Thursday, April 21, 2016

18 Works - RELIGIOUS ART - Paintings from the Bible by the Old Masters, with footnotes, 17

the madonna della m | religious - multi-figure | sotheby's l16030lot3ttjhen:
Sienese School, circa 1400
Tempera on panel, gold ground
23.5 by 43.5 cm.; 9 1/4  by 17 1/8  in.

The Sienese School of painting flourished in Siena, Italy between the 13th and 15th centuries and for a time rivaled Florence. Its most important representatives include Duccio, whose work shows Byzantine influence; his pupil Simone Martini; Pietro and Ambrogio Lorenzetti; Domenico and Taddeo di Bartolo; Sassetta and Matteo di Giovanni. Unlike the naturalistic Florentine art, there is a mystical streak in Sienese art. The economic and political decline of Siena by the 16th century, and its eventual subjugation by Florence, largely checked the development of Sienese painting, although it also meant that a good proportion of Sienese works in churches and public buildings were not discarded or destroyed by new paintings or rebuilding.  More

Duccio (1260–1318)
Maestà (Madonna with Angels and Saints), c. between 1308 and 1311
Tempera on wood
Height: 214 cm (84.3 in). Width: 412 cm (162.2 in).
Museo dell'Opera metropolitana del Duomo, Siena, Italy

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

The Sienese School, see above

murillo, bartolomé | religious - non biblical | sotheby's l16030lot7hftven:
Workshop of Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, SEVILLE 1618 - 1682
oil on canvas
70.2 by 56 cm.; 27 5/8  by 22 in.

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (born late December 1617, baptized January 1, 1618 – April 3, 1682) was a Spanish Baroque painter. Although he is best known for his religious works, Murillo also produced a considerable number of paintings of contemporary women and children. These lively, realist portraits of flower girls, street urchins, and beggars constitute an extensive and appealing record of the everyday life of his times. More

mostaert, jan chris | religious - non biblical | sotheby's l16030lot8rvx2en:
Circle of Jan Mostaert
oil on canvas
47 by 32.8 cm.; 18 1/2  by 12 7/8  in.

This painting is one of several replicas of Jan Mostaert's original rendition of the subject, two versions of which are in the Museo di Castelvecchio, Verona (inv. no. 382), and the Kunsthalle, Hamburg (inv. no. 761). More

Man of Sorrows is paramount among the prefigurations of the Messiah identified by Christians in the passages of Isaiah 53 in the Hebrew Bible. It is also an iconic devotional image that shows Christ, usually naked above the waist, with the wounds of his Passion prominently displayed on his hands and side, often crowned with the Crown of Thorns and sometimes attended by angels. It developed in Europe from the 13th century, and was especially popular in Northern Europe.

The image continued to spread and develop iconographical complexity until well after the Renaissance, but the Man of Sorrows in its many artistic forms is the most precise visual expression of the piety of the later Middle Ages, which took its character from mystical contemplation rather than from theological speculation". Together with the Pietà, it was the most popular of the andachtsbilder-type images of the period - devotional images detached from the narrative of Christ's Passion, intended for meditation. More

Jan Mostaert, (c. 1475 – 1555/1556) was a Netherlandish Renaissance painter of portraits and religious subjects. Mostaert was born in Haarlem and had been a pupil of Jacob van Haarlem. He was handsome, eloquent and polite, and claimed to be descended from the Haarlem knights of the Crusade to Damietta. He worked eighteen years as portraitist for Margaret of Austria (1480-1530), governor of the Habsburg Netherlands. He died in Antwerp where he had been awarded a pension for life. Mostaert's name first appeared in city records in 1498, the year he married and bought a house in his birthplace. He is also mentioned in Haarlem archives from 1527 to 1554. In 1500 Mostaert was commissioned to paint the shutters for a receptacle housing the relics of Saint Bavo in the Groote Kerk, Haarlem. From this date he began to be listed in the records of the Haarlem Guild of St. Luke, and continued to be frequently listed until 1549. He became deacon of the painters' guild in 1507, and again in 1543 and 1544. More

dã¼rer christ as th | religious - non biblical | sotheby's l16030lot8cy42en:
Follower of Albrecht Dürer, circa 1600
Bears monogram and date lower right: 1514 AD
oil on panel
19.5 by 17 cm.; 7 5/8  by 6 5/8  in.

This composition derives from a lost prototype by Albrecht Dürer, now known only through old copies. The earliest mention of the original painting is in the Imhoff inventories of 1573/74 and 1580. Other copies of the present painting include a drawing and a painting, dated 1510, by Georg Gärtner, and an engraving by Jérome David. More

Man of Sorrows, see above

Albrecht Dürer (21 May 1471 – 6 April 1528) was a painter, printmaker and theorist of the German Renaissance. Born in Nuremberg, Dürer established his reputation and influence across Europe when he was still in his twenties, due to his high-quality woodcut prints. He was in communication with the major Italian artists of his time, including Raphael, Giovanni Bellini and Leonardo da Vinci, and from 1512 he was patronized by emperor Maximilian I.

His vast body of work includes engravings, his preferred technique in his later prints, altarpieces, portraits and self-portraits, watercolours and books. The woodcuts, such as the Apocalypse series (1498), retain a more Gothic flavour than the rest of his work. His well-known engravings include the Knight, Death, and the Devil (1513), Saint Jerome in his Study (1514) and Melencolia I (1514), which has been the subject of extensive analysis and interpretation. His watercolours also mark him as one of the first European landscape artists, while his ambitious woodcuts revolutionized the potential of that medium.

