Saturday, September 23, 2017

08 Paintings, RELIGIOUS ART - Interpretations of the Bible! by The Old Masters, With Footnotes # 58

Domenico Ghirlandaio, (1449–1494)
Visitation, circa 1491
Tempera on wood
Height: 172 cm (67.7 in). Width: 165 cm (65 in).
Louvre Museum

This panel is a fine example of fifteenth-century Florentine painting. Artists of the time followed classical dictates: body proportions were idealised while faces left devoid of expression were expected to convey character. The model has been identified as Giovanna Tornabuoni on the basis of a medallion by Niccolò Fiorentino showing her likeness and her name. More on Florentine painting

This scene portrays the meeting of Mary with the aged Elizabeth. The complex composition includes in the centre the key episode, the relevance of which is strengthened by the converging lines of a wall in perspective and a ravine in the background. Behind Elizabeth are two maidens, while on the two extremities are other groups of women. The group on the right include portraits of contemporaries: the first, in profile, is Giovanna degli Albizzi, who had married Giovanni Tornabuoni's son. Vasari wrongly identified her as Ginevra de' Benci. More on this painting

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

Domenico Ghirlandaio (2 June 1448 – 11 January 1494) was an Italian Renaissance painter born in Florence. Ghirlandaio was part of the so-called "third generation" of the Florentine Renaissance, along with Verrocchio, the Pollaiolo brothers and Sandro Botticelli. Ghirlandaio led a large and efficient workshop that included his brothers Davide Ghirlandaio and Benedetto Ghirlandaio, his brother-in-law Bastiano Mainardi from San Gimignano, and later his son Ridolfo Ghirlandaio. Many apprentices passed through Ghirlandaio's workshop, including the famous Michelangelo. Ghirlandaio's particular talent lay in his ability to posit depictions of contemporary life and portraits of contemporary people within the context of religious narratives, bringing him great popularity and many large commissions. More on Domenico Ghirlandaio

Jacques Blanchard, PARIS 1600 - 1638
Oil on canvas
82,5 x 69 cm ; 32 1/2  by 27 in
Private collection

The Madonna and Child or The Virgin and Child is often the name of a work of art which shows the Virgin Mary and the Child Jesus. The word Madonna means "My Lady" in Italian. Artworks of the Christ Child and his mother Mary are part of the Roman Catholic tradition in many parts of the world including Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, South America and the Philippines. Paintings known as icons are also an important tradition of the Orthodox Church and often show the Mary and the Christ Child. They are found particularly in Eastern Europe, Russia, Egypt, the Middle East and India. More on The Madonna and Child

Jacques Blanchard (1600–1638), also known as Jacques Blanchart, was a French baroque painter who was born in Paris. He was raised and taught by his uncle, the painter Nicolas Bollery (fr) (ca. 1560–1630). Jacques’s brother and son, Jean-Baptiste Blanchard (painter) (fr) (after 1602–1665) and Gabriel Blanchard (1630–1704), respectively were also painters.

Blanchard moved to Rome in 1624. He also worked in Venice and Turin where he was commissioned to paint by the Duke of Savoy. He returned to Paris in 1628 from which year most of his paintings are dated. He developed a style unique in France at the time and reminiscent of both Titian and Tintoretto. More on Blanchard

Ventura Salimbeni, (Italian, 1568-1613),
"Pitta with Two Angels," circa 1604
Oil on canvas, canvas
21"h x 17"w
Private collection

The Pietà is a subject in Christian art depicting the dead body of Jesus, most often found in sculpture. As such, it is a particular form of the Lamentation of Christ, a scene from the Passion of Christ found in cycles of the Life of Christ. When Christ and the Virgin are surrounded by other figures from the New Testament, the subject is strictly called a Lamentation in English, although Pietà is often used for this as well, and is the normal term in Italian. More the Pietà

Ventura di Archangelo Salimbeni (later called Bevilacqua); (20 January 1568 – 1613) was an Italian Counter-Maniera painter and printmaker highly influenced by the vaghezza and sensual reform of Federico Barocci.

He possibly spent some time, in Northern Italy and then moved to Rome in 1588 to work, together with others, on the fresco painting of the Vatican Library under pope Sixtus V. During 1590-1591, he received a commission for paintings in the Roman Jesuit Church of the Gesù and the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. Salimbeni returned to Siena in 1595. Here he persisted in a Reformist or Counter-Maniera style. 

