Thursday, May 7, 2020

05 Works, Today, May 7th is the San Acacio's day, With Footnotes - #128

Unknown artist
St. Acacius the Centurion

The Holy Martyr Acacius, who lived mostly in the III Century, was born at Cappadocia and was a centurion of the Martesian regiment under the military officer Firmus. 

When the persecution against Christians was started up on order of the emperor Maximian Galerius (305-311), Firmus began one after the other to interrogate his soldiers about their faith. Saint Acacius thereupon firmly and openly confessed himself a Christian. Seeing the steadfastness of Saint Acacius, Firmus sent him off to the military officer higher up in command, named Vivianus. Vivianus gave the saint over to fierce torture. After the tortures they put him in heavy chains and locked him up in prison. A certain while later they led the martyr together with other prisoners to Byzantium, to the governor. 

Anonymous Toledan
The Martyrdom of San Acacio, 16th century
Prado. Madrid. España.
Oil on panel
Height: 111 cm (43.7 in) Width: 166.5 cm (65.5 in)
Museo del Prado

Anonymous Toledan: Artists whose work is known, and who have been identified on the basis of style, but whose names are unknown.

The soldiers accompanying them went along quickly, showing the prisoners no mercy, and Saint Acacius weakened along the way from his wounds, and also from his chains and hunger and thirst. When finally they halted for the night, Saint Acacius offered up thanks to God, for granting him to suffer for His Holy Name. During the time of prayer the saint heard a voice from the heavens: "Valour, Acacius, and be strong!" This voice was heard also by the other prisoners, and many of them believed in Christ and besought the saint to instruct them and further them in the Christian faith.

Bacchiacca, real name Francesco Ubertini, 1494–1557
Martyrdom of St. Acacius and his companions, c. 1521/22
Oil on wood
37 × 256cm
Florence, Galleria degli Uffizi

Francesco d'Ubertino Verdi, called Bachiacca; is also known as Francesco Ubertini, il Bacchiacca (1494–1557). He was an Italian painter of the Renaissance whose work is characteristic of the Florentine Mannerist style. 
Bachiacca was born and baptized in Florence on 1 March 1494 and died there on 5 October 1557.

Bachiacca apprenticed in Perugino's Florentine studio, and by 1515 began to collaborate with Andrea del Sarto, Jacopo Pontormo and Francesco Granacci. In 1523, he again participated with Andrea del Sarto, Franciabigio and Pontormo. While he established a reputation as a painter of predellas and small cabinet pictures, he eventually expanded his output to include large altarpieces.

In 1540, Bachiacca became an artist at the court of Duke Cosimo I de' Medici and Duchess Eleanor of Toledo. In this capacity, Bachiacca was a colleague and peer of the most important Florentine artists of the age.

Bachiacca's first major commission was to paint the walls and ceiling of the duke's private study with plants, animals and a landscape, which remain an important testimony of Cosimo's interest in botany and the natural sciences. More on Francesco d'Ubertino

At Byzantium they situated the holy martyr in onerous lockup, while the other prisoners were put under less severe conditions. But at night the other prisoners beheld, how radiant youths appeared to Saint Acacius and attended to him, washing his wounds and bringing him food. After seven days, Vivianus again summoned Saint Acacius before him and was struck by his fresh appearance. Supposing, that the prison guard for money had given the prisoner both respite and food, he summoned the guard for a strict questioning. And not believing his answers, Vivianus had the guard severely beaten. Saint Acacius himself thereupon answered Vivianus: "My power and strength art given me by the Lord Jesus Christ, Who hath healed my wounds". Vivianus in a frenzy of rage gave orders to beat the martyr about the face and smash his teeth for his unsolicited words. 

Striving all the more to intensify and prolong the torture of Saint Acacius, Vivianus sent him off to the governor Flaccinus with a letter. But having read the letter, Flaccinus became annoyed, that Vivianus had for so long and so cruelly tortured a soldier holding the venerable rank of centurion, and he gave orders to without further delay behead the martyr. 

Unknown artist, German
Saint Acace and the thousand martyrs on Mount Ararat, 
15th century
Oil on wood
Height: 1.37 m Width: 0.92 m
Jeanne d'Aboville Museum, La Fère, France

At the place of execution Saint Acacius lifted up his eyes to the heavens, offering up thanks to God for being granted to accept a martyr's death for Him, and then with a calm joy he lay down his head beneathe the sword. This occurred in the year 303. Under Constantine the Great the relics of the holy Martyr Acacius rested at Constantinople in a church built in his honour.

Jakob Strüb
Saint Achatius and the Martyrdom of the Ten Thousand, c. 1505-1510
Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck

The Strüb family is documented in Veringenstadt near Sigmaringen in Swabia from 1360 onwards. Peter Strüb the Elder, father of Jakob and Hans, was a painter, and it would seem likely that the two brothers trained in the family workshop, which they took over following their father’s death. The first document relating to their activities dates from 1505 and mentions both men as independent masters.

It would seem that the Strüb brothers specialised in large-format, carved wooden altarpieces although none have survived in their original form. It is thought that they were also responsible for designs for sculptures, which they may also have executed themselves. The third brother, Pieter, who was much younger than Jakob and Hans, has recently been identified as the Master of Messkirch. More on The Strüb family

The passio sets St. Acacius's age as 25, so in the portraits he is usually presented as a young person dressed in either military costume or contemporary fashions. More on Martyr Acacius

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