Simone Pignoni, The Rape of Proserpine 01 Paintings, Olympian deities, by the Old Masters, with footnotes # 34

Simone Pignoni, (1611–1698)
The Rape of Proserpine, circa 1650

Oil on canvas
Height: 88 cm (34.6 ″); Width: 134 cm (52.7 ″)
Museum of Fine Arts of Nancy

Proserpina, or Proserpine is an ancient Roman goddess whose cult, myths and mysteries were based on those of Greek Persephone and her mother Demeter, the Greek goddess of grain and agriculture. The Romans identified Proserpina with their native fertility goddess Libera, daughter of the grain and agriculture goddess Ceres and wife to Liber.


Venus, in order to bring love to Pluto, sent her son Amor (also known as Cupid) to hit Pluto with one of his arrows. Proserpina was in Sicily, at the Pergusa Lake near Enna, where she was playing with some nymphs and collecting flowers, when Pluto came out from the volcano Etna. He abducted her in order to marry her and live with her in the underworld of which he was the ruler.


Her mother Ceres went looking for her across all of the world, and all in vain. She was unable to find anything. In her desperation, Ceres angrily stopped the growth of fruits and vegetables, bestowing a malediction on Sicily. Ceres refused to return to Mount Olympus and started walking the Earth, creating a desert with each step.


Worried, Jupiter sent Mercury to order Pluto to free Proserpina. Pluto obeyed, but before letting her go he made her eat six pomegranate seeds, because those who have eaten the food of the dead could not return to the world of the living. This meant that she would have to live six months of each year with him, and stay the rest with her mother. More on Proserpina

Simone Pignoni (April 17, 1611 – December 16, 1698) was an Italian painter of the Baroque period.

He is best known for painting in a style reminiscent of the morbidly sensual Furini. Reflective of this obsession in his self-portrait, c. 1650, in which he depicts himself building up a plump naked female from a skeleton. 

Described as endowed with a “bizarre and amenable intelligence”, Pignoni apparently had a late-life conversion to more pious painting. There is one episode recalled that during a serious illness “because in his life he had focused on studying about female forms, and (now) having resigned himself to the impending infinity, his spiritual father urged him to purge those errors with the flame, and once guided by a good disposition, he suddenly was cured by the Lord.” Baldinucci’s biography of Furini also recorded a similar, near-death renunciation of his art of the naked figure.

Among his more conventional works are a St. Agatha cured by St. Peter (attributed); a St. Louis providing a banquet for the poor (c. 1682); and a Madonna and child in glory with archangels Saints Michael and Raphael in battle armor and San Antonio of Padua. He painted an Allegory of Peace in Palazzo Vecchio. A Penitent Magdalen that has been attributed to Pignoni is found in the Pitti Palace. In San Bartolomeo in Monteoliveto, he painted a Madonna appearing to Blessed Bernardo Tolomeo. More on Simone Pignoni

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Borys Fiodorowicz, Madonna of Saint-Laurent 01 Works, RELIGIOUS ART – CONTEMPORARY Interpretation of the Bible! With Footnotes – 30

Borys Fiodorowicz
Madonna Mondriana od Laurenta, Madonna of Saint-Laurent, c. 2018

Acrylic on panel
Size:
40 x 30 cm. (15.7 x 11.8 in.)
Private collection

Yves Saint Laurent, in full Yves-Henri-Donat-Mathieu Saint Laurent, (born August 1, 1936, Oran, Algeria—died June 1, 2008, Paris, France), French fashion designer. In 1962 Saint Laurent opened his own fashion house and quickly emerged as one of the most influential designers in Paris. He popularized trousers for women. Metallic and transparent fabrics were prominent in his late ’60s collections; in the 1970s, inspired by ethnic costume, he introduced the haute peasant look. During the 1960s and ’70s his enterprises expanded to include ready-to-wear licenses, accessories, household linens, fragrances, and men’s clothes in addition to his couture business. More on Yves Saint Laurent

Borys Fiodorowicz is the graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. The artist comes from Ukraine but currently he lives and works near Cracow, Poland, where his closest entourage became a great source of inspiration. He took part in numerous individual and group exhibitions and charity auctions. His permanent exhibition can be seen in Parish House in Paszkówka. More on Borys Fiodorowicz 

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School of the Lower Rhine, THE BETRAYAL OF CHRIST 01 Works, RELIGIOUS ART – Interpretation of the bible, with Footnotes – 152

School of the Lower Rhine, circa 1510-15
THE BETRAYAL OF CHRIST

Oil on oak panel
89.1 x 72.3 cm.; 35 x 28 1/2 in.
Private collection

The kiss of Judas, also known as the Betrayal of Christ, is how Judas identified Jesus to the multitude with swords and clubs who had come from the chief priests and elders of the people to arrest him, according to the Synoptic Gospels. The kiss is given by Judas in the Garden of Gethsemane after the Last Supper and leads directly to the arrest of Jesus by the police force of the Sanhedrin.


