Tuesday, October 18, 2016

20 Paintings, scenes from the Bible, by The Old Masters, with footnotes # 29

Caravaggio, (1571–1610)
The Entombment of Christ, circa 1602–1603
Oil on canvas
Height: 300 cm (118.1 in). Width: 203 cm (79.9 in).
Pinacoteca Vaticana

This counter-reformation painting – with a diagonal cascade of mourners and cadaver-bearers descending to the limp, dead Christ and the bare stone – is not a moment of transfiguration, but of mourning. As the viewer's eye descends from the gloom there is, too, a descent from the hysteria of Mary of Clopas through subdued emotion to death as the final emotional silencing. Unlike the gored post-crucifixion Jesus in morbid Spanish displays, Italian Christs die generally bloodlessly, and slump in a geometrically challenging display. As if emphasizing the dead Christ's inability to feel pain, a hand enters the wound at his side. His body is one of a muscled, veined, thick-limbed laborer rather than the usual, bony-thin depiction.
Two men carry the body. John the Evangelist, identified only by his youthful appearance and red cloak supports the dead Christ on his right knee and with his right arm, inadvertently opening the wound. Nicodemus grasps the knees in his arms, with his feet planted at the edge of the slab. Caravaggio balances the stable, dignified position of the body and the unstable exertions of the bearers. 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

Albrecht Dürer, (1471–1528)
Jesus among the Doctors (as a child debating in the temple), c. 1506
Oil on panel
Height: 64.3 cm (25.3 in). Width: 80.3 cm (31.6 in).
Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid, Spain

Christ among the Doctors. The work dates to Dürer's sojourn in Venice, and was executed in five days, while he was working at the Feast of the Rosary altarpiece.

The subject had been already treated by Dürer in a woodcut of the Life of the Virgin series and in a panel of the Seven Sorrows Polyptych. However, in the Venetian work the German artist adopted a totally new composition, with the characters occupying the whole scene and surrounding the young Jesus, leaving a little room for the black background.

The topic is the Finding in the Temple episode from Jesus' childhood, found in the Gospel of Luke. The character at the left of Jesus is a true caricature, perhaps inspired by one of Leonardo da Vinci's drawings seen by Dürer. The man in the lower right corner has a cartouche on his beret, a custom of the Pharisees. The one on the opposite side is perhaps a citation of Bellini. More

Bartolomeo Veneto, (1470–1531)
 St. Catherine Crowned, circa 1520
Oil on panel
Glasgow Museums Resource Centre, United Kingdom

In this painting we see Saint Catherine, who was a princess, with a crown, as well as spiked breaking wheel used during her torture.

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; however, she continued to be commemorated in the Roman Martyrology on 25 November. More

Bartolomeo Veneto (1470–1531) was an Italian painter who worked in Venice, the Veneto (the mainland), and Lombardy. During his time in Venice, he studied under Gentile Bellini. The little information available about Bartolomeo's life has been derived from his signatures, dates, and inscriptions. His best known works are portraits or pictures with portrait-like character. Bartolomeo's later works, and especially those done on commission in Milan, indicate an influence from the artist Leonardo da Vinci. More

 Otto van Veen, (c.1556 – 6 May 1629)
The Pentecost
Oil on copper
9 ½ x 12 5/8 in. (24.2 x 32.1 cm.)
Private Collection

The Christian Pentecost is based on the New Testament, where it refers to the occasion of the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ, as described in the Acts of the Apostles. According to Luke, the Descent of the Holy Spirit took place while the Apostles were celebrating the Jewish day of Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks, a prominent feast in the calendar of ancient Israel celebrating the giving of the Law to Moses at Sinai. Subsequently, the term Pentecost may refer to the Pentecost of the New Testament and Shavuot of the Old Testament. The Shavuot of the Old Testament is a significant event shared by Jewish and Christian traditions but is not commonly celebrated as a separate holiday by Christians. More

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

Angelo Trevisani (1669 – after 1753) 
The Sacrifice of Isaac
Oil on canvas
63 3/8 x 53 1/8 in. (161 x 135 cm.)
Private Collection

According to the Hebrew Bible, God commands Abraham to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice. After Isaac is bound to an altar, the angel of God stops Abraham at the last minute, saying "now I know you fear God." At this point, Abraham sees a ram caught in some nearby bushes and sacrifices the ram instead of Isaac. More

Angelo Trevisani (1669 – after 1753) was an Italian painter of the late-Baroque, active mainly in Venice. He was born in Venice (or possibly Capodistria), the brother of Francesco Trevisani who was born in Capodistria, and who painted mainly in Rome under the patronage of cardinal Ottoboni. Angelo was a pupil of Andrea Celesti. He also painted for the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Pilastrello in Lendinara. He was influenced by Antonio Balestra.

