14 Works, July 22nd. is Orazio de Ferrari’s day, his story, illustrated with footnotes #199

Orazio De Ferrari
The rape of the Sabine women, c. 1640

Oil on canvas
Height: 180 cm, Width: 244 cm
Private collection

The Rape of the Sabine Women is an episode in the legendary history of Rome, traditionally dated to 750 BC, in which the first generation of Roman men acquired wives for themselves from the neighboring Sabine families. The English word rape is a conventional translation of the Latin raptio, which in this context means “abduction” rather than its prevalent modern meaning in English language of sexual violation. The story provided a subject for Renaissance and post-Renaissance works of art that combined a suitably inspiring example of the hardihood and courage of ancient Romans with the opportunity to depict multiple figures, including heroically semi-nude figures, in intensely passionate struggle. More on the rape of the Sabine women

The work constitutes a very relevant testimony of Orazio De Ferrari’s production, both for its undoubted executive quality, and for the presence of the painter’s monogram combined with the date 1640, an element which allows us to have a precise chronological reference not only for the dating of the canvas itself, but more generally for the reconstruction of the artist’s mature production. Recently considered “a masterpiece of great scenic impact and coloristic exuberance, reminiscent of Rubens and Van Dyck”, the composition emerges, in the context of the “profane” production by Orazio De Ferrari, destined to embellish the paintings of the Genoese nobility, for its theatricality the layout of the episode, linked to the foundation of Rome. More on this painting

Orazio de Ferrari (1606–1657) was an Italian artist, active in the Baroque period, born in Voltri, a suburb of Genoa. de Ferrari was a pupil of Giovanni Andrea Ansaldo. He was a member of the family of Genoese artists, with surnames de Ferrari, which also included Giovanni Andrea de Ferrari and Gregorio De Ferrari. During the 17th century, he painted murals in the chapel and many of the state rooms of the Royal Palace in Monaco…

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36 Works, June 21th. is Henry Ossawa Tanner’s day, his story, illustrated with footnotes #168

Henry Ossawa Tanner, American, (1859–1937)
Mary (La Sainte-Marie), c. 1898

Oil on canvas
34 1/8 x 42 5/8 in. (86.7 x 108.3 cm)
La Salle University Art Museum

In this rendering of the Virgin Mary with the Christ child, Mary appears melancholy and lost in thought. The infant is almost completely covered by a shroud-like cloth, suggesting a foreshadowing of Jesus’ death. Tanner paid careful attention to details studied first-hand in Jerusalem, where he first traveled in 1898. Tanner was painstaking when it came to detail and took back home with him sketches which he had made whilst in Jerusalem, where he first travelled in 1898.

The model for Mary was newlywed Tanner’s Swedish-American wife (See below). More on this painting

Henry Ossawa Tanner (June 21, 1859 — May 25, 1937) was an American artist and the first African-American painter to gain international acclaim. Tanner moved to Paris, France, in 1891 to study, and continued to live there after being accepted in French artistic circles. His painting entitled Daniel in the Lions’ Den (See below) was accepted into the 1896 Salon, the official art exhibition of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris…

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10 Works, Today, April 9th is artist Francisco Rizi’s day, his story, illustrated with footnotes #98

Francisco Rizi’s (1614-1685)
Pentitent Magdalen

Oil on canvas
126 x 169 cm
Private collection

A sinner, perhaps a courtesan, Mary Magdalen was a witness of Christ who renounced the pleasures of the flesh for a life of penance and contemplation. Penitent Magdalene or Penitent Magdalen refers to a post-biblical period in the life of Mary Magdalene, according to medieval legend.

According to the tenets of the 17th–century Catholic church, Mary Magdalene was an example of the repentant sinner and consequently a symbol of the Sacrament of Penance. According to legend, Mary led a dissolute life until her sister Martha persuaded her to listen to Jesus Christ. She became one of Christ’s most devoted followers and he absolved her of her former sins. More on The Penitent Magdalen

Francisco Rizi, or Francisco Ricci de Guevara (9 April 1614–2 August 1685) was a Spanish painter of Italian ancestry.

He was born in Madrid. His father, Antonio Ricci, was an Italian painter, originally from Ancona, who had come to Spain in 1583 to do decorative work at El Escorial. His brother, Juan, also became a painter. After beginning his apprenticeship in his father’s workshop, he studied with Vicente Carducho, who was also of Italian origin.

