Thursday, June 15, 2017

12 Works, RELIGIOUS ART - Contemporary & 20th Century Interpretation of the Bible! With Footnotes - 7

Jeff Dizon, (b.1954)
Pieta, c. 1986
Mixed media
29” x 37” (74 cm x 94 cm)
Private Collection

The Pietà is a subject in Christian art depicting the Virgin Mary cradling the dead body of Jesus, most often found in sculpture. As such, it is a particular form of the Lamentation of Christ, a scene from the Passion of Christ found in cycles of the Life of Christ. When Christ and the Virgin are surrounded by other figures from the New Testament, the subject is strictly called a Lamentation in English, although Pietà is often used for this as well, and is the normal term in Italian. More

Jeff Dizon (b.1954) studied painting at the University of the Philippines.  Over the course of his career, he has mounted numerous solo exhibitions.  His artworks were also shown in Los Angeles, New York, and Washington D.C. 

Jeff’s highly detailed artworks rendered in complex color patterns depict Philippine social life with a modern expressionist style, rendered in detailed strokes.  Dizon’s work has been earning numerous awards from competitions, and one of its prominent collectors is Diners International. More on Jeff Dizon

Salvador Dalí, 1904 - 1989
Coeur-Sacré de Jésus/ Sacred Heart-Jesus, 1962
oil on canvas
86.5 x 61.4cm (34 1/16 x 24 3/16in)
Private collection

The devotion to the Sacred Heart (also known as the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Sacratissimi Cordis Iesu in Latin) is one of the most widely practiced and well-known Roman Catholic devotions, taking Jesus Christ's physical heart as the representation of his divine love for humanity.

This devotion is predominantly used in the Roman Catholic Church and among some high-church Anglicans and Lutherans. The devotion is especially concerned with what the Church deems to be the longsuffering love and compassion of the heart of Christ towards humanity. The origin of this devotion in its modern form is derived from a Roman Catholic nun from France, Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, who said she learned the devotion from Jesus during a series of apparitions to her between 1673 and 1675. Predecessors to the modern devotion arose unmistakably in the Middle Ages in various facets of Catholic mysticism. More on the devotion to the Sacred Heart

Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, Marqués de Dalí de Púbol (11 May 1904 – 23 January 1989), known professionally as Salvador Dalí, was a prominent Spanish surrealist painter born in Figueres, Catalonia, Spain.

Dalí was a skilled draftsman, best known for the striking and bizarre images in his surrealist work. His painterly skills are often attributed to the influence of Renaissance masters. His best-known work, The Persistence of Memory, was completed in August 1931. Dalí's expansive artistic repertoire included film, sculpture, and photography, in collaboration with a range of artists in a variety of media.

Dalí attributed his "love of everything that is gilded and excessive, my passion for luxury and my love of oriental clothes" to an "Arab lineage", claiming that his ancestors were descended from the Moors.

Dalí was highly imaginative, and also enjoyed indulging in unusual and grandiose behavior. His eccentric manner and attention-grabbing public actions sometimes drew more attention than his artwork, to the dismay of those who held his work in high esteem, and to the irritation of his critics. More Salvador Dalí

Tsuguharu Foujita, 1886 - 1968
Gouache and gold leaf on paper
43,7 x 24,6 cm; 17 1/4 x 9 3/4 in.
Private collection
Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita (November 27, 1886 – January 29, 1968) was a Japanese–French painter and printmaker born in Tokyo, Japan who applied Japanese ink techniques to Western style paintings. He has been called "the most important Japanese artist working in the West during the 20th century". His Book of Cats, published in New York by Covici Friede, 1930, with 20 etched plate drawings by Foujita, is one of the top 500 rare books ever sold, and is ranked by rare book dealers as "the most popular and desirable book on cats ever published". More on Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita

Pierre-Amédée Marcel-Beronneau, 1869-1937
Oil on canvas
Signed and dated lower right P. Marcel-Beronneau 03 (or 05)
22 x 16,5 cm ; 8 3/4 x 6 1/2 in.
Private collection

Pierre-Amédée Marcel-Beronneau, 1869-1937attended the Fine-Arts School in Bordeaux and the Decorative Arts School in Paris before going to the Fine-Arts National School in 1892 where he entered Gustave Moreau’s study and met Georges Rouault with whom he later shared a study on Montparnasse Boulevard. He quickly became one of the best students.

He was awarded the 1st Great Prize of the Decorative Arts in 1893, a medal in a sketching contest and the 1st Prize of the Study in 1894 for all his work. The same year he came first at the Chevanard contest held by the Fine-Arts National School. In 1895 he started showing his work at the French Artists Salon.

