Monday, July 24, 2017

12 Mexico Icons, scenes from the Bible, with footnotes # 10

 SAINT GEORGE AND THE DRAGON
MEXICO, LATE 19th CENTURY
Oil on metallic sheet
35.5 x 25.5
Private Collection

Saint George (circa 275/281 – 23 April 303 AD) was a soldier in the Roman army who later became venerated as a Christian martyr. His parents were Christians of Greek background; his father Gerontius was a Roman army official from Cappadocia and his mother Polychronia was from Lydda, Syria Palaestina. Saint George became an officer in the Roman army in the Guard of Diocletian, who ordered his death for failing to recant his Christian faith.

In the fully developed Western version of the Saint George Legend, a dragon, or crocodile, makes its nest at the spring that provides water for the city of "Silene" (perhaps modern Cyrene in Libya or the city of Lydda in Palistine, depending on the source). Consequently, the citizens have to dislodge the dragon from its nest for a time, to collect water. To do so, each day they offer the dragon at first a sheep, and if no sheep can be found, then a maiden is the best substitute for one. The victim is chosen by drawing lots. One day, this happens to be the princess. The monarch begs for her life to be spared, but to no avail. She is offered to the dragon, but then Saint George appears on his travels. He faces the dragon, protects himself with the sign of the Cross, slays the dragon, and rescues the princess. The citizens abandon their ancestral paganism and convert to Christianity. Mor

THE MARRIAGE OF THE VIRGIN
MEXICO, EARLY 18th CENTURY
Oil on canvas
144 x 90 cm
Private Collection

The Marriage of the Virgin is the subject in Christian art depicting the marriage of the Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph. Unlike many other scenes in Life of the Virgin cycles (like the Nativity of Mary and Presentation of Mary), it is not a feast in the church calendar.

In art the subject could be covered in several different scenes, and the betrothal of Mary, with Joseph's blossoming rod, was often shown, despite its apocryphal origin. Wedding processions are also shown, especially in the Early Medieval period. More The Marriage of the Virgin

THE BAPTISM OF JESUS CHRIST
MEXICO, 17th CENTURY
Oil on canvas
160.5 x 112.5 cm
Private Collection

The baptism of Jesus marks the beginning of his public ministry. This event is described in the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. John's gospel does not directly describe Jesus' baptism.

Most modern theologians view the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist as a historical event to which a high degree of certainty can be assigned. Along with the crucifixion of Jesus, most biblical scholars view it as one of the two historically certain facts about him, and often use it as the starting point for the study of the historical Jesus. More The baptism of Jesus

ATTRIBUTED TO A JUAN CORRE
(MEXICO, ACT. 1646 - 1716)
SAINT SIMON
Oil on canvas
110 x 81.5 cm 
Private Collection

Juan Correa (1646–1716) was a Mexican painter of mixed Moorish or African, Indian and Spanish heritage. His years of greatest activity were from 1671 to 1716. He painted many religious-themed, Baroque paintings for cathedrals in Mexico. Correa was José de Ibarra's teacher. Correa, along with contemporaries Miguel Cabrera and Cristóbal de Villalpando are important examples of 17th century Mexican Baroque painting. More Juan Correa

St. Simon or Simeon is described as one of our Lord's brethren or kinsmen. His father was Cleophas, St. Joseph's brother, and his mother, according to some writers, was our Virgin Mary's sister. He wais supposed to have been about eight years older than Jesus. St. Epiphanius says that when the Jews massacred St. James the Lesser, his brother Simeon upbraided them for their cruelty. The apostles and disciples afterwards met together to appoint a successor to James as bishop of Jerusalem, and they unanimously chose Simeon, who had probably assisted his brother in the government of that church. 

In the year 66 civil war broke out in Palestine, as a consequence of Jewish opposition to the Romans. The Christians in Jerusalem were warned of the impending destruction of the city and ordered to leave it. Accordingly that same year, before Vespasian entered Judaea, they retired with St. Simeon at their head to the other side of the Jordan, occupying a small city called Pella. After the capture and burning of Jerusalem, the Christians returned and settled among the ruins until the Emperor Hadrian afterwards entirely razed it. When Vespasian and Domitian had ordered the destruction of all who were of the race of David, St. Simeon had escaped their search; but when Trajan gave a similar injunction, he was denounced as being not only one of David's descendants, but also a Christian, and he was brought before Atticus, the Roman governor. He was condemned to death and, after being tortured, was crucified. Although he was extremely old - tradition reports him to have attained the age of 120 - Simeon endured his sufferings with a degree of fortitude which roused the admiration of Atticus himself. More St. Simon

SAINT PETER OF ALCALA WITH A DONOR
MEXICO, 18th CENTURY
Oil on canvas
115.5 x 72 cm
Private Collection

