Saturday, October 21, 2017

10 Works, RELIGIOUS ART - Contemporary & 20th Century Interpretation of the Bible! With Footnotes - 12

 Bettina Rheims
The new Eve II, May 1997
Ville-Evrard. From the exhibition I.N.R.I.

Men and women committed to embody the figures of Christ and the Virgin, the saints, apostles and many other characters told in the Gospel parables. Almost a visual cacophony, at first glance, and yet those perfect bodies, whose icy beauty reproduced in real giant images reveal little by little an unexpected mystical aura, while maintaining their carnality of individuals. Their earthly humanity. More on the exhibition I.N.R.I.

Bettina Rheims
INRI, The Baptism
Ville-Evrard. From the exhibition I.N.R.I.
Bettina (Caroline Germaine) Rheims is a French photographer born in Neuilly-sur-Seine on 18 December 1952. Bettina's photographic career began in 1978, when she took a series of photos of a group of strip-tease artists and acrobats, which would lead to her first exhibitions. This work would unveil Bettina Rheims’ favourite subject, the female model, to which she would frequently return during her career.

Bettina Rheims (französisch, geb. 1952) Titel:
Jesus (from I.N.R.I.) , 1997
Color photograph
35,5 x 29 cm (14 x 11,4 in)
Ville-Evrard. From the exhibition I.N.R.I.

Bettina Rheims
The Crucifixion
605/8 x 496 in. (154 x 125 cm.)
Ville-Evrard. From the exhibition I.N.R.I.
At the beginning of the 1990s, Bettina Rheims worked on one of her major series, entitled Chambre Close (1990-1992). This was her first in colour and marked the start of her collaboration with the novelist Serge Bramly, in a work which saw her photographs coupled with the writer’s fiction. 

Bettina Rheims, Serge Bramly
Jesus and the Apostles, 1997
Ville-Evrard. From the exhibition I.N.R.I.

In 1995, the Presidency of the French Republic commissioned Bettina Rheims to take the official portrait of Jacques Chirac.
The 1999 publication of the book I.N.R.I. and its eponymous exhibitio, once again united the gaze of Bettina Rheims with the prose of Serge Bramly. I.N.R.I. builds a philosophical dialogue on the history of the crucifixion through photographs of scenes of the life of Christ. In France, the publication of this work was highly controversial.
In 2002, Bettina Rheims created a series on Shanghai during two long stays in the city. In 2005, at the Galerie De Noirmont, Bettina exhibited Héroïnes, a work that was primarily a homage to sculpture.  

Bettina Rheims
The Last Supper, 1997
Ville-Evrard. From the exhibition I.N.R.I.

At the end of the 2000s, Bettina worked with Serge Bramly again and exhibited Rose, c’est Paris in 2010 at the National Library of France. The photographic tale was again built on a thread of fiction that Bettina Rheims and Serge Bramly created from autobiographical elements. More on Bettina Rheims
Bettina Rheims
Pietà. 1997
Ville-Evrard. From the exhibition I.N.R.I.

Bettina Rheims
Pietà. 1997
Ville-Evrard. From the exhibition I.N.R.I.

Iva Troj, United Kingdom
What Noah Forgot - Limited Edition 1 of 7

15.7 H x 23.6 W x 0.4 in
Private collection

Iva Troj seamlessly incorporates her vast experience of traditional painting techniques with postmodern elements to create engaging Renaissance-style works that challenge the notion of societal conformity. Born in Bulgaria, based in Scandinavia and the UK, Troj creates work originating fundamentally in the crossing of two realities: the one she grew up in and the one she has embraced. 

“I’ve been told I have artistic talents since I was a little girl. The problem was I spent most of my time worrying about the meaning of it all. I grew up in a rough neighborhood, in the outskirts of Plovdiv. At times it felt like the whole place was full of violent men. My family was very strict, loving and protective of me so I managed to keep my head above water. More on Iva Troj

Iva Troj, United Kingdom
Size: 63 H x 43.3 W x 0.4 in

Iva Troj, see above

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Saturday, October 14, 2017

07 Paintings, RELIGIOUS ART - Interpretations of the Bible! by The Old Masters, With Footnotes # 60

Khalil Saleeby, 1870 - 1928, LEBANESE
SOLOMÉ, c. 1901
Oil on canvas 
73 by 59.5cm.; 28 3/4 by 23 3/8 in
Private collection

