Saturday, January 2, 2021

16 works, Today, January 1st, is Mary the Blessed Virgin's day, her story, illustrated #364

Edvard Munch, (1863–1944)
Detail; Madonna, c. 1895
Oil on canvas
Height: 90 cm (35.4 in); Width: 71 cm (27.9 in)
Kunsthalle, Hamburg

Edvard Munch (12 December 1863 – 23 January 1944) was a Norwegian painter and printmaker whose intensely evocative treatment of psychological themes built upon some of the main tenets of late 19th-century Symbolism and greatly influenced German Expressionism in the early 20th century. One of his most well-known works is The Scream of 1893. More

Edvard Munch was a prolific yet perpetually troubled artist preoccupied with matters of human mortality such as chronic illness, sexual liberation, and religious aspiration. He expressed these obsessions through works of intense color, semi-abstraction, and mysterious subject matter. Following the great triumph of French Impressionism, Munch took up the more graphic, symbolist sensibility of the influential Paul Gauguin, and in turn became one of the most controversial and eventually renowned artists among a new generation of continental Expressionist and Symbolist painters. Munch came of age in the first decade of the 20th century, during the peak of the Art Nouveau movement and its characteristic focus on all things organic, evolutionary and mysteriously instinctual. More on Edvard Munch 

Mary's father Joachim was a wealthy member of one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. He and his wife Anne were deeply grieved by their childlessness. Joachim consequently withdrew to the desert, where he fasted and did penance for 40 days. Angels then appeared to both Joachim and Anne to promise them a child.

Sainte Anne vowed to dedicate the child to the service in the Temple.

Guido Reni
Mary's Birth, c. 1609 - 1611
Oil on canvas
360 x 335 cm
I have no further description, at this time

Guido Reni (4 November 1575 – 18 August 1642) was an Italian painter of high-Baroque style. Born in Bologna into a family of musicians, Guido Reni was the son of Daniele Reni and Ginevra de’ Pozzi. As a child of nine, he was apprenticed under the Bolognese studio of Denis Calvaert. When Reni was about twenty years old he migrated to the rising rival studio, named Accademia degli Incamminati (Academy of the "newly embarked", or progressives), led by Lodovico Carracci. He went on to form the nucleus of a prolific and successful school of Bolognese painters who followed Annibale Carracci to Rome. Like many other Bolognese painters, Reni's painting was thematic and eclectic in style. More on Guido Reni

Mary was a first-century Galilean Jewish woman of Nazareth, the wife of Joseph, and the mother of Jesus, according to the canonical gospels and the Quran.

Alfred Stevens, born 1817 - died 1875
The Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple, at the age of three years, c. 1840 - 1875
Mary lived in the Temple precincts until the age of 14 when she was betrothed to Saint Joseph
Oil on canvas
Victoria and Albert Museum, London

This painting of the Presentation of the Virgin at the Temple is a scaled down replica of Titian’s original, at the Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice. It depicts a scene not from the New Testament but the apocryphal Gospel of James in which Mary, Mother of Jesus is brought to the Temple of Jerusalem by her parents in thanks to God for having gifted them a child. More on this work

Alfred Stevens, born 1817 - died 1875
Detail; The Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple, at the age of three years, c. 1840 - 1875
Oil on canvas
Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Alfred George Stevens (30 December 1817 – 1 May 1875), was a British sculptor. 

Stevens spent nine formative years in Italy, travelling there in 1833 at the age of sixteen. There he studied Renaissance painting, copying frescoes in Florence and the works of Andrea del Sarto at Naples, and sketching at Pompeii. He received some formal training at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence. Later, in 1841-2, he worked in Rome as an assistant to the major neo-classical sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen. In 1845, following his return to England, he was appointed as an instructor in painting and ornament at the Government School of Design at Somerset House, where he taught architectural drawing, perspective, modelling and ornamental painting. 

In 1850 he became chief designer to a Sheffield firm, Messrs. Hoole and Robson, who specialised in metalwork and won renown for metalwork exhibited at the Great Exhibition of 1851. In 1856 Stevens received two major commissions that would occupy him until his death in 1875. More on Alfred George Stevens

El Greco, (1541–1614)
The Annunciation, c.1590 - 1603
Oil on canvas
Height: 1,091 mm (42.95 in); Width: 802 mm (31.57 in)
Ohara Museum of Art, Kurashiki, Japan

