Wednesday, November 30, 2016

14 Paintings, scenes from the Bible, by The Old Masters, with footnotes # 34

Nicolas Poussin
Santa Francesca Romana, c. 1657
Oil on canvas
Musée du Louvre  (France - Paris) 

Frances of Rome, Obl.S.B., (Italian: Santa Francesca Romana) (1384 – March 9, 1440) is an Italian saint who was a wife, mother, mystic, organizer of charitable services and a Benedictine oblate who founded a religious community of oblates, who share a common life without religious vows.

Frances was born in 1384 in Rome to a wealthy and aristocratic couple, and christened at the Church of St. Agnes on the famed Piazza Navona. When she was about the age of twelve, her parents forced her to marry Lorenzo Ponziani, commander of the papal troops of Rome and member of an extremely wealthy family. Although the marriage had been arranged, it was a happy one, lasting for forty years.

Frances visited the poor and took care of the sick, inspiring other wealthy women of the city to do the same. Soon after her marriage, Frances fell seriously ill. Her husband called a man in who dabbled in magic, but Frances drove him away, and later recounted to Vannozza that St. Alexis had appeared to her and cured her.

Giovanni Battista Gaulli (1639–1709) 
Frances of Rome giving alms, c. 1675
Oil on canvas
Getty museum, Los Angeles

Giovanni Battista Gaulli (8 May 1639 – 2 April 1709), also known as Baciccio, was an Italian artist working in the High Baroque and early Rococo periods. He is best known for his grand illusionistic vault frescos in the Church of the Gesù in Rome, Italy. His work was influenced by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

Gaulli was born in Genoa, and initially apprenticed with Luciano Borzone. In mid-17th century. Gaulli's Genoa was a cosmopolitan Italian artistic center open to both commercial and artistic enterprises from north European countries. Gaulli's earliest influences would have come from an eclectic mix of these foreign painters and other local artists whose warm palette Gaulli adopted. In the 1660s, he experimented with the cooler palette and linear style of Bolognese classicism.

He first introduced him to Gianlorenzo Bernini in Rome, who promoted him. He found patrons among the Genoese, and was accepted into the Roman artists' guild, where he was to later hold several offices. The next year, he received his first public commission for an altarpiece, in the church of San Rocco, Rome. He received many private commissions for mythological and religious works.

At his height, Gaulli was one of Rome's most esteemed portrait painters. Gaulli died in Rome, shortly after 26 March 1709, probably 2 April. More

Giovanni Battista Gaulli (1639–1709) 
An Apostle
Oil on canvas
74 by 60.5 cm.; 29 1/8 by 23 3/4 in.
Private Collection

When her mother-in-law died, Frances became mistress of the household. During a time of flood and famine, she turned part of the family's country estate into a hospital, and distributed food and clothing to the poor. 

During a period of forced exile, much of Lorenzo's property and possessions were destroyed. In the course of one occupation of Rome by Neapolitan forces in the early part of the century, he was wounded so severely that he never fully recovered. Frances nursed him throughout the rest of his life.

Frances experienced other sorrows in the course of her marriage with Lorenzo Ponziani. They lost two children to the plague. Chaos ruled the city in that period of neglect by the pope and the ongoing warfare between him and the various forces competing for power on the Italian peninsula devastated the city. The city of Rome was largely in ruins. Frances again opened her home as a hospital and drove her wagon through the countryside to collect wood for fire and herbs for medicine. It is said she had the gift of healing, and more than sixty cases were attested to during the canonization proceedings.

Giovanni Antonio Galli, called Spadarino (1585 - 1652)
Santa Francesca Romana con l’angelo, c. 1600s
Oil on canvas

Italian painter, Giovanni Antonio Galli, called Spadarino (1585 - 1652). He was the son of a swordsmith or frabbricante di spade, earning him the moniker, "Spadarino", or roughly "Little Sword". His family were from Florence. He was recorded alongside Bartolomeo Manfredi, Jusepe de Ribera, Cecco del Caravaggio and Carlo Saraceni as one of the closest of Caravaggio's followers c. 1620.

He is documented in 1603 as "painter in the Palazzo San Marco, in the house of Cardinal Dolfin" and was still serving the Cardinal in 1620. The few other documents that relate to him attest to his presence in Rome in 1597, 1617, 1620, 1638, 1645 and 1651.

His works are of concentrated simplicity, remote from the violence of Caravaggio and characterized rather by the tender relationship between the figures and the softness and delicacy of the shadows. More

On August 15, 1425, the feast of the Assumption of Mary, she founded the Olivetan Oblates of Mary, a confraternity of pious women. In March 1433, she founded a monastery at Tor de' Specchi, near the Campidoglio, in order to allow for a common life by those members of the confraternity. This monastery remains the only house of the Institute. The community later became known simply as the Oblates of St. Frances of Rome.