His work was composed of a double production. The first one was academic and met the audience’s expectations, which made him successful. The government started making some requests from him, such as “Last Hour” (Fine-Arts Museum in Bordeaux) in 1899. He became Knight of the Legion of Honor in 1914.

Pierre-Amédée Marcel-Béronneau, French, 1869-1937
Oil on canvas
178 by 115cm., 70 by 45¼in.
Private collection

The second part of his work was symbolist. Influenced by Moreau and connected to the Rose-Croix Salon, interested in the Préraphaélite movement, he created his own style by essentially illustrating mythical and biblical female characters such as Leda, Sappho, Judith, Gorgon and Salomé (above). He featured them in phantasmagorical sceneries and reinterpreted myths with a symbolist sensitivity. More on Pierre-Amédée Marcel-Beronneau

Painted in 1905, it is likely that Germaine Marchant was the model for Salome. Having fallen deeply in love with her, Marcel-Béronneau painted her obsessively in his pursuit of the representation of the femme fatale. They were married in 1918.

The present work depicts the end of Salome's dance of the seven veils. Her body is almost exposed in its entirety, with part of a veil draping her legs and hips and part of it surrounding her hair like a flame.

Salome was the daughter of Herod II and Herodias. She is infamous for demanding and receiving the head of John the Baptist, according to the New Testament. According to Flavius Josephus's Jewish Antiquities, Salome was first married to Philip the Tetrarch of Ituraea and Trakonitis. After Philip's death in 34 AD she married Aristobulus of Chalcis and became queen of Chalcis and Armenia Minor. They had three children. Three coins with portraits of Aristobulus and Salome have been found. Her name in Hebrew meaning "peace". More on Salome

Cristina Posada
Mixed media on canvas
19.6 x 23.6 in, or 50 x 60 cm
Private collection

Cristina Posada is a Colombian artist, her watercolors have been reproduced by UNICEF, and Rosenstiels around the world. She has had exhibitions in Colombia, USA, Germany and Japan. More on Cristina Posada

David LaChapelle, American, b. 1963
Courtney Love: Pieta, c 2006
Chromogenic print
24 x 18 in. (60.96 x 45.72 cm.) 
Private collection

The present work depicts controversial rock-icon Courtney Love as the Virgin Mary, cradling a Kurt Cobain lookalike styled as Jesus. From the artist's series Heaven to Hell, this print comments on the narrative surrounding the death of Kurt Cobain and the subsequent treatment of Courtney Love, placing this contemporary, pop-culture event within the visual tradition of religious iconography. More on the present work

David LaChapelle (born March 11, 1963) is an American commercial photographer, fine-art photographer, music video director, film director, and artist.

He is best known for his photography, which often references art history and sometimes conveys social messages. His photographic style has been described as "hyper-real and slyly subversive" and as "kitsch pop surrealism". Once called the Fellini of photography, LaChapelle has worked for international publications and has had his work exhibited commercial galleries and institutions around the world. More on David LaChapelle

František Drtikol, 1883 - 1961
Salome with skull, 1923
Private collection

Salome, see above

František Drtikol (3 March 1883, Příbram – 13 January 1961, Prague) was a Czech photographer of international renown. He is especially known for his characteristically epic photographs, often nudes and portraits.

He had his own studio, until 1935 where he operated an important portrait photostudio in Prague. Drtikol made many portraits of very important people and nudes which show development from pictorialism and symbolism to modern composite pictures of the nude body with geometric decorations and thrown shadows, where it is possible to find a number of parallels with the avant-garde works of the period. 

He began using paper cut-outs in a period he called "photopurism". These photographs resembled silhouettes of the human form. Later he gave up photography and concentrated on painting. After the studio was sold Drtikol focused mainly on painting, Buddhist religious and philosophical systems. In the final stage of his photographic work Drtikol created compositions of little carved figures, with elongated shapes, symbolically expressing various themes from Buddhism. In the 1920s and 1930s, he received significant awards at international photo salons. More on František Drtikol

František Drtikol, 1883 - 1961
36 x 24.2 cm

Calvary, also Gagulta, was, according to the Gospels, a site immediately outside Jerusalem's walls where Jesus was said to have been crucified. Golgotha(s) is the Greek transcription in the New Testament of the Aramaic term Gagultâ. The Bible translates the term to mean place of [the] skull, which in Latin is Calvariæ Locus, from which the English word Calvary is derived. More on Calvary, also Gagulta 

Jan Saudek, b. 1935 - 2013
Photographer as Jesus, 1991

Jan Saudek (born 13 May 1935 in Prague, Czechoslovakia) is a Czech art photographer and painter. Saudek's was a Jew and his family to become a target of the Nazis. Many of his family died in Theresienstadt concentration camp during World War II.

