Monday, November 16, 2020

08 works, Today, November 16th, is Saint Ephigenia of Ethiopia's day, her story illustrated #319

Unknown artist
Santa Ifigênia
Basílica de Nossa Senhora da Conceição e de Santa Ifigênia, Brazil

Saint Ephigenia of Ethiopia or Iphigenia of Ethiopia, also called Iphigenia of Abyssinia
, is a folk saint whose life is told in the Golden Legend as a virgin converted to Christianity and then consecrated to God by St. Matthew the Apostle, who was spreading the Gospel to the region of "Ethiopia."

Francesco Trevisani (Italian, 1656–1746)
Saint Matthew resuscitating the son of the King of Ethiopia 
Two Studies; oil on canvas
33.6 x 64.8 cm. (13.2 x 25.5 in.)
Private collection

Francesco Trevisani (April 9, 1656 – July 30, 1746) was an Italian painter, active in the early Rococo or late Baroque period.

Born in Capodistria, he was the son of an architect, by whom he was instructed in the first rudiments of design. He then studied in Venice. He moved to Rome, where he remained until his death, in 1746. His brother, Angelo Trevisani remained a prominent painter in Venice.

In Rome, he was supported by Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni. He was also favored with the patronage of Cardinal Chigi. Chigi employed him in several considerable works, and recommended him to the protection of Pope Clement XI, who not only commissioned him to paint one of the prophets in San Giovanni Laterano, but engaged him to decorate the cupola of the cathedral in Urbino. He was employed by the Duke of Modena, in copying the works of Correggio and Parmigianino, and also painted in Brunswick, Madrid, Munich, Stockholm, and Vienna.

He became a member of the Academy of Arcadia in 1712. Trevisani died in Rome in 1746. More on Francesco Trevisani

St. Matthew resurrected the son of the King, and the admiring people wanted to adore him as a god. But St. Matthew did not permit it, and used the gold and silver they brought in his homage to build a great church. He resided there under the protection of the sovereign for 33 years. The king’s daughter, St. Ephigenia, founded a convent where she was the superior of more than 200 virgins.

Unknown artist
The Apotheosis of Santa Iphigenia. Cristóbal Lozano, c. 1763
Chapel of La Quebrada, Cañete

When Hirtacus succeeded the King, he promised Saint Matthew half of his kingdom if he could persuade Ephigenia to marry him. Matthew thus invited the king to Mass the following Sunday where he explained that she was already espoused to the eternal King and thus could not be purloined by Hirtacus. 

Andrea Orcagna and Jacopo di Cione
Detail: St. Matthew and Four Stories from His Life, c.  1367-68 
Uffizi, Florence

Andrea Orcagna, (c. 1320—1368), was a leading Florentine artist of the third quarter of the 14th century, a painter, sculptor, architect, and administrator In 1343/4 he was admitted to the painters' guild in Florence and in 1352 to that of the masons. His only certain work as a painter is the altarpiece of The Redeemer with the Madonna and Saints (1354–7) in the Strozzi Chapel of S. Maria Novella. Colours are resplendent, with lavish use of gold, and the figures are remote and immobile. As a sculptor and architect he is known through one work, the tabernacle in Orsanmichele a highly elaborate ornamental structure housing a painting of the Virgin Enthroned by Bernardo Daddi. Orcagna was capomaestro of Orvieto Cathedral from 1358 to 1362, supervising the mosaic decoration of the façade. He was also an adviser on the construction of Florence Cathedral. During 1368 he fell mortally ill while painting the St Matthew altarpiece (Uffizi, Florence) and this work was finished by his brother Jacopo di Cione (d1398/1400), who worked in his style and continued it to the end of the century. More on Andrea Orcagna

Jacopo di Cione (c. 1325 – c. 1399) was an Italian Gothic period painter in the Republic of Florence.

In 1366–68 Jacopo worked on a large chamber in the guildhall of the judges and notaries, Florence. After his brother Andrea's death in 1368 Jacopo took over some of his brother's commissions. He enrolled in the Arte dei Medici e Speziali in 1369, and was one of the consuls of the guild in 1384, 1387 and 1392.

