Surrounded by a cloud aureole God the Father (to the left) and Christ (to the right) are sitting on a throne bank with high rests. God the Father is dressed in a coat of brocade and has a tiara on his head. Christ wears a green-lined red coat and holds the globe in his left hand. Together they hold the crown above Mary’s head who is kneeling in between them, her hands clasped for prayer. In this way she is crowned Queen of Heaven. Behind the throne bank there are two angels observing what is going on. In the upper margin of the painting there is the dove of the Holy Spirit which, together with God the Father and Christ represents the Holy Trinity. All of the flesh tones are overall in a good condition. The background shows a condition, which makes presume a former pressed brocade application. The rather curious rests of the throne also support this presumption, because they would fit more organically into such an original context. The entire colouring of the work shows a harmonic character which is typical for this time. The painting might be a section of a formerly large retable. More on this work
An unusual subject for the artist, in the present painting, Barber has used his skills as an animal painter to produce a work brimming with religious symbolism. Used in Christianity to represent the Messianic Age, the lion is seen to symbolise Christ’s resurrection, while the lamb stands for Christ’s sacrifice. The symbols are also used to represent a time of peace; the work makes an interesting comparison with William Strutt’s 1896 work Peace which draws inspiration from Isaiah, and depicts a child surrounded by a group of animals, among which a lion stands next to a lamb. More on this painting
Charles Burton Barber (1845–1894), was a British painter who attained great success with his paintings of children and their pets.
Barber was born in Great Yarmouth in Norfolk, and studied from the age of 18 at the Royal Academy, London – receiving a silver medal for drawing in 1864, and first exhibiting there in 1866.
During his lifetime Barber was regarded as one of Britain’s finest animal painters and received commissions from Queen Victoria to do paintings of her with grandchildren and dogs, and also the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII) and his pets. A number of his portraits are in the Royal Collection. He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1866 to 1893. In 1883 he was elected a member of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters.
Barber received his final commission in 1894 to paint Queen Victoria, with her grandchildren, in her pony-carriage. He died in London soon afterwards. More on Charles Burton Barber
Manet identified the source for this painting, the first of several religious scenes, in the inscription on the rock: the Gospel according to Saint John. However, in the passage cited, Christ’s tomb is empty except for two angels. After Manet sent the canvas to the 1864 Salon, he realized that he had made an even greater departure from the text, depicting Christ’s wound on the wrong side. Despite Charles Baudelaire’s warning that he would “give the malicious something to laugh at,” the artist did not correct his mistake. Indeed, critics denounced the picture, particularly the realism of Christ’s cadaverous body. More on this painting
Édouard Manet (23 January 1832 – 30 April 1883) was a French painter. He was one of the first 19th-century artists to paint modern life, and a pivotal figure in the transition from Realism to Impressionism.
His early masterworks, The Luncheon on the Grass (Le déjeuner sur l’herbe) and Olympia, both 1863, caused great controversy and served as rallying points for the young painters who would create Impressionism. Today, these are considered watershed paintings that mark the genesis of modern art. More on Édouard Manet
The Cusco School or Cuzco School, was a Roman Catholic artistic tradition based in Cusco, Peru (the former capital of the Inca Empire) during the Colonial period, in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. It was not limited to Cusco only, but spread to other cities in the Andes, as well as to present day Ecuador and Bolivia.
Many colonial Cusco School paintings are preserved, most of them currently at Cusco, but also in other areas of Peru, the town of Calamarca (Bolivia) and in museums of Brazil, United States and England. More on The Cusco School
The theme of archangels had a surprising development in the art of the southern highlands of the viceroyalty of Peru. Replacing classic suits of armor and bladed weapons, depictions emerged of these heavenly emissaries with harquebuses and the elegant attire of artillery officers. They were grouped in series, like military companies led by soldiers adorned with flags and drummers, and they adopted the poses of men performing firearms drills…
Moretto’s last major work, this altarpiece was commissioned by the Brescian confraternity known as the Disciplina di San Giovanni Evangelista for their oratory adjacent to the church of the same name. It hung on the upper story of the building which, as was typical in the city, was divided so that men and women could meet on separate floors. The painting was first described in Bernardino Faino’s Guide to the churches of Brescia, written in the mid-seventeenth century: “In the upper oratory of this church there is an altarpiece by Moretto, a most beautiful thing and worthy of consideration. In it are shown the dead Christ with many figures. . . .” (Faino 1630–69 and Christiansen 1985). Dated October 1554, which was two months before the artist’s death, the painting probably hung in its original location from that time until the confraternity was suppressed in 1771. More on this painting
The burial of Jesus refers to the burial of the body of Jesus after crucifixion, before the eve of the sabbath described in the New Testament. According to the canonical gospel accounts, he was placed in a tomb by a councillor of the sanhedrin named Joseph of Arimathea. In art, it is often called the Entombment of Christ.