According to Saudeks's biography, he got his first camera, a Kodak Baby Brownie, in 1950. He apprenticed to a photographer and in 1952 started working as a print shop worker, where he worked until 1983. In 1959, he started painting and drawing. After completing his military service, he was inspired in 1963 by the catalogue for Edward Steichen's The Family of Man exhibition, to try to become a serious art photographer. In 1969, he traveled to the United States and was encouraged in his work by curator Hugh Edwards.

Jan and Sara Saudek, 1935 -  2013
Jesus, 1991
Private collection

Returning to Prague, he was forced to work in a clandestine manner in a cellar, to avoid the attentions of the secret police, as his work turned to themes of personal erotic freedom, and used implicitly political symbols of corruption and innocence. From the late 1970s, he became recognized in the West as the leading Czech photographer. In 1983, the first book of his work was published in the English-speaking world. The same year, he became a freelance photographer as the Czech Communist authorities allowed him to cease working in the print shop, and gave him permission to apply for a permit to work as an artist. More Jan Saudek

Jan Saudek, b. 1935 - 2013
Pieta, 1990

The Pietà, see above

Acknowledgement: Sotheby’s, Artnet and others

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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

8 Paintings, RELIGIOUS ART - Interpretations of the Bible! by The Old Masters, With Footnotes # 54

Alfred-Pierre Agache, 1843 - 1915, FRENCH
Oil on canvas
55 7/8 by 41 1/2 in., 141.9 by 105.4 cm
Private Collection

The Annunciation referred to as the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Annunciation of Our Lady, or the Annunciation of the Lord, is the Christian celebration of the announcement by the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary that she would conceive and become the mother of Jesus, the Son of God, marking his Incarnation. Gabriel told Mary to name her son Yehoshua , meaning "YHWH is salvation".

According to Luke 1:26, the Annunciation occurred "in the sixth month" of Elizabeth's pregnancy. Many Christians observe this event with the Feast of the Annunciation on 25 March, an approximation of the northern vernal equinox nine full months before Christmas, the ceremonial birthday of Jesus. In England, this came to be known as Lady Day. It marked the new year until 1752. The 2nd-century writer Irenaeus of Lyon regarded the conception of Jesus as 25 March coinciding with the Passion. More The Annunciation

Alfred-Pierre Agache, 1843 - 1915, FRENCH

Alfred-Pierre Joseph Agache (29 August 1843 – 15 September 1915), also known simply as Alfred Agache, was a French academic painter. Little is known of Agache's life. He was born in Lille, France, and exhibited his work frequently in Paris until his death. He seems to have specialized in portraits and large-scale allegorical paintings. He was a member of the Société des Artistes Français, and won a third-class medal in 1885 for his work. He may have been friends with American painter James Abbott McNeill Whistler and French writer Auguste Angellier; the latter dedicated a book to him around 1893.

Two of his pieces, "Vanity" and "The Annunciation", were shown at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, 1893. He was awarded the Légion d'honneur. He died in Lille in 1915. More on Alfred-Pierre Joseph Agache

Alfred-Pierre Agache, 1843 - 1915, FRENCH

Michel-François Dandré-Bardon, AIX-EN-PROVENCE 1700 - 1783 PARIS
Signed and dated lower right D'André / 1724
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

Jacques Blanchard, PARIS 1600 - 1638
Oil on canvas
82,5 x 69 cm ; 32 1/2  by 27 in
Private Collection

Jacques Blanchard (1600–1638), also known as Jacques Blanchart, was a French baroque painter who was born in Paris. He was raised and taught by his uncle, the painter Nicolas Bollery (fr) (ca. 1560–1630). Jacques’s brother and son, Jean-Baptiste Blanchard (painter) (fr) (after 1602–1665) and Gabriel Blanchard (1630–1704), respectively were also painters.

Blanchard moved to Rome in 1624. He also worked in Venice and Turin where he was commissioned to paint by the Duke of Savoy. He returned to Paris in 1628 from which year most of his paintings are dated. He developed a style unique in France at the time and reminiscent of both Titian and Tintoretto. More on Blanchard

Ignace-Henri-Jean-Théodore Fantin Latour, GRENOBLE 1836 - BURÉ 1904
Oil on canvas
47 x 46 cm ; 18 1/2 by 18 1/2 in.
Private Collection

The Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine covers two different subjects in Christian art arising from visions received by either Saint Catherine of Alexandria or Saint Catherine of Siena (1347–1380), in which these virgin saints went through a mystical marriage wedding ceremony with Christ, in the presence of the Virgin Mary, consecrating themselves and their virginity to him.

The Catholic Encyclopaedia notes that such a wedding ceremony "is but the accompaniment and symbol of a purely spiritual grace", and that "as a wife should share in the life of her husband, and as Christ suffered for the redemption of mankind, the mystical spouse enters into a more intimate participation in His sufferings."  Catherine of Alexandria was martyred, while Catherine of Siena received the stigmata.