Frances herself remained in her own home, nursing her husband for the last seven years of his life from wounds he had received in battle. When he died in 1436, she moved into the monastery and became the superior. She died in 1440 and was buried in Santa Maria Nova. More

Michelangelo Caravaggio
St. Jerome writing, c. 1607
Oil on canvas
Height: 117 cm (46.1 in). Width: 157 cm (61.8 in).
St. John's Co-Cathedral

Jerome (c.  347 – 30 September 420) was a priest, confessor, theologian and historian. He was the son of Eusebius, born at Stridon, a village near Emona on the border of Dalmatia and Pannonia, then part of northeastern Italy. He is best known for his translation of most of the Bible into Latin (the translation that became known as the Vulgate), and his commentaries on the Gospels. His list of writings is extensive.
The protégé of Pope Damasus I, who died in December of 384, Jerome was known for his teachings on Christian moral life, especially to those living in cosmopolitan centers such as Rome. In many cases, he focused his attention to the lives of women and identified how a woman devoted to Jesus should live her life. This focus stemmed from his close patron relationships with several prominent female ascetics who were members of affluent senatorial families.
He is recognised as a Saint and Doctor of the Church by the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Lutheran Church, and the Anglican Communion.[6] His feast day is 30 September. More

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (29 September 1571 in Caravaggio – 18 July 1610) was an Italian painter active in Rome, Naples, Malta, and Sicily between 1592 and 1610. His paintings, which combine a realistic observation of the human state, both physical and emotional, with a dramatic use of lighting, had a formative influence on Baroque painting.
Caravaggio trained as a painter in Milan under Simone Peterzano who had himself trained under Titian. In his twenties Caravaggio moved to Rome where there was a demand for paintings to fill the many huge new churches and palazzos being built at the time. It was also a period when the Church was searching for a stylistic alternative to Mannerism in religious art that was tasked to counter the threat of Protestantism. Caravaggio's innovation was a radical naturalism that combined close physical observation with a dramatic, even theatrical, use of chiaroscuro which came to be known as tenebrism (the shift from light to dark with little intermediate value).

He gained attention in the art scene of Rome in 1600 with the success of his first public commissions, the Martyrdom of Saint Matthew and Calling of Saint Matthew. Thereafter he never lacked commissions or patrons, yet he handled his success poorly. He was jailed on several occasions, vandalized his own apartment, and ultimately had a death sentence pronounced against him by the Pope after killing a young man, possibly unintentionally, on May 29, 1606. He fled from Rome with a price on his head. He was involved in a brawl in Malta in 1608, and another in Naples in 1609, possibly a deliberate attempt on his life by unidentified enemies. This encounter left him severely injured. A year later, at the age of 38, he died under mysterious circumstances in Porto Ercole in Tuscany, reportedly from a fever while on his way to Rome to receive a pardon.

Famous while he lived, Caravaggio was forgotten almost immediately after his death, and it was only in the 20th century that his importance to the development of Western art was rediscovered. More

Roman School, circa 1700
The Madonna and Child with the Infant Saint John the Baptist 
Oil on copper
21.2 x 16.2cm (8 3/8 x 6 3/8in)
Private Collection

Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472–1553)
Virgin and Child adored by the infant St John, circa 1512
Oil and tempera on lime
75.9 × 59.4 cm (29.9 × 23.4 in)
Private Collection

Lucas Cranach the Elder (c. 1472 – 16 October 1553) was a German Renaissance painter and printmaker in woodcut and engraving. He was court painter to the Electors of Saxony for most of his career, and is known for his portraits, both of German princes and those of the leaders of the Protestant Reformation, whose cause he embraced with enthusiasm, becoming a close friend of Martin Luther. He also painted religious subjects, first in the Catholic tradition, and later trying to find new ways of conveying Lutheran religious concerns in art. He continued throughout his career to paint nude subjects drawn from mythology and religion. He had a large workshop and many works exist in different versions; his son Lucas Cranach the Younger, and others, continued to create versions of his father's works for decades after his death. Lucas Cranach the Elder has been considered the most successful German artist of his time. More

North Italian School, late 16th Century, after Tiziano Vecelli, called Titian
Saint Peter Martyr 
Oil on canvas
245.5 x 150.5cm (96 5/8 x 59 1/4in).
Private Collection

Saint Peter of Verona O.P. (1206 – April 6, 1252), also known as Saint Peter Martyr, was a 13th-century Italian Catholic priest. He was a Dominican friar and a celebrated preacher. He served as Inquisitor in Lombardy, was killed by an assassin, and was canonized as a Catholic saint 11 months after his death, making this the fastest canonization in history.

He was born in the city of Verona into a family perhaps sympathetic to the Cathar heresy. Peter went to a Catholic school, and later to the University of Bologna, where he is said to have maintained his orthodoxy and at the age of fifteen, met Saint Dominic. Peter joined the Order of the Friars Preachers (Dominicans) and became a celebrated preacher throughout northern and central Italy.

From the 1230s on, Peter preached against heresy, and especially Catharism, which had many adherents in thirteenth-century Northern Italy. Because of this, a group of Milanese Cathars conspired to kill him. They hired an assassin, one Carino of Balsamo. Carino's accomplice was Manfredo Clitoro of Giussano. On April 6, 1252, when Peter was returning from Como to Milan, the two assassins followed Peter to a lonely spot near Barlassina, and there killed him and mortally wounded his companion, a fellow friar named Dominic.

