Sunday, September 4, 2016

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

Vittore Carpaccio, (1466–1525)
St George and the Dragon, c. 1502
Tempera on canvas
Height: 141 cm (55.5 in). Width: 360 cm (141.7 in).
Scuola di San Giorgio degli Schiavoni, Venice

Vittore Carpaccio (1465 – 1525/1526) was a Venetian painter of the Venetian school, who studied under Gentile Bellini. He is best known for a cycle of nine paintings, The Legend of Saint Ursula. His style was somewhat conservative, showing little influence from the Humanist trends that transformed Italian Renaissance painting during his lifetime. He was influenced by the style of Antonello da Messina and Early Netherlandish art. For this reason, and also because so much of his best work remains in Venice, his art has been rather neglected by comparison with other Venetian contemporaries, such as Giovanni Bellini or Giorgione. More

Peter Paul Rubens, (Flemish, 1577 - 1640)
Fight of St. George and the Dragon, c. 
1606 - 1608
Oil on canvas
309 x 257 cm
National Prado Museum

The story of St. George and the Dragon was popularized by writer Jacopo della Voragine in his Golden Legend . Here he counts as San Jorge arrived in Silca, city of Libya, where there was a large lake inhabited by a dragon. The people, to appease the wrath of the monster, threw two daily sheep for food. On completion of the sheep, they began to slaughter the villagers, chosen by lottery. Thus, it was the turn of the king's daughter who, in his way, he met St. George who saved: "(...) it enristró his spear and making it vibrate in the air and spurring his horse all , and ran toward the beast (...) when he had to reach his body sank into the gun and wounded ". Finally the people converted to Christianity by the feat achieved. More

Sir Peter Paul Rubens, (28 June 1577 – 30 May 1640) was a Flemish Baroque painter. A proponent of an extravagant Baroque style that emphasized movement, colour, and sensuality, Rubens is well known for his Counter-Reformation altarpieces, portraits, landscapes, and history paintings of mythological and allegorical subjects.
In addition to running a large studio in Antwerp that produced paintings popular with nobility and art collectors throughout Europe, Rubens was a classically educated humanist scholar and diplomat who was knighted by both Philip IV of Spain and Charles I of England. More

Parmigianino (Francesco Mazzola, Italian, 1503-1540). 
Virgin with Child, St. John the Baptist, and Mary Magdalene (about 1530-40)
Oil on paper, laid down on panel, 
75.5 x 59.7 cm (29 ½ x 23 ½ in.) 

Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola (also known as Francesco Mazzola or, more commonly, as Parmigianino], "the little one from Parma"); 11 January 1503 – 24 August 1540) was an Italian Mannerist painter and printmaker active in Florence, Rome, Bologna, and his native city of Parma. His work is characterized by a "refined sensuality" and often elongation of forms and includes Vision of Saint Jerome (1527) and the iconic if somewhat untypical Madonna with the Long Neck (1534), and he remains the best known artist of the first generation whose whole careers fall into the Mannerist period.

His prodigious and individual talent has always been recognised, but his career was disrupted by war, especially the Sack of Rome in 1527, three years after he moved there, and then ended by his death at only 37. He produced outstanding drawings, and was one of the first Italian painters to experiment with printmaking himself. While his portable works have always been keenly collected and are now in major museums in Italy and around the world, his two large projects in fresco are in a church in Parma and a palace in a small town nearby. This in conjunction with their lack of large main subjects has resulted in their being less well known than other works by similar artists. More

Follower of Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola, called Parmigianino
Oil on panel
14.7 by 18.9 cm.; 5 7/8 by 7 3/8 in.

Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola (also known as Francesco Mazzola or, more commonly, as Parmigianino], "the little one from Parma"); 11 January 1503 – 24 August 1540) , see above

Luca Longhi, RAVENNA 1507 - 1580
Oil on canvas 
64 × 47 cm; 25 1/4 by 18 1/2 in

Saint Catherine of Alexandria is, according to tradition, a Christian saint and virgin, who was martyred in the early 4th century at the hands of the pagan emperor Maxentius. According to her hagiography, she was both a princess and a noted scholar, who became a Christian around the age of fourteen, and converted hundreds of people to Christianity. She was martyred around the age of 18. Over 1,100 years following her martyrdom, St. Joan of Arc identified Catherine as one of the Saints who appeared to her and counselled her.

