Thursday, March 23, 2017

12 Contemporary Interpretations, Olympian deities in classical Greek and Roman religion, with footnotes,

This post you are about to view contain some nude photographs.  If you are offended by nudity, if you are younger than 18 years of age, or if viewing nude images is not legal where you live, please go back.

Cesar Santos, (b. 1982)
Three Graces (aka the Charities)
Oil on linen
48 x 40 in
Private Collection 

In Greek mythology, a Charis or Grace is one of three or more minor goddesses of charm, beauty, nature, human creativity, and fertility, together known as the Charites or Graces. The usual list, from youngest to oldest is Aglaea ("Splendor"), Euphrosyne ("Mirth"), and Thalia ("Good Cheer"). In Roman mythology they were known as the Gratiae, the "Graces". In some variants, Charis was one of the Graces and was not the singular form of their name.

The Charites were usually considered the daughters of Zeus and Eurynome, though they were also said to be daughters of Dionysus and Aphrodite or of Helios and the naiad Aegle. Other possible names of their mother by Zeus are Eurydome, Eurymedousa, and Euanthe. Homer wrote that they were part of the retinue of Aphrodite. The Charites were also associated with the Greek underworld and the Eleusinian Mysteries.

The river Cephissus near Delphi was sacred to them. More Three Graces (aka the Charities)

Cesar Santos (b. 1982), Cuban-American. Santos studied at Miami Dade College, where he earned his associate in arts degree in 2003. He then attended the New World School of the Arts before traveling to Florence, Italy. In 2006, he completed the Angel Academy of Art in Florence. Santos’ work reflects both classical and modern interpretations juxtaposed within one painting. His influences range from the Renaissance to the masters of the nineteenth century to Contemporary Art. He infuses a harmony between the natural and the conceptual to create works that are provocative and dramatic.

The artist has received numerous accolades, including first place in a Metropolitan Museum of Art competition, and he was presented with the 2013 Miami Dade College Hall of Fame Award in Visual Arts. His work has been exhibited throughout the United States, Europe, Latin America and Asia, including the Villa Bardini Museum in Florence and the National Gallery in Costa Rica. More Cesar Santos

Cesar Santos, (b. 1982)
Psyche and I 
Oil on linen
48 x 40 in
Private Collection

Cupid and Psyche is a story originally from Metamorphoses, written in the 2nd Century AD by Lucius Apuleius Madaurensis. It concerns the overcoming of obstacles to the love between Psyche and Cupid, and their ultimate union in a sacred marriage. Although the only extended narrative from antiquity is that of Apuleius, Eros and Psyche appear in Greek art as early as the 4th century BC. The story's Neoplatonic elements and allusions to mystery religions accommodate multiple interpretations, and it has been analyzed as an allegory and in light of folktale, Märchen or fairy tale, and myth. More Cupid and Psyche

Sylvie Malfray
Anais Pouliot as Athena Pallas

Athena, often given the epithet Pallas, is the goddess of wisdom, craft, and war in ancient Greek religion and mythology. Athena is known for her calm temperament, as she moves slowly to anger. She is noted to have only fought for just reasons, and would not fight without a purpose.

Athena is portrayed as an astute companion of heroes and is the patron goddess of heroic endeavour. She is the virgin patroness of Athens. The Athenians founded the Parthenon on the Acropolis of her namesake city, Athens (Athena Parthenos), in her honour.

Veneration of Athena was so persistent that archaic myths about her were recast to adapt to cultural changes. In her role as a protector of the city, many people throughout the Greek world worshipped Athena as Athena Polias, "Athena of the city". While the city of Athens and the goddess Athena essentially bear the same name, it is not known which of the two words is derived from the other. More Athena

Based in Paris, France, Sylvie Malfray is a professional beauty and fashion photographer. Published in both ELLE and Harper’s Bazaar on several occasions.

Anais Pouliot (born May 7, 1991) is a Canadian model. Born in Chicoutimi, Quebec, Pouliot now lives in New York City


Alexey Kondakov , director of Ukrainian art, has devised collages in the Kiev subway populated by mythological gods extracted from famous paintings of the modern age. Through these hypothetical compositions we can observe the daily life of nymphs, gods and goddesses More Alexey Kondakov

Alexey Kondakov
The Urban Renaissance New Classical Paintings in Modern Life

EDWARD S. CURTIS (1868-1952) 
Aphrodite, Circa 1920
Blue-toned silver print,
10 3/4x13 5/8 inches (27.3x34.6 cm.)

Venus is the Roman goddess whose functions encompassed love, beauty, desire, sex, fertility, prosperity and victory. In Roman mythology, she was the mother of the Roman people through her son, Aeneas, who survived the fall of Troy and fled to Italy. Julius Caesar claimed her as his ancestor. Venus was central to many religious festivals, and was revered in Roman religion under numerous cult titles.

