Saturday, September 24, 2016

16 Paintings scenes from the Bible, by The Old Masters, with footnotes 26

Coecke van Aelst, Pieter, 1502 Aalst - 1550 Brussels
Oil on wood
77 x 25 / 77.5 x 25.5 cm
Private collection

In Christian theology the nativity marks the incarnation of Jesus as the second Adam, in fulfillment of the divine will of God, undoing the damage caused by the fall of the first man, Adam. The artistic depiction of the nativity has been a major subject for Christian artists since the 4th century. Since the 13th century, the nativity scene has emphasized the humility of Jesus and promoted a more tender image of him, as a major turning point from the early "Lord and Master" image, affecting the basic approaches of Christian pastoral ministry. More

Pieter Coecke van Aelst or Pieter Coecke van Aelst the Elder (Aalst, 14 August 1502 – Brussels, 6 December 1550) was a Flemish painter, sculptor, architect, author and designer of woodcuts, stained glass and tapestries. His principal subjects were Christian religious themes. He worked in Antwerp and Brussels and was appointed court painter to Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.

Coecke van Aelst was a polyglot. He published translations of Ancient Roman and modern Italian architectural treatises into Flemish, French and German. These publications played a crucial role in spreading Renaissance ideas to the Low Countries. They contributed to the transition in Northern Europe from the late Gothic style then prevalent towards a modern 'antique-oriented' architecture. More

Pieter Coecke van Aelst (1502–1550)
The temptation of St Anthony, c. 1543 - 1550
Oil on panel
Height: 41 cm (16.1 in). Width: 53 cm (20.9 in).
Prado Museum, Madrid, Spain

Saint Anthony or Antony (251–356) was a Christian monk from Egypt, revered since his death as a saint. He is distinguished from other saints named Anthony by various epithets: Anthony the Great, Anthony of Egypt, Anthony the Abbot, Anthony of the Desert, Anthony the Anchorite, and Anthony of Thebes. For his importance among the Desert Fathers and to all later Christian monasticism, he is also known as the Father of All Monks. His feast day is celebrated on January 17 among the Orthodox and Catholic churches and on Tobi 22 in the Egyptian calendar used by the Coptic Church.

The biography of Anthony's life by Athanasius of Alexandria helped to spread the concept of Christian monasticism, particularly in Western Europe via its Latin translations. He is often erroneously considered the first Christian monk, but as his biography and other sources make clear, there were many ascetics before him. Anthony was, however, the first to go into the wilderness, a geographical move that seems to have contributed to his renown. Accounts of Anthony enduring supernatural temptation during his sojourn in the Eastern Desert of Egypt inspired the often-repeated subject of the temptation of St. Anthony in Western art and literature. More

Pieter Coecke van Aelst (1502–1550), see above

Private collection

Painted in 1888, it is a magnificent example of French Naturalist painting, a genre that he would come to define, and it foreshadows the Symbolist influence that he embraced at the turn of the century as well as the later religious scenes inspired by Renaissance and Pre-Raphaelite artists. 

Pascal-Adolphe-Jean Dagnan-Bouveret (January 7, 1852 – July 3, 1929), was one of the leading French artists of the naturalist school. He was born in Paris, the son of a tailor, and was raised by his grandfather after his father emigrated to Brazil. Later he added his grandfather's name, Bouveret, to his own.

Pascal-Adolphe-Jean Dagnan-Bouveret became one of the leading French artists of the naturalist school and painted several paintings depicting Brittany. From 1869 he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts. From 1875 he exhibited at the Salon, where in 1880 he won the first-class medal for the painting "An Accident" and a medal of honour in 1885 for "Horses at the Watering Trough". From the 1880s Dagnan-Bouveret along with Gustave Courtois, maintained a studio in Neuilly-sur-Seine, a fashionable suburb of Paris. By that time he was recognized as a leading modern artist known for his peasant scenes, but also for his mystical-religious compositions. His large-scale painting "The Last Supper" was exhibited at the Salon de Champ-de-Mars in 1896. He was one of the first to use the then new medium of photography to bring greater realism to his paintings. In 1891 he was made an Officer of the Legion of Honour and in 1900 he became a member of the Institut de France. More


