Monday, August 14, 2017

11 Paintings, RELIGIOUS ART - Interpretation of the Bible! by The Old Masters, With Footnotes - # 46

Florentine school circa 1700, circle of P. Dandini
Saint Cecilia
Oil on canvas
25 1/4 X 20 7/8 IN. 64 X 53 CM
Private Collection

St. Cecilia is one of the most famous of the Roman martyrs, even if the familiar stories about her are apparently not founded.  The existence of the martyrs, however, is a historical fact. The relation between St. Cecilia and Valerianus, Tiburtius, and Maximus, mentioned in the Acts of the Martyrs, has perhaps some historical foundation.

It was long supposed that she was a noble lady of Rome who suffered martyrdom in about 230, under the Emperor Alexander Severus. According to the story, despite her vow of virginity, she was forced by her parents to marry a pagan nobleman named Valerian. During the wedding, Cecilia sat apart singing to God in her heart, and for that she was later declared the saint of musicians. When the time came for her marriage to be consummated, Cecilia told Valerian that watching over her was an angel of the Lord, who would punish him if he sexually violated her but would love him if he respected her virginity. When Valerian asked to see the angel, Cecilia replied that he could if he would go to the third milestone on the Via Appia and be baptized by Pope Urban I. After following Cecilia's advice, he saw the angel standing beside her and crowning her with a chaplet of roses and lilies.

The legend about Cecilia’s death says that after being struck three times on the neck with a sword, she lived for three days, and asked the pope to convert her home into a church.

Cecilia was buried at the Catacombs of St. Callistus, and then transferred to the Church of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere. In 1599, her body was found still incorrupt, seeming to be asleep. More St. Cecilia 

Florentine painting or the Florentine School refers to artists in, from, or influenced by the naturalistic style developed in Florence in the 14th century, largely through the efforts of Giotto di Bondone, and in the 15th century the leading school of Western painting. Some of the best known artists of the Florentine school, including other arts, are Filippo Brunelleschi, Donatello, Michelangelo, Fra Angelico, Botticelli, Lippi, Masolino, and Masaccio. More Florentine School


Jean Béraud, 1849 St. Petersburg - 1935 Paris
THE YOUNG WOMAN WITH THE CHILD, c. 1906
Oil on canvas
87 x 66 cm. 
Private Collection

Jean Béraud (January 12, 1849 – October 4, 1935) was a French painter, noted for his paintings of Parisian life during the Belle Époque. He was renowned in Paris society due to his numerous paintings depicting the life of Paris, and the nightlife of Paris society. He also painted religious subjects in a contemporary setting. Pictures of the Champs Elysees, cafeés, Montmartre and the banks of the Seine are precisely detailed illustrations of everyday Parisian era of the "Belle Époque". More Jean Béraud,

Late 17th century Roman school
Saint Anthony of Padua: the fish preacher
Oil on canvas
49 X 69 1/2 IN.  124,5 X 176,5 CM
Private Collection

Saint Anthony of Padua (Portuguese: Santo António), born Fernando Martins de Bulhões (1195 – 13 June 1231), also known as Anthony of Lisbon, was a Portuguese Catholic priest and friar of the Franciscan Order. He was born and raised by a wealthy family in Lisbon, Portugal, and died in Padua, Italy. Noted by his contemporaries for his forceful preaching, expert knowledge of scripture, and undying love and devotion to the poor and the sick, he was the second-most-quickly canonized saint after Peter of Verona. He was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church on 16 January 1946. He is also the patron saint of lost things. More on Saint Anthony of Padua

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

 Bolognese school, circle of N. Bertuzzi
Moses after crossing the Red Sea,  circa 1700
Oil on canvas
7 1/2 X 11 IN.  19 X 28 CM
Private Collection

The Crossing of the Red Sea, or Sea of Reeds, is part of the biblical narrative of the escape of the Israelites, led by Moses, from the pursuing Egyptians in the Book of Exodus. This story is also mentioned in the Quran in Surah.

According to the Exodus account, Moses held out his staff and the Red Sea was parted by God. The Israelites walked on the exposed ground and crossed the sea, followed by the Egyptian army. Moses again moved his staff once the Israelites had crossed and the sea closed again, drowning the whole Egyptian army.