At first glance, Solomé almost passes for a Vermeer-esque scene of domesticity, only after we come to know the subject of the painting do we realise that the empty dish is entirely devoid of any culinary purpose, prepared instead to receive the severed head of John the Baptist. Diaphanous gossamer sleeves enclose a subtle reference to the fabled ‘Dance of the Seven Veils’, yet there is a tenderness of expression which seems to overhaul the threatening European version of Salome, recasting the daughter of Herodias less as a temptress than as an object of affection. More on this painting

Solomé was the daughter of Herod II and Herodias. According to Mark's gospel, she danced before Herod and her mother Herodias at the occasion of his birthday, and in doing so gave her mother the opportunity to obtain the head of John the Baptist. Even though the New Testament accounts do not mention a name for the girl, this daughter of Herodias is often identified with Salome. Herodias bore a grudge against John for stating that Herod's marriage to her was unlawful; she encouraged her daughter to demand that John be executed. More on Salome

Khalil Saleeby was born in Btalloun, Lebanon in 1870. Captivated by nature and colour from a young age, he continued to nurture this passion through drawings and sketches while receiving a military education in Ottoman Beirut. After completing his studies, Saleeby resolved to develop his artistic sensibilities and moved to Edinburgh in 1890, and then shortly afterwards to Paris. He greatly admired Puvis de Chavannes, and was deeply influenced by his romantic treatment of classical subjects. He was also fascinated by Renoir’s luminous brushwork and his languorous nudes. Saleeby gained considerable notoriety in fin-de-siècle Paris, exhibiting at the Salon des Indépendants and under the aegis of the renowned Impressionist dealer, Paul Durand-Ruel. Saleeby spent a number of years in London before finally returning to his native Lebanon in 1900. It was here that he became a pre-eminent portrait artist and a pioneering figure of Lebanese modernism. More on Khalil Saleeby

Tintoretto,  (1519–1594)
Miracle of the Slave, c. 1548
Oil on canvas
415 × 541 cm (163.4 × 213 in)
Accademia of Venice

The Miracle of the Slave was originally commissioned for the Scuola Grande di San Marco, a confraternity in the city. It portrays an episode of the life of Saint Mark, patron saint of Venice, taken from Jacopo da Varazze's Golden Legend. Legenda Aurea, the Golden Legend, is a collection of the legendary lives of the greater saints of the medieval church that was one of the most popular religious works of the Middle Ages.

The subject of the canvas is the miraculous appearence of St Mark to rescue one of his devotees, a servant of a knight of Provence, who had been condemned to having his legs broken and his eyes put out for worshipping the relics of the saint against his master's will. The scenes takes place on a kind of proscenium which seems to force the action out of the painting towards the spectator who is thus involved in the amazement of the crowd standing in a semi-circle around the protagonists: the fore-shortened figure of the slave lying on the ground, the dumbfounded executioner holding aloft the broken implements of torture, the knight of Provence starting up from his seat out of the shadow into the light, while the figure of St Mark swoops down from above. More on this painting

Tintoretto; born Jacopo Comin, (October, 1518 May 31, 1594) was an Italian painter and a notable exponent of the Renaissance school. For his phenomenal energy in painting he was termed Il Furioso. His work is characterized by its muscular figures, dramatic gestures, and bold use of perspective in the Mannerist style, while maintaining color and light typical of the Venetian School.

In his youth, Tintoretto was also known as Jacopo Robusti as his father had defended the gates of Padua in a way that others called robust, against the imperial troops during the War of the League of Cambrai (1509–1516). His real name "Comin" has only recently been discovered by Miguel Falomir, the curator of the Museo del Prado, Madrid, and was made public on the occasion of the retrospective of Tintoretto at the Prado in 2007. More on Tintoretto

Workshop of ORLEY, BERNARD VAN, (1491 Brussels 1542) 
Triptych: Adoration with John the Baptist, James the Elder and two portraits of donors. 
Oil on panel. 
51 x 46 (central panel), 48.5 x 18.5 cm (wing panels)
Private collection

Maria presents the Christ Child to the curious glances of the shepherds, above her, three angels hover with a scroll The central panel is flanked by two donors, each kneeling before their patron saints. On the left is a cleric in a black robe in front of St. John the Evangelist, and above them is a coat of arms, which, because of its color, suggests a Spanish patron. The Spanish Provenance and the Holy Jacob the Elder with his saintly promenality in Spain, underpinned the acceptance of a Spanish contractor. More on this painting

Bernard van Orley (between 1487 and 1491 – 6 January 1541), , was a leading artist in Dutch and Flemish Renaissance painting, though he was at least as active as a leading designer of Brussels tapestry and, at the end of his life, stained glass. Although he never visited Italy, he belongs to the group of Italianizing Flemish painters called the Romanists, who were influenced by Italian Renaissance painting, in his case especially by Raphael.