He is known for detailed preparatory drawings, most of which are now in the Uffizi. He continued to create paintings for churches throughout Italy, including Florence. At the Basilica della Santissima Annunziata di Firenze, he frescoed lunettes (1605–1608) illustrating events in the history of the Servite Order. In the Duomo di San Salvatore, he executed a magnificent John the Baptist.

Around 1600, he got an assignment in Assisi for a fresco of the "Resurrection of Christ" and the "Dying Saint Clare is visited by the pope" in the vault of chapel of San Massimo in the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli.

In 1603, Salimbeni was commissioned to paint frescoes for the church of Ss Quirico e Giulitta, one of the oldest churches in Siena. This period saw a proliferation of new assignments.  The papal legate, cardinal Bonifazio Bevilacqua (1571–1627), who had commissioned Salimbeni's paintings, was so pleased that he invested Ventura Salimbeni with the Order of the Golden Spur, a very selective papal order. He was even authorized from now on to name himself Cavalieri Bevilacqua. More on Ventura di Archangelo Salimbeni

Harmenszoon van Rijn q:en:Rembrandt, (1606–1669) 
The evangelist Matthew and the angel, c. 1661
Oil on canvas
Height: 96 cm (37.8 in). Width: 81 cm (31.9 in).
Louvre-Lens,  Pas-de-Calais, Northern France

St Matthew is often depicted with an angel-like boy. Contrary to the other evangelists his attribute is not an animal but a human being. That is because his gospel begins with a list of fathers and sons, Jesus' family tree.

Rembrandt has the boy whisper something in Matthew's ear. The boy resembles Rembrandt's son Titus. More on this picture

Matthew the Apostle was, according to the Bible, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus and, according to Christian tradition, one of the four Evangelists. Among the early followers and apostles of Jesus, Matthew is mentioned in Matthew 9:9 and Matthew 10:3 as a publican who, while sitting at the "receipt of custom" in Capernaum, was called to follow Jesus. Matthew may have collected taxes from the Hebrew people for Herod Antipas. Matthew is also listed among the twelve, but without identification of his background
Later Church fathers claim that Matthew preached the Gospel to the Jewish community in Judea, before going to other countries. Ancient writers are not agreed as to what these other countries are. The Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church each hold the tradition that Matthew died as a martyr, although this was rejected by the gnostic heretic Heracleon as early as the second century. More on Matthew the Apostle

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (15 July 1606 – 4 October 1669) was a Dutch painter and etcher. He is generally considered one of the greatest painters and printmakers in European art and the most important in Dutch history. His contributions to art came in a period of great wealth and cultural achievement that historians call the Dutch Golden Age when Dutch Golden Age painting dominated Europe, was extremely prolific and innovative, and gave rise to important new genres in painting.
Having achieved youthful success as a portrait painter, Rembrandt's later years were marked by personal tragedy and financial hardships. Yet his etchings and paintings were popular throughout his lifetime, his reputation as an artist remained high, and for twenty years he taught many important Dutch painters. His self-portraits form a unique and intimate biography, in which the artist surveyed himself without vanity and with the utmost sincerity.
In his paintings and prints he exhibited knowledge of classical iconography, which he molded to fit the requirements of his own experience; thus, the depiction of a biblical scene was informed by Rembrandt's knowledge of the specific text, his assimilation of classical composition, and his observations of Amsterdam's Jewish population. Because of his empathy for the human condition, he has been called "one of the great prophets of civilization. More on Rembrandt

Circle of Bernhard Strigel(circa 1460 Memmingen 1528) 
The apostles Matthew, Judas Thaddäus and Philip. 
Tempera on panel. 
36 x 36 cm. 
Private collection

The apostles Matthew, holding his book. Judas Thaddäus' special attribute is the ax, as a sign of his martyrdom. Philip the Apostle, holding a loaf of bread.

Bernhard Strigel (c. 1461 – May 4, 1528) was a German portrait and historical painter of the Swabian school, the most important of a family of artists established at Memmingen. He was born at Memmingen and was probably a pupil of Zeitblom at Ulm. He stood in high favor with the Emperor Maximilian I, in whose service he repeatedly journeyed to Augsburg, Innsbruck, and Vienna.