Dürer's introduction of classical motifs into Northern art, through his knowledge of Italian artists and German humanists, has secured his reputation as one of the most important figures of the Northern Renaissance. This is reinforced by his theoretical treatises, which involve principles of mathematics, perspective and ideal proportions. More

sarto, andrea del t | religious - multi-figure | sotheby's l16030lot83t33en:
Follower of Andrea del Sarto
oil on poplar panel
90 by 69.5 cm.; 35 3/8  by 27 3/8  in

This is based on Andrea del Sarto's picture of the mid-1520s, now in Palazzo Barberini, Rome More

Andrea del Sarto (1486–1530) was an Italian painter from Florence, whose career flourished during the High Renaissance and early Mannerism. Though highly regarded during his lifetime as an artist senza errori ("without errors"), his renown was eclipsed after his death by that of his contemporaries, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael. More

veronese caliari, | religious - new testament | sotheby's l16030lot8w7rsen:
Circle of Paolo Caliari, called Paolo Veronese
NOLI ME TANGERE,  "don't touch me" or "don't tread on me", 
oil on canvas
71 by 61 cm.; 28 by 24 in.

Noli me tangere, meaning "don't touch me" or "don't tread on me", is the Latin version of words spoken, according to John 20:17, by Jesus to Mary Magdalene when she recognized him after his resurrection.

The biblical scene became the subject of a long, widespread and continuous iconographic tradition in Christian art from Late Antiquity to the present. More

The original Koine Greek phrase is better represented in translation as "cease holding on to me" or "stop clinging to me".

Paolo Caliari, known as Paolo Veronese (1528 – 19 April 1588) was an Italian Renaissance painter based in Venice, most famous for large history paintings of both religious and mythological subjects, such as The Wedding at Cana and The Feast in the House of Levi. With Titian, who was at least a generation older, and Tintoretto, ten years older, he was one of the "great trio that dominated Venetian painting of the cinquecento" or 16th-century late Renaissance. Veronese is known as a supreme colorist, and after an early period with Mannerist influence turned to a more naturalist style influenced by Titian.

His most famous works are elaborate narrative cycles, executed in a dramatic and colorful style, full of majestic architectural settings and glittering pageantry. His large paintings of biblical feasts, crowded with figures, painted for the refectories of monasteries in Venice and Verona are especially famous, and he was also the leading Venetian painter of ceilings. Most of these works remain in situ, or at least in Venice, and his representation in most museums is mainly composed of smaller works such as portraits that do not always show him at his best or most typical.

He has always been appreciated for "the chromatic brilliance of his palette, the splendor and sensibility of his brushwork, the aristocratic elegance of his figures, and the magnificence of his spectacle", but his work has been felt "not to permit expression of the profound, the human, or the sublime", and of the "great trio" he has often been the least appreciated by modern criticism. Nonetheless, "many of the greatest artists ... may be counted among his admirers, including Rubens, Watteau, Tiepolo, Delacroix and Renoir". More

File:Correggio Noli Me Tangere.jpg
Antonio da Correggio (1490–1534)
Noli Me Tangere "don't touch me" or "don't tread on me", c. 1525
Oil on canvas
130 x 103 cm (51 1/8 x 40 1/2 in.)
Museo del Prado, Madrid

Noli me tangere, see above

Antonio Allegri da Correggio (August 1489 – March 5, 1534), usually known as Correggio, was the foremost painter of the Parma school of the Italian Renaissance, who was responsible for some of the most vigorous and sensuous works of the 16th century. In his use of dynamic composition, illusionistic perspective and dramatic foreshortening, Correggio prefigured the Rococo art of the 18th century. He is considered a master of chiaroscuro. More

rubens, peter paul | religious - single-figure | sotheby's l16030lot8q39gen:
Follower of Sir Peter Paul Rubens
oil on oak panel
38.6 by 18.2 cm.; 15 1/4  by 7 1/8  in.

Matthew the Apostle was, according to the Bible, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus and, according to Christian tradition, one of the four Evangelists. Among the early followers and apostles of Jesus, Matthew is mentioned in Matthew 9:9 and Matthew 10:3 as a publican who, while sitting at the "receipt of custom" in Capernaum, was called to follow Jesus. Matthew may have collected taxes from the Hebrew people for Herod Antipas. Matthew is also listed among the twelve, but without identification of his background, in Mark 3:18, Luke 6:15 and Acts 1:13. In passages parallel to Matthew 9:9, both Mark 2:14 and Luke 5:27 describe Jesus' calling of the tax collector Levi, the son of Alphaeus, but Mark and Luke never explicitly equate this Levi with the Matthew named as one of the twelve 

Later Church fathers such as Irenaeus (Against Heresies 3.1.1) and Clement of Alexandria claim that Matthew preached the Gospel to the Jewish community in Judea, before going to other countries. Ancient writers are not agreed as to what these other countries are.[6] The Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church each hold the tradition that Matthew died as a martyr, although this was rejected by the gnostic heretic Heracleon as early as the second century. More

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

school of toledo sa | religious - non biblical | sotheby's l16030lot8d2w9en:
School of Toledo, early 17th Century
oil on panel
117.8 by 66.1 cm.; 46 3/8  by 26 in.

Louis IX (25 April 1214 – 25 August 1270), commonly known as Saint Louis, was a Capetian King of France who reigned from 1226 until his death. Louis was crowned in Reims at the age of 12, following the death of his father Louis VIII the Lion. As an adult, Louis IX faced recurring conflicts with some of the most powerful nobles, such as Hugh X of Lusignan and Peter of Dreux. Simultaneously, Henry III of England tried to restore his continental possessions, but was defeated at the battle of Taillebourg. His reign saw the annexation of several provinces, notably Normandy, Maine and Provence.