The Romans adapted the myths and iconography of her Greek counterpart Aphrodite for Roman art and Latin literature. In the later classical tradition of the West, Venus becomes one of the most widely referenced deities of Greco-Roman mythology as the embodiment of love and sexuality. More Venus

Edward Sheriff Curtis (February 16, 1868 – October 19, 1952) was an American photographer and ethnologist whose work focused on the American West and on Native American peoples. 

Curtis was born on February 16, 1868, on a farm near Whitewater, Wisconsin. His father, the Reverend Asahel "Johnson" Curtis (1840–1887), was a minister, farmer, and American Civil War veteran. In 1887 the family moved to Seattle, Washington, where he purchased a new camera and established a new studio, Curtis and Guptill, Photographers and Photoengravers.

In 1906, J. P. Morgan provided Curtis with $75,000 to produce a series on Native Americans. This work was to be in 20 volumes with 1,500 photographs. Around 1922, Curtis moved to Los Angeles and opened a new photo studio. To earn money he worked as an assistant cameraman for Cecil B. DeMille and was an uncredited assistant cameraman in the 1923 filming of The Ten Commandments. On October 19, 1952, at the age of 84. More Edward Sheriff Curtis

JEFF ROBB
The Seduction of Io, 2016
Lenticular Photograph
39 2/5 × 39 2/5 in
100 × 100 cm

Drawing on his studies in fine art holography, Jeff Robb creates lenticular photographs as a means of experimenting with three-dimensional images. His holographic works are portals that transport the viewer into other worlds, which appear to have their own dimensions and physical properties. His women are alien- and wraith-like, and they appear to undergo a metamorphosis as the lenticular photograph’s illusion is revealed. More The Seduction of Io

Jeff Robb graduated from the Royal College of Art in 1992 with a Masters degree in Fine Art Holography. Shortly after graduating, he was invited to submit a landscape work in to the V&A museum’s permanent collection. Robb’s work now features in museums and private collections around the world.

Robb is currently best known for his lenticular photographic work focusing on the female nude and abstract forms in space, which he makes in series. The artist has recently begun to produce bronze sculptures working with the female nude, using cutting edge modelling technology combined with historic casting techniques.

Jeff Robb now works in a variety of media including lenticular photography, painting, bronze and silver cast sculpture, reflection and transmission holography, photography, film, laser light and sound installations. More Jeff Robb

Ishkandar Raskolnick, Alexandria, Cornish - Egypt
When Circe Met Sappho


Circe, the dread goddess, the grand-daughter of celestial Ocean, is the Lady of the isle of Aiaia, a piece of land lost in the mists of the Mediterranean Sea. The position of the island is not noted in any nautical map.

Those unfortunate crews of vessels sailing by the island that out of curiosity or need decide to go ashore for food, water or other quests, meet the fabulous mistress and charmed by her beauty, drink the potions she offers as refreshment. As Circe’s vile substances take effect, the once valiant men begin to change shape and soon are fully transformed into lions, if they once were brave and handsome, into wolves, if they were lonely and hideous, or, in the most of the cases, into swine, because humans and pigs are so much akin. Lions and wolves are free to wander into the deep forests and the rough mountains of Aiaia, but heartless Circe herds the swine into uncomfortable dirty pens. More Circe

Ishkandar Raskolnick, "I'm also known as "Ishkandar", which in Arabic stands for Alexandros, my given name. I am temporarily living and working in Alexandria, Egypt but I shall move sometime soon again and before that I was in Doha, Qatar and Abu Dhabi, UAE and before that in Bucharest, Romania and before that in Prague, Česká and before that in Moscow, Russia and I am originally Serbo-Croatian, born in Khania, Crete,Greece. More Ishkandar Raskolnick


Joel-Peter Witkin
Centaur (?)

A centaur  is a mythological creature with the upper body of a human and the lower body of a horse.

The centaurs were usually said to have been born of Ixion and Nephele (the cloud made in the image of Hera). Another version, however, makes them children of a certain Centaurus, who mated with the Magnesian mares. This Centaurus was either himself the son of Ixion and Nephele (inserting an additional generation) or of Apolloand Stilbe, daughter of the river god Peneus. In the later version of the story his twin brother was Lapithes, ancestor of the Lapiths, thus making the two warring peoples cousins. More Centaur


Joel-Peter Witkin (born September 13, 1939) is an American photographer. His work often deals with such themes as death, corpses, and various outsiders such as dwarves, transsexuals, intersex persons, and physically deformed people. Witkin's complex tableaux often recall religious episodes or classical paintings.