His religious paintings, which include four altar wings with scenes from the "Life of the Virgin," in the Berlin Gallery, and 10 paintings illustrating the "Genealogy of Christ," in the Germanic Museum, Nuremberg, are historically interesting, but of less artistic value than his portraits, which, though detailed, are ably handled and luminous in color. More on Bernhard Strigel

Lorenzo Sabatini, BOLOGNE VERS 1530-1576 ROME
Oil on panel
107 x 82,5 cm ; 42 1/4  by 32 1/2  in
Private collection

The bride of Christ, being Saint Catherine, was widespread during the 9th century and very common with Lorenzo Sabatini. The patron saint of young ladies unites herself here to Christ the child in His mother's arms, and wears the crown of martyrdom, a testimony of her decapitation by the Emperor Maxentius. The Virgin Mary's gentle face is typical of the Bolognese painter who worked for Pope Gregory XIII and alongside Vasari in Rome, and was the master of Denys Calvaert, who before Carracci, was one of the pioneers of the Bolognese school. More on this painting

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 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;[4] however, she continued to be commemorated in the Roman Martyrology on 25 November. More on Saint Catherine of Alexandria

Lorenzo Sabbatini or Sabatini, Sabattini or Sabadini (c. 1530–1576), sometimes referred to as Lorenzino da Bologna, was an Italian painter of the Mannerist period from Bologna.  His style was also influenced by Giorgio Vasari and the Emilian mannerism of Parmigianino.

By 1565 he was working with the studio of Giorgio Vasari in Florence, where he was elected member of the Academy. Between 1566 and 1573 he was in Bologna, where he decorated the walls of several churches, including Santa Maria delle Grazie, Chiesa della Morte, San Martino Maggiore, and San Giacomo Maggiore.

In 1573 he moved to Rome to work under Vasari in the Cappella Paolina, where he adopted many of the stylistic traits of Raphael's school and produced perhaps his most famous painting, The Triumph of Faith over Infidelity. After Vasari's death in 1574, Gregory XIII appointed Sabatini superintendent of works in the Vatican, a post he retained until his own premature death.

Sabbatini died in Rome in 1577. His students included the engraver Giulio di Antonio Bonasone and the painter of Flemish origin, Denis Calvaert. More on Lorenzo Sabbatini 

Pieter Thijs, ANVERS 1624 - 1677
Oil on its original canvas
122 x 113,5 cm ; 48 by 44 3/4  in
Private collection

According to the Bible, God commands Abraham to offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice. After Isaac is bound to an altar, the angel of God stops Abraham at the last minute, saying "now I know you fear God." At this point, Abraham sees a ram caught in some nearby bushes and sacrifices the ram instead of Isaac. More on the sacrifice if Isaac

Pieter Thijs, Peter Thijs or Pieter Thys (Antwerp, 1624 – Antwerp, 1677) was a Flemish painter of portraits as well as religious and history paintings. He was a very successful artist who worked for the courts in Brussels and The Hague as well as for many religious institutions. His work was close to the courtly and elegant style of Anthony van Dyck and his followers. More on Pieter Thijs

François-Joseph Heim, BELFORT 1787 - 1865 PARIS
Oil on canvas
18,5 x 23,7 cm ; 7 1/4 by 9 1/4 in
Private collection

According to the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia, the author relates that after the battle of Raphia Ptolemy Philopator visited Jerusalem and declared that he would enter the Temple. By divine interposition, however, he fell to the ground stunned. When he had returned to Alexandria he caused all the Jews of Alexandria and Egypt to be bound and dragged into the arena to be trampled by his elephants; but the beasts threw themselves upon the king's troops instead. The Jews celebrated their escape by an annual feast-day. More from Jewish Encyclopedia

Ptolemy IV Philopator, (born c. 238 bce—died 205 bce), Macedonian king of Egypt (reigned 221–205 bc), under whose feeble rule, heavily influenced by favourites, much of Ptolemaic Syria was lost and native uprisings began to disturb the internal stability of Egypt.

Ptolemy as a drunken, debauched reveller, completely under the influence of his disreputable associates. At their instigation, Ptolemy arranged the murder of his mother, uncle, and brother.

