Wednesday, August 3, 2016

11 Paintings, RELIGIOUS ART - Paintings from the Bible, with footnotes. 24

Pedro García de Benabarre, (Spanish, 1445 – 1483)
Herod's Banquet, Circa 1470
Tempera, stucco reliefs and gold leaf on wood
197.5 x 125.7 x 6.4 cm
Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, Barcelona

Compartment of an altarpiece dedicated to Saint John the Baptist. The Museu Nacional keeps six more panels from the same work. Another panel with Saint Michael is kept at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston and the whereabouts of other pieces is unknown. From the parish church of Sant Joan del Mercat de Lleida. More

Pedro Garcia Benavarre, or Benabarre (Benabarre, Huesca 1445-1485) was a Spanish-Flemish Gothic painter active in Aragon and Catalonia. Garcia was documented in 1445 in Zaragoza in Blasco union Grañén painter, who could be his teacher and with whom he collaborated as an assistant between 1445 and 1447. This Zaragoza highlights the execution stage of the altarpiece of Villarroya of Campo. The two partners also worked at painting altarpieces for the church of the monastery of San Pedro de Siresa in Jacetania.

Pedro García de Benabarre, (Spanish, 1445 – 1483)
Apocalyptic Virgin and Saint Vincent Ferrer with two Donors , circa 1456
Tempera, stucco reliefs and gold leaf on wood
Height: 1,703 mm (67.05 in). Width: 1,257 mm (49.49 in).
Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Central compartment of an altarpiece dedicated to the Virgin Mary and Saint Vincent Ferrer. The Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris has another compartment of the same altarpiece with Saint Vincent. It comes from the church of the Dominican convent of Cervera 

On the left are the Virgin and Child surrounded by sunlight, with the crescent moon and a star at the foot of the mantle. These are some of the attributes that characterize the woman described by John in Revelation, a figure that throughout the Middle Ages was increasingly identified with the Church as an institution and the Virgin Mary. 

The table on the right, St Vincent with one hand holding a book where you can read a verse from the Book of Revelation and the other indicates the figure of Christ, who appears showing the plagues of the Passion and accompanied by angels with trumpets, iconography of the Final Judgment. Both elements relate to the activity as a preacher of Saint Vincent, who often treated the subject of end times and the coming of Christ the Judge. At the bottom of the compartment, and smaller in size, two figures of a man and a woman; the patrons of the altar, in dialogue with the Child Jesus imploring his salvation. More

Saint Vincent of Saragossa was a deacon of the Church of Saragossa. He is the patron saint of Lisbon and Valencia. He was born at Huesca and martyred under the Emperor Diocletian around the year 304. The earliest account of Vincent's martyrdom is in a carmen (lyric poem) written by the poet Prudentius, who wrote a series of lyric poems, Peristephanon ("Crowns of Martyrdom"), on Hispanic and Roman martyrs.

He was born at Huesca, near Saragossa, Spain sometime during the latter part of the 3rd century. Vincent spent most of his life in the city of Saragossa, where he was educated and ordained to the diaconate by Bishop Valerius of Saragossa, who commissioned Vincent to preach throughout the diocese. Because Valerius suffered from a speech impediment, Vincent acted as his spokesman.

When the Roman Emperor Diocletian began persecuting Christians in Spain, both were brought before the Roman governor, Dacian in Valencia. Vincent and his bishop Valerius were confined to the prison of Valencia. Though he was finally offered release if he would consign Scripture to the fire, Vincent refused. Speaking on behalf of his bishop, he informed the judge that they were ready to suffer everything for their faith, and that they could pay no heed either to threats or promises.

His outspoken manner so angered the governor that Vincent was inflicted every sort of torture on him. He was stretched on the rack and his flesh torn with iron hooks. Then his wounds were rubbed with salt and he was burned alive upon a red-hot gridiron. Finally he was cast into prison and laid on a floor scattered with broken pottery, where he died. During his martyrdom he preserved such peace and tranquillity that it astonished his jailer, who repented from his sins and was converted. Vincent's dead body was thrown into the sea in a sack, but was later recovered by the Christians and his veneration immediately spread throughout the Church. The aged bishop Valerius was exiled. More

In 1452 he was established in Benabarre and worked on his own. From there he moved to Barcelona in 1455, hired by the widow and son of Bernat Martorell, with whom he pledged to finalize unfinished works by the master.