In the present work, Dagnan-Bouveret presents the Virgin holding the Christ Child in a verdant arbor, clad in pure white robes with golden haloes drawn as simple rings of light. Although the arbor is an unusual stage for the Madonna and Child in nineteenth century religious paintings, its origins reside in Italian and Northern Renaissance works by artists such as Fra Filippo Lippi and Lucas Cranach the Elder who included grape vines as allusions to Christ’s eventual sacrifice for mankind. More


Entourage de Pieter Coecke van Aelst, AELST 1502 - 1550 BRUXELLES
44 x 30 cm ; 17 1/4  by 11 1/8  in
Private collection

Pieter Coecke van Aelst, see above

Attribué à Otto Venius, LEYDE 1556 - 1629 BRUXELLES
24 x 19 cm ; 9 1/2  by 7 1/2  in
Private collection

Otto van Veen, also known by his Latinized name Otto Venius or Octavius Vaenius, (c.1556 – 6 May 1629) was a painter, draughtsman, and humanist active primarily in Antwerp and Brussels in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century. He is known for running a large studio in Antwerp, producing several emblem books, and for being, from 1594 or 1595 until 1598, Peter Paul Rubens's teacher. His role as a classically educated humanist artist (a pictor doctus), reflected in the Latin name by which he is often known, Octavius Vaenius, was influential on the young Rubens, who would take on that role himself. More

School of Jan van Bible, (1500-1566)
Saint Jerome in the wilderness with book, cross, skull head, sand clock and candle
oil on canvas
Private collection

Jerome (347 – 30 September 420) was a presbyter, confessor, theologian and historian. He was the son of Eusebius, born at Stridon, a village near Emona on the border of Dalmatia and Pannonia, then part of northeastern Italy. He is best known for his translation of most of the Bible into Latin (the translation that became known as the Vulgate), and his commentaries on the Gospels. His list of writings is extensive.

The protégé of Pope Damasus I, who died in December of 384, Jerome was known for his teachings on Christian moral life, especially to those living in cosmopolitan centers such as Rome. In many cases, he focused his attention to the lives of women and identified how a woman devoted to Jesus should live her life. This focus stemmed from his close patron relationships with several prominent female ascetics who were members of affluent senatorial families. More

Attributed to Giovanni Andrea de Ferrari, 1598 - 1669
113 x 94 cm ; 44 1/2  by 37 in
Private collection

According to the Gospel of John, the resurrected Christ is first seen by the disciple Mary Magdalene, who mistakes him for the gardener. After Mary recognizes Christ, she cries out in joy and reaches out for him. This drawing depicts Christ's response to Mary, when he tells her not to touch him because he has not yet ascended to his Father. Christ holds a large shovel in his left hand while gesturing to Mary with the other. More

FERRARI, Giovanni Andrea de, (b. ca. 1598, Genova, d. 1669, Genova). He was a prolific easel painter who painted many altarpieces and created a lyrical, richly coloured manner that influenced the later development of the Genoese Baroque. 

Ferrari's work consists primarily of religious subjects. Throughout the 1620s Giovanni Andrea painted several large canvases with scenes from the lives of the saints and drew on a number of influences. In 1634 Giovanni Andrea was made a member of the Accademia di San Luca in Rome, but there is no record of his being in Rome. His work during this decade includes the lunette painting the Miracle of St Bridget, the Madonna of the Rosary...

After the 1630s there are few dated pictures to establish a chronology for the artist. Moreover, while his handling changes his figure types remain for the most part consistent. In his later work, Giovanni Andrea withdrew from the mannerism of Strozzi and Ansaldo and achieved success with a more refined approach to religious narrative and psychology.