SAINT ANNE, 
MEXICO, 18th CENTURY
Oil on canvas
112 x 58 cm
Private Collection

Saint Anne (also known as Ann or Anna) of David's house and line, was the mother of the Virgin Mary and grandmother of Jesus Christ, according to apocryphal Christian and Islamic tradition. Mary's mother is not named in the canonical gospels, nor in the Qur'an. Anne's name and that of her husband Joachim come only from New Testament apocrypha, of which the Protoevangelium of James (written perhaps around 150) seems to be the earliest that mentions them. More on Saint Anne

JUAN DE VILLALOBOS, (MEXICO, ACT. 1687-1724)
SAINT ILDEFONSO
Oil on canvas
154.5 x 81 cm
Private Collection

Saint Ildefonsus, born circa 607, died 23 January 667, was a scholar and theologian who served as the metropolitan Bishop of Toledo for the last decade of his life. 

Although his writings were less influential outside of Hispania, Ildefonsus was canonised and remained a potent force in the peninsula for centuries. Spanish and Portuguese missionaries spread his cult worldwide.

Ildefonsus was born to a prominent Visigothic family in Toledo during the reign of Witteric.[Civil wars racked the Visigothic kingdom during most of Ildefonsus' life. His uncle Eugenius, who later became Toledo's bishop, began educating the devout youth. Ildefonsus began his religious career circa 632 when Bishop Eladius of Toledo ordained him as a deacon. However, Ildefonse defied his family's plans for his clerical career by becoming a monk at the Agali monastery outside the city. While he was still a simple monk, he founded and endowed a monastery of nuns.  In 650 Ildefonsus was elected its abbot of Agali. In that capacity, he attended two synods of the Iberian church, the 8th and 9th Councils of Toledo. When his uncle Bishop Eugenius II died in 657, Ildefonsus was elected his successor as bishop of Toledo. King Recceswinth compelled him to accept the position.

At the end of the eighth century Cixila, Archbishop of Toledo, relates that Ildephonsus was praying one day before the relics of Saint Leocadia when the martyr arose from her tomb and thanked the saint for the devotion he showed towards the Mother of God.

It was reported that on 18 December 665 he experienced a vision of the Blessed Virgin when she appeared to him in person and presented him with a priestly vestment, to reward him for his zeal in honouring her. As Bishop Ildefonsus and the congregation sang Marian hymns, light engulfed the church, causing most worshippers to flee. The bishop, remaining with a few deacons, saw Mary descend and sit on the episcopal throne. More on Saint Ildefonsus

Villalobos, Juan de (1687-1724) was married in Puebla in 1687 and died in that city on July 4, 1724. He was a renowned painter in the Puebla-Tlaxcala region, leaving a total of 38 signed paintings. However, his greatest merit was the set of canvases that frame the dressing room of Ocotlán of 1723, a year before dying, these pictures represent scenes of the Life of the Virgin. (The Virgin of Ocotlán is a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Ocotlán, Tlaxcala, Mexico. The Virgin of Ocotlán is the patron saint of Tlaxcala and the neighbouring state of Puebla. She was crowned by the Pope on 31 July 1909).  More on Villalobos

HOLY FAMILY
PERUVIAN SCHOOL, EARLY 19th CENTURY
Oil on canvas
20 x 208.5 cm
Private Collection

The Holy Family consists of the Child Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and Saint Joseph. Veneration of the Holy Family was formally begun in the 17th century by Saint François de Laval, the first bishop of New France, who founded a Confraternity.

Matthew and Luke narrate the episodes from this period of Christ's life, namely his Circumcision and later Presentation, the Flight to Egypt, the return to Nazareth, and the Finding in the Temple.[Joseph and Mary were apparently observant Jews, as Luke narrates that they brought Jesus with them on the annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem with other Jewish families. More on The Holy Family 

VIRGIN OF THE APOCALYPSE
MEXICO, LATE 18th CENTURY
Oil on canvas
61 x 49 cm, oval
Private Collection

Madonna of the Apocalypse. Images of the Virgin as the woman of the Apocalypse became extremely popular in the late 1400s and were produced in large numbers after Sixtus IV granted an indulgence of 11,000 years for each specific prayer said in front of one of them. Mary was often called the second Eve, who, by giving birth to Christ, brought redemption to humankind. More Madonna of the Apocalypse

In this narrative the woman gives birth to a male child that is attacked by the Dragon identified as the Devil and Satan. When the child is taken to heaven, the woman flees into the wilderness leading to "War in Heaven" in which the angels cast out the Dragon. The Dragon attacks the woman, who is given wings to escape, and then attacks her again with a flood of water from his mouth, which is subsequently swallowed by the earth. Frustrated, the dragon initiates war on "the remnant of her seed" identified as the righteous followers of Christ.