He was born and died in Brussels, and was the court artist of the Habsburg rulers, and "served as a sort of commissioner of the arts for the Brussels town council". He was extremely productive, concentrating on the design of his works, and leaving their actual execution largely to others in the case of painting. 

Accordingly, his many surviving works (somewhat depleted in number by Reformation iconoclasm) vary considerably in quality. His paintings are generally either religious subjects or portraits, these mostly of Habsburgs repeated in several versions by the workshop, with few mythological subjects. More on Bernard van Orley

The Madonna and Child enthroned
Oil on panel. 
30 x 24.1 cm.
Private collection

The Madonna and Child Enthroned is a painting from the Italian Renaissance. The centre of the composition is the face of the Madonna, who sits on a precious throne holding the Child. The attention to the volumes, is intermingled with the light effects, studied in the Flemish masters. More on this painting

MASTER OF THE PRODIGAL SON, (active in Antwerp, 2nd half of the 16th century) 
Mary with the infant Jesus, John the Baptist and a boy pilgrim
Oil on panel. 
Private collection

Mary is depicted with the Christ-child on her lap, the boy, John, who hands an apple to the child; beside him lies the Lamb of God with the cross-bar. To the right is another boy with his right hand on Maria's knee. The pilgrim boy is recognized by the Jacob's shell on his cloak, the pilgrim's stick and his leather bag lying on the ground. More on this painting

MASTER OF THE PRODIGAL SON, The name for this master is based on a representation from the parable of the lost son in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. He must have had a large and flourishing workshop in Antwerp in the sixteenth century, from which not only works of painting, but also tapestries and painted glass panels were exhibited. More on the master

ANTWERP, C. 1510-30 
Adoration of the Child. 

Oil on panel. 
74.4 x 52 cm. 
Private collection

THE ADORATION OF CHRIST. The fourteenth-century mystic Saint Bridget of Sweden recounted Christ's birth after experiencing a vision. The "great and ineffable light" she described as emanating from the Child is the center of this icon. The portrayal of this divine splendor allowed painters to convey the mystical aura of the event. More on Adoration of the Child

The Flagellation of Christ
Oil on panel. 
38.2 x 26.9 cm. 
Private collection

The Flagellation of Christ, sometimes known as Christ at the Column or the Scourging at the Pillar, is a scene from the Passion of Christ very frequently shown in Christian art, in cycles of the Passion or the larger subject of the Life of Christ. It is the fourth station of the modern alternate Stations of the Cross, and a Sorrowful Mystery of the Rosary. The column to which Christ is normally tied, and the rope, scourge, whip or birch are elements in the Arma Christi. The Basilica di Santa Prassede in Rome, claimed to possess the original column. More on The Flagellation of Christ

Circle of Jacob Cornelisz van Oostsanen, (circa 1460 Amsterdam 1528) 
The Crucifixion with Mary, Saint John and Mary Magdalene. 
Oil on canvas. 
66 x 49.2 cm. 
Private collection

The crucifixion of Jesus occurred in 1st century Judea, most probably between the years 30 and 33 AD. Jesus' crucifixion is described in the four canonical gospels, referred to in the New Testament epistles, attested to by other ancient sources, and is established as a historical event confirmed by non-Christian sources.

According to the canonical gospels, Jesus, the Christ, was arrested, tried, and sentenced by Pontius Pilate to be scourged, and finally crucified by the Romans. Jesus was stripped of his clothing and offered wine mixed with gall to drink, before being crucified. He was then hung between two convicted thieves and according to Mark's Gospel, died some six hours later. During this time, the soldiers affixed a sign to the top of the cross stating "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews" in three languages. They then divided his garments among them, but cast lots for his seamless robe. After Jesus' death they pierced his side with a spear to be certain that he had died. More on the crucifixion

Jacob Cornelisz van Oostsanen (before 1470 – 1533) was a Northern Netherlandish designer of woodcuts and a painter. He was one of the first important artists working in Amsterdam, at a time when it was a flourishing provincial town.

