11 Paintings, RELIGIOUS ART – Interpretations of the Bible! by The Old Masters, With Footnotes # 59


Mary Magdalene before a wall

Oil on panel. 

59.2 x 51.4 cm. 

Private collection

Mary Magdalene was a Jewish woman who, according to texts included in the New Testament, traveled with Jesus as one of his followers. She is said to have witnessed Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. Based on texts of the early Christian era in the third century, it seems that her status as an “apostle” rivals even Peter’s.

She is most prominent in the narrative of the crucifixion of Jesus, at which she was present. She was also present two days later, either alone or as a member of a group of women, the first to testify to the resurrection of Jesus.

Ideas that go beyond the gospel presentation of Mary Magdalene as a prominent representative of the women who followed Jesus have been put forward over the centuries.

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

The concept of the Northern Renaissance or German Renaissance is somewhat confused by the continuation of the use of elaborate Gothic ornament until well into the 16th century, even in works that are undoubtedly Renaissance in their treatment of the human figure and other respects. Classical ornament had little historical resonance in much of Germany, but in other respects Germany was very quick to follow developments, especially in adopting printing with movable type, a German invention. More on the art of Germany


Workshop of Defendente Ferrari, (c. 1480/1485 – c. 1540) 

The Adoration of the Child

Tempera on panel. 

Private collection

The Adoration of the Child, is a painting of the Nativity.

Defendente Ferrari (c. 1480/1485 – c. 1540) was an Italian painter active in Piedmont. His work marks the transition from late Gothic traditions to Renaissance art in the region.

Ferrari was born at Chivasso, near Turin. Here he trained and initially worked and had been the pre-eminent painter in western Piedmont after moving to Chivasso c. 1502. Many works previously thought to have been by Spanzotti are now attributed to Defendente.

Defendente achieved considerable success as a painter of polyptychs and altarpieces. He painted a number of nocturnal scenes. His work developed away from its initial harsh style following Gothic traditions towards the use of more fluid brushstrokes and the creation of soft, dense highlights more in line with Renaissance painting. More on Defendente Ferrari 

Andrea di Bartolo, or Andrea di Bartolo Cini, (1360/70 – 1428, in Siena) 

The Apostle Paul. 1400-1420. 

Oil on panel. 

98.5 x 40.3 cm

Private collection

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

Andrea di Bartolo or Andrea di Bartolo Cini (1360/70 – 1428, in Siena) was an Italian painter, stained glass designer and illuminator of the Sienese School mainly known for his religious subjects. He was active between 1389–1428 in the area in and around Siena.

Andrea di Bartolo was the son and pupil of Bartolo di Fredi, a very prominent painter in Siena. His youth was spent working in his father’s workshop which received many prestigious orders. He collaborated with his father and Luca di Tommè on an altarpiece for the altar of the shoemaker’s guild in the cathedral of Siena in 1389. This is his first documented work. However, it is believed that his hand can be discerned in works of his father painted between 1380 and 1389, such as in the Massacre of the Innocents.

Andrea likely set up his own workshop around 1390. He was extremely successful in Siena and obtained numerous commissions even from as far as Veneto. His patrons were drawn from the same monastic circles as his father such as the Franciscans of Montalcino and the Dominicans of Siena. From his studio he produced a large number of works, some of which have survived and are found in various museums around the world. More on Andrea di Bartolo


Niccolò di Segna, (died around 1348) 

Crucifixion scene. 1325-30. 

Gold ground and tempera on panel. 

35 x 21 cm.

Private collection

The present panel shows Christ on the Cross, surrounded by his mourning mother Mary on his right and Saint John on his left. A Dominican nun kneels devoutly in prayer, at the foot of the rock, while blood streams down the wooden cross from the wounds of Christ.

The embossing and ornamentation of the Aureoles are characteristic of Siena and the surrounding area around Niccolò di Segna time. Extended gothic figures became the new aesthetic paradigm of Sienese paintings. Niccolò’s figures are visibly prolonged and evoke a refined and elegant appearance through a dynamic modeling of the wrinkles. More on The present pane

Niccolò di Segna (died around 1348) was an Italian painter from Siena. His activity is documented starting from 1331.

Influenced by Duccio di Buoninsegna and Simone Martini, he was an exponent of the Sienese School. Works by him can be found in the Pinacoteca Nazionale at Siena (Madonna della Misericordia, Madonna with Child, St. Michael Archangel and others), in the Cathedral of Sansepolcro (Resurrection Polyptych, at the high altar), the Diocesan Museum of Cortona and other collections in Italy and abroad. More on Niccolò di Segna 

Follower of Federico Zuccari, (c. 1540/1541 – August 6, 1609)

Adoration of the Kings, circa 1600,

Oil on panel. 

53.5 x 37 cm. 