The Woman of the Apocalypse is widely identified as the Virgin Mary. This interpretation is held by the ancient Church as well as in the medieval and modern Roman Catholic Church. This view does not negate the alternative interpretation of the Woman representing the Church, as in modern Catholic dogma, Mary is herself considered both the Mother of God and the Mother of the Church (while in Reformed theology and traditions that are averse to Marian veneration, the interpretation of the Woman represents the naturally predominate church). More Woman of the Apocalypse

OUR LADY OF REFUGE
MEXICO, 18th CENTURY
Oil on canvas
85 x 72 cm 
Private Collection

Refugium Peccatorum meaning Refuge of Sinners is a Roman Catholic title for the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the Roman Catholic tradition, Eve is viewed as being responsible for the sufferings of humans since their fall and expulsion from paradise while the Virgin Mary is viewed as the source of all healing. She is the new Eve, who cannot eliminate the damage created by Eve, but limit it. Her fullness of grace, her position among the disciples of Christ and her title as Mother of God are seen as assurances that the Virgin Mary is a powerful intercesso. More on Our Lady of Refuge

Roque Chavez Fecit 
OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE
MEXICO, 19th CENTURY
Oil on canvas
16 x 66 cm
Private Collection

Our Lady of Guadalupe. In 1531 a "Lady from Heaven" appeared to a humble Native American at Tepeyac, a hill northwest of what is now Mexico City. She identified herself as the virgin Holy Mary. 

She made a request for a church to be built on the site, and submitted her wish to the local Bishop. When the Bishop hesitated, and requested her for a sign, the Mother of God obeyed without delay or question to the Church's local Bishop, and sent her native messenger to the top of the hill in mid-December to gather an assortment of roses for the Bishop. 

After complying to the Bishop's request for a sign, She also left an image of herself imprinted miraculously on the native's tilma, a poor quality cactus-cloth, which should have deteriorated in 20 years but shows no sign of decay 485 years later and still defies all explanations of its origin. More on Our Lady of Guadalupe

SAINT MICHAEL
MEXICO, LATE 19th CENTURY
Oil on metallic sheet
25 x 18 cm
Private Collection

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.





Acknowledgement: Morton Subastas

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Saturday, July 15, 2017

08 Paintings, scenes from the Bible, by The Old Masters, with footnotes # 42

Hieronymus Bosch (circa 1450–1516)
Triptych of the crucified Martyr, circa 1497-1505
Oil on panel
Height: 104 cm (40.9 in). Width: 119 cm (46.9 in).
Doge's Palace, Venice

The central panel depicts the crucifixion of a saint usually identified with Saint Julia of Corsica (sometimes with Saint Wilgefortis). In a depiction related to Christ's crucifixion, the centrally themed woman is in an elevated position against the sky, balanced by a large crowd gathered at the foot of the cross, including executioners and common people. A typical element is the fainting man supported by his neighbors.

The sides show two cities: at right, a port characterized by fanciful domed buildings and several sunken ships; at left is city on fire, occupied by demons. At the bottom are several parapets, with, at left, a hermit with a dark hood (perhaps St. Anthony in Meditation), and, at right, a monk and a soldier who point at the central panel, traditionally identified as slave-dealers. More about the painting

Hieronymus Bosch, (circa 1450–1516)
Triptych of the crucified Martyr, circa 1497-1505
Detail, Left Panel


Saint Julia of Corsica, also known as Saint Julia of Carthage, and more rarely Saint Julia of Nonza, was a virgin martyr who is venerated as a Christian saint. The date of her death is most probably on or after AD 439. 

Saint Julia was a noble virgin of Carthage, who, when the city was taken by Genseric in 439, was sold for a slave to a pagan merchant of Syria. In the most mortifying employments of her station, by cheerfulness and patience she found a happiness and comfort which the world could not give. Whenever she was not employed in household affairs, her time was devoted to prayer and reading books of piety.

Hieronymus Bosch, (circa 1450–1516)
Triptych of the crucified Martyr, circa 1497-1505
Detail

Her master, who was charmed with her fidelity and other virtues, thought proper to take her with him on one of his voyages to Gaul. When he reached the northern part of Corsica, he cast anchor and went ashore to join the pagans of the place in an idolatrous festival. Julia was left at some distance, because she would not be defiled by the superstitious ceremonies, which she openly spurned. The governor of the island, Felix, a bigoted pagan, asked who this woman was who dared to insult the gods. The merchant informed him that she was a Christian, and that all his authority over her was too weak to prevail upon her to renounce her religion; nonetheless, he found her so diligent and faithful he could not part with her. The governor offered him four of his best slaves in exchange for her. But the merchant replied, No; all you are worth will not purchase her; for I would lose the most valuable thing I have in the world rather than be deprived of her.

