Tuesday, January 1, 2019
01 Works, RELIGIOUS ART - Today, January 2, is Saint Basil's Day, With Footnotes - 161
Pierre Subleyras, (1699–1749)
The Mass of Saint Basil, c. 1746
Oil on canvas
Height: 137 cm (53.9 ″); Width: 79 cm (31.1 ″)
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Basil of Caesarea, also called Saint Basil the Great (329 or 330 – January 1 or 2, 379), was the Greek bishop of Caesarea Mazaca in Cappadocia, Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey). He was an influential theologian who supported the Nicene Creed and opposed the heresies of the early Christian church, fighting against both Arianism and the followers of Apollinaris of Laodicea. His ability to balance his theological convictions with his political connections made Basil a powerful advocate for the Nicene position.
In addition to his work as a theologian, Basil was known for his care of the poor and underprivileged. Basil established guidelines for monastic life which focus on community life, liturgical prayer, and manual labour. He is remembered as a father of communal monasticism in Eastern Christianity. He is considered a saint by the traditions of both Eastern and Western Christianity. More Basil of Caesarea
Pierre Subleyras (November 25, 1699 – May 28, 1749) was a French painter, active during the late-Baroque and early-Neoclassic period, mainly in Italy.
He left France in 1728, having carried off the French Academy's grand prix, which provided scholarship for study in Rome. In Rome, he painted for the Elector of Saxony, Frederick Christian, a "Christ's Visit to the House of Simon the Pharisee", (later engraved by Subleyras himself), this work procured his admission into the famed Roman artists guild, Accademia di San Luca.
Cardinal Valenti Gonzaga next obtained for him the order for Saint Basil & Emperor Valens (also known as the Mass of St. Basil, (above) .
He was a remarkably incisive portraitist. The pope himself commanded two great paintings, the "Marriage of St Catherine" and the "Ecstasy of St Camilla", which he placed in his own private apartments.
Subleyras shows greater individuality in his curious genre pictures, which he produced in considerable number. In his illustrations of La Fontaine and Boccaccio his true relation to the modern era comes out; and his drawings from nature are often admirable.
Exhausted by overwork, Subleyras tried a change to Naples, but returned to Rome at the end of a few months to die. More on Pierre Subleyras
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