Little is known about Jacob Cornelisz van Oostsanen's life. Historians rely mostly on the biographical sketch of him written by Karel van Mander, the archives of Amsterdam, and the archives of Egmond Abbey, a Benedictine monastery that commissioned works by him. His name indicates he was from Oostzaan, North Holland

The first known commissions for Jacob Cornelisz were from when he was at least 35 years of age. It is assumed that he worked in a painters's workshop before that, and judging from his close copies of Haarlem painting techniques, this was possibly in Haarlem. More on Jacob Cornelisz van Oostsanen

FRANCKEN, FRANS the younger, (1581 Antwerp 1642) 
Saint Christopher, Circa 1630. 
Oil on panel. 
30.3 x 25 cm. 
Private collection

Saint Christopher is venerated as a martyr killed in the reign of the 3rd-century Roman Emperor Decius,) or alternatively under the Roman Emperor Maximinus II Dacian. There appears to be confusion due to the similarity in names "Decius" and "Dacian". However his veneration only appears late in Christian tradition, and did not become widespread in the Western Church until the Late Middle Ages, although churches and monasteries were named after him by the 7th century.

It is disputed whether Christopher existed, and if so whether the name applied to a specific person or was a general title meaning "Christ-bearer" which was applied to several different real or legendary people. He may be the same figure as Saint Menas. His most famous legend, which is mainly known from the West and may draw from Ancient Greek mythology, tells that he carried a child, who was unknown to him, across a river before the child revealed himself as Christ. Therefore, he is the patron saint of travelers. More Saint Christopher

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 on Frans Francken the Younger

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Saturday, October 7, 2017

08 Carvings & Sculpture from the Bible! 15 - 19th Century. With Footnote, # 15

Netherlandish, Malines, early 17th century
Gilt alabaster reliefs
12 x 9,5 cm; each relief: 4 3/4  by 3 3/4  in.
Private collection

In Christian theology the nativity marks the incarnation of Jesus as the second Adam, in fulfillment of the divine will of God, undoing the damage caused by the fall of the first man, Adam. The artistic depiction of the nativity has been a major subject for Christian artists since the 4th century. Since the 13th century, the nativity scene has emphasized the humility of Jesus and promoted a more tender image of him, as a major turning point from the early "Lord and Master" image, affecting the basic approaches of Christian pastoral ministry. More on the nativity

Mechelen (French: Malines) is one of Flanders' prominent cities of historical art, with Antwerp, Bruges, Brussels, Ghent, and Leuven. It was notably a centre for artistic production during the Northern Renaissance, when painters, printmakers, illuminators and composers of polyphony were attracted by patrons such as Margaret of York, Margaret of Austria and Hieronymus van Busleyden. More on Mechelen

South Nertherlandish or North German, circa 1600
Alabaster relief
30,5 x 26,5 cm,
Private collection

Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet. It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. 

While yhe evening meal was in progress, Jesus got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. More on Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet.

Netherlandish, Malines, early 17th century
Gilt alabaster reliefs
12 x 9,5 cm; each relief: 4 3/4  by 3 3/4  in.
Private collection

In the accounts of the four canonical Gospels, Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem takes place in the days before the Last Supper, marking the beginning of his Passion. Crowds gather around Jesus and believe in him after he raised Lazarus from the dead, and the next day the multitudes that had gathered for the feast in Jerusalem welcome Jesus as he enters Jerusalem. More on Jesus' entry into Jerusalem

Netherlandish, Malines, early 17th century, see above

Netherlandish, Malines, early 17th century
Alabaster reliefs
9 x 12,5 cm; 3 1/2  by 5 in.
Private collection

The Last Supper is the final meal that, in the Gospel accounts, Jesus shared with his Apostles in Jerusalem before his crucifixion. The Last Supper provides the scriptural basis for the Eucharist, also known as "Holy Communion" or "The Lord's Supper".

The four canonical Gospels all state that the Last Supper took place towards the end of the week, after Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem and that Jesus and his Apostles shared a meal shortly before Jesus was crucified at the end of that week. During the meal Jesus predicts his betrayal by one of the Apostles present, and foretells that before the next morning, Peter will deny knowing him.

The three Synoptic Gospels and the First Epistle to the Corinthians include the account of the institution of the Eucharist in which Jesus takes bread, breaks it and gives it to the Apostles, saying: "This is my body which is given for you". The Gospel of John does not include this episode, but tells of Jesus washing the feet of the Apostles, giving the new commandment "to love one another as I have loved you", and has a detailed farewell discourse by Jesus, calling the Apostles who follow his teachings "friends and not servants", as he prepares them for his departure.