Among his pictures were Expulsion of Moneychangers from the Temple for SS. Cosmo e Damiano, Venice; Dream of S. Theresa for San Pietro in Oliveto, in Brescia; and Madonna for the Gallery in Madrid, others included Putti Musicians, the Guardian Angel and the Self-Portrait. More

Hieronymus Bosch
Saint Wilgefortis Triptych, c. 1495–1505
Oil on oak panel, left wing 105.2 × 27.5 cm; central panel 105.2 × 62.7 cm; right wing 104.7 × 27.9 cm. 
Venice, Gallerie dell’Accademia

With its unusual theme of a woman martyr being crucified, this triptych includes a fine study of contrasting reactions among the crowd, and extensive imaginative imagery.

The central panel represents the crucifixion of a female saint, Uncumber (also called Liberata or Wilgefortis). The left wing shows St. Anthony in meditation, the right wing a monk leading a soldier. Originally a kneeling male donor appeared on each wing. These figures were overpainted but are now revealed. More

In a depiction related to Christ's crucifixion, the centrally themed woman is in an elevated position against the sky, balanced by a large crowd gathered at the foot of the cross, including executioners and common people. A typical element is the fainting man supported by his neighbors.

The sides show two cities: at right, a port characterized by fanciful domed buildings and several sunken ships; at left is city on fire, occupied by demons. At the bottom are several parapets, with, at left, a hermit with a dark hood (perhaps St. Anthony in Meditation), and, at right, a monk and a soldier who point at the central panel, traditionally identified as slave-dealers  More

Hieronymus Bosch
Saint Wilgefortis Triptych, c. 1495–1505
Oil on oak panel
Central panel 105.2 × 62.7 cm
The Crucified Female Martyr
Venice, Gallerie dell’Accademia

Saint Wilgefortis. According to the narrative of the legend, sometimes set in Portugal, a teen-aged noblewoman named Wilgefortis had been promised in marriage by her father to a pagan king. To thwart the unwanted wedding, she had taken a vow of virginity, and prayed that she would be made repulsive. In answer to her prayers she sprouted a beard, which ended the engagement. In anger, Wilgefortis's father had her crucified.

She is often shown with a small fiddler at her feet, and with one shoe off. This derives from a legend, also attached to the Volto Santo of Lucca, of a silver shoe with which the statue had been clothed dropping spontaneously at the feet of a poor pilgrim. In the Wilgefortis version the poor devotee became a fiddler, perhaps in the 13th century. More

Hieronymus Bosch
Saint Wilgefortis Triptych, c. 1495–1505
Oil on oak panel
Right wing 104.7 × 27.9 cm
Monk Leading a Soldier
Venice, Gallerie dell’Accademia

Hieronymus Bosch
Saint Wilgefortis Triptych, c. 1495–1505
Oil on oak panel
left wing 105.2 × 27.5 cm
 St. Anthony in Meditation
Venice, Gallerie dell’Accademia

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

Hieronymus Bosch (c. 1450 – 9 August 1516) was an Early Flemish painter. His work is known for its fantastic imagery, detailed landscapes, and illustrations of religious concepts and narratives. Within his lifetime his work was collected in the Netherlands, Austria, and Spain, and widely copied, especially his macabre and nightmarish depictions of hell.
Little is known of Bosch's life, though there are some records. He spent most of it in the town of 's-Hertogenbosch, where he was born in his grandfather's house. The roots of his forefathers are in Aachen, in present-day Germany. His pessimistic and fantastical style cast a wide influence on northern art of the 16th century, with Pieter Bruegel the Elder being his best known follower. His paintings have been difficult to translate from a modern point of view; attempts to associate instances of modern sexual imagery with fringe sects or the occult have largely failed. Today he is seen as a hugely individualistic painter with deep insight into humanity's desires and deepest fears. Attribution has been especially difficult; today only about 25 paintings are confidently given to his hand along with 8 drawings. Approximately another half dozen paintings are confidently attributed to his workshop. His most acclaimed works consist of a few triptych altarpieces, the most outstanding of which is The Garden of Earthly Delights. More

Hieronymus Bosch (c. 1450 – 9 August 1516) 
The Temptation of Saint Anthony
Oil on panel
11 5/8 x 14 in. (29.5 x 35.5 cm.)
Private Collection