Hieronymus Bosch, (circa 1450–1516)
Triptych of the crucified Martyr, circa 1497-1505
Detail, Right Panel

Nonetheless Felix, while the inebriated merchant was asleep, attempted to compel her to sacrifice to his gods. He offered to procure her liberty if she would comply. The Saint made answer that she was as free as she desired to be, as long as she was allowed to serve Jesus Christ. The pagan, offended by her undaunted and resolute air, in a transport of rage caused her to be struck on the face, and the hair of her head to be torn off. Finally he ordered her to be hanged on a cross until she expired. Certain monks from the isle of Gorgon transported her relics there, but in 763 the king of Lombardy transferred them to Brescia, where her memory is celebrated with great devotion. More Saint Julia 

Hieronymus Bosch (c. 1450 – 9 August 1516) was an Early Flemish painter. His work is known for its fantastic imagery, detailed landscapes, and illustrations of religious concepts and narratives. Within his lifetime his work was collected in the Netherlands, Austria, and Spain, and widely copied, especially his macabre and nightmarish depictions of hell.
Little is known of Bosch's life, though there are some records. He spent most of it in the town of 's-Hertogenbosch, where he was born in his grandfather's house. The roots of his forefathers are in Aachen, in present-day Germany. His pessimistic and fantastical style cast a wide influence on northern art of the 16th century, with Pieter Bruegel the Elder being his best known follower. His paintings have been difficult to translate from a modern point of view; attempts to associate instances of modern sexual imagery with fringe sects or the occult have largely failed. Today he is seen as a hugely individualistic painter with deep insight into humanity's desires and deepest fears. Attribution has been especially difficult; today only about 25 paintings are confidently given to his hand along with 8 drawings. Approximately another half dozen paintings are confidently attributed to his workshop. His most acclaimed works consist of a few triptych altarpieces, the most outstanding of which is The Garden of Earthly Delights. More Hieronymus Bosch

Gabriel von Max, (1840–1915)
Saint Julia (also called „Crucified Martyress“), c. 1866
 Oil on canvas
125x93 cm
Hermitage Museum.

This painting of Saint Julia was Gabriel von Max's first great success. It shows Saint Julia of Corsica  on the cross. Beneath her is a man with roses in his hand, who apparently reveres her. There is a red gemstone on each shoe.

Saint Julia of Corsica, also known as Saint Julia of Carthage, and more rarely Saint Julia of Nonza, was a virgin martyr who is venerated as a Christian saint. The date of her death is most probably on or after AD 439. 

Saint Julia was a noble virgin of Carthage, who, when the city was taken by Genseric in 439, was sold for a slave to a pagan merchant of Syria. In the most mortifying employments of her station, by cheerfulness and patience she found a happiness and comfort which the world could not give. Whenever she was not employed in household affairs, her time was devoted to prayer and reading books of piety.

Her master, who was charmed with her fidelity and other virtues, thought proper to take her with him on one of his voyages to Gaul. When he reached the northern part of Corsica, he cast anchor and went ashore to join the pagans of the place in an idolatrous festival. Julia was left at some distance, because she would not be defiled by the superstitious ceremonies, which she openly spurned. The governor of the island, Felix, a bigoted pagan, asked who this woman was who dared to insult the gods. The merchant informed him that she was a Christian, and that all his authority over her was too weak to prevail upon her to renounce her religion; nonetheless, he found her so diligent and faithful he could not part with her. The governor offered him four of his best slaves in exchange for her. But the merchant replied, No; all you are worth will not purchase her; for I would lose the most valuable thing I have in the world rather than be deprived of her.


Nonetheless Felix, while the inebriated merchant was asleep, attempted to compel her to sacrifice to his gods. He offered to procure her liberty if she would comply. The Saint made answer that she was as free as she desired to be, as long as she was allowed to serve Jesus Christ. The pagan, offended by her undaunted and resolute air, in a transport of rage caused her to be struck on the face, and the hair of her head to be torn off. Finally he ordered her to be hanged on a cross until she expired. Certain monks from the isle of Gorgon transported her relics there, but in 763 the king of Lombardy transferred them to Brescia, where her memory is celebrated with great devotion. More Saint Julia 

Gabriel Cornelius Ritter von Max (ennobled in 1900; 23 August 1840 – 24 November 1915) was a Prague-born Austrian painter, the son of the sculptor Josef Max and Anna Schumann. He studied at the Prague Academy of Arts. His studies included parapsychology, Darwinism, Asiatic philosophy, the ideas of Schopenhauer, and various mystical traditions. He continued his studies at the Viennese Academy of Art. From 1863 to 1867 he studied at the Munich Academy. His first critical success was in 1867 with the painting "Martyr at the Cross": that painting transformed the "Unglücksmalerei" (dark palette) of Piloty into a religious-mystical symbolism using a psychological rendering of its subject.