Louis's actions were inspired by Christian values. He decided to punish blasphemy, gambling, interest-bearing loans and prostitution, and bought the relics of Christ for which he built the Sainte-Chapelle. More

School of Toledo. In 1577 Toledo was the religious capital of Spain and a populous city with "an illustrious past, a prosperous present and an uncertain future". During the 1570s the huge monastery-palace of El Escorial was still under construction and Philip II of Spain was experiencing difficulties in finding good artists for the many large paintings required to decorate it. 

After Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio, 16th Century
The Madonna and Child 
oil on panel
53 x 39cm (20 7/8 x 15 3/8in).

The present composition is after Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio's original in the National Gallery, London.

Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio (1466 or 1467 – 1516) was an Italian painter of the High Renaissance from Lombardy, who worked in the studio of Leonardo da Vinci. Boltraffio and Bernardino Luini are the strongest artistic personalities to emerge from Leonardo's studio. According to Giorgio Vasari, he was of an aristocratic family and was born in Milan. More

After Giovanni Pietro Rizzoli, called il Giampetrino, 17th Century The Madonna and Child (bears inscription (on the reverse))
After Giovanni Pietro Rizzoli, called il Giampetrino, 17th Century
The Madonna and Child
oil on panel 
64.5 x 50cm (25 3/8 x 19 5/8in).

The present lot is after Giampetrino's original composition previously in the Cook Collection, Richmond.

Giampietrino, probably Giovanni Pietro Rizzoli (active 1495–1549), was a north Italian painter of the Lombard school and Leonardo's circle. Giampietrino was a very productive painter of large altarpieces, Madonnas, holy women in half figure, and mythological women. For a long time, the true identity of the artist was unknown; he was only known as a so-called "Giampietrino" whose name appeared in lists of the members of Leonardo's studio. In 1929, Wilhelm Suida suggested that he could perhaps be Giovanni Battista Belmonte, since a Madonna signed with this name and dated 1509 had been associated stylistically with Giampietrino. Since then, this assumption is considered outdated, and Giampietrino is identified predominantly with Giovanni Pietro Rizzoli, who is known through documents.

Giampietrino has been regarded as a talented painter who contributed substantially to the distribution of the late style of Leonardo da Vinci. He copied numerous masterpieces by Leonardo, as well as leaving behind numerous capable original compositions of his own. Many of his works are preserved in multiple versions of the same subject. More

Francisco Camilo (Madrid 1615-1671) The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa
Francisco Camilo (Madrid 1615-1671)
The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa 
signed and dated 'franco. Camillo Ao 1664' (on step, lower left)
oil on canvas
73.8 x 56.8cm (29 1/16 x 22 3/8in)

Saint Teresa of Ávila, also called Saint Teresa of Jesus, baptized as Teresa Sánchez de Cepeda y Ahumada (28 March 1515 – 4 October 1582), was a Spanish nun, mystic and writer during the Counter-Reformation. Some sources suggest that as a girl, Theresa was willful and spoiled, and chose to enter the Carmelite sisterhood instead of marrying a wealthy hidalgo based on the mistaken belief that as a nun she would be afforded more freedom.

Upon entering the convent aged 19, Theresa became seriously ill (she has now become a patron saint for the infirm), possibly depressed and subjecting her body to self-mutilation.

By the time she reached her forties, Theresa had settled down to her new spiritual life, when one day, while praying and singing the hymn "Veni Creator Spiritus," she experienced the first of the episodes that would accompany her for the rest of her life: a rapture.

In her writings, Theresa describes how she would feel suddenly consumed by the love of God, feel the bodily presence of Christ or of angels, and be lifted to an exalted state of ecstasy. Although in her own lifetime Theresa was sometimes ridiculed for such claims, or even accused of communing with the devil, she became a prominent figure in the church. Theresa was one of only three female church doctors and was finally canonized in 1622.

In 1622, forty years after her death, she was canonized by Pope Gregory XV, and on 27 September 1970 was named a Doctor of the Church by Pope Paul VI. Her books, which include her autobiography (The Life of Teresa of Jesus) and her seminal work El Castillo Interior (trans.: The Interior Castle), are an integral part of Spanish Renaissance literature as well as Christian mysticism and Christian meditation practices. 

A Santero image (Santo image) of the Immaculate Conception of El Viejo, said to have been sent with one of her brothers to Nicaragua by the saint, is now venerated as the country's national patroness at the Shrine of El Viejo. More, More

Francisco Camilo (1610-1671) was a Spanish painter; the son of an Italian who had settled at Madrid. When his father died, his mother remarried, and Camilo became the stepson of the painter Pedro de las Cuevas.

De las Cuevas brought Camilo up as his own son, teaching him painting. At the age of 18, Camilo was asked to paint, for the high altar of the Jesuits’ house at Madrid, a picture representing St. Francis Borgia (which was afterwards removed to make way for an altarpiece in plastic).

The Count-Duke of Olivares ordered Camilo to do a series of paintings of Kings of Spain for the theater of Buenretiro, and also chose Camilo to adorn the western gallery of that palace with 14 frescoes from Ovid's Metamorphoses. Primarily a painter of religious works, Camilo did paintings for the monasteries of Madrid, Toledo, Alcalá, and Segovia. He painted and draped some of the statuary of Manuel Pereyra. More

Follower of Juan Sánchez Cotán (Orgaz 1560-1627 Granada) Saint John the Baptist
Follower of Juan Sánchez Cotán (Orgaz 1560-1627 Granada)
Saint John the Baptist 
oil on canvas
142 x 85.6cm (55 7/8 x 33 11/16in).