Private collection

This worship of the kings takes up the composition of Federico Zuccaro (1542-1609) in the church of San Francesco della Vigna in Venice and is characterized by a detailed variety. The individual facial features of the depicted persons are elaborately finished. More on this painting

The Adoration of the Magi (Kings) is the name traditionally given to the subject in the Nativity of Jesus in art in which the three Magi, represented as kings, especially in the West, having found Jesus by following a star, lay before him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, and worship him. The Adoration of the Magi


Federico Zuccari, also known as Federico Zuccaro (c. 1540/1541 – August 6, 1609), was an Italian Mannerist painter and architect, active both in Italy and abroad. His documented career as a painter began in 1550, when he moved to Rome to work under Taddeo, his elder brother. He went on to complete decorations for Pius IV, and help complete the fresco decorations at the Villa Farnese at Caprarola. 

In 1585, he accepted an offer by Philip II of Spain to decorate the new Escorial at a yearly salary of 2,000 crowns. He worked at the palace from January 1586 to end of 1588, when he returned to Rome. His paintings (like those of El Greco before him) were disliked by Philip II and many were painted over. However the parting was amicable:”We must not blame him, but those who sent him to us”, said Philip. He was succeeded by Pellegrino Tibaldi. He there founded in 1595, under a charter confirmed by Pope Sixtus V, the Accademia di San Luca, of which he was the first president. Bartolomeo Carducci is said to have studied with him.

Zuccari was raised to the rank of cavaliere not long before his death, which took place at Ancona in 1609. More on Federico Zuccari

Francesco de Tatti(active Varese circa 1512-1520) 

Saint Stephen on trial

Oil on panel. 

35 x 50.5 cm. 

Private collection

This representation of St. Stephen is probably a part of the predella of the altar in the church of Santo Stefano in Rancate (Mendrisio), made by Francesco de ‘Tatti around 1526-1527. In 1796 the altar was dismantled and individual parts were sold separately. More on this painting

Stephen or Stephan; traditionally venerated as the first martyr of Christianity, was, according to the Acts of the Apostles, a deacon in the early church at Jerusalem who aroused the enmity of members of various synagogues by his teachings. Accused of blasphemy, at his trial he made a long speech denouncing the Jewish authorities who were sitting in judgment on him and was then stoned to death. His martyrdom was witnessed by Saul of Tarsus, a Pharisee who would later himself become a follower of Jesus. More on Saint Stephen


Francesco de Tatti was an Italian painter known for a few works. He was active in the Renaissance period from 1512 to 1520, in Varese.

Antoine Caron, BEAUVAIS 1521 – 1599 PARIS

Last Judgment

Oil on panel

130 x 172 cm ; 51 1/4  by 67 3/4  in

Private collection

In Christian belief, it is the final and eternal judgment by God of the people in every nation[1] resulting in the glorification of some and the punishment of others. The concept is found in all the Canonical gospels, particularly the Gospel of Matthew. Christian Futurists believe it will take place after the Resurrection of the Dead and the Second Coming of Christ while Full Preterists believe it has already occurred. The Last Judgment has inspired numerous artistic depictions. More on Last Judgment

Antoine Caron, Beauvais, 1521 – 1599 PARIS

Last Judgment


Antoine Caron (1521–1599), born in Beauvais, was a French master glassmaker, illustrator, Northern Mannerist painter and a product of the School of Fontainebleau.

He is one of the few French painters of his time who had a pronounced artistic personality. His work reflects the refined, although highly unstable, atmosphere at the court of the House of Valois during the French Wars of Religion of 1560 to 1598.

He began painting in his teens doing frescos for a number of churches. Between 1540 and 1550 he worked under Primaticcio and Niccolò dell’Abbate at the School of Fontainebleau. In 1561, he was appointed the court painter by Catherine de’ Medici and Henry II of France. As court painter he also had the duties of organizing the court pageants. In this way he was involved in organizing the ceremony and royal entry for the coronation of Charles IX in Paris and the wedding of Henry IV of France with Marguerite de Valois. Some of his surviving illustrations are from these pageants. He died in Paris in 1599. More on Antoine Caron 

Jacques Stella, LYON 1596 – 1657 PARIS


Oil on copper, reinforced

28,5 x 38,5 cm ; 11 1/4  by 15 1/4  in

Private collection

Here we find a tree-lined perspective with the presence of architectures and their facades with very Italian chromatics. In addition, the type of female faces with soft colors and thin golden highlights in the draperies are all elements that characterize the painter’s style during the early Roman works. More on this painting

PHARAOH, becoming alarmed at the increasing power and numbers of the Israelites in Egypt, ordered that every male child who might be born to them should be cast into the river, and drowned. But the wife of a man named Levi felt that she could not give up her baby, and for three months she hid him.

