ITALIAN SCHOOL, (17th century)
Oil on panel
12 x 9 1/8 in. (30.5 x 23.2cm)
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
Roman School, 17th Century. Both Michelangelo and Raphael worked in Rome, making it the centre of High Renaissance; in the 17th century it was the centre of the Baroque movement represented by Bernini and Pietro da Cortona. From the 17th century the presence of classical remains drew artists from all over Europe including Poussin, Claude Lorrain, Piranesi, Pannini and Mengs.
In the 17th century Italian art was diffused mainly from Rome, the indisputable centre of the Baroque.
Roman Mannerism, spread abroad by the prolific work of Federico and Taddeo Zuccari, was continued by Roncalli, called Pomarancio and especially by Giuseppe Cesari, called Cavaliere d’Arpino, whose reputation was immense. The reaction against Mannerism engendered two different movements, which were sometimes linked together: one was realist with Caravaggio, the other eclectic and decorative with the Carracci.
Caravaggio brought about the greatest pictorial revolution of the century. His imposing compositions, deliberately simplified, are remarkable for their rigorous sense of reality and for the contrasting light falling from one side that accentuates the volumes. He changed from small paintings of genre and still-life, clear in light and cool in colour, to harsh realism, strongly modelled volumes and dramatic light and shade. His work, like his life, caused much scandal and excited international admiration.
Among the Italian disciples of Caravaggio Carlo Saraceni was the only direct Venetian follower. Bartolomeo Manfredi imitated Caravaggio’s genre paintings; Orazio Gentileschi and his daughter Artemisia Gentileschi showed a marked realism. Caravaggio’s biographer and enemy, Giovanni Baglione underwent his influence. More Roman School, 17th Century
Circle of Sir Anthony van Dyck
STUDY OF A YOUNG WOMAN, PROBABLY THE MAGDALENE
oil on canvas
18 by 12 7/8 in.; 45.5 by 32.5 cm.
Mary Magdalene, see above
Sir Anthony van Dyck, ( 22 March 1599 – 9 December 1641) was a Flemish Baroque artist who became the leading court painter in England, after enjoying great success in Italy and Flanders. He is most famous for his portraits of Charles I of England and his family and court, painted with a relaxed elegance that was to be the dominant influence on English portrait-painting for the next 150 years. He also painted biblical and mythological subjects, displayed outstanding facility as a draughtsman, and was an important innovator in watercolour and etching. The Van Dyke beard is named after him. More Sir Anthony van Dyck
Parmigianino, 1503 – 1540
Virgin and Child With Saint Mary Magdalene and the Infant Saint John the Baptist, c. (1535-40)
Oil on Canvas
Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola (also known as Francesco Mazzola or, more commonly, as Parmigianino); 11 January 1503 – 24 August 1540) was an Italian Mannerist painter and printmaker active in Florence, Rome, Bologna, and his native city of Parma. His work is characterized by a “refined sensuality” and often elongation of forms, and he remains the best known artist of the first generation whose whole careers fall into the Mannerist period.
His prodigious and individual talent has always been recognised, but his career was disrupted by war, especially the Sack of Rome in 1527, three years after he moved there, and then ended by his death at only 37. He produced outstanding drawings, and was one of the first Italian painters to experiment with printmaking himself. While his portable works have always been keenly collected and are now in major museums in Italy and around the world, his two large projects in fresco are in a church in Parma and a palace in a small town nearby. This in conjunction with their lack of large main subjects has resulted in their being less well known than other works by similar artists. He painted a number of important portraits, leading a trend in Italy towards the three-quarters or full-length figure, previously mostly reserved for royalty. More on Parmigianino
Paulus Moreelse, UTRECHT 1571 – 1638
THE HOLY FAMILY
oil on canvas
37 by 33 in.; 94 by 87 cm
Paulus Moreelse (1571 – 6 March 1638) was a Dutch painter, mainly of portraits. Moreelse was born and lived most of his life in Utrecht. He was a pupil of the Delft portrait painter Michiel Jansz. van Mierevelt. He took a study-trip to Italy, where he received many portrait commissions. Back in Utrecht, in 1596 he became a member of the zadelaarsgilde (Saddler’s guild). In 1611, along with Abraham Bloemaert, he was one of the founders of a new painters’ guild, called “St. Lucas-gilde”, and became its first deken.