Pedro García de Benabarre, (Spanish, 1445 – 1483)
Mother of God and angels, c. 1470
Tempera, stucco reliefs and gold leaf on wood
211.8 x 147.5 x 13 cm
Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Central compartment of an altarpiece dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It comes from the church of the Assumption of Bellcaire d'Urgell (Noguera).

The Virgin appears enthroned and crowned. At her feet and you can see the crescent moon which refers to the figure of the woman described by John in Revelation. The Virgin carries the Child in her lap, naked and with a piece of coral hanging from the neck. Both are accompanied by four angels, two of which play lutes and two with offereings, grapes for the Virgin Mary, and the other with pears for the Child. More

It is likely that the terms of the contract signed with the Martorell were not met in full. Benabarre then worked at various nearby locations. At this stage, he had contracted to paint numerous altarpieces, including his most famous works: the Virgin enthroned and four angels or Virgen de Bellcaire, from the parish church of Bellcaire d'Urgell, now at the National Museum Art de Catalunya.

By 1481 he settled in Barbastro, painting the altarpiece at the church of the convent of San Francisco 

More than forty works have been attributed Pedro Garcia de Benabarre.


Pedro García de Benabarre, (Spanish, 1445 – 1483)
Dormition of the Virgin Mary, c. 1450-1455
Tempera, stucco reliefs and gilded with gold leaf on wood
277.2 x 168.5 x 19 cm
Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Dormition, (in the Orthodox Church) the passing of the Virgin Mary from earthly life.
Eastern Christians celebrate not the Assumption, but the Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The Virgin, lying in bed, is accompanied by eleven apostles among which St. John the Evangelist  is recognized, which putting the cake in her hands, St. Peter, with an open book and dressed as a bishop, and St. Andrew's at the head of the bed with the cross. At the top of the icon, Christ, surrounded by angels, holds the soul of his mother. More

Pedro García de Benabarre, (Spanish, 1445 – 1483)
Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian and his body thrown into the tiburtina cloaca, 
c. 1455-1456
160 x 68 cm
Madrid, musée du Prado.

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

Jaume Serra, 1358-1389 / 1405
Altarpiece of the Virgin, c. 1367-1381
Temple, gilded with gold foil on table
346.3 x 321 x 26 cm
Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya

Jaume Serra (died after 1405) was a Catalonian painter. Serra was influenced heavily by a Sienese style introduced by Ferrer Bassa. He was a member of a family of artists active in Catalonia in the fourteenth century. His brothers Pere, Francesc and Joan were also painters of italogótico style. The Serra brothers are characterized by the painting of tiny, stylized, slanted eyes and small mouth figures. Jaime painted Madonna of Humility. He also collaborated with his brothers in the realization of the altarpiece of the Monastery of Santa María de Sigena, now in the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya in Barcelona.

Two additional altarpieces are preserved in the Museum of Zaragoza. The Virgin from the Convent of the Holy Sepulchre (Zaragoza) and Martin de Alpartil or the Resurrection (with the portrait of the friar as a donor). The third altarpiece is from the Shrine of Our Lady of Tobed, in Zaragoza, whose execution is documented between 1356 and 1359. It is formed by a central table, the Virgin of Tobed, which are represented the nursing Virgin and Child with the future king of Castile Henry II of Castile as a donor, and its two doors, painted in tempera and altarpieces independent dedicated to Mary Magdalene and John the Baptist, whose stories are told in three successive records on the bench with various saints. The set was kept divided between the Museo del Prado in Madrid, which had since 1965 the two side tables, and Várez Fisa collection, until in 2013 the collection has been donated to the Madrid museum main table, so that the altar could be made whole again. Jaime's altarpiece The Holy Spirit can be found in the Manresa cathedral. More

Miguel Ximénez (Before 1462 - After 1505)
Triptych, Saint John the Baptist, Saint Fabian and Saint Sebastian, c. 1494
Oil and gold leaf on wood
Height: 1,652 mm (65.04 in). Width: 2,230 mm (87.8 in).
National Art Museum of Catalonia

These three panels could have made up a triptych or the central part of a larger altarpiece of unknown structure. They come from the chapel of Sant Joan Baptista in one of the side apses of the church of the monastery of Santa María de Sigena (Villanueva de Sigena, Huesca). More