As he never left Genoa and had no family, Giovanni Andrea proved a particularly attentive teacher in his studio, which included Valerio Castello, Giovanni Battista Merano and possibly even Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione. More

Giovanni Lanfranco, (1582-1647)
Saint Matthew
Oil on copper,
Private collection

Matthew the Apostle was, according to the Bible, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus and, according to Christian tradition, one of the four Evangelists. Among the early followers and apostles of Jesus, Matthew is mentioned in Matthew 9:9 and Matthew 10:3 as a publican who, while sitting at the "receipt of custom" in Capernaum, was called to follow Jesus. Matthew may have collected taxes from the Hebrew people for Herod Antipas. Matthew is also listed among the twelve, but without identification of his background, in Mark 3:18, Luke 6:15 and Acts 1:13. In passages parallel to Matthew 9:9, both Mark 2:14 and Luke 5:27 describe Jesus' calling of the tax collector Levi, the son of Alphaeus, but Mark and Luke never explicitly equate this Levi with the Matthew named as one of the twelve
Later Church fathers such as Irenaeus and Clement of Alexandria claim that Matthew preached the Gospel to the Jewish community in Judea, before going to other countries. Ancient writers are not agreed as to what these other countries are. The Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church each hold the tradition that Matthew died as a martyr, although this was rejected by the gnostic heretic Heracleon as early as the second century. More
Giovanni Lanfranco, also called Giovanni di Steffano or Il Cavaliere Giovanni Lanfranchi (born Jan. 26, 1582, Parma [Italy]—died Nov. 30, 1647, Rome) Italian painter, an important follower of the Bolognese school. He was a pupil of Agostino Carracci in Parma (1600–02) and later studied with Annibale Carracci in Rome. A decisive influence on his work, however, was not just the Baroque classicism of the Carracci brothers but the dynamic illusionism of the dome paintings in Parma by Correggio. Lanfranco translated Correggio’s 16th-century style into a Roman Baroque idiom. Soon after his arrival in Rome (1612), he painted the ceiling frescoes Joseph Explaining the Dreams of His Fellow Prisoners and Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife (both 1615) in the Palazzo Mattei. The frescoes combine techniques and styles learned from Annibale Carracci and from Lanfranco’s own study of Correggio and Caravaggio. Lanfranco’s painting in the dome of San Andrea della Valle in Rome (1621–25) derives directly from Correggio in its virtuoso use of vigorously posed figures floating in the clouds over the spectator’s head. Lanfranco worked in Naples from 1633/34 to 1646, his best known work there being the dome of the chapel of San Gennaro in the cathedral (1641–46). He was a bitter rival of Domenichino, both in Rome and later in Naples. More

Parma School, c. 1620 
33,5 x 27 cm ; 13 1/8  by 10 5/8  in
Private collection

The quiet city of Parma, situated in the northern Italian region of Emilia-Romagna - between Milan and Florence - houses two of Europe's oldest cultural centres: Parma Cathedral (built 1059-1178) and the University of Parma (founded 1117). Although no doubt aware of artistic developments during the quattrocento, the city only emerged into the limelight during the careers of its two 'favourite sons' the melancholic, introverted painter Antonio Allegri, known as Correggio (1494-1534), and the precocious but eccentric Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola, called Parmigianino (1503–1540). A third outstanding artist from Parma, Giovanni Lanfranco (1582-1647), whose Baroque painting was heavily influenced by Correggio, is discounted as he was active only in Rome and Naples. More

The Caravaggisti (or the "Caravagesques"), c. 1640
The Adoration of the Shepherds, c. 1640
180 x 125 cm ; 70 7/8  by 49 1/4  in
Private collection

The Adoration of the Shepherds, in the Nativity of Jesus in art, is a scene in which shepherds are near witnesses to the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, arriving soon after the actual birth. It is often combined in art with the Adoration of the Magi, in which case it is typically just referred to by the latter title. The Annunciation to the Shepherds, when they are summoned by an angel to the scene, is a distinct subject. More

