Wednesday, July 27, 2016

37 Paintings, RELIGIOUS ART - Paintings from the Bible by the Old Masters, with footnotes

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, Bt., A.R.A. (1833-1898) and Charles Fairfax Murray (1849-1919)
ST THEOPHILUS AND THE ANGEL: A LEGEND OF THE MARTYRDOM OF ST DOROTHEA, c.  1863
Watercolour and bodycolour
67 by 88cm., 26 by 34 1/2 in.

The subject of the present watercolour was described in the catalogue of the Burne-Jones memorial exhibition: 'As Dorothea was passing from her judges to the place of execution, Theophilus, the Protonotary, asked her why she would throw away the joys of this life for one of which no man was certain.' She replied 'that she should that day be with her bridegroom in the garden of Paradise.' Theophilus mocked her by asking that she should 'send him some of the fruits and roses of that same garden.' Then, 'after her death, as he was returning to the Courts of Law, there met him on the threshold an angel bearing a basket of fruit and flowers, who, saying, "My sister Dorothea sends these to thee from the place where she now is,"' then disappeared. The legend concludes: 'Theophilus, pondering all this, came at last to the true belief, and in it died.' In due course, Theophilus was himself martyred and sanctified. More

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, 1st Baronet ARA (28 August 1833 – 17 June 1898) was a British artist and designer closely associated with the later phase of the Pre-Raphaelite movement. Burne-Jones was closely involved in the rejuvenation of the tradition of stained glass art in Britain. His early paintings show the heavy inspiration of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, but by the 1860s Burne-Jones was discovering his own artistic "voice". In 1877, he was persuaded to show eight oil paintings at the Grosvenor Gallery (a new rival to the Royal Academy). These included The Beguiling of Merlin. The timing was right, and he was taken up as a herald and star of the new Aesthetic Movement. More

John Roddam Spencer Stanhope, 1829-1908
RISPAH, THE DAUGHTER OF AIAH
Oil on canvas
109 by 66cm., 43 by 26in.

Rispah was the concubine of Saul, and the mother of two children by him. In the Old Testament Book of Samuel 2, chapter 21, it was described how, after Saul's death, King David sought to expiate Saul's persecution of the Gibeonites, in the first place offering them money. This they refused, but instead demanded seven of Saul's sons, including the two by Rizpah, that they should be hanged. Rizpah went with her sons and after their death 'took sackcloth, and spread it for her upon the rock, from the beginning of the harvest until water dropped upon them out of heaven, and suffered neither the birds of the air by day, nor the beasts of the field by night'. King David was told how Rizpah had protected the bodies of her dead sons from desecration. More

John Roddam Spencer Stanhope (20 January 1829 — 2 August 1908) is an English artist associated with Edward Burne-Jones and George Frederic Watts and often regarded as a second-wave pre-Raphaelite. His work is also studied within the context of Aestheticism and British Symbolism. As a painter, Stanhope worked in oil, watercolor, fresco, and mixed media. His subject matter was mythological, allegorical, biblical, and contemporary. Stanhope was born in Yorkshire, England, and died in Florence, Italy. He was the uncle and teacher of the painter Evelyn De Morgan. More

Jean-Joseph-Benjamin Constant, (1845–1902)
Judith ca. 1886
Oil on canvas
47 1/2 x 31 1/2 in. (120.7 x 80 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Painted in glinting red and gold tones, this exotic figure attests to Benjamin-Constant’s esteem for Delacroix; following in the older artist’s footsteps, he had traveled to Spain and Morocco in the early 1870s, a voyage that yielded inspiration, and props, for many of his pictures. Here, Judith, the Old Testament heroine who saved her besieged city by beheading the general Holofernes, appears as an avenging beauty, proudly bearing her sword. Benjamin-Constant returned repeatedly to this dramatic subject, including another version shown at the Salon of 1886. More

Jean-Joseph-Benjamin Constant, (1845–1902)
Judith ca. 1880
Oil on canvas
131.1 x 85.4 cm, (51.61" x 33.62")
Private collection

Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant (10 June 1845 – 26 May 1902), was a French painter and etcher best known for his Oriental subjects and portraits. Benjamin was born in Paris and studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Toulouse, where he was a pupil of Alexandre Cabanel. A journey to Morocco in 1872 strongly influenced his early artistic development and lead him to produce Romantic scenes under the spell of Orientalism. 