Doménikos Theotokópoulos (1541 – 7 April 1614), most widely known as El Greco; Spanish for "The Greek", was a painter, sculptor and architect of the Spanish Renaissance. The nickname "El Greco" refers both to his Greek origin and Spanish citizenship. The artist normally signed his paintings with his full birth name in Greek letters.
El Greco was born in Crete, which was at that time part of the Republic of Venice, and the center of Post-Byzantine art. He trained and became a master within that tradition before traveling at age 26 to Venice, as other Greek artists had done. In 1570 he moved to Rome, where he opened a workshop and executed a series of works. During his stay in Italy, El Greco enriched his style with elements of Mannerism and of the Venetian Renaissance. In 1577, he moved to Toledo, Spain, where he lived and worked until his death. In Toledo, El Greco received several major commissions and produced his best-known paintings.
El Greco's dramatic and expressionistic style was met with puzzlement by his contemporaries but found appreciation in the 20th century. El Greco is regarded as a precursor of both Expressionism and Cubism, while his personality and works were a source of inspiration for poets and writers. El Greco has been characterized by modern scholars as an artist so individual that he belongs to no conventional school. He is best known for tortuously elongated figures and often fantastic or phantasmagorical pigmentation, marrying Byzantine traditions with those of Western painting. More on El Greco

Mary resided in "her own house" in Nazareth in Galilee, possibly with her parents, and during her betrothal the angel Gabriel announced to her that she was to be the mother of the promised Messiah by conceiving him through the Holy Spirit, and, after initially expressing incredulity at the announcement, she responded, "I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be done unto me according to your word." 

Anton Raphael Mengs, (1728–1779)
The Dream of St. Joseph, between circa 1773 and circa 1774
Oil on oak wood
Height: 114 cm (44.8 in); Width: 86 cm (33.8 in)
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria

Anton Raphael Mengs (March 22, 1728 – June 29, 1779) was a German painter, active in Dresden, Rome and Madrid, who while painting in the Rococo period of the mid-17th century became one of the precursors to Neoclassical painting that replaced Rococo as the dominant painting style.

In 1749 he was appointed first painter to Frederick Augustus, elector of Saxony, but this did not prevent him from continuing to spend much of his time in Rome. He converted to Catholicism, and in 1754 he became director of the Vatican school of painting. His fresco painting of Parnassus at Villa Albani gained him a reputation as a master painter.

In 1749 Mengs accepted a commission from the Duke of Northumberland to make a copy, in oil on canvas, of Raphael's fresco The School of Athens for his London home. 

On two occasions he accepted invitations from Charles III of Spain to go to Madrid. There he produced some of his best work, most notably the ceiling of the banqueting hall of the Royal Palace of Madrid. After the completion of this work in 1777, Mengs returned to Rome, where he died two years later, in poor circumstances, leaving twenty children, seven of whom were pensioned by the king of Spain. More on Anton Raphael Mengs

Joseph planned to quietly divorce her, but was told her conception was by the Holy Spirit in a dream by "an angel of the Lord"; the angel told him to not hesitate to take her as his wife, which Joseph did, thereby formally completing the wedding rites.

Pieter Brueghel the Elder, (1526/1530–1569)
The People's Census at Bethlehem, c. 1566 / 1566
Oil on oak wood
Height: 115.5 cm (45.4 in); Width: 163.5 cm (64.3 in)
Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium

Pieter Bruegel (also Brueghel) the Elder (c. 1525 – 9 September 1569) was a Netherlandish Renaissance painter and printmaker from Brabant, known for his landscapes and peasant scenes. He is sometimes referred to as the "Peasant Bruegel". From 1559, he dropped the 'h' from his name and signed his paintings as Bruegel.

Bruegel was born in Breda, and entered the Antwerp painters' guild in 1551, it is inferred that he was born between 1525 and 1530. His master was the Antwerp painter Pieter Coecke van Aelst, whose daughter Maria Bruegel married in 1563. 

Bruegel became a free master in the Guild of Saint Luke of Antwerp. In 1552 Bruegel was assigned to paint the rear of two wings of a triptych in Mechelen; the middle panel was painted by Pieter Balten. Between 1552 and 1553 Bruegel traveled to Italy, probably by way of France. He visited Rome, where he met the miniaturist Giulio Clovio, whose will of 1578 lists three paintings by Bruegel. About 1555 Bruegel returned to Antwerp by way of the Alps, which resulted in a number of exquisite drawings of mountain landscapes. These sketches, which form the basis for many of his later paintings, are not records of actual places but "composites" made in order to investigate the organic life of forms in nature.

He received the nickname "Peasant Bruegel" or "Bruegel the Peasant" for his practice of dressing up like a peasant in order to socialize at weddings and other celebrations, thereby gaining inspiration and authentic details for his genre paintings. He died in Brussels on 9 September 1569 and was buried in the Kapellekerk. More on Pieter Brueghel the Elder

A decree of the Roman Emperor Augustus required that Joseph return to his hometown of Bethlehem to register for a Roman census. 