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10 works, Today, January 2st, is Saint Seraphim of Sarov’s day, his story, illustrated #365

Unknown artist
Saint Seraphim

Oil on canvas
I have no further description, at this time

Saint Seraphim of Sarov (1754– 1833), born Prokhor Moshnin is one of the most renowned Russian saints and venerated both in the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church. He is generally considered the greatest of the 19th-century startsy, elders…

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16 works, Today, January 1st, is Mary the Blessed Virgin’s day, her story, illustrated #364

Edvard Munch, (1863–1944)
Detail; Madonna, c. 1895

Oil on canvas
Height: 90 cm (35.4 in); Width: 71 cm (27.9 in)
Kunsthalle, Hamburg

Mary’s father Joachim was a wealthy member of one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. He and his wife Anne were deeply grieved by their childlessness. Joachim consequently withdrew to the desert, where he fasted and did penance for 40 days. Angels then appeared to both Joachim and Anne to promise them a child…

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08 works, Today, December 31st, is Columba of Sens’ day, her story, illustrated #363

Giovanni Baronzio, (–1362)
Stories from the life of St. Columba, 1345-1350 circa

Tempera on wood
Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan , Italy

Columba was born to a noble pagan family in Zaragoza, the northwestern region of Spain. Her original name was probably Eporita, and she was a member of a very influential noble family. Her relatives worshiped the old deities and didn’t follow the new religion. Members of her family were some of the most important people related to the Roman Empire…

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A. Vassilieff, POKROFF ICON OF THE MOTHER OF GOD; 1 Russian Icon, with footnotes #10

Goldsmithing Punch: A. Vassilieff, active from 1858 to 1863.

Tempera on wood, preserved under riza in vermeil, with
white enameled plates .
H.: 31 cm – L.: 27 cm.
Private collection

The Dormition of the Mother of God is a Great Feast of the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches which commemorates the “falling asleep” or death of Mary the Theotokos (“Mother of God”, literally translated as God-bearer), and her bodily resurrection before being taken up into heaven. More on POKROFF ICON OF THE MOTHER OF GOD

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06 works, Today, December 30th, is Saint Sabinus of Spoleto’s day, his story, illustrated #362

Unknown artist
Saint Sabinus of Spoleto, in the late 12th century

Premonstratensian Abbey of Windberg (near Regensburg), Germany

According to legend, Venustian, governor of Etruria and Umbria, had Saint Sabinus of Spoleto, (died c. 300), a Bishop, and his deacons, St. Exuperantius, Marcellus, Venustian, and companions, arrested in Assisi. Diocletian’s order required all Christians to sacrifice to the gods or be put to death, with their estates seized for the state…

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08 works, Today, December 28th, is The 20,000 Martyrs of Nicomedia’s day, their story, illustrated #360

Troganov school
Detail; Saint Cyril, c. 17th C

Russian I con
Church-Archaeological Office of the Moscow Theological Academy

The 20,000 Martyrs of Nicomedia refers to victims of persecution of Christians in Nicomedia, Bithynia (modern Izmit, Turkey) by the Roman Emperors Diocletian and Maximian in the early 4th century AD.

At this time the bishop of the city of Nicomedia was Saint Cyril, whose preaching had greatly contributed to the spread of the Gospel…

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06 works, Today, December 27th, is Joseph the Betrothed’s day, his story, illustrated #359

Guido Reni, (1575–1642)
St Joseph with Infant Christ in his Arms, c. 1620s

Oil on canvas
Height: 126 cm (49.6 in); Width: 101 cm (39.7 in)
Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia

The holy and righteous Joseph the Betrothed, also referred to as Joseph of Nazareth, was the foster-father of Jesus Christ. Not much is known of Joseph except that he was “of the House of David” and lived in the town of Nazareth. His date of death is unknown, though he was still living when Jesus was 12 years old…

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06 works, Today, December 26th, is Saint Eugenia’s day, her story, illustrated #358

Attributed to the Master of Dinteville/Bartholomeus Pons
The Legend of Sainte-Eugénie, c. 1535
aint-Pierre de Varzy church, Nièvre, Burgundy-Franche-Comté

Saint Eugenia (died c AD 258) was an early Christian Roman martyr who was converted by and martyred with Protus and Hyacinth, her Chamberlains during the persecution of Valerian.//

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09 works, Today, December 25th, is Melchior, Gaspar, and Balthasar’s day, their story, illustrated #357