Both Saint Catherines are frequent subjects in Christian art; the scene usually includes one of the Saint Catherines and either the infant Jesus held by his mother or an adult Jesus. Very rarely both saints are shown in a double ceremony (as above). Saint Catherine of Alexandria is invariably dressed as a princess in rich clothes, often with a crown, and normally with loose long blonde hair and carrying a martyr's palm, sometimes with her attribute of a wheel; Saint Catherine of Siena is shown as a Dominican nun in white with a black over-robe open at the front, so it is usually easy to tell which saint is depicted. More Saint Catherine

Henri Fantin-Latour (14 January 1836 – 25 August 1904) was a French painter and lithographer best known for his flower paintings and group portraits of Parisian artists and writers.  He was born Ignace Henri Jean Théodore Fantin-Latour in Grenoble, Isère. As a youth, he received drawing lessons from his father, who was an artist. In 1850 he entered the Ecole de Dessin. After studying at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris from 1854, he devoted much time to copying the works of the old masters in the Musée du Louvre. Although Fantin-Latour befriended several of the young artists who would later be associated with Impressionism, including Whistler and Manet, Fantin's own work remained conservative in style.

Whistler brought attention to Fantin in England, where his still-lifes sold so well that they were "practically unknown in France during his lifetime". In addition to his realistic paintings, Fantin-Latour created imaginative lithographs inspired by the music of some of the great classical composers.

In 1875, Henri Fantin-Latour married a fellow painter, Victoria Dubourg, after which he spent his summers on the country estate of his wife's family at Buré, Orne in Lower Normandy, where he died on 25 August 1904. More on Henri Fantin-Latour 

JOSÉ DE ALCÍBAR, (1751-1803)
Asunción de la Virgen, c. 1779
Oil on copper
15 by 11 in.; 38 by 28 cm
Private Collection

The Assumption of Mary into Heaven, often shortened to the Assumption and also known as the Falling Asleep of the Blessed Virgin Mary, according to the beliefs of the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, and parts of Anglicanism, was the bodily taking up of the Virgin Mary into Heaven at the end of her earthly life. More on The Assumption of Mary

Alcíbar, José de (Mexico City, 1730-1803). Mexican painter. One of the most active and representative artists of the pictorial scene of Mexico City during the second half of the eighteenth century. His commissions were numerous, especially religious paintings for various churches and portraits of pre-eminent figures of Mexican society, with a personal style not unrelated to the artistic processes that developed in the metropolis. It is worth remembering that in the eighteenth century Mexico City lived a moment of special cultural importance, also in the artistic aspect, with the foundation of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Carlos in 1784, of which Alcíbar was one of its founding members and the one that participated actively until his death. Despite the relative successes of his teachings, The Academy represented the arrival in Mexico of painters trained and active in Madrid. The two portraits preserved in the Prado Museum are characteristic of a part of the production of Alcíbar, the portraiture, and show the pretension of elegance and ostentation of its brushes. More José de Alcibar

Attributed to Pieter Pourbus, GOUDA VERS, 1523 - 1584 BRUGES
Oil on panel
154 x 99 cm ; 60 1/2  by 39 in
Private Collection

A doubting Thomas is a skeptic who refuses to believe without direct personal experience—a reference to the Apostle Thomas, who refused to believe that the resurrected Jesus had appeared to the ten other apostles, until he could see and feel the wounds received by Jesus on the cross.

In art, the episode (formally called the Incredulity of Thomas) has been frequently depicted since at least the 5th century, with its depiction reflecting a range of theological interpretations. More doubting Thomas

Pieter Jansz. Pourbus (Gouda, around 1523 – Bruges, 30 January 1584) was a Dutch Flemish Renaissance painter, sculptor, draftsman and cartographer. He was born in Gouda but moved to Bruges at a young age. Though he painted many good works in Bruges, his best work was in the Sint Janskerk in Gouda, the History of Saint Hubertus. Besides painting, he was also a surveyor and engineer. He was known primarily for his religious and portrait painting and worked mainly in Bruges, where he had settled before 1543, when he became a member of the Bruges Guild of Saint Luke. His pupils were his son, Frans Pourbus the Elder, Antonius Claeissens, and his grandson Frans Pourbus the younger. He died in Bruges.