Carino struck Peter's head with an axe and then attacked Domenico. Peter rose to his knees, and recited the first article of the Symbol of the Apostles (the Apostle's Creed). Offering his blood as a sacrifice to God, according to legend, he dipped his fingers in it and wrote on the ground: "Credo in Unum Deum", the first words of the Nicene Creed. The blow that killed him cut off the top of his head, but the testimony given at the inquest into his death confirms that he began reciting the Creed when he was attacked.

Dominic was carried to Meda, where he died five days afterwards. More

Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio, or Titian (1488/1490 – 27 August 1576), was an Italian painter, the most important member of the 16th-century Venetian school. He was born in Pieve di Cadore, near Belluno (in Veneto, Republic of Venice). During his lifetime he was often called da Cadore, taken from the place of his birth.

Recognized by his contemporaries as "The Sun Amidst Small Stars", Titian was one of the most versatile of Italian painters, equally adept with portraits, landscape backgrounds, and mythological and religious subjects. His painting methods, particularly in the application and use of color, would exercise a profound influence not only on painters of the Italian Renaissance, but on future generations of Western art.

During the course of his long life, Titian's artistic manner changed drastically but he retained a lifelong interest in color. Although his mature works may not contain the vivid, luminous tints of his early pieces, their loose brushwork and subtlety of tone are without precedent in the history of Western painting. More

Oil on canvas
180 x 125 cm ; 70 7/8  by 49 1/4  in
Private Collection

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.

The Adoration of the Shepherds is based on the account in the Luke 2, not reported by any other Canonical Gospel, which states that an angel appeared to a group of shepherds, saying that Christ had been born in Bethlehem, followed by a crowd of angels saying Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth to men of good will. This Annunciation to the shepherds forms a distinct subject in Christian art and is sometimes included in a Nativity scene as a peripheral feature (even though it occurs prior to the adoration itself), as in the 1485 scene by Domenico Ghirlandaio, where it can be seen in the upper left corner. Ghirlandaio also shows a procession of Magi about to arrive with their gifts. More

The Caravaggisti (or the "Caravagesques") were stylistic followers of the 16th-century Italian Baroque painter Caravaggio. His influence on the new Baroque style that eventually emerged from Mannerism was profound. Caravaggio never established a workshop as most other painters did, and thus had no school to spread his techniques. Nor did he ever set out his underlying philosophical approach to art, the psychological realism which can only be deduced from his surviving work. But it can be seen directly or indirectly in the work of Rubens, Jusepe de Ribera, Bernini, and Rembrandt. Famous while he lived, Caravaggio himself was forgotten almost immediately after his death. Many of his paintings were reascribed to his followers, such as The Taking of Christ, which was attributed to Honthorst until 1990. It was only in the 20th century that his importance to the development of Western art was rediscovered. In the 1920s Roberto Longhi once more placed him in the European tradition: "Ribera, Vermeer, La Tour and Rembrandt could never have existed without him. And the art of Delacroix, Courbet and Manet would have been utterly different". The influential Bernard Berenson stated: "With the exception of Michelangelo, no other Italian painter exercised so great an influence." More

Jacob de Wet (I) (fl. 1632–1675)
German: Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard, 2 Third 17C.
Color on panel
50 × 75.5 cm (19.7 × 29.7 in)
Museum of Fine Arts (Budapest)

The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard (also called the Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard or the Parable of the Generous Employer) is a parable of Jesus which appears in the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament.

In Matthew Matt 20:1–16, Jesus says that any "laborer" who accepts the invitation to the work in the vineyard (said by Jesus to represent the Kingdom of Heaven), no matter how late in the day, will receive an equal reward with those who have been faithful the longest. More

For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive. So when evening was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. 

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (15 July 1606 – 4 October 1669)
The Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard. 1637
Oil on panel
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (15 July 1606 – 4 October 1669) was a Dutch painter and etcher. He is generally considered one of the greatest painters and printmakers in European art and the most important in Dutch history. His contributions to art came in a period of great wealth and cultural achievement that historians call the Dutch Golden Age when Dutch Golden Age painting, although in many ways antithetical to the Baroque style that dominated Europe, was extremely prolific and innovative, and gave rise to important new genres in painting.
In his paintings and prints he exhibited knowledge of classical iconography, which he molded to fit the requirements of his own experience; thus, the depiction of a biblical scene was informed by Rembrandt's knowledge of the specific text, his assimilation of classical composition, and his observations of Amsterdam's Jewish population. Because of his empathy for the human condition, he has been called "one of the great prophets of civilization. More

And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, Saying, These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day. But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good? So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen... — Matthew 20:1–16, King James Version

Jacob Willemszoon de Wet or Jacob Willemsz. de Wet the Elder (c. 1610 – between 1675 and 1691) was a Dutch Golden Age painter, whose works were largely influenced by Rembrandt. De Wet was born and died in Haarlem. Little is known of his early life. Houbraken mentions him in passing as an art dealer of Haarlem in his biographical sketch of Philips Wouwerman, referring to him as Jan de Wet. 

