Saturday, October 7, 2017

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

Netherlandish, Malines, early 17th century
NATIVITY
Gilt alabaster reliefs
12 x 9,5 cm; each relief: 4 3/4  by 3 3/4  in.
Private collection

In Christian theology the nativity marks the incarnation of Jesus as the second Adam, in fulfillment of the divine will of God, undoing the damage caused by the fall of the first man, Adam. The artistic depiction of the nativity has been a major subject for Christian artists since the 4th century. Since the 13th century, the nativity scene has emphasized the humility of Jesus and promoted a more tender image of him, as a major turning point from the early "Lord and Master" image, affecting the basic approaches of Christian pastoral ministry. More on the nativity

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

South Nertherlandish or North German, circa 1600
CHRIST WASHING THE FEET OF THE APOSTLES
Alabaster relief
30,5 x 26,5 cm,
Private collection

Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet. It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. 

While yhe evening meal was in progress, Jesus got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. More on Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet.

Netherlandish, Malines, early 17th century
CHRIST'S ENTRY INTO JERUSALEM
Gilt alabaster reliefs
12 x 9,5 cm; each relief: 4 3/4  by 3 3/4  in.
Private collection

In the accounts of the four canonical Gospels, Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem takes place in the days before the Last Supper, marking the beginning of his Passion. Crowds gather around Jesus and believe in him after he raised Lazarus from the dead, and the next day the multitudes that had gathered for the feast in Jerusalem welcome Jesus as he enters Jerusalem. More on Jesus' entry into Jerusalem

Netherlandish, Malines, early 17th century, see above

Netherlandish, Malines, early 17th century
THE LAST SUPPER
Alabaster reliefs
9 x 12,5 cm; 3 1/2  by 5 in.
Private collection

The Last Supper is the final meal that, in the Gospel accounts, Jesus shared with his Apostles in Jerusalem before his crucifixion. The Last Supper provides the scriptural basis for the Eucharist, also known as "Holy Communion" or "The Lord's Supper".

The four canonical Gospels all state that the Last Supper took place towards the end of the week, after Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem and that Jesus and his Apostles shared a meal shortly before Jesus was crucified at the end of that week. During the meal Jesus predicts his betrayal by one of the Apostles present, and foretells that before the next morning, Peter will deny knowing him.

The three Synoptic Gospels and the First Epistle to the Corinthians include the account of the institution of the Eucharist in which Jesus takes bread, breaks it and gives it to the Apostles, saying: "This is my body which is given for you". The Gospel of John does not include this episode, but tells of Jesus washing the feet of the Apostles, giving the new commandment "to love one another as I have loved you", and has a detailed farewell discourse by Jesus, calling the Apostles who follow his teachings "friends and not servants", as he prepares them for his departure.

Scholars have looked to the Last Supper as the source of early Christian Eucharist traditions. Others see the account of the Last Supper as derived from 1st-century eucharistic practice as described by Paul in the mid-50s. More on The Last Supper

Netherlandish, Malines, early 17th century
 Monogrammed VB for Jan ou Hans Verbeke, or Peeter van Baelen.
CHRIST IN THE GARDEN OF OLIVES
Gilt alabaster reliefs
12 x 9,5 cm; 4 3/4  by 3 3/4  in.
Private collection

Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane refers to the events in the life of Jesus as recorded in the New Testament, between the Farewell Discourse at the conclusion of the Last Supper and Jesus' arrest. 

According to all four Gospels, immediately after the Last Supper, Jesus took a walk to pray. The gospels of Matthew and Mark identify this place of prayer as Gethsemane. Jesus was accompanied by three Apostles: Peter, John and James, whom he asked to stay awake and pray. He moved "a stone's throw away" from them, where He felt overwhelming sadness and anguish, and said "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass me by. Nevertheless, let it be as you, not I, would have it." Then, a little while later, He said, "If this cup cannot pass by, but I must drink it, your will be done!". He said this prayer three times, checking on the three apostles between each prayer and finding them asleep. He commented: "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak". An angel came from heaven to strengthen him. During his agony as he prayed, "his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down upon the ground".

At the conclusion of the narrative, Jesus accepts that the hour has come for him to be betrayed. More on Christ in the Garden

Netherlandish, Malines, early 17th century
JACOB'S LADDER
Aabaster reliefs
9,5 x 12 cm, 3 3/4  by 4 3/4  in
Private collection

Jacob's Ladder is the colloquial name for a connection between the earth and heaven that the biblical Patriarch Jacob dreams about during his flight from his brother Esau, as described in the Book of Genesis. The significance of the dream has been somewhat debated, but most interpretations agree that it identified Jacob with the obligations and inheritance of the ethnic people chosen by God, as understood in Abrahamic religions. It has since been used as a symbolic reference in various other contexts. More on Jacob's Ladder

Netherlandish, Malines, early 17th century
Monogrammed TT for Tobias van Tissenaken (active in 1596-1624)
THEOLOGICAL VIRTUES : THE FAITH, THE CHARITY AND THE HOPE
Alabaster reliefs
9,5 x 12 cm, 3 3/4  by 4 3/4 in., 3 1/2  by 5 in.
three alabaster reliefs
9,5 x 12 cm, 3 3/4  by 4 3/4 in.
Private collection

Theological virtues are virtues associated in Christian theology and philosophy with salvation resulting from the grace of God. Virtues are traits or qualities which dispose one to conduct oneself in a morally good manner. Traditionally they have been named faith, hope, and charity, and can trace their importance in Christian theology to Paul the Apostle in 1 Corinthians 13, who also pointed out charity is the most important.

The medieval Catholic philosopher Thomas Aquinas explained that these virtues are called theological virtues "because they have God for their object, both in so far as by them we are properly directed to Him, and because they are infused into our souls by God alone, as also, finally, because we come to know of them only by Divine revelation in the Sacred Scriptures". More on Theological virtues

VIRGIN OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION MEXICO, END OF THE 18TH CENTURY Carved and upholstered wood.
105 cm high.
Private collection


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






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