In 219, Antiochus III, the Syrian Seleucid ruler, captured some of the coastal cities, Sosibius and the Ptolemaic court entered into delaying negotiations with the enemy, while the Ptolemaic army was reorganized and intensively drilled. In 218 Antiochus renewed his advance, overrunning Ptolemy’s forward defenses. In the spring of 217, however, Ptolemy’s army met the Seleucid forces near Raphia in southern Palestine, and was victorious. 

After Raphia, Ptolemy married his sister, Arsinoe, who bore him a successor in 210. The Egyptians, however, sensing their power, rose in a rebellion that Polybius, the Greek historian, describes as guerrilla warfare. By 205 the revolt had spread to Upper Egypt.

Ptolemy refused to become embroiled in the wars of the Greek states. In Syria, also, Ptolemy avoided involvement in local struggles. Ptolemy’s debauched and corrupt character, rather than his diplomatic acumen, kept him clear of foreign involvements. As his reign progressed, he fell increasingly under the influence of his favourites, and around November 205 he died. His clique of favourites kept Ptolemy’s death a secret and about a year later murdered Queen Arsinoe, leaving the young successor at their mercy. More on Ptolemy IV Philopator

François Joseph Heim, Dec 16, 1787 - Sep 29, 1865, was born at Belfort. He early distinguished himself at the École Centrale of Strassburg, and in 1803 entered the studio of Vincent at Paris. He was a fellow student of Horace Vernet. He won the second place in the 1806 Prix de Rome. In 1807 he obtained the first prize, and in 1812 his picture of "The Arrival of Jacob in Mesapotomia" won for him a gold medal of the first class, which he again obtained in 1817.

In 1819 the "Resurrection of Lazarus", the "Martyrdom of St Cyr", and two scenes from the life of Vespasian attracted attention. In 1823 the "Re-erection of the Royal Tombs at St Denis," the "Martyrdom of St Laurence" and several full-length portraits increased the painter's popularity; and in 1824, when he exhibited his great canvas, the "Massacre of the Jews", Heim was rewarded with the Legion of Honour. More on François Joseph Heim

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Friday, September 15, 2017

10 Carvings & Sculpture from the Bible! 15 - 19th Century. With Footnote, # 14

Netherlandish, Malines, circa 1600
Partially gilt alabaster relief
20 x 15 cm, 7 3/4  by 6 in
Private collection

Mechelen (French: Malines) is one of Flanders' prominent cities of historical art, with Antwerp, Bruges, Brussels, Ghent, and Leuven. It was notably a centre for artistic production during the Northern Renaissance, when painters, printmakers, illuminators and composers of polyphony were attracted by patrons such as Margaret of York, Margaret of Austria and Hieronymus van Busleyden. More on Mechelen

Descent into Hell (Hades). Between his crucifixion and resurrection Christ descended into the abode of the dead, as confessed in the Apostles' Creed. Since the New Testament declares that Christ really died, it is to be assumed that he went to hell, the abode of the dead. This is affirmed by the many declarations in the New Testament that Christ was raised from the dead. 

The descent into Hades is a common motif in ancient religions. The heroes or the gods descend into Hades to perform a rescue, to triumph over death, or as part of the recurring seasons of the agricultural year. More on Descent into Hell 

Netherlandish, Malines, circa 1600
Alabaster relief
12 x 9,5 cm, 4 3/4  by 3 3/4  in.
Private collection

Saint Anthony or Antony (c. 251–356) was a Christian monk from Egypt, revered since his death as a saint. He is known as the Father of All Monks. His feast day is celebrated on January 17 among the Orthodox and Catholic churches and on Tobi 22 in the Egyptian calendar used by the Coptic Church.
The biography of Anthony's life helped to spread the concept of Christian monasticism, particularly in Western Europe via its Latin translations. He is often erroneously considered the first Christian monk. Anthony was, however, the first to go into the wilderness (about ad 270), a geographical move that seems to have contributed to his renown. Accounts of Anthony enduring supernatural temptation during his sojourn in the Eastern Desert of Egypt inspired the often-repeated subject of the temptation of St. Anthony in Western art and literature.
Anthony is appealed to against infectious diseases, particularly skin diseases. In the past, many such afflictions, including ergotism, erysipelas, and shingles, were historically referred to as St. Anthony's fire. More on Saint Anthony

SAINT ROCH France, seventeenth century
Polychrome wood 
H. 120 cm, L. 40 cm, P. 36 cm
Private collection

Saint Roch or Rocco (lived c. 1348 – 15/16 August 1376/79 (traditionally c. 1295 – 16 August 1327)) was a Catholic saint, a confessor whose death is commemorated on 16 August; he is specially invoked against the plague. He may also be called Rock in English, and has the designation of St Rollox in Glasgow, Scotland. He is a patron saint of dogs, falsely accused people, bachelors, and several other things.