When she could hide him no longer, she prepared a basket of rushes, and coated it with pitch, so that it would float upon the river and keep out the water. In this ark she placed her infant son, and hid the ark among the flags and bulrushes on the river-bank, and set the child’s sister to watch it.

Now it happened that the daughter of Pharaoh came with her maidens to bathe in the river; and when she saw the basket she sent one of her maids to fetch it. And when she looked at the child he wept, and she had compassion for him, and said, “This is one of the Hebrews’ children,” she said. Then the child’s sister, who was watching, came forward and said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I call to thee a Hebrew woman that she may nurse the child for thee?” And when the princess said, “Go!” she, the little sister of Moses, went and called her own mother, to whom Pharaoh’s daughter said, “Take this child and nurse him for me, and I will give thee thy wages.” More The Finding of Moses


Jacques Stella (1596 – 29 April 1657), born in Lyon, was a French painter. His father was François Stella, a painter and merchant of Flemish origin, but he died too soon to train Jacques in painting. Stella trained in Lyon before spending the period from 1616 to 1621 in the court of Cosimo II de Medici in Florence, working alongside Jacques Callot – Florentine art is a strong influence on all Stella’s work. On Cosimo’s death in 1621 Stella moved to Rome, where he spent the next 10 years and won a reputation thanks to his paintings, small engravings and painted work on stones. Working for pope Urban VIII, Stella was influenced in Rome by classicism and more specifically by the art of Nicolas Poussin, with whom he became an intimate friend.

Returning to Lyon in 1634 before moving to Paris a year later, Stella was presented to Louis XIII by cardinal Richelieu. The king made him peintre du roi, and granted him a pension of 1000 livres. From 1644 he took part in the decoration of the Palais-Cardinal. Towards the end of his life he devoted himself more and more to drawing. He was a major art collector throughout his life, building a collection of paintings by Poussin and Raphael and drawings by Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. He died in Paris. More on Jacques Stella

Michel-François Dandré-Bardon, AIX-EN-PROVENCE 1700 – 1783 PARIS


Oil on canvas

30,5 x 57 cm ; 12 by 22 1/2  in

Private collection

Michel François André-Bardon (22 May 1700 – 13 April 1785) was a French history painter and etcher. He was born in Aix-en-Provence, France. He signed his name Dandré-Bardon, or D. Bardon, because his uncle, Louis Bardon, made him his heir on condition that he continued the name of Bardon; but his real name was André, as the registers of the church of St. Madeleine testify. Michel François was destined by his parents for jurisprudence, and studied at Paris.

In 1719, he began to design during his leisure hours under the direction of Jean-Baptiste van Loo, and studied painting with J. F. de Troy. His progress was so rapid, that he obtained, in 1725, the second prize at the Royal Academy. He went afterwards to Rome, and after being there six years he returned to France, through Venice, where he stayed six months.

He went to Paris, where he displayed his talents, not only as a painter and etcher, but also as a poet and writer. In 1735, he became a member of the Academy; in 1752 professor; afterwards secretary; and finally teacher of historical painting. He was also the founder of the Académie des Beaux-Arts at Marseilles. He designed with great facility, and was a perfect master in representing the nude. More on Michel François André-Bardon


Circle of Francisco de Zurbarán, (baptized November 7, 1598 – August 27, 1664)

Saint Dorothea of Caesarea 

Oil on canvas:

69 x 46 in

Private collection

Dorothea of Caesarea  (died ca. 311) is a 4th-century virgin martyr who was executed at Caesarea Mazaca. Evidence for her actual historical existence or acta is very sparse. She is called a martyr of the Diocletianic Persecution, although her death occurred after the resignation of Diocletian himself. 

She was brought before the prefect Sapricius, tried, tortured, and sentenced to death. On her way to the place of execution the pagan lawyer Theophilus said to her in mockery: “Bride of Christ, send me some fruits from your bridegroom’s garden.” Before she was executed, she sent him, by a six-year-old boy, her headdress which was found to be filled with a heavenly fragrance of roses and fruits. Theophilus at once confessed himself a Christian, was put on the rack, and suffered death. This is the oldest version of the legend, which was later variously enlarged. More on Dorothea of Caesarea

Francisco de Zurbarán (baptized November 7, 1598 – August 27, 1664) was a Spanish painter. He is known primarily for his religious paintings depicting monks, nuns, and martyrs, and for his still-lifes. Zurbarán gained the nickname Spanish Caravaggio, owing to the forceful, realistic use of chiaroscuro in which he excelled. More

Images are copyright of their respective owners, assignees or others

We do not sell art, art prints, framed posters or reproductions. Ads are shown only to compensate the hosting expenses.

If you enjoyed this post, please share with friends and family.

%d bloggers like this: