Friday, January 18, 2019

05 Works, RELIGIOUS ART - Today, January 18th, Saint Prisca's Day, With Footnotes - 18

Martyr Priscilla of Rome

Saint Prisca was a young Roman woman allegedly tortured and executed for her Christian faith. The dates of her birth and death are unknown. She is revered as a Western saint and martyr by the Orthodox Church and as a saint and a martyr by the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion. Especially in England, she is honored as a child martyr. January 18 is her feast day.

Domenico Passignano, (1559 – 17 May 1638)
St. Peter baptizing Saint Prisca at Rome
Church of St. Prisca, Aventine Hill

Domenico Passignano (1559 – 17 May 1638), born Cresti or Crespi, was an Italian painter of a late-Renaissance or Counter-Maniera (Counter-Mannerism) style that emerged in Florence towards the end of the 16th century.

Cresti was born about 30 km south of Florence, and was educated by the local Vallombrosan monks. He started his works in the stylized Tuscan manner, working with Giovanni Battista Naldini and Girolamo Macchietti. After travelling from Rome to Venice (1581–1589), he came under the influence of Tintoretto's style. He had traveled to Venice as an assistant to Federico Zuccari, who had employed him previously in the completion of Vasari's unmemorable frescoes for the Florentine Duomo.

He was known to paint with great speed; however, as he used less paint in order to work quickly, most of his works have been severely damaged by time. 

Passignano died at Florence in 1638. More on Domenico Passignano

Legend says that Saint Prisca was of a noble family. At age thirteen, she was accused of Christianity before Emperor Claudius. He ordered her to make a sacrifice to the god Apollo. When she refused because of her Christian faith, she was beaten and sent to prison.

Upon her release from prison, she still held steadfastly to her faith in Jesus Christ. This time her punishment included flogging, the pouring of boiling tallow upon her, and a second imprisonment. She was at last thrown to a lion in the amphitheater, but rather than devour her though, the lions are said to have licked her feet! 

Santa Prisca Martyr 18 January

She was starved for three days in a slaves' prison house, and then tortured upon the rack. Pieces of flesh were next torn from her body with iron hooks, and she was thrown on a burning pile.

She miraculously still remained alive, but was beheaded at the tenth milestone on the Via Ostiensis. When she died a eagle hovered over Prisca's body and when the Romans came near the eagle came down with dreadful cries. No one dared to touch Prisca because they were scared of the great eagle. The Christians buried her body in a catacomb at the place of her death. There it still exists on the Aventine in Rome a church of St. Prisca. More on St. Prisca

Jean-Victor Schnetz
Funeral of a Young Martyr in the Catacombs of Rome, c. 1847
Oil on Canvas
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nantes, France

Jean-Victor Schnetz (April 14, 1787 in Versailles – March 15, 1870 in Paris) was a French academic painter well regarded for his historical and genre paintings.

Schnetz studied in Paris under Jacques-Louis David. His works can be found at the Louvre Museum and the Petit Palais in Paris, the Château de Versailles in Versailles, the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, and the Museum of Fine Arts in San Francisco.

In 1837 Schnetz was elected to the Académie des Beaux-Arts, and he was twice the Director of the French Academy in Rome, from 1841 to 1846 then again in 1853-1866. Schnetz was made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor in 1825, and raised to Commander in 1866. More on Jean-Victor Schnetz

Jules Eugène Lenepveu, (1819–1898)
The Martyrs in the catacombs, c. 1855
Oil on canvas
Musée d'Orsay

Jules Eugène Lenepveu Boussaroque de Lafont, known as Jules Eugène Lenepveu (1819 – 16 October 1898, Paris) was a French painter. Born at Angers, he studied at the école des Beaux-Arts, and later he was a pupil of François-Édouard Picot in Paris. He entered the École nationale. After winning the Prix de Rome, he went to Rome to complete his education. He became famous for his vast historical canvases, including the ceilings of the Opéra de Paris (1869–1871; covered by a Marc Chagall work), and of the theatre at Angers (1871). He was director of the French Academy in Rome from 1873 to 1878. More on Jules Eugène Lenepveu

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