The narrative contains at least three and possibly four layers. In the first layer (the oldest), God blows the sea back with a strong east wind, allowing the Israelites to cross on dry land; in the second, Moses stretches out his hand and the waters part in two walls; in the third, God clogs the chariot wheels of the Egyptians and they flee (in this version the Egyptians do not even enter the water); and in the fourth, the Song of the Sea, God casts the Egyptians into tehomat, the mythical abyss. More on The Crossing of the Red Sea

The Bolognese School or the School of Bologna of painting flourished in Bologna, the capital of Emilia Romagna, between the 16th and 17th centuries in Italy, and rivalled Florence and Rome as the center of painting. Certain artistic conventions, which over time became traditionalist, had been developed in Rome during the first decades of the 16th century. As time passed, some artists sought new approaches to their work that no longer reflected only the Roman manner. The Carracci studio sought innovation or invention, seeking new ways to break away from traditional modes of painting while continuing to look for inspiration from their literary contemporaries. This style was seen as both systematic and imitative, borrowing particular motifs from the past Roman schools of art and innovating a modernistic approach. More on The Bolognese School 

 Attr. to D. Teniers II, (1610-1690)
Simeon welcoming the Child Jesus
Oil on copper
8 11/16 X 6 11/16 IN.  22 X 17 CM
Private Collection

Simeon (Simeon the God-receiver) is the "just and devout" man of Jerusalem who met Mary, Joseph, and Jesus as they entered the Temple to fulfill the requirements of the Law of Moses on the 40th day from Jesus' birth at the presentation of Jesus at the Temple.

According to the Biblical account, Simeon had been visited by the Holy Spirit and told that he would not die until he had seen the Lord's Christ. On taking Jesus into his arms he uttered a prayer, which is still used liturgically as the Latin Nunc dimittis in many Christian churches, and gave a prophecy alluding to the crucifixion. More Simeon

David Teniers the Younger (15 December 1610 – 25 April 1690) was a Flemish artist born in Antwerp, the son of David Teniers the Elder. His son David Teniers III and his grandson David Teniers IV were also painters.

Through his father, he was indirectly influenced by Elsheimer and by Rubens. The influence of Adriaen Brouwer can be traced to the outset of his career. There is no evidence, however, that either Rubens or Brouwer interfered in any way with Teniers's education. The only trace of personal relations having existed between Teniers and Rubens is the fact that the ward of the latter, Anne Breughel, the daughter of Jan (Velvet) Breughel, married Teniers in 1637. More Teniers


Spanish school, circa 1660
The Visitation
Oil on canvas
20 7/8 X 15 15/16 IN. 53 X 40,5 CM
Private Collection

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

Spanish School, 16th Century. In the sixteenth century when Spain became a world power with vast possessions and sources of wealth in the New World, as well as possessions dotted about Europe, it might have been expected that a vigorous national school of painting would emerge, transforming the somewhat tentative or imitative character that painting in Spain had shown up to then. It turned out otherwise. For most of the 16th century, painting remained spiritless. Both the Emperor Charles V and his son Philip II of Spain were patrons with a feeling for art, but the great Venetians, especially Titian, claimed most of their interest. Philip also highly approved of the fantasies of Hieronymus Bosch (1450-1516) - although the top Spanish clergy suspected heresy in these strange pictures from the Netherlands. More on the Spanish School


 Spanish school circa 1640,
Jesus the carpenter
Oil on canvas
13 3/16 X 19 5/16  33,5 X 49 CM
Private Collection

Jesus the carpenter. A typical Jew in Jesus' time had only one name, sometimes supplemented with the father's name or the individual's hometown. Thus, in the New Testament, Jesus is commonly referred to as "Jesus of Nazareth". Jesus' neighbors in Nazareth refer to him as "the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon",  "the carpenter's son", or "Joseph's son". In John, the disciple Philip refers to him as "Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth". More on Jesus the carpenter

 Spanish school, see above

Florentine school, circa 1700, follower of J. da Empoli
Annunciation
Oil on canvas
43 5/16 X 34 13/16 IN. 110 X 88,5 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


Florentine painting or the Florentine School refers to artists in, from, or influenced by the naturalistic style developed in Florence in the 14th century, largely through the efforts of Giotto di Bondone, and in the 15th century the leading school of Western painting. Some of the best known artists of the Florentine school, including other arts, are Filippo Brunelleschi, Donatello, Michelangelo, Fra Angelico, Botticelli, Lippi, Masolino, and Masaccio. More Florentine School

Hans Makart, 1840 Salzburg - 1884 Vienna
SUSANNA AND THE ELDERS, c. 1860/62
. Oil on canvas
161 x 79 cm. 
Private Collection

The naked Susanna, lying on a rocky fountain, fell asleep during bathing. Innocently dreaming under a tree, she barely reveals her bodily stimuli - only lightly covered with a white cloth. At her feet different birds and a water drinking peacock (symbol of beauty and immortality), in the background by her head the source of the stream. Behind a rocky protrusion, the two lusty old men are lurking.