The Temptation of Saint Anthony is an often-repeated subject in history of art and literature, concerning the supernatural temptation reportedly faced by Saint Anthony the Great during his sojourn in the Egyptian desert. Anthony's temptation is first discussed by Athanasius of Alexandria, Anthony's contemporary, and from then became a popular theme in Western culture. More

Hieronymus Bosch (c. 1450 – 9 August 1516) was an Early Flemish painter. His work is known for its fantastic imagery, detailed landscapes, and illustrations of religious concepts and narratives. Within his lifetime his work was collected in the Netherlands, Austria, and Spain, and widely copied, especially his macabre and nightmarish depictions of hell.

Little is known of Bosch's life, though there are some records. He spent most of it in the town of 's-Hertogenbosch, where he was born in his grandfather's house. The roots of his forefathers are in Aachen, in present-day Germany. His pessimistic and fantastical style cast a wide influence on northern art of the 16th century, with Pieter Bruegel the Elder being his best known follower. His paintings have been difficult to translate from a modern point of view; attempts to associate instances of modern sexual imagery with fringe sects or the occult have largely failed. Today he is seen as a hugely individualistic painter with deep insight into humanity's desires and deepest fears. Attribution has been especially difficult; today only about 25 paintings are confidently given to his hand along with 8 drawings. Approximately another half dozen paintings are confidently attributed to his workshop. His most acclaimed works consist of a few triptych altarpieces, the most outstanding of which is The Garden of Earthly Delights. More

Jörg Breu the Elder (c. 1475–1537),
The Miracle of Saint Leonard of Limoges
Oil and gold on panel
23 x 16 in. (58.4 x 40.6 cm.)
Private Collection

The Miracle of Saint Leonard of Limoges. According to unreliable sources, he was a Frank courtier who was converted by St. Remigius, refused the offer of a See from his godfather, King Clovis I, and became a monk at Micy. He lived as a hermit at Limoges and was rewarded by the king with all the land he could ride around on a donkey in a day for his prayers, which were believed to have brought the Queen through a difficult delivery safely. He founded Noblac monastery on the land so granted him, and it grew into the town of Saint-Leonard. He remained there evangelizing the surrounding area until his death. He is invoked by women in labor and by prisoners of war because of the legend that Clovis promised to release every captive Leonard visited. More

Jörg Breu the Elder (c. 1475–1537), of Augsburg, was a painter of the German Danube school. He was the son of a weaver.

He journeyed to Austria and created several multi-panel altarpieces there in 1500–02, such as the Melk Altar (1502). He returned to Augsburg in 1502 where he became a master. He travelled to Italy twice, in ca. 1508 and in 1514/15.

After his death in 1537, his son, Jörg Breu the Younger continued to lead his Augsburg workshop until his own death 10 years later. More

Jan Massijs (c.1510, Antwerp – 8 October 1575, Antwerp)
Saint John the Evangelist's vision of the Apocalypse on the island of Patmos, c. 1562
Oil on panel
46 1/8 x 57 7/8 in. (117.2 x 147 cm.)
Private Collection

John the Evangelist is the name traditionally given to the author of the Gospel of John. Christians have traditionally identified him with John the Apostle, John of Patmos, and John the Presbyter, though this has been disputed by modern scholars.

Christian tradition says that John the Evangelist was John the Apostle. A historical figure, one of the "pillars" of the Jerusalem church after Jesus' death. He was one of the original twelve apostles and is thought to be the only one to have lived into old age and not be killed for his faith. John is associated with the city of Ephesus, where he is said to have lived and been buried. Some believe that he was exiled (around 95 AD) to the Aegean island of Patmos, where he wrote the Book of Revelation. More

He wrote to the seven Christian churches in Asia to warn them of various challenges and temptations that confront them, which have been revealed to him in a vision. He then relates several additional powerful visions concerning the Last Days and the Second Coming of Christ. More

Jan Massijs or Jan Matsys (c.1510, Antwerp – 8 October 1575, Antwerp) was a Flemish Renaissance painter known for his history paintings, genre scenes and landscapes. He was the son of leading Antwerp painter Quinten Matsys and the older brother of Cornelis, who became a painter and engraver. He trained under his father. He was admitted, together with his brother Cornelis, as a master in the Antwerp Guild of St. Luke in 1531, a year after their father's death. It is assumed that he left Antwerp immediately thereafter and worked for a while in Fontainebleau. He was back in Antwerp by 1536.

