a myth that linked its origin with the early history of Byzantium. As a way of supporting the legitimacy of icon veneration during the Iconoclasm (controversies that barred the production and use of figural images, spanning roughly a century  726–87 and 815–43) this specific icon was said to trace back to a mid-8th-century legend of a portrait of Mary painted during her lifetime by the Apostle Luke. By claiming the involvement of the hand of the evangelist, the legend around the Hodegetria was fabricated, evidence for the apostolic origins and divine approval of images. More

RELIGIOUS ART - Icons from the Bible, Icon of Chetyi-Minei (calendar of saints)

Icon of Chetyi-Minei (calendar of saints). In the very center is the Resurrection of Christ surrounded by scenes from Holy Week and the feasts of the Paschal cycle. Around them are twelve groupings of saints: one for each month of the calendar year. In the border are icons of the Theotokos (Mother of God), each of which has a feast day during the liturgical year.

The Eastern Orthodox Liturgical Calendar describes and dictates the rhythm of the life of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Associated with each date are passages of Holy Scripture, Saints and events for commemoration, and many times special rules for fasting or feasting that correspond to the day of the week or time of year in relationship to the major feast days.

Three-level composition for the traditional XVI-XVII centuries. The upper tier - Christ in Majesty sitting with Virgin and John the Baptist, accompanied by a host of angels. The following is presented in two tiers of saints. In the middle tier, under the image of the Savior - A Hetoimasia/Throne, carried by two angels. Saints are divided into ten faces, six in the bottom row and four on middle. The pommel of the centerpiece depicts the Holy Trinity (Old Testament), the Cherubim and Seraphim.  - the Annunciation. Below, on the wings of three series of 12 stamps holidays (from left to right, with the left wing to the right): Christmas, Candlemas; Epiphany, the Transfiguration; Entry into Jerusalem, Raising of Lazarus; Crucifixion, Deposition from the Cross; Resurrection, the Ascension; Doubting Thomas, Descent of the Holy Spirit. The iconography of the traditional holidays, the options applied with a small number of figures. Painting on the centerpiece, and the wings is different in style and probably at runtime. On the wings, which could be written in the second quarter, and in the middle of the century, the surface of the painting is dense, enamel, both in Moscow painting 1640s .; Slides are typical for the second quarter of the XVII century. At the centerpiece of the letter fairly planar, graphically modeling, Linear. Private with a monochrome, slightly lightening ohreniem. 
VM Sorokaty

RELIGIOUS ART - Icons from the Bible, The Virgin Hodegetria, Romania, circa 1800


Large-sized icon with the Virgin Hodegetria Romania, circa 1800 Softwood single board with two back side Sponki. Tempera on gesso. Full-length depiction of the Virgin Mary carrying the Christ child in her left arm. Christ holding a globe in his left hand. They are flanked by two monks blessing them, including St. login.  53 x 44 cm 

Wooden Icons were likely to warp. Slats inserted in the back to prevent warping, and that name is SHPONKI.  One usually finds two SHPONKI, one coming in from either side toward the center, but occasionally just one SHPONKA 

Gesso, from the Latin gypsum, is a white paint mixture consisting of a binder mixed with chalk, gypsum, pigment...

A Hodegetria (literally: "She who shows the Way"; or Virgin Hodegetria, is an iconographic depiction of the Theotokos (Virgin Mary) holding the Child Jesus at her side while pointing to Him as the source of salvation for mankind. In the Western Church this type of icon is sometimes called Our Lady of the Way.

The most venerated icon of the Hodegetria type, regarded as the original, was displayed in the Monastery of the Panaghia Hodegetria in Constantinople, which was built specially to contain it. Unlike most later copies it showed the Theotokos standing full-length. It was said to have been brought back from the Holy Land by Eudocia, the Empress of Theodosius II (408–450), and to have been painted by Saint Luke. The icon was double-sided, with a crucifixion on the other side, and was "perhaps the most prominent cult object in Byzantium".

The original icon has probably now been lost, although various traditions claim that it was carried to Russia or Italy. There are a great number of copies of the image, including many of the most venerated of Russian icons, which have themselves acquired their own status and tradition of copying.

Luke the Evangelist is one of the Four Evangelists/authors of canonical Gospels of Jesus Christ. Luke was a native of the Hellenistic city of Antioch in Syria. The early church fathers ascribed to him authorship of both the Gospel according to Luke and the book of Acts of the Apostles, which originally formed a single literary work, referred to as Luke–Acts. 

The New Testament mentions Luke briefly a few times, and the Pauline epistle to the Colossians refers to him as a doctor; thus he is thought to have been both a physician and a disciple of Paul. Christians since the faith's early years have regarded him as a saint. He is believed to have died a martyr, although accounts of the events do vary.

The Roman Catholic Church and other major denominations venerate him as Saint Luke the Evangelist and as a patron saint of artists, physicians, surgeons, students and butchers. More

St. login: I could not find any information about this Saint!

Aelia Eudocia Augusta] (c. 401–460) was the wife of Theodosius II, and a prominent historical figure in understanding the rise of Christianity during the beginning of the Byzantine Empire. Eudocia lived in a world where Greek paganism and Christianity were existing side by side with both pagans and unorthodox Christians being persecuted.[1] Although Eudocia's work has been mostly ignored by modern scholars, her poetry and literary work are great examples of how her Christian faith and Greek upbringing were intertwined, exemplifying a legacy that the Byzantine Empire left behind on the Christian world. More