Miguel Ximénez, (Pareja -Guadalajara-, 15th century) was a Spanish Gothic painter. Miguel was documented in Saragossa between 1462 and 1505). He was appointed by Ferdinand II of Aragon's court painter on 11 May 1484 and is known to have influenced Bartolomé Bermejo's work. Also there are similarities between his work and Martín Bernat's. His son Juan Ximénez assisted him. More

Miguel Ximénez (Before 1462 - After 1505)
Saint John the Baptist, Saint Fabian and Saint Sebastian, c. 1494
Left Panel

Fabian (c. 200 – 20 January 250) was the Bishop of Rome from 10 January 236 to his death in 250, succeeding Anterus. He is famous for the miraculous nature of his election, in which a dove is said to have descended on his head to mark him as the Holy Spirit's unexpected choice to become the next pope. He was succeeded by Cornelius.

Most of his papacy was characterized by amicable relations with the imperial government, and Fabian could thus bring back to Rome the bodies of Pope Pontian and the antipope Hippolytus, both of whom had died in exile in the Sardinian mines, for Christian burial. It was also probably during his reign that the schism between the two corresponding Roman congregations of these leaders was ended. hly esteemed by Cyprian;[4] Novatian refers to his nobilissima memoriae, and he corresponded with Origen. One authority refers to him as Flavian.[5]

The Liber Pontificalis, a fourth-century document that survives in later copies, says that he divided Rome into deaconates and appointed secretaries to collect the records of the martyrs. He is also said, probably without basis, to have baptized the emperor Philip the Arab and his son. More plausible is the report in the Liberian Catalogue that he sent out seven "apostles to the Gauls" as missionaries.

He died a martyr at the beginning of the Decian persecution, and is venerated as a saint by the Catholic Church. More

Miguel Ximénez (Before 1462 - After 1505)
Saint John the Baptist, Saint Fabian and Saint Sebastian, c. 1494
Center Panel

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

Miguel Ximénez (Before 1462 - After 1505)
Saint John the Baptist, Saint Fabian and Saint Sebastian, c. 1494
Right Panel

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

Josse Lieferinxe, (working ca 1493–1503/08)
Saint Sebastian Interceding for the Plague Stricken, c. 1497 and 1499
Oil on panel
81.8 × 55.4 cm (32.2 × 21.8 in)
Walters Art Museum

This painting depicts one instance of his intercession. According to legend, this event occurred long after the saint's death, during an outbreak of the plague in 7th-century Pavia, Italy. Here, just as a victim is to be buried, a grave attendant is struck by the disease. The plague-or Black Death-devastated Europe for centuries, and the painting's viewers would have known its horrors. St. Sebastian, pierced with arrows, kneels before God to plead on behalf of humanity, while an angel and a demon battle in the sky. The artist was never in Italy and based the appearance of Pavia on that of Avignon.
In 1497, Lieferinxe contracted with the Confraternity of St. Sebastian to paint an altarpiece dedicated to their patron saint in the church of Notre-Dame-des-Accoules (now destroyed) in Marseille, France. Six other panels from this altarpiece are now in the Philadelphia Museum of Art (Johnson Collection), the Museo di Palazo Venezia in Rome, and the Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg. More

Josse Lieferinxe (working ca 1493–1503/08) was a South Netherlandish painter, formerly known by the pseudonym the Master of St. Sebastian.

Originating in the diocese of Cambrai in Hainaut, then part of the territories ruled by the Dukes of Burgundy, Josse Lieferinxe was documented as a "Picard" in the regions of Avignon and Marseille at the end of the fifteenth and in the early sixteenth centuries. He was first mentioned in Provence in 1493. In 1503 he married Michelle, a daughter of Jean Changenet, the most prominent painter of Avignon, in whose atelier Lieferinxe may have matured his style. He was last mentioned living in 1505, and in 1508 as deceased. More

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Monday, August 1, 2016

23 Paintings, RELIGIOUS ART - Paintings from the Bible, with footnotes. 22

J.W. Waterhouse
Mariamne leaving the Judgement Seat of Herod, c. 1887
Oil on canvas
259 x 180 cm

Mariamne (c. 57-29 BC), Jewish princess, a popular heroine in both Jewish and Christian traditions, whose marriage (37 BC) to the Judean king Herod the Great united his family with the deposed Hasmonean royal family (Maccabees) and helped legitimize his position. At the instigation of his sister Salome and Mariamne's mother, Alexandra, however, Herod had her put to death for adultery. Later, he also executed her two sons, Alexander and Aristobulus. More