The Caravaggisti (or the "Caravagesques") were stylistic followers of the 16th-century Italian Baroque painter Caravaggio. His influence on the new Baroque style that eventually emerged from Mannerism was profound. Caravaggio never established a workshop as most other painters did, and thus had no school to spread his techniques. Nor did he ever set out his underlying philosophical approach to art, the psychological realism which can only be deduced from his surviving work. But it can be seen directly or indirectly in the work of Rubens, Jusepe de Ribera, Bernini, and Rembrandt. Famous while he lived, Caravaggio himself was forgotten almost immediately after his death. Many of his paintings were reascribed to his followers, such as The Taking of Christ, which was attributed to Honthorst until 1990. It was only in the 20th century that his importance to the development of Western art was rediscovered. In the 1920s Roberto Longhi once more placed him in the European tradition: "Ribera, Vermeer, La Tour and Rembrandt could never have existed without him. And the art of Delacroix, Courbet and Manet would have been utterly different". The influential Bernard Berenson stated: "With the exception of Michelangelo, no other Italian painter exercised so great an influence." More

Joseph Heiss, ( 1640-1704)
King Solomon making offers to the idols
Oil on canvas, framed.
Private collection

King Solomon loved many foreign women in addition to Pharaoh’s daughter. He loved Hittite women and women from Moab, Ammon, Edom, and Sidon.  They came from the nations about which the Lord had said to the people of Israel, “Never intermarry with them. They will surely tempt you to follow their gods.” But Solomon was obsessed with their love. He had 700 wives who were princesses and 300 wives who were concubines.  In his old age, his wives tempted him to follow other gods. He was no longer committed to the Lord his God as his father David had been. Solomon followed Astarte (the goddess of the Sidonians) and Milcom (the idol of the Ammonites). So Solomon did what the Lord considered evil. He did not wholeheartedly follow the Lord.  Then Solomon built an illegal worship site on the hill east of Jerusalem for Chemosh (the idol of Moab) and for Molech (the idol of the Ammonites).  He did these things for each of his foreign wives who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods. More

Johann Heiss (* 19th June 1640 in Memmingen ; † 1704 in Augsburg ) was a German Baroque painter. After training in Memmingen, he went to Stuttgart 1663 and 1664 in the service of the Württemberg Duke Eberhard III. From 1677 he lived and worked in Augsburg. More

Pietro Novelli dit Il Monrealese, MONREALE 1603 - 1647 PALERME
196 x 150 cm ; 77 1/8  by 59 in
Private collection

Christ at the Column (also known as The Flagellation of Christ)The painting shows the flagellation of Christ following his arrest and trial and before his crucifixion. The scene was traditionally depicted in front of a column, possibly alluding to the judgement hall of Pilate. 

The most famous treatment of the theme at the time was Sebastiano del Piombo's High Renaissance Flagellation of Christ in the church of San Pietro in Montorio in Rome. Piombo's Flagellation, much imitated by later artists, shows multiple idealised figures twisting through complex layers of space. Pietro Novelli has flattened the space, reduced the figures to a minimum, and used light to direct attention to the crucial parts of his composition. More

Pietro Novelli (March 2, 1603 – August 27, 1647) was an Italian painter of the Baroque period, active mainly in Palermo. Also known as il Monrealese or Pietro "Malta" Novelli to distinguish him from his father, Pietro Antonio Novelli. He was also nicknamed by contemporaries as the Raphael of Sicily.

He was born in Monreale, and died in Palermo. He initially trained with his father, a painter and mosaicist. As a young apprentice he was a fellow pupil with Gerardo Asturino. In 1618, he moved to Palermo and apprenticed with Vito Carrera (1555–1623). His first dated work is from 1626: St. Anthony Abbot for the church of Sant' Antonio Abate. The development of his style owed much to Anthony van Dyck, who visited Sicily in 1624 and whose altarpiece, the Madonna of the Rosary in the oratory of Santa Maria del Rosario in Palermo was highly influential for local artists. He was also commissioned works and paintings for many churches in Piana degli Albanesi, and various works to adorn the villas of the Sicilian nobility. Other influences on Novelli were the Caravaggisti or tenebrists active in Naples. Novelli also painted for the church of Santa Zita in Monreale, and painted a Marriage of Cana for the refectory of the Benedictines in Monreale.