Scholars have looked to the Last Supper as the source of early Christian Eucharist traditions. Others see the account of the Last Supper as derived from 1st-century eucharistic practice as described by Paul in the mid-50s. More on The Last Supper

Netherlandish, Malines, early 17th century
 Monogrammed VB for Jan ou Hans Verbeke, or Peeter van Baelen.
Gilt alabaster reliefs
12 x 9,5 cm; 4 3/4  by 3 3/4  in.
Private collection

Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane refers to the events in the life of Jesus as recorded in the New Testament, between the Farewell Discourse at the conclusion of the Last Supper and Jesus' arrest. 

According to all four Gospels, immediately after the Last Supper, Jesus took a walk to pray. The gospels of Matthew and Mark identify this place of prayer as Gethsemane. Jesus was accompanied by three Apostles: Peter, John and James, whom he asked to stay awake and pray. He moved "a stone's throw away" from them, where He felt overwhelming sadness and anguish, and said "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass me by. Nevertheless, let it be as you, not I, would have it." Then, a little while later, He said, "If this cup cannot pass by, but I must drink it, your will be done!". He said this prayer three times, checking on the three apostles between each prayer and finding them asleep. He commented: "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak". An angel came from heaven to strengthen him. During his agony as he prayed, "his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down upon the ground".

At the conclusion of the narrative, Jesus accepts that the hour has come for him to be betrayed. More on Christ in the Garden

Netherlandish, Malines, early 17th century
Aabaster reliefs
9,5 x 12 cm, 3 3/4  by 4 3/4  in
Private collection

Jacob's Ladder is the colloquial name for a connection between the earth and heaven that the biblical Patriarch Jacob dreams about during his flight from his brother Esau, as described in the Book of Genesis. The significance of the dream has been somewhat debated, but most interpretations agree that it identified Jacob with the obligations and inheritance of the ethnic people chosen by God, as understood in Abrahamic religions. It has since been used as a symbolic reference in various other contexts. More on Jacob's Ladder

Netherlandish, Malines, early 17th century
Monogrammed TT for Tobias van Tissenaken (active in 1596-1624)
Alabaster reliefs
9,5 x 12 cm, 3 3/4  by 4 3/4 in., 3 1/2  by 5 in.
three alabaster reliefs
9,5 x 12 cm, 3 3/4  by 4 3/4 in.
Private collection

Theological virtues are virtues associated in Christian theology and philosophy with salvation resulting from the grace of God. Virtues are traits or qualities which dispose one to conduct oneself in a morally good manner. Traditionally they have been named faith, hope, and charity, and can trace their importance in Christian theology to Paul the Apostle in 1 Corinthians 13, who also pointed out charity is the most important.

The medieval Catholic philosopher Thomas Aquinas explained that these virtues are called theological virtues "because they have God for their object, both in so far as by them we are properly directed to Him, and because they are infused into our souls by God alone, as also, finally, because we come to know of them only by Divine revelation in the Sacred Scriptures". More on Theological virtues

105 cm high.
Private collection

The Immaculate Conception, according to the teaching of the Catholic Church, was the conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the womb of her mother, Saint Anne, free from original sin by virtue of the foreseen merits of her son Jesus Christ. The Catholic Church teaches that Mary was conceived by normal biological means, but God acted upon her soul (keeping her "immaculate") at the time of her conception.

The Immaculate Conception is commonly and mistakenly taken to mean the conception of Mary's son Jesus Christ in her own womb, and the Virgin Birth of Jesus. These are covered by the Doctrine of Incarnation, while the Immaculate Conception deals with the conception of Mary herself, not that of her son. More on The Immaculate Conception

Acknowledgement: Sothebys, and others

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Saturday, September 30, 2017

11 Paintings, RELIGIOUS ART - Interpretations of the Bible! by The Old Masters, With Footnotes # 59

Mary Magdalene before a wall
Oil on panel. 
59.2 x 51.4 cm. 
Private collection

Mary Magdalene was a Jewish woman who, according to texts included in the New Testament, traveled with Jesus as one of his followers. She is said to have witnessed Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection. Based on texts of the early Christian era in the third century, it seems that her status as an “apostle" rivals even Peter's.

She is most prominent in the narrative of the crucifixion of Jesus, at which she was present. She was also present two days later, either alone or as a member of a group of women, the first to testify to the resurrection of Jesus.