De Wet left a notebook that mentions a total of 34 pupils, most famously Paulus Potter. Other notable pupils were Job Adriaensz Berckheyde, Adriaen Jansz Kraen, Johann Philip Lemke, Jan Vermeer van Haarlem I (not to be confused with Vermeer of Delft), Jacob de Wet II, and Kort Withold. He became a member of the Haarlem Guild of St. Luke in 1632. Judging from the number of pupils, and the difficulties his son Jacob II had with launching an independent career, it seems that De Wet had a large and successful practise in Haarlem. His son Jacob II was the only one of 5 children who also became a painter. More

Master of the Prodigal Son (active Antwerp, mid 16th Century)
The Story of Tobias 
oil on panel
86.2 x 120.8cm (33 15/16 x 47 9/16in)
Private Collection

A short story possibly dating from Persian times is the book of Tobit, named after the father of its hero. From the fragments of the book discovered at Qumrān, scholars now know that the original form of the name was Tobi. Tobit was from the Hebrew tribe of Naphtali and lived as an exile in Nineveh; his son was Tobias. Obeying the tenets of Jewish piety, Tobit buried the corpses of his fellow Israelites who had been executed. One day, when he buried a dead man, the warm dung of sparrows fell in his eyes and blinded him. His family subsequently suffered from poverty, but then Tobit remembered that he had once left a deposit of silver at Rages (today Teheran) in Media. He sent his son Tobias along with a companion, who was in reality the angel Raphael under the guise of an Israelite, to retrieve the deposit. During the journey, while Tobias was washing in the Tigris, a fish threatened to devour his foot. Upon instructions from Raphael, Tobias caught the fish and removed its gall, heart, and liver, since it was believed that the smoke from the heart and liver had the power to exorcise demons and that ointment made from the gall would cure blindness. On the way he stopped at Ecbatana (in Persia), where Raguel, a member of Tobias’ family, lived. His daughter Sarah had been married seven times, but the men had been slain by the demon Asmodeus on the wedding night, before they had lain with her. On the counsel of Raphael, Tobias asked to marry Raguel’s daughter, and on the wedding night Tobias put Asmodeus to flight through the stench of the burning liver and heart of the fish. Raphael went to Rages and returned with the deposit. When he returned with his young wife and Raphael to Nineveh, Tobias restored his father’s sight by applying the gall of the fish to his eyes. Raphael then disclosed that he was one of God’s seven angels and ascended into heaven. More

The Master of the Prodigal Son. Named after the large altarpiece now in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna which depicts the Parable of the Prodigal Son, the Master of the present work comes very close in style to both Pieter Coecke van Aelst (1502-50) and Frans Floris (1517-1570). This stylistic affinity suggests that the artist was active in Antwerp during the second quarter of the 16th Century. The master often treated subjects from the Old Testament. More

He was born in Antwerp and is considered to have run a workshop there with several pupils. His name is derived from a painting in Vienna. He is known for landscapes and religious works, and possibly travelled to Rome. Though a monogram of "LK" was discovered in one of his paintings, to conclude that this person was the Leonart Kroes mentioned as teacher in Karel van Mander's biography of Gillis van Coninxloo is incorrect. More

Francesco Solimena (Canale di Serino 1657-1747 Barra di Napoli)
Saints Tecla, Archelaa and Susanna being taken to their martyrdom 
Oil on canvas
51.6 x 62.5cm (20 5/16 x 24 5/8in)
Private Collection

St. Archelais, St. Thecla and St. Susanna (d. 293) were Christian virgins of the Romagna region of Italy. During the persecution by Diocletian in the third century, these holy virgins dressed themselves in men’s clothing, cut their hair and went to the Italian province of Campagna. Settling in a remote area, they continued to pursue an ascetical life of fasting and prayer. They received the gift of healing from God, treated the local inhabitants, and converted many pagans to Christ.

When the governor of the district heard of these healings, he had the holy women brought to Salerno. He threatened St. Archelais with torture and death if she did not offer sacrifice to idols. With firm hope in the Lord, the saint refused and denounced the folly of worshipping soulless statues. The governor ordered the saint to be torn apart by hungry lions, but the beasts meekly lay at her feet. In a rage, the governor ordered the lions to be killed, and locked the holy virgins in prison.

In the morning, having suspended St. Archelais from a tree, the torturers began to rake her with iron utensils and pour hot tar on the wounds. The saint prayed even more loudly, and suddenly a light shone over her and a voice was heard, “Fear not, for I am with you.”

St. Archelais was defended by the power of God. When they wanted to crush her with an immense stone, an angel pushed it to the other side, and it crushed the torturers instead. A judge ordered the soldiers to behead the holy virgins, but the soldiers did not dare to put their hands upon the saints. Sts. Archelais, Thekla and Susanna then said to the soldiers, “If you do not fulfill the command, you shall have no respect from us.” Thus, the holy martyrs were beheaded in 293. More

F. Solimena. Ss. Archelais, Thecla and Susanna 
Church of San Giorgio (Salerno)

Francesco Solimena (October 4, 1657 – April 3, 1747) was a prolific Italian painter of the Baroque era, one of an established family of painters and draughtsmen. He received early training from his father, Angelo Solimena, with whom he executed a Paradise for the cathedral of Nocera and a Vision of St. Cyril of Alexandria for the church of San Domenico at Solofra.