The earliest reference to the burial of Jesus is in a letter of Paul. Writing to the Corinthians around the year 54 AD, he refers to the account he had received of the death and resurrection of Jesus
The four canonical gospels, written between 66 and 95, all conclude with an extended narrative of Jesus’ arrest, trial, crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. All four state that, on the evening of the Crucifixion, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body, and, after Pilate granted his request, he wrapped it in a linen cloth and laid it in a tomb. More on Burial of Jesus
Alessandro Bonvicino (also Buonvicino) (c. 1498 – possibly December 22, 1554), more commonly known as Moretto, or in Italian Il Moretto da Brescia (the Moor of Brescia), was an Italian Renaissance painter from Brescia, where he also mostly worked. His dated works span the period from 1524 to 1554, but he was already described as a master in 1516. He was mainly a painter of altarpieces that tend towards sedateness, mostly for churches in and around Brescia, but also in Bergamo, Milan, Verona and Asola; many remain in the churches they were painted for. Most are on canvas, but a number even of large ones are on wood panel. Only a handful of drawings survive.
He was a prominent and pious citizen of the small city of Brescia, belonging to at least two of the most prominent confraternities. More on Alessandro Bonvicino
Andrea Vicentino (c. 1542–1617) was an Italian painter of the late-Renaissance or Mannerist period. He was a pupil of the painter Giovanni Battista Maganza. Born in Vicenza, he was also known as Andrea Michieli or Michelli. He moved to Venice in the mid-1570s and registered in the “Fraglia” or guild of Venetian painters in 1583. He worked alongside Tintoretto at the Palazzo Ducale in Venice, helping paint Arrival of Henry III at Venice (c. 1593) at the Sala delle Quattro Porte of the Ducal palace, as well as works in the Sala del Senato and dello Scrutinio. He also painted the altarpiece of Madonna of the Rosary (c. 1590) for the cathedral of Treviso, God the Father with Three Theological Virtues (1598) for the church in Gambara, and St Charles Borromeo (c. 1605) for a church in Mestre.Paintings by him exist in a number of galleries including the ‘Raising of Lazarus’ at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Valletta, Malta. More on Andrea Vicentino
The Siege of Zara or Siege of Zadar (10–24 November 1202) was the first major action of the Fourth Crusade and the first attack against a Catholic city by Catholic crusaders. The crusaders had an agreement with Venice for transport across the sea, but the price far exceeded what they were able to pay. Venice set the condition that the crusaders help them capture Zadar (or Zara), a constant battleground between Venice on one side and Croatia and Hungary on the other, whose king, Emeric, pledged himself to join the Crusade…
Madonna with St Zachariah dates to the early 1530s, when the artist, who had fled after the Sack of Rome 1527, was staying in Bologna for a few years, focusing on an intense production of altarpieces and paintings for private devotion like this one.
The stern gaze of the priest, father of John the Baptist, guides the beholder towards the Virgin, who is sitting down with the Child in her arms. Baby Jesus is held tight by John the Baptist. John the Baptist is bending over to give his cousin a tender kiss, which he returns, caressing his cheek. On the left, a sensual Mary Magdalene, her breast barely concealed by her long blonde flowing hair, shows the vase of anointing oils, her traditional attribute.
The heavy book held by St Zachariah in his left arm may be the key to interpreting the meaning of the work, which refers to St John as the precursor of the Messiah. The fragmented wording visible on the book is indeed taken from a passage of Luke’s gospel (1:68) in which St Zachariah, when naming his son John, regains the power of speech and immediately recognises his son as a prophet. More on this painting 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
The story of Rebecca at the well comes from the Book of Genesis. The aged Abraham, wanting a wife for his son Isaac, sent his servant Eliezer to his homeland of Mesopotamia to find a suitable woman. Tired after his long journey, Eliezer stopped at a well and prayed for guidance. When Rebecca offered water to Eliezer and his camels, the old steward recognized her as the appointed bride and presented her with the betrothal jewels offered by the kneeling servant. More on The story of Rebecca at the well
Jean-Jacques Henner (15 March 1829–23 July 1905) the sixth and last child of Alsatian peasants, Henner became an extremely successful portraitist and painter of female nudes in Second Empire and Third Republic Paris. He was noted for his use of sfumato and chiaroscuro in his paintings and portraits…
The crucifixion of Jesus occurred in 1st-century Judea, most likely between AD 30 and 33. Jesus’ crucifixion is described in the four canonical gospels, referred to in the New Testament epistles.
