Thursday, January 4, 2018

05 Paintings, RELIGIOUS ART - Interpretations of the Bible! by The Old Masters, With Footnotes # 68

Bronzino, Agnolo, Florentine, 1503 - 1572
The Holy Family, c. 1527/1528
Oil on panel
101.3 x 78.7 cm (39 7/8 x 31 in.)
National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

This early painting by Bronzino shows a young Holy Family being visited by Mary's cousin Elizabeth and her child, John the Baptist. While Elizabeth gazes longingly at the Christ Child, John presents his traditional pointing finger.

This painting is typically mannerist: with elongated figures and unnatural colors. As a result, the whole composition appears artificial and and somewhat esoteric. More on this painting

Agnolo di Cosimo (November 17, 1503 – November 23, 1572), usually known as Bronzino was a Florentine Mannerist painter. 

He lived all his life in Florence, and from his late 30s was kept busy as the court painter of Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. He was mainly a portraitist but also painted many religious subjects, and a few allegorical subjects, which include what is probably his best known work, Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time, c. 1544–45, now in London (Above). Many portraits of the Medicis exist in several versions with varying degrees of participation by Bronzino himself, as Cosimo was a pioneer of the copied portrait sent as a diplomatic gift.


He trained with Pontormo, the leading Florentine painter of the first generation of Mannerism, and his style was greatly influenced by him, but his elegant and somewhat elongated figures always appear calm and somewhat reserved, lacking the agitation and emotion of those by his teacher. They have often been found cold and artificial, and his reputation suffered from the general critical disfavour attached to Mannerism in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Recent decades have been more appreciative of his art. More on Agnolo di Cosimo 

The Gualino Pesellinesque Master, ACTIVE MID-15TH CENTURY
THE MADONNA AND CHILD ENTHRONED WITH SAINTS JOHN THE BAPTIST, PAUL, NICOLAS OF BARI AND GEORGE
Tempera on panel, gold ground with an arched top
33 1/4  by 20 in.; 84.3 by 50.7 cm.
Private collection

The robust figures of the Madonna and Child and the precise attention to detail are typical of painters in the mid-15th Century in Florence.  Indeed, the continuing influence of such masters as Fra Angelico can still be seen in the present work. More on this work

The Madonna and Child, see below

JOHN THE BAPTIST, see below

Paul the Apostle (c. 5 – c. 67), commonly known as Saint Paul, and also known by his native name Saul of Tarsus was an apostle (though not one of the Twelve Apostles) who taught the gospel of the Christ to the first century world. He is generally considered one of the most important figures of the Apostolic Age. In the mid-30s to the mid-50s AD, he founded several churches in Asia Minor and Europe. Paul took advantage of his status as both a Jew and a Roman citizen to minister to both Jewish and Roman audiences. More Saint Paul

Saint Nicholas (15 March 270 – 6 December 343), also called Nikolaos of Myra or Nicholas of Bari, was Bishop of Myra, in Asia Minor (modern-day Demre, Turkey).

The historical Saint Nicholas was born at Patara, Lycia in Asia Minor (now Turkey). In his youth he made a pilgrimage to Egypt and the Palestine area. Shortly after his return he became Bishop of Myra and was later cast into prison during the persecution of Diocletian. He was released after the accession of Constantine and was present at the Council of Nicaea. According to Western Christian tradition, Italian merchants took his body to Italy in 1087. More on Saint Nicholas 

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. More on Saint George 

Tommaso di Credi, called Tommaso
THE MADONNA AND CHILD IN A LANDSCAPE, WITH ANGELS
Oil on panel, a tondo
diameter: 36 3/4  in.; 93.3 cm.
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

TOMMASO DI CREDI, (active 1490-1510 in Florence). Tommaso was a close follower of Lorenzo di Credi who in all likelihood trained in the latter's workshop. The artist specialised in scenes with the protagonists depicted conversing serenely before an extensive imaginary landscape.

Tommaso was probably active throughout much of his career in the workshop of Lorenzo di Credi. His artistic development unfolded during one of the most innovative and exciting periods in the history of Florentine painting - the dawn of the High Renaissance - and reflects not only the influence of Lorenzo di Credi, but also that of a number of other great Quattrocento masters, including Filippino Lippi, Piero di Cosimo, Verrocchio, and Leonardo da Vinci.



At times known as the 'Master of the Santo Spirito Sacra Conversazione', Tommaso's work also betrays the influence of Piero di Cosimo. A great number of his works are tondi and were in all likelihood produced for domestic settings. More on TOMMASO DI CREDI


Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo, VENICE 1727 - 1804
SAINT ROSE OF LIMA
Oil on canvas
17 1/8  by 14 1/8  in.; 43.6 by 36 cm.
Private collection

Saint Rose of Lima (1586-1617), Patroness of the Americas, was born in Peru.  As an infant, a servant had a vision that her face turned into a rose and she eventually adopted that name at her confirmation.  At age twenty she joined the Third Order of St. Dominic (Below).  She lead a life of prayer, fasting and penance and, as shown in this painting, was known to wear a metal spiked crown concealed by roses.  She was beatified by Pope Clement IX in 1667 and canonized in 1671 by Clement X, the first person born in the Americas to become a saint. More on Saint Rose of Lima

Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo (August 30, 1727 – March 3, 1804), see below


Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo, VENICE 1727 - 1804
SAINT DOMINIC
Oil on canvas
17 1/8  by 13 3/8  in.; 43.6 by 34 cm.
Private collection

Saint Dominic (1170-1221) was the founder of the Order of Preachers, also called Dominican, or Black Friars. He is shown here with his usual attributes of a book (the Gospels) and a lily (chastity).  In addition, he is accompanied by a black and white dog with a flaming torch in its mouth, an allusion to the story that his mother dreamed her unborn child was a dog that would set the world on fire with the Word of God.  It also has been suggested that the dog represents a pun on Dominicanus, the word for a Dominican friar, and Domini canis, "dog of the Lord." More on Saint Dominic 

Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo (August 30, 1727 – March 3, 1804) was an Italian painter and printmaker in etching. He was the son of artist Giovanni Battista Tiepolo and elder brother of Lorenzo Baldissera Tiepolo. Domenico was born in Venice, studied under his father, and by the age of 13 was the chief assistant to him. He was one of the many assistants, including Lorenzo, who transferred the designs of his father (executed in the 'oil sketch' invented by the same). By the age of 20, he was producing his own work for commissioners.

His painting style developed after the death of his father in 1770, at which time he returned to Venice, and worked there as well as in Genoa and Padua. His painting, though keeping the decorative influence of his father, moved from its spatial fancy and began to take a more realistic depiction. His portraits and scenes of life in Venice are characterised by movement, colour, and deliberate composition. More on Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo







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