He settled in Naples in 1674, there he worked in the studio of Francesco di Maria and later Giacomo del Po. He apparently had taken the clerical orders, but was patronized early on, and encouraged to become an artist by Cardinal Vincenzo Orsini (later Pope Benedict XIII). By the 1680s, he had independent fresco commissions, and his active studio came to dominate Neapolitan painting from the 1690s through the first four decades of the 18th century. He modeled his art—for he was a highly conventional painter—after the Roman Baroque masters. Solimena painted many frescoes in Naples, altarpieces, celebrations of weddings and courtly occasions, mythological subjects, characteristically chosen for their theatrical drama, and portraits. His settings are suggested with a few details—steps, archways, balustrades, columns—concentrating attention on figures and their draperies, caught in pools and shafts of light. Art historians take pleasure in identifying the models he imitated or adapted in his compositions. His numerous preparatory drawings often mix media, combining pen-and-ink, chalk and watercolor washes. More

Virgin and Child 
Oil on canvas 
157 x 107cm 
Private Collection

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

Francesco Rizzo da Santacroce (active Venice, 1507-circa 1545)
The Holy Family with a female martyr saint 
oil on panel
68.8 x 98.2cm (27 1/16 x 38 11/16in).
Private Collection

The angular treatment of the drapery in the present work, along with the dramatic tonality of the sky suggest this is a typical, late work by Francesco Rizzo da Santacroce. A further characteristic of this Holy Family with a female martyr Saint is the underdrawing which is visible throughout. This peculiarity is seen in works by the artist such as his Holy Family with Saint Simon. In his article, This may simply be the result of the way the artist put together his pigments. The underdrawing is itself notable for its lack of hatching which may suggest that the artist regularly used cartoons to repeat his compositions, as his teacher Francesco di Simone da Santacroce (Santa Croce circa 1470-1508 Venice) had done before him. More

Francesco Rizzo da Santacroce, also known as simply Francesco da Santacroce or Francesco di Bernardo de' Vecchi Da Santa Croce (active 1507 – 1545) was an Italian painter of the Renaissance period, active mainly in Bergamo and Venice. He initially trained with Francesco di Simone da Santacroce, an ultimately inherited this master's studio. He was later a pupil or influenced by Giovanni Bellini or Vittore Carpaccio. He was born in the Sestiere of Santa Croce in Venice, or his family came from the hamlet of Santa Croce in Bergamo.

In 1507, he painted an Altarpiece depicting St Peter for the parish church of Lerina. By 1519, he was working in Venice, where he painted for San Cristoforo, the church of the Dominicans in the Zattere, San Francesco della Vigna (Last Supper), and Santa Maria degli Angeli, Murano (Virgin and St Jerome and Jermiah moved to San Pietro). He also painted an altarpiece for the parish church of Chirignago.

Girolamo and Pietro Paolo Rizzo were also painters and part of the same family. More

Acknowledgement: Bonhams

Images are copyright of their respective owners, assignees or others

Sunday, November 27, 2016

13 Paintings, scenes from the Bible, by The Old Masters, with footnotes # 33

Circle of Frans Francken
Bible Story, c. 17th C.
Oil on Canvas
53 x 117.2 cm
Private Collection

The painting made by the circle of the Flemish painter Frans Francken the Younger, who belonged to the famous painter family Francken, shows presumably the Bible story of Jacob and Esau – with view to an idyllic landscape and animals at the left side of the horizontal format. More

Frans Francken the Younger (Antwerp, 1581 – Antwerp, 6 May 1642) was a Flemish painter and the best-known member of the large Francken family of artists. He played an important role in the development of Flemish art in the first half of the 17th century through his innovations in genre painting and introduction of new subject matter. Francken was born in Antwerp where he trained with his father Frans Francken the Elder. He may also have trained with his uncle Hieronymus Francken I in Paris, together with his brother Hieronymus Francken II. He became a master in the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke in 1605 and was deacon of the Guild in 1616. More

Workshop of Paolo Veronese
Rebecca at the Well, 16th/17th C
Oil on Canvas
129.5 x 151.5 cm
Private Collection

A depiction of the biblical scene presenting Rebecca and Abraham's servant Eliezer at the well. He offers her a presents to make her become the wife of Abraham's son Issac (1st book of Moses, 24). The artists are presumably the sons of Paolo Veronese They painted the protagonists brighter than the others figures. The painting, which has been family-owned since the 18th century, was in the past presented in Palazzo Sarcinelli in Conegliano.

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

Adam van Noort (1561/62 – 1641)
Crucifixion, 16th /17th C.
Oil on Canvas
84 x 114 cm
Private Collection

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

Pietro della Vecchia (1602/03-1678)
Christ And The Adultress,  17th C.
Oil on Canvas
112 x 148 cm
Private Collection

The present painting depicts the well-known biblical scene ‘Christ and the Adulteress’, derived from the Gospel of John. Here, Jesus contradicts the scribes who had caught a woman in the act of adultery and therefore wanted to stone her to death. The subject belongs to the typical repertoire of the artist.