Sources say he was born at Montpellier, France, son of the governor. He went on pilgrimage to Rome and devoted himself to caring for the victims of a plague that was ravaging Italy. He became a victim himself at Piacenza but recovered and was reputed to have performed many miracles of healing.

On his return to Montpellier, he was imprisoned for five years as a spy in pilgrim's disguise when his uncle, who was governor, ordered him imprisoned (His uncle failed to recognize him, and Roch failed to identify himself.) Roch died in prison and was only then identified as the former governor's son by a birthmark in the form of a cross on his chest. Another biographer says that he was arrested as a spy at Angers, Lombardi, and died in prison there.

When miracles were reported at his intercession after his death, a popular cult developed and he is invoked against pestilence and plague. He is also the patron of invalids. More on Saint Roch

Mary Immaculate
Polychromed, gilded and stewed terracotta sculpture.  Portugal.  17th century. 
Height: 42,5 cm
Private collection

Delicate terracotta work, in which the mastery of the sculptor is outstanding, as the group has been given great movement.  The virgin gathers up the edge of her cloak to her chest. Her clothing is decorated meticulously with bunches of polychromed flowers on a gilded and starry base.  At her feet are five cherubs with incredibly delicate features, as well as the snake and the apple. More on this work

Mary Immaculate commonly refers to the Virgin Mary and her Immaculate Conception in the teachings of the Catholic Church.

Mary Immaculate
Polychromed, gilded and stewed terracotta sculpture.  Portugal.  17th century. 

The Immaculate Conception, according to the teaching of the Catholic Church, was the conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the womb of her mother, Saint Anne, free from original sin by virtue of the foreseen merits of her son Jesus Christ. The Catholic Church teaches that Mary was conceived by normal biological means, but God acted upon her soul (keeping her "immaculate") at the time of her conception.

The Immaculate Conception is commonly and mistakenly taken to mean the conception of Mary's son Jesus Christ in her own womb, and the Virgin Birth of Jesus. These are covered by the Doctrine of Incarnation, while the Immaculate Conception deals with the conception of Mary herself, not that of her son. More on The Immaculate Conception

Southern Germany, circa 1900
Saint Hubert, 
Wood carved, colored and partly gilded
H 85 cm.

Saint Hubertus or Hubert (c. 656–727 AD) Bishop of Maastricht, Netherlands, and disciple of St. Lambert. Hubert was a married court­ier serving Pepin of Heristal, France. He reportedly had a vision of a crucifix between the horns of a stag while hunting. Widowed, he is believed to have entered Stavelot Monastery, Belgium, and was ordained by St. Lambert at Maastricht. He succeeded St. Lambert about 705 as bishop. Hubert erected a shrine for St. Lambert's relics at Liege, France. He was noted for his miracles and for converting hundreds. Hubert died at Tervueren, near Brussels, Belgium, on May 30. He is a patron saint of hunters. More on Saint Hubertus

Anna Selbdritt, 16th cent
Solid oak, carved and colored
H 41 cm
Private collection

Anna Selbdritt (Ger. Anna third part), is a description of the image which shows St. Anne, carrying on in her arms the Mother of God as well as the Christ child; a subject in Christian art depiction, popular in Germany and neighboring countries since the 14th century.
Saint Michael Archangel
Carved, polychromed and gilded wooden sculpture.  Mexico.  17th century. 
66 x 32 x 24 cm.
Private collection

This sculpture depicts one of the archangels, Saint Michael, who conquered the devil and is prince of the holy army.  Depicted in accordance with his most typical iconography, wearing a breastplate and armed with a sword, of which only the hilt remains, and a shield.  At his feet is the devil who he beats, represented by a diabolical figure.  The saint rests on just one foot, which is standing on the devil, it is elegant and has movement and life.  The movement of the clothing and the cloak which flies towards his back gives the group even more realism.  Original polychrome and gilding.  The sculpture rests on its own wooden plinth with original polychrome and gilding. More on this work

ARCHANGEL MICHAEL, is an archangel in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and Lutheran traditions, he is called "Saint Michael the Archangel" and "Saint Michael". In the Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox traditions, he is called "Taxiarch Archangel Michael" or simply "Archangel Michael".