Pourbus' early work was a mix of the traditional Flemish style of the early sixteenth century and Italianate influences brought north by his peers such as Frans Floris. He later began to adapt Italian influence more and more, thus his later works can be considered early Flemish mannerism, which still contained some idioms of the traditional northern style. He never traveled to Italy and instead looked to his peers for stylistic influence. The Groeningemuseum in Bruges displays many of his works. The Museum Het Catharina Gasthuis in Gouda possesses a few of his works. The Sint Janskerk and the Church of Our Lady, Bruges have some of his art. More on Pieter Pourbus

Workshop of Pieter Coecke van Aelst
Oil on panel
41,5 x 30,5 cm ; 16 1/4  by 11 3/4  in
Private Collection

Pieter Coecke van Aelst or Pieter Coecke van Aelst the Elder (Aalst, 14 August 1502 – Brussels, 6 December 1550) was a Flemish painter, sculptor, architect, author and designer of woodcuts, stained glass and tapestries. His principal subjects were Christian religious themes. He worked in Antwerp and Brussels and was appointed court painter to Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.

Coecke van Aelst was a polyglot. He published translations of Ancient Roman and modern Italian architectural treatises into Flemish, French and German. These publications played a crucial role in spreading Renaissance ideas to the Low Countries. They contributed to the transition in Northern Europe from the late Gothic style then prevalent towards a modern 'antique-oriented' architecture. More on Pieter Coecke van Aelst

Henry Varnum Poor
Mother and Child, 1924
Oil on canvas
598x547 mm; 23 1/2x21 1/2 inches
Private Collection

Henry Varnum Poor (September 30, 1887 – December 8, 1970) was an American architect, painter, sculptor, muralist, and potter. He was a grandnephew of the Henry Varnum Poor who was a founder of the predecessor firm to Standard & Poor's. Poor attended Stanford University, studied painting at the Slade School in London and under painter Walter Sickert, then attended the Académie Julian in Paris. He returned to the United States in 1911 and taught art at Stanford University before moving to San Francisco to teach at the San Francisco Art Association. Following military service in World War I, he settled in Rockland County, New York, and focused on ceramics.

In the late 1920s, Poor gained recognition as a painter and eventually turned to murals; he was commissioned to paint twelve murals in the U.S. Department of Justice and the mural Conservation of American Wild Life in the Department of the Interior during the 1930s. During World War II he was head of the War Art Unit of the Corps of Engineers. He served on the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts from 1944 to 1945. In 1946 Poor was one of the founders of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and taught at Columbia University. Poor was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was a resident fellow in visual arts at the American Academy in Rome from 1950 to 1951.

Self-taught as an architect. He was also a potter, with ceramics in the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and ceramics designed for Radio City Music Hall. He also has works in the collections of the Whitney Museum and the Phillips Collection. Poor's papers are in the Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian.

He died on December 8, 1970 in New City, New York. More on Henry Varnum Poor

Acknowledgement: Conde de Salvatierra, Sotheby's and others

Images are copyright of their respective owners, assignees or others

We do not sell art prints, framed posters or reproductions. Ads are shown only to compensate the hosting expenses.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

10 Paintings, RELIGIOUS ART - Interpretations of the Bible! by The Old Masters, With Footnotes # 50

oil on panel
10 3/8  by 12 1/2  in.; 26.5 by 31.8 cm.
Private collection

Saint Lucy, Italian Santa Lucia (died 304, Syracuse, Sicily), virgin and martyr who was one of the earliest Christian saints to achieve popularity, having a widespread following before the 5th century. She is the patron saint of the city of Syracuse (Sicily). Because of various traditions associating her name with light, she came to be thought of as the patron of sight.

Lucy came from a wealthy Sicilian family. Spurning marriage and worldly goods, however, she vowed to remain a virgin in the tradition of St. Agatha. An angry suitor reported her to the local Roman authorities, who sentenced her to be removed to a brothel and forced into prostitution. This order was thwarted, according to legend, by divine intervention; Lucy became immovable and could not be carried away. She was next condemned to death by fire, but she proved impervious to the flames. Finally, her neck was pierced by a sword and she died.

Lucy was a victim of the wave of persecution of Christians that occurred late in the reign of the Roman emperor Diocletian. References to her are found in early Roman sacramentaries and, at Syracuse, in an inscription dating from 400 ce. As evidence of her early fame, two churches are known to have been dedicated to her in Britain before the 8th century, at a time when the land was largely pagan. More Saint Lucy

Giovanni Battista Salvi, called Sassoferrato, SASSOFERRATO 1609 - 1685 ROME
Oil on canvas
19 1/8  by 15 1/4  in.; 48.5 by 38.5 cm
Private collection

Sassoferrato specialized in the production of private devotional works, and was primarily employed by his patrons to provide images for personal spiritual contemplation. This composition is one of his most famous and successful designs. Known in a number of variants. The design appears to derive from a lost work by Guido Reni, now known only through contemporary engravings, but the distinctive coloring and handling of the drapery is entirely Sassoferrato's own. More on this painting