Witkin's parents divorced when he was young. In 1961 Witkin enlisted in the United States Army with the intention of capturing war photography during the Vietnam war. However, Witkin never saw combat in Vietnam and spent his military time at Fort Hood, Texas, and was mostly in charge of Public Information and classified photos. In 1967, he became the official photographer for City Walls Inc. He attended Cooper Union in New York, where he studied sculpture, attaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1974. Columbia University granted him a scholarship for graduate school, but his Master of Fine Arts degree is from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque  More Joel-Peter Witkin



Ren Hang
Leda


Leda, in Greek legend, usually believed to be the daughter of Thestius, king of Aetolia, and wife of Tyndareus, king of Lacedaemon. She was also believed to have been the mother (by Zeus, who had approached and seduced her in the form of a swan) of the other twin, Pollux, and of Helen, both of whom hatched from eggs. Variant legends gave divine parentage to both the twins and possibly also to Clytemnestra, with all three of them having hatched from the eggs of Leda, while yet other legends say that Leda bore the twins to her mortal husband, Tyndareus. Still other variants say that Leda may have hatched out Helen from an egg laid by the goddess Nemesis, who was similarly approached by Zeus in the form of a swan.The divine swan’s encounter with Leda was a subject depicted by both ancient Greek and Italian Renaissance artists; Leonardo da Vinci undertook a painting (now lost) of the theme, and Correggio’s Leda (c. 1530s) is a well-known treatment of the subject. More

Ren Hang ( March 30, 1987 – February 24, 2017) was a Chinese photographer. He was born in 1987, in a suburb of Changchun, in northeastern China.
During Hang's incipient career, he was known mostly for nude photographic portraits of his friends. Hang's work is significant for its representation of Chinese sexuality within a heavily censored society. His works tend to include erotic undertones which led to his arrest several times by PRC authorities. His art trajectory was backed by the famed contemporary Chinese artist, Ai Weiwei, who included Hang in his 2013 Netherlands show, "Fuck Off 2 The Sequel", and curated the photographer's 2014 exhibition in ParisFrance.
Hang was known to suffer from depression. On February 24, 2017, official reports state that he took his own life in BeijingChina. More Ren Hang


Ralph Gibson
Leda, série Days at sea


Ralph Gibson (born January 16, 1939) is an American art photographer best known for his photographic books. His images often incorporate fragments with erotic and mysterious undertones. Gibson enlisted in the United States Navy in 1956 and became a Photographers Mate studying photography until 1960. Gibson then continued his photography studies at the San Francisco Art Institute between 1960 - 1962. He began his professional career as an assistant to Dorothea Lange from 1961 to 1962 and went on to work with Robert Frank on two films.

Gibson has maintained a lifelong fascination with books and book-making. Since the appearance in 1970 of THE SOMNAMBULIST, his work has been steadily impelled towards the printed page. In 1969 Gibson moved to New York, where he formed Lustrum Press in order to exert control over the reproduction of his work. To date he has produced over 40 monographs, current projects being State of the Axe published by Yale University Press in Fall of 2008 and NUDE by Taschen (2009). His photographs are included in over one hundred and fifty museum collections around the world, and have appeared in hundreds of exhibitions. More Ralph Gibson


Amanda Kirkhuff
 “Cupid” (2013)
Oil on canvas
60 x 48 inches

Cupid is the god of desire, erotic love, attraction and affection. He is often portrayed as the son of the love goddess Venus and the war god Mars, and is known in Latin also as Amor (. His Greek counterpart is Eros.

Although Eros is in Classical Greek art as a slender winged youth, during the Hellenistic period, he was increasingly portrayed as a chubby boy. During this time, his iconography acquired the bow and arrow that represent his source of power: a person, or even a deity, who is shot by Cupid's arrow is filled with uncontrollable desire.He is a main character only in the tale of Cupid and Psyche, when wounded by his own weapons he experiences the ordeal of love. 

Cupid continued to be a popular figure in the Middle Ages, when under Christian influence he often had a dual nature as Heavenly and Earthly love. In the Renaissance, a renewed interest in classical philosophy endowed him with complex allegorical meanings. In contemporary popular culture, Cupid is shown drawing his bow to inspire romantic love, often as an icon of Valentine's Day. More

Amanda Jebrón Kirkhuff was born in Seattle, Washington in 1982. She attended Seattle Central Community College where she was trained in oil paint and figure drawing, and ultimately assisted in earning a scholarship to attend The San Francisco Art Institute. Kirkhuff graduated with a BFA from SFAI in 2006. Kirkhuff lived in San Francisco for nine years, participating in underground queer nightlife and activism. She worked with many civil rights and social change organizations, and her working-class background, community and values continue to inform her work. More Amanda Jebrón Kirkhuff 






