12 Works, RELIGIOUS ART – Contemporary & 20th Century Interpretation of the Bible! With Footnotes – 7

Jeff Dizon, (b.1954)

Pieta, c. 1986

Mixed media

29” x 37” (74 cm x 94 cm)

Private Collection

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

Jeff Dizon (b.1954) studied painting at the University of the Philippines.  Over the course of his career, he has mounted numerous solo exhibitions.  His artworks were also shown in Los Angeles, New York, and Washington D.C. 

Jeff’s highly detailed artworks rendered in complex color patterns depict Philippine social life with a modern expressionist style, rendered in detailed strokes.  Dizon’s work has been earning numerous awards from competitions, and one of its prominent collectors is Diners International. More on Jeff Dizon

Salvador Dalí, 1904 – 1989

Coeur-Sacré de Jésus/ Sacred Heart-Jesus, 1962

oil on canvas

86.5 x 61.4cm (34 1/16 x 24 3/16in)

Private collection

The devotion to the Sacred Heart (also known as the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Sacratissimi Cordis Iesu in Latin) is one of the most widely practiced and well-known Roman Catholic devotions, taking Jesus Christ’s physical heart as the representation of his divine love for humanity.

This devotion is predominantly used in the Roman Catholic Church and among some high-church Anglicans and Lutherans. The devotion is especially concerned with what the Church deems to be the longsuffering love and compassion of the heart of Christ towards humanity. The origin of this devotion in its modern form is derived from a Roman Catholic nun from France, Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, who said she learned the devotion from Jesus during a series of apparitions to her between 1673 and 1675. Predecessors to the modern devotion arose unmistakably in the Middle Ages in various facets of Catholic mysticism. More on the devotion to the Sacred Heart

Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, Marqués de Dalí de Púbol (11 May 1904 – 23 January 1989), known professionally as Salvador Dalí, was a prominent Spanish surrealist painter born in Figueres, Catalonia, Spain.

Dalí was a skilled draftsman, best known for the striking and bizarre images in his surrealist work. His painterly skills are often attributed to the influence of Renaissance masters. His best-known work, The Persistence of Memory, was completed in August 1931. Dalí’s expansive artistic repertoire included film, sculpture, and photography, in collaboration with a range of artists in a variety of media.

Dalí attributed his “love of everything that is gilded and excessive, my passion for luxury and my love of oriental clothes” to an “Arab lineage”, claiming that his ancestors were descended from the Moors.

Dalí was highly imaginative, and also enjoyed indulging in unusual and grandiose behavior. His eccentric manner and attention-grabbing public actions sometimes drew more attention than his artwork, to the dismay of those who held his work in high esteem, and to the irritation of his critics. More Salvador Dalí

Tsuguharu Foujita, 1886 – 1968


Gouache and gold leaf on paper

43,7 x 24,6 cm; 17 1/4 x 9 3/4 in.

Private collection

Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita (November 27, 1886 – January 29, 1968) was a Japanese–French painter and printmaker born in Tokyo, Japan who applied Japanese ink techniques to Western style paintings. He has been called “the most important Japanese artist working in the West during the 20th century”. His Book of Cats, published in New York by Covici Friede, 1930, with 20 etched plate drawings by Foujita, is one of the top 500 rare books ever sold, and is ranked by rare book dealers as “the most popular and desirable book on cats ever published”. More on Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita

Pierre-Amédée Marcel-Beronneau, 1869-1937


Oil on canvas

Signed and dated lower right P. Marcel-Beronneau 03 (or 05)

22 x 16,5 cm ; 8 3/4 x 6 1/2 in.

Private collection

Pierre-Amédée Marcel-Beronneau, 1869-1937attended the Fine-Arts School in Bordeaux and the Decorative Arts School in Paris before going to the Fine-Arts National School in 1892 where he entered Gustave Moreau’s study and met Georges Rouault with whom he later shared a study on Montparnasse Boulevard. He quickly became one of the best students.

He was awarded the 1st Great Prize of the Decorative Arts in 1893, a medal in a sketching contest and the 1st Prize of the Study in 1894 for all his work. The same year he came first at the Chevanard contest held by the Fine-Arts National School. In 1895 he started showing his work at the French Artists Salon.

His work was composed of a double production. The first one was academic and met the audience’s expectations, which made him successful. The government started making some requests from him, such as “Last Hour” (Fine-Arts Museum in Bordeaux) in 1899. He became Knight of the Legion of Honor in 1914.

Pierre-Amédée Marcel-Béronneau, French, 1869-1937


Oil on canvas

178 by 115cm., 70 by 45¼in.

