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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18 Works, Today, May 20th. is Edward Armitage’s day, his story, illustrated with footnotes #138

Edward Armitage (1817–1896)
Herod’s Birthday Feast, c. 1868

Oil on canvas
H 155 x W 277 cm
Guildhall Art Gallery

Whether or not the dancer is Salome performing the dance of seven veils in order to secure the beheading of John the Baptist, any image of dancing in the presence of Herod brings to mind the extraordinarily popular fin-de-siecle subject of Salome, the epitome the sexual, destroying woman for the Decadents of the ’90s and those influenced by them. This well-covered dancer strikes one as the opposite of the nude woman who appears in Pierre Bonnaud’s Salome or in Oscar Wilde’s play and Beardsley’s illustrations for it. More on this painting

Edward Armitage RA (20 May 1817–24 May 1896) was an English Victorian-era painter whose work focused on historical, classical and biblical subjects.

Armitage’s art training was undertaken in Paris, where he enrolled at the École des Beaux-Arts in October 1837. He studied under the history painter, Paul Delaroche, who at that time was at the height of his fame. Armitage was one of four students selected to assist Delaroche with the fresco Hémicycle in the amphitheatre of the Palais des Beaux-Arts, when he reputedly modelled for the head of Masaccio. Whilst still in Paris, he exhibited Prometheus Bound in 1842, which a contemporary critic described as ‘well drawn but brutally energetic’…

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Artus Wolffort, Esther’s Toilet in the Harem of Ahasuerus, circa 1620 01 Works, RELIGIOUS ART – Interpretation of the bible, With Footnotes – 168

Artus Wolffort, (1581–1641)
Esther’s Toilet in the Harem of Ahasuerus, circa 1620

Oil on panel
Height: 59.4 cm (23.3 ″); Width: 81 cm (31.8 ″)
Victoria and Albert Museum

This subject was depicted by Wolffort several times, which attests to its popularity. The scene derives from the Book of Esther in the Old Testament, which tells the story of how an orphaned Jewish woman is selected by King Ahasuerus of Persia to become his queen. In this painting, Esther is the standing figure at center, drying her body with a white cloth. She is surrounded by seven maids, which King Ahasuerus assigned to her after she was summoned to his harem. They were called to help prepare Esther before she met the king. Other interesting elements in this work are the statues in niches, which starting from left to right, depict  Diana, Venus with Cupid and Saturn devouring his children. The painting at upper center is said to depict the Judgement of Paris. More on this painting

Artus Wolffort, Artus Wolffaert or Artus Wolffaerts (1581–1641) was a Flemish painter known mainly for his history paintings depicting religious and mythological scenes.

Wolffort was born in Antwerp and moved with his parents to Dordrecht. He trained as a painter in Dordrecht where he joined the local Guild of Saint Luke in 1603. He returned to Antwerp around 1615. He became a member of the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke in 1617.[5]

Artus Wolffort likely operated a workshop in Antwerp, which produced various copies of his works. 

His pupils included his son Jan Baptist Wolfaerts, Pieter van Lint, Pieter van Mol and Lucas Smout the Elder. He died in Antwerp. More on Artus Wolffort

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03 Paintings, scenes from the Bible, by The Old Masters, with footnotes # 43

Georges Moreau de Tours (1848-1901)

Une stigmatisée au Moyen-Age, 19e siècl

A stigmatized in the Middle Ages, 19th century

Oil on wood

Museum of Fine Arts of Nantes

Stigmata is a term used by members of the Christian faith to describe body marks, sores, or sensations of pain in locations corresponding to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus Christ, such as the hands, wrists, and feet. An individual bearing the wounds of Stigmata is referred to as a Stigmatist or a Stigmatic.

The term originates from the line at the end of Saint Paul’s Letter to the Galatians where he says, “I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.” Stigmata is the plural of the Greek word stigma, meaning a mark, tattoo, or brand such as might have been used for identification of an animal or slave.

Stigmata are primarily associated with the Roman Catholic faith. Many reported stigmatics are members of Catholic religious orders. St. Francis of Assisi was the first recorded stigmatic in Christian history. For over fifty years, St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin reported stigmata which were studied by several 20th-century physicians. A high percentage (perhaps over 80%) of all stigmatics are women. More on 


Georges Moreau de Tours, (1848-1901)

Une stigmatisée au Moyen-Age, 19e siècl

A stigmatized in the Middle Ages, 19th century


Georges Moreau de Tours (4 April 1848, Ivry-sur-Seine – 12 January 1901, Bois-le-Roi) was a French history painter and illustrator. In 1865 he entered the École des Beaux-Arts, where he studied with Alexandre Cabanel. He was a regular exhibitor at the Salon from that time until 1896. In addition to his canvas paintings, he produced three scenes for the wedding chamber at the Town Hall in the Second Arrondissement. More on Georges Moreau de Tours

Franciszek Smuglewicz,  (1745–1807)

Esther before Ahasuerus, c.1778

This painting recounts the story of the Jewish heroine Esther, who appeared before King Ahasuerus to plead for her people. She, thus, broke court etiquette and risked death. She fainted in the king’s presence, but her request found favor

Esther, born Hadassah, is the eponymous heroine of the Book of Esther.