Jesus was arrested and tried by the Sanhedrin, and then sentenced by Pontius Pilate to be scourged, and finally crucified by the Romans. Jesus was stripped of his clothing and offered wine mixed with myrrh or gall to drink before being crucified. He was then hung between two convicted thieves and died some six hours later. During this time, the soldiers affixed a sign to the top of the cross stating “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” which, according to the Gospel of John, was written in three languages. After Jesus’ death, one soldier pierced his side with a spear to be certain that he had died. More on The crucifixion of Jesus
Lydie Arickx (born 10 January 1954) is a French artist.
After studying at the School of Graphic Arts under Roland Topor from 1974 to 1978, she gave her first solo exhibition in 1979 at the Jean Briance Gallery, with pastel and oil paintings. By the early 1980s, she participated in international events such as the Basel Fair, Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain and Art Paris. In 1988 she presented her work in Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain and the United States, where her work was presented by Amaury Taittinger in New York City.
In 1991, Arickx settled in the Landes, where she has worked on larger projects in monumental sculpture. Since 1993, she made a series of monumental frescoes for different sites in France. In 1998, she established the Alex Bianchi les Rencontres du Cadran, which hosted 80 international and emerging artists over five consecutive years. In 1999, for the 800th anniversary of the jurade Saint Emilion, Arickx presented a double solo exhibition on the theme of crucifixion. More recently she has experimented with a range of materials in her art work, including concrete, emery cloth, wood, fabrics, resins and fibers and bitumen.
Arickx’s work can be found in major national public collections such as the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Palais de Tokyo, FNAC, in the public space of Hôpital Paul-Brousse in Villejuif, the central hospital of Créteil (center hospitalier intercommunal Créteil) and others. More on Lydie Arickx
Job is the central figure of the Book of Job in the Bible. In rabbinical literature, Job is called one of the prophets of the Gentiles. In Islam, Job is also considered a prophet.
Job is presented as a good and prosperous family man who is beset by Satan with God’s permission with horrendous disasters that take away all that he holds dear, including his offspring, his health, and his property. He struggles to understand his situation and begins a search for the answers to his difficulties
The Book of Job he is described as a blessed man who lives righteously in the Land of Uz. The Lord’s praise of Job prompts an angel with the title of “satan” to suggest that Job served God simply because God protected him. God removes Job’s protection, and gives permission to the angel to take his wealth, his children, and his physical health (but not his life). Despite his difficult circumstances, he does not curse God.
God followed by Job being restored to an even better condition than his former wealthy state. More on Job
Jan Lievens (24 October 1607 – 4 June 1674) was a Dutch painter, usually associated with Rembrandt, working in a similar style. According to Arnold Houbraken, Jan was the son of a tapestry worker, and was trained by Joris Verschoten. He was sent to Pieter Lastman in Amsterdam at about the age of 10 for two full years. After that he began his career as an independent artist, at about the age of 12 in Leiden. He became something of a celebrity because of his talent at such a young age. This attracted the attention of Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange, around 1620, who bought a life-size painting of a young man reading by the light of a turf-fire. He gave this painting in turn to the English Ambassador, who presented it to James I. This was the reason why, when Lievens was 31, he was invited to the British court. When he returned from England he settled in Antwerp, where he married Suzanna Colyn de Nole, the daughter of the sculptor Michiel Colyns. In this period he won many commissions from royalty, mayors, and city halls.
Lievens collaborated and shared a studio with Rembrandt van Rijn from about 1626 to 1631. Their competitive collaboration, represented in some two dozen paintings, drawings and etchings, was intimate enough to cause difficulties in the attribution of works from this period. Lievens showed talent for painting in a life-size scale, and his dramatic compositions suggest the influence of the Caravaggisti. Lievens was more inventive, yet less expressive than Rembrandt. The two men split in 1631, when Rembrandt moved to Amsterdam and Lievens to England. In 1656 Rembrandt still owned paintings by his former friend.
During his time in England Lievens painted a portrait for Thomas Howard, 21st Earl of Arundel, and became influenced by the works of Anthony van Dyck. Lievens worked in Antwerp, and cooperated with Adriaen Brouwer. After being a court painter in The Hague and Berlin, he returned to Amsterdam in 1655. After his first wife died he married a sister of Jan de Bray in 1648. After 1672, the Rampjaar Lievens had increasing financial difficulties and his family voided all claims of inheritance on his death due to his debts. More on Jan Lievens
The flight into Egypt is a biblical event described in the Gospel of Matthew in which Joseph fled to Egypt with Mary and infant son Jesus after a visit by Magi because they learned that King Herod intended to kill the infants of that area. The episode is frequently shown in art, as the final episode of the Nativity of Jesus in art, and was a common component in cycles of the Life of the Virgin as well as the Life of Christ.
