Wednesday, February 7, 2018

05 Paintings, RELIGIOUS ART - Interpretations of the Bible! by The Old Masters, With Footnotes # 71

Herri met de Bles, BOUVINES CIRCA 1510 - AFTER 1550 ANTWERP
Oil on oak panel  
 32 x 50 cm.; 12 5/8  x 19 3/4  in
Private collection

The subject here is taken from the Gospel of Saint John, XXI, 6–10; the figures enacting it are typically set in an immense vista, dwarfed by the towering, fantastical bluffs and buildings above and beyond them. In the foreground on the edge of Lake Galilee, Christ appears to his disciples for the third time following his resurrection. Saint Peter is seen trying to reach Him across the waves, while to the right the figures appear again in a slightly later episode gathering to grill the fish they have just miraculously caught. The remarkable eagle-shaped overhang in the rocks may be intended as a symbol of the Evangelist and thus refers to de Bles’s biblical source. Upon it may be spied a small owl sitting in a cleft, a pun on the painter’s nickname (civetta in Italian) and his frequent form of signature. More on this painting

Christian Iconography: In Matthew 4:18-20 and Mark 1:16-18 Jesus sees Simon and Andrew casting their nets into the sea. He invites them to come with him and be "fishers of men." Andrew is not mentioned in Luke's somewhat different account of the call (5:1-11). In John's gospel (1:35-42) he is one of two disciples of John the Baptist who decide to follow Jesus. Andrew then recruits his brother Simon, whom Jesus renames "Cephas, which is interpreted Peter." More on Christian Iconography

Herri met de Bles (c. 1510 – c. 1555–1560) was a Flemish Northern Renaissance and Mannerist landscape painter, native of Bouvignes or Dinant (present-day Belgium). Very little is positively known about the artist. He is believed to be identical to a certain Herry de Patenir who joined Antwerp's Guild of St. Luke in 1535 as a painter. He may have been related to the landscape painter Joachim Patinir, although he may not have trained under him because of the age difference.
He may have visited Italy but there is no documentary evidence for this. His work was popular in Italy, where he was known as ‘Civetta’ because of the little owl that often appears in his paintings. The 17th-century biographer Karel van Mander regarded this motif as his signature. The name Herri met de Bles translates literally from Dutch as Herri with the blaze and was reportedly given him because of his characteristic white forelock. More on Herri met de Bles

Álvaro Pires de Évora, called Alvaro Portoghese, B. ÉVORA, PORTUGAL, BEFORE 1411 – D. ITALY, AFTER 1434

Tempera and gold ground, on panel
12 by 8 5/8 in.; 30.5 by 22 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

Álvaro Pires de Évora, or Alvaro di Piero (before 1411 – after 1434), was a Portuguese painter.

He is assumed to have been born in Évora, Portugal and is known for religious works made between 1411 - 1450. He was first mentioned in Vasari's 1568 update to his Le Vite delle più eccellenti pittori, scultori, ed architettori (in English, Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects). As a short addendum to his biography of Taddeo Bartoli, Vasari wrote "There lived at the same time and painted in almost the same manner, although he made the colouring more brilliant and the figures lower, one Alvaro di Piero, a Portuguese, who made many panels in Volterra, and one in S. Antonio in Pisa, and others in other places". More on Álvaro Pires de Évora

Agnolo Gaddi, ACTIVE 1369 - 1396 FLORENCE
Tempera on panel, gold ground, reduced on all sides
52 by 32 in.; 132.1 by 81.3 cm.
Private collection

The Madonna enthroned is a type of image that dates from the Byzantine period and was used widely in Medieval and Renaissance times. These representations of the Madonna and Child often take the form of large altarpieces. They also occur as frescoes and apsidal mosaics. In Medieval examples the Madonna is often accompanied by angels who support the throne, or by rows of saints. In Renaissance painting, particularly High Renaissance painting, the saints may be grouped informally in a type of composition known as a Sacra conversazione. More on The Madonna enthroned

Agnolo Gaddi, (born c. 1350, Florence [Italy]—died Oct. 16, 1396, Florence), son and pupil of Taddeo Gaddi, who was himself the major pupil of the Florentine master Giotto. Agnolo was an influential and prolific artist who was the last major Florentine painter stylistically descended from Giotto.