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, (1617–1682)
The Adoration of the Shepherds, circa 1650
Oil on canvas
Height: 187 cm (73.6 in); Width: 228 cm (89.7 in)
Museo del Prado,  Madrid

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (born late December 1617, baptized January 1, 1618 – April 3, 1682) was a Spanish Baroque painter. Although he is best known for his religious works, Murillo also produced a considerable number of paintings of contemporary women and children. These lively, realist portraits of flower girls, street urchins, and beggars constitute an extensive and appealing record of the everyday life of his times. More on Bartolomé Esteban Murillo

While he was there with Mary, she gave birth to Jesus; but because there was no place for them in the inn, she used a manger as a cradle.

Waldemar Flaig, (1892–1932)
Star of Bethlehem, c. 1920
Franciscan Museum Villingen

Waldemar Flaig (* 27. January 1892 in Villingen , † 4. April 1932 in Villingen) was a German painter of Expressionism.

Waldemar Flaig grew up in Villingen, attended the art and trade school in Karlsruhe and from 1911–1913 the art academy in Munich .

1915–1918 he took part in the First World War, which he artistically processed in 76 drawings in his war diary. Wounded in 1918, he was released from the hospital in 1919. After a brief interlude as co-owner of the Huber-Flaig arts and crafts workshops in Villingen, he moved to Meersburg in 1920 . From then on he worked there as a freelance artist and was able to record his first commercial and artistic successes in the Lake Constance region.

In the 1920s he sent exhibitions in Konstanz, Baden-Baden, Düsseldorf, Ulm and Dessau, where he also worked as a set designer for the Anhalt State Theater. In Meersburg he continued to spend the summers in addition to many large city stays. He joined the international Lake Constance artists' association Der Kreis around Norbert Jacques and painted portraits of famous contemporaries with whom he was known,.

Flaig's health deteriorated from 1931; During a stay for medical treatment, he died in 1932 in his hometown. More on Waldemar Flaig

Magi arrived at Bethlehem where Jesus and his family were living. Joseph was warned in a dream that King Herod wanted to murder the infant, and the family fled by night to Egypt and stayed there for some time. 

Philipp Otto Runge, (1777–1810)
Rest on the road to Egypt, c. 1805-1806
Oil on canvas
Height: 98 cm (38.5 in); Width: 132 cm (51.9 in)
Kunsthalle Hamburg 

Philipp Otto Runge (23 July 1777 – 2 December 1810) was a Romantic German painter and draughtsman. Although he made a late start to his career and died young, he is considered among the best German Romantic painters.

Runge was born in a family of shipbuilders with ties to the Prussian nobility of Sypniewski / von Runge family. As a sickly child he often missed school and at an early age learned the art of scissor-cut silhouettes from his mother. In 1795 he began a commercial apprenticeship at his older brother Daniel's firm in Hamburg. In 1799 Daniel supported Runge financially to begin study of painting . In 1801 he moved to Dresden to continue his studies. I

In 1808 he intensified his work on color, including making disk color mixture experiments. He also published written versions of two local folk fairy tales In 1810 in Hamburg. In 1810, ill with tuberculosis, Runge painted another self-portrait as well as portraits of his family and brother Daniel. 

Runge was of a mystical, deeply Christian turn of mind, and in his artistic work he tried to express notions of the harmony of the universe through symbolism of colour, form, and numbers. 

In 1803 Runge had large-format engravings made of the drawings of the Times of the Day series that became commercially successful.

Runge was also one of the best German portraitists of his period; several examples are in Hamburg. His style was rigid, sharp, and intense, at times almost naïve. More on Philipp Otto Runge

After Herod's death in 4 BC, they returned to Nazareth in Galilee, rather than Bethlehem, because Herod's son Archelaus was ruler of Judaea.

After Peter Paul Rubens, (Flemish, 1577–1640)
The Return of the Holy Family from Egypt , ca. 1600–1699
Oil on copper
41.8 x 31.2 cm. (16.5 x 12.3 in.)
Kaluga Art Museum

Sir Peter Paul Rubens (28 June 1577 – 30 May 1640) was a Flemish Baroque painter. A proponent of an extravagant Baroque style that emphasized movement, colour, and sensuality, Rubens is well known for his Counter-Reformation altarpieces, portraits, landscapes, and history paintings of mythological and allegorical subjects.
In addition to running a large studio in Antwerp that produced paintings popular with nobility and art collectors throughout Europe, Rubens was a classically educated humanist scholar and diplomat who was knighted by both Philip IV of Spain and Charles I of England.  More Sir Peter Paul Rubens

Mary was present when, at her suggestion, Jesus worked his first miracle during a wedding at Cana by turning water into wine. 