In 1544 Jan and his brother Cornelis were banned from Antwerp because of their religious beliefs. It is possible that Jan went to Fontainebleau and Germany. It is certain that he spent time in Genoa. He returned to Antwerp before the end of 1555 when the ban imposed on him was ended. He was then involved in a number of court cases with his brothers and sisters over the distribution of inheritances.

He had been sufficiently rehabilitated for the local city council to commission several works from him. These works were destroyed in 1576 when Spanish troops set the city hall on fire during the Spanish Fury and the Sack of Antwerp. Jan Massijs had died the year before having been reduced to a state bordering on poverty. More

Jan Massijs (c.1510, Antwerp – 8 October 1575, Antwerp)
David and Bathsheba, c. 1562
Oil on panel
162 × 197 cm (63.8 × 77.6 in)
Louvre Museum

David and Bathsheba. The story is told that David, while walking on the roof of his palace, saw Bathsheba, who was then the wife of Uriah, having a bath. He immediately desired her and later made her pregnant. In an effort to conceal his sin, and save Bathsheba from punishment for adultery, David summoned her husband, Uriah, and gave the order that Uriah should be placed in the front lines of the battle, where it was the most dangerous, and left to the hands of the enemy. After Uriah was dead, David made the now widowed Bathsheba his wife.

David's action was displeasing to the Lord, who accordingly sent Nathan the prophet to reprove the king. The king at once confessed his sin and expressed sincere repentance. Bathsheba's child by David was struck with a severe illness and died a few days after birth, which the king accepted as his punishment.

In David's old age, Bathsheba secured the succession to the throne of her son Solomon, according to David's earlier promise, instead of David's eldest surviving son Adonijah. More

Jan Massijs (c.1510, Antwerp – 8 October 1575, Antwerp), see above

French School, 16th Century
Saint Benedict of Nursia
oil on panel
9 ½ x 5 in. (24.3 x 12.7 cm.)

Saint Benedict of Nursia (c. 480 – 543 or 547) is the patron saint of Europe and students. Benedict founded twelve communities for monks at Subiaco, Italy, before moving to Monte Cassino in the mountains of southern Italy. The Order of St Benedict is of later origin and, moreover, not an "order" as commonly understood but merely a confederation of autonomous congregations. 

Benedict's main achievement is his "Rule of Saint Benedict", containing precepts for his monks. It is heavily influenced by the writings of John Cassian, and shows strong affinity with the Rule of the Master. But it also has a unique spirit of balance, moderation and reasonableness, and this persuaded most religious communities founded throughout the Middle Ages to adopt it. As a result, his Rule became one of the most influential religious rules in Western Christendom. For this reason, Benedict is often called the founder of western monasticism. More

Attributed to François-Alexandre Verdier Paris, 1651 - 1730 
Christ and the Samaritan 
Oil on canvas 
64.50 x 81.50 cm (25.39 x 32.09 in.)
Private Collection

François-Alexandre Verdier (c. 1651 - 1730) was French painter, draftsman and engraver. He was a student and assistant of Charles Le Brun. He was born in Paris around 1651. In 1668 he was awarded the 1st prize in drawing at the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture. From 1668 to 1671 he lived in Italy at the Medici Villa. He won the Prix de Rome for drawing in 1668 for his work Première conquête de la Franche-Comté, and again in 1671 for Le Roi donnant la paix à l'Europe. He was admitted to the Academy in 1678. By 1684 he was a Professor. He exhibited at the Salon of 1704. He died in Paris in 1730. More

When Christ came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon.

A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, ‘Give me a drink’. The Samaritan woman said to him, ‘How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?’ Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, “Give me a drink”, you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.’ The woman said to him, ‘Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?’ Jesus said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.’ The woman said to him, ‘Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.’

Duccio di Buoninsegna
Christ and the Samaritan Woman, c. 1310-11
Tempera and gold on panel 
43.5 x 46 cm
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

Duccio di Buoninsegna (c. 1255–1260 – c. 1318–1319) was an Italian painter, active in the city of Siena in Tuscany, where he was born, in the late 13th and early 14th centuries.
He is considered to be the father of Sienese painting and along with a few others the founder of Western art. He was hired throughout his life to complete many important works in government and religious buildings around Italy. Duccio is credited with creating the painting style of Trecento and the Sienese school, and contributed significantly to the Sienese Gothic style. More

Jesus said to her, ‘Go, call your husband, and come back.’ The woman answered him, ‘I have no husband.’ Jesus said to her, ‘You are right in saying, “I have no husband”; for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!’ The woman said to him, ‘Sir, I see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshipped on this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.’ The woman said to him, ‘I know that Messiah is coming’ (who is called Christ). ‘When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I am he, the one who is speaking to you.