When the Magi came in search of Jesus, they go to Herod the Great in Jerusalem and ask where to find the newborn “King of the Jews”. Herod becomes paranoid that the child will threaten his throne, and seeks to kill him. Herod initiates the Massacre of the Innocents in hopes of killing the child. But an angel appears to Joseph and warns him to take Jesus and his mother into Egypt.
Egypt was a logical place to find refuge, as it was outside the dominions of King Herod, but both Egypt and Israel were part of the Roman Empire, linked by a coastal road known as “the way of the sea”, making travel between them easy and relatively safe. More on The flight into Egypt
This large canvas, one of Valerio Castello’s most dramatic and emotive depictions of the Flight into Egypt, was painted while the Genoese artist was at the peak of his career. The deep color palette, energetic brushwork, and rhythmic movement used to depict the procession of the Holy Family and the gesticulating angels who follow them, display the increasing influence that the works of Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony Van Dyck exerted upon Castello during the last decade of his life. More on this painting
Valerio Castello (1624 – October 1659) born in Genoa, was an Italian painter of the Baroque period and one of the pre-eminent Ligurian painters of his time. His art drew inspiration from a wide range of sources. He painted on canvas and fresco.
He was the youngest son of Bernardo Castello, who died when Valerio was six years old. Valerio and his brothers were attached to the noble family of Torquato. While it had been the original intention for him to study a literate profession, he showed an affinity to drawing. This was noted by his patrons, who arranged his apprenticeship with Domenico Fiasella. Later he studied with Giovanni Andrea de’ Ferrari. To seek new inspiration, he travelled to Milan and then to Parma, probably between 1640 and 1645. In Milan he admired the work of Camillo Proccacini. From there, he traveled to Parma.
He excelled in painting battle-scenes. He was also quite prolific within Genoa during his short life. He painted the Rape of the Sabines, now in the Palazzo Brignole, Genoa, and decorated the cupola of the Basilica della Santissima Annunziata del Vastato in the same city. For the house of Francesco Maria Balbi, he collaborated with the quadraturista from Bologna, Andrea Sghizzi to fresco the palace.
In his works he is regarded by his admirers as combining the fire of Tintoretto with the general style of Paolo Veronese. Castello influenced the work of young Domenico Piola. He also admired the work of Anthony van Dyck, who had spent a long time in Genoa and whose paintings could be seen all over the city. Among his pupils were Bartolomeo Biscaino, Giovanni Paolo Cervetto, and Stefano Magnasco (the father of Alessandro). More on Valerio Castello
This elegant Madonna and Child with Saints Jerome and Catherine of Siena exemplifies the type of painting that Sodoma produced for private devotion. Half-length sacre conversazioni were popular in Siena from the mid-15th century and in the present panel Sodoma continued that tradition in an updated form. The central figures of the Madonna and Child betray the artist’s awareness of both Leonardo and Raphael, the latter of whom he knew in Rome. The Madonna and Child are flanked by Saint Jerome, identifiable by the scarlet drapery and the snout of his lion at lower left, and by the plaintive figure of Saint Catherine of Siena at right. The dark background is used to strong effect, emphasizing the emotion of the scene, where the two saints hold out crosses to the still infant Christ. More on this painting
Saint Catherine of Siena, T.O.S.D. (March 25, 1347 in Siena – April 29, 1380 in Rome), was a tertiary of the Dominican Order and a Scholastic philosopher and theologian. She also worked to bring the papacy of Gregory XI back to Rome from its displacement in France and to establish peace among the Italian city-states. Since 18 June 1939, she is one of the two patron saints of Italy, together with St. Francis of Assisi. On 3 October 1970, she was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by Pope Paul VI, and on 1 October 1999, Pope John Paul II named her as one of the six patron saints of Europe, together with Benedict of Nursia, Saints Cyril and Methodius, Bridget of Sweden and Edith Stein. More on Saint Catherine of Siena
Jerome (Eusebius Sophronius Hieronymus, c. 347 – 30 September 420) was a priest, confessor, theologian and historian. He was the son of Eusebius, born at Stridon, a village near Emona on the border of Dalmatia and Pannonia, then part of northeastern Italy. He is best known for his translation of most of the Bible into Latin (the translation that became known as the Vulgate), and his commentaries on the Gospels. His list of writings is extensive.