John William Waterhouse (April 6, 1849 – February 10, 1917) was an English painter known for working in the Pre-Raphaelite style. He worked several decades after the breakup of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, which had seen its heyday in the mid-nineteenth century, leading to his sobriquet "the modern Pre-Raphaelite". Borrowing stylistic influences not only from the earlier Pre-Raphaelites but also from his contemporaries, the Impressionists, his artworks were known for their depictions of women from both ancient Greek mythology and Arthurian legend.
Born in Italy to English parents who were both painters, he later moved to London, where he enrolled in the Royal Academy of Art. He soon began exhibiting at their annual summer exhibitions, focusing on the creation of large canvas works depicting scenes from the daily life and mythology of ancient Greece. Later on in his career he came to embrace the Pre-Raphaelite style of painting despite the fact that it had gone out of fashion in the British art scene several decades before. More

Hans Memling (circa 1433–1494)
The Toilet of Bathsheba After the Bath, circa 1480
Oil on panel
191.5 × 84.5 cm (75.4 × 33.3 in)
Staatsgalerie Stuttgart
A servant assists Bathsheba from her bath. The scene depicted in the window frame is a 17th-century addition. It depicts David from a distance looking into Bathsheba’s window from the roof of his house. The original window scene (cited below in Related Work) portrays David peering in directly. Through the portal below one can see a depiction of Uriah’s death arranged by the adulterous King David. A centrally-planned element to the right of the portal bears sculptures of Moses and Abraham, representatives of the Law. More
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

Wilhelm Trübner, (German, 1851–1917)
Dante's Inferno, c. 1880
Oil on canvas
137 cm (53.94 in.), Width: 249 cm (98.03 in.)
Museum Schloss Wilhelmshöhe, Kassel, Germany

Inferno is the first part of Dante Alighieri's 14th-century epic poem Divine Comedy. The Inferno tells the journey of Dante through Hell, guided by the ancient Roman poet Virgil. In the poem, Hell is depicted as nine circles of suffering located within the Earth; it is the "realm...of those who have rejected spiritual values by yielding to bestial appetites or violence, or by perverting their human intellect to fraud or malice against their fellowmen." As an allegory, the Divine Comedy represents the journey of the soul toward God, with the Inferno describing the recognition and rejection of sin. More

Wilhelm Trübner (February 3, 1851 – December 21, 1917) was a German realist painter born in Heidelberg and had early training as a goldsmith. In 1867 he met classicist painter Anselm Feuerbach who encouraged him to study painting, and he began studies in Karlsruhe under Fedor Dietz. The next year saw him studying at the Kunstacademie in Munich, where he was to be greatly impressed by an international exhibition of paintings by Leibl and Gustave Courbet. 
The early 1870s were a period of discovery for Trübner. He travelled to Italy, Holland and Belgium, and in Paris encountered the art of Manet, whose influence can be seen in the spontaneous yet restrained style of Trübner's portraits and landscapes. During this period he also made the acquaintance of Carl Schuch, Albert Lang and Hans Thoma, German painters who, like Trübner, greatly admired the unsentimental realism of Wilhelm Leibl.
He published writings on art theory in 1892 and 1898, which express above all the idea that "beauty must lie in the painting itself, not in the subject". By urging the viewer to discover beauty in a painting's formal values, its colors, proportions, and surface, Trübner advanced a philosophy of "art for art's sake". In 1901 he joined the recently formed Berlin Secession, at the time Germany's most important forum for the exhibition of avant-garde art. From 1903 until his death in 1917 he was a professor at the Academy of Arts in Karlsruhe, also serving as director from 1904 to 1910. More

Jose de Ribera, Spanish, 1591-1652
St.Sebastian tended by the holy women, c. 1621
Oil on canvas
 Museo de Bellas Artes, Bilbao, Spain

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

José de Ribera (January 12, 1591 – September 2, 1652) was a Spanish Tenebrist painter and printmaker, better known as Jusepe de Ribera. He also was called Lo Spagnoletto ("the Little Spaniard") by his contemporaries and early writers. Ribera was a leading painter of the Spanish school, although his mature work was all done in Italy. More

Paul Chenavard (1807-1895)
Divina Tragedia, c. 1865 and 1869
Huile sur toile
H. 400; W. 550 cm
Paris, Musée d'Orsay

After the 1848 French Revolution, the Director of Fine Arts, Charles Blanc, commissioned Paul Chenavard to creat backdrop for the Pantheon in Paris that the new government wanted to establish as a "temple of humanity." The artist planed to include a mosaic offering "impartial summary of all religious traditions." 

But in December 1851, the Pantheon was converted into a Catholic church by Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, and the project entrusted to Chenavard abandoned. In the Salon of 1869, Chenavard takes up the idea of an illustration of the history of religion with Divina Tragedia , text counterpoint to Dante Alighieri: the Divine Comedy. 

The tpainting encountered critisism from both the  critics and the public. It wass considered too complex, drowned in the references and ideas that the artist wanted to express. Inspite of critics, the painting was bought by the State for the Musée du Luxembourg, Divina Tragedia. More

Paul-Marc-Joseph Chenavard, (9 December 1808 – 1895, Paris) was a French painter. Entering the École des beaux-arts en 1825, he studied in the studio of Ingres alongside his friend Joseph Guichard, then in the studios of Hersent and Delacroix.

Under the influence of German philosophy and painting, he considered art's aim had to be humanitarian and civilising. He was buried in the new Cimetière de Loyasse at Lyon. More

Circle of Bartolomeo Passarotti, (Bologna 1529-1592)
The Supper at Emmaus 
oil on canvas
148.8 x 113.2cm (58 9/16 x 44 9/16in)

Two of Jesus' disciples were walking to Emmaus after the Crucifixion when the resurrected Jesus himself drew near and went with them, but they did not recognise him. At supper that evening in Emmaus '... he took bread, and blessed it, and brake and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight'. Christ is shown at the moment of blessing the bread and revealing his true identity to the two disciples. More

Bartolomeo Passerotti (1529 – 1592) was an Italian painter of the mannerist period, who worked mainly in his native Bologna. He traveled to Rome in the mid-16th century, where he worked under Girolamo Vignola and Taddeo Zuccari. Upon returning to Bologna, he accumulated a large studio, and influenced many Bolognese who would later play a role in the rise of the Baroque. Annibale Carracci was influenced by Passerotti's genre scenes in a select set of paintings. Lucio Massari and Francesco Brizzi were among his pupils. Four of Passerotti's sons, including Ventura, Aurelio, Tiburzio and Passarotto were also painters. More

Giuseppe Vermiglio, (Alessandria 1585-circa 1635)
The Supper at Emmaus 
oil on canvas
116.2 x 143.2cm (45 3/4 x 56 3/8in).

The Supper at Emmaus, see above

Giuseppe Vermiglio (c.1585 – c.1635) was a Caravaggist painter from Northern Italy, active also in Rome. It is probable that he was born in Alessandria. He spent the first two decades of the seventeenth century in Rome where, while training and working as an artist, he adopted a bohemian lifestyle with a tendency to become involved in painterly brawling.

Giuseppe Vermiglio (1587 - après 1635)
John the Baptist, c. 17th century
Oil on canvas
55 × 45 cm (21.7 × 17.7 in)

Around 1620 he returned to northern Italy where he pursued his career as a painter in Piedmont (Novara and Alessandria) and in Lombardy (notably in Mantua and Milan). Judgments of quality of his work have ranged from Alfred Moir’s ‘inconsequential craftsman’ to Lanzi’s ‘the best painter in oils of which the ancient state of Piedmont could boast, and one of the best Italian artists of his times’. More

Maerten Jacobsz. van Heemskerck, (Heemskerck 1498-1574 Haarlem)
The Entombment, circa 1545
oil on panel
125.6 x 141.6cm (49 7/16 x 55 3/4in).

Of three known works of this composition, the present painting is considered the prototype. One is now in the Musée de Semur-en-Auxois, the other was formerly in the collection of Robert Langton Douglas, London, and offered at Christie's London, 16 December 1998, lot 128. All depict, with small variations, The Entombment with the dead Christ at the centre surrounded by half-length figures, one of whom looks directly out at the viewer over Christ's shoulder. Harrison believes that this man, shown as Nicodemus, may be a self-portrait of the artist. A dramatic nocturnal landscape with the rocks of Christ's tomb appear behind them. Of all three versions, this is the only one still to include this landscape. The composition was clearly popular, as attested to by the existence of the two early copies and further suggested by Barend Graat's later repetition now found in the Sint Petrus-Brandenkerk, Driesbergen-Rijsenburg.  More

Maerten van Heemskerck or Marten Jacobsz Heemskerk van Veen (1 June 1498 – 1 October 1574) was a Dutch portrait and religious painter, who spent most of his career in Haarlem. He was a pupil of Jan van Scorel, and adopted his teacher's Italian-influenced style. He spent the years 1532–6 in Italy. He produced many designs for engravers, and is especially known for his depictions of the Wonders of the World. More

Marten van Valkenborch, (Leuven 1535-1612 Frankfurt)
A hamlet in a wooded clearing with Jacob and Rachel, livestock at a well beyond 
oil on canvas
71.1 x 92cm (28 x 36 1/4in).