Ideas that go beyond the gospel presentation of Mary Magdalene as a prominent representative of the women who followed Jesus have been put forward over the centuries.

During the Middle Ages, Mary Magdalene was regarded in Western Christianity as a repentant prostitute or promiscuous woman, claims not found in any of the four canonical gospels. More Mary Magdalene

The concept of the Northern Renaissance or German Renaissance is somewhat confused by the continuation of the use of elaborate Gothic ornament until well into the 16th century, even in works that are undoubtedly Renaissance in their treatment of the human figure and other respects. Classical ornament had little historical resonance in much of Germany, but in other respects Germany was very quick to follow developments, especially in adopting printing with movable type, a German invention. More on the art of Germany

Workshop of Defendente Ferrari, (c. 1480/1485 – c. 1540) 
The Adoration of the Child
Tempera on panel. 
Private collection

The Adoration of the Child, is a painting of the Nativity.

Defendente Ferrari (c. 1480/1485 – c. 1540) was an Italian painter active in Piedmont. His work marks the transition from late Gothic traditions to Renaissance art in the region.

Ferrari was born at Chivasso, near Turin. Here he trained and initially worked and had been the pre-eminent painter in western Piedmont after moving to Chivasso c. 1502. Many works previously thought to have been by Spanzotti are now attributed to Defendente.

Defendente achieved considerable success as a painter of polyptychs and altarpieces. He painted a number of nocturnal scenes. His work developed away from its initial harsh style following Gothic traditions towards the use of more fluid brushstrokes and the creation of soft, dense highlights more in line with Renaissance painting. More on Defendente Ferrari 

Andrea di Bartolo, or Andrea di Bartolo Cini, (1360/70 – 1428, in Siena) 
The Apostle Paul. 1400-1420. 
Oil on panel. 
98.5 x 40.3 cm
Private collection

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

Andrea di Bartolo or Andrea di Bartolo Cini (1360/70 – 1428, in Siena) was an Italian painter, stained glass designer and illuminator of the Sienese School mainly known for his religious subjects. He was active between 1389–1428 in the area in and around Siena.

Andrea di Bartolo was the son and pupil of Bartolo di Fredi, a very prominent painter in Siena. His youth was spent working in his father's workshop which received many prestigious orders. He collaborated with his father and Luca di Tommè on an altarpiece for the altar of the shoemaker's guild in the cathedral of Siena in 1389. This is his first documented work. However, it is believed that his hand can be discerned in works of his father painted between 1380 and 1389, such as in the Massacre of the Innocents.

Andrea likely set up his own workshop around 1390. He was extremely successful in Siena and obtained numerous commissions even from as far as Veneto. His patrons were drawn from the same monastic circles as his father such as the Franciscans of Montalcino and the Dominicans of Siena. From his studio he produced a large number of works, some of which have survived and are found in various museums around the world. More on Andrea di Bartolo

Niccolò di Segna, (died around 1348) 
Crucifixion scene. 1325-30. 
Gold ground and tempera on panel. 
35 x 21 cm.
Private collection

The present panel shows Christ on the Cross, surrounded by his mourning mother Mary on his right and Saint John on his left. A Dominican nun kneels devoutly in prayer, at the foot of the rock, while blood streams down the wooden cross from the wounds of Christ.

The embossing and ornamentation of the Aureoles are characteristic of Siena and the surrounding area around Niccolò di Segna time. Extended gothic figures became the new aesthetic paradigm of Sienese paintings. Niccolò's figures are visibly prolonged and evoke a refined and elegant appearance through a dynamic modeling of the wrinkles. More on The present pane

Niccolò di Segna (died around 1348) was an Italian painter from Siena. His activity is documented starting from 1331.

Influenced by Duccio di Buoninsegna and Simone Martini, he was an exponent of the Sienese School. Works by him can be found in the Pinacoteca Nazionale at Siena (Madonna della Misericordia, Madonna with Child, St. Michael Archangel and others), in the Cathedral of Sansepolcro (Resurrection Polyptych, at the high altar), the Diocesan Museum of Cortona and other collections in Italy and abroad. More on Niccolò di Segna 

Follower of Federico Zuccari, (c. 1540/1541 – August 6, 1609)
Adoration of the Kings, circa 1600,
Oil on panel. 
53.5 x 37 cm. 
Private collection

This worship of the kings takes up the composition of Federico Zuccaro (1542-1609) in the church of San Francesco della Vigna in Venice and is characterized by a detailed variety. The individual facial features of the depicted persons are elaborately finished. More on this painting

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

Federico Zuccari, also known as Federico Zuccaro (c. 1540/1541 – August 6, 1609), was an Italian Mannerist painter and architect, active both in Italy and abroad. His documented career as a painter began in 1550, when he moved to Rome to work under Taddeo, his elder brother. He went on to complete decorations for Pius IV, and help complete the fresco decorations at the Villa Farnese at Caprarola. 