Michael is mentioned three times in the Book of Daniel, once as a "great prince who stands up for the children of your people". The idea that Michael was the advocate of the Jews became so prevalent that, in spite of the rabbinical prohibition against appealing to angels as intermediaries between God and his people, Michael came to occupy a certain place in the Jewish liturgy.

In the New Testament Michael leads God's armies against Satan's forces in the Book of Revelation, where during the war in heaven he defeats Satan. In the Epistle of Jude Michael is specifically referred to as "the archangel Michael". Christian sanctuaries to Michael appeared in the 4th century, when he was first seen as a healing angel, and then over time as a protector and the leader of the army of God against the forces of evil. By the 6th century, devotions to Archangel Michael were widespread both in the Eastern and Western Churches. Over time, teachings on Michael began to vary among Christian denominations. More Archangel Michael

Saint Joseph
Lacquered, polychromed and gilded wooden sculpture.  Mexico.  17th century. 
Height: 46 cm
Private collection

Sculpture depicting Saint Joseph with the baby Jesus in his arms.  He has a tender, paternal gaze.  Imposing ornamental work on the saint´s tunic in pricked gold, with flower motifs, as well as the cloak, which has a lining decorated with green lacquer and golden flowers. More on this work  

Joseph is a figure in the Gospels, the husband of Mary, mother of Jesus, and is venerated as Saint Joseph. In both Catholic and Protestant traditions, Joseph is regarded as the patron saint of workers and is associated with various feast days. Pope Pius IX declared him to be both the patron and the protector of the Catholic Church, in addition to his patronages of the sick and of a happy death, due to the belief that he died in the presence of Jesus and Mary. In popular piety, Joseph is regarded as a model for fathers and has also become patron of various dioceses and places.

Several notable images of Saint Joseph have been granted a Canonical coronation by a Pope. In popular religious iconography he is associated with lilies or a spikenard. With the present-day growth of Mariology, the theological field of Josephology has also grown and since the 1950s centers for studying it have been formed.

According to the New Testament, Joseph was the father of James, Joses, Jude, Simon, and at least two daughters. More on Saint Joseph

Attributed to Jan Crocq (Netherlandish, 1486–1510).
Saint John the Baptist, c. 1500 
163 x 59 x 40 cm (64 1/4 x 23 3/8 x 15 3/4 in)
The Cleveland Museum of Art

Saint John the Baptist, much beloved and widely venerated during the Middle Ages, is depicted in this sculpture in a formal manner typical of Netherlandish art of the 1400s and early 1500s. The sculpture is impressive for the deeply undercut folds of drapery as well as the saint’s curling hair and beard that achieve an almost photographic realism characteristic of Burgundian and Netherlandish art of this period. More on this sculpture

John the Baptist (sometimes called John in the Wilderness; also referred to as the Angel of the Desert) was the subject of at least eight paintings by the Italian Baroque artist Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571–1610).

The story of John the Baptist is told in the Gospels. John was the cousin of Jesus, and his calling was to prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah. He lived in the wilderness of Judea between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, "his raiment of camel's hair, and a leather girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey." He baptised Jesus in the Jordan.

According to the Bible, King Herod's daughter Salome requested Saint John the Baptist's beheading. She was prompted by her mother, Herodias, who sought revenge, because the prophet had condemned her incestuous marriage to HerodMore John the Baptist

19th century
Hildegard of Bingen
Wood carved, embossed, colored and partially gilded, original three-sided glazed shrine with turned columns 
H 35 cm
Private collection

Hildegard of Bingen, O.S.B. (1098 – 17 September 1179), also known as Saint Hildegard and Sibyl of the Rhine, was a German Benedictine abbess, writer, composer, philosopher, Christian mystic, visionary, and polymath. She is considered to be the founder of scientific natural history in Germany.