Giovanni Battista Salvi, called Il Sassoferrato (1609-1685). Giovanni Battista Salvi was born in Sassoferrato and went to Rome at an early age to study the paintings of Raphael. Later he sojourned in Naples to study the works of Annibale Carracci and his circle, especially Guido Reni. For most of his life he worked in Rome. His favorite subjects were Madonnas which he often depicted praying and along with the sleeping child. Paintings by Sassoferrato are in many churches and galleries in Italy. More on Giovanni Battista Salvi

Studio of Jusepe de Ribera, called Lo Spagnoletto, JÁTIVA, VALENCIA 1591 - 1652 NAPLES
Oil on canvas
51 by 40 in.; 130 by 101.7 cm.
Private collection

Andrew the Apostle (from the early 1st century – mid to late 1st century AD), also known as Saint Andrew was a Christian Apostle and the brother of Saint Peter.
The name "Andrew", like other Greek names, appears to have been common among the Jews, Christians, and other Hellenized people of Judea. No Hebrew or Aramaic name is recorded for him. According to Orthodox tradition, the apostolic successor to Saint Andrew is the Patriarch of Constantinople. More Andrew the Apostle 
Most references to Andrew in the New Testament simply include him on a list of the Twelve Apostles, or group him with his brother, Simon Peter. But he appears acting as an individual three times in the Gospel of John. When a number of Greeks wish to speak with Jesus, they approach Philip, who tells Andrew, and the two of them tell Jesus. (It may be relevant here that both "Philip" and "Andrew" are Greek names.) Before Jesus feeds the Five Thousand, it is Andrew who says, "Here is a lad with five barley loaves and two fish." And the first two disciples whom John reports as attaching themselves to Jesus are Andrew and another disciple (whom John does not name, but who is commonly supposed to be John himself). Having met Jesus, Andrew then finds his brother Simon and brings him to Jesus. Thus, on each occasion when he is mentioned as an individual, it is because he is instrumental in bringing others to meet the Saviour. In the Episcopal Church, the Fellowship of Saint Andrew is devoted to encouraging personal evangelism, and the bringing of one's friends and colleagues to a knowledge of the Gospel of Christ. More Andrew

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

Roman School, first half of the 17th Century
Oil on canvas
45 5/8  by 62 in.; 116 by 157.7 cm
Private collection

The Lamentation of Christ is a very common subject in Christian art from the High Middle Ages to the Baroque. After Jesus was crucified, his body was removed from the cross and his friends mourned over his body. This event has been depicted by many different artists.

Lamentation works are very often included in cycles of the Life of Christ, and also form the subject of many individual works. One specific type of Lamentation depicts only Jesus' mother Mary cradling his body. These are known as Pietà (Italian for "pity") More The Lamentation of Christ

Roman School, 17th Century. Both Michelangelo and Raphael worked in Rome, making it the centre of High Renaissance; in the 17th century it was the centre of the Baroque movement represented by Bernini and Pietro da Cortona. From the 17th century the presence of classical remains drew artists from all over Europe including Poussin, Claude Lorrain, Piranesi, Pannini and Mengs.

In the 17th century Italian art was diffused mainly from Rome, the indisputable centre of the Baroque.

Roman Mannerism, spread abroad by the prolific work of Federico and Taddeo Zuccari, was continued by Roncalli, called Pomarancio and especially by Giuseppe Cesari, called Cavaliere d'Arpino, whose reputation was immense. The reaction against Mannerism engendered two different movements, which were sometimes linked together: one was realist with Caravaggio, the other eclectic and decorative with the Carracci.

Caravaggio brought about the greatest pictorial revolution of the century. His imposing compositions, deliberately simplified, are remarkable for their rigorous sense of reality and for the contrasting light falling from one side that accentuates the volumes. He changed from small paintings of genre and still-life, clear in light and cool in colour, to harsh realism, strongly modelled volumes and dramatic light and shade. His work, like his life, caused much scandal and excited international admiration.

Among the Italian disciples of Caravaggio Carlo Saraceni was the only direct Venetian follower. Bartolomeo Manfredi imitated Caravaggio's genre paintings; Orazio Gentileschi and his daughter Artemisia Gentileschi showed a marked realism. Caravaggio's biographer and enemy, Giovanni Baglione underwent his influence. More Roman School, 17th Century

Scipione Pulzone, GAETA 1544 - 1598 ROME
Oil on canvas
24 by 19 in.; 61.1 by 48.2 cm.
Private collection

This Madonna Annunciate is characteristic of Pulzone's style from the early 1590s and is a reworking of the same figure in the artist's Annunciation from 1587 which hangs in the Museo di Capodimonte, Naples. More this painting

The Annunciation referred to as the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Annunciation of Our Lady, or the Annunciation of the Lord, is the Christian celebration of the announcement by the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary that she would conceive and become the mother of Jesus, the Son of God, marking his Incarnation. Gabriel told Mary to name her son Yehoshua , meaning "YHWH is salvation".