In 1585, he accepted an offer by Philip II of Spain to decorate the new Escorial at a yearly salary of 2,000 crowns. He worked at the palace from January 1586 to end of 1588, when he returned to Rome. His paintings (like those of El Greco before him) were disliked by Philip II and many were painted over. However the parting was amicable:"We must not blame him, but those who sent him to us", said Philip. He was succeeded by Pellegrino Tibaldi. He there founded in 1595, under a charter confirmed by Pope Sixtus V, the Accademia di San Luca, of which he was the first president. Bartolomeo Carducci is said to have studied with him.

Zuccari was raised to the rank of cavaliere not long before his death, which took place at Ancona in 1609. More on Federico Zuccari

Francesco de Tatti(active Varese circa 1512-1520) 
Saint Stephen on trial
Oil on panel. 
35 x 50.5 cm. 
Private collection

This representation of St. Stephen is probably a part of the predella of the altar in the church of Santo Stefano in Rancate (Mendrisio), made by Francesco de 'Tatti around 1526-1527. In 1796 the altar was dismantled and individual parts were sold separately. More on this painting

Stephen or Stephan; traditionally venerated as the first martyr of Christianity, was, according to the Acts of the Apostles, a deacon in the early church at Jerusalem who aroused the enmity of members of various synagogues by his teachings. Accused of blasphemy, at his trial he made a long speech denouncing the Jewish authorities who were sitting in judgment on him and was then stoned to death. His martyrdom was witnessed by Saul of Tarsus, a Pharisee who would later himself become a follower of Jesus. More on Saint Stephen

Francesco de Tatti was an Italian painter known for a few works. He was active in the Renaissance period from 1512 to 1520, in Varese.

Antoine Caron, BEAUVAIS 1521 - 1599 PARIS
Last Judgment
Oil on panel
130 x 172 cm ; 51 1/4  by 67 3/4  in
Private collection

In Christian belief, it is the final and eternal judgment by God of the people in every nation[1] resulting in the glorification of some and the punishment of others. The concept is found in all the Canonical gospels, particularly the Gospel of Matthew. Christian Futurists believe it will take place after the Resurrection of the Dead and the Second Coming of Christ while Full Preterists believe it has already occurred. The Last Judgment has inspired numerous artistic depictions. More on Last Judgment

Antoine Caron, Beauvais, 1521 - 1599 PARIS
Last Judgment

Antoine Caron (1521–1599), born in Beauvais, was a French master glassmaker, illustrator, Northern Mannerist painter and a product of the School of Fontainebleau.

He is one of the few French painters of his time who had a pronounced artistic personality. His work reflects the refined, although highly unstable, atmosphere at the court of the House of Valois during the French Wars of Religion of 1560 to 1598.

He began painting in his teens doing frescos for a number of churches. Between 1540 and 1550 he worked under Primaticcio and Niccolò dell'Abbate at the School of Fontainebleau. In 1561, he was appointed the court painter by Catherine de' Medici and Henry II of France. As court painter he also had the duties of organizing the court pageants. In this way he was involved in organizing the ceremony and royal entry for the coronation of Charles IX in Paris and the wedding of Henry IV of France with Marguerite de Valois. Some of his surviving illustrations are from these pageants. He died in Paris in 1599. More on Antoine Caron 

Jacques Stella, LYON 1596 - 1657 PARIS
Oil on copper, reinforced
28,5 x 38,5 cm ; 11 1/4  by 15 1/4  in
Private collection

Here we find a tree-lined perspective with the presence of architectures and their facades with very Italian chromatics. In addition, the type of female faces with soft colors and thin golden highlights in the draperies are all elements that characterize the painter's style during the early Roman works. More on this painting

PHARAOH, becoming alarmed at the increasing power and numbers of the Israelites in Egypt, ordered that every male child who might be born to them should be cast into the river, and drowned. But the wife of a man named Levi felt that she could not give up her baby, and for three months she hid him.