After 1880, he changed his manner, devoting himself to mural decorations and to portraits. He was distinguished as a portrait painter, especially in England, where he was a favorite of the aristocracy. His portrait Mons fils André (Luxembourg) was awarded a medal of honor at the Salon in 1896.

He also was a writer of repute, contributing a number of studies on contemporary French painters. He died in Paris on 26 May 1902. More

Lucas Cranach the Elder (German, Kronach 1472–1553 Weimar)
Salome, Beheading of Saint John the Baptist, c. 1530
Oil on Wood
58 x 87 cm

Salome was the daughter of Herod II and Herodias. She is infamous for demanding and receiving the head of John the Baptist, according to the New Testament. According to Flavius Josephus's Jewish Antiquities, Salome was first married to Philip the Tetrarch of Ituraea and Trakonitis. After Philip's death in 34 AD she married Aristobulus of Chalcis and became queen of Chalcis and Armenia Minor. They had three children. Three coins with portraits of Aristobulus and Salome have been found. Her name in Hebrew meaning "peace". More

Lucas Cranach the Elder (c. 1472 – 16 October 1553) was a German Renaissance painter and printmaker in woodcut and engraving. He was court painter to the Electors of Saxony for most of his career, and is known for his portraits, both of German princes and those of the leaders of the Protestant Reformation, whose cause he embraced with enthusiasm, becoming a close friend of Martin Luther. He also painted religious subjects, first in the Catholic tradition, and later trying to find new ways of conveying Lutheran religious concerns in art. He continued throughout his career to paint nude subjects drawn from mythology and religion. He had a large workshop and many works exist in different versions; his son Lucas Cranach the Younger, and others, continued to create versions of his father's works for decades after his death. Lucas Cranach the Elder has been considered the most successful German artist of his time. More

Francesc Comes the Younger (Spanish, active about 1380-1417)
Virgin and Child with Saints George and Martin, c 1395
Tempera and gold on panel
75.1 x 114 cm (29 9/16 x 44 7/8 in.)
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston

Francesc Comes the Younger (Spanish, active about 1380-1417)
Virgin and Child with Saints George and Martin, c 1395
Left Panel

Francesc Comes the Younger (Spanish, active about 1380-1417)
Virgin and Child with Saints George and Martin, c 1395
Center Panel

Francesc Comes the Younger (Spanish, active about 1380-1417)
Virgin and Child with Saints George and Martin, c 1395
Right Panel

Painter to the King of Aragon, Francesc Comes worked on the island of Majorca. Lavish detail and the unusual format of this painting point to its historic importance. The donor kneeling in prayer next to the Virgin may even be the king himself. More

John William Waterhouse (1849–1917)
The Annunciation, c. 1914
Oil on canvas
99 × 135 cm (39 × 53.1 in)

In Christianity, the Annunciation is the announcement by the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary that she would conceive a Son of the Holy Spirit to be called Jesus.

"It is certain that this figure was studied from life. The composition of the picture divides it between nature (and super-nature) and architecture, and separates effectively the angel and the Virgin, whose figure is not surprisingly treated with skill and some imagination."  (Anthony Hobson, The Art and Life of J.W. Waterhouse, 1980, p. 133).

John William Waterhouse (April 6, 1849 – February 10, 1917) was an English painter known for working in the Pre-Raphaelite style. He worked several decades after the breakup of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, which had seen its heyday in the mid-nineteenth century, leading to his sobriquet "the modern Pre-Raphaelite". Borrowing stylistic influences not only from the earlier Pre-Raphaelites but also from his contemporaries, the Impressionists, his artworks were known for their depictions of women from both ancient Greek mythology and Arthurian legend.
Born in Italy to English parents who were both painters, he later moved to London, where he enrolled in the Royal Academy of Art. He soon began exhibiting at their annual summer exhibitions, focusing on the creation of large canvas works depicting scenes from the daily life and mythology of ancient Greece. Later on in his career he came to embrace the Pre-Raphaelite style of painting despite the fact that it had gone out of fashion in the British art scene several decades before. More