The picture was painted around 1860/62 and was certainly inspired by the painting by A. v. Dyck in the Old Pinakothek in Munich "Susanna and the two old ones." More on this painting

A fair Hebrew wife named Susanna was falsely accused by lecherous voyeurs. As she bathes in her garden, having sent her attendants away, two lustful elders secretly observe the lovely Susanna. When she makes her way back to her house, they accost her, threatening to claim that she was meeting a young man in the garden unless she agrees to have sex with them.
She refuses to be blackmailed and is arrested and about to be put to death for promiscuity when a young man named Daniel interrupts the proceedings, shouting that the elders should be questioned to prevent the death of an innocent. After being separated, the two men are questioned about details of what they saw, but disagree about the tree under which Susanna supposedly met her lover. In the Greek text, the names of the trees cited by the elders form puns with the sentence given by Daniel. The first says they were under a mastic, and Daniel says that an angel stands ready to cuthim in two. The second says they were under an evergreen oak tree, and Daniel says that an angel stands ready to saw him in two. The great difference in size between a mastic and an oak makes the elders' lie plain to all the observers. The false accusers are put to death, and virtue triumphs. More about Susanna

Hans Makart (Austrian, 1840 - 1884), was a Austrian academic history painter, designer, and decorator. Studied under Josef Schiffmann and Karl Theodor von Piloty.

Son of a chamberlain at Mirabell castle. After a short study at the Academy in Vienna he was educated by Karl Theodor von Piloty in Munich (1860-1865) and travelled to London, Paris and Rome to study. He returned to Vienna after the prince Von Hohenlohe provided him with an old foundry to use as a studio. It gradually turned it into an impressive place full of sculptures, flowers, musical instruments, requisites and jewellery that he used to create classical settings for his portraits, mainly of women. Eventually his studio looked like a salon and became a social meeting point in Vienna. Makart became famous for his richly coloured history paintings and enjoyed his finest hour in 1879 with his painting of the procession in honour of the silver anniversary of the marriage of emperor Francis Joseph and his wife Elisabeth. In the same year he became a Professor at the Academy. Makart also designed furniture and interiors. More Hans Makart 

Roman School, 17th century
THE REST ON THE FLIGHT TO EGYPT
Oil on canvas, unlined
28.8 x 20.5 cm.; 11 3/8  x 8 in
Private Collection

THE REST ON THE FLIGHT TO EGYPT. The scene is based not on any incident in the Bible itself, but on a body of tales or legends that had grown up in the early Middle Ages around the Bible story of the Holy Family fleeing into Egypt for refuge on being warned that Herod the Great was seeking to kill the Christ Child. According to the legend, Joseph and Mary paused on the flight in a grove of trees; the Holy Child ordered the trees to bend down so that Joseph could take fruit from them, and then ordered a spring of water to gush forth from the roots so that his parents could quench their thirst. This basic story acquired many extra details during the centuries. More on THE REST ON THE FLIGHT TO EGYPT

Roman school, see above

Follower of Paolo Caliari, called Paolo Veronese
THE REST ON THE RETURN TO EGYPT
oil on canvas
24.5 x 59.3 cm.; 9 5/8  x 23 3/8  in.
Private Collection

THE REST ON THE RETURN TO EGYPT, see above

Paolo Caliari, known as Paolo Veronese (1528 – 19 April 1588) was an Italian Renaissance painter based in Venice, most famous for large history paintings of both religious and mythological subjects, such as The Wedding at Cana and The Feast in the House of Levi. With Titian, who was at least a generation older, and Tintoretto, ten years older, he was one of the "great trio that dominated Venetian painting of the cinquecento" or 16th-century late Renaissance. Veronese is known as a supreme colorist, and after an early period with Mannerist influence turned to a more naturalist style influenced by Titian.

His most famous works are elaborate narrative cycles, executed in a dramatic and colorful style, full of majestic architectural settings and glittering pageantry. His large paintings of biblical feasts, crowded with figures, painted for the refectories of monasteries in Venice and Verona are especially famous, and he was also the leading Venetian painter of ceilings. Most of these works remain in situ, or at least in Venice, and his representation in most museums is mainly composed of smaller works such as portraits that do not always show him at his best or most typical.


He has always been appreciated for "the chromatic brilliance of his palette, the splendor and sensibility of his brushwork, the aristocratic elegance of his figures, and the magnificence of his spectacle", but his work has been felt "not to permit expression of the profound, the human, or the sublime", and of the "great trio" he has often been the least appreciated by modern criticism. Nonetheless, "many of the greatest artists ... may be counted among his admirers, including Rubens, Watteau, Tiepolo, Delacroix and Renoir". More on Paolo Caliari






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