The Eastern Orthodox Church venerates her as a Great Martyr, and celebrates her feast day on 24 or 25 November (depending on the local tradition). In the Catholic Church she is traditionally revered as one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. In 1969 the Catholic Church removed her feast day from the General Roman Calendar;[4] however, she continued to be commemorated in the Roman Martyrology on 25 November. More

Raphael of Ravenna, is the great painter of Ravenna in the sixteenth century. His paintings have a simple composition, a soft bill full of feelings. Sometimes compared to the Bolognese Francesco Francia and Raphael, his works, including religious paintings and portraits, are a constant reflection between the archaism of the late fifteenth century and the novelty of the early Counter Reformation.

We find the same round face, eyes raised to heaven and torso leaning slightly in Sainte Agathe between St. Catherine and St. Cecilia (oil on canvas, 175 x 150 cm.) Kept in the church of Saint Agatha Ravenna. There is another Saint Catherine painted by Luca Longhi (oil on canvas, 39 x 32 cm.) Preserved at the Pinacoteca in Ravenna. Although the model is young and graceful, the painter succeeds in its composition, to let show through a strong and robust found in her faith. These comparisons underline the humanism of our table and artist veracity of the will. More

WORKSHOP OF Dirck Bouts, HAARLEM 1415 - 1475 LOUVAIN
Oil on panel 
37.5 x 24.5 cm; 14 3/4 by 9 5/8 in

Originally this painting  was the left panel of a diptych, paired with a Christ crowned with thorns . The composition probably derives from Rogier van der Weyden, who painted very similar representations of Virgin of pain, such as that in the Museum of the Hôtel-Dieu de Beaune, The Last Judgment  (1443-51), and Triptych of Jean Braque ( c. 1452-3, Louvre). In the past the painting had been attributed to Rogier van der Weyden and his school, but was given to Bouts workshop; as the composition was very popular his shop, with several versions of the work exist. More

Our Lady of Sorrows, the Sorrowful Mother or Mother of Sorrows, and Our Lady of Piety, Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows or Our Lady of the Seven Dolours are names by which the Blessed Virgin Mary is referred to in relation to sorrows in her life. As Mater Dolorosa, it is also a key subject for Marian art in the Catholic Church.

The Seven Sorrows of Mary are a popular Roman Catholic devotion. In common religious Catholic imagery, the Blessed Virgin Mary is portrayed in a sorrowful and lacrimating affect, with seven daggers piercing her heart, often bleeding. Devotional prayers that consist of meditation began to elaborate on her Seven Sorrows based on the prophecy of Simeon. Common examples of piety under this title are Servite rosary, or the Chaplet of the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady and the Seven Joys of Mary and more recently, "Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary". More

Dieric Bouts (born ca. 1415 – 6 May 1475) was an Early Netherlandish painter, Bouts was born in Haarlem and was mainly active in Leuven (Louvain), where he was city painter from 1468. Very little is actually known about Bouts' early life, but he was greatly influenced by Jan van Eyck and by Rogier van der Weyden, under whom he may have studied. He is first documented in Leuven in 1457 and worked there until his death in 1475.

Bouts was among the first northern painters to demonstrate the use of a single vanishing point. His work has a certain primitive stiffness of drawing, and his figures are often disproportionately long and angular, but his pictures are highly expressive, well designed and rich in colour, with especially good landscape backgrounds. More

Giovanni Speranza, VICENCE 1480 - 1532
Oil on Panel
42 x 33 cm ; 16 1/2 by 13 in

Speranza's works are so close to those of Vicenza painter Bartolomeo Montagna, that we can claim that he was his master,  before Speranza had his own workshop.

In this painting, Giovanni Speranza resumes, with variations, the composition of a painting (oil on panel, 36 x 30 cm.) of Bartolomeo Montagna, Madonna and Child with St. John the Baptist and St. Joseph , preserved in the Museo Civico Amedeo Lia La Spezia. 
However, Speranza decided to represent the Virgin adoring the Child and delete the figures of St. John the Baptist and Joseph. On the parapet, Speranza added an apple and a goldfinch, symbols of the sin of Adam and Eve and their redemption with the coming of Christ, led by the Virgin, the new Eve. More

Giovanni Speranza (circa 1470 - 1530s) is an Italian painter. He was born and was active in Vicenza, where he was a follower of Benedetto Montagna. One source claims a birth in 1480 and death in 1546.