The painting is loosely based on Sanchez Cotan's Saint John the Baptist, now in the Museo de Bellas Artes, Granada.

John the Baptist, known as the prophet Yahya in the Qur'an, was a Jewish itinerant preacher in the early first century AD. John is revered as a major religious figure in Christianity, Islam, the Bahá'í Faith, and Mandaeism. He is called a prophet by all of these traditions, and honoured as a saint in many Christian traditions.

John used baptism as the central sacrament of his messianic movement.[ Most scholars agree that John baptized Jesus. Scholars generally believe Jesus was a follower or disciple of John and several New Testament accounts report that some of Jesus' early followers had previously been followers of John. John the Baptist is also mentioned by the Jewish historian Josephus. Some scholars maintain that John was influenced by the semi-ascetic Essenes, who expected an apocalypse and practiced rituals corresponding strongly with baptism, although no direct evidence substantiates this.

According to the New Testament, John anticipated a messianic figure greater than himself, and Jesus was the one whose coming John foretold. Christians commonly refer to John as the precursor or forerunner of Jesus, since John announces Jesus' coming. John is also identified with the prophet Elijah. More

Juan Sánchez Cotán (June 25, 1560 – September 8, 1627) was a Spanish Baroque painter, a pioneer of realism in Spain. His still lifes—also called bodegones—were painted in an austere style, especially when compared to similar works in the Netherlands and Italy.

He was born in Spain, a friend and perhaps pupil of Blas de Prado, an artist famous for his still lifes whose mannerist style with touches of realism the disciple developed further. Cotán began by painting altarpieces and religious works. For approximately twenty years, patronized by the city’s aristocracy. Sánchez Cotán executed his notable still lifes around the beginning of the seventeenth century, before the end of his secular life. 

On August 10, 1603, Sanchez Cotán, then in his forties, closed up his workshop at Toledo to renounce the world and enter the Carthusian monastery Santa Maria de El Paular. He continued his career painting religious works with singular mysticism. In 1612 he was sent to the Granada Charterhouse; he decided to become a monk, and in the following year he entered the Carthusian monastery at Granada as a lay brother. The reasons for this are not clear, though such action was not unusual in Cotán’s day.

Cotán was a prolific religious painter whose work, carried out exclusively for his monastery, reached its peak about 1617 in the cycle of eight great narrative paintings that he painted for the cloister of the Granada Monastery. These depict the foundation of the order of St. Bruno, and the prosecution of the monks in England by the Protestants. Although the painter’s religious works have an archaic air, they also reveal a keen interest in the treatment of light and volume, and in some respects are comparable with certain works by the Italian Luca Cambiaso, whom Cotán knew at the Escorial.

In spite of his retreat from the world, Cotán’s influence remained strong. His concern with the relationships among objects and with achieving the illusion of reality through the use of light and shadow was a major influence on the work of later Spanish painters such as Juan van der Hamen, Felipe Ramírez, the brothers Vincenzo and Bartolomeo Carducci and, notably, Francisco de Zurbarán. Sánchez Cotán ended his days universally loved and regarded as a saint. He died in 1627 in Granada. More

School of  Madrid, 17th Century Ecce Homo
School of Madrid, 17th Century
Ecce Homo 
oil on canvas
96.8 x 77cm (38 1/8 x 30 5/16in).

Literature ; J. R. Buendia, 'Mateo Cerezo en su tercer centenario', in Goya, Madrid, 1966, no. 71, p. 283-5, ill (as in The Simonsen Collection)

Ecce homo, "behold the man", are the Latin words used by Pontius Pilate when he presents a scourged Jesus Christ, bound and crowned with thorns, to a hostile crowd shortly before his Crucifixion. 

School of Madrid, 17th Century. The seventeenth century is in all respects the golden age of Spanish painting. Italian influence was largely rejected in favor of Mannerist formulas and a severe and noble style which used chiaroscuro not for the sake of a theatrical aestheticism, but to create a more urgent sense of drama. Though undoubtedly Baroque, this was a profoundly realistic art, preferring a broad visual synthesis, with a predominance of pictorial over tactile values, to the analytical approach of the sixteenth-century primitivists. More

Lombard School, 17th Century Saint Paul
Lombard School, 17th Century
Saint Paul 
oil on canvas
56.7 x 39.4cm (22 5/16 x 15 1/2in).

Two other versions of the present composition have been offered at auction by Sotheby's in Milan. The first, attributed to Giovanni Battista Langetti (Genoa 1625-1676 Venice) on 20 May 2009, lot 39, and the second as Lombard School, 17th Century, on 24 April 2008.

Lombard School; a school of art in Northern Italy. Lombard architecture developed from the eighth to tenth centuries. The establishment of Christianity as the Lombards’ official religion fostered the rise of an independent school of architecture that played a decisive role in the development of the Romanesque style in Italy.

Lombard trecento and early quattrocento painting, which developed within the framework of the late, or international, Gothic style, is noted for a delicate elegance of form and direct, poetic observations of the real world. Pisanello played an important role in the development of Lombard quattrocento painting.
In the second half of the 15th century, Florentine art and the work of Mantegna particularly influenced Lombard painting. The works of masters of this period were marked by plastic clarity of composition, a softer palette, and an increased interest in chiaroscuro modeling. During the High Renaissance the impact of Leonardo da Vinci was paramount, with his Milanese pupils creating works permeated by contemplative and sentimental moods. In the second quarter of the 16th century, the traditions of the Lombard quattrocento combined with Venetian and northern influences, resulting in the rise of the separate Brescian school. During the 16th century and the baroque period, the inner unity of the Lombard school was lost. More

Paul the Apostle (c. 5 – c. 67), originally known as Saul of Tarsus, was an apostle (though not one of the Twelve Apostles) who taught the gospel of Christ to the first-century world. He is generally considered one of the most important figures of the Apostolic Age. In the mid-30s to the mid-50s, he founded several churches in Asia Minor and Europe. Paul took advantage of his status as both a Jew and a Roman citizen to minister to both Jewish and Roman audiences.