According to Luke 1:26, the Annunciation occurred "in the sixth month" of Elizabeth's pregnancy. Many Christians observe this event with the Feast of the Annunciation on 25 March, an approximation of the northern vernal equinox nine full months before Christmas, the ceremonial birthday of Jesus. In England, this came to be known as Lady Day. It marked the new year until 1752. The 2nd-century writer Irenaeus of Lyon regarded the conception of Jesus as 25 March coinciding with the Passion. More The Annunciation

Scipione Pulzone (1544 – February 1, 1598), also known as Il Gaetano, was a Neapolitan painter of the late Italian Renaissance. His work differs in several respects from the Mannerist predominant at the time. He was active mainly in Rome, but also worked in Naples and Florence. It is thought that he studied under Jacopino del Conte in Rome.

Best known for his portraits, Pulzone painted Pope Gregory XIII, Cardinal de' Medici and Francesco I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, Eleanor de' Medici, and Marie de' Medici. He also painted an Assumption with the Apostles for San Silvestro al Quirinale; a Pietà for the Gesù; and a Crucifixion for Santa Maria in Vallicella.

Pulzone's Mater Divinae Providentiae, painted around 1580, inspired the Roman Catholic cult of devotion to Our Lady of Providence. More on Scipione Pulzone

Luca Giordano, called Fa Presto, NAPLES 1634 - 1705
Oil on canvas
50 3/4  by 70 1/2  in.; 129 by 179 cm.
Private collection

Giordano reprised the subject much later in his career, around 1695-96, for a series of paintings depicting episodes from the life of Samson, now in the Museo del Prado, Madrid and again in a canvas dating to around 1703, published by Scavizzi while in the del Bosco collection, Poirino, Turin. More this painting

Samson was an Old Testament judge who is known more as an adventurer of great physical strength as well as a womanizer. Like Hercules, he slayed a lion with his bare hands and then wore the skin to broadcast his super-human capabilities. Taunted by the Philistines, Samson wielded an ass’s jawbone and slew a thousand of them until they lay in heaps on the ground. The medieval church regarded Samson as a prefiguring of Christ; he also often represents Fortitude. More on Samson Slaying the Philistines.

Luca Giordano (18 October 1634 – 12 January 1705) was an Italian late Baroque painter and printmaker in etching. Fluent and decorative, he worked successfully in Naples and Rome, Florence and Venice, before spending a decade in Spain.

Born in Naples, Giordano was the son of the painter Antonio Giordano. In around 1650 he was apprenticed to Ribera, and his early work was heavily influenced by his teacher. Like Ribera, he painted many half-length figures of philosophers, either imaginary portraits of specific figures, or generic types.

He acquired the nickname Luca fa presto, which translates into "Luca paints quickly." His speed, in design as well as handiwork, and his versatility, which enabled him to imitate other painters deceptively, earned for him two other epithets, "The Thunderbolt" (Fulmine) and "The Proteus" of painting.

Following a period studying in Rome, Parma and Venice, Giordano developed an elaborate Baroque style fusing Venetian and Roman Influences. His mature work combines the ornamental pomp of Paul Veronese with the lively complex schemes, the "grand manner", of Pietro da Cortona. He is also noted for his lively and showy use of colour. More Luca Giordano

Follower of Follower of Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn, circa 1642
Oil on panel
35 1/2  by 29 7/8  in.; 90.3 by 70.6 cm.
Private collection

This highly refined panel closely follows Rembrandt’s celebrated composition The Descent from the Cross, which was part of the founding collection of the Alte Pinakothek in Munich in 1836 (below). Rembrandt’s prototype from circa 1633 is one of seven paintings commissioned for the Stadtholder Frederick Hendrik, Prince of Orange, between the years 1633 and 1646.

Rembrandt,  (1606–1669)
The Deposition, c. 1632-1633
Oil on cedar panel
Height: 89.4 cm (35.2 in). Width: 65.2 cm (25.7 in).
Alte Pinakothek, Munich, Germany

Rembrandt received a commission from the court in about 1628 for five paintings of the Passion of Christ. The series started with the Raising of the Cross and Descent from the Cross. He was hired to create small versions of Rubens famous altarpieces in Antwerp (below). It must also have been agreed between Huygens and Rembrandt that the artist would inset himself into the composition of the Descent from the Cross as one of the followers of Christ who eased the body to the ground.  More on Rembrandt's commission

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.