When she could hide him no longer, she prepared a basket of rushes, and coated it with pitch, so that it would float upon the river and keep out the water. In this ark she placed her infant son, and hid the ark among the flags and bulrushes on the river-bank, and set the child's sister to watch it.

Now it happened that the daughter of Pharaoh came with her maidens to bathe in the river; and when she saw the basket she sent one of her maids to fetch it. And when she looked at the child he wept, and she had compassion for him, and said, "This is one of the Hebrews' children," she said. Then the child's sister, who was watching, came forward and said to Pharaoh's daughter, "Shall I call to thee a Hebrew woman that she may nurse the child for thee?" And when the princess said, "Go!" she, the little sister of Moses, went and called her own mother, to whom Pharaoh's daughter said, "Take this child and nurse him for me, and I will give thee thy wages." More The Finding of Moses

Jacques Stella (1596 - 29 April 1657), born in Lyon, was a French painter. His father was François Stella, a painter and merchant of Flemish origin, but he died too soon to train Jacques in painting. Stella trained in Lyon before spending the period from 1616 to 1621 in the court of Cosimo II de Medici in Florence, working alongside Jacques Callot - Florentine art is a strong influence on all Stella's work. On Cosimo's death in 1621 Stella moved to Rome, where he spent the next 10 years and won a reputation thanks to his paintings, small engravings and painted work on stones. Working for pope Urban VIII, Stella was influenced in Rome by classicism and more specifically by the art of Nicolas Poussin, with whom he became an intimate friend.

Returning to Lyon in 1634 before moving to Paris a year later, Stella was presented to Louis XIII by cardinal Richelieu. The king made him peintre du roi, and granted him a pension of 1000 livres. From 1644 he took part in the decoration of the Palais-Cardinal. Towards the end of his life he devoted himself more and more to drawing. He was a major art collector throughout his life, building a collection of paintings by Poussin and Raphael and drawings by Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. He died in Paris. More on Jacques Stella

Michel-François Dandré-Bardon, AIX-EN-PROVENCE 1700 - 1783 PARIS
Oil on canvas
30,5 x 57 cm ; 12 by 22 1/2  in
Private collection

Michel François André-Bardon (22 May 1700 – 13 April 1785) was a French history painter and etcher. He was born in Aix-en-Provence, France. He signed his name Dandré-Bardon, or D. Bardon, because his uncle, Louis Bardon, made him his heir on condition that he continued the name of Bardon; but his real name was André, as the registers of the church of St. Madeleine testify. Michel François was destined by his parents for jurisprudence, and studied at Paris.

In 1719, he began to design during his leisure hours under the direction of Jean-Baptiste van Loo, and studied painting with J. F. de Troy. His progress was so rapid, that he obtained, in 1725, the second prize at the Royal Academy. He went afterwards to Rome, and after being there six years he returned to France, through Venice, where he stayed six months.

He went to Paris, where he displayed his talents, not only as a painter and etcher, but also as a poet and writer. In 1735, he became a member of the Academy; in 1752 professor; afterwards secretary; and finally teacher of historical painting. He was also the founder of the Académie des Beaux-Arts at Marseilles. He designed with great facility, and was a perfect master in representing the nude. More on Michel François André-Bardon

Circle of Francisco de Zurbarán, (baptized November 7, 1598 – August 27, 1664)
Saint Dorothea of Caesarea 
Oil on canvas:
69 x 46 in
Private collection

Dorothea of Caesarea  (died ca. 311) is a 4th-century virgin martyr who was executed at Caesarea Mazaca. Evidence for her actual historical existence or acta is very sparse. She is called a martyr of the Diocletianic Persecution, although her death occurred after the resignation of Diocletian himself. 

She was brought before the prefect Sapricius, tried, tortured, and sentenced to death. On her way to the place of execution the pagan lawyer Theophilus said to her in mockery: "Bride of Christ, send me some fruits from your bridegroom's garden." Before she was executed, she sent him, by a six-year-old boy, her headdress which was found to be filled with a heavenly fragrance of roses and fruits. Theophilus at once confessed himself a Christian, was put on the rack, and suffered death. This is the oldest version of the legend, which was later variously enlarged. More on Dorothea of Caesarea

Francisco de Zurbarán (baptized November 7, 1598 – August 27, 1664) was a Spanish painter. He is known primarily for his religious paintings depicting monks, nuns, and martyrs, and for his still-lifes. Zurbarán gained the nickname Spanish Caravaggio, owing to the forceful, realistic use of chiaroscuro in which he excelled. More

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