Tuesday, December 20, 2016

20 Carvings - Carvings & Sculpture from the Bible! 15 & 16th Century. With Footnotes -# 7

Lower Rhine, around 1530-1550
The Education of the Virgin, c. 1530-1550
Carved oak with traces of polychrome 
High. 85 cm; height 33 1/2 in.
Private Collection

Saint Anne Teaching Her Daughter the Virgin Mary to Read (The Education of the Virgin)

Northern France
Saint Martin sharing his cloak, c. 1520
Polychrome oak 
103 x 55 cm x 38 cm; 40 1/2 x 21 3/4 x 15 in.
Private Collection

St. Martin was born during the reign of the Emperor Constantine the Great, and was the son of a Roman soldier. He himself entered the army at an early age, and was sent into Gaul with a regiment of cavalry. Among his comrades he was loved for his mildness of temper and his generosity.

It happened that he was stationed in the city of Amiens, during a winter of unusual severity. There was great suffering among the poor, and many perished with cold and hunger. St. Martin was riding one day through the city gate, when he passed a naked beggar shivering on the pavement. Immediately he drew rein, and spoke pityingly to the poor creature. The young soldier was wearing over his coat of mail a long mantle. Slipping this garment from his shoulders he divided it with his sword, giving half to the beggar. More

Brabant, Antwerp,
St. Mary Jacobe teacher reading to her children, C. 1500-1510
36 x 24.5 x 7 cm; 14 1/4 x 9 1/2 x 2 3/4 in.
Private Collection

St. Mary Jacobe, the wife of Clopas, was one of various Marys named in the New Testament. Mary of Clopas is explicitly mentioned only in John 19:25, where she is among the women present at the Crucifixion of Jesus. More

The Golden Legend of Voragine, from the late medieval Europe, is a  biography of saints or ecclesiastical leaders. In this source book, St.Mary Jacobe is mentioned again in the dispersion Maximin tale, where Mary Magdalene, her brother Lazarus, her sister Martha, Martha’s maid Martillam, blessed Cedonius and many other Christians, were herded by the unbelievers into a ship without pilot or rudder and sent out to sea so that they might all be drowned, but by God’s will they eventually landed at Marseille.  The Golden Legend goes on;  Mary and the others destroyed the temples of the idols in the city of Marseille and built churches to Christ on the sites.

Burgundy last third of the fifteenth century Pietà
Limestone with traces of polychrome 
69 x 50 x 25 cm; 27 by 19 2/3 by 9 3/4 in.
Private Collection

The Pietà is a subject in Christian art depicting the Virgin Mary cradling the dead body of Jesus, most often found in sculpture. As such, it is a particular form of the Lamentation of Christ, a scene from the Passion of Christ found in cycles of the Life of Christ. When Christ and the Virgin are surrounded by other figures from the New Testament, the subject is strictly called a Lamentation in English, although Pietà is often used for this as well, and is the normal term in Italian. More

Lorraine, second quarter of the fourteenth century
Virgin and Child 
102 x 45 x 23 cm; 40 1/4 x 17 3/5 x 9 in.
Private Collection

Northern Spanish, early 17th century
Gilt and polychromed pine
101cm., 39¾in.
Private Collection

The present figure was possibly part of a crucifixion group. With its frowning expression, dramatic pose and bulky, elaborately polychromed drapery. More

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

Southern German or Austrian, 17th century
Gilt and polychromed wood
93cm., 36 5/8 in
Private Collection

Saint Nicholas (15 March 270 – 6 December 343), also called Nikolaos of Myra, was a historic 4th-century Christian saint and Greek Bishop of Myra, in Asia Minor. Because of the many miracles attributed to his intercession, he is also known as Nikolaos the Wonderworker. His reputation evolved among the faithful, as was common for early Christian saints, and his legendary habit of secret gift-giving gave rise to the traditional model of Santa Claus through Sinterklaas.

The historical Saint Nicholas, as known from strict history: He was born at Patara, Lycia in Asia Minor. In his youth he made a pilgrimage to Egypt and the Palestine area. Shortly after his return he became Bishop of Myra and was later cast into prison during the persecution of Diocletian. He was released after the accession of Constantine and was present at the Council of Nicaea. 