According to the New Testament, Paul, who was originally called Saul, was dedicated to the persecution of the early disciples of Jesus in the area of Jerusalem. In the narrative of the book of Acts of the Apostles, while Paul was traveling on the road from Jerusalem to Damascus on a mission to "bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem", the resurrected Jesus appeared to him in a great light. He was struck blind, but after three days his sight was restored by Ananias of Damascus, and Paul began to preach that Jesus of Nazareth is the Jewish Messiah and the Son of God.

Fourteen of the twenty-seven books in the New Testament have traditionally been attributed to Paul. Seven of the epistles are undisputed by scholars as being authentic, with varying degrees of argument about the remainder. 

Today, Paul's epistles continue to be vital roots of the theology, worship, and pastoral life in the Catholic and Protestant traditions of the West, and the Orthodox traditions of the East. Among that of many other apostles and missionaries involved in the spread of the Christian faith Paul's influence on Christian thought and practice has been characterized as being as "profound as it is pervasive". More

After Pedro Orrente, 17th Century The Adoration of the Shepherds
After Pedro Orrente, 17th Century
The Adoration of the Shepherds 
oil on canvas
105.2 x 83.8cm (41 7/16 x 33in).

Literature ; D. Angulo, 'Pintura del siglo XVII', in Ars Hispaniae, Madrid, 1971, vol. XV, p. 67

The present work follows the composition by Pedro Orrente in the Cathedral of Toldeo.

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

Pedro Orrente (1580–1645) was a Spanish painter of the Baroque period. Orrente appears to have studied with el Greco in Toledo, where he painted a San Ildefonso before the apparition of St Leocadia and the Birth of Christ for the cathedral. He often moved, painting in Murcia and Cuenca. In Valencia, he painted for the Cathedral. He set up a school, and among his pupils were Esteban March and García Salmerón. In Madrid, he painted works transferred to the Palacio del Buen Retiro. He traveled to Seville, where he met Francisco Pacheco. Returning to Castille, died in Valencia and buried in the parish de San Martín. Known for paintings of animals and landscapes, as well a history paintings. More

Circle of Francisco Rizi de Guevara (Madrid 1614-1685 El Escorial) The Adoration of the Magi
Circle of Francisco Rizi de Guevara (Madrid 1614-1685 El Escorial)
The Adoration of the Magi 
oil on canvas
166.2 x 125.1cm (65 7/16 x 49 1/4in)

The Adoration of the Magi is the name traditionally given to the subject in the Nativity of Jesus in art in which the three Magi, represented as kings, especially in the West, having found Jesus by following a star, lay before him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, and worship him. More

Francisco Rizi de Guevara ( Madrid , 1614- San Lorenzo de El Escorial , 1685) was a Spanish Baroque painter, son of Antonio Ricci, an Italian artist who came to Spain to work on the decoration of the monastery of El Escorial under the orders of Federico Zuccaro , and brother of painter Fray Juan Rizi .

de Guevara was an apprentice of Vicente Carducho and highlights. This training is manifested in some of his early works, but soon distanced himself from his teacher due to his strong sense of dynamism and gestural expressiveness, and opulent baroque style, that are characteristic features of the Madrid school of painting, which he himself was one of the main representatives and teacher. More

Florentine School, 14th Century
The Madonna and Child enthroned with Saints John the Baptist and Anthony Abbot 
Tempera on gold ground panel
52.6 x 38.2cm (20 11/16 x 15 1/16in).

Florentine painting or the Florentine School refers to artists in, from, or influenced by the naturalistic style developed in Florence in the 14th century, largely through the efforts of Giotto di Bondone, and in the 15th century the leading school of Western painting. Some of the best known artists of the Florentine school, including other arts, are Filippo Brunelleschi, Donatello, Michelangelo, Fra Angelico, Botticelli, Lippi, Masolino, and Masaccio. More

Acknowledgement: Bonhams, Sotheby's, Wikipedia, 

Images are copyright of their respective owners, assignees or others

Sunday, April 17, 2016

28 Works, RELIGIOUS ART - 15, 16 & 17th Century Biblical Carvings from Bruges! With Footnotes - 3

Bruges is situated in the northeastern part of the West-Flanders province, not far from the North Sea. A Gallo-Roman settlement dates habitation back 2000 years. In the 9th century the city is mentioned in writing for the first time.
A Carved Figure of Christ Crucified, Spanish, 15th C.
Carved wood and pigmented
Spain, 15th century
Height: 175 cm

The golden age of Bruges is the period between the 13th and 15th century. A series of floods in the 12th century had left a wide seaway: the Zwin. Despite increasing silting of the Zwin, Bruges grows to the likely status of Western Europe's most important 13th century trading town, maintaining close relations with other Flemish towns, and with Cologne and England. Bruges provides a major link for trade between Northern and Southern Europe. At first trade centres around worsted, but after the 14th century luxury goods and banking start taking priority.

Carved wood and pigmented,
Austria, 17th Century
Height: 92 cm 
Good restored condition

Brugge is an outstanding example of a medieval historic settlement, which has maintained its historic fabric as this has evolved over the centuries, and where original Gothic constructions form part of the town's identity. As one of the commercial and cultural capitals of Europe, Brugge developed cultural links to different parts of the world. It is closely associated with the school of Flemish Primitive painting.