Jean-Baptiste Jouvenet and workshop, ROUEN 1644 - 1717 PARIS
THE TESTIMONY OF THE CROSS 
Oil on canvas 
193 x 130.5 cm; 76 3/4 by 51 3/8

This beautiful Deposition is a major rediscovery in the work of Jouvenet.
In the foreground lies the Christ, that Joseph of Arimathea and Saint John are preparing to enlinceuler. Behind them stood the Virgin throws in heaven a look of pain, while at his feet, Madeleine mourns the loss of Christ. This work differs from some usual biases of the artist, which favors in principle the large brown beaches enceignent light colors of the spots, and the construction of the composition by management looks. The attention of the viewer is nonetheless irresistibly attracted by the body of Christ, the bright and clear complexion that form an arc in the foreground. The composition, pyramidal, classic appearance, is made ​​more remarkable by the Virgin's gesture of despair that seems to keep the Joseph right arm holding the shroud of Christ. This helps to reinforce the dramatic dimension of the scene. The attention to detail Jouvenet is noticeable here in the foreground, in the shiny copper basin, in which floats in water red with blood, the sponge that was used to wash the body of Christ. More


Jean-Baptiste Jouvenet (1 May 1644 – 5 April 1717) was a French painter, especially of religious subjects. He was born into an artistic family in Rouen. His first training in art was from his father, Laurent Jouvenet.

Jouvenet early showed remarkable aptitude for his profession, and, on arriving in Paris, attracted the attention of Le Brun, by whom he was employed at Versailles, notably in the Salon de Mars (1671–74), and under whose auspices, in 1675, he became a member of the Académie royale, of which he was elected professor in 1681, and one of the four perpetual rectors in 1707. He also worked under Charles de La Fosse in the Invalides and Trianon.

The great mass of works that he executed, chiefly in Paris, many of which, including his celebrated Miraculous Draught of Fishes are now in the Louvre, show his fertility in invention and execution, and also that he possessed in a high degree that general dignity of arrangement and style which distinguished the school of Le Brun. His compositions are primarily planned as high reliefs, and the movements are in sharp diagonal straight lines rather than in curves.

Jouvenet died on 5 April 1717, having been forced by paralysis during the last four years of his life to work with his left hand. More


Master of the St. Lucy Legend.
Lamentation Triptych, (ca. 1475)
Oil on panel
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

The Lamentation triptych (ca. 1475), by the Master of the St. Lucy was Commissioned by Donaes de Moor and Adriane de Vos for an altarpiece, soon before 1481, when Donaes was banished for political reasons. It was one of many contributions they made to the Sint-Jacobskerk, specifically to their own chapel dedicated to their patron saints St. Donatian and St. Adrian. 

Master of the St. Lucy Legend.
Lamentation Triptych, (ca. 1475)
Center Panel

The central panel is closely modeled after the Lamentation of Christ by Dieric Bouts, with the only main differences being the Eyckian influence of the city of Jerusalem and landscape, the angle of Christ’s left arm, and Mary Magdalene’s lack of headdress. The underdrawing of the St. Lucy Master’s work even shows that the headdress was originally part of his plans.

Master of the St. Lucy Legend.
Lamentation Triptych, (ca. 1475)
Left Panel

Each of the two side panels shows one of the donors, paired with the appropriate patron saint and praying towards the center as if to gaze upon the scene of Christ and the saints. St. Donatian carries a wheel with candles, an attribute that refers to the legend in which the pope threw a wheel into the Tiber, bringing the drowned archbishop Donatian back to life. He also holds a processional cross that symbolizes the relics of St. Donatian kept in Bruges.