Rachel was the favorite of Biblical patriarch Jacob's two wives as well as the mother of Joseph and Benjamin, two of the twelve progenitors of the tribes of Israel. The name "Rachel" is from an unused root meaning: "to journey as a ewe that is a good traveller." Rachel was the daughter of Laban and the younger sister of Leah, Jacob's first wife. Rachel was a niece of Rebekah (Jacob's mother), Laban being Rebekah's brother, making Jacob her first cousin. More

Marten van Valckenborch (1535 in Leuven – 1612 in Frankfurt), was a Flemish Renaissance painter. Hewas born in Leuven in what would become one of the most prominent Flemish families of artists. Spanning three generations, 14 artists are recorded in the family of whom his younger brother Lucas the Elder and his own sons, Frederik van Valckenborch and Gillis van Valckenborch, were the most important personalities.

Marten van Valckenborch (1535–1612)
Landscape with the men of Emmaus, circa 1565

According to the early biographer Karel van Mander he learned to paint landscapes in Mechelen, which was known as a center for oil and water-colours and especially landscape painting. At the time of the Beeldenstorm in 1566 he left town with Lucas van Valckenborch and they made a trip from Luik to Aachen along the Meuse (river), painting river valley views. When William the Silent turned against the Spanish, they returned to the Netherlands, where they made many small clever pieces that sold well. Marten then moved to Frankfurt. More

Circle of Fernando Gallego y Taller (Salamanca circa 1440-1507)
The Crucifixion 
oil on panel
119.2 x 93.6cm (46 15/16 x 36 7/8in).

The artist in the present work has clearly taken as his inspiration for the figure of Christ in particular from Fernando Gallego's Crucifixion in his Retable de San Ildefonso for the Cathedral of Zamora. More

Fernando Gallego (c. 1440 – 1507) was a Spanish painter, and his art is generally regarded as Hispano-Flemish in style. Gallego was likely born in Salamanca, Spain, and worked throughout Castile and Extremadura, most notably in Ciudad Rodrigo, Plasencia, Toro, and Zamora.

Circle of Fernando Gallego y Taller (Salamanca circa 1440-1507)
Pietà, c. 1490 - 1500
Oil on panel
49.8 × 34.3 cm (19 5/8 × 13 1/2 in.)
The J. Paul Getty Trust

In this depiction of the lamentation of Christ, Fernando Gallego looked to Northern European paintings for inspiration but included distinctly Spanish elements such as a subdued palette and unidealized figures. Unlike Netherlandish artists who were interested in depicting the natural world in minute detail, Gallego concentrated on the pietà's psychological and emotional impact, eliminating extraneous or distracting elements. 

The Virgin Mary sits in front of the cross, gazing at her dead son in her lap. On the ground around them are several pebbles, a bone, and a skull. A lance and a rod with attached sponge, two instruments from the Passion, lean perfectly vertically against the cross, which is inscribed with the initials i.n.r.i. Behind the cross a rocky landscape overlooks a Gothic walled town, settled between a body of water and verdant countryside that stretches into the far distance. 

GALLEGO, FERNANDO, Salamanca, 1468, 1507
Piety, c. 1465 - 1470
Mixed media on wood pine
118 x 111 cm
National Prado Museum, Madrid

Gallego focused on the moment after the Crucifixion when overwhelming anguish gave way to resigned misery, the sentiment evident in the grief-stricken face of the Virgin, flushed and swollen from weeping. Christ's broken and emaciated body, his eyes unseeing, stretches awkwardly across her lap. Their exaggerated and unidealized features intensify the pathos central to the theme of the pietà. More

Some works thought to be Fernando Gallego’s are likely instead Francisco Gallego’s, such as San Acacius and the 10,000 Martyrs and the Getty Museum’s Pietà. Francisco is known to have worked in Fernando’s workshop, but their relationship is unknown. More