Moreelse received commissions from right across the Dutch Republic. Other than portraits, he also painted a few history paintings in the Mannerist style and in the 1620s produced pastoral scenes of herders and shepherds. He belonged to the same generation as Abraham Bloemaert and Joachim Wtewael, and like Wtewael he played an important role in the public life of their city. In 1618, when the anti-remonstrants came to power in Utrecht, he was expelled from the council (raadslid).
Moreelse was also active as an architect, building Utrecht’s Catharijnepoort (1626, demolished c.1850) and possibly also the Vleeshuis (still extant) on Voorstraat from 1637. He taught at Utrecht’s tekenacademie, and among his many pupils was Dirck van Baburen. On his death, he was buried in the Buurkerk in Utrecht. More on Paulus Moreelse
POSSIBLY WILLIAM DYCE, (BRITISH, 1806-1864)
MADONNA AND CHILD
Oil on canvas
31 x 23 in.
Dyce is known to have made several versions of the Madonna and Child between circa 1828 and 1845.
Prof William Dyce FRSE RSA RA (Aberdeen 19 September 1806 – 14 February 1864) was a distinguished Scottish artist, who played a significant part in the formation of public art education in the United Kingdom, as perhaps the true parent of the South Kensington Schools system.
Dyce began his career at the Royal Academy schools, and then travelled to Rome for the first time in 1825. While he was there, he studied the works of Titian and Poussin. He returned to Rome in 1827, this time staying for a year and a half, and during this period he appears to have made the acquaintance of the German Nazarene painter Friedrich Overbeck. After these travels, he settled for several years in Edinburgh.
He was given charge of the School of Design in Edinburgh, and was then invited to London, where he was based thereafter, to head the newly established Government School of Design, later to become the Royal College of Art.
He is less known for, but nevertheless important as, the founder of the Motett Society (1840–1852), which sought to advance the restoration and liturgical use of long-neglected works of the English church. More on William Dyce
THE XVII CENTURY ARTIST
The Queen Jezebel eaten by dogs.
Oil on canvas
101.00 x 83.00 cm
Jezebel (fl. 9th century BCE) was a queen, identified in the Book of Kings as the daughter of Ithobaal I of Sidon and the wife of Ahab, King of Israel.
According to the Hebrew Bible, Jezebel incited her husband King Ahab to abandon the worship of Yahweh and encourage worship of the deities Baal and Asherah instead. Jezebel persecuted the prophets of Yahweh, and fabricated evidence of blasphemy against an innocent landowner who refused to sell his property to King Ahab, causing the landowner to be put to death. For these transgressions against the God and people of Israel, Jezebel met a gruesome death – thrown out of a window by members of her own court retinue, and the flesh of her corpse eaten by stray dogs.
Jezebel became associated with false prophets. In some interpretations, her dressing in finery and putting on makeup led to the association of the use of cosmetics with “painted women” or prostitutes. More Jezebel
ARTIST OF THE CENTURY XVIII
Madonna and Child.
Oil on canvas
66,00 x 118,00 cm
SOLIMENA FRANCESCO, (1657 – 1747)
Madonna of the Rosary.
Oil on canvas
98,00 x 128,00 cm
Our Lady of the Rosary, also known as Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, is a title of the Blessed Virgin Mary in relation to the Rosary.
In 1571, Pope St. Pius V organized a coalition of forces from Spain and smaller Christian kingdoms, republics and military orders, to rescue Christian outposts in Cyprus, particularly the Venetian outpost at Famagusta. the Holy League sailed from Messina, Sicily, and met a powerful Ottoman fleet in the Battle of Lepanto. Knowing that the Christian forces were at a distinct materiel disadvantage, the holy pontiff, Pope Pius V, called for all of Europe to pray the Rosary for victory, and led a rosary procession in Rome.