Master of the St. Lucy Legend, 
Lamentation Triptych, (ca. 1475)
Left Panel

St. Adrian’s attributes are a Burgundian jewel and an anvil, which symbolizes the torture he experienced after converting to Christianity. St. Donatian and St. Adrian stand in front of their own landscapes, distinguishing their setting from the Jerusalem of Christ, the Virgin, Mary Magdalene, and St. John the Evangelist. More

Master of the Legend of Saint Lucy (fl. 1480-1510) was an unidentified Early Netherlandish painter who worked in Bruges, a city in today's Belgium. His name comes from for an altarpiece in the church of Saint James in Bruges, which is dated 1480 and depicts three scenes from the life of Saint Lucy. Since then, twenty-five to thirty-five paintings have been attributed to the same hand. He may have trained Spanish students at his studio in Bruges. Many of his paintings are characterized by views of the city of Bruges in the background, and can be dated according to the level of construction of its belfry. He may have trained with Dieric Bouts, and was certainly influenced by Bruges' greatest artist at the time, Hans Memling. More

MASTER of the Legend of Saint Lucy
Legend of St Lucy, c. 1480
Oil on oak panel
79 x 183 cm
Sint-Jacobskerk, Bruges

This is only one example of his many devotional images to the Virgin and other central figures, which often have the city of Bruges in the background. In fact, the state of completion of the belfry tower’s remodeling in his paintings has helped art historians to assign dates to many of his works.

MASTER of the Legend of Saint Lucy
Legend of St Lucy, c. 1480
Left Panel

MASTER of the Legend of Saint Lucy, (active c. 1480-1510 in Bruges)
Virgin Surrounded by Female Saints, c. 1488
Oak
108 x 171 cm
Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels

An anonymous painter working in the last two decades of the 15th century at Bruges, the Master of the Legend of St Lucy takes his name from a painting representing three episodes from the legend of this saint (Bruges, Sint-Jakobskerk). He paints willowy women with oval faces, and with slightly slit eyes under long, puffed eyelids, whose somewhat affected manner calls to mind the art of his contemporary Memling.

According to archive sources, the Virgin Surrounded by Female Saints was placed in 1489 in the church of the Our Lady in Bruges on the altar belonging to the rhetoric chamber named De drie Sanctinnen (the three female saints), and was therefore likely painted shortly before that date. The three saints in question are Catherine, Mary Magdalen and Barbara, all widely venerated in Bruges. They surround a Virgin and Child, forming the central group of the composition.

MASTER of the Legend of Saint Lucy, (active c. 1480-1510 in Bruges)
Virgin Surrounded by Female Saints, c. 1488
Center

The Virgin is represented as the Queen of Heaven. She wears a crown and is seated on a throne behind which two angels hold aloft a rich brocade honour cloth. The scene takes place in an enclosed garden, full of plants and flowers, evoking Paradise. A landscape extends far into the background. The eleven young women surrounding the Virgin can be identified by their various attributes accompanying them or decorating their rich garments. The Child is holding a ring to Catherine in order to seal their "mystical marriage". This saint is also accompanied by a sword and her mantle is decorated with wheels. Mary Magdalene can be recognised by her ointment pot and Barbara by the towers that decorate her brocade mantle and her necklace. 

MASTER of the Legend of Saint Lucy, (active c. 1480-1510 in Bruges)
Virgin Surrounded by Female Saints, c. 1488
Left Side

To the left, Ursula is identified by the arrows of her martyrdom half hidden beneath her gown, Apollina by a tooth in a pair of pincers and Lucy by a tray with two eyes on it. An unidentified saint holds a crown and a bell. 

MASTER of the Legend of Saint Lucy, (active c. 1480-1510 in Bruges)
Virgin Surrounded by Female Saints, c. 1488
Right Side

MASTER of the Legend of Saint Lucy, (active c. 1480-1510 in Bruges)
Virgin Surrounded by Female Saints, c. 1488
Detail
To the right, Agnes carries a lamb in her lap and presents a ring, signifying her mystical marriage with Christ. 

MASTER of the Legend of Saint Lucy, (active c. 1480-1510 in Bruges)
Virgin Surrounded by Female Saints, c. 1488
Detail

Cunera, a companion of Ursula, carries a little cradle or footstool, along with an arrow, and Agatha a pair of pincers holding a torn-off breast. Margaret holds a cross in her hand. She is also accompanied in the landscape by a representation of St George slaying the dragon, a scene with which she is frequently associated. More

MASTER of the Legend of Saint Lucy, (active c. 1480-1510 in Bruges)
Virgin Surrounded by Female Saints, c. 1488
Detail, Saint George

