Saturday, June 25, 2016

01 Paintings, RELIGIOUS ART - Paintings from the Bible, Master of the Saint Godelieve Legend, with footnotes, 4

Saint Godelieve (c. 1049 – July 6, 1070) is a Flemish saint. Tradition, as recorded in her Vita, states that she was pious as a young girl, and became much sought after by suitors as a beautiful young woman. Godelieve, however, wanted to become a nun. A nobleman named Bertolf of Gistel, however, determined to marry her, successfully invoked the help of her father's overlord, Eustace II, Count of Boulogne. Godelieve's mother-in-law soon forced the young bride to live in a narrow cell with little food to support her. Godelieve shared this food with the poor.

Master of the Saint Godelieve Legend (Netherlandish, active fourth quarter 15th century)
The Life and Miracles of Saint Godelieve
Oil on wood
49 1/4 x 126 3/8 in. (125.1 x 311 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Bertolf also spread false rumors about her; the marriage was not consummated.

Godelieve managed to escape to the home of her father, Hemfrid, seigneur of Wierre-Effroy. Hemfrid, appealing to the Bishops of Tournai and Soissons and the Count of Flanders, managed to have Bertolf restore Godelieve to her rightful position as his wife. Godelieve returned to Gistel and soon after, at the order of Bertolf, was strangled by two servants and thrown into a pool, to make it appear as if she had died a natural death.

Master of the Saint Godelieve Legend (Netherlandish, active fourth quarter 15th century)
The Life and Miracles of Saint Godelieve
Panel 1

The seven scenes illustrate the life of Godelieve of Gistel. The narrative of her unhappy marriage, and murder at her husband’s orders, begins on the far left where Godelieve, marked by a halo, appears with her parents and two sisters.

Master of the Saint Godelieve Legend (Netherlandish, active fourth quarter 15th century)
The Life and Miracles of Saint Godelieve
Panel 2

The second panel provides evidence of Godelieve’s sanctity, showing her feeding the poor from household supplies. When a servant checks, on her father’s orders, the stolen food hidden in her dress has turned into wood chips.

Master of the Saint Godelieve Legend (Netherlandish, active fourth quarter 15th century)
The Life and Miracles of Saint Godelieve
Panel 3

In the third panel Godelieve’s parents entertain the count of Boulogne who has come to urge Godelieve’s marriage to the knight Bertolf. In the background Godelieve has given delicacies intended for the guest to the poor and prays for God’s help; angels bring dishes of food for the feast.

Master of the Saint Godelieve Legend (Netherlandish, active fourth quarter 15th century)
The Life and Miracles of Saint Godelieve
Panel 4

 In the fourth panel Godelieve weds Bertolf.

Master of the Saint Godelieve Legend (Netherlandish, active fourth quarter 15th century)
The Life and Miracles of Saint Godelieve
Panel 5

The fifthsection features Bertolf and his mother who hates Godelieve and turns her son against his new wife. The servant girl is set to spy on Godelieve’s activities.

Master of the Saint Godelieve Legend (Netherlandish, active fourth quarter 15th century)
The Life and Miracles of Saint Godelieve
Panel 6

In this sixth panel Godelieve is murdered by Bertolf’s two men, Lambert and Hacca. In the background the events leading up to the climactic scene lend further pathos: (1)Bertolf pretends affection for his wife in order to persuade her to meet with an old woman who will supposedly bring love to their marriage and (2) a vulnerable Godelieve is led from her bed by the two murderers who don’t give her time to put anything over her shift.

Master of the Saint Godelieve Legend (Netherlandish, active fourth quarter 15th century)
The Life and Miracles of Saint Godelieve
Panel 7

In the final panel, the two men lower Godelieve's body head first into a well to wash away any signs of struggle and verify that she is dead. Next they arrange her corpse in bed to pass off the death as natural. In the background the painter presents four miracles posthumously performed by the saint. More

This fully intact altarpiece was perhaps commissioned by the Guild of the Load Bearers in Bruges for their chapel in the "Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk" (Church of Our Lady). When closed, four saints––Josse, Nicholas, Quirinus, and John the Baptist––and two kneeling donors are visible. When open for the celebration of Mass, worshipers saw displayed for their edification the life and miracles of Saint Godelieve, patroness of Flanders. More

Master of the Saint Godelieve Legend (Netherlandish, active fourth quarter 15th century)
The Life and Miracles of Saint Godelieve
 the exterior panels of the Godelieve altarpiece
Oil on wood
49 1/4 x 126 3/8 in. (125.1 x 311 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The figures from left to right are: Saints Josse, Nicholas of Bari, Quirinus, and John the Baptist, with two male donors.