A French Gothic Architectural Fragment, Our Lady, 16th
Dimensions: 89 x 38 x 34 cm

Extensive weathering and erosion throughout consistent with age. There are two missing flanking figures and the head of baby Christ.

In the 15th century, Brugge was the cradle of the Flemish Primitives and a centre of patronage and painting development for artists such as Jan van Eyck and Hans Memling. Many of their works were exported and influenced painting styles all over Europe. Exceptionally important collections have remained in the city until today.

A Figure of Saint Roch, 16th C.
Carved lindenwood, polychrome paint
German-speaking areas in the alpine region, late 16th century
Height: 102 cm 

Saint Roch or Rocco , c. 1348 – 15/16 August 1376/79, was a Catholic saint, a confessor whose death is commemorated on 16 August; he is specially invoked against the plague. He is a patron saint of dogs and falsely accused people, among other things.

He was born at Montpellier, at that time "upon the border of France", the son of the noble governor of that city. Even his birth was accounted a miracle, for his noble mother had been barren until she prayed to the Virgin Mary. Miraculously marked from birth with a red cross on his breast that grew as he did, he early began to manifest strict asceticism and great devoutnes.

On the death of his parents in his twentieth year he distributed all his worldly goods among the poor like Francis of Assisi—though his father on his deathbed had ordained him governor of Montpellier—and set out as a mendicant pilgrim for Rome. Coming into Italy during an epidemic of plague, he was very diligent in tending the sick in the public hospitals at Acquapendente, Cesena, Rimini, Novara and Rome, and is said to have effected many miraculous cures by prayer and the sign of the cross and the touch of his hand. At Rome he preserved the "cardinal of Angleria in Lombardy" by making the mark of the cross on his forehead, which miraculously remained. Ministering at Piacenza he himself finally fell ill. He was expelled from the town; and withdrew into the forest, where he made himself a hut of boughs and leaves, which was miraculously supplied with water by a spring that arose in the place; he would have perished had not a dog belonging to a nobleman named Gothard Palastrelli supplied him with bread and licked his wounds, healing them. Count Gothard, following his hunting dog that carried the bread, discovered Saint Roch and became his acolyte.

On his return incognito to Montpellier he was arrested as a spy (by orders of his own uncle) and thrown into prison, where he languished five years and died on 16 August 1327, without revealing his name, to avoid worldly glory. More

Small-scale carvings in ivory and wood were among the rare objects collected by princes and wealthy citizens of the Low Countries and Central Europe during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Many of their palaces had a Kunstkammer or a Wunderkammer (chamber for art or curiosities), where their treasures were displayed. The intention was to suggest the wealth and learning of the collector and to impress guests.

A Figure of a Monk, Probably South America, Early 17th C.
Carved wood and paint
Probably South America, early 17th century
Height: 36 cm 
Original Paint

The rise of the Kunstkammer coincided with the European age of exploration, when collectors sought to acquire exotic materials brought home from newly discovered lands. Ivories carved by African artists were followed by virtuoso carvings that European artists made from the raw ivory arriving on their shores, as well as particularly intricate, often grotesque, wood carvings.

A Late Gothic Pieta, Rhenish, Late 15th/Early 16th C.
Carved wood, possibly lindenwood, hollow and encased at the back, pigementation
Rhineland, late 15th/early 16th century
Height: 79 cm 

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

Much as the Baroque Kunstkammer included numerous ivory carvings. Devout individuals, monasteries, and church treasuries amassed religious collections. They collected small-scale devotional sculptures in boxwood as well as ivory, a medium particularly suited to the depiction of Christ’s suffering. Carvers portrayed every phase of Christ’s Passion with acute attention to expression and unrivaled anatomical richness.

A Figure of Saint Sebastian, Probably German, 17th/18th C
Carved oak, gilding and stucco
Probably German
Height: 100 cm

Saint Sebastian (died c. 288) was an early Christian saint and martyr. According to Christian belief, he was killed during the Roman emperor Diocletian's persecution of Christians. He is commonly depicted in art and literature tied to a post or tree and shot with arrows. Despite this being the most common artistic depiction of Sebastian, he was, according to legend, rescued and healed by Irene of Rome. Shortly afterwards he went to Diocletian to warn him about his sins, and as a result was clubbed to death. He is venerated in the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. More

A Figure of Saint George, Flemish or Dutch, 16th C.
Carved hardwood, polychrome
Flanders or Holland, 16th century
St. George slaying the devil
Height: 139 cm

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

Given the fact tha Flemish artisans were well organised into Guilds that established exactly how each of their members had to carry out their tasks in painstaking detail, Flemish workshops were able to create a true industry as far as religious figures and works of art were concerned. Their production was characterised by the outstanding quality of the items manufactured, items which were increasingly appreciated throughout the whole of Europe and which was in tune with the prevailing pious mentality of the period. More

A Gothic Figure of a Young Monk, Eastern France, 15th C
Carved limestone, pigmenation, parcel-gilt
Eartern France, Burgundy, 15th century
Height: 97 cm

A Carved Limestone Pieta, Auvergne Region, 16th C.
Carved limestone
France, Auvergne region, 16th century
Architectural fragment depicting a Pieta
Dimensions: 51 x 46 x 20 cm

A Sculpture of the Pieta, Flemish, 17th Century
Carved wood and pigmented
Flanders, 17th century 
Height: 90 cm


Many merchants, having made their fortunes and eager to show off their newly-acquired social position by building temples and chapels which they would then lavishly decorate, frequently with Flemish altarpieces. And this is exactly what a merchant from Burgos by the name of García de Salamanca did. In fact, this very merchant appears depicted in a pious stance together with his wife and patron saints in the Santa Cruz relief of the Church of San Lesmes. In this way, merchants sought to redeem their sins and save their souls.