He was buried in his church at Myra, and by the 6th century his shrine there had become well-known. In 1087 Italian sailors or merchants stole his alleged remains from Myra and took them to Bari, Italy; this removal greatly increased the saint’s popularity in Europe, and Bari became one of the most crowded of all pilgrimage centres. Nicholas’s relics remain enshrined in the 11th-century basilica of San Nicola at Bari. More

Circle of Guido Mazzoni (circa 1445-1518)
Italian, Bologna, late 15th/ early 16th century
Polychromed terracotta
70cm., 27 1/2 in.
Private Collection

This poignant figure of a wailing Mary Magdalene would have once formed part of a terracotta group lamenting the Dead Christ. Such groups, characterised by contorted poses and a high level of emotion, flourished in Emilia-Romagna in the second half of the 15th century, led by Niccolo dell'Arca's famous masterpiece in the church of S. Maria della vita in Bologna. The present figure can be associated with the work of Niccolo's contemporary, Guido Mazzoni. More

MAZZONI, Guido, (b. ca. 1450, Modena, d. 1518, Modena) was an Italian sculptor, painter, mask-maker and festival director. Throughout his career he was associated with the stage, and known as a painter as well as a sculptor. He was brought up by a paternal uncle, Paganino Mazzoni, a Modenese notary and official of the Este bureaucracy. This connection with the ducal court of Ferrara throws some light on the artist's early training, which is otherwise obscure. A document of 1472 refers to him as a painter, and his first sculpture strongly echoes the figural style in Francesco del Cossa's frescoes (1466–the mid-1470s) at the Palazzo Schifanoia outside Ferrara. Mazzoni may have worked at the Palazzo Schifanoia in association with the stucco master Domenico di Paris, where he may have learnt to model papier-mâché props for the court masques that contemporary sources say he directed and designed. A related activity of these years was making the realistic and caricatural festival masks for which Modena was famous.

After 1480 he made an Adoration group which reflects the influence of Venetian painting. By 1489 he had moved to Naples where his most important work is a Lamentation group in the church of Monte Oliveto. In 1495 he accompanied Charles VIII to France, and in 1498 executed the tomb of Charles VIII in St-Denis (destroyed in 1793). In 1507 he returned briefly to Modena, but thereafter again worked in France, executing an equestrian statue of Louis XII at Blois and returning to Italy only on the death of Louis XII in 1515. In 1516 he is once more recorded in Modena, where he died in 1518. More

Spanish, 14th century
John the Evangelist
Stained cedar, on a modern wood and metal stand
61.5cm., 24 1/8 in
Private Collection

John the Evangelist, see above

Italian, probably 14th Century
John the Evangelist
polychromed wood
131cm., 51 1/2 in.
Private Collection

John the Evangelist, see above

Italian, early 16th century
Gilt and polychromed wood
99cm., 39in.
Private Collection

Saint George (circa 275/281 – 23 April 303 AD) was a soldier in the Roman army who later became venerated as a Christian martyr. His parents were Christians of Greek background; his father Gerontius was a Roman army official from Cappadocia and his mother Polychronia was from Lydda, Syria Palaestina. Saint George became an officer in the Roman army in the Guard of Diocletian, who ordered his death for failing to recant his Christian faith.

In the fully developed Western version of the Saint George Legend, a dragon, or crocodile, makes its nest at the spring that provides water for the city of "Silene" (perhaps modern Cyrene in Libya or the city of Lydda in Palistine, depending on the source). Consequently, the citizens have to dislodge the dragon from its nest for a time, to collect water. To do so, each day they offer the dragon at first a sheep, and if no sheep can be found, then a maiden is the best substitute for one. The victim is chosen by drawing lots. One day, this happens to be the princess. The monarch begs for her life to be spared, but to no avail. She is offered to the dragon, but then Saint George appears on his travels. He faces the dragon, protects himself with the sign of the Cross, slays the dragon, and rescues the princess. The citizens abandon their ancestral paganism and convert to Christianity. Mor
Rhenish, 14th century style
Oak, with traces of polychromy
figure: 112cm., 44 1/8 in., base: 6cm., 2 3/8 in. 
Private Collection