Master of the Legend of Saint Lucy, ca. 1475–1505
Lamentation with Saint John the Baptist and Saint Catherine of Alexandria
c. 1493–1501
Oil on panel
Minneapolis Institute of Arts (Minneapolis, MN, USA)

The oak-wood triptych was made at the end of the 15th Century for Nicolás Ibáñez de Arteita and was intended as a devotional piece for his private chapel. Nicolás Ibáñez de Arteita is also depicted on the triptych. More

Master of the Legend of Saint Lucy, ca. 1475–1505
Lamentation with Saint John the Baptist and Saint Catherine of Alexandria
c. 1493–1501
34 5/8 x 26 3/8 in. (87.95 x 66.99 cm)
Center Panel

Saint John the Baptist and Saint Catherine of Alexandria are pictured on the side panels.

Master of the Legend of Saint Lucy, ca. 1475–1505
Lamentation with Saint John the Baptist and Saint Catherine of Alexandria
c. 1493–1501
Left Panel
Saint John the Baptist

Master of the Legend of Saint Lucy, ca. 1475–1505
Lamentation with Saint John the Baptist and Saint Catherine of Alexandria
c. 1493–1501
Right Panel
 Saint Catherine of Alexandria

MASTER of the Legend of Saint Lucy
Mary, Queen of Heaven, c. 1485-1500
Oil on panel, 
199 x 162 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington

This unusually large panel painting depicts three facets of Marian iconography: the Virgin's corporeal assumption, the Immaculate Conception—the crescent moon and the radiance behind her identify Mary as the Woman of the Apocalyse, mentioned in Revelation 12:I—and the Coronation of the Virgin. 

MASTER of the Legend of Saint Lucy

Mary, Queen of Heaven, c. 1485-1500
Top of panel, 

The painting is of great interest to musicologists in that it depicts Renaissance instruments with great accuracy and also reflects contemporary performance practices in the arrangement of the music–making angels. At the top, a full orchestra plays before the three figures of the Trinity. The ensemble around the Virgin is a mixed consort composed of "loud" instruments (trumpets and shawms) and "soft" instruments (vielle, lute, and harp). Two of the singing angels hold books bearing legible lyrics and notations. This music, which is the source of the painting's title, has been identified as derived from a setting of the Marian antiphon, Ave Regina Caelorum, by Walter Frye (d. 1474/1475), an English composer whose works were popular on the Continent, particularly at the Burgundian court. More


MASTER of the Legend of Saint Lucy
Legend of St Lucy, c. 1480
Oil on oak panel, 
79 x 183 cm
Sint-Jacobskerk, Bruges

The three episodes from the life of St Lucy which are depicted here are based on the account in the Legenda Aurea (thirteenth century). In gratitude for the healing of Lucy's mother after a pilgrimage to the grave of St Agatha, they both decided to give their possessions away to the poor (first scene). 

MASTER of the Legend of Saint Lucy
Legend of St Lucy, c. 1480
Left Panel

Then Lucy was brought before the consul by her fiancé and on account of her faith she was condemned to prostitution (second scene). 

MASTER of the Legend of Saint Lucy
Legend of St Lucy, c. 1480
Center Panel

Lucy miraculously became so heavy that even a thousand yokes of oxen could not drag her away (third scene)

MASTER of the Legend of Saint Lucy
Legend of St Lucy, c. 1480
Right Panel

.The work is considered as the central panel of a triptych with, on the wings, donors and the opening and ending scenes of the legend. The work can be linked stylistically with the Virgo inter Virgines in Brussels (Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique), which was the starting-point for the reconstruction of the oeuvre of this anonymous contemporary of Hans Memling. More

Vincent van Gogh 1853 – 1890
The Good Samaritan (after Delacroix, below), c. 1890
oil on canvas
73 × 60 cm

Copies by Vincent van Gogh form an important group of paintings executed by Vincent van Gogh between 1887 and early 1890. While at Saint-Paul asylum in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France, where Van Gogh admitted himself, he strived to have subjects during the cold winter months. Seeking to be reinvigorated artistically, Van Gogh did more than 30 copies of works by some of his favorite artists. Rather than replicate, Van Gogh sought to translate the subjects and composition through his perspective, color, and technique. Spiritual meaning and emotional comfort were expressed through symbolism and color. His brother Theo van Gogh would call the pieces in the series some of his best work.