A Sculpture of Virgin and Child, Flemish, 17th C.
Carved wood, pigmentation
Flemish, 17th century
A polychrome painted sculpture of Our Lady and Child
Height: 67 cm 

Though many works were acquired by religious chapters, others were acquired thanks to the donations of private individuals. Parishioners would also gather together to purchase "worthy" furnishings in consonance with the prevailing artistic style of the moment for the most representative of their parish buildings.

An Ivory Figure of Christ Crucified, Italian, Late 17th C
Italy, late 17th century
Dimensions: 29 x 20 cm

The use of ivory for important sculpture declined in the late Middle Ages, coinciding with the demise of the ivory trade between Europe and Africa after the Ottoman conquest of North Africa. With rare exceptions, European sculptors of small-scale works turned to boxwood, a medium that shares some attributes of ivory. 

An Ivory Figure of the Madonna and Child, France, 17th C
A Figure, probably of St John the Baptist, Flemish
Polychrome painted wood
Flanders, 17th century
Height: 54 cm

John the Baptist, known as the prophet Yahya in the Qur'an, was a Jewish itinerant preacher in the early first century AD. John is revered as a major religious figure in Christianity, Islam, the Bahá'í Faith, and Mandaeism. He is called a prophet by all of these traditions, and honoured as a saint in many Christian traditions.

John used baptism as the central sacrament of his messianic movement.[ Most scholars agree that John baptized Jesus. Scholars generally believe Jesus was a follower or disciple of John and several New Testament accounts report that some of Jesus' early followers had previously been followers of John. John the Baptist is also mentioned by the Jewish historian Josephus. Some scholars maintain that John was influenced by the semi-ascetic Essenes, who expected an apocalypse and practiced rituals corresponding strongly with baptism, although no direct evidence substantiates this.

According to the New Testament, John anticipated a messianic figure greater than himself, and Jesus was the one whose coming John foretold. Christians commonly refer to John as the precursor or forerunner of Jesus, since John announces Jesus' coming. John is also identified with the prophet Elijah. More

Late Gothic Figure of a Female Saint, Germany, 16th C.
The colouring suggests that she was interpreted as representing the Virgin Mary.
Carved lindenwood with a hollow back, pigmentation
Germany, 16th century
Height: 80 cm

Group of Anna Selbdritt in Majesty, Spanish, 12th-13th C
Carved pinewood, extensive traces of pigmentation
Spain, 12th-13th century
Height: 84 cm

The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne or Madonna and Child with Saint Anne[3][4] is a subject in Christian art showing Saint Anne with her daughter, the Virgin Mary, and her grandson Jesus.[5] This depiction has been popular in Germany and neighboring countries since the 14th century. More

A Late Gothic Figure of a Bishop Saint, Flemish, 16th C
Carved walnut, pigmentation
Flemish or Nothern France, 16th century
Height: 59 cm

Late Gothic Figure of Mary, Flemish, Early 16th C.
Carved oak, traces of original pigmentation
Flemish, 16th century
Height: 25 cm

A Late Gothic Figure of the Virgin and Child, German, 15 C
South Germany, late 15th century
Height: 108 cm

A Figure of the Virgin Mary, German, 16th C.
Carved softwood, on a base covered in red velvet
Germany, 16th century
Height: 41 cm

A Statue of the Madonna and Child, Western Euorpe, 16th C
Carved softwood, polychrome paint and parcel-gilt
Western Europe, 16th century
Height: 120 cm

A Pair of Sculptures Depicting St John and St Anne,
17th century
Height: 42 cm 

John the Apostle ( c. AD 6 – c. 106) was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus according to the New Testament. He was the son of Zebedee and Salome. His brother was James, who was another of the Twelve Apostles. Christian tradition holds that he outlived the remaining apostles and that he was the only one not to die a martyr's death (excluding Judas Iscariot who died by suicide). The Church Fathers considered him the same person as John the Evangelist, John of Patmos, John the Elder and the Beloved Disciple, although modern theologians and scholars have not formed a consensus on the relative identities of these men. The tradition of most Christian denominations holds that John the Apostle is the author of several books of the New Testament. More

Saint Anne (also known as Ann or Anna ) of David's house and line, was the mother of the Virgin Mary and grandmother of Jesus Christ, according to Christian and Islamic tradition. Mary's mother is not named in the canonical gospels, nor in the Qur'an. Anne's name and that of her husband Joachim come only from New Testament apocrypha, of which the Protoevangelium of James (written perhaps around 150) seems to be the earliest that mentions them. More
A Flemish Statue of Saint Barbara, 17th C.
Carved oak
Flanders, 17th century
Dimensions: 216 x 60 x 38 cm

Saint Barbara, known in the Eastern Orthodox Church as the Great Martyr Barbara, was an early Christian saint and martyr. Accounts place her in the 3rd century in Nicomedia, present-day Turkey or in Heliopolis of Phoenicia, present-day Baalbek, Lebanon. There is no reference to her in the authentic early Christian writings nor in the original recension of Saint Jerome's martyrology. Her name can be traced to the 7th century, and veneration of her was common, especially in the East, from the 9th century.

Because of doubts about the historicity of her legend, she was removed from the General Roman Calendar in the 1969 revision, though not from the Catholic Church's list of saints.

