Wednesday, October 19, 2016

24 Icons from the Bible, with footnotes, #7

Lorenzo di NICCOLO
The Angel of the Annunciation and the Virgin, c. 1410
Pair of poplar canvases, arched shaped
88 x 40cm - 34 5/8 x 15 3/1 in. 
Private Collection

Lorenzo di Niccolò or Lorenzo di Niccolò di Martino was an Italian painter active in Florence from 1391 to 1412. Often erroneously cited as the son of Niccolò di Pietro Gerini, with whom he realized some works, this artist transformed his style from one more reminiscent of Giotto to one more elegant and linear, similar to that of such artists as Lorenzo Monaco. Together with Niccolò di Pietro Gerini, he painted some frescoes in the Chapterhouse of the convent of San Francesco (Prato) and the panel Coronation of the Virgin, once in Santa Felicita. A slightly later work on the same subject for the Medici Chapel in Santa Croce, Florence, dated to 1409 in the predella, today is split between its original location and the Bagatti Valsecchi Museum in Milan.

The painting of the Madonna and Child Enthroned with Sts. Christopher, Blaise, Sebastian, and Francis (c. 1410-1412) is exhibited in the St Louis Museum of Art. Two salvers at the Metropolitan Museum of Art were attributed to the Studio of Lorenzo di Niccolò by the art historians, Elizabeth Gardner and Federico Zeri; the subject of the works has been proposed to be a story from Boccaccio's Comedia delle Ninfe Fiorentine. More

Lorenzo di Niccolò, Italian, Florentine, documented 1393-1412
Saint Lawrence Buried in Saint Stephen's Tomb, c. 1410 and 1414
Tempera and tooled gold on poplar wood
33 × 36 cm (13 × 14.2 in)
Brooklyn Museum

Stephen or Stephan; traditionally venerated as the first martyr of Christianity, was, according to the Acts of the Apostles, a deacon in the early church at Jerusalem who aroused the enmity of members of various synagogues by his teachings. Accused of blasphemy, at his trial he made a long speech denouncing the Jewish authorities who were sitting in judgment on him and was then stoned to death. His martyrdom was witnessed by Saul of Tarsus, a Pharisee who would later himself become a follower of Jesus. More

Lorenzo Lotto (1480–1556)
The Martyrdom of St Stephen, c. between 1513 and 1516
Oil on panel
Height: 51 cm (20.1 in). Width: 97 cm (38.2 in).
Accademia Carrara, Bergamo, Italy

The High Priest is dressed in white. Demon - A rejoicing dog - With his back to us is Saul, guarding the clothes - Stephen praying towards Saul.

Lorenzo Lotto (c. 1480 – 1556/57) was an Italian painter, draughtsman and illustrator, traditionally placed in the Venetian school, though much of his career was spent in other North Italian cities. He painted mainly altarpieces, religious subjects and portraits. While he was active during the High Renaissance, his nervous and eccentric posings and distortions represent a transitional stage to the first Florentine and Roman Mannerists of the 16th century. More

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

The relics of the Saint Stephen were eventually transported to Rome by Pope Pelagius II during the construction of the basilica of San Lorenzo fuori le Mura. They were interred alongside the relics of St. Lawrence, whose tomb is enshrined within the church. According to the Golden Legend, the relics of Lawrence moved miraculously to one side to make room for those of Stephen. More

Russia, the end of the 19th century
Saint Pantaleon
Silberoklad, hallmarked 84, Master Brand PO, 
fine multicolored enamels, 
12x10 cm
Private Collection

St Pantaleon (c. 275 Nicomedia, Died 305 Nicomedia) came from Nicomedia, near the Black Sea, in Asia. He was such a famous doctor that the Emperor himself chose him for his own doctor. Pantaleon was a Christian, but the bad influence from the pagan court caused him to give up his Christian faith entirely.

A holy priest named Hermolaos made him realize what a sin he had committed. Pantaleon listened to him, detested his sin and joined the Church once more. To make up for what he had done, he greatly desired to suffer and die for Jesus. In the meantime, he imitated Our Lord's charity by taking care of poor sick people without any charge for his medical services.