He was injured during the revolution in Palermo in 1647, and died from his wounds. More

Jean Restout, ROUEN 1692 - 1768 PARIS
130 x 97 cm ; 51 1/8  by 38 1/8  in
Private collection

Abraham is sitting in front of his tent on the plains of Mamre when three men appear before him. He reckognizes them as God's messenger and receives them with great hospitality. He gives them bread, butter, and milk and orders a calf to be slaughtered.

Before they leave, the men predict that Abraham's wife Sarah will give birth to a son within a year. Sarah can't surpress her laughter, as she and her husband are much to old to have any children.

Through the three men Abraham then has a discussion with God about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham succeeds in convincing his Lord that he should let the righteous citizens escape.

In Genesis 21 Sarah will indeed give birth to a son. More

Jean II Restout (26 March 1692 – 1 January 1768) was a French painter, whose late baroque classicism rendered his altarpieces, such as the Death of Saint Scholastica an "isolated achievement" that ran counter to his rococo contemporaries.

Jean Restout was born in Rouen, the son of Jean I Restout and Marie M. Jouvenet, sister and pupil of the then well-known painter Jean Jouvenet.

In 1717, the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture having elected him a member on his work for the Prix de Rome, he remained in Paris, instead of proceeding to Italy, exhibited at all the salons, and filled successively every post of academical distinction. His works, chiefly altar-pieces, ceilings and designs for Gobelin tapestries, were engraved by Charles-Nicolas Cochin, Drevet and others.

His son, Jean-Bernard Restout (1732–1797), won the Prix de Rome in 1758, and on his return from Italy was received into the Academy; but his refusal to comply with rules led to a quarrel with that body. Roland appointed him keeper of the Garde Meuble, but this piece of favor nearly cost him his life during the Terror. More

Venetian School 18th Century
Samson and Delilah
Oil on canvas
Private collection

Samson  is one of the last of the judges of the ancient Israelites mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. According to the biblical account, Samson was given supernatural strength by God in order to combat his enemies and perform heroic feats such as killing a lion, slaying an entire army with only the jawbone of an ass, and destroying a pagan temple. Samson had two vulnerabilities—his attraction to untrustworthy women and his hair, without which he was powerless. These vulnerabilities ultimately proved fatal for him.

So, Samson let his hair grow, and eventually fell in love with a woman named Delilah. The Philistines bribed Delilah with 1,100 silver pieces from each of the Philistine leaders, to get her to figure out the secret of Samson's strength and tell them. 

After asking him several times what the secret to his strength is, Judges 16:17 says: "Finally he disclosed to her all his heart and said to her: 'A razor has never come upon my head, because I am a Naz′i·rite of God from my mother’s belly. If I did get shaved, my power also would certainly depart from me, and I should indeed grow weak and become like all other men.'" 

She relayed this to the Philistine axis lords, got Samson to fall asleep on her lap, and while he was sleeping, had his head shaved. The Philistines then took him captive, put out both his eyes, and made him their slave. 

One day as they are having a great party to worship their false god Dagon, the Philistines bring Samson out so they can make fun of him. By that time, Samson's hair has grown out again. Samson has a young boy lead him to the pillars that hold the building up, prays to Jehovah for strength, takes hold of the pillars, and cries out: "Let my soul die with the Philistines."

There are 3,000 Philistines on the roof of the building alone, and many more inside (the axis lords are all there as well), and when Samson pushes against the pillars, the building falls down and kills all of them, including Samson. More

Venetian school (art). From the later part of the 15th century, Venice had a distinctive, thriving and influential art scene. Beginning with the work of Giorgione (c. 1477–1510), and the workshop of Giovanni Bellini (c. 1430–1516), major artists of the Venetian school included Titian (1489–1576), Tintoretto (1518–1594), Veronese (1528–1588) and the Bassano (1510–1592). Considered to bring a primacy of color over line, this tradition was seen to contrast with the Mannerism then prevalent in the rest of Italy, and the Venetian style is viewed as having had a great influence on the subsequent development of painting. More

Acknowledgement: Deutsch Auktionen, Sotheby's

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