Sunday, May 20, 2018

01 Works, RELIGIOUS ART - Interpretation of the Bible!, With Footnotes - 97

DANUBE SCHOOL, CIRCA 1520
Two wings from an altarpiece: The Martyrdom of Saint Catherine; The Martyrdom of Saint Barbara
Oil on fir panel
58 1/4  by 26 3/8  in.; 148 by 67 cm.; 
Private Collection

The Danube School or Donau School was a circle of painters of the first third of the 16th century in Bavaria and Austria (mainly along the Danube valley). Many also were innovative printmakers, usually in etching. They were among the first painters to regularly use pure landscape painting, and their figures, influenced by Matthias Grünewald, are often highly expressive, if not expressionist. They show little Italian influence, and also represent a decisive break with the high finish of Northern Renaissance painting, using a more painterly style that was in many ways ahead of its time. More on The Danube School

DANUBE SCHOOL, CIRCA 1520
Detail: The Martyrdom of Saint Catherine
Oil on fir panel
58 1/4  by 26 3/8  in.; 148 by 67 cm.; 
Private Collection

Saint Catherine of Alexandria is, according to tradition, a Christian saint and virgin, who was martyred in the early 4th century at the hands of the pagan emperor Maxentius. According to her hagiography, she was both a princess and a noted scholar, who became a Christian around the age of fourteen, and converted hundreds of people to Christianity. She was martyred around the age of 18. Over 1,100 years following her martyrdom, St. Joan of Arc identified Catherine as one of the Saints who appeared to her and counselled her.

The femperor condemned Catherine to death on a spiked breaking wheel, but, at her touch, it shattered. Maxentius ordered her to be beheaded. Catherine herself ordered the execution to commence. A milk-like substance rather than blood flowed from her neck.


The Eastern Orthodox Church venerates her as a Great Martyr, and celebrates her feast day on 24 or 25 November (depending on the local tradition). In the Catholic Church she is traditionally revered as one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. In 1969 the Catholic Church removed her feast day from the General Roman Calendar; however, she continued to be commemorated in the Roman Martyrology on 25 November. More on Saint Catherine of Alexandria

DANUBE SCHOOL, CIRCA 1520
Detail: The Martyrdom of Saint Barbara
Oil on fir panel
58 1/4  by 26 3/8  in.; 148 by 67 cm.; 
Private Collection

Saint Barbara is a former Christian saint and virgin martyr believed to have lived in Asia Minor in the 3rd century. Her story dates to the 7th century and is retold in the Golden Legend. It is as follows: Dioscurus, the father of Barbara, was a heartless nobleman who had a tower built so that he could lock his daughter away to deter suitors. At first the tower only had two windows; however, Barbara persuaded the workmen to add a third when her father wasn't looking. She also secretly admitted a priest disguised as a doctor, who baptized her to become Christian. When her father returned, Barbara declared that the three windows symbolized the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost who ignited her soul. Dioscurus grew enraged and chased his daughter who had fled the tower. She hid in the crevice of a rock; however, a shepherd told her father of her hiding place. Once found, Barbara was dragged out by the hair and beaten by her father who next handed her over to the Roman authorities. She refused to renounce her Christian beliefs and was tortured. Miraculously, at the moment of her execution by her father's sword, he was struck by lightning, his body devoured by fire. More on Saint Barbara




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