He is mentioned briefly by Giorgio Vasari, in his entry on Jacopo Sansovino. He later claims both Montagna and Speranza were pupils of Andrea Mantegna. It is unclear if he is related to the Baroque painter Giovanni Battista Speranza. More

Studio of Quinten Metsys the Elder, (FLEMISH, 1466 - 1530)
The Madonna of the Cherries
Oil on oak panel
29.92 in. (76.00 cm.) (height) by 24.69 in. (62.70 cm.) (width)

Art history dictates that cherries symbolize something new and pure.

In his earlier works Massys depicted the Virgin as the Queen of Heaven, with a halo and seated on a celestial throne – an image that was intended to be adored by the viewer.  In the present work, the Virgin is still a Queen of Heaven but has lost her halo and is dressed in a remarkably plain costume.  Rather than being an intercessor and a figure to be adored, she has in some ways become more human.  Some of these changes reflect the influence of Leonardo, whose style Massys would have known as interpreted by Joos van Cleve.  More

Quentin Matsys (1466–1530) was a painter in the Flemish tradition and a founder of the Antwerp school. He was born at Leuven, where legend states he was trained as an ironsmith before becoming a painter. Matsys was active in Antwerp for over 20 years, creating numerous works with religious roots and satirical tendencies. More

Anton Woensam, 1492 or 1500 to 1541
Oil on oak wood. 
41 x 33 cm

God the father, with Pope tiara and red cope, on a throne, holding the cross, with Corpus Christi, in both hands His medalion of the dove, the Holy Spirit. A martyr on either side, one holding the ax of the executioner, the other a board and sword. Figures in courtly 16th century clothing. At the feet of the throne are two royal heads with ermine, turban and scepter, probably alluding to Herod and Oriental rulers, a time corresponding to the Turkish wars. More

WOENSAM, Anton von Worms (b. ca. 1495, Worms, d. 1541, Cologne) was a German woodcutter and painter. His family settled in Cologne c. 1510, and he was probably trained by his father, Jaspar Woensam the Elder, who became the banneret of the painters' guild in 1546. There is evidence that Anton Woensam worked as a woodcutter for book printers in 1517-18. His style was at first influenced by Cologne painting and Antwerp Mannerism, and he may also have been inspired by the Master of St Severin. Later he was influenced by Bartolomäus Bruyn the Elder, Joos van Cleve and Albrecht Dürer. More

Flemish masters of the 16th century
Oil / tempera on oak. 
Diameter: 29.5 cm.

Mary, with the the child at her breast. Reddish-brown hair over her shoulders with a hair brush. A turquoise jacket with raised side collar on a red dress, bound by a fine cord. The facial features with narrow eyes cut and delicate pink lips reproduced gracefully.

Raphael, (1483–1520)
Saint Margaret, circa 1518
Oil on panel
192 × 122 cm (75.6 × 48 in)
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria

Margaret is celebrated as a saint by the Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches on July 20 and on July 17 in the Orthodox Church. Her historical existence has been questioned. She was declared apocryphal by Pope Gelasius I in 494, but devotion to her revived in the West with the Crusades. She was reputed to have promised very powerful indulgences to those who wrote or read her life, or invoked her intercessions; these no doubt helped the spread of her cultus.
She was a native of "Antioch" and the daughter of a pagan priest named Aedesius. Her mother having died soon after her birth, Margaret was nursed by a Christian woman five or six leagues from Antioch. Having embraced Christianity and consecrated her virginity to God, Margaret was disowned by her father, adopted by her nurse, and lived in the country keeping sheep with her foster mother (in what is now Turkey). Olybrius, Governor of the Roman Diocese of the East, asked to marry her, but with the demand that she renounce Christianity. Upon her refusal, she was cruelly tortured, during which various miraculous incidents occurred. One of these involved being swallowed by Satan in the shape of a dragon, from which she escaped alive when the cross she carried irritated the dragon's innards. The Golden Legend, in an atypical passage of skepticism, describes this last incident as "apocryphal and not to be taken seriously". She was put to death in AD 304.
As Saint Marina, she is associated with the sea, which "may in turn point to an older goddess tradition," reflecting the pagan divinity, Aphrodite. More

Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (April 6 or March 28, 1483 – April 6, 1520), known as Raphael, was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance. His work is admired for its clarity of form, ease of composition, and visual achievement of the Neoplatonic ideal of human grandeur. Together with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, he forms the traditional trinity of great masters of that period.
Raphael was enormously productive, running an unusually large workshop and, despite his death at 37, leaving a large body of work. Many of his works are found in the Vatican Palace, where the frescoed Raphael Rooms were the central, and the largest, work of his career. The best known work is The School of Athens in the Vatican Stanza della Segnatura. After his early years in Rome much of his work was executed by his workshop from his drawings, with considerable loss of quality. He was extremely influential in his lifetime, though outside Rome his work was mostly known from his collaborative printmaking.
After his death, the influence of his great rival Michelangelo was more widespread until the 18th and 19th centuries, when Raphael's more serene and harmonious qualities were again regarded as the highest models. His career falls naturally into three phases and three styles, first described by Giorgio Vasari: his early years in Umbria, then a period of about four years (1504–1508) absorbing the artistic traditions of Florence, followed by his last hectic and triumphant twelve years in Rome, working for two Popes and their close associates. More

Tiziano Vecelli or Titian (1488/1490 – 27 August 1576
Saint Margaret, Ca. 1565
Oil on Canvas
High/Height: 209 cm.; Width: 183 cm
National Prado Museum

Titian debt here to Raphael´s Saint Margaret (above) is evident, a painting brought to Venice in the early sixteenth century by Cardinal Grimani. In both works a rock acts as the backdrop to the action while the saint emerges from the dragon in graceful contrapposto. The manner in which the saint reveals her forward leg in a similar way to Raphael´s figure, recalls Giorgione´s Judith (Saint Petersburg, Hermitage). Elements such as the burning city, the cross held by the saint and the skull in the lower right corner are not normally found in the iconography of Saint Margaret, and were attributed by Panofsky to a confusion with the story of Saint Martha and Saint George.

Titian was criticised for having shown the saint with the leg almost completely nude to above the knee. More

Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio, or Titian (1488/1490 – 27 August 1576), 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", 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. More

Paolo di Giovanni, (circa 1403-around 1482)
St. Catherine of Alexandria, St. Barbara and St. Margaret
Sections of an altarpiece; towards 1463
The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Giovanni di Paolo di Grazia (c. 1403–1482) was an Italian painter, working primarily in Siena. He may have apprenticed with Taddeo di Bartolo, becoming a prolific painter and illustrator of manuscripts, including Dante's texts.

He was one of the most important painters of the 15th century Sienese School. His early works show the influence of earlier Sienese masters, but his later style was more individual, characterized by cold, harsh colours and elongated forms. His style also took on the influence of International Gothic artists such as Gentile da Fabriano. Many of his works have an unusual dreamlike atmosphere, such as the surrealistic Miracle of St. Nicholas of Tolentino painted about 1455 and now housed in the Philadelphia Museum of Art (below), while his last works, particularly Last Judgment, Heaven, and Hell  (below) from about 1465 and Assumption painted in 1475, both at Pinacoteca Nazionale (Siena), are grotesque treatments of their lofty subjects. Giovanni's reputation declined after his death but was revived in the 20th century. More

Paolo di Giovanni, (circa 1403-around 1482)
Saint Nicholas of Tolentino Saving a Shipwreck, c. 1457
Tempera and gold on panel with vertical grain
20 1/2 x 16 5/8 inches (52.1 x 42.2 cm)
Philadelphia Museum of Art

Giovanni di Paolo appears to have had access to a copy of the first-hand accounts of the miracles of Saint Nicholas of Tolentino in which witnesses vividly describe the terror of the shipwreck—the rolling waves, broken masts, and flying sails—and the radiant light emanating from the saint who came to save them. The artist, however, embellished the scene by adding the naked siren swimming in the foreground, enticing sailors to steer off course. More

Giovanni di Paolo di Grazia (c. 1403–1482), see above

Lateral panel of an altarpiece; companion panels are in the Gemäldegalerie der Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna (below).