King Ahasuerus (Xerxes I Darius I) held a feast in Susa (Shoushan). He ordered his queen, Vashti, to appear before him and his guests. But Queen Vashti, refused to come. Furious at her refusal to obey, the king deposed of Vashti

Many beautiful maidens were then brought before the king in order that he might choose a successor to Vashti. The King chose Esther. Esther had spent her life among the Jewish exiles in Persia, where she lived under the protection of her cousin Mordecai.

Mordecai became chief minister of Ahasuerus. One day Mordecai overheard a plot of two eunuchs to kill the king. Having informed the king through Esther of the conspiracy, Mordecai brought about the execution of the two conspirators.

The grand vizier, Haman the Agagite, commanded Mordecai to do obeisance to him. Upon Mordecai’s refusal to prostrate himself, Haman informed the king that the Jews were a useless and turbulent people and inclined to disloyalty, and he promised to pay 10,000 silver talents into the royal treasury for the permission to pillage and exterminate this alien race. The king then issued a proclamation ordering the confiscation of Jewish property and a general extermination of all the Jews within the empire.

Sheltered in the harem, Esther was unaware of the decree until Mordecai advised her of it. He informed her. At the request of Esther, Mordecai instituted at Susa a general fast for three days.

At the end of the three days, Esther dressed in her royal apparel and went before the king. When the king asked her what her request was, she invited the king and Haman to come to a banquet she had prepared. At the banquet they accepted her invitation to dine with her again on the following day. Haman, carried away by the joy that this honour gave him, issued orders for the erection of a gallows on which he intended to hang the hated Mordecai.

That night the king, being sleepless, ordered the chronicles of the nation to be read to him. Recalling that Mordecai had never been rewarded for his service in revealing the plot of the eunuchs, he asked Haman, the next day, to suggest a suitable reward for one “whom the king desired to honour”. Thinking it was himself that the king had in mind, Haman suggested the use of the king’s apparel and insignia. These the king ordered to be bestowed on Mordecai.

Only at the second dinner party, when the king was sufficiently beguiled by her charms, did Esther reveal for the first time her identity as a Jew, and accused Haman of the plot to destroy her and her people. The king ordered that Haman should be hanged on the gallows prepared for Mordecai, and, confiscating his property, bestowed it upon the intended victim. The king then appointed Mordecai as his prime minister, and issued a decree authorizing the Jews to defend themselves. More on Esther

Franciszek Smuglewicz, or Pranciškus Smuglevičius, 6 October 1745 – 18 September 1807) was a Polish-Lithuanian draughtsman and painter. Smuglewicz is considered a progenitor of Lithuanian art in the modern era. Franciszek was born in Warsaw into a Polish-Lithuanian family. He journeyed to Rome, where he began the study of fine arts under the tutorship of Anton von Maron. He stayed in Rome for 21 years, where he embraced the Neo-Classical style.

In 1765 he received a royal scholarship from the King of Poland and the Grand Duke of Lithuania Stanisław August Poniatowski and was admitted into the Saint Lucas Academy. As a colleague of Vincenzo Brenna he participated in cataloging artifacts from Nero’s Domus Aurea. In 1784 he returned to Warsaw, where he founded his own school of fine arts, one of the predecessors of the modern Academy of Fine Arts.

 Smuglewicz became a notable representative of historical paintings, a genre that dominated the fine arts of Poland throughout the 19th century. Around 1790 he started working on a series of sketches and lithographies inspired by Adam Naruszewicz’s History of the Polish Nation. Although never finished, this series gained him much popularity.

Smuglewicz brought to Lithuania classical ideas and views of enlightened classicism. He painted everyday life, and the architecture of Vilnius in a realistic manner. His works helped with the ongoing reconstruction of the Royal Palace of Lithuania in Vilnius. More on Franciszek Smuglewicz

Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari (Italian, Lucca or Rome 1654–1727 Rome)

Bathsheba at Her Bath, ca. 1700

Oil on canvas

53 1/2 x 38 1/2 in. (135.9 x 97.8 cm)

 The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Biblical story of Bathsheba and King David is recounted in 2 Samuel 11. David spied the beautiful Bathsheba from the roof of his palace as she bathed. Although she was married, he seduced her and she became pregnant. David later had her husband, Uriah, killed in battle and made Bathsheba his wife. Although God punished David for his acts with the death of their first child. More on Bathsheba at Her Bath

Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari (10 March 1654 – 8 September 1727), was an Italian painter of the late-Baroque period, active mostly in Rome. Born in Rome, he was one of the main assistants, along with Giuseppe Passeri and Andrea Procaccini. 

By the age of 22, he had frescoed the lateral lunettes (Birth of Virgin and Adoration of Magi) of the Marchionni chapel in the church of Santa Maria del Suffragio. He also painted the ceiling of a chapel in Santa Maria in Cosmedin. He frescoed rooms in the Palazzo Barberini 

He was a teacher of William Kent, Paolo Anesi, and Giovanni Andrea Lazzarini. His studio is described as highly frequented by French artists.He became director or principe of the Accademia di San Luca. More on Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari

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