When the Emperor Diocletian began his persecution, Pantaleon at once gave away everything he owned to the poor. Not long afterwards, he was accused of being a Christian. He was given the choice of denying his Faith or being put to death. No torture could force Pantaleon to deny his Faith.

There has been strong devotion in past ages to this Saint. In the East he is called the "Great Martyr and Wonder-worker."  More

13th Century Icon of Saint Panteleimon, including scenes from his life
The Monastery of St. Katherine on Mount Sinai
Private Collection

Russia 19th century
Holy representation
31x24,5 cm
Private Collection

Russia, the end of the 19th century
Madonna and Child with 2 angels and 2 saints
Silberoklad with gold, hallmarked 84, master mark EY, fine 
enamel work, 
18x15 cm,
Private Collection

SPANISH school of the seventeenth century 
The Shroud of St. Veronica 
Fruitwood Panel
28,5 x 20,5 cm - 11 1/4 x 8 1/16 IN. 
Private Collection

Saint Veronica was a pious woman of Jerusalem in the first century AD, according to Catholic tradition. A celebrated saint in many pious Christian countries, the Acta Sanctorum published by the Bollandists gave her Feast (under July 12),[4] but the Jesuit Scholar Joseph Braun cited her commemoration in Festi Marianni on 13 January.

According to Church tradition, Veronica was moved with pity when she saw Jesus carrying his cross to Golgotha and gave him her veil that he might wipe his forehead. Jesus accepted the offering, held it to his face, and then handed it back to her—the image of his face miraculously impressed upon it. This piece of cloth became known as the Veil of Veronica.

There is no reference to the story of St Veronica and her veil in the canonical Gospels. The closest is the miracle of the woman who was healed by touching the hem of Jesus’s garment (Luke 8:43–48); her name is later identified as Veronica by the apocryphal "Acts of Pilate". The story was later elaborated in the 11th century by adding that Christ gave her a portrait of himself on a cloth, with which she later cured the Emperor Tiberius. More

Hans Memling, (circa 1433–1494)
Diptych with John the Baptist and the Holy Veronika, right wing: Saint Veronica,   circa 1470
Oil on panel
32 × 24 cm (12.6 × 9.4 in)
National Gallery of Art, Washington (D.C.)

Hans Memling, (c. 1430 – 11 August 1494) was a German painter who moved to Flanders and worked in the tradition of Early Netherlandish painting. He spent some time in the Brussels workshop of Rogier van der Weyden, and after van der Weyden's death in 1464, Memling was made a citizen of Bruges, where he became one of the leading artists, painting both portraits and diptychs for personal devotion and several large religious works, continuing the style he learned in his youth. More

SPANISH school of the seventeenth century 
St. Catherine of Siena taking a boat 
Old restorations 
71 x 47cm - 27 15/16 X 18 1/2 IN. 
St. Catherine of His holding a boat, canvas

Saint Catherine of Siena, T.O.S.D. (March 25, 1347 in Siena – April 29, 1380 in Rome), was a tertiary of the Dominican Order and a Scholastic philosopher and theologian. She also worked to bring the papacy of Gregory XI back to Rome from its displacement in France and to establish peace among the Italian city-states. Since 18 June 1939, she is one of the two patron saints of Italy, together with St. Francis of Assisi. On 3 October 1970, she was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by Pope Paul VI, and on 1 October 1999, Pope John Paul II named her as one of the six patron saints of Europe, together with Benedict of Nursia, Saints Cyril and Methodius, Bridget of Sweden and Edith Stein. More

The last years of her life were devoted to trying to re-establish peace in the Roman church. Several weeks before her death as she was praying before a mosaic in the original St. Peter’s Basilica, she saw Peter’s fishing boat leave the mosaic and land on her shoulder. It crushed her to the ground. She was virtually paralyzed until her death on April 29, 1380. 