He continued to use the dark palette of the Piloty school well into the 1870s, later moving toward a more muted palette, using fewer, clearer colors. From 1869, Gabriel von Max had his studio in Munich. From 1879-1883, Gabriel Max was a professor of Historical Painting at the Munich Academy; he also became a Fellow of The Theosophical Society. In 1900 he was ennobled and became a Ritter. He died in Munich in 1915. More Gabriel von Max

Giovanni Battista Lenardi, (Italy, 1656-1704)
The Assumption of the Virgin with Saints Anne and Nicholas of Myra, c. 1690
Oil on canvas
100 × 66 in. (254 × 167.64 cm)
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Although this large and impressive altarpiece was thought to be the work of Domenichino when it first surfaced on the art market in 1978, it was identified prior to its sale by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2003 as the work that Giovanni Battista Lenardi completed for the church of San Giuseppe dei Falegnami in Rome.  The work was installed in the left chapel of the church in 1690, when records show that the artist's brother Pietro Paolo was paid for making adjustments to it. 

In 1855, the altarpiece was replaced with a copy of Carlo Maratti's Flight into Egypt, although it appears that Lenardi's painting remained in the church in another location until at least 1929.  The prominent depiction of Saint Nicholas of Myra in his distinctly "Greek" costume makes the association of this altarpiece with the one described in Filippo Titi's study of Rome's churches a virtual certainty (see Literature).   Lenardi, whose oeuvre has only recently begun to be comprehensively studied, was a student of Pietro da Cortona and Lazzaro Baldi. More 

Ilya Repin, Russian, 1844–1930
Golgotha, 1921–22
Oil on reversed linoleum
214 x 176 cm (84 1/4 x 69 5/16 in.)
Princeton University Art Museum

Repin’s Golgotha offers a starkly uncon­ventional interpretation of familiar subject matter. It is a Crucifixion without Christ, whose body has already been removed from the place of execution, leaving yawning emptiness at the center of the painting. Two dead thieves remain, tied to their crosses. A third cross rests on the ground, its nails, its crossbar, and the surrounding area saturated with Christ’s blood. With brutal realism, Repin depicts a pack of carrion dogs licking the blood; one, positioned at the foot of the empty cross, looks out of the painting as if in response to the viewer’s presence. More Golgotha

Ilya Yefimovich Repin (5 August 1844 – 29 September 1930) was the most renowned Russian artist of the 19th century. He played a major role in bringing Russian art into the mainstream of European culture. His major works include Barge Haulers on the Volga (1873), Religious Procession in Kursk Province (1883) and Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks (1880–91).

Repin was born in Chuguyev, in the Kharkov Governorate (now Ukraine) of the Russian Empire into a military family. He entered military school in 1854 and in 1856 studied under Ivan Bunakov, a local icon painter. He began to paint around 1860. In 1874–1876 he showed at the Salon in Paris and at the exhibitions of the Itinerants' Society in Saint Petersburg. He was awarded the title of academician in 1876.

In 1901 he was awarded the Legion of Honour. In 1911 he traveled to the World Exhibition in Italy, where his painting 17 October 1905 and his portraits were displayed in their own separate room. In 1916 Repin worked on his book of reminiscences, Far and Near. He welcomed the Russian Revolution of 1917. Celebrations were held in 1924 in Kuokkala to mark Repin's 80th birthday, followed by an exhibition of his works in Moscow. In 1925 a jubilee exhibition of his works was held in the Russian Museum in Leningrad. Repin died in 1930 and was buried at the Penates. More

Attributed to Johan Maelwael (Jean Malouel). (Nijmegen, c. 1370 - Dijon, 1415), 
La Grande Pietà ronde, c. 1400
Oil on Wood
Musée du Louvre

The Pietà is a subject in Christian art depicting the Virgin Mary cradling 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

Jean Malouel, or Jan Maelwael in his native Dutch, (c. 1365 – 1415) was a Netherlandish artist, sometimes classified as French, who was the court painter of Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy and his successor John the Fearless, working in the International Gothic style.

He was presumably born in Nijmegen, then in the Duchy of Guelders, which was bought by Philip the Bold in 1473, and is in the modern Netherlands. He probably trained there in the workshop of his father, the artist Willem Maelwael, and is recorded as an artist in 1382. He was the uncle of the famous manuscript illuminators, the three Limbourg brothers, whom he introduced to Philip's service around 1400. 


Malouel is recorded as working in Paris painting armorial decorations on cloth for Isabelle of Bavaria, Queen of France, in 1396–97, but by August 1397 he was in Dijon, the capital of the Duchy of Burgundy, where he succeeded Jean de Beaumetz (d. 1396) to the position of court painter to Philip. He retained these positions until his death.] In 1405, soon after the death of Philip, he returned to Nijmegen to marry Heilwig van Redinchaven, bringing her back to Dijon3. In 1415 he died in Dijon, leaving Heilwig and four children. She received a pension from the Duke, and returned to Nijmegen, where she became involved in lengthy litigation over Malouel's estate there. More on Johan Maelwael

Henri Bellechose, (1415–1440)
Altarpiece of St Denis in Paris
The Last Communion and Martyrdom of Saint Denis, c. 1416
Tempera and gold on canvas mounted on panel
162 × 211 cm (63.8 × 83.1 in)
Louvre Museum