Angelica Kauffman (1741–1807)
Christ and the Samaritan woman at the well, c. 1796
Oil on canvas
123.5 × 158.5 cm (48.6 × 62.4 in)
Neue Pinakothek, München, Germany

Attributed to Charles-Alphonse Dufresnoy, Paris, 1611 - 1665 
The death of Saint Cecilia,
Oil on canvas 
160 x 240 cm (62.99 x 94.49 in.)
Private Collection

The discovery of the intact body of St. Cecilia, martyred in the third century, during excavations at the restoration of the Basilica of Trastevere in Rome in 1599, permanently marked the spirits and was an inspiration for many artists present in the eternal City in the early decades of the seventeenth century. More

Charles Alphonse du Fresnoy (1611 – 16 January 1668), French painter and writer on his art, was born in Paris, son of an apothecary.

He was destined for the medical profession, and well educated in Latin and Greek; but, having a natural propensity for the fine arts, he would not apply to his intended vocation, and was allowed to learn the rudiments of design under Perrier and Vouet. At the age of twenty-one he went off to Rome, with no resources; he drew ruins and architectural subjects.

After two years thus spent he re-encountered his old fellow-student Pierre Mignard, and by his aid obtained some amelioration of his professional prospects. He studied Raphael and the antique, went in 1633 to Venice, and in 1656 returned to France. During two years he was now employed in painting altar-pieces in the château du Raincy, landscapes, etc. His death was caused by an attack of apoplexy followed by palsy; he died at Villiers-le-Bel, near Paris. He never married. More

Attributed to Charles-Alphonse Dufresnoy, Paris, 1611 - 1665 
The death of Saint Cecilia

Saint Cecilia is the patroness of musicians. It is written that as the musicians played at her wedding she "sang in her heart to the Lord". She is one of seven women, excluding the Blessed Virgin, commemorated by name in the Canon of the Mass.

According to the story, despite her vow of virginity, she was forced by her parents to marry a nobleman named Valerian. During the wedding, Cecilia sat apart singing to God in her heart, and for that she was later declared the saint of musicians.[3] When the time came for her marriage to be consummated, Cecilia told Valerian that she had an angel of the Lord watching over her who would punish him if he dared to violate her virginity but who would love him if he could respect her maidenhood. When Valerian asked to see the angel, Cecilia replied that he would see the angel if he would go to the third milestone on the Via Appia (the Appian Way) and be baptized by Pope Urbanus.[citation needed] After his baptism, he found an angel standing by the side of Cecilia, and crowning her with a chaplet of roses and lilies.

The martyrdom of Cecilia is said to have followed that of Valerian and his brother by the prefect Turcius Almachius. The legend about Cecilia’s death says that after being struck three times on the neck with a sword, she lived for three days, and asked the pope to convert her home into a church. More

Guido Reni (1575–1642)
St Cecilia, c. 1606
Oil on canvas
94 × 75 cm (37 × 29.5 in)
Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, California

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

Jean-Baptiste Oudry, Paris, 1686 - Beauvais, 1755 
Rest of the Holy Family on the Flight into Egypt 
Oil on canvas 
81 x 65.50 cm (31.89 x 25.79 in.) 
Private Collection

The flight into Egypt is a biblical event described in the Gospel of Matthew in which Joseph fled to Egypt with Mary and infant son Jesus after a visit by Magi because they learned that King Herod intended to kill the infants of that area. The episode is frequently shown in art, as the final episode of the Nativity of Jesus in art, and was a common component in cycles of the Life of the Virgin as well as the Life of Christ.

When the Magi came in search of Jesus, they go to Herod the Great in Jerusalem and ask where to find the newborn "King of the Jews". Herod becomes paranoid that the child will threaten his throne, and seeks to kill him. Herod initiates the Massacre of the Innocents in hopes of killing the child. But an angel appears to Joseph and warns him to take Jesus and his mother into Egypt.

Russian icon of the Flight into Egypt
the bottom section shows the idols of Egypt miraculously falling down before Jesus and being smashed (17th century).

Egypt was a logical place to find refuge, as it was outside the dominions of King Herod, but both Egypt and Israel were part of the Roman Empire, linked by a coastal road known as "the way of the sea", making travel between them easy and relatively safe.