In this icon she is shown with a mighty ship on her shoulder, a symbol of how St. Peter’s ministry had been changed by the medieval papacy. As she carries that ship, so did her prayers carry the hierarchy of her time. She is a patron for all those who feel crushed by religious institutions, as well as a great teacher for those drawn to a life of mystical prayer. More

Ship: As those outside of Noah's Ark were destroyed, the ship became a perfect early symbol of the Church. In the same vein, the main part of a church's interior, the place where the people worship, is called a "nave," from the Latin "navis" -- ship. The ship symbolizes St. Catherines devotion to the Church. More

Pompeo Batoni (1708-1787)
The Ecstasy of St Catherine of Siena, c. 1743
Oil on Canvas
Museo di Villa Guinigi, Lucca

Pompeo Girolamo Batoni (25 January 1708 – 4 February 1787) was an Italian painter who displayed a solid technical knowledge in his portrait work and in his numerous allegorical and mythological pictures. The high number of foreign visitors travelling throughout Italy and reaching Rome during their Grand Tour, made the artist specialized in portraits. Batoni won international fame largely thanks to his customers, mostly British of noble origin, whom he portrayed, often with famous Italian landscapes in the background. Such "Grand Tour" portraits by Batoni were in British private collections, thus ensuring the genre's popularity in the United Kingdom.

Batoni's style took inspiration and incorporated elements of classical antiquity, French Rococo, Bolognese classicism, and the work of artists such as Nicolas Poussin, Claude Lorrain and especially Raphael. As such Pompeo Batoni is considered a precursor of Neoclassicism. More

Giovanni di Paolo (1403–1482)
The Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine of Siena,  circa 1460
Tempera and gold on wood
28.9 × 28.9 cm (11.4 × 11.4 in)
Metropolitan Museum of Art

Alonso Miguel de Tovar, sometimes called Tobar (1678–1758) 
Divine Shepherdess 
Oil on Canvas 
81 x 61cm - 31 7/8 X 24 IN. 
Private Collection

In 1703 Mary was given the title Divine Shepherdess, bestowed upon her by Father Isidore of Spain after a vision in which the Blessed Mother appeared to him as a shepherdess. 

Christ’s words,  ‘I am the Good Shepherd” flashed across the Father’s mind. That night he had a vision of the Blessed Virgin. She appeared as a young shepherdess with a crook in her hand and a large straw hat falling over her shoulders. More

Alonso Miguel de Tovar, sometimes called Tobar (1678–1758) was a Spanish baroque painter, appointed court painter by Philip V in 1723. He was born in Higuera de la Sierra, near Aracena. in 1678, to a secondary and impoverished branch of the illustrious Tovar family, of the Lords of Tovar, later Marquesses of Berlanga. He trained in Seville under Juan Antonio Ossorio and Juan Antonio Fajardo, having executed numerous religious paintings. He was named pintor de cámara to King Felipe IV in April 1729, taking the place of Teodoro Ardemans. In both of these the influence of Murillo is discernible: the colouring is vivid and the drawing precise, if slightly rigid, and both works show what has been called a gentle and uncomplicated piety, differing to some extent from the tradition of Spanish religious painting.

As court painter in 1729, he followed the Spanish court moved to Seville. In 1733 he travelled with the court when it returned to Madrid, and he may have worked as an assistant to Louis-Michel van Loo. Tovar also probably painted the theme of the Holy Shepherd, popular with Sevillian artists of his time. Of the paintings of the subject attributed to him, however, only the one in the church at Cortelazor, near Aracena, signed in 1748, is considered authentic. More

Russian Icon -19th century
 35.5 x 30cm
Private Collection

Nativity, Jesus in the manger, next to seated Virgin, the Magi bring their gifts, including the waiting Joachim

Unidentified artist, c. 1900
Our Lady of Czestochowa
Oil / wood
109.5x92.5 cm
Private Collection

The origin of this miraculous image in Czestochowa, Poland is unknown for absolute certainty, but according to tradition the painting was a portrait of Our Lady done by St. John sometime after the Crucifixion of Our Lord and remained in the Holy Land until discovered by St. Helena of the Cross in the fourth century. The painting was taken to Constantinople, where St. Helena's son, the Emperor Constantine, erected a church for its enthronement. This image was revered by the people of the city.

