Thursday, January 26, 2017

12 Paintings, scenes from the Bible, by The Old Masters, with footnotes # 30

Egon Schiele, (June 12, 1890 – October 31, 1918)
Cardinal And Nun (Caress), c. 1912
Oil, canvas
Height: 700 mm (27.56 in). Width: 805 mm (31.69 in).
Leopold Museum,  Vienna, Austria,

Schiele’s painting Cardinal and Nun of 1912 is a paraphrase of Gustav Klimt’s Kiss, which had been created five years prior.Everything about Klimt’s painting that was positive, however, is transformed here into its darker manifestation:the gold background is turned black, the gentle embrace has given way the violent clutching of the two delicate, praying hands, and the sensual expression on the face of Klimt’s woman has become a nun’s distraught glance.Schiele called the painting of this strange embrace Liebkosung, or “The Caress”. More

Egon Schiele (German: 12 June 1890 – 31 October 1918) was an Austrian painter. A protégé of Gustav Klimt, Schiele was a major figurative painter of the early 20th century. His work is noted for its intensity and its raw sexuality, and the many self-portraits the artist produced, including naked self-portraits. The twisted body shapes and the expressive line that characterize Schiele's paintings and drawings mark the artist as an early exponent of Expressionism. More

Léon-François Comerre 
The Flight into Egypt
Oil, canvas
Private collection

The flight into Egypt is a biblical event described in the Gospel of Matthew in which Joseph fled to Egypt with Mary and infant son Jesus after a visit by Magi because they learned that King Herod intended to kill the infants of that area. The episode is frequently shown in art, as the final episode of the Nativity of Jesus in art, and was a common component in cycles of the Life of the Virgin as well as the Life of Christ.

When the Magi came in search of Jesus, they go to Herod the Great in Jerusalem and ask where to find the newborn "King of the Jews". Herod becomes paranoid that the child will threaten his throne, and seeks to kill him. Herod initiates the Massacre of the Innocents in hopes of killing the child. But an angel appears to Joseph and warns him to take Jesus and his mother into Egypt.

Egypt was a logical place to find refuge, as it was outside the dominions of King Herod, but both Egypt and Israel were part of the Roman Empire, linked by a coastal road known as "the way of the sea", making travel between them easy and relatively safe. More The flight into Egypt

Léon François Comerre (10 October 1850 – 20 February 1916) was a French academic painter, famous for his portraits of beautiful women. Comerre was born in Trélon, in the Département du Nord, the son of a schoolteacher. He moved to Lille with his family in 1853. From an early age he showed an interest in art and became a student of Alphonse Colas at the École des Beaux-Arts in Lille, winning a gold medal in 1867. From 1868 a grant from the Département du Nord allowed him to continue his studies in Paris at the famous École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in the studio of Alexandre Cabanel. There he came under the influence of orientalism.

Comerre first exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1871 and went on to win prizes in 1875 and 1881. In 1875 he won the Grand Prix de Rome. This led to a scholarship at the French Academy in Rome from January 1876 to December 1879. In 1885 he won a prize at the "Exposition Universelle" in Antwerp. He also won prestigious art prizes in the USA (1876) and Australia (1881 and 1897). He became a Knight of the Legion of Honour in 1903. More Léon François Comerre

Antwerp School Entourage  Jan de Beer, (c. 1475 – 1528)
Nativity, c. 1520
Oil on oak panel, a board (fragment) 
26 x 23.50 cm (10.24 x 9.25 in.)
Private Collection

Although it is a fragment, our composition can be considered independently, as an example of Antwerp touching picture of 1520s It differs from other versions: it is the only one where the border of the Virgin's mantle is highlighted by a gold border.