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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

14 Paintings, RELIGIOUS ART - Interpretation of the Bible! by The Old Masters, With Footnotes # 44

After BARTOLOMÉ ESTEBÁN MURILLO, (Spanish 1618-1682)
The Virgin and Child 
Oil on canvas
44.5 inches x 30.5 inches (113 x 77.5 cm)
Private Collection

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (born late December 1617, baptized January 1, 1618 – April 3, 1682) was a Spanish Baroque painter. Although he is best known for his religious works, Murillo also produced a considerable number of paintings of contemporary women and children. His lively, realist portraits of flower girls, street urchins, and beggars constitute an extensive and appealing record of the everyday life of his times. More

Milanese School, 16th Century, SALVATOR MUNDI
Penitent Magdalen (?)
Oil on panel
18 3/4  by 14 3/8  in.; 47.5 by 36.5 cm
Private Collection

This depiction represent the Penitent Magdalen, who according to medieval legend had spent a period of repentance as a desert hermit after leaving her life as a follower of Jesus. Her story became conflated in the West with that of Saint Mary of Egypt, a 4th-century prostitute turned hermit, whose clothes wore out and fell off in the desert. She often wears only a drape pulled around her, or an undergarment. Her most common attribute is the alabaster jar from which she anointed Jesus. With her right hand the sign of benediction.  More 

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

School of Milan, Milanese School. In the 15th and early part of the 16th century Milan had one of the most important schools in Italy. Its first member of any note was Vincenzo Foppa, who was painting in 1457 and was the founder of the early school. 

Ambrogio Borgognone (born c. 1455) was an artist of great merit and strong religious sentiment. He followed in the footsteps of Foppa, and his pictures are remarkable for the calm beauty of the faces, and for their delicate colour, which recalls the manner of Piero della Francesca. More Milanese School

Studio of Simone Pignoni, FLORENCE 1611 - 1698
THE PENITENT MAGDALENE
Oil on canvas
26 1/8  by 19 1/4  in.; 66.2 by 48.7 cm.
Private Collection

Simone Pignoni (April 17, 1611 – December 16, 1698) was an Italian painter of the Baroque period. He is best known for painting in a style reminiscent of the morbidly sensual Furini. Reflective of this obsession is his self-portrait, c. 1650, in which he depicts himself building up a plump naked female from a skeleton. The biographer Baldinucci, in what little he notes of the painter, recalls him as the scandalous "imitator of (Furini's) licentious inventions".

Among his more conventional works are a St. Agatha cured by St. Peter (attributed) in the Museo Civico di Trieste; a St. Louis providing a banquet for the poor (c. 1682) now in the church of Santa Felicita in Florence, commissioned by Conte Luigi Gucciardini; and a Madonna and child in glory with archangels Saints Michael and Raphael in battle armor and San Antonio of Padua (1671) for the Cappella di San Michele in Santissima Annunziata. He painted an Allegory of Peace in Palazzo Vecchio. A Penitent Magdalen that has been attributed to Pignoni is found in the Pitti Palace. In San Bartolomeo in Monteoliveto, he painted a Madonna appearing to Blessed Bernardo Tolomeo. More Simone Pignoni

François-Léon Comerre, TRÉLON 1850 - 1916 PARIS
Le manteau legendaire 
Oil on canvas 
64,5 x 92,5 cm; 25 3/8 by 36 3/8 in
Private Collection

The composition is inspired by the poem Le manteau legendaire by Emmanuel Duclos. After Joseph had been sold to merchants by his brothers, he was bought by the Egyptian Putiphar, who was then the equivalent of the minister of justice of Pharaoh. Treated as an equal by his master, while he was the slave, Joseph had a certain affection for Putiphar. His wife, Zulikha, had fallen in love with the young man, renowned for his beauty. She made several advances to him, which the young slave never ceased to reject. One day when they were alone, Zulikha approached Joseph and grabbed his tunic. He walked away, tearing the clothes. Raging with rage, Putiphar's wife cried out that Joseph had tried to take advantage of her, And used the piece of cloth as proof of aggression. When he heard this story, Putiphar had Joseph thrown into prison. 
Leon Comerre chooses the moment when the wife of Putiphar holds the tunic of Joseph in his hands, his eyes expressing both his spite and his determination. She presents herself to us like a feline, ready to condemn the man who attracted her to punish her for not falling under her spell. More Le manteau legendaire

François-Léon Comerre, TRÉLON 1850 - 1916 PARIS
Study For Le Manteau Legendaire
Oil on canvas
74.3 × 115.6 cm (29.3 × 45.5 in)
Private Collection