The protégé of Pope Damasus I, who died in December of 384, Jerome was known for his teachings on Christian moral life, especially to those living in cosmopolitan centers such as Rome. In many cases, he focused his attention to the lives of women and identified how a woman devoted to Jesus should live her life. This focus stemmed from his close patron relationships with several prominent female ascetics who were members of affluent senatorial families.
He is recognised as a Saint and Doctor of the Church by the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Lutheran Church, and the Anglican Communion. His feast day is 30 September. More on Jerome
Il Sodoma, byname of Giovanni Antonio Bazzi, (born 1477, Vercelli, duchy of Savoy [Italy]—died Feb. 14/15, 1549, Siena, republic of Siena), Italian painter whose works reflect the transition from High Renaissance to Mannerist style.
Sodoma, was from Vercelli in northern Italy but worked in and near Siena. He was influenced by Leonardo in Milan, and Pintoricchio in Siena. He worked in Rome for Pope Julius II, but was soon displaced by Raphael, whose High Renaissance style he then absorbed. He spent the rest of his life in Siena. His art has a slightly provincial but vigorous air. More on Il Sodoma
An icon presenting an ensemble of blessed saints, including Catherine , Natalya, Ann the Prophetess, Ljubov (Love, more commonly interpreted as Charity), John, and Alexander standing in two rows. The seventh saint is most likely John the Evangelist. Each saint is identified with a gold on blue banner, all beneath Saint Anne in the celestial realm aloft billowing clouds donning red and blue robes. More on this Icon
Saint Catherine of Alexandria is, according to tradition, a Christian saint and virgin, who was martyred in the early 4th century at the hands of the pagan emperor Maxentius. According to her hagiography, she was both a princess and a noted scholar, who became a Christian around the age of fourteen, and converted hundreds of people to Christianity. More on Saint Catherine of Alexandria
Saint Natalia‘s hagiography is closely tied to the life of her husband, Saint Adrian. Adrian was struck by divine grace and told the Roman officials to write his own name with the rest of the martyrs. When his wife Natalia heard that he had been imprisoned with the martyrs, she ran with joy to the gaol and lauded his resolve while embracing his chains. She imploring the other martyrs to pray to God.
When Adrian appeared before the emperor and confessed Christ, he was tutored, and killed, with the other martyrs. Their hands and feet were then cut off. Natalie managed to steal one of her husband’s severed hands from the pile. The fire that was supposed to burn the relics was miraculously put out by a sudden shower of rain, and a Christian named Eusebius was able to retrieve the relics and transport them for burial to Argyroupolis, a town near Byzantium. Some time later, Natalia visited the tomb where she gave up her soul to God and was herself subsequently buried. More on Saint Natalia
Anna the Prophetess is a woman mentioned in the Gospel of Luke. According to that Gospel, she was an elderly Jewish woman who prophesied about Jesus at the Temple of Jerusalem. She appears in Luke, during the presentation of Jesus at the Temple. More on Anna the Prophetess
Saint Ljubov, Saints Faith, Hope and Charity are a group of Christian martyred saints. In the reign of Roman Emperor Hadrian (2nd century AD), a matron Sophia (Wisdom), with her three youthful daughters, Pistis, Elpis, and Agape (Greek for Faith, Hope and Charity), became martyrs.
The guards took Sophia’s daughters one by one, from the oldest to the youngest and beat and tortured them to death in an attempt to force her to renounce her faith in Christ. She proved her unconditional faith in Christ by proving to people that she and her daughters were willing to go through hard times for their faith. Afterwards, Sophia buried her daughters’ bodies and remained by their graves for three days until she died herself. More on Saint Ljubov and Saint Sofia
Saint John the Apostle, also called Saint John the Evangelist or Saint John the Divine (flourished 1st century ce), in Christian tradition, the author of three letters, the Fourth Gospel, and the Revelation to John in the New Testament. He played a leading role in the early church at Jerusalem. More on Saint John
Saint Anne (also known as Ann or Anna) of David’s house and line, was the mother of the Virgin Mary and grandmother of Jesus Christ, according to apocryphal Christian and Islamic tradition. More on Saint Anne
Magdalene is shown from above lying on her bed, her hair wrapped around her body. Her identity disfigured by iconoclasts. More on this painting
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
Sax Berlin (1953), arguably the finest exponent of 21st Century Classicism has devoted his life to absorbing the culture of art and architecture in Europe, Asia & North America. Thus becoming a genius of our time and the great secret of modern art.