Paolo di Giovanni, (circa 1403-around 1482)
A Miracle by St Nicholas of Tolentino, c. 1456
Tempera on wood
50 x 43 cm
Akademie der bildenden Künste, Vienna

This predella panel belonged to an altarpiece dedicated to St Nicholas of Tolentino in the church of San Agostino in Montepulciano. The central panel is still in this church.

The panel represents a Florentine cityscape into which a funeral scene with all its different stages has been integrated. St Nicholas hovers above, preparing for the miracle of raising somebody from the dead. More

Giovanni di Paolo di Grazia (c. 1403–1482), see above

Paolo di Giovanni, (circa 1403-around 1482)
The Pinacoteca Nazionale di Siena

From its first depictions around the year 1000, the Last Judgment has been confined by Heaven, to the right of Christ,

Paolo di Giovanni, (circa 1403-around 1482)
 Detail, Heaven

Heaven is populated by a crowd of couples embracing, indicating a life of happiness after salvation. They include various religious orders: Dominicans, Franciscans, Carmelites, but also elegantly dressed aristocrats, a cardinal and a host of other characters.

and Hell, to the left. 

Paolo di Giovanni, (circa 1403-around 1482)
 Detail, Hell

In a rich palette, the serenity of the lives of the Elect is reflected in two registers in which the characters are seen embracing. Conversely, the chaos of hell is demonstrated by a disordered composition based on a more sober and sombre palette, while the motif is taken from an altarpiece by Fra Angelico painted thirty years earlier. The lack of iconographic precedent for the pensive woman at Christ's feet makes it difficult to ascribe satisfactory significance to her.

Paolo di Giovanni, (circa 1403-around 1482)
 Detail, Center,  the pensive woman at Christ's feet.

Paolo di Giovanni, (circa 1403-around 1482)
Saint John the Evangelist, the Assumption of the Virgin and St. Ansaus, circa 1470
Tempera on panel
18.8 cm (7.4 in.), Width: 48.3 cm (19.02 in.)
El Paso Museum of Art  (United States - El Paso, Texas)

Giovanni di Paolo di Grazia (c. 1403–1482), see above

Jacopo Tintoretto, (c.1518–1594)
 The Martyrdom of St Lawrence
Oil on canvas
126 x 191 cm
Christ Church, University of Oxford

Saint Lawrence is thought to  have been born in Huesca, a town in the region of Aragon that was once part of the Roman province of Hispania Tarraconensis. The martyrs Orentius and Patientia are traditionally held to have been his parents

According to history, the care of the treasures of the church (including the Holy Grail) fell upon the archdeacon Lorenzo. When asked by a prefect of the emperor Valerian to hand them over, he presented to him the poor of the city saying "Behold, these choice pearls, these sparkling gems that adorn the temple, these sacred virgins, I mean, and these widows who refuse second marriage.... Behold then, all our riches”. This bold gesture did not go over well with the emperor and Lorenzo was condemned to death, ordered to be burned over coals on a grid iron. It is said that the saint, making light of this gruesome barbeque called out to his captors, “Turn me over, I am done on this side.” Despite his continuing torture, his comical commentary carried on and right before he died, shouted out, “It’s cooked enough now”. The church, perhaps revealing its humorous side as well, later proclaimed the archdeacon to be the patron saint of all cooks, and is often depicted holding garlic in one hand and a gridiron in the other. More

Tintoretto; born Jacopo Comin, (October, 1518 – May 31, 1594) was an Italian painter and a notable exponent of the Renaissance school. For his phenomenal energy in painting he was termed Il Furioso. His work is characterized by its muscular figures, dramatic gestures, and bold use of perspective in the Mannerist style, while maintaining color and light typical of the Venetian School.

In his youth, Tintoretto was also known as Jacopo Robusti as his father had defended the gates of Padua in a way that others called robust, against the imperial troops during the War of the League of Cambrai (1509–1516). His real name "Comin" has only recently been discovered by Miguel Falomir, the curator of the Museo del Prado, Madrid, and was made public on the occasion of the retrospective of Tintoretto at the Prado in 2007. More

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