During  the siege by the Saracens, the invaders became frightened when the people carried the picture in a procession around the city; the infidels fled. Later, the image was  threatened with burning by an evil emperor, who had a wife, Irene, who saved it and hid it from harm. The image was in that city for 500 years, until it became part of some dowries, eventually being taken to Russia to a region that later became Poland. 
After the portrait became the possession of the Polish prince, St. Ladislaus in the 15th century, it was installed in his castle. Tartar invaders besieged the castle and an enemy arrow pierced Our Lady's image, inflicting a scar. Interestingly, repeated attempts to fix the image, artistically have all failed.

Tradition says that St. Ladislaus determined to save the image from repeated invasions, so he went to his birthplace, Opala, stopping for rest in Czestochowa; the image was brought nearby to Jasna Gora ["bright hill"] and placed in a small wooden church named for the Assumption. The following morning, after the picture was carefully placed in the wagon, the horses refused to move. St. Ladislaus understood this to be a sign from Heaven that the image should stay in Czestochowa; thus he replaced the painting in the Church of the Assumption, August 26, 1382, a day still observed as the Feast Day of the painting. The Saint wished to have the holiest of men guard the painting, so he assigned the church and the monastery to the Pauline Fathers, who have devoutly protected the image for the last six hundred years. More

Unknown (German, Cologne - 15th century) 
The Madonna of the Flowering Pea, c. 1425
Egg tempera, silver and gold leaf on walnut
70.3 x 49.8 cm
National Gallery of Canada

The Madonna of the Flowering Pea is a common type of religious images of Cologne dating from the early fifteenth century. From the way she tenderly cradles his son, Madonna falls into the category of Eleousa. She holds in her right hand a sheaf of cultivated peas or field which obviously have a symbolic meaning. In literature, by their shape, pea flowers are associated with fertility, but in the context of the Virgin of holy pictures, this meaning seems marginal if not inappropriate. However, in the Gospel, legumes are still staples that are used to make bread. Therefore pea, like violets and other flowers such as the altarpiece of Strozzi of Gentile da Fabriano, can express the humility of Mary and her son. Moreover, the writings of theologians, St. Jerome to St. Thomas Aquinas, combine bread for Mary bore Christ, panus vivus. The theme is popularized in poetry and medieval hymns. It is not uncommon to find peas associated with scenes from the life of Mary and Christ horae in the Netherlands where they are in the borders, not as simple decorative motifs but as symbols. The closed contacts of the Ottawa bust can symbolize the Immaculate Conception, while those that are open should refer to the "fruit of thy womb," verse often resumed in the rosary. By referring to the bread of life, pea also symbolizes the sacrifice of Christ which is linked his mother forever. More

18th C. Spanish Colonial
Oil on canvas
18" h. x 13" w
Private Collection

Religious scene depicting the Immaculate Conception, Virgin with angels at her feet standing in a silhouette of light garnished with flowers

18th C. Spanish Colonial
Oil on canvas
25" h. x 18" w
Private Collection

Religious scene depicting Blessed Mother supported by kneeling monk, each corner with vignette depicting the story of Carrera killing monk with the fourth showing divine punishment

18th C. Spanish Colonial Cuzco School 
Oil on canvas
37" h. x 29 1/2" w.

Religious scene depicting seated Virgin Mary crowned by two angels and Christ child bearing Sacred Heart., Figures surrounded by slaves in iron collars, Virgin's ear adorned with three-dimensional seed pearl earring.

Unidentified artist - 19th century
St. Nicholas of Myra in prayer with bishop crown, lily, fish, book, padlock and glass, c. 1879 (Monastery of the Holy grave, Baden-Baden)
Oil on canvas
109 x 87 cm
Private Collection

Franz Müller, 1843-1929
Jesus heals a sick person in front of the temple
Oil on canvas
Private Collection

Franz Adolf Christian Muller  (1841 - 1903)  was active/lived in Switzerland.  He is known for landscape, rural genre painting.

Unidentified artist, c. 1800
Saint Jerome with a cross and a skull in the study
Oil on canvas, on board
45 x 34 cm
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

Acknowledgment: Henry's Auktionshaus AGTajan
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