The parable of the Good Samaritan is a didactic story told by Jesus in Luke 10:25–37. It is about a traveler who is stripped of clothing, beaten, and left half dead alongside the road. First a priest and then a Levite comes by, but both avoid the man. Finally, a Samaritan comes by. Samaritans and Jews generally despised each other, but the Samaritan helps the injured man. Jesus is telling the parable in response to the question from a lawyer, "And who is my neighbour?" whom that should be loved. Jesus answers his question in who is his neighbour, but also tells him to love his neighbour. 

The parable has inspired painting, sculpture, satire, poetry, and film. The colloquial phrase "good Samaritan", meaning someone who helps a stranger, derives from this parable, and many hospitals and charitable organizations are named after the Good Samaritan. More

Vincent van Gogh (born March 30, 1853, Zundert, Neth.—died July 29, 1890, Auvers-sur-Oise, near Paris, France). Dutch painter, generally considered the greatest after Rembrandt, and one of the greatest of the Post-Impressionists. The striking colour, emphatic brushwork, and contoured forms of his work powerfully influenced the current of Expressionism in modern art. Van Gogh’s art became astoundingly popular after his death, especially in the late 20th century, when his work sold for record-breaking sums at auctions around the world and was featured in blockbuster touring exhibitions. In part because of his extensive published letters, van Gogh has also been mythologized in the popular imagination as the quintessential tortured artist. More

Eugène Delacroix 1798 – 1863
The Good Samaritan (1849)

oil on canvas
37 × 30 cm

Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix (26 April 1798 – 13 August 1863) was a French Romantic artist regarded from the outset of his career as the leader of the French Romantic school.

As a painter and muralist, Delacroix's 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 author Walter Scott and the German author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

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. 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.

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

Vincent van Gogh, 1853 – 1890
The Raising of Lazarus (after Rembrandt), c. 1890
oil on canvas
50 × 65 cm
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

The Raising of Lazarus or the Resurrection of Lazarus, mentioned only in the Gospel of John, is a miracle of Jesus in which Jesus brings Lazarus of Bethany back to life four days after his burial. According to American theologian J P Dabney, "the usual reason assigned for the omission of so remarkable a story, as that of the resurrection of Lazarus by the other three Evangelists, is that he might still be living, when they wrote, and that a circumstantial account of this event, would have exposed him to the resentment of the unbelieving Jews, but John's Gospel was later by many years: in which long interval Lazarus' death was not unlikely to have occurred" More

Vincent van Gogh, 1853 – 1890, see above

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn, 1606-1669 (Netherlands)
The Raising of Lazarus, ca 1632
Etching and burin
The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn, 1606-1669 (Netherlands)
The Raising of Lazarus, ca 1632
Detail

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (15 July 1606 – 4 October 1669) was a Dutch painter and etcher. He is generally considered one of the greatest painters and printmakers in European art and the most important in Dutch history. His contributions to art came in a period of great wealth and cultural achievement that historians call the Dutch Golden Age when Dutch Golden Age painting, although in many ways antithetical to the Baroque style that dominated Europe, was extremely prolific and innovative, and gave rise to important new genres in painting.

Having achieved youthful success as a portrait painter, Rembrandt's later years were marked by personal tragedy and financial hardships. Yet his etchings and paintings were popular throughout his lifetime, his reputation as an artist remained high, and for twenty years he taught many important Dutch painters. Rembrandt's greatest creative triumphs are exemplified most notably in his portraits of his contemporaries, self-portraits and illustrations of scenes from the Bible. His self-portraits form a unique and intimate biography, in which the artist surveyed himself without vanity and with the utmost sincerity.