After about five hours of fighting, the combined navies of the Papal States, Venice and Spain managed to stop the Ottoman navy, slowing the Ottoman advance to the west and denying them access to the Atlantic Ocean and the Americas. Although the Ottoman Empire was able to build more ships, it never fully recovered from the loss of trained sailors and marines, and was never again the Mediterranean naval power it had become the century before when Constantinople fell. More Our Lady of the Rosary
Francesco Solimena (October 4, 1657 – April 3, 1747) was a prolific Italian painter of the Baroque era, one of an established family of painters and draughtsmen. He received early training from his father, Angelo Solimena, with whom he executed a Paradise for the cathedral of Nocera and a Vision of St. Cyril of Alexandria for the church of San Domenico at Solofra.
He settled in Naples in 1674, there he worked in the studio of Francesco di Maria and later Giacomo del Po. He apparently had taken the clerical orders, but was patronized early on, and encouraged to become an artist by Cardinal Vincenzo Orsini (later Pope Benedict XIII). By the 1680s, he had independent fresco commissions, and his active studio came to dominate Neapolitan painting from the 1690s through the first four decades of the 18th century. He modeled his art—for he was a highly conventional painter—after the Roman Baroque masters. Solimena painted many frescoes in Naples, altarpieces, celebrations of weddings and courtly occasions, mythological subjects, characteristically chosen for their theatrical drama, and portraits. His settings are suggested with a few details—steps, archways, balustrades, columns—concentrating attention on figures and their draperies, caught in pools and shafts of light. Art historians take pleasure in identifying the models he imitated or adapted in his compositions. His numerous preparatory drawings often mix media, combining pen-and-ink, chalk and watercolor washes. More on Francesco Solimena
SOLIMENA FRANCESCO, (1657 – 1747)
Santa Chiara and angels.
Oil on canvas
45,00 x 76,00 cm
Saint Clare of Assisi (July 16, 1194 – August 11, 1253, born Chiara Offreduccio, is an Italian saint and one of the first followers of Saint Francis of Assisi. She founded the Order of Poor Ladies, a monastic religious order for women in the Franciscan tradition, and wrote their Rule of Life, the first set of monastic guidelines known to have been written by a woman. Following her death, the order she founded was renamed in her honor as the Order of Saint Clare, commonly referred to today as the Poor Clares. More on Saint Clare
SOLIMENA FRANCESCO, (1657 – 1747), see above
ARTIST OF THE XVIII CENTURY NORTHERN ITALY
Presentation of Mary in the Temple.
Oil on canvas
46,00 x 72,00 cm
The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or The Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple, is a liturgical feast. The feast is associated with an event recounted not in the New Testament, but in the apocryphal Infancy Narrative of James. According to that text, Mary’s parents, Joachim and Anne, who had been childless, received a heavenly message that they would have a child. In thanksgiving for the gift of their daughter, they brought her, when still a child, to the Temple in Jerusalem to consecrate her to God. Later versions of the story tell us that Mary was taken to the Temple at around the age of three in fulfillment of a vow. Tradition held that she was to remain there to be educated in preparation for her role as Mother of God. More on The Presentation of Mary
The history of Italy in the Early Modern period was partially characterized by foreign domination: until 1797 only the Republic of Venice, the Kingdom of Sardinia and the Papal States remained fully independent. Following the Italian Wars (1494–1559), Italy saw a long period of relative peace, first under Habsburg Spain (1559–1714) and then under Habsburg Austria (1714–1796). During the Napoleonic era, the Kingdom of Italy was a client state of the French Republic (1796–1814). The Congress of Vienna (1814) restored the situation of the late 18th century, which was however quickly overturned by the incipient movement of Italian unification. The Italian Renaissance ended in around 1600, but Italy remained an important centre of Western culture throughout the period. However the economic importance of Italy declined, as the Italian states played little part in the opening up of the New World, or the early stages of the Industrial Revolution. More on The history of Italy
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