Jacopo also worked regularly with the painter Niccolò di Pietro Gerini. In 1370–71 Jacopo, and painter Niccolò di Pietro Gerini, produced the polyptych for the high altar of the church of San Pier Maggiore, Florence. The two painters again collaborated on the large panel of the Coronation of the Virgin, and in 1386 they received the commission for a fresco of the Annunciation.

Between 1378 and 1380 Jacopo worked in the Florence Cathedral. Later Jacopo probably also executed gilding decoration for twelve marble statues for the jamb of the main porch, and completed other work in the cathedral. In 1382 and 1385 Jacopo is recorded working at the Loggia dei Priori, Florence, and in 1386 he provided four panel paintings to the Avignon office of the merchant Francesco di Marco Datini from Prato. In 1391 Jacopo painted the altar for the Church of San Lorenzo in Florence. He died in Florence, after 2 May 1398 and before 1400. More on Jacopo di Cione

Caravaggio, (1571–1610)
The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew, circa 1599–1600
Oil on canvas
Height: 323 cm (10.5 ft); Width: 343 cm (11.2 ft)
San Luigi dei Francesi Church, Rome

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (29 September 1571 in Caravaggio – 18 July 1610) was an Italian painter active in Rome, Naples, Malta, and Sicily between 1592 and 1610. His paintings, which combine a realistic observation of the human state, both physical and emotional, with a dramatic use of lighting, had a formative influence on Baroque painting.
Caravaggio trained as a painter in Milan under Simone Peterzano who had himself trained under Titian. In his twenties Caravaggio moved to Rome where there was a demand for paintings to fill the many huge new churches and palazzos being built at the time. It was also a period when the Church was searching for a stylistic alternative to Mannerism in religious. Caravaggio's innovation was a radical naturalism that combined close physical observation with a dramatic use of chiaroscuro which came to be known as tenebrism (the shift from light to dark with little intermediate value).

He gained attention in the art scene of Rome in 1600 with the success of his first public commissions, the Martyrdom of Saint Matthew and Calling of Saint Matthew. Thereafter he never lacked commissions or patrons, yet he handled his success poorly. He was jailed on several occasions, vandalized his own apartment, and ultimately had a death sentence pronounced against him by the Pope after killing a young man, possibly unintentionally, on May 29, 1606. He fled from Rome with a price on his head. He was involved in a brawl in Malta in 1608, and another in Naples in 1609. This encounter left him severely injured. A year later, at the age of 38, he died under mysterious circumstances in Porto Ercole in Tuscany, reportedly from a fever while on his way to Rome to receive a pardon.

Famous while he lived, Caravaggio was forgotten almost immediately after his death, and it was only in the 20th century that his importance to the development of Western art was rediscovered. More on Caravaggio

Filled with rage and hatred, the King left the church. When the liturgy was concluded, he sent a swordsman with orders to kill St. Matthew. Finding St. Matthew standing before the altar with his hands raised to Heaven in prayer, he stabbed the Apostle in the back, killing him and making him a martyr.

Unknown artist
St. Matthew turned the fire away
I have no further description, at this time

Learning this, the indignant people ran to the royal palace to take revenge, but the priests restrained them and advised them to follow the funeral procession of St. Matthew instead. Hirtacus then had a huge fire ignited around the convent of St. Ephigenia to kill her and the virgins. But St. Matthew appeared to them and turned the fire away from the convent and towards the royal palace, which was completely consumed along with all in it. Only the King and his son managed to escape.

St. Elesbaan (Caleb), King of Ethiopia, with S. Efigênia
National Library of Brazil

The Prince immediately ran to the tomb of St. Matthew confessing his father’s crimes and asking forgiveness. The King was stricken with leprosy and took his life with his own sword. The people chose as king the brother of St. Ephigenia. He reigned for 70 years spreading the word of Christ and building churches throughout Ethiopia. More on Saint Ephigenia of Ethiopia

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