François-Léon Comerre, TRÉLON 1850 - 1916 PARIS
Study For Le Manteau Legendaire
Oil on canvas
74.3 × 115.6 cm (29.3 × 45.5 in)
Private Collection

François-Léon Comerre, TRÉLON 1850 - 1916 PARIS) 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 Comerre

BRUGES SCHOOL CIRCA XVITH CENTURY, CIRCLE OF GÉRARD DAVID; 
SAINT JOSEPH PREPARING THE MILK SOUP 
Oil on panel, fragment 
23.5 x 16.5 cm; 9 1/4 by 6 1/2 in
Private Collection

According to legend, there was famine in Sicily and the villagers prayed to Saint Joseph for help. Their prayers were answered and the end of the famine was celebrated with a special feast in his honor. This celebration became tradition, and each year thereafter, the wealthier families would prepare a huge buffet (also known as the St. Joseph’s Table) for those less fortunate to enjoy. Although not widely recognized in the United States, it has greater significance in Italy, Spain and Portugal, as it’s also Father’s Day. More 

DAVID, Gerard, (b. ca. 1460, Oudewater, d. 1523, Bruges), Flemish painter who was the last great master of the Bruges school. David went to Bruges, presumably from Haarlem, where he is supposed to have formed his early style under the instruction of Albert van Ouwater; he joined the guild of St Luke at Bruges in 1484 and became dean in 1501.
 In his early work he followed the Haarlem tradition as represented by Ouwater and Geertgen tot Sint Jans but already shown evidence of his superiority as a colourist. But the works on which David's fame rests most securely are his great altarpieces. These are mature works - severe yet richly coloured, showing a masterful handling of light, volume, and space. The Judgment panels are especially notable for being among the earliest Flemish paintings to employ such Italian Renaissance devices as putti and garlands. In Antwerp David became impressed by the life and movement in the work of Quentin Massys, who had introduced a more intimate and more human conception of sacred themes. More

Benjamin West, P.R.A., SWARTHMORE 1738 - 1820 LONDON
THE WISE MEN'S OFFERING
Oil on canvas
27 by 22 in.; 68.5 by 56 cm.
Private Collection

Traditional nativity scenes depict three "kings" visiting the infant Jesus on the night of his birth, in a manger accompanied by the shepherds and angels, but this should be understood as an artistic convention allowing the two separate scenes of the Adoration of the Shepherds on the birth night and the later Adoration of the Magi to be combined for convenience

Benjamin West PRA (October 10, 1738 – March 11, 1820) was an Anglo-American painter of historical scenes around and after the time of the American War of Independence and the Seven Years' War. He was the second president of the Royal Academy in London, serving from 1792 to 1805 and 1806 to 1820. He was offered a knighthood by the British Crown, but declined it, believing that he should instead be made a peer. He said that "Art is the representation of human beauty, ideally perfect in design, graceful and noble in attitude. More Benjamin West

Utrecht School, circa 1630
ADAM AND EVE
oil on unlined canvas
overall, with added strip: 47 by 35 1/2  in.; 119.4 by 90.2 cm.
without addition: 43 7/8  by 35 1/2  in.; 111.5 by 90.2 cm.

Utrecht school, principally a group of three Dutch painters—Dirck van Baburen (c. 1590–1624), Gerrit van Honthorst (1590–1656), and Hendrik Terbrugghen (1588–1629)—who went to Rome and fell fully under the pervasive influence of Caravaggio’s art before returning to Utrecht. Although none of them ever actually met Caravaggio, each had access to his paintings, knew his former patrons, and was influenced by the work of his follower Bartholomeo Manfredi, especially his half-length figural groups, which were boldly derived from Caravaggio and occasionally passed off as the deceased master’s works.

Back in the Netherlands the “Caravaggisti” were eager to demonstrate what they had learned. Their subjects are frequently religious ones, but brothel scenes and pictures in sets, such as five works devoted to the senses, were popular with them also. The numerous candles, lanterns, and other sources of artificial light are characteristic and further underscore the indebtedness to Caravaggio.

Although Honthorst enjoyed the widest reputation at the time, painting at both the Dutch and English courts, Terbrugghen is generally regarded as the most talented and versatile of the group. More Utrecht school

Master Johannes
ACTIVE IN THE BRABANT AT THE BEGINNING OF THE XVI CENTURY
SAINT JEAN-BAPTISTE SAINTE AGNÈS 
Oil on panel, one pair 
Shutters of triptych, one parqueted 
69 x 23,5 cm; 27 1/8 by 9 1/4 in
Private Collection

Master Johannes. A beginning to the identity of this painter was very recently revealed. It was by the discovery of an act of payment of the altarpiece, today in the church Maria-ter-Heide, to a certain painter "Johannes" in the year 1513, the artist of these five works 3 . His surname, his hometown, his dates of birth and death remain mysteries. More Master Johannes

Flemish School, 17th Century
A KITCHEN IN A CONVENT
Oil on panel
24 3/4  by 33 1/4  in.; 62.5 by 84.5 cm
Private Collection

Flemish School, 17th Century
ADAM AND EVE
oil on panel, unframed
16 by 19 in.; 40.7 by 48.4 cm.
Private Collection

Circle of JACOB WILLEMSZ DE WET, (Dutch 1610-1672)
Volumnia Before Coriolanus 
Oil on canvas
Unsigned
27.8 inches x 35.8 inches (70.5 x 91 cm)
Private Collection

Volumnia is a character in William Shakespeare's play Coriolanus, the mother of Caius Martius Coriolanus. She plays a large role in Coriolanus' life, encouraging him in his military success and urging him to seek political office. When the people of Rome put her son in exile and he joins their military enemies, she manages to persuade him not to besiege Rome and becomes a heroine to the city.

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

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

Circle of JOSEPH VON FUHRICH, (Austrian 1800-1876)
The Crucifixion - circa 1850
Oil on canvas
54.25 inches x 31 inches (137.9 x 79 cm)
Private Collection

Joseph von Führich [or Josef Ritter von Führich] (February 9, 1800 – March 13, 1876) was an Austrian painter, one of the Nazarenes. He was born in Bohemia. Deeply impressed as a boy by rustic pictures adorning the wayside chapels of his native country, his first attempt at composition was a sketch of the Nativity for the festival of Christmas in his father's house. He lived to see the day when, becoming celebrated as a composer of scriptural episodes, his sacred subjects were transferred in numberless repetitions to the roadside churches of the Austrian state, where peasants thus learnt to admire modern art reviving the models of earlier ages.

Essentially creative as a landscape draughtsman, he had no feeling for colour; and when he produced monumental pictures he was not nearly so successful as when designing subjects for woodcuts. Führich's fame extended far beyond the Austrian capital. In 1831 he finished the "Triumph of Christ", later in the Raczynski palace at Berlin. In 1834 he was made custos and in 1841 professor of composition in the Academy of Vienna. More








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Monday, March 20, 2017

16 Icons from the Bible, with footnotes, #12

After LUCAS CRANACH THE ELDER (German circa 1472-1553)
Madonna and Child - circa 1850
Oil on canvas
21 inches x 16.75 inches (53.3 x 42.5 cm)
Private Collection

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

A SCARCE RUSSIAN ICON OF CHRIST EMMANUEL WITH ANGELS, 18TH CENTURY. 13 inches x 29.5 inches (33 x 75 cm)

Icon dates back to the pre-Mongol period of the 12th century. It is sometimes referred to as the “Angelic Deisis.” Others just call it “The Savior Emmanuel with Angels.” Although no inscriptions remain on the Tretyakov example the two angels are generally identified by their clothing as the Archangel Mikhail and Gabriel. The word Emmanuel is the Greek form of the Hebrew meaning God is with Us. Emmanuel is a representation of the Son, “begotten of the Father before all worlds". More Emmanuel


Description: A LARGE AND FINELY PAINTED RUSSIAN ICON OF SELECTED SAINTS, 18TH CENTURY. 
33 inches x 19.8 inches (83.8 x 49.5 cm)
Private Collection

From the left to right they are the Holy Venerable Daniel Stolpnik (Stylite) (Below), the Holy Prophet Sophonias (Zephaniah) (Below), the Holy Martyr John the Warrior (Belowand the Venerable Savva of Zvenigorod (Below)

THE HOLY VENERABLE DANIEL THE STYLITE, CIRCA 1800, WITH MILITARY DEDICATION.
The painted icon overlaid with a silver repousse and chased riza with horizontal cartouche on lower margin engraved “1st Jaeger Regiment, 1st Battalion,  1st  Carabinier Company". 16.1 inches x 6.5 inches (41 x 16.5 cm)
Private Collection

The Holy Venerable Daniel Stolpnik (Stylite) (410-490) is seen doing what stylites do, sit on pillars and pray. The word stylite is taken from the Greek and means pillar dweller. Therefore a stylite saint is a type of Christian ascetic who lived on pillars, preaching, fasting and praying. Stylites believed that the mortification of their bodies would help ensure the salvation of their souls. Stylites were common in the early days of the Byzantine Empire. 