When one reviews his oeuvre 8 distinct & separate styles emerge, displaying Berlin’s mastery of his subject. Berlin is a unique artist, using techniques mastered during his studies; ranging from antiquity through the medieval and Renaissance to the present; he creates the visual outcomes he wants and that delight collectors.
Harvard University refer to him as a Master Artist and use his Buddhist Icon works as exemplars of the form in their Religious Studies degree courses. The President of the Asia Society on Park Avenue, NYC wrote to Berlin that “your work is beautiful” and Bernard Faure, Professor of Asia Studies at Columbia University wrote “your icons really do have a life of their own”.
Sax Berlin is a modern Master Painter in the truest sense of the term and follows in the footsteps of the Great Masters of the past. More on Sax Berlin
Eugene’s interest in a variety of artistic media is seen in the bold manipulation of his negatives. He used paintbrushes, etching needles, and pencils to rework his compositions, thus proclaiming their status as art. This photogravure—a print created from a photomechanically etched copper plate—depicts a classic subject from the annals of art history, the deep chiaroscuro and scratched surface suggesting Adam and Eve after the fall. More on this work
Frank Eugene (19 September 1865 – 16 December 1936) was an American-born photographer who was a founding member of the Photo-Secession and one of the first university-level professors of photography in the world.
Born in New York to immigrant parents, Eugene was one of many young German-Americans to travel to Munich to study at the Royal Bavarian Academy of Arts. Alfred Stieglitz and the influential art critic Sadakichi Hartmann promoted Eugene’s Pictorialist photographs in exhibitions and publications such as Camera Work. Eugene’s interest in a variety of artistic media is seen in the bold manipulation of his negatives. He used paintbrushes, etching needles, and pencils to rework his compositions, thus proclaiming their status as art. This photogravure—a print created from a photomechanically etched copper plate—depicts a classic subject from the annals of art history, the deep chiaroscuro and scratched surface suggesting Adam and Eve after the fall. More on Frank Eugene
The Virgin appears kneeling in front of a table decorated with a red cloth with gold trim.. The arrival of the archangel has caused the Virgin to put down her book and turn her face to observe the unexpected visitor. Saint Gabriel, is in the act of approaching the Virgin. In his left hand he grasps a golden sceptre topped with a kind of fleur-de-lys: it is the messenger’s staff. He extends his right arm pointing with his index and middle fingers towards the sky to emphasise the fact that the message he brings comes directly from God.
Mary brings her left hand to her chest as a sign of compliance with the divine message, while with her right she still holds a page of the book she was reading. More on this painting
The Annunciation referred to as the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Annunciation of Our Lady, or the Annunciation of the Lord, is the Christian celebration of the announcement by the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary that she would conceive and become the mother of Jesus, the Son of God, marking his Incarnation. Gabriel told Mary to name her son Yehoshua, meaning “YHWH is salvation”.
According to Luke 1:26, the Annunciation occurred “in the sixth month” of Elizabeth’s pregnancy. Many Christians observe this event with the Feast of the Annunciation on 25 March, an approximation of the northern vernal equinox nine full months before Christmas, the ceremonial birthday of Jesus. In England, this came to be known as Lady Day. It marked the new year until 1752. The 2nd-century writer Irenaeus of Lyon regarded the conception of Jesus as 25 March coinciding with the Passion. More The Annunciation
Spanish School, 16th Century. In the sixteenth century when Spain became a world power with vast possessions and sources of wealth in the New World, as well as possessions dotted about Europe, it might have been expected that a vigorous national school of painting would emerge, transforming the somewhat tentative or imitative character that painting in Spain had shown up to then. It turned out otherwise. For most of the 16th century, painting remained spiritless. Both the Emperor Charles V and his son Philip II of Spain were patrons with a feeling for art, but the great Venetians, especially Titian, claimed most of their interest. Philip also highly approved of the fantasies of Hieronymus Bosch (1450-1516) – although the top Spanish clergy suspected heresy in these strange pictures from the Netherlands. More on Spanish School, 16th Century