The nativity of Jesus or birth of Jesus is described in the gospels of Luke and Matthew. The two accounts agree that Jesus was born in Bethlehem in the time of Herod the Great to a betrothed virgin whose name was Mary. There are, however, major differences. Matthew has no census, annunciation to the shepherds or presentation in the Temple, implies that Jesus's parents' home is Bethlehem, and has him born in a house there, and has an unnamed angel appear to Joseph to announce the birth. In Luke there are no Magi, no flight into Egypt, or Massacre of the Innocents, Joseph is a resident of Nazareth, the birth appears to take place in an inn instead of the family home, and the angel (named as Gabriel) announces the coming birth to Mary. While it is possible that Matthew's account might be based on Luke or Luke's on Matthew, the majority of scholars conclude that the two are independent of each other.

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

Jan de Beer, formerly known as the Master of the Milan Adoration (c. 1475 – 1528) was a Flemish painter, draughtsman and glass designer active in Antwerp at the beginning of the 16th century. He is considered one of the most important members of the loose group of painters active in and around Antwerp in the early 16th century referred to as the Antwerp Mannerists. Highly respected in his time, he operated a large workshop with an important output of religious compositions. More

School of Rimini, 15th Century
Saint Louis of Toulouse 
fresco transferred to panel
51.8 x 44cm (20 3/8 x 17 5/16in).
Private Collection

Saint Louis of Toulouse (9 February 1274 – 19 August 1297) was a cadet of the royal French house of Anjou who was made a Catholic bishop. He was born in Brignoles, Provence. His father was appointed King of Naples by Pope Clement IV, the former secretary to Louis IX of France. 

When Charles II of Naples was taken prisoner in Italy, during the war with King Peter III of Aragon that followed the Sicilian Vespers, he obtained his own freedom by giving over his three sons as hostages. The boys were taken to Catalonia, where they were placed under the care of Franciscan friars for their education and held for seven years. Louis took up the study of philosophy and theology. Though still held in captivity, Louis was made archbishop of Lyon as soon as he reached his majority. When his older brother died of plague in 1295, Louis also became heir to his father's secular titles; however, when he was freed that same year, Louis went to Rome and gave up all claims to his royal inheritance in favor of his brother Robert of Anjou and announced that instead he would take the Franciscan vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.

Antonio Vivarini, (1420–1484)
Portrait of St. Louis of Toulouse, circa 1450
18 × 14 in (45.7 × 35.6 cm)
Louvre Museum

On 5 February 1297, Louis was also consecrated Bishop of Toulouse by Boniface VIII. Despite the princely standing that had won him this important appointment at the age of about 22, Louis rapidly gained a reputation for serving the poor, feeding the hungry, and ignoring his own needs. After just six months, however, apparently exhausted by his labors, he abandoned the position of Bishop. Shortly thereafter he died at Brignoles of a fever, possibly typhoid, at age 23. More Saint Louis of Toulouse

Antonio Vivarini (Antonio of Murano) (active ca. 1440 – 1480) was an Italian painter of the early Renaissance-late Gothic period, who worked mostly in the Republic of Venice. He is probably the earliest of a family of painters, which was descended from a family of glassworkers active in Murano. The painting dynasty included his younger brother Bartolomeo and Antonio's son Alvise Vivarini. Antonio initially trained with Andrea da Murano, and his works show the influence of Gentile da Fabriano.

He collaborated with his brother in law, Giovanni d'Alemagna. After 1447 Antonio painted either alone or in combination with his younger brother Bartolommeo. The works of Antonio are well drawn for their epoch, with a certain noticeable degree of softness, and with good flesh and other tints. He was probably influenced by Mantegna, and worked with him in the Ovetari Chapel in 1450-1451. 