Bertolf married again, and had a daughter Edith, who was born blind: the legend states that Edith was cured through the intercession of Saint Godelieve. Bertolf, now repentant of his crimes, went to Rome to obtain absolution. He went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and became a monk at St. Winnoc's Abbey at Bergues.

Edith founded a Benedictine monastery at Gistel, which was dedicated to Saint Godelieve, which she joined herself as a nun. More


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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

06 Classic Works of Art, Gustav Klimt's Marine Paintings of Mermaids - 2

Gustav Klimt (July 14, 1862 – February 6, 1918) was an Austrian symbolist painter and one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession movement. Klimt is noted for his paintings, murals, sketches, and other objets d'art. Klimt's primary subject was the female body, and his works are marked by a frank eroticism. In addition to his figurative works, which include allegories and portraits, he painted landscapes. Among the artists of the Vienna Secession, Klimt was the most influenced by Japanese art and its methods.

Early in his artistic career, he was a successful painter of architectural decorations in a conventional manner. As he developed a more personal style, his work was the subject of controversy that culminated when the paintings he completed around 1900 for the ceiling of the Great Hall of the University of Vienna were criticized as pornographic. He subsequently accepted no more public commissions, but achieved a new success with the paintings of his "golden phase," many of which include gold leaf. More

Gustav Klimt
Fischblut, c. 1898
Fish blood

Gustav Klimt may never have set foot in Japan, but his drawing “Fishblood” shows just how deeply he was influenced by Japanese art.

Asian art, in particular Japanese prints and pattern books, “had an enormous influence on Klimt during the years in which he turned to Symbolism and ultimately to the Secession,” an Austrian art movement spearheaded by Klimt that rejected the academic establishment and brought avant-garde art to Vienna. More

Gustav Klimt
Mermaids, c. 1899
Oil on canvas
52 × 65 cm

The painting clearly derives from Klimt's pen and ink drawing Fish Blood (above), which was reproduced in the third issue of Ver Sacrum. Klimt seems to have enjoyed working in pen and ink; quite possibly the absence of colour allowed him to concentrate on the composition. 

Gustav Klimt
Mermaids, c. 1899
Detail

In Flowing Water, Klimt has been able to leave the bottom right-hand corner completely empty, bar his signature, without upsetting the balance. The fish on the bottom left-hand side reappears in Goldfish. Two later paintings by Klimt, Water Snakes I, and Water Snakes II also explore the sensual theme of women in water. More

Gustav Klimt
Mermaids, c. 1899
Detail

Gustav Klimt
Water Serpents I, c. 1904
Tempera / Watercolor on parchment
50 × 20 cm
Austrian Gallery, Vienna

Klimt returned to the theme of 'sensual women in water' in two works know as Water Serpents I and Water Serpents II. Water Serpents I is not an oil painting, and its pale, unusual colouring is in part dictated by the medium used. It does not differ much from the preliminary drawings that Klimt used for reference, apart from the addition of the gold paint, and the green and gold-leaf thread entangled around the women's bodies. 

Gustav Klimt
Water Serpents I, c. 1904
Detail

The unambiguously lesbian embrace of his models would perhaps have been unacceptable had it been presented as a straight portrait. However, by renaming the work and giving it an allegorical theme and by adding the fish-like serpent behind the bodies and adorning every surface with gold and pattern, Klimt was able to show the painting to Vienna without fear of censorship. 

Gustav Klimt
Water Serpents II, c. 1904
Oil on canvas
80 × 145 cm

Gustav Klimt
Water Serpents II, c. 1904
Detail

Gustav Klimt
Water Serpents II, c. 1904
Detail

The basic genres of Klimt's art remained unchanged up to the time of his death - portraits, landscapes, and allegories. In his last period, however, these familiar genres were treated with greater expression of feelings and the pictures became less abstract. Human types were no longer disguised in the context of myth or fairy tale. They appeared before the viewer in unvarnished reality. In a later painting, Women Friends, Klimt portrayed lesbianism much more openly. A naked young girl with parted lips rests her head against her lover, who holds a wrap, partly covering their nudity. More

Gustav Klimt 
Goldfish, c. 1901
Oil on Canvas
181 × 66.5 cm

Klimt was so infuriated and exasperated by the hostile reaction to his Faculty Paintings (Philosophy, Medicine,and Jurisprudence) that he painted this mocking riposte. Although he originally called it 'To my Detractors', on the advice of his friends Klimt changed the title to Goldfish when he exhibited the work in the 1903 Secession exhibition. Despite the change of title, the Press were up in arms, perhaps unsurprisingly given that the smiling woman is undeniably and provocatively turning her bottom towards the viewer. More

Gustav Klimt 
Goldfish, c. 1901
Detail

Gustav Klimt 
Goldfish, c. 1901
Detail


Gustav Klimt
Mermaids, c. 1899
Oil on Canvas
82 × 52 cm
Central Savings Bank of the City of Vienna

Like Flowing Water, Mermaids is another work dwelling on the sensuality of water and the female body. Mermaids looks forward to one of the Faculty Paintings, Jurisprudence, on which he began work the following year. The sheath-like nature of the female figures' hair and the surprisingly phallic outline of their bodies are strikingly similar. 