19th century
Hildegard of Bingen

Hildegard was elected magistra by her fellow nuns in 1136; she founded the monasteries of Rupertsberg in 1150 and Eibingen in 1165. One of her works as a composer, the Ordo Virtutum, is an early example of liturgical drama and arguably the oldest surviving morality play. She wrote theological, botanical, and medicinal texts, as well as letters, liturgical songs, and poems, while supervising miniature illuminations in the Rupertsberg manuscript of her first work, Scivias. She is also noted for the invention of a constructed language known as Lingua Ignota.

Although the history of her formal consideration is complicated, she has been recognized as a saint by branches of the Roman Catholic Church for centuries. On 7 October 2012, Pope Benedict XVI named her a Doctor of the Church. More on Hildegard of Bingen

Acknowledgement: Auktionshaus Mehlis GmbH, and others

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Saturday, September 2, 2017

11 Works, RELIGIOUS ART - Contemporary & 20th Century Interpretation of the Bible! With Footnotes - 9

Joyce Tenneson
Angel and Lit Wings - 2016
Private collection

Joyce Tenneson (born in Weston, Massachusetts on May 29, 1945) is an American fine art photographer known for her distinctive style of photography, which often involves nude or semi-nude women. Tenneson earned her master's degree in photography from George Washington University after starting as a model for Polaroid. She left her job as a photography professor at 39, and moved from Washington to New York. Tenneson shoots primarily with the Polaroid 20x24 camera. As a child, her parents worked on the grounds of a convent, which is where she grew up with her two sisters. She and her sister "were enlisted to be in holiday pageants and processions. It was a mysterious environment - something out of Fellini - filled with symbolism, ritual, beauty, and also a disturbing kind of surreal imagery."  Tenneson moved from Manhattan to Rockport, Maine in 2004.

Her work has been displayed in more than 100 exhibitions around the world.[4] Tenneson has had cover images on several magazines including Time, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Newsweek, Premiere, Esquire and The New York Times Magazine. More on Joyce Tenneson

Thomas Bijen (b. 1980)
Stained glass fresco

An iconic artwork of two women, emblazoned across a stained crimson and turquoise-blue glass layer. The shot mimics a portrait style photograph, taboo in its insistence of evoking religious imagery. Are these two women lovers? Sisters? Although the connection is brief, the mystery of their touch endures. More on this painting

Thomas Bijen (1980) is a Dutch Artist. For the past ten years he has been living and working from his studio in The Hague, The Netherlands. In 2007 Thomas acquired his Masters of Science in Industrial Design Engineering at the Technical University of Delft. Coming from a diverse background originating in the creative technical sciences, the arts have always been his prime interest.

More recently, he has been commissioned to create his art live to the public, through murals and large art objects. For Thomas, creating art is an expression of his quest for mystery, playfulness and innocence, in which he strives to recapture his childhood days. More on Thomas Bijen

Jessica van Haselen
Higher Power I
Photographic Print

The pose is commanding as the strong arms self-embrace. Her head looks up as if uniting with a higher power while her eyes are closed to underline the spiritual connection and release from reality. 

Jessica van Haselen is a Dutch designer and artist originally from a small town in the Netherlands. A deep interest in foreign cultures, languages, and countries has led her to travel and live all over the world. Her style developed as she absorbed these cultures, translating her experience into the visual medium. Originally trained as a master goldsmith, her work always contains a high level of precision, detail, and technique. Later studying Interactive Media Design at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, and Art History at the University of Amsterdam, she likes to combine new and unconventional digital media into her artwork while focusing on the story and historical significance that inspires each work. More on Jessica van Haselen 

Frantisek Drtikol
Woman crucified , 1913
gelatin silver print on bromide paper
22 x 16.4 cm. ( 8 ¾ x 6 ½ in.)
Private collection

František Drtikol (3 March 1883, Příbram – 13 January 1961, Prague) was a Czech photographer of international renown. He is especially known for his characteristically epic photographs, often nudes and portraits.

He had his own studio, until 1935 where he operated an important portrait photostudio in Prague. Drtikol made many portraits of very important people and nudes which show development from pictorialism and symbolism to modern composite pictures of the nude body with geometric decorations and thrown shadows, where it is possible to find a number of parallels with the avant-garde works of the period. 