Having achieved youthful success as a portrait painter, Rembrandt's later years were marked by personal tragedy and financial hardships. Yet his etchings and paintings were popular throughout his lifetime, his reputation as an artist remained high, and for twenty years he taught many important Dutch painters. Rembrandt's greatest creative triumphs are exemplified most notably in his portraits of his contemporaries, self-portraits and illustrations of scenes from the Bible. His self-portraits form a unique and intimate biography, in which the artist surveyed himself without vanity and with the utmost sincerity.

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 on Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn

RUBENS, Peter Paul, (b. 1577, Siegen, d. 1640, Antwerpen)
Descent from the Cross, c. 1612-14
Oil on panel
421 x 311 cm (centre panel), 421 x 153 cm (wings)
O.-L. Vrouwekathedraal, Antwerp

RUBENS, Peter Paul, (b. 1577, Siegen, d. 1640, Antwerpen)
Descent from the Cross, c. 1612-14
Detail of the Centre panel

In 1611, the Arquebusiers - Antwerp's civic guard - commissioned a Descent from the Cross by Rubens for their altar in the cathedral. The dean of the guild at that time was Burgomaster Nicolaas Rockox, who appears in the painting. The Descent from the Cross is the second of Rubens's great altarpieces for the Antwerp Cathedral. It shows the Visitation, and the Presentation of the Temple on either side of the Descent from the Cross. More on this painting

RUBENS, Peter Paul, (b. 1577, Siegen, d. 1640, Antwerpen)
Descent from the Cross, c. 1612-14
Detail of  the Visitation, left panel

The Visitation. Mary visits her relative Elizabeth; they are both pregnant. Mary is pregnant with Jesus and Elizabeth is pregnant with John the Baptist. Elizabeth was in the sixth month before Mary came. Mary stayed three months, and most scholars hold she stayed for the birth of John. The apparition of the angel, mentioned in Matthew, may have taken place then to end the tormenting doubts of Joseph regarding Mary's maternity.

In Catholicism, it is held that the purpose of this visit was to bring divine grace to both Elizabeth and her unborn child. Even though he was still in his mother's womb, John became aware of the presence of Christ, and leapt for joy as he was cleansed from original sin and filled with divine grace. Elizabeth also responded and recognised the presence of Jesus, and thus Mary exercised her function as mediatrix between God and man for the first time. More on The Visitation

RUBENS, Peter Paul, (b. 1577, Siegen, d. 1640, Antwerpen)
Descent from the Cross, c. 1612-14
Detail of  the Presentation, right panel

The Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, according to the gospel, Mary and Joseph took the Infant Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem forty days after his birth to complete Mary's ritual purification after childbirth, and to perform the redemption of the firstborn son. Luke explicitly says that Joseph and Mary take the option provided for poor people (those who could not afford a lamb), sacrificing "a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons." Leviticus indicates that this event should take place forty days after birth for a male child, hence the Presentation is celebrated forty days after Christmas. More on The Presentation

Sir Peter Paul Rubens (28 June 1577 – 30 May 1640) was a Flemish Baroque painter. A proponent of an extravagant Baroque style that emphasized movement, colour, and sensuality, Rubens is well known for his Counter-Reformation altarpieces, portraits, landscapes, and history paintings of mythological and allegorical subjects.
In addition to running a large studio in Antwerp that produced paintings popular with nobility and art collectors throughout Europe, Rubens was a classically educated humanist scholar and diplomat who was knighted by both Philip IV of Spain and Charles I of England.  More Sir Peter Paul Rubens

Dirck Dircksz. van Santvoort, AMSTERDAM CIRCA 1610 - 1680
oil on panel
12 by 15 3/4  in.; 30.5 by 40 cm.
Private collection

Joseph was taken to Egypt by the Ishmaelite traders, he was purchased by Potiphar, an Egyptian officer. Potiphar was captain of the guard for Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. Joseph works hard for his master, Potʹi·phar. So when Joseph grows older, Potʹi·phar puts him in charge of his whole house. 

Joseph was a very handsome and well-built young man, and Potiphar’s wife soon began to look at him lustfully. “Come and sleep with me,” she demanded. Joseph refused. “Look,” he told her, “my master trusts me with everything in his entire household. 9 No one here has more authority than I do. He has held back nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How could I do such a wicked thing? It would be a great sin against God.”

So when her husband comes home, she lies to him and says: ‘Joseph tried to lie down with me!’ Potʹi·phar believes his wife, and he is very angry with Joseph. So he has him thrown into prison. More on Joseph in prison

Dirck Dircksz van Santvoort (1610–1680) was a Dutch Golden Age painter. Santvoort was born and died in Amsterdam. Though not registered as a Rembrandt pupil, he is considered a member of Rembrandt's school of painting, creating portraits and historical allegories. More Dirck Dircksz van Santvoort

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