In 1369 he was employed in Rome as an assistant to his brother Giovanni, a minor painter, in the execution of frescoes for Pope Urban V in the Vatican. In the 1380s he executed his most ambitious works, a series of frescoes in the choir of Santa Croce in Florence illustrating the “Legend of the True Cross”. In these frescoes Agnolo sacrificed expression for design, and his overall concern with optical unification of the composition replaces Giotto’s concentration on figures, thereby revealing the new approach toward painting of the International Gothic style. Between 1383 and 1386 Agnolo designed medallions representing the virtues for the Loggia dei Lanzi in Florence, and between 1387 and 1395 his name appears as the designer or gilder of statues for the facade of the Cathedral of Florence. In 1394–96 he painted a cycle of scenes from the life of the Virgin in the Cathedral of Prato. His death in 1396 left unfinished an altar of the Crucifixion in San Miniato al Monte outside Florence. More on Agnolo Gaddi

Netherlandish School, Mid 16th Century
Oil on panel
10 3/8  by 8 3/8  in.; 26.4 by 21.3 cm.
Private collection

Saint Mark the Evangelist is the traditionally ascribed author of the Gospel of Mark. Mark is said to have founded the Church of Alexandria, one of the most important episcopal sees of Early Christianity. His feast day is celebrated on April 25, and his symbol is the winged lion. The same lion is also symbol of Venice 

Peter went to Antioch, then through Asia Minor, and arrived in Rome in the second year of Emperor Claudius (AD 42). Somewhere on the way, Peter encountered Mark and took him as travel companion and interpreter. Mark the Evangelist wrote down the sermons of Peter, thus composing the Gospel according to Mark, before he left for Alexandria in the third year of Claudius (43).

In AD 49, about 19 years after the Ascension of Jesus, Mark travelled to Alexandria and founded the Church of Alexandria – today, the Coptic Orthodox Church, the Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria, and the Coptic Catholic Church claim to be successors to this original community. Aspects of the Coptic liturgy can be traced back to Mark himself. He became the first bishop of Alexandria and he is honored as the founder of Christianity in Africa. More on Saint Mark the Evangelist

Early Netherlandish painting is the work of artists active in the Burgundian and Habsburg Netherlands during the 15th- and 16th-century Northern Renaissance; especially in the flourishing cities of Bruges, Ghent, Mechelen, Louvain, Tournai and Brussels, all in contemporary Belgium. Their work follows the International Gothic style and begins approximately with Robert Campin and Jan van Eyck in the early 1420s. It lasts at least until the death of Gerard David in 1523, although many scholars extend it to the start of the Dutch Revolt in 1566 or 1568 Early Netherlandish painting coincides with the Early and High Italian Renaissance but is seen as an independent artistic culture, separate from the Renaissance humanism that characterised developments in Italy. Because these painters represent the culmination of the northern European medieval artistic heritage and the incorporation of Renaissance ideals, they are sometimes categorised as belonging to both the Early Renaissance and Late Gothic. More on the Netherlandish School

Carlo Dolci, FLORENCE 1616 - 1687
Oil on copper
20.3 x 26 cm.; 8 x 10 1/4  in.
Private collection

In this intimate copper, destined for private devotion, we find the Magdalene repenting in the wilderness, her alluring nakedness reminding us of her unchaste past. Her breasts are exposed and the blue folds of her robes reveal her leg up to the thigh in a scene that, for all its allusion to the vanity of life and repentance, must, surely, have also been a celebration of the female form. More on this painting

A sinner, perhaps a courtesan, Mary Magdalen was a witness of Christ who renounced the pleasures of the flesh for a life of penance and contemplation. Penitent Magdalene or Penitent Magdalen refers to a post-biblical period in the life of Mary Magdalene, according to medieval legend. 

According to the tenets of the 17th–century Catholic church, Mary Magdalene was an example of the repentant sinner and consequently a symbol of the Sacrament of Penance. According to legend, Mary led a dissolute life until her sister Martha persuaded her to listen to Jesus Christ. She became one of Christ's most devoted followers and he absolved her of her former sins. More on The Penitent Magdalen 

Carlo (or Carlino) Dolci (25 May 1616 – 17 January 1686) was an Italian painter of the Baroque period, active mainly in Florence, known for highly finished religious pictures, often repeated in many versions.

He was born in Florence, on his mother's side the grandson of a painter. Although he was precocious and apprenticed at a young age to Jacopo Vignali, Dolci was not prolific. "He would take weeks over a single foot", according to his biographer Baldinucci. His painstaking technique made him unsuited for large-scale fresco painting. He painted chiefly sacred subjects, and his works are generally small in scale, although he made a few life-size pictures. He often repeated the same composition in several versions, and his daughter, Agnese Dolci, also made excellent copies of his works.

Dolci was known for his piety. It is said that every year during Passion Week he painted a half-figure of the Savior wearing the Crown of Thorns. In 1682, when he saw Giordano, nicknamed "fa presto" (quick worker), paint more in five hours than he could have completed in months, he fell into a depression.

Dolci's daughter, Agnese (died circa 1680), was also a painter. Dolci died in Florence in 1686. More on Carlo Dolci

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