More broadly, a Judas kiss may refer to “an act appearing to be an act of friendship, which is in fact harmful to the recipient” More on the Betrayal of Christ


Till-Holger Borchert situates this works in the immediate milieu of the workshop of Derick Baegert and his son Jan in Wesel.


Derick Baegert, (?), ca. 1440 – Wesel, ca. 1515, was the head of a family of painters who worked in the Rhineland area in Germany during the last third of the 15th century and the first third of the 16th. Baegert organised a productive workshop in Wesel with his son Jan and Jan Joest, who was possibly his nephew. He also worked in Dortmund, Cologne and Kalkar. Stylistic similarities between his work and that of the Utrecht school suggests that he trained there. In 1476 he is recorded in Wesel, a city where his son worked as an independent master in 1490. Father and son travelled together to the Low Countries in 1482, a fact that is crucial for the evolution of their art. Although he borrowed elements from Netherlandish art, Derick’s style always remained close to that of the late Gothic. He tended to locate his figures in a narrow zone that acts as an intermediary point between the foreground and background. More on Derick Baegert

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Dino Valls, PASSIO, The Passion 01 Work, RELIGIOUS ART – CONTEMPORARY Interpretation of the Bible! With Footnotes – 27

Dino Valls
PASSIO. c. 1993

Egg tempera and oil / wood
72 x 58 cm.
Private collection

I am not sure what Dino Valls intended by calling his painting “PASSIO”, but it reminds me of the  Old Masters interpretations of Saints, and the olive branch shown would symbolize the description given the passion of Saint Olivia. I hope that this does not prejudice this beautiful work!

Saint Olivia of Palermo (Palermo, 448 – Tunis, 10 June 463) is a Christian virgin-martyr who was venerated as a local patron saint of Palermo, Sicily in the Middle Ages.

Her feast day is on June 10, and she is represented as a young woman with olive branches surrounding her.

Olivia was the beautiful daughter of a noble Sicilian family. From her early years she devoted herself to the Lord while declining honors and riches, and loved to give charity to the poor. In 454 AD Genseric, king of the Vandals, conquered Sicily and occupied Palermo, martyring many Christians. When she was thirteen Olivia began to comfort the prisoners and urged the Christians to remain steadfast in their faith. The Vandals were impressed by the strength of her spirit, seeing that nothing could prevail against her faith, and so in deference to her noble house, they sent her to Tunis where the governor would attempt to overcome her constancy.

In Tunis Olivia worked miracles and began to convert the pagans. The governor therefore ordered that she be relegated to a lonely place as a hermitess, where there were wild animals, hoping that the beasts would devour her or that she would die of hunger. However the wild animals lived peacefully around her. One day some men from Tunis who were hunting found her, and impressed by her beauty tried to abuse her; but Olivia converted them too with the word of the Lord and they were baptized. 

After miraculously curing many of the sick and suffering in the region, Olivia converted many pagans to the Christian faith. When the governor heard about these things he had her arrested and imprisoned in the city in an attempt to make her apostatize. She was scourged and she was stripped and submerged into a cauldron of boiling oil, but these tortures did not cause her any harm, nor did they make her renounce her faith. Finally she was beheaded on June 10 of the year 463. More on Saint Olivia

Dino Valls is a Spanish painter born in 1959 in Zaragoza. Since 1988, he has lived and worked in Madrid.

Building on a childhood passion for drawing, Valls taught himself to paint in oils beginning in 1975. After completing his degree in Medicine and Surgery in 1982, Valls devoted himself full-time to the profession of painting.

As one of the Spanish representatives of the vanguard of figurative art, Valls’ work displays the strong influence of past masters and their studies of the human being. In the early ’90s, Valls began studying the use of egg tempera, adapting and customizing the techniques of Italian and Flemish masters from the fifteenth to seventeenth centuries to create new works in combinations of tempera and oil. His paintings elaborate and expand upon the methods of past masters, employing formal figurative techniques as the medium through which to explore the human psyche in a conceptual framework laden with profound psychological weight and symbolism.

Valls has participated in important international exhibitions of contemporary art, and has held numerous showings in Europe and the United States. More on Dino Valls

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John William Waterhouse, Saint Cecilia, c. 1895 01 Works RELIGIOUS ART – Interpretation of the bible, With Footnotes – 154

John William Waterhouse, (1849–1917
Saint Cecilia, c. 1895

Oil on canvas
Legion of Honor, San Francisco

Saint Cecilia is the patroness of musicians. It is written that as the musicians played at her wedding she “sang in her heart to the Lord”. She is one of seven women, excluding the Blessed Virgin, commemorated by name in the Canon of the Mass.