Saint Denis was a legendary 3rd-century Christian martyr and saint. He was bishop of Paris in the third century. He suffered under the persecution of the emperor Decius shortly after ad 250. Denis is the most famous cephalophore in Christian legend, with a popular story claiming that the decapitated bishop picked up his head and walked several miles while preaching a sermon on repentance. He is venerated in the Catholic Church as the patron saint of France and Paris and is accounted one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. A chapel was raised at the site of his burial by a local Christian woman; it was later expanded into an abbey and basilica, around which grew up the French city of Saint-Denis, now a suburb of Paris. Saint Denis

Henri Bellechose (fl. 1415; died before 28 January 1445) was from the South Netherlands. He was one of the most significant artists at the beginning of panel painting in Northern Europe, and among the earliest artists of Early Netherlandish painting.

Bellechose was an artist who came to Dijon to work for the Dukes of Burgundy. There he was appointed court painter to John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy and "valet de chambre", a court appointment, as his predecessor Jean Malouel and successor Jan van Eyck were. Nothing is known of his career before this, and it has been suggested that he had been working as Malouel's assistant for some time, and for some art historians their oeuvres are closely entangled.

His famous Martyrdom of Saint Denis (above) in the Louvre, was commissioned by the Duke for the Chartreuse of Champmol in Dijon, founded by Philip the Bold as a dynastic burial place. The pigments to "parfaire" an image of the "Life of St Denis", but interestingly not any gold for the background, were advanced by the Duchy in May 1415. This has led to the suggestion that the work had been left incomplete by Malouel.

In April 1420, when John the Fearless died, Bellechose was retained by his successor, Philip the Good. The works recorded in the accounts of the Duke were mostly decorative, including commissions such as coats of arms for funerals, as was normal for court artists, but two altarpieces, neither apparently surviving, were commissioned in 1425 and 1429. Bellechose had a large studio which at its peak consisted of eight assistants and two apprentices. More on Henri Bellechose

Emil Nolde, 1867 - 1956
Die Grablegung (Begravelsen, The Burial), c. 1915
Oil on canvas
87 x 117 cm, Stiftung Nolde, Seebüll
Nasjonalmuseet, National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Norway

The burial of Jesus refers to the burial of the body of Jesus after crucifixion, described in the New Testament. According to the canonical gospel accounts, he was placed in a tomb by a man named Joseph of Arimathea.

The earliest reference is in a letter of Paul. He refers to the account he had received of the death and resurrection of Jesus ("and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures").

The next generation of writings are the four canonical gospels, written between 66 and 95CE, all of which conclude with an extended narrative of Jesus' arrest, trial, crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. All four state that, on the evening of the Crucifixion, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body, and, after Pilate granted his request, he wrapped it in a linen cloth and laid it in a tomb.More of The Burial

Emil Nolde (born Emil Hansen; 7 August 1867 – 13 April 1956) was a German-Danish painter and printmaker. He was one of the first Expressionists, a member of Die Brücke, and was one of the first oil painting and watercolor painters of the early 20th century to explore color. He is known for his brushwork and expressive choice of colors. Golden yellows and deep reds appear frequently in his work, giving a luminous quality to otherwise somber tones. His watercolors include vivid, brooding storm-scapes and brilliant florals. More Emil Nolde 


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Thursday, July 13, 2017

10 Icons from the Bible, with footnotes, #16

Italian School, 19th century, in the manner of a Trecento work
THE MADONNA AND CHILD
Oil and gold ground on poplar panel
47.2 x 29.6 cm.; 18 5/8  x 11 5/8  in.
Private collection

The Trecento refers to the 14th century in Italian cultural history. Commonly the Trecento is considered to be the beginning of the Renaissance in art history. Painters of the Trecento included Giotto di Bondone, as well as painters of the Sienese School, which became the most important in Italy during the century, including Duccio di Buoninsegna, Simone Martini, Lippo Memmi, Ambrogio Lorenzetti and his brother Pietro. Important sculptors included two pupils of Giovanni Pisano: Arnolfo di Cambio and Tino di Camaino, and Bonino da Campione. More on Trecento

Italian School, probably Marchigian, circa 1400
THE MADONNA AND CHILD
Tempera and gold ground on poplar panel in an engaged frame
50.5 x 33 cm.; 19 7/8  x 13 in.
Private collection

Italian School, 14th century
THE CRUCIFIXION WITH THE VIRGIN, MARY MAGDALENE AND SAINT JOHN
Tempera and gold ground on poplar panel
86 x 52.4 cm.; 33 7/8  x 20 5/8  in.
Private collection

Mary Magdalene,  literally translated as Mary the Magdalene or Mary of Magdala, is a figure in Christianity who, according to the Bible, traveled with Jesus as one of his followers. She is said to have witnessed Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection. Within the four Gospels she is named more than most of the apostles. Based on texts of the early Christian era in the third century, it seems that her status as an “apostle" rivals even Peter's.