Saint Barbara is often portrayed with miniature chains and a tower. As one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, Barbara continues to be a popular saint in modern times, perhaps best known as the patron saint of armourers, artillerymen, military engineers, miners and others who work with explosives because of her old legend's association with lightning, and also of mathematicians. Many of the thirteen miracles in a 15th-century French version of her story turn on the security she offered that her devotees would not die without making confession and receiving extreme unction. 

According to the hagiographies, Barbara, the daughter of a rich pagan named Dioscorus, was carefully guarded by her father who kept her locked up in a tower in order to preserve her from the outside world. Having secretly become a Christian, she rejected an offer of marriage that she received through him.

Before going on a journey, he commanded that a private bath-house be erected for her use near her dwelling, and during his absence, Barbara had three windows put in it, as a symbol of the Holy Trinity, instead of the two originally intended. When her father returned, she acknowledged herself to be a Christian; upon this he drew his sword to kill her, but her prayers created an opening in the tower wall and she was miraculously transported to a mountain gorge, where two shepherds watched their flocks. Dioscorus, in pursuit of his daughter, was rebuffed by the first shepherd, but the second betrayed her and was turned to stone and his flock changed to locusts.

Dragged before the prefect of the province, Martinianus, who had her cruelly tortured, Barbara held true to her faith. During the night, the dark prison was bathed in light and new miracles occurred. Every morning her wounds were healed. Torches that were to be used to burn her went out as soon as they came near her. Finally she was condemned to death by beheading. Her father himself carried out the death-sentence. However, as punishment for this, he was struck by lightning on the way home and his body was consumed by flame. Barbara was buried by a Christian, Valentinus, and her tomb became the site of miracles. More

A Carved Figure of Saint Sebastian, Probably Rhenish,
Carved walnut and pigmented
Proabably Rhineland, 17th century
Dimensions: 123 x 33 x 32 cm

Saint Sebastian, see above

A Figure of Saint Sebastian, France, 17th Century 
Carved stone, pigmented
France, 17th century
Dimensions: 92.5 x 30 x 22 cm

Saint Sebastian, see above

A Figure Likely to be Saint Bridget of Sweden, Flemish,
Carved walnut wood
Flemish, early 16th century
Dimensions: 97 x 32 x 30 cm

Bridget of Sweden (1303 – 23 July 1373); or Saint Birgitta, was a mystic and saint, and founder of the Bridgettines nuns and monks after the death of her husband of twenty years. Outside of Sweden, she was also known as the Princess of Nericia and was the mother of Catherine of Vadstena.

She is one of the six patron saints of Europe, together with Benedict of Nursia, Saints Cyril and Methodius, Catherine of Siena and Edith Stein.

She was the daughter of the knight Birger Persson of the family of Finsta, governor and lawspeaker of Uppland, and one of the richest landowners of the country, and his wife, a member of the so-called Lawspeaker branch of the Folkunga family. Through her mother, Ingeborg, Birgitta was related to the Swedish kings of her era.

Bridget was born in June 1303. In 1316, at the age of 14 she married Ulf Gudmarsson, Lord of Närke, to whom she bore eight children. One daughter is now honored as St. Catherine of Sweden. Bridget became known for her works of charity, particularly toward Östergötland's unwed mothers and their children. When she was in her early thirties, she was summoned to be lady-in-waiting to the new Queen of Sweden, Blanche of Namur. In 1341 she and her husband went on pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.

In 1344, shortly after their return, Ulf died at the Cistercian Alvastra Abbey in Östergötland. After this loss, Birgitta became a member of the Third Order of St. Francis and devoted herself wholly to a life of prayer and caring for the poor and the sick.

It was about this time that she developed the idea of establishing the religious community which was to become the Order of the Most Holy Saviour, or the Brigittines. One distinctive feature of the pre-Reformation houses of the Order was that they were double monasteries, with both men and women forming a joint community, though with separate cloisters. They were to live in poor convents and to give all surplus income to the poor. However, they were allowed to have as many books as they pleased.

In 1350, a Jubilee Year, Bridget braved a plague-stricken Europe to make a pilgrimage to Rome accompanied by her daughter, Catherine, and a small party of priests and disciples. This was done partly to obtain from the Pope the authorization of the new Order and partly in pursuance of her self-imposed mission to elevate the moral tone of the age. This was during the period of the Avignon Papacy within the Roman Catholic Church, however, and she had to wait for the return of the papacy to Rome from the French city of Avignon, a move for which she agitated for many years.

It was not until 1370 that Pope Urban V, during his brief attempt to re-establish the papacy in Rome, confirmed the Rule of the Order, but meanwhile Birgitta had made herself universally beloved in Rome by her kindness and good works. Save for occasional pilgrimages, including one to Jerusalem in 1373, she remained in Rome until her death on 23 July 1373, urging ecclesiastical reform.

In her pilgrimages to Rome, Jerusalem and Bethlehem, she sent "back precise instructions for the construction of the monastery" now known as Blue Church, insisting that an "abbess, signifying the Virgin Mary, should preside over both nuns and monks."[4]

Although she never returned to Sweden, her years in Rome were far from happy, being hounded by debts and by opposition to her work against Church abuses. She was originally buried at San Lorenzo in Panisperna before her remains were returned to Sweden. She was canonized in the year 1391 by Pope Boniface IX, which was confirmed by the Council of Constance in 1415. Because of new discussions about her works, the Council of Basel confirmed the orthodoxy of the revelations in 1436. More

The Circumcision of Christ, Flemish, Early 16th C.
Carved oak, pigmented
Flanders, early 16th century
Dimensions: 48 x 51 cm

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