Roman School, 17th Century
Saint Ambrose 
oil on canvas
127.2 x 97.1cm (50 1/16 x 38 1/4in)

The present work presumably formed part of a series of paintings depicting The four Doctors of the Church. Early copies of the four originals can be found in the Museo del Prado, Madrid (inv. nos 1.311-1.314) and numerous further copies attest to the popularity of the series. The only other original known from this group is the Saint Gregory the Great, formerly with Didier Aaron in 1978 (as Giovanni Lanfranco) and which is now in the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation, Houston (BF.1984.21). Whilst there are some stylistic affinities with the work of Giovanni Lanfranco the present Saint Ambrose is much freer in its handling and its authorship remains unknown. More

Aurelius Ambrosius, better known in English as Saint Ambrose, was a bishop of Milan who became one of the most influential ecclesiastical figures of the 4th century. He was consular prefect of Liguria and Emilia, headquartered in Milan, before being made bishop of Milan by popular acclamation in 374. Ambrose was a staunch opponent of Arianism, and has been accused of fostering persecutions of Arians, Jews, and pagans.

Ambrose was one of the four original doctors of the Church, and is the patron saint of Milan. More

Circle of Adam van Noort the Elder (Antwerp 1562-1641)
The Sermon on the Mount 
oil on panel
74.8 x 142.7cm (29 7/16 x 56 3/16in).

The Sermon on the Mount is a collection of sayings and teachings of Jesus, which emphasizes his moral teaching found in the Gospel of Matthew. It is the first of the Five Discourses of Matthew and takes place relatively early in the Ministry of Jesus after he has been baptized by John the Baptist and preached in Galilee.

The Sermon is the longest piece of teaching from Jesus in the New Testament, and has been one of the most widely quoted elements of the Canonical Gospels. It includes some of the best known teachings of Jesus, such as the Beatitudes, and the widely recited Lord's Prayer. To most believers in Jesus, the Sermon on the Mount contains the central tenets of Christian discipleship. More

Adam van Noort (1561/62 – 1641) was a Flemish painter and draughtsman and one of the teachers of Peter Paul Rubens. Hewas born and died in Antwerp. Adam van Noort probably initially trained with his father but must have had other teachers as his father died when he was still young. He became a master of the Guild of Saint Luke in 1587. 

Van Noort served as dean of the Guild of Saint Luke from 1597 until 1602. He had problems with the Guild who accused him of poor management of the accounts and misappropriation of materials of the Guild.

Adam’s claim to fame largely rests on the fact that he was the teacher of two of the leading Flemish Baroque painters Peter Paul Rubens and Jacob Jordaens. Rubens only stayed for a little over a year and is not believed to have been influenced much by van Noort's training. More

Circle of Juan de Valdes Léal (Seville 1622-1690)
Saint Sebastian tended by an angel 
oil on canvas
180.8 x 134cm (71 3/16 x 52 3/4in)

Saint Sebastian, see above

Juan de Valdés Leal (4 May 1622 – 15 October 1690) was a Spanish painter and etcher of the Baroque era. Born in Seville in 1622, he became a painter, sculptor, and architect. By his twenties, he was studying under Antonio del Castillo in Córdoba.

Among his works are History of the Prophet Elias for the church of the Carmelites; Martyrdom of St. Andrew for the church of San Francesco in Córdoba; and Triumph of the Cross for la Caridad in Seville. He became friends with Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, who had a very different style; Leal tended to paint somber and dramatic subjects, while Murillo's style was peaceful and serene. After Leal returned to Seville in 1656, he and Murillo founded the Seville Academy of Art.

Several of his paintings treat the subjects of vanitas, transience and mortality. Two examples are In ictu oculi ("in the blink of an eye") and Finis gloriae mundi ("end of the world's glory"), painted for the Charity Hospital in Seville. More

Giulio Raibolini, called Giulio Francia (Bologna 1487-1540)
The Madonna and Child with Saint Joseph 
oil on panel
61 x 49.5cm (24 x 19 1/2in)

Giulio Raibolini (1487–1540) also called '''Giulio Francia''' was an Italian painter of the Renaissance. He was the younger son and pupil of Francesco Raibolini. He worked jointly with his brother Giacomo on paintings. More