Andrea Mantegna, (1431–1506)
The Adoration of the Magi, c. between 1495 and 1505

Oil on canvas
Height: 486 mm (19.1 in); Width: 656 mm (25.8 in)
J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, California

Melchior, Gaspar, and Balthasar were distinguished foreigners in the Gospel of Matthew and Christian tradition…

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06 works, Today, December 23rd, is The Ten Holy Martyrs of Crete’s day, their story, illustrated #355

Unknown iconographer
The Ten Holy Martyrs of Crete

I have no further description, at this time

The Ten Holy Martyrs of Crete were a group of ten Christian men from Crete who suffered martyrdom during the persecutions of emperor Decius during the third century…

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07 works, Today, December 22nd, is Martyr Anastasia’s day, her story, illustrated #354

Unknown iconographer
Anastasia of Sirmium, End of XIII century – first half of XV century

Byzantine Icon
Tempera on wood
Size – 99 x 65.5 cm
The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg

Holy Great Martyr Anastasia the Widow, the Deliverer from Potions, was born in Rome to a wealthy and prominent family; the daughter of Praetextatus, a Roman vir illustris, the highest ranks within the senates of Rome. Though her father was a pagan, her mother Fausta instructed her in the things of God. Her father married her against her will to Publius…

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09 works, Today, December 19th, is Saint Boniface of Tarsus’ day, his story, illustrated #351

Unknown iconographer
Saint Boniface of Tarsus

I have no further description, at this time

There lived in Rome, about the beginning of the fourth century, a certain lady called Aglaë, young, beautiful, and well born, and so rich and fond of making a figure in the world, that she had entertained the city several times with public shows at her own charge…

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06 works, Today, December 18th, is Saints Rufus and Zosimus’, day, their story, illustrated #350

Rufus and Zosimus were early apostles who lived in Antioch and were caught up in the persecutions of Christians under the Roman emperor Trajan…

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Roma Sacra – San Pietro in Vatican

Rufus and Zosimus were early apostles who lived in Antioch and were caught up in the persecutions of Christians under the Roman emperor Trajan…

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05 works, Today, December 17th, is Saint Florian’s, day, his story, illustrated #350

Martin Johann Schmidt
St Florian extinguishing a fire, c. 1786

Oil on canvas
96.2 x 74.5 cm
Private collection

Saint Florian was born around 250 AD in the ancient Roman city of Aelium Cetium, present-day Sankt Pölten, Austria. He joined the Roman Army and advanced in the ranks, rising to commander of the imperial army in the Roman province of Noricum. In addition to his military duties, he was also responsible for organizing and leading firefighting brigades. Florian organized and trained an elite group of soldiers whose sole duty was to fight fires…

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05 works, Today, December 15th, is Saint Adalbert I of Ostrevent’s, day, his story, illustrated #348

Unknown artist
Adalbert I of Ostrevent meets Rictrude de Marchiennes

Illuminated Manuscript
I have no further description, at this time

Adalbert I of Ostrevent (died c. 652) was a 7th-century Frankish nobleman of the court of King Clovis II of France…

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12 works, Today, December 14th, is Saint John of the Cross القديس يوحنا الصليب, day, his story, illustrated #347

Unknown artist
Carmelite Saints, The Church Stella Maris, Haifa

I have no further description, at this time

John of the Cross (born Juan de Yepes y Álvarez; Spanish: Juan de la Cruz; 24 June 1542–14 December 1591), venerated as Saint John of the Cross, was a Spanish Catholic priest, mystic, and a Carmelite friar of converso origin. He is a major figure of the Counter-Reformation in Spain, and he is one of the thirty-six Doctors of the Church.

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09 works, Today, December 13th, is Saint Lucia of Syracuse’s day, her story, illustrated #346

Master of the Legend of Saint Lucy (circa 1435 –1506/1509)
Legend of St Lucy, c. 1480

Oil on oak wood
Height: 79 cm (31.1 in); Width: 183 cm (72 in)
St. James Church, Bruges, Belgium

Lucia of Syracuse (283–304), also called Saint Lucia, or Saint Lucy, was a Christian martyr who died during the Diocletianic Persecution.

Lucy was born of rich and noble parents about the year 283. Her father was of Roman origin, but died when she was five years old,leaving Lucy and her mother without a protective guardian. Her mother’s name Eutychia seems to indicate that she came from a Greek background…

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