The Gospel of Luke says seven demons had gone out of her. She is most prominent in the narrative of the crucifixion of Jesus, at which she was present. She was also present two days later when, she was, either alone or as a member of a group of women, the first to testify to the resurrection of Jesus. John 20 and Mark 16:9 specifically name her as the first person to see Jesus after his resurrection.

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

John the Apostle ( c. AD 6 – c. 106) was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus according to the New Testament. He was the son of Zebedee and Salome. His brother was James, who was another of the Twelve Apostles. Christian tradition holds that he outlived the remaining apostles and that he was the only one not to die a martyr's death (excluding Judas Iscariot who died by suicide). The Church Fathers considered him the same person as John the Evangelist, John of Patmos, John the Elder and the Beloved Disciple, although modern theologians and scholars have not formed a consensus on the relative identities of these men. The tradition of most Christian denominations holds that John the Apostle is the author of several books of the New Testament. More John the Apostle

Italian School, 14th century. During the 1200s a new format for painting—the altarpiece—appeared in Italian churches. Previously, fresco and mosaic decoration were predominant, and Western artists did not often paint on wooden panels

Italian artists working in this new medium turned for inspiration to the Christian East, adapting the techniques, style, and subject matter of Byzantine icons, devotional images whose backgrounds are dematerialized with shimmering gold and whose figures often appear timeless and remote. But church decoration in the West was also meant to instruct the faithful, which fostered less static styles. New religious orders, especially the Franciscans, who emphasized the human life of holy figures, prompted artists to capture the world of everyday experience with greater verisimilitude.

The Florentine Giotto is usually credited with first capturing the weight and mass of bodies in space, making them three-dimensional with light and shadow. He abandoned the decorative pattern and complicated line of Byzantine art for heavier, simpler forms and animated his figures with genuine human motivations. His innovations did not proceed uninterrupted, however, and after mid-century Florentine painters like Orcagna returned to a more ornate and less naturalistic style. More Italian School, 14th century

Circle of Quinten Massys
THE VIRGIN AND CHILD
oil on oak panel
60.5 x 44.9 cm.; 23 3/4  x 17 5/8  in.
Private collection

Quinten Massys, 1465/6 - 1530. Massys was the leading painter in Antwerp in the early 16th century. He was born in Louvain and his earliest works show the influence of Memling, who had been active in Bruges. His later works show some Italian influence, particularly that of Leonardo. He was notable as a portraitist as well as a religious painter.

Massys is first recorded in Antwerp, on becoming a member of the guild there in 1491, when the town was beginning to assume importance as the main port of the Netherlands. There are dated and datable paintings by Massys from 1509 onwards, the year of the completion of his altarpiece of the 'Legend of Saint Anna' (now in the Brussels Museum).

In Antwerp, Massys was closely associated with Joachim Patinir, and seems to have supplied figures for his landscapes. More Quinten Massys,

Manner of Tommaso del Mazza, called the master of St. Verdiana
A PORTABLE TRIPTYCH SHOWING THE MADONNA AND CHILD ENTHRONED WITH SAINTS, WITH THE ANNUNCIATION AND CRUCIFIXION DEPICTED ON THE WINGS
Oil on panel, gold ground, pointed tops
central panel: 89.5 x 34.6 cm.; 35 1/4  x 13 5/8  in.
wings, each: 68.9 x 17.3 cm.; 27 1/8  x 6 7/8  in.
Private collection

The Virgin Enthroned symbolizes the mystery of the incarnation of Christ made man and the glory of the Mother of God. This justifies the intense expression of the countenances, the solemn attitudes of the Saints present at the glory of the Mother of God, the awed attention of the Archangels who "behold" the mystery of the incarnation. More The Virgin Enthroned

The Annunciation 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.

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

Crucifixion is a historical method of capital punishment in which the victim is tied or nailed to a large wooden beam and left to hang for several days until eventual death from exhaustion and asphyxiation. It is principally known from classical antiquity, but remains in occasional use in some countries. 

The crucifixion of Jesus is a central narrative in Christianity, and the cross (sometimes depicting Jesus nailed onto it) is the main religious symbol for many Christian churches. More Crucifixion

Tommaso del Mazza, known as the Master of Saint Verdiana (active 1377 - 1392), worked in the late Gothic style at the dawn of the Renaissance in Florence. In his early career, during the 1370s, he was active in the workshop of Andrea Orcagna, whose work featured gold backgrounds, attention to the picture's surface, and brilliant colors. Showing no compulsion to render a scene in realistic detail, del Mazza allowed the needs of the theme and their inherent symbolism to determine his stylized approach to painting. In the 1390s he became an independent artist. More Tommaso del Mazza

South Netherlandish School, second quarter of the 16th century
THE VIRGIN AND CHILD ON A CRESCENT MOON
Oil on oak panel, with an arched top, in an integral frame
Painted surface: 33 x 22.8 cm.; 13 x 9 in. 
Overall: 41 x 31 cm.; 16 1/8  x 12 1/4  in.
Private collection

The depiction of the Madonna on the crescent is based on the vision of John the Evangelist in chapter 12 of Revelation, the final book of the New Testament (here, the King James version):

1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:
2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.
4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.