In his paintings and prints he exhibited knowledge of classical iconography, which he molded to fit the requirements of his own experience; thus, the depiction of a biblical scene was informed by Rembrandt's knowledge of the specific text, his assimilation of classical composition, and his observations of Amsterdam's Jewish population. Because of his empathy for the human condition, he has been called "one of the great prophets of civilization." More


Gustav Klimt
Adam and Eve (unfinished), c. 1917
Oil on canvas
173 x 60 cm
Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna


The unfinished work "Adam and Eve" by Gustav Klimt dates 1917/18 and could not be finished due to the sudden death of Klimt on February 6, 1918. The unmarked 173 x 60 cm painting was painted in oil on canvas, and now hangs in the Belvedere in Vienna. More

Adam and Eve was Klimt's first biblical painting. Certainly it was the only one to present humankind in a state of grace, for the scene would seem to be set before the Fall, perhaps at the moment of Eve's creation. As the sole truly chaste woman, Eve is a heroine very different from Judith. Klimt's contemporaries remarked that his ideal woman generally departed significantly from the Viennese notion of beauty: she was slender rather than buxom, redhaired or brunette rather than blond. This "Old Testament type" (as Klimt's typical heroine was euphemistically called) had an aura of exoticism that was both appealing and intentionally frightening. More

Gustav Klimt (July 14, 1862 – February 6, 1918) was an Austrian symbolist painter and one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession movement. Klimt is noted for his paintings, murals, sketches, and other objets d'art. Klimt's primary subject was the female body, and his works are marked by a frank eroticism. In addition to his figurative works, which include allegories and portraits, he painted landscapes. Among the artists of the Vienna Secession, Klimt was the most influenced by Japanese art and its methods.
Early in his artistic career, he was a successful painter of architectural decorations in a conventional manner. As he developed a more personal style, his work was the subject of controversy that culminated when the paintings he completed around 1900 for the ceiling of the Great Hall of the University of Vienna were criticized as pornographic. He subsequently accepted no more public commissions, but achieved a new success with the paintings of his "golden phase," many of which include gold leaf. More

Michelangelo Buonarroti
The Crucifixion for Vittoria Colonna.

The Crucifixion for Vittoria Colonna. There’s a work by Michelangelo nobody has ever seen, but it was replicated and reinterpreted, by numerous artists, who used it as a model for all representations of the Crucifixions, in which Christ is painted as the one who was capable of winning the death.

Michelangelo was the first who depicted the Crucified Christ alive, with his head upward, open eyes and in the attempt to lift off the cross. His painting was in contrast with the traditional representation of Christ suffering, with his head bent downwards otherwise in a regal and collected posture. 

The above work is believed to be the lost masterpiece, made ​​by Michelangelo Buonarroti. Below is the drawing in the British Museum in London , which belonged to the Roman noblewoman Vittoria Colonna , and believed to be the design that the Florentine artist himself has made ​​and donated to the woman.

This newfound work was subjected to diagnostic and stylistic analysis and clues that suggest that it is precisely the work of Michelangelo. This was announced at a press conference held in Treviso February 23, 2016. More

Michelangelo (1475–1564)
Christ on the Cross, made for presentation to Vittoria Colonna.
Black chalk and white chalk
Height: 368 mm (14.49 in). Width: 268 mm (10.55 in).
British Museum

Comparison 

Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (March 1475 – 18 February 1564), was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect, poet, and engineer of the High Renaissance who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art. Despite making few forays beyond the arts, his versatility in the disciplines he took up was of such a high order that he is often considered a contender for the title of the archetypal Renaissance man, along with contemporary rival and fellow Florentine Medici client, Leonardo da Vinci.

A number of Michelangelo's works in painting, sculpture, and architecture rank among the most famous in existence. His output in every field of interest was prodigious; given the sheer volume of surviving correspondence, sketches, and reminiscences taken into account, he is the best-documented artist of the 16th century.

Two of his best-known works, the Pietà and David, were sculpted before the age of thirty. Despite his low opinion of painting, Michelangelo also created two of the most influential frescoes in the history of Western art: the scenes from Genesis on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, and The Last Judgment on its altar wall. As an architect, Michelangelo pioneered the Mannerist style at the Laurentian Library. At the age of 74, he succeeded Antonio da Sangallo the Younger as the architect of St. Peter's Basilica. Michelangelo transformed the plan, the western end being finished to Michelangelo's design, the dome being completed after his death with some modification.