According to the story, despite her vow of virginity, she was forced by her parents to marry a nobleman named Valerian. During the wedding, Cecilia sat apart singing to God in her heart, and for that she was later declared the saint of musicians. When the time came for her marriage to be consummated, Cecilia told Valerian that she had an angel of the Lord watching over her who would punish him if he dared to violate her virginity but who would love him if he could respect her maidenhood. When Valerian asked to see the angel, Cecilia replied that he would see the angel if he would go to the third milestone on the Via Appia (the Appian Way) and be baptized by Pope Urbanus.] After his baptism, he found an angel standing by the side of Cecilia, and crowning her with a chaplet of roses and lilies.

The martyrdom of Cecilia is said to have followed that of Valerian and his brother by the prefect Turcius Almachius. The legend about Cecilia’s death says that after being struck three times on the neck with a sword, she lived for three days, and asked the pope to convert her home into a church. More on Saint Cecilia

John William Waterhouse (April 6, 1849 – February 10, 1917) was an English painter known for working in the Pre-Raphaelite style. He worked several decades after the breakup of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, which had seen its heyday in the mid-nineteenth century, leading to his sobriquet “the modern Pre-Raphaelite”. Borrowing stylistic influences not only from the earlier Pre-Raphaelites but also from his contemporaries, the Impressionists, his artworks were known for their depictions of women from both ancient Greek mythology and Arthurian legend.

Born in Italy to English parents who were both painters, he later moved to London, where he enrolled in the Royal Academy of Art. He soon began exhibiting at their annual summer exhibitions, focusing on the creation of large canvas works depicting scenes from the daily life and mythology of ancient Greece. Later on in his career he came to embrace the Pre-Raphaelite style of painting despite the fact that it had gone out of fashion in the British art scene several decades before. More on John William Waterhouse

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EDWARD SHERIFF CURTIS, Aphrodite 01 Contemporary Interpretations of Olympian deities, with footnotes #18

EDWARD SHERIFF CURTIS, (1868 – 1952)
Aphrodite (Spirit of the Sea), ca 1920 – 1930

Blue toned gelatin print
8.4cm x 23.5cm
Private collection

Aphrodite is the Greek goddess of love, beauty, pleasure, and procreation. She is identified with the planet Venus; her Roman equivalent is the goddess Venus. Myrtle, roses, doves, sparrows and swans were sacred to her.

Aphrodite was created from the sea foam produced by Uranus’s genitals, which had been severed by Cronus. In Homer’s Iliad, however, she is the daughter of Zeus and Dione. In Greek mythology, the other gods feared that Aphrodite’s beauty might lead to conflict and war, through rivalry for her favours; so Zeus married her off to Hephaestus. Despite this, Aphrodite followed her own inclinations, and had many lovers — both gods, such as Ares, and men, such as Anchises. She played a role in the Eros and Psyche legend, and was both lover and surrogate mother of Adonis. More on Aphrodite 

Edward Sheriff Curtis (February 16, 1868 – October 19, 1952) was an American photographer and ethnologist whose work focused on the American West and on Native American peoples. 

Curtis was born on February 16, 1868, on a farm near Whitewater, Wisconsin. His father, the Reverend Asahel “Johnson” Curtis (1840–1887), was a minister, farmer, and American Civil War veteran. In 1887 the family moved to Seattle, Washington, where he purchased a new camera and established a new studio, Curtis and Guptill, Photographers and Photoengravers.

In 1906, J. P. Morgan provided Curtis with $75,000 to produce a series on Native Americans. This work was to be in 20 volumes with 1,500 photographs. Around 1922, Curtis moved to Los Angeles and opened a new photo studio. To earn money he worked as an assistant cameraman for Cecil B. DeMille and was an uncredited assistant cameraman in the 1923 filming of The Ten Commandments. On October 19, 1952, at the age of 84. More Edward Sheriff Curtis

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Philippe Vignal, A SIRÈNE 01 Contemporary Interpretations of Olympian deities, with footnotes #18

Philippe Vignal, France
LA SIRÈNE

Acrylic on Canvas
55.1 H x 43.3 W x 0 in
Private collection

According to Greek myths, sirens were powerful and erotic creatures, and many unsuspecting sailors would fall prey to their seductive beauty. The common belief was that they would devour sailors after their ships would crash into the rocks, as most men couldn’t resist the temptation of their sweet melodies and angelic faces. More on The Fisherman and The Siren

Philippe Vignal, French artist born in Mozambique, draws his inspiration from his childhood memories steeped by faces of women and men, powerful, wild and proud. On a canvas stretched as leather, black color covers the entire frame. And then, brushstrokes of white bring out forms and lights, strength and sensuality! A perfectionist work that highlights details, shadows and lights, the faces and bodies seem almost alive. The hyper- realistic faces and nudes are the main topics that fascinate and inspire him, revealed through his aesthetic and technic that brings you in his personal universe.Visual shock and meeting face to face… that attracts and challenges at the same time.  More on Philippe Vignal

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