Daniel the Stylite was a 5th century ascetic who spent 33 years atop a pillar after seeing a vision of Simeon the Stylite (Simeon Stolpnik). More Daniel the Stylite

Prophet Zephaniah, old Russian Orthodox icon
First quarter of XVIII century
Iconostasis of Kizhi Monastery, Karelia, Russia

Zephaniah. The most well-known Biblical figure bearing the name Zephaniah is the son of Cushi, and great, great grandson of King Hezekiah, ninth in the literary order of the minor prophets. He prophesied in the days of Josiah, king of Judah (B.C. 641-610). The only primary source from which we obtain our scanty knowledge of the personality and the rhetorical and literary qualities of this individual is the short book of the Old Testament which bears his name. The scene of his activity was the city of Jerusalem.

The cults of Baal and Astarte had developed in the Holy City, bringing with it elements of alien culture and morals. Josiah, a dedicated reformer, wished to put an end to perceived misuse of the holy places. One of the most zealous champions and advisers of this reform was Zephaniah, and his writing remains one of the most important documents for the understanding of the era of Josiah.

The prophet spoke boldly against the religious and moral corruption. He warned that God would "destroy out of this place the remnant of Baal, and pleaded for a return to the simplicity of their fathers. More Zephaniah

A RUSSIAN ICON OF SAINT JOHN THE WARRIOR WITH LIFE SCENES
PROBABLY YAROSLAVL, CIRCA 1800
12.9 inches x 10.5 inches (32.5 x 26.5 cm)
Private Collection

At center a full length image of John in Roman style military clothing holding a martyrs cross and flag. In the background various scenes from his life and at upper left Christ delivers a blessing. The faint inscription along the upper margin identifies the subject as, "An Image of the Holy Martyr John the Warrior

The Holy Martyr John the Warrior served in the imperial army of the emperor Julian the Apostate (361-363). Amidst other soldiers he was dispatched to seek out and kill Christians. Keeping up the external appearances of being a persecutor, Saint John in fact rendered great help to persecuted Christians: those who had been arrested – he set free, others he warned of dangers threatening them, and assisted in their flight. Saint John showed charity not only to Christians, but to all the destitute and those needing help: he visited with the sick, and he consoled the grieving. When Julian the Apostate learned about the actions of the saint, he ordered him locked up in prison. 

AN ICON SHOWING ST. JOHN THE WARRIOR
Russian, 18th century 
Tempera on wood panel
32 x 27 cm.
Private Collection

In the year 363 Julian the Apostate was killed in his war with the Persians. Saint John was set free and devoted his life to service of neighbour, and he lived in holiness and purity. He died in his old age.

 The precise year of his death is unknown, and the place of burial of Saint John the Warrior was gradually forgotten. But then he appeared to a certain pious woman and indicated the place of his repose. It became known throughout the region. His uncovered relics were placed in a church of the Apostle John the Theologian in Constantinople. The Lord granted the relics of Saint John the Warrior the graced power of healing. Through the prayers of Saint John the aggrieved and sorrowing received comfort.

In the Russian Church, Saint John the Warrior is sacredly revered as a great intercessor in sorrows and difficult circumstances. More Martyr John the Warrior  

The Monk Sava of Storozhevsk and Zvenigorod
Russian Icon
Private Collection

The Monk Sava of Storozhevsk and Zvenigorod, in his early youth left the world, accepting tonsure under the Monk Sergei of Radonezh, for whom he was one of the first disciples and co-ascetics.

The Monk Savva loved the quiet life, he shunned conversing with people and he lived in constant toil, in lamentation over the poverty of his soul and remembrance of the judgement of God. Savva was a model of simplicity and humility, and he attained to such a depth of spiritual wisdom, that "in the monastery of the Monk Sergei he was a spiritual confessor to all the brethren". When Great Prince Dimitrii Donskoy, in gratitude for the victory over Mamai, built the monastery of the Uspenie-Dormition of the Mother of God at the River Dubenka, Savva became its hegumen, with the blessing of the Monk Sergei. Preserving the simple manner of his ascetic lifestyle, he ate food only of plants, wore coarse clothing and slept on the ground. 

The Monk Sava of Storozhevsk and Zvenigorod
Russian Icon
Private Collection

Prince Yurii Dimitrievich Zvenigorodsky, regarded the Monk Savva with great love and esteem. He chose the Monk Savva as his spiritual father and besought him to come and bestow blessing upon all his household. The monk had hoped to return to his monastery, but the prince prevailed upon him to remain and set in place a new monastery, "in his fatherland, near Zvenigorod, where the place was called Storozh". 

On the Storozhevsk heights, where formerly was encamped a sentinel, guarding Moscow from enemies, he set up a small wooden church of the Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God, and not far off from it made a small cell for himself. The monk toiled much at the building up of his monastery.