Pietro della Vecchia (1602/03-1678), also known as Pietro Muttoni or Pietro della Vecchia Muttoni, was the son of a prominent Venetian family. His early works are deeply influenced by Carlo Saraceni and his student, which has led to the assumption that the painter may has initially been trained by them. After a possible short stay in Rome around 1621-22, he was active in the studio of Alessandro Varotari, called Padovanino, around 1625 and first familiarized with the masters of the Venetian Cinquecento, such as Titian and Giorgione. Many works by the artist can be still found in churches in Venice, as well as in important international collections, such as the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, the Louvre in Paris, the Gemäldegalerie in Dresden and the National Gallery in Dublin. More

Attributed to Caspar de Crayer, (1584-1669) – Flemish
Christ as Man of Sorrows, 17th C.
Oil on Canvas
98.5 x 77.5 cm
Private Collection

Empathic depiction of the suffering Christ crowned with thorns: The painting is characterized by the quality of the painting and the motif since the artist rarely painted portraits. The close approach to Christ and his physiognomy and gestures provide the moving impact of the painting. More

Gaspard de Crayer (1584-1669) was a Flemish painter born in Antwerp and worked in the region, as well as in the Netherlands and in Spain. The artist who is famous for his sacral paintings, his oeuvre contains hundreds of altarpieces painted only rarely profane subjects, such as the lifesize portrait of Philipp IV. king of Spain in the 17th century. Gaspard de Crayer began his education attending the school of Raphael van Coxcie. He was guided by the works of the masters of the Italian Renaissance as well as by those of his contemporary and compatriot Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640). Later the artist became painter at the court of Philipp IV. De Crayer, joining the important church painters of his time and created a lot of major works of the Counterreformation. More

Pietro Bardellino (1728-1806)
Presentation of the Virgin Mary, c.1780
Oil on Canvas
163 x 150 cm
Private Collection

Shown is a scene from the apocryphal Gospel of James, known as the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in which Mary, at the age of three years, was taken by her parents Joachim and Anna to the temple of Jerusalem, where she would be raised and educated by the virgins. More

Pietro Bardellino (1728–1806) was an Italian painter. He was born in Naples, and initially trained by Francesco de Mura. In 1773 he became director of the Accademia Napoletana del Disegno which later became the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Naples. Bardellino joined with the Rococo movement, influenced by Corrado Giaquinto. He primarily painted religious and mythological themes in oil paintings and frescoes. He frescoed the ceiling of the church of San Giuseppe in Naples. He died in Naples in 1819 More

Vicente Joanes (c.1555 - after 1621)
3 Altarpieces, Spain, c.1580
Oil on panel
134 x 43 cm each
Private Collection

The panels featuring the evangelists Matthew and Mark as well as Archangel Gabriel were originally part of the Retablo Mayor created for the parish church of Bocairente in the province of Valencia. It included a total of 26 panels and measured 9 x 5.50 meters. The commission from 6.7.1578 was actually to be executed by Vicente Juan Macip (c. 1500-1579), the father of Vicente Joanes; However, he died shortly after the start of the work. The Retablo is the first documented large commissioned work by Vicente Joanes. It was finished in 1583. More

Vicente Joanes (c.1555 - after 1621) was born in Fuente la Higuera and moved to Boicarente in 1578 to work in the succession of his father at the altar of the parish church. In addition to this work, he also completed works by his father in the Cathedral of Valencia. Vicente Joanes continued the style of his father until the 17th century, ignoring the new naturalistic currents. More

Vicente Juan Masip (1510–1579)
The Last Supper, circa 1562
Oil on panel
Height: 116 cm (45.7 in). Width: 191 cm (75.2 in).
Prado Museum,  Madrid, Spain

Vicente Juan Masip (La Font de la Figuera 1507 – Bocairent 1579) was a Spanish painter of the Renaissance period. He is commonly considered the foremost member of the Valencian school of painters. Born in La Font de la Figuera, he is said to have studied his art for some time in Italy due to Sebastiano del Piombo's influence, with which school his affinities are closest, but maybe he never went to Italy, and he received this influence by the Italian peintures arriving to Valencia. Furthermore, two Italian painters Paolo da San Leocadio and Francesco Pagano, were engaged by cardinal Rodrigo Borgia for painting in Valencia Cathedral. Otherwise, the greater part of his professional life was spent in the city of Valencia, where most of the extant examples of his work are now found. All relate to religious subjects, and are characterized by dignity of conception, accuracy of drawing, beauty of color, and minuteness of finish. He died at Bocairent (near Xàtiva) while working on an altarpiece in the church there.