Pere Vall (active Catalonia 1400-1425)
Saint Benedict and Onuphrius 
tempera on panel
89 x 64.5cm (35 1/16 x 25 3/8in)

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

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

Onuphrius or Onoufrios, "he-who-is-continuingly-good", venerated as Saint Onuphrius in both the Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Catholic Churches; Venerable Onuphrius in Eastern Orthodoxy and Saint Nofer the Anchorite in Oriental Orthodoxy, lived as a hermit in the desert of Upper Egypt in the 4th or 5th centuries. More

Pere Vall (1400-1425), formerly known as the Master of the Cardona Pentecost, was born and active in Cardona but is also recorded as working in Barcelona between 1405 and 1408. The present work is part of a group of panels which formed the lower register, or banco of a large retablo possibly the Retable of the Pentecost of the Church at Cardona. More

Attributed to Lucas Gassel, HELMOND CIRCA 1495/1500 
A MOUNTAINOUS LANDSCAPE WITH THE TEMPTATION OF CHRIST, CIRCA 1570 BRUSSELS
oil on oak panel
47 x 63.7 cm.; 18 1/2  x 25 1/8  in.

Christ and the Devil shown both discoursing in the foreground, and atop the mountain beyond.  

Lucas Gassel was born in Helmond 1490 and died in Brussels in 1570. Gassel is a Flemish Renaissance artist. He was History painter specialized in landscapes. He moved to Antwerp and then to Brussels in 1520. Not much is known about him.

Due to the lack of critical studies, art historians have allowed to develop under his name half a dozen distinct personalities, including that of the" real "Gassel , author of a dozen monogrammed landscapes LG intertwined letters and dated, covering 1538-1550 years. More

Workshop of Lucas van Valckenborch, LEUVEN OR MECHELEN 1535/1545 - 1597 FRANKFURT AM MAIN
THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE TOWER OF BABEL, WITH NIMROD IN THE FOREGROUND
oil on copper
31 x 40 cm.; 10 1/4  x 15 3/4  in

Painted in Valckenborch's workshop, this painting loosely follows the signed and dated work of the same subject in the Mittelrhein-Museum, Koblenz, with differences in the staffage and the townscape in the background.

Lucas van Valckenborch (1535 – 2 February 1597) was a Flemish painter of mainly landscapes, portraits and allegorical scenes. He was born in Leuven. The 17th-century biographer Karel van Mander stated that Lucas van Valckenborch learned to paint landscapes in Mechelen, which was known as a center for oil and water-colours and especially landscape painting. At the time of the Beeldenstorm in 1566 he left Antwerp with his brother, Marten van Valckenborch, and they made a trip from Luik to Aachen along the Meuse River; painting river valley views. When William the Silent revolted against Spanish rule, they returned to the Southern Netherlands. They were able to create works that sold well. Van Mander wrote that Lucas became patronized by Matthias, Holy Roman Emperor because of his skill as a portrait painter and travelled with him down the Danube as far as Linz. More

Workshop of Quinten Massys, LEUVEN 1466 - 1530 KIEL NEAR ANTWERP
THE LAMENTATION
oil on oak panel
69 x 53.3 cm.; 27 1/8  x 21 in.

The composition of this Lamentation is dominated by the relationship between the figure of Christ lying pale and angular on the floor, and the Virgin Mary, who, consumed by overwhelming grief, approaches her son’s lifeless body.

Quentin Matsys (1466–1530) was a painter in the Flemish tradition and a founder of the Antwerp school. He was born at Leuven, where legend states he was trained as an ironsmith before becoming a painter. Matsys was active in Antwerp for over 20 years, creating numerous works with religious roots and satirical tendencies. More

Follower of Joos van Cleve
THE VIRGIN AND CHILD
oil on oak panel, unframed
18 x 13.2 cm.; 7 1/8  x 5 1/4  in

Joos van Cleve (/1485 – 1540/1541) was a painter active in Antwerp around 1511 to 1540. He is known for combining traditional Netherlandish painting techniques with influences of more contemporary Renaissance painting styles.

An active member and co-deacon of the Guild of Saint Luke of Antwerp, he is known mostly for his religious works and portraits of royalty. As a skilled technician, his art shows sensitivity to color and a unique solidarity of figures. He was one of the first to introduce broad landscapes in the backgrounds of his paintings, which would become a popular technique of sixteenth century northern Renaissance paintings. More




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Acknowledgement: Sotheby's, Bonhams