Three of his principal paintings are the Enthroned Madonna Virgin with the Four Doctors of the Church, the Coronation of the Virgin and Saints Peter and Jerome. More Antonio Vivarini

After Hendrik Goltzius, 17th Century
Noli me tangere, Don't tread on me
oil on copper, stamped with maker's mark 'KW' (on the reverse) 
23.3 x 18.2cm (9 3/16 x 7 3/16in).
Private Collection

The present work is after a print conceived by Hendrick Goltzius and engraved by Jacob Matham in 1602

Noli me tangere, meaning "don't tread on me", is the Latin version of words spoken, according to John 20:17, by Jesus to Mary Magdalene when she recognized him after his resurrection. More

Hendrick Goltzius (January or February 1558 – 1 January 1617), was a German-born Dutch printmaker, draftsman, and painter. He was the leading Dutch engraver of the early Baroque period, or Northern Mannerism, noted for his sophisticated technique and the "exuberance" of his compositions. According to A. Hyatt Mayor, Goltzius "was the last professional engraver who drew with the authority of a good painter and the last who invented many pictures for others to copy". In middle age he also began to produce paintings. More Hendrick Goltzius

After Cornelis van Cleve, 16th Century
The Madonna and Child 
oil on panel
84 x 68.8cm (33 1/16 x 27 1/16in).
Private Collection

The above painting follows van Cleve's original now in the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin-Gemäldegalerie.

Cornelis van Cleve (or van Cleef or Sotte Cleef; 1520 in Antwerp – 1567)[2] was a Netherlandish painter. From a 1604 writing by Karel van Mander, in which he is misnamed Joos van Cleef geheeten den Sotten Cleef, we learn that Sotte Cleef moved to England around 1555, where he managed to get some commission from the royal court. More Cornelis van Cleve

Cornelius van Cleve (1520–after 1594)
Virgin and Child, circa 1550
Oil on panel
height, 27.6, cm, width, 21.6, cm
The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, UK

Follower of Peter de Witte, called Pietro Candido (Bruges circa 1548-1628 Munich)
The Martyrdom of Saint Ursula 
oil on copper
45.6 x 33.8cm (17 15/16 x 13 5/16in).
Private Collection

The present composition is in reverse to that of Pieter de Witte's large painting of the same subject in the church of St. Michael, Munich.

Saint Ursula (Latin for "little female bear") is a Romano-British Christian saint. Because of the lack of definite information about her and the anonymous group of holy virgins who accompanied her and on some uncertain date were killed at Cologne, they were removed from the Roman Martyrology and their commemoration was omitted from the General Roman Calendar when it was revised in 1969.

Her legend, is that she was a princess who, at the request of her father King Dionotus of Dumnonia in south-west Britain, set sail to join her future husband, the pagan governor Conan Meriadoc of Armorica, along with 11,000 virginal handmaidens. After a miraculous storm brought them over the sea in a single day to a Gaulish port, Ursula declared that before her marriage she would undertake a pan-European pilgrimage. She headed for Rome with her followers and persuaded the Pope, Cyriacus, and Sulpicius, bishop of Ravenna, to join them. After setting out for Cologne, which was being besieged by Huns, all the virgins were beheaded in a massacre. The Huns' leader fatally shot Ursula with a bow and arrow in about 383. More Saint Ursula

Peter Candid also known as Peter de Witte (other name variations: Peter de Wit, Pieter de Witte, Peter Candido, Pietro Candido) (c. 1548 – 1628) was a Flemish-born Mannerist painter, tapestry designer and draughtsman active in Italy and Bavaria where he worked for many courts.

The earliest known record of Candid's work as an artist is in relation to payment for a fresco made in Florence in 1569. He is first mentioned as a member of the 'Accademia del Disegno' in 1576. Candid worked on the Sala Regia in the Vatican and on the Florence Cathedral. In the period 1582 - 1583 he worked in Rome at the Sala Regia in the Vatican and then returned to Florence.

By 1586 he became employed at the court of Munich. He was first court painter to Duke William V of Bavaria and later Maximilian I of Bavaria. For the Duke Candid frescoed numerous buildings, including the Munich Residenz and Schleissheim Palace. In the period 1600 to 1628 he was the leading artist in Munich. He was also active as an art dealer.