He never painted a profane subject, and emulated Luis de Vargas and Fra Angelico, in never painting unless he had received holy communion. Painting for him was a solemn exercise, an oratory process, full of prayers and fasts. He never lacked church patronage; the archbishop of Valencia, St. Thomas of Villanova, ordered a set of cartoon panels about the Life of the Virgin to model for some tapestries. He also painted for the churches of the Jesuits, Dominicans, Minims, Augustinians, Franciscans, and for the churches of San Nicolás, Santa Cruz, Carmen Calzado, St Esteban, Corona, Temple, San Andrés, San Bartolomé and San Miguel de los Reyes. More

Abraham Bloemaert (1564-1651)
St. Frederik I., c.1650
Oil on Canvas
125.5 x 96,5 cm
Private Collection

Frederick I was Bishop of Utrecht between 815/816 and 834/838 AD, and is a saint of the Eastern Orthodox Church and Roman Catholic Church.

Frederick was born around 780 in Friesland and was a grandson of the Frisian King Radboud. According to Church records, he died on 18 July 838 but other sources give dates between 834 and 838. In any case it is certain that he was murdered.

At a young age he was taught at Utrecht by the clergy, including Bishop Ricfried. After completing his studies he was ordained priest and put in charge of converting the remaining heathens in the northern areas of the diocese, but also in areas outside of the diocese. It is known that he preached at Walcheren and together with St. Odulfus in Stavoren and its surroundings.

After the death of Ricfried in 815/816, Frederick was chosen as Bishop of Utrecht. He was known for his piety and erudition. He maintained a correspondence with Rabanus Maurus. He was praised for his knowledge and understanding during the synod of Mainz in 829. The hagiographyVita S. Bonifacii has been attributed to him.

It is unclear exactly how Frederick came to an end. It has been established that he was murdered, but by whom and why is unclear. Legend tells that he was stabbed by two men after the offering of the Mass on 18 July 838. According to the 11th and 12th century writers Bishop Otbert of Liège (Passio Frederici) and William of Malmesbury, the killers were hired by Empress Judith, because of Frederick's regular criticism of her dissolute way of life. Later writers like Cesare Baronio and Jean Mabillon write that the inhabitants of Walcheren, who were hostile to Christianity, sent them as a response to Frederick's preaching there.

The latter seems the most plausible. There are no sources of writers of the time showing that the empress was unchaste or immoral, or that Frederick had made that allegation. Moreover, Walcheren was quite hostile to the missionaries from Utrecht.

Shortly after his death, Frederick was canonized. His feast day is 18 July and he is the patron saint of the deaf. He was buried in St. Salvator's Church in Utrecht. More

Abraham Bloemaert (1564-1651) was a Dutch painter and son of sculptor and architect Cornelis Bloemaert received his education in Utrecht and Paris. In 1597 he registered as a citizen in Amsterdam and was active in Utrecht from 1611 onwards. Bloemaert was a representative of the Flemish school and refined history painting, portrait painting, genre and landscape painting. He greatly influenced Dutch painting, one of his students was Gerrit van Honthorst. Bloemaert's works can be admired at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, at the Louvre in Paris and at the galleries of Berlin. More

Venetian School, late 16th C.
Death of Jezebel
Oil on Canvas
84.5 x 73 cm
Private Collection

Dramatic scenery featuring the death of queen Jezebel in a cruel way; presumably painted by an anonymous Venetian painter and follower of Bonifazio Veronese (c. 1487-1553). More

Death of Jezebel. In 2Kgs 9:30-37, Jezebel meets her demise at the hands of Jehu, her own eunuchs, a team of horses, and a pack of dogs—it takes a lot to kill a queen. When she hears of Jehu’s arrival in Jezreel, she arranges her hair and paints her eyes, actions that are often seen as sexually suggestive. However, these acts are those of a proud and powerful queen. She arrays herself in full royal splendor and stands at the window to await the usurper. The idea that these acts are more about political power than sexual seduction is confirmed by her words to Jehu when he arrives at the gate. She throws out a taunt: “Is it peace, Zimri, murderer of your master?” Her reference is to the earlier coup of Zimri, who killed King Elah and all of the other claimants to the throne (1Kgs 16:8-14). Her statement may also be a curse meant to thwart the success of Jehu’s insurrection, since Zimri ruled for only one week before he too became the victim of political violence (1Kgs 16:15-20). Jezebel’s last words are clearly meant not to entice but to deride Jehu; her last beautifying acts can be understood in the same way.

Jehu responds, “Who is on my side?” Responding to his call, Jezebel’s own eunuchs throw her out the window, her blood splattering as she hits the ground. Jehu’s now bespattered horses then trample her. The image of an adorned woman at a window suggests not only royal power but also goddesses (especially Hathor, Asherah, and Astarte), who are also depicted looking out windows. In this way, the death of Jezebel is not just the death of a Phoenician princess who became queen of Israel but also the symbolic death of the goddesses she worships and represents. It is not enough simply to kill her; she must be violently expelled from the political and religious community. More

Venetian school (art). From the later part of the 15th century, Venice had a distinctive, thriving and influential art scene. Beginning with the work of Giorgione (c. 1477–1510), and the workshop of Giovanni Bellini (c. 1430–1516), major artists of the Venetian school included Titian (1489–1576), Tintoretto (1518–1594), Veronese (1528–1588) and the Bassano (1510–1592). Considered to bring a primacy of color over line, this tradition was seen to contrast with the Mannerism then prevalent in the rest of Italy, and the Venetian style is viewed as having had a great influence on the subsequent development of painting. More

EDUARD (Carl Friedrich E.) Holbein (German, 1807-1875)
Ruth and Boaz
Oil on Canvas
54 1/2 x 68in (138 x 172.5cm)
Private Collection

Ruth and Boaz. Ruth was a Moabite woman had come to Israel as the widow of an Israelite man. She had returned with her mother-in-law, Naomi, who had also lost her husband. They lived together in a humble situation, and Ruth would go to the fields each day to glean food in the fields during the harvest.