In 1399 the Monk Savva blessed his spiritual son, prince Yurii, to go off on a military campaign, and he predicted victory over the enemy. Through the prayers of the holy elder, the forces of the prince were granted a speedy victory. Through the efforts of the Monk Savva, a stone church of the Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God was also built.

Saint Savva died at an advanced age on 3 December 1406. More The Monk Sava of Storozhevsk and Zvenigorod,

A RUSSIAN ICON OF ST. ALEXIS MAN OF GOD, 18TH CENTURY
a full length image of the Saint dressed in a simple cloak holding a cross and a scroll. His garments highlighted with gold, in the upper left Christ delivers a blessing
28 inches x 16.75 inches (71.5 x 43 cm)
Private Collection

Saint Alexius was an Eastern saint whose veneration was later transplanted to Rome. The relocation of the cult to Rome was facilitated by the belief that the saint was a native of Rome and had died there. 

This Roman connection stemmed from an earlier Syriac legend which recounted that during the episcopate of Bishop Rabbula (412-435) a "Man of God" who lived in Edessa, Mesopotamia as a beggar, and who shared the alms he received with other poor people, was found to be a native of Rome after his death

Alexius was the only son of Euphemianus, a wealthy Christian Roman of the senatorial class. He fled his arranged marriage to follow his holy vocation. Disguised as a beggar, he lived near Edessa in Syria

St. Alexis, Man of God (XVII century.)

A miraculous icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary (later this image was called Madonna of St.Alexius) singled him out as a "Man of God."

Fleeing the resultant notoriety, he returned to Rome, so changed that his parents did not recognize him, but as good Christians sheltered him for seventeen years, which he spent in a dark cubbyhole beneath the stairs. After his death, his family found writings on his body which told them who he was and how he had lived his life of penance from the day of his wedding, for the love of God. More Saint Alexius

The Life of St. Alexia (XI century)
St. Clement's Basilica in Rome

A LARGE RUSSIAN ICON WITH THREE APOSTLE SAINTS, 19TH CENTURY.
26.75 inches x 22 inches (68 x 56 cm)
Private Collection

From left to right depicting the Apostle Andrew (Below), the Apostle Phillip (Below), and the Apostle Bartholomew (Below).

St. Andrew (Romanian)
Holding the scroll of knowledge and extending a benediction

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
Andrew is said to have been martyred by crucifixion at the city of Patras (Patræ) in Achaea. Early texts describe Andrew as bound, not nailed, and crucified on a cross of the form called crux decussata, now commonly known as a "Saint Andrew's Cross" 

Apostle Philip (of the Twelve)

Philip the Apostle was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. Later Christian traditions describe Philip as the apostle who preached in Greece, Syria, and Phrygia. Philip is described as a disciple from the city of Bethsaida, and the evangelist connects him with Andrew and Peter, who were from the same town. He also was among those surrounding John the Baptist when the latter first pointed out Jesus as the Lamb of God.

Of the four Gospels, Philip figures most prominently in the Gospel of John. Philip is asked by Jesus how to feed 5,000 people. Later he appears as a link to the Greek community. Philip bore a Greek name, may have spoken Greek, and may have been known to the Greek pilgrims in Jerusalem. He advises Andrew that certain Greeks wish to meet Jesus, and together they inform Jesus of this. During the Last Supper, when Philip asked Jesus to show them the Father, he provides Jesus the opportunity to teach his disciples about the unity of the Father and the Son.

According to this account, through a miraculous healing and his preaching Philip converted the wife of the proconsul of the city. This enraged the proconsul, and he had Philip, Bartholomew, and Mariamne were all tortured. Philip and Bartholomew were then crucified upside-down, and Philip preached from his cross. As a result of Philip's preaching the crowd released Bartholomew from his cross, but Philip insisted that they not release him, and Philip died on the cross. Another legend is that he was martyred by beheading in the city of Hierapolis. More Philip the Apostle

ST. BARTHOLOMEW 

Bartholomew the Apostle was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. He has been identified with Nathanael,  although some modern commentators reject the identification of Nathanael with Bartholomew.

Bartholomew was born at Cana of Galilee. Ecclesiastical History  states that after the Ascension, Bartholomew went on a missionary tour to India, where he left behind a copy of the Gospel of Matthew. Other traditions record him as serving as a missionary in Ethiopia, Mesopotamia, Parthia, and Lycaonia. Popular traditions and legends say that Bartholomew preached the Gospel in India, then went to Greater Armenia.

He is said to have been martyred in Albanopolis in Armenia. According to one account, he was beheaded, but a more popular tradition holds that he was flayed alive and crucified, head downward. He is said to have converted Polymius, the king of Armenia, to Christianity. Astyages, Polymius' brother, consequently ordered Bartholomew's execution. More Bartholomew





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