Gustav Klimt
Mermaids, c. 1899
Detail

Furthermore, even the colouring must have been broadly comparable. Since the Faculty Paintings were destroyed in a fire in 1945, we have only the notes of the contemporary art critic Ludwig Hevesi to tell us that 'black and gold predominate in Jurisprudence'. The rather menacing, predatory nature of these mermaids, with their strongly emphasized eyes, brows and mouths, suggests that they are to be viewed as sirens or femmes fatales. The male voyeur present in Flowing Water has - perhaps wisely - gone away."More"

Gustav Klimt
Mermaids, c. 1899
Detail



Images are copyright of their respective owners, assignees or others

Acknowledgement: Zeno

Monday, June 20, 2016

07 Classic Works of Art, Edward Burne-Jones' Marine Paintings of Mermaids - 1

Edward Burne-Jones, British (1833 - 1898)
Helen, a Mermaid, c. 1880
Oil on canvas
Height: 29.5 cm (11.61 in.), Width: 71.5 cm (28.15 in.)
Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery - Carlisle  (United Kingdom - Carlisle)

A mermaid is a legendary aquatic creature with the head and upper body of a female human and the tail of a fish. Mermaids appear in the folklore of many cultures worldwide, including the Near East, Europe, Africa and Asia. The first stories appeared in ancient Assyria, in which the goddess Atargatis transformed herself into a mermaid out of shame for accidentally killing her human lover. Mermaids are sometimes associated with perilous events such as floods, storms, shipwrecks and drownings.

Edward Burne-Jones, British (1833 - 1898)
A Sea-Nymph, c. 1881
Oil on canvas
Minneapolis Institute of Art

Edward Burne-Jones, British (1833 - 1898)
A Mermaid, c. 1882
Watercolor
Height: 31.2 cm (12.28 in.), Width: 23.5 cm (9.25 in.)
Tate Britain - London  (United Kingdom)

The male equivalent of the mermaid is the merman, also a familiar figure in folklore and heraldry. Although traditions about and sightings of mermen are less common than those of mermaids, they are generally assumed to co-exist with their female counterparts.

Edward Burne-Jones, British (1833 - 1898) 
The Depths of the Sea, c. 1887

Watercolor and gouache on wove paper mounted on panel
197 x 76 cm (77 9/16 x 29 15/16 in.)
Harvard Art Museums



A mermaid triumphantly clasps her prey, tugging him into the watery depths. Was he a mariner, drowned at sea, or did she cause his death in the act of abduction? Burne-Jones may have been inspired by Ovid’s tale of Salmacis and Hermaphroditus. The water nymph Salmacis was spellbound by the handsome youth and pulled him to his death underwater, “twining around him like a serpent.” Burne-Jones borrowed an immense water tank from a fellow artist in order to properly capture the undersea environment. The silvery fish were added at the suggestion of a friend, who felt that they emphasized the “underwateriness” of the picture. More

Edward Burne-Jones, British (1833 - 1898) 
Mermaids in the Deep (The Mermaid Family), c. 1878
Watercolor and gouache on wove paper mounted on panel

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, 1st Baronet ARA (28 August 1833 – 17 June 1898) was a British artist and designer closely associated with the later phase of the Pre-Raphaelite movement. Burne-Jones was also closely involved in the rejuvenation of the tradition of stained glass art in Britain. Burne-Jones's early paintings show the heavy inspiration of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, but by the 1860s Burne-Jones was discovering his own artistic "voice". In 1877, he was persuaded to show eight oil paintings at the Grosvenor Gallery. The timing was right, and he was taken up as a herald and star of the new Aesthetic Movement.

Edward Burne-Jones, British (1833 - 1898) 
Mermaid With Her Offspring
Oil on Canvas
20"x 30"

In addition to painting and stained glass, Burne-Jones worked in a variety of crafts; including designing ceramic tiles, jewellery, tapestries, mosaics and book illustration, most famously designing woodcuts for the Kelmscott Press's Chaucer in 1896. More

Edward Burne-Jones, British (1833 - 1898) 
The Depths of the Sea




Acknowledgement: Wikipedia

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