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

Attributed to Giovanni Marigliano, called Giovanni da Nola (1488–1558)
Italian, Naples, first half 16th century
gilt and polychromed wood
123cm., 48½in. 
Private Collection

This serene, contemplative, and rare, Virgin of the Annunciation can be attributed to the celebrated wood carver and sculptor Giovanni Marigliano, who operated in Naples and was responsible for many of the most important tomb monuments erected in the city in the first half of the 16th century. Marigliano was responsible for two important polychromed wood crib groups: those in San Domenico Maggiore (circa 1507) and Santa Maria del Parto (1524) in Naples. The latter group, in particular, represents a fruitful comparison with the present figure. Each of the figures kneel and bear the same calm, reverent, expressions, and so represent a direct compositional comparison. The linearity of the Virgin's drapery finds some of its strongest comparisons in later tomb sculpture by Marigliano. Note, for example, the kneeling Maria Osorio Pimentel, book held in her hands, from the double tomb monument to herself and her husband Pedro de Toledo in the church of San Giacomo degli Spagnoli, Naples (circa 1540-1546); Marigliano's crowning masterpiece. More

MARIGLIANO, Giovanni, (b. ca. 1488, Nola, d. 1558, Napoli), Italian wood-carver and sculptor. He trained in Naples under Pietro Belverte (d. 1513), executing polychromed wooden reliefs and crib figures. In 1508 he and Belverte assisted Tommaso Malvito on a frame for an image of St Anne and on doors at the Ospizio dell'Annunziata, Naples. Marigliano continued to work almost exclusively in Naples. His first independent commissions were the frame for the Virgin and Child by Antonio da Rimpacta, and the altar frame for Bartolommeo de Lino's Virgin and Saints. Around 1524 he carved crib figures for Santa Maria del Parto, Naples, and collaborated on the marble tomb of the Viceroy of Sicily Don Ramón de Cardona.

In 1532 he completed the altar of the Madonna del soccorso, a pendant to another altar by Girolamo da Santacroce. Both follow earlier Tuscan models, and the juxtaposition highlights Marigliano's awkward figure designs and his dependence on other sculptors' formulae. His altar of the Madonna della neve represents a more classical solution, as did his monument to Guido Fieramosca. These precede the bizarre designs for the three tombs of the brothers Sigismondo, Ascanio and Jacopo Sanseverino (1539-46; Naples, Santi Severino e Sossio), who were poisoned (1516) by their uncle. His work combines Lombard influences with Giovanni Angelo Montorsoli's classical style, derived from Michelangelo, detectable also in such later marble figures as the St Peter in the Cappella Caracciolo). Marigliano's last surviving sculpture, the Deposition (c. 1549; Naples, Santa Maria delle Grazie a Caponapoli), is a highly emotive scene. More

Italian, 16th Century
Gilt and polychromed wood
153cm. 60 1/4 in.
Private Collection

Italian, Siena, second half 15th century
Gilt and polychromed wood
106cm., 41 3/4 in. 
Private Collection

North Italian, 15th century style
Gilt and polychromed pine
98cm., 38 5/8 in.
Private Collection
North Italian, late 14th/ early 15th century
Polychromed wood, on a metal stand
95.5cm., 37 5/8 in. 
Private Collection

North Italian, circa 1400
Polychromed stucco, on a wood base
128cm., 50 3/8 in.
Private Collection

Italian, Siena, late 14th century
Gilt and polychromed wood
128cm., 50 3/8 in. 
Private Collection

This  Virgin and Child enthroned breaks with the rigid Sedes Sapientiae type by introducing a new dynamism and intimacy to the interaction between the Virgin and Her infant. The group has in the past been attributed to the early 14th-century Sienese masters Ramo di Paganello (active circa 1281-1320) and Agostino di Giovanni (circa 1285-1347). More
Spanish, 15th century style
Polychromed walnut
114cm., 44 3/8 in
Private Collection

Acknowledgement: Sotheby'sSotheby's

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