5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. More

The depiction of the back of the Virgin and Child, with the two figures looking over their shoulders, is particularly rare in Western art. There are only three other examples of this type recorded in the database of the RKD, The Hague, both anonymous and dated to the same period as the present panel. More on The depiction

Early Netherlandish painting refers to the work of artists, sometimes known as the Flemish Primitives, active in the Burgundian and Habsburg Netherlands during the 15th- and 16th-century Northern Renaissance; especially in the flourishing cities of Bruges, Ghent, Tournai and Brussels. Their work follows the International Gothic style. 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. B

Assisted by the workshop system, panels and a variety of crafts were sold to foreign princes or merchants through private engagement or market stalls. A majority were destroyed during waves of iconoclasm in the 16th and 17th centuries; today only a few thousand examples survive.

Scholarship of Early Netherlandish painting was one of the main activities of 19th and 20th-century art history, and was a major focus of two of the most important art historians of the 20th century: Max J. Friedländer (From Van Eyck to Breugel and Early Netherlandish Painting) and Erwin Panofsky (Early Netherlandish Painting). More Early Netherlandish 

LARGE BRASS ICON, Russian
 THE OLD TESTAMENT TRINITY, c. 19th century
Cast in relief, enamelled in green, white, black, white and blue
21.3 x 17.3 cm. 
Private collection

LARGE BRASS AND ENAMEL ICON, Russian, 
SHOWING THE OLD TESTAMENT TRINITY, c. 19th century
Cast in relief, enameled in green, white, yellow, blue and black
21 x 17 cm.
Private collection

The first reference to the activity of the triune God is recorded in the first account of creation. There it states: "And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters" and also: "Then God said, 'Let us make man in Our image, according to our likeness'". "Elohim", the designation for God used in the original Hebrew text, is plural. It means "the Divine" as well as "gods" and should be understood, in light of the gospel, as a reference to the triune God.

The various divine manifestations, for example "Angel of the Lord", "Spirit of God", or "Spirit of the Lord" are also interpreted as references to the mystery of the trinity of God.

The three messengers of God who visited Abraham are understood in Christian tradition as a reference to the mystery of the divine Trinity.

The activity of the triune God in the priestly blessing is interpreted in the same way: "The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you, the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace."

The angel's threefold praise in the inaugural vision of the prophet Isaiah is also considered an indication of God's trinity: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!". More on  triune God

BRASS ICON,  Russian, 
BRASS ICON SHOWING ST. DIMITRIY OF SALONIKI, c. 19th century
Cast, decorated with enamel
11.2 x 9.8 cm
Private collection

Saint Dimitrios. The city of Thessaloniki suffered repeated attacks and sieges from the Slavic peoples who moved into the Balkans, and Demetrios was credited with many miraculous interventions to defend the city. Hence later traditions about Demetrius regard him as a soldier in the Roman army, and he came to be regarded as an important military martyr. Unsurprisingly, he was extremely popular in the Middle Ages. More Saint Dimitrios

Secondary altar shrine
Overall height: 127 cm. 
Width: 83.5 cm. Depth: approx. 31 cm. 
17th century

Wooden high altar shrine with carved blasting gables, in winged angel head, including frieze. The doors are carved with cassettes, each with a moving braid. In the open state round arched box nets. Previously, carving relief depictions of Saint Peter on the left as well as of Saint Francis on the right, each on large acanthus volute. The back wall painted in a landscape, a wooden cross with a carved Corpus Christi, flanked by the assistant figures "Maria" and "Johannes" in the Hochrelief. The doors of the door are decorated with four paintings, on the upper left, "Jesus at the Mount of Olives," on the upper right, "Flagellation of Christ". Figures and reliefs. (1091259) (2) (11) Two-door shrine altar Height: 127 cm. Width: 83.5 cm. Depth: about 31 cm. 17th century. Portrait format wooden altar shrine. When it's done, it's a box-shaped niche surmounted by a round arch with carvings of Saint Peter on the left and Saint Francis on the right. The interior of a carved wood carving in a carved wooden carving in the background. Four paintings are set inside the doors. When it's done, it's a box-shaped niche surmounted by a round arch with carvings of Saint Peter on the left and Saint Francis on the right. The interior of a carved wood carving in a carved wooden carving in the background. Four paintings are set inside the doors. When it's done, it's a box-shaped niche surmounted by a round arch with carvings of Saint Peter on the left and Saint Francis on the right. The interior of a carved wood carving in a carved wooden carving in the background. Four paintings are set inside the doors.



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