A segment of Munich’s ring road is named after Candid, as is the metro station Candidplatz. More Pietro Candido

Jan de Beer, (c. 1475 – 1528)
The Nativity, c. 1515-1525
Oil on panel
Height: 137 cm (53.9 in). Width: 137 cm (53.9 in).
Barber Institute of Fine Arts

This panel is painted on both sides and it formed part of an altarpiece or a screen illustrating the life of the Virgin Mary. 

The Nativity, see above

Jan de Beer, (c. 1475 – 1528), see above

Caravaggio School 1640
Oil on canvas 
180 x 125 cm; 70 7/8 by 49 1/4 in
Private Collection

The Adoration/ Worship of the Shepherds, see above

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

Follower of Louis de Caullery (Cambrai 1580-1621 Antwerp)
The Crucifixion 
oil on panel
49.5 x 35.6cm (19 1/2 x 14in)
Private Collection

Crucifixion is a historical method of capital punishment in which the victim is tied or nailed to a large wooden beam and left to hang for several days until eventual death from exhaustion and asphyxiation. It is principally known from classical antiquity, but remains in occasional use in some countries. 

The crucifixion of Jesus is a central narrative in Christianity, and the cross (sometimes depicting Jesus nailed onto it) is the main religious symbol for many Christian churches. More Crucifixion

Louis de Caullery (ca.1580–1621) was one of the pioneers of the art genre of courtly gatherings in Flemish painting of the 17th century. He was born in Caulery, which is a small town near Cambrai. In 1594 he became the pupil of Joos de Momper. In 1621 his death duties were paid by the Antwerp Guild of St. Luke, where he had become a master in 1602. He was a follower of Paul Vredeman de Vries known for his architectural pieces. The RKD does not mention a trip to Italy, though his contemporary Vincent Malo from Cambrai did make such a trip and by that time it was considered an important rite of passage for serious painters.

The date he went to Italy cannot be determined; his works prove that he did however reside in Venice, Florence and Rome. Caullery was inclined toward genre painting and dealt with a highly variety of scenes: carnivals on ice, fireworks, bull-fights, open-air collections, allegories of the five senses and meetings painted in the spirit of the Fontainebleau School. The tallness of his characters, their exquisite postures, smooth faces and bare foreheads characterize his style. His colours are highly sophisticated. Under the influence of the Italian Masters, his palette proved to be an innovation in Flanders: half tones, ocher-yellow, Veronese green and Burgundy red. His depiction of buildings shows him to be concerned with fine precision, while being very skillful at presenting perspective." He died in Antwerp. More Louis de Caullery

Frans Francken II and Antwerp collaborator 1581 - 1642 
The preaching/predictions of John the Baptist 
Oil on copper 
35.50 x 28.50 cm (13.98 x 11.22 in.)
Private Collection

John the Baptist, known as the prophet Yahya in the Qur'an, was a Jewish itinerant preacher in the early first century AD. John is revered as a major religious figure in Christianity, Islam, the Bahá'í Faith, and Mandaeism. He is called a prophet by all of these traditions, and honoured as a saint in many Christian traditions.

John used baptism as the central sacrament of his messianic movement.[ Most scholars agree that John baptized Jesus. Scholars generally believe Jesus was a follower or disciple of John and several New Testament accounts report that some of Jesus' early followers had previously been followers of John. John the Baptist is also mentioned by the Jewish historian Josephus. Some scholars maintain that John was influenced by the semi-ascetic Essenes, who expected an apocalypse and practiced rituals corresponding strongly with baptism, although no direct evidence substantiates this.

According to the New Testament, John anticipated a messianic figure greater than himself, and Jesus was the one whose coming John foretold. Christians commonly refer to John as the precursor or forerunner of Jesus, since John announces Jesus' coming. John is also identified with the prophet Elijah. More

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.

Francken was a very successful artist and operated a large workshop which made many copies of his original compositions. More

Acknowledgement: Sotheby's, Bonhams

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