Boaz was a landowner where Ruth came to find grain. He knew of her situation and told his workers to leave plenty of grain for her to find. Boaz also offered her food with the other workers and encouraged her to work in the safety of his fields throughout the harvest.

Naomi noted that Boaz was a close relative who, according to Jewish law, had the right to marry Ruth after the death of her husband. Naomi encouraged Ruth to go to Boaz in the evening and present herself willing to accept a marriage proposal from him. When she did, he was pleased, yet noted that there was one relative who was closer in line to marry Ruth.

The next day, Boaz met with this relative and presented the situation. The relative turned down the offer as he felt it would cause harm to his own family situation. Boaz then made a commitment in front of the town’s leaders that he would take Ruth as his wife. More

Carl Eduard Holbein (* 1807 in Berlin ; † 19th February 1875 ) was a German painter and illustrator . Holbein was born in 1807 in Berlin. He visited the Berlin Academy and studied, from 1832 to 1839, at the studio of Carl Joseph Begas. From 1851 he taught at the at the Berlin Academy, which appointed him a professor in 1853. In addition, he gave Max Liebermann and Hans von Marées private drawing lessons. At the beginning of the 1850s he painted, together with Karl striker, portraits of the German Emperor in the ceiling medallions in the Medieval hall of the Neues Museum in Berlin. In 1856 he restored, with his brother, the sculptor Friedrich Wilhelm Holbein , the high altar in St. Nikolai in Stralsund . He died on 19 February 1875 in Berlin. More

William Charles Thomas Dobson RA RWS (1817 – 30 January 1898)
The prosperous days of Job
Oil on Canvas
44 x 35in (111.7 x 88.9cm)
Private Collection

The Bible passage referred to in the painting is Job, 42:12-15 when God rewards Job after all his tribulations. "So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning.." Job is depicted at the center of the composition lifting his hands in thanks to the Lord and is surrounded by his generations. More

William Charles Thomas Dobson RA RWS (1817 – 30 January 1898) was an English painter born in Hamburg, the son of the merchant John Dobson, who had married in Germany. The family came to England in 1826, and Dobson was educated in London. He studied in the British Museum, and was taught by Edward Opie. In 1836 he entered the Royal Academy Schools, and was instructed by Charles Lock Eastlake.

Through Eastlake's influence Dobson obtained a post in the government school of design established in the old Royal Academy rooms at Somerset House. In 1843 he became head-master of the government school of design in Birmingham, resigning in 1845, and went to Italy, where he spent most of his time in Rome. Moving on to Germany, he was impressed by the Nazarene school of that time. On returning to England he took up religious painting.

Dobson was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy on 31 January 1860, and an academician in January 1872. He was a member of the Etching Club, founded in 1842. In 1870 he was elected an associate of the Royal Watercolour Society, of which he became a full member in 1875. He remained a constant exhibitor, both at the Royal Academy and at the Royal Watercolour Society, contributing about a hundred and twenty pictures to the former and about sixty to the latter. He was appointed a British juror for the Exposition Universelle, Paris in 1878 and was represented there by 3 watercolours. He became a retired academician in 1895, and died at Ventnor on 30 January 1898. More

Robert Brydall, (1839-1907)
Fairies leading the crusaders
Oil on Canvas
20 x 30in (51 x 76cm)
Private Collection

Robert Brydall, (1839-1907) was a nineteenth century Glasgow-born painter and art historian. Although he spent most of his career in Scotland, he made frequent trips to Italy, as did many of his contemporaries. Brydall was both a student and teacher at Glasgow School of Art. In 1889 he published “Art in Scotland: its Origin and Progress” – the first major text on the subject. The London Quarterly Review characterized Brydall’s book as “one of the best and most interesting histories of art ever written.” 

In 1881, Brydall left the Glasgow School of Art to set up a new private school called St George’s Art School, also in Glasgow. It is unclear when the School ceased operating, but it is believed that he was still running it in 1896.

Brydall was a regular exhibitor at the Royal Glasgow Institute (1862-1907), and the Royal Scottish Academy (1862-1887); in addition, he exhibited in London at the Royal Academy (1906) and the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolor. His subjects included historical scenes and landscapes. He also showed a number of fairy subjects, including The Elf Dance (RGI, 1871) and Fairy Treasure, (RSA, 1874), and works inspired by Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. More

Acknowledgement: BONHAMS NEW YORKAuctionata

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