Struck by a nationalistic fervor that had emerged from post-independence Indonesia, artists strove to articulate a recognizable Indonesian identity in their works. Moved by similar desires, Javanese artist Haji Widayat shifted from the predominantly Dutch Bandung school to the Indonesian-run ASRI academy in Yogyakarta. Under the tutelage of Hendra Gunawan, Widayat’s work transitioned from the sweet, Mooi-Indië (Beautiful Indies) landscapes into the epochal, ‘magical-decorative’ style that marked his mature oeuvre. More on Widayat, Haji Widayat, Haji (1919–2002) is a prolific and influential Javanese artist, Haji Widayat is recognized for his “dekora-magis” (magical-decorative) contribution to Indonesian art. Throughout his five-decade artistic career he experimented widely, working in an array of themes, styles, and media. Greatly admired for his extraordinary versatility and imagination, Widayat freely appropriated and adapted imagery from various cultural sources creating his own distinctive modern expression. He is best known for paintings of enchanted, fantastical worlds inspired by nature, myths, and folklore, religious literatures, and primordial states; his work featured Javanese legends, Judeo-Christian narratives of genesis and creation, and Papuan statues. Widayat often portrayed dense forests, deep-sea fish, birds in trees, primitive objects, and events around him rendered through a rhythmic repetition of flat meticulous motifs that densely filled the entire field. Alongside these stylistic investigations, he regularly explored abstraction and other modernist tropes. Although he predominantly produced oil and acrylic on canvas and watercolor on paper, he practiced etching and dry-point printing and painting on ceramics, and at times sculpture. Widayat was also an inspirational art educator: he lectured for over 30 years at the Akademi Seni Rupa Indonesia (ASRI – Indonesian Academy of Fine Arts) in Yogjakarta. By Clark, Christine
Saint Anthony or Antony (251–356) was a Christian monk from Egypt, revered since his death as a saint. He is distinguished from other saints named Anthony by various epithets: Anthony the Great, Anthony of Egypt, Anthony the Abbot, Anthony of the Desert, Anthony the Anchorite, and Anthony of Thebes. For his importance among the Desert Fathers and to all later Christian monasticism, he is also known as the Father of All Monks. His feast day is celebrated on January 17 among the Orthodox and Catholic churches and on Tobi 22 in the Egyptian calendar used by the Coptic Church.
The biography of Anthony’s life by Athanasius of Alexandria helped to spread the concept of Christian monasticism, particularly in Western Europe via its Latin translations. He is often erroneously considered the first Christian monk, but as his biography and other sources make clear, there were many ascetics before him. Anthony was, however, the first to go into the wilderness, a geographical move that seems to have contributed to his renown. Accounts of Anthony enduring supernatural temptation during his sojourn in the Eastern Desert of Egypt inspired the often-repeated subject of the temptation of St. Anthony in Western art and literature. More Saint AnthonyBartolo di Fredi (c. 1330 – January 26, 1410) was an Italian painter, born in Siena, classified as a member of the Sienese School. Bartolo di Fredi was one of the most popular masters in Siena in the second half of the fourteenth century.
He registered in the Guild of that city in 1355. He helped decorate the Hall of Council at Siena, in 1361. In 1362 he went to San Gimignano, where, by 1356, he had painted the entire side of the left aisle of the Pieve with scenes drawn from the Old Testament. In 1366 the Council of the city of Gimignano ordered a painting, representing Two Monks of the Augustine Order to be placed in the Palazzo Pubblico In the early part of 1367 he returned to Siena, and was employed with Giacomo di Mino in the decorations of the cathedral. In 1372. In 1381 he was made a member of the Council. In 1389, Bartolo, assisted by Luca Thome to paint the altar-piece for the Shoemakers’ Company, in the Cathedral, and continued from that year until his death to furnish altar-pieces for the cathedral and other churches of Siena, which have now all disappeared.His style is marked by the rejection of the concrete figures. Instead he favor flatter decorative otherworldly compositions. He combined a spirit of fantasy with anecdotal details. More on Bartolo di Fredi
White, soft, icy snow is a rare sight in the Mediterranean city of Rome during winter, let alone during summer. Yet, according to tradition, the founding of one of Rome’s most important Catholic churches took place on an extraordinary snowfall day in August of 352. On August 5 of 352, a wealthy Roman nobleman and Pope Liberius both had dreams in which snow was falling over the Esquiline Hill, one of Rome’s seven hills. The two men resolved to visit the place of the unusual event, bumped into one another and testified to the unusual snowfall. It so happened that the nobleman had been looking for a way to donate some of his possessions to the Catholic Church. He then restored to build a beautiful place of worship on top of the hill where the miraculous snow fell. Pope Liberius then proceeded to trace the perimeter of the soon-to-be-church by moving a stick over the thick white blanket. Since then, Santa Maria Maggiore has become one of the most important worship sites for Catholics and the largest Marian worship site in Rome. More on Madonna of the Snow Stefano di Giovanni di Consolo, known as il Sassetta (ca.1392–1450 or 1451) was a Tuscan painter of the Renaissance, and a significant figure of the Sienese School. While working within the Sienese tradition, he innovated the style by introducing elements derived from the decorative Gothic style and the realism of contemporary Florentine innovators as Masaccio.