He began using paper cut-outs in a period he called "photopurism". These photographs resembled silhouettes of the human form. Later he gave up photography and concentrated on painting. After the studio was sold Drtikol focused mainly on painting, Buddhist religious and philosophical systems. In the final stage of his photographic work Drtikol created compositions of little carved figures, with elongated shapes, symbolically expressing various themes from Buddhism. In the 1920s and 1930s, he received significant awards at international photo salons. More on František Drtikol

Iva Troj, United Kingdom
What Noah Forgot
Acrylic on Sound.
15.7 H x 23.6 W x 0.4 in

Iva Troj seamlessly incorporates her vast experience of traditional painting techniques with postmodern elements to create engaging Renaissance-style works that challenge the notion of societal conformity. Born in Bulgaria, based in Scandinavia and the UK, Troj creates work originating fundamentally in the crossing of two realities: the one she grew up in and the one she has embraced. 

“I’ve been told I have artistic talents since I was a little girl. The problem was I spent most of my time worrying about the meaning of it all. I grew up in a rough neighborhood, in the outskirts of Plovdiv. At times it felt like the whole place was full of violent men. My family was very strict, loving and protective of me so I managed to keep my head above water. More on Iva Troj 

A mere Nephilim (Fallen from grace), 2017
Mixed media on canvas
39 3/5 × 28 1/10 in, 100.5 × 71.5 cm
Private collection

Mpumelelo “Layziehound” Coka. South African, Bilanyoni A, Frischgewaagd, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, based in Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa. More at Eclectica Galleries

His work seems to be a social commentary of sorts, but perhaps what works best is his loose mark-making and almost direct use of paint. The influence of graffiti, which the artist has practised for many years, is evident. Yet he also employs methods of a pre-Renaissance drawing style, such as outlines, a certain flatness and symbolic colour.

He uses signs; incisive line and figures that convey emotional discord. Text sometimes is included and adds to the drama, a sense of a system that is failing or that has failed. It appears that such a failing may be because of a drive for power, coercive force and ideological and institutional might. More on Mpumelelo “Layziehound” Coka.

The Devil made me do it, c.  2017
Charcoal and acrylic on canvas
51 1/5 × 47 in, 130 × 119.5 cm
Private collection

She makes salvation scream, c. 2017
Mixed media on canvas
54 9/10 × 50 2/5 in
139.5 × 128 cm
Private collection

Psychedelic Saints, c. 2012
Acrylic and gold leaf on panel
14 1/5 × 11 in, 36 × 28 cm
Private collection

Paul Insect is UK street artist, who is most famous for his 2007 solo show Bullion exhibition at London's Art gallery, Lazarides Gallery. Damien Hirst is reported to be a fan of Insect, having purchased the show days before it opened. Insect, who also goes by the name of PINS, worked alongside artist Banksy at the Cans Festival, the Santa's Ghetto project in Bethlehem, and on the separation wall in Palestine.

Insect is well known for his collective named 'insect' which started in 1996, and disbanded in 2005. Insect held an exhibition at London's Kings Cross area in 2008 in partnership with Lazarides Gallery. 

Insect created the artwork for San Francisco-based hip hop producer DJ Shadow's 2006 The Outsider album More on Paul Insect

Psychedelic Saints, c. 2012
Acrylic and gold leaf on panel
14 1/5 × 11 2/5 in, 36 × 29 cm
Private collection

Psychedelic Saints, c. 2012
Acrylic and gold leaf on panel
13 4/5 × 11 in, 35 × 28 cm
Private collection

GEE VAUCHER, b. 1945
Our Father (Gold)
Screenprint in colours
19 7/10 × 27 3/5 in, 50 × 70 cm
Private collection

Gee Vaucher is a visual artist who was born in 1945 in Dagenham, Essex. Her work with Anarcho-punk band Crass was ovular to the 'protest art' of the 1980s. Vaucher has always seen her work as a tool for social change, and has expressed her strong anarcho-pacifist and feminist views in her paintings and collages. Vaucher also uses surrealist styles and methods.

She continues to design sleeves for Babel Label, and also designed the sleeve for The Charlatans (English band)' Who We Touch album. Vaucher has exhibited at the 96 Gillespie gallery in London. In 2007 and 2008 the Jack Hanley Gallery in San Francisco and Track 16 in Santa Monica ran exhibitions entitled "Gee Vaucher: Introspective", showing a wide selection of Vaucher's work.

In 2016, Vaucher was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Essex. More on Gee Vaucher

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