Private collection

The second part of his work was symbolist. Influenced by Moreau and connected to the Rose-Croix Salon, interested in the Préraphaélite movement, he created his own style by essentially illustrating mythical and biblical female characters such as Leda, Sappho, Judith, Gorgon and Salomé (above). He featured them in phantasmagorical sceneries and reinterpreted myths with a symbolist sensitivity. More on Pierre-Amédée Marcel-Beronneau

Painted in 1905, it is likely that Germaine Marchant was the model for Salome. Having fallen deeply in love with her, Marcel-Béronneau painted her obsessively in his pursuit of the representation of the femme fatale. They were married in 1918.

The present work depicts the end of Salome’s dance of the seven veils. Her body is almost exposed in its entirety, with part of a veil draping her legs and hips and part of it surrounding her hair like a flame.

Salome was the daughter of Herod II and Herodias. She is infamous for demanding and receiving the head of John the Baptist, according to the New Testament. According to Flavius Josephus’s Jewish Antiquities, Salome was first married to Philip the Tetrarch of Ituraea and Trakonitis. After Philip’s death in 34 AD she married Aristobulus of Chalcis and became queen of Chalcis and Armenia Minor. They had three children. Three coins with portraits of Aristobulus and Salome have been found. Her name in Hebrew meaning “peace”. More on Salome

Cristina Posada


Mixed media on canvas

19.6 x 23.6 in, or 50 x 60 cm

Private collection

Cristina Posada is a Colombian artist, her watercolors have been reproduced by UNICEF, and Rosenstiels around the world. She has had exhibitions in Colombia, USA, Germany and Japan. More on Cristina Posada

David LaChapelle, American, b. 1963

Courtney Love: Pieta, c 2006

Chromogenic print

24 x 18 in. (60.96 x 45.72 cm.) 

Private collection

The present work depicts controversial rock-icon Courtney Love as the Virgin Mary, cradling a Kurt Cobain lookalike styled as Jesus. From the artist’s series Heaven to Hell, this print comments on the narrative surrounding the death of Kurt Cobain and the subsequent treatment of Courtney Love, placing this contemporary, pop-culture event within the visual tradition of religious iconography. More on the present work

David LaChapelle (born March 11, 1963) is an American commercial photographer, fine-art photographer, music video director, film director, and artist.

He is best known for his photography, which often references art history and sometimes conveys social messages. His photographic style has been described as “hyper-real and slyly subversive” and as “kitsch pop surrealism”. Once called the Fellini of photography, LaChapelle has worked for international publications and has had his work exhibited commercial galleries and institutions around the world. More on David LaChapelle

František Drtikol, 1883 – 1961

Salome with skull, 1923

Private collection

Salome, see above

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

František Drtikol, 1883 – 1961



36 x 24.2 cm

Private collection

Calvary, also Gagulta, was, according to the Gospels, a site immediately outside Jerusalem’s walls where Jesus was said to have been crucified. Golgotha(s) is the Greek transcription in the New Testament of the Aramaic term Gagultâ. The Bible translates the term to mean place of [the] skull, which in Latin is Calvariæ Locus, from which the English word Calvary is derived. More on Calvary, also Gagulta 

Jan Saudek, b. 1935 – 2013

Photographer as Jesus, 1991


Private collection

Jan Saudek (born 13 May 1935 in Prague, Czechoslovakia) is a Czech art photographer and painter. Saudek’s was a Jew and his family to become a target of the Nazis. Many of his family died in Theresienstadt concentration camp during World War II.

According to Saudeks’s biography, he got his first camera, a Kodak Baby Brownie, in 1950. He apprenticed to a photographer and in 1952 started working as a print shop worker, where he worked until 1983. In 1959, he started painting and drawing. After completing his military service, he was inspired in 1963 by the catalogue for Edward Steichen’s The Family of Man exhibition, to try to become a serious art photographer. In 1969, he traveled to the United States and was encouraged in his work by curator Hugh Edwards.

Jan and Sara Saudek, 1935 –  2013

Jesus, 1991


Private collection

 Returning to Prague, he was forced to work in a clandestine manner in a cellar, to avoid the attentions of the secret police, as his work turned to themes of personal erotic freedom, and used implicitly political symbols of corruption and innocence. From the late 1970s, he became recognized in the West as the leading Czech photographer. In 1983, the first book of his work was published in the English-speaking world. The same year, he became a freelance photographer as the Czech Communist authorities allowed him to cease working in the print shop, and gave him permission to apply for a permit to work as an artist. More Jan Saudek

Jan Saudek, b. 1935 – 2013

Pieta, 1990


Private collection

The Pietà, see above

Acknowledgement: Sotheby’s, Artnet and others

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Author: zaidangallery

I search Art History for Beautiful works that may, or may not, have a secondary or unexpected story to tell. I then write short summaries that grow from my research. Art work is so much more when its secrets are exposed

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