The Flight into Egypt was a popular subject in art, showing Mary with the baby on a donkey, led by Joseph, borrowing the older iconography of the rare Byzantine Journey to Bethlehem. Before about 1525, it usually formed part of a larger cycle, whether of the Nativity, or the Life of Christ or Life of the Virgin.  More

Jean-Baptiste Oudry, (born March 17, 1686, Paris, France—died April 30, 1755, Beauvais) French Rococo painter, tapestry designer, and illustrator, considered one of the greatest animal painters of the 18th century.

Oudry first studied portrait painting with Nicolas de Largillière, a portraitist of Parisian society, through whom he made many connections. His early portraits are often arcadian in setting and tender and sentimentally charming in the Rococo tradition. In his early career he executed many still lifes that were used as decorative inserts for paneled rooms. After he was made a member of the French Royal Academy in 1719, his work consisted largely of animal paintings, tapestry designs, and book illustrations.

In 1734 Oudry was made head of the Beauvais tapestry works. Some of his designs brought the company wide fame, such as those for the tapestry series “Country Amusements” (1730), “Moliere’s Comedies” (1732), and “The Fables of La Fontaine” (1736). The designs for the last series were related to the 277 illustrations Oudry did for a four-volume edition of the Fables. His other book illustrations included those for editions of Don Quixote and Le Roman comique. In 1736 he was made inspector general of the Gobelins tapestry factory. He was official painter of the royal hunts. Oudry’s tapestries, like his paintings, were highly regarded for their tonal subtlety and lively study of nature. Oudry’s services were sought not only by Louis XV but by Tsar Peter the Great of Russia, the queen of Sweden, and the prince of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. More

Horace GENTILESCHI (Pise, 1562 - London, 1639)
Rest of the Holy Family on the Flight into Egypt, c. 1628 ?
H. : 1,57 m. ; L. : 2,25 m.
Collection & Louvre Palace

Orazio Lomi Gentileschi (1563–1639) was an Italian painter. Born in Tuscany, he began his career in Rome, painting in a Mannerist style, much of his work consisting of painting the figures within the decorative schemes of other artists. After 1600, he came under the influence of the more naturalistic style of Caravaggio. He received important commissions in Fabriano and Genoa before moving to Paris to the court of Marie de Medici. He spent the last part of his life at the court of Charles I of England. He was the father of the painter Artemisia Gentileschi. More

Edwin Longsden Long, 1829 - 1891
Anno Domini, Arrival in Egypt
Oil on canvas
Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum

Edwin Longsden Long RA (12 July 1829 – 15 May 1891) was an English genre, history, biblical and portrait painter. Long was born in Bath, and was educated at Dr. Viner's School in Bath. Adopting the profession of a painter, Long came to London and studied in the British Museum. He was subsequently a pupil in the school of James Mathews Leigh in Newman Street London, and practiced first as a portrait artist painting Charles Greville, Lord Ebury and others.

Edwin Longsden Long, 1829 - 1891
Anno Domini, Arrival in Egypt

Long made the acquaintance of John Phillip RA, and accompanied him to Spain, where they spent much time. Long was greatly influenced by the paintings of Velasquez and other Spanish masters, and his earlier pictures, such as 'La Posada' (1864) and 'Lazarilla and the blind beggar' (1870), were painted under Spanish influence. His first important pictures were 'The Suppliants' (1872) and 'The Babylonian marriage market' (both subsequently purchased by Thomas Holloway). In 1874, he visited Egypt and Syria, and subsequently his work took a new direction. He became thoroughly imbued with middle-eastern archaeology and painted oriental scenes like 'The Egyptian Feast' (1877), 'The Gods and their makers' (1878) etc.

Long was elected an associate of the Royal Academy in 1870 and an academician (RA) in 1881. His pictures suited the taste and appealed to the religious sentiment of a large portion of the public, and their popularity was increased by a wide circulation of engravings. He consequently determined to exhibit his next pictures in a separate gallery of his own in Bond Street, London and there in 1883, and the following years, his 'Anno Domini' and 'Zeuxis at Crotona' met with great commercial success.

Edwin Longsden Long, 1829 - 1891
Anno Domini, Arrival in Egypt
Long died from pneumonia resulting from influenza, at his home, "Kelston" in Netherhall Gardens, Hampstead, on 15 May 1891, in his sixty-second year. He was buried in West Hampstead Cemetery. More

Acknowledgement: Artcurial Paris

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