Sassetta was probably trained alongside artists like Benedetto di Bindo and Gregorio di Cecco but he had a style all of his own. He achieved a high level of technical refinement and was aware of artistic innovations of talented painters in Florence such as Gentile da Fabriano and Masolino. His work differs from the late Gothic style of many of his Sienese contemporaries.
The Madonna of the Snow altarpiece for the Siena Cathedral was a prestigious commission for Sassetta, and is considered his second major work. Not only does he excel at infusing his figures with a natural light that convincingly molds their shape, he also has an amazing handle on spatial relationships, creating cohesive and impressive work. From this point on, under Gothic influence, Sassetta’s style increases its decorative nature. The polyptych done by Sassetta in San Domenico at Cortona (around 1437) depicts scenes from the legend of St. Anthony the Abbot. He shows great skill in narration through his painting as well as combining a sophisticated color palette and rhythmic compositions.
He died from pneumonia contracted while decorating the Assumption fresco on the Porta Romana of Siena. The work was finished by his pupil Sano di Pietro. More on Stefano di Giovanni di Consolo
The Saints are depicted against a gold ground, in frontal position with elongated bodies and relatively small heads, each making a blessing gesture and holding a jewelled closed Book of Gospels, robed in precious bishop’s garments with striking geometric ornament of crosses set within squares and circles of a type worn during the Byzantine period. More on this painting
The Three Hierarchs of Eastern Christianity refers to Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian and John Chrysostom. They were highly influential bishops of the early church who played pivotal roles in shaping Christian theology. In Eastern Christianity they are also known as the Three Great Hierarchs and Ecumenical Teachers, while in Roman Catholicism the three are honored as Doctors of the Church. The three are venerated as saints in Eastern Orthodoxy, Catholicism, Anglicanism, and other Christian churches. More on Three Church Hierarchs
Basil of Caesarea, also called Saint Basil the Great (330 – January 1 or 2, 379), was a Byzantine bishop of Caesarea Mazaca in Cappadocia, Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey). He was an influential theologian who supported the Nicene Creed and opposed the heresies of the early Christian church, fighting against both Arianism and the followers of Apollinaris of Laodicea. His ability to balance his theological convictions with his political connections made Basil a powerful advocate for the Nicene position.
In addition to his work as a theologian, Basil was known for his care of the poor and underprivileged. More on Basil of Caesarea
John Chrysostom ( 347 – 14 September 407) was an important Early Church Father who served as archbishop of Constantinople. He is known for his preaching and public speaking, his denunciation of abuse of authority by both ecclesiastical and political leaders, Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, and his ascetic sensibilities. Chrysostom was among the most prolific authors in the early Christian Church.
He is honoured as a saint in the Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran churches, as well as in some others. The Eastern Orthodox, together with the Byzantine Catholics, hold him in special regard as one of the Three Holy Hierarchs (alongside Basil the Great and Gregory of Nazianzus). More on John Chrysostom
Gregory of Nazianzus (329 – 25 January 390), also known as Gregory the Theologian or Gregory Nazianzen, was a 4th-century Archbishop of Constantinople and theologian. He is widely considered the most accomplished rhetorical stylist of the patristic age. As a classically trained orator and philosopher he infused Hellenism into the early church, establishing the paradigm of Byzantine theologians and church officials, More on Gregory of NazianzusGeorgios Klontzas (1535-1608) was a scholar, painter, and manuscript illuminator. He is one of the most influential artists of the post-Byzantine period. He defined the Cretan Renaissance. He worked for both Catholic and Orthodox patrons. His artistic output included: icons, miniatures, triptychs, and illuminated manuscripts. He is known for occupying his icons with countless figures. The technique is extremely complex and unique to Klontzas. Andreas Pavias attempted this technique in the Crucifixion of Jesus. Klontzas’s painting All Creation rejoices in thee is his most popular work. Klontzas influenced Theodore Poulakis he created an extremely similar painting called In Thee Rejoiceth. Klontzas’s work is strongly influenced by the Venetian school. His triptychs strongly resemble the works of Gentile da Fabriano, namely the Intercession Altarpiece. Klontzas’s Last Judgement resembles Michelangelo’s Last Judgement in the Sistine Chapel. There are very close similarities. There is no indication that Klontzas saw the work but it is a possibility. According to the Institute of Neohellenic Research fifty-four items of his art exist today. More on Georgios Klontzas