In his lifetime he was also often called Il Divino ("the divine one"). One of the qualities most admired by his contemporaries was his terribilità, a sense of awe-inspiring grandeur, and it was the attempts of subsequent artists to imitate Michelangelo's impassioned and highly personal style that resulted in Mannerism, the next major movement in Western art after the High Renaissance. More

Guido Reni, 1575 - 1642
Risen Christ, c. 1620
Oil on canvas
228 cm × 138 cm (90 in × 54 in)
National Museum of Fine Arts, Valletta, Malta

Guido Reni (4 November 1575 – 18 August 1642) was an Italian painter of high-Baroque style. Born in Bologna into a family of musicians, Guido Reni was the son of Daniele Reni and Ginevra de’ Pozzi. As a child of nine, he was apprenticed under the Bolognese studio of Denis Calvaert. When Reni was about twenty years old he migrated to the rising rival studio, named Accademia degli Incamminati (Academy of the "newly embarked", or progressives), led by Lodovico Carracci. He went on to form the nucleus of a prolific and successful school of Bolognese painters who followed Annibale Carracci to Rome. Like many other Bolognese painters, Reni's painting was thematic and eclectic in style. More


Caravaggio, (1571–1610) 
The beheading of St. John the Baptist, c. 1608
Oil on canvas
361 × 520 cm (142.1 × 204.7 in)
St. John's Co-Cathedral, Altarpiece in the Oratory

Caravaggio, (1571–1610) 
The beheading of St. John the Baptist, c. 1608
Detail

John the Baptist (sometimes called John in the Wilderness) was the subject of at least eight paintings by the Italian Baroque artist Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571–1610).

The story of John the Baptist is told in the Gospels. John was the cousin of Jesus, and his calling was to prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah. He lived in the wilderness of Judea between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, "his raiment of camel's hair, and a leather girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey." He baptised Jesus in the Jordan, and was eventually killed by Herod Antipas when he called upon the king to reform his evil ways. More

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (29 September 1571 in Caravaggio – 18 July 1610) was an Italian painter active in Rome, Naples, Malta, and Sicily between 1592 and 1610. His paintings, which combine a realistic observation of the human state, both physical and emotional, with a dramatic use of lighting, had a formative influence on Baroque painting.
Caravaggio trained as a painter in Milan under Simone Peterzano who had himself trained under Titian. In his twenties Caravaggio moved to Rome where there was a demand for paintings to fill the many huge new churches and palazzos being built at the time. It was also a period when the Church was searching for a stylistic alternative to Mannerism in religious art that was tasked to counter the threat of Protestantism. Caravaggio's innovation was a radical naturalism that combined close physical observation with a dramatic, even theatrical, use of chiaroscuro which came to be known as tenebrism (the shift from light to dark with little intermediate value).

He gained attention in the art scene of Rome in 1600 with the success of his first public commissions, the Martyrdom of Saint Matthew and Calling of Saint Matthew. Thereafter he never lacked commissions or patrons, yet he handled his success poorly. He was jailed on several occasions, vandalized his own apartment, and ultimately had a death sentence pronounced against him by the Pope after killing a young man, possibly unintentionally, on May 29, 1606. He fled from Rome with a price on his head. He was involved in a brawl in Malta in 1608, and another in Naples in 1609, possibly a deliberate attempt on his life by unidentified enemies. This encounter left him severely injured. A year later, at the age of 38, he died under mysterious circumstances in Porto Ercole in Tuscany, reportedly from a fever while on his way to Rome to receive a pardon.

Famous while he lived, Caravaggio was forgotten almost immediately after his death, and it was only in the 20th century that his importance to the development of Western art was rediscovered. More


Caravaggio (1571–1610)
St. Jerome Writing, c. 1607
Oil on canvas
Height: 117 cm (46.1 in). Width: 157 cm (61.8 in).
Current location
St. John's Co-Cathedral, Valletta, Malta

The painting by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio depicting St Jerome Writing  forms part of the artist’s output during his short stay in Malta. The attention this painting deserves as a masterpiece in its own right is often overshadowed by the monumental painting depicting the Beheading of St John the Baptist (above) that Caravaggio also produced during his stay.

Caravaggio, came to Malta fleeing from the accusation of murder, spent just over a year on the island, from July 1607 to October 1608. He entered the Order as a Knight of Obedience being obliged to spend a year in the convent. The artist’s life had so far been as dramatic as the subjects of his paintings. More



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