Maerten de Vos, (1532–1603)
The Marriage at Cana, between 1596 and 1597
Oil on panel
Height: 268 cm (105.5 in); Width: 235 cm (92.5 in)
Cathedral of Our Lady, Antwerp, Belgium 

Maerten de Vos, Maerten de Vos the Elder or Marten de Vos (1532 – 4 December 1603) was a Flemish painter mainly of history paintings and portraits. He became, together with the brothers Ambrosius Francken I and Frans Francken I, one of the leading history painters in the Spanish Netherlands after Frans Floris’ career slumped in the second half of the sixteenth century as a result of the Iconoclastic fury of the Beeldenstorm.

De Vos was a prolific draughtsman and produced numerous designs for the Antwerp printers. More on Marten de Vos

Subsequently, there are events when Mary is present along with James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas, called Jesus' brothers, and Salome and a Mary or a Salome and an Anna, sisters. 

Gabriel Wüger, (1829–1893) 
Crucifixion, Stabat Mater, c. 1868
Virgin Mary, Mary of Clopas and Mary Magdalene
Oil on canvas
Beuron Archabbey and the Beuron Art School, Germany

Gabriel Wüger (2 December 1829–1892) was an artist and a Benedictine monk. He was one of the founders of the Beuron Art School in Germany in the late nineteenth century.

In 1863 Wüger travelled to Rome to work with the artists of the Nazarene movement. Like the Nazarenes, these artists who were to become known as the “Beuronese” were in search of natural simplicity and clarity with an emphasis on essentials and conscious neglect of accidentals and details. They chose as their guiding principles the use of plain backgrounds and basic colours, a limited use of perspective and a repetition of decoration.

Lenz and Wüger thought of forming a monastic community of artists. They believed that in order to make sacred art one should lead a Catholic life in community. In 1868 in Rome, they met Maurus Wolter, who had similar artistic aspirations for his young Benedictine monastery at Beuron. Maurus Wolter wanted his monastery to play a role in the revival of Church art just as it was beginning to do in the revival of Gregorian chant.

Lenz approached Princess Katherina von Hohenzollern, and produced an architectural design for the building which was accepted and built. In September 1868 he went to Rome to recruit Wüger.

Wüger died at the monastery of Monte Cassino in 1892. More on Gabriel Wüger

Mary is also depicted as being present among the women at the crucifixion during the crucifixion standing near "the disciple whom Jesus loved" along with Mary of Clopas and Mary Magdalene.  This representation is called a Stabat Mater. 

Enguerrand Quarton, (1411–1466)
Pietà of Villeneuve-lès-Avignon, circa 1460
Tempera on wood
Height: 162 cm (63.7 in); Width: 218 cm (85.8 in)
Louvre Museum, Paris

Enguerrand Quarton (or Charonton) (c. 1410 – c. 1466) was a French painter and manuscript illuminator whose few surviving works are among the first masterpieces of a distinctively French style, very different from either Italian or Early Netherlandish painting. Six paintings by him are documented, of which only two survive, and in addition the Louvre now follows most art historians in attributing to him the famous Avignon Pietà. His two documented works are the remarkable Coronation of the Virgin (1453–54, Villeneuve-les-Avignon) and The Virgin of Mercy (1452, Musée Condé, Chantilly). Two smaller altarpieces are also attributed to him. More on Enguerrand Quarton

While not recorded in the Gospel accounts, Mary cradling the dead body of her son is a common motif in art, called a "pietà" or "pity".

Workshop of Carlo Saraceni, (Italian, 1579–1620)
Death of the Virgin
Oil on copper
37.5 x 28.8 cm. (14.8 x 11.3 in.)
Private collection

Carlo Saraceni (1579 – 16 June 1620) was an Italian early-Baroque painter, whose reputation as a "first-class painter of the second rank" was improved with the publication of a modern monograph in 1968.

He moved to Rome in 1598, joining the Accademia di San Luca in 1607. He never visited France, though he spoke fluent French and had French followers. His paintings, however, was influenced at first by the densely forested, luxuriantly enveloping landscape settings for human figures of Adam Elsheimer.

When Caravaggio's notorious Death of the Virgin was rejected in 1606 as an altarpiece suitable for a chapel of Santa Maria della Scala, it was Saraceni who provided the acceptable substitute. He was influenced by Caravaggio's dramatic lighting, monumental figures, naturalistic detail, and momentary action.

Saraceni's style matured rapidly between 1606 and 1610, and the next decade gave way to his fully mature works, synthesizing Caravaggio and the Venetians.

In 1620 he returned to Venice, where he died in the same year. More on Carlo Saraceni

Her death is not recorded in the scriptures, but Catholic and Orthodox tradition and doctrine have her assumed into Heaven. 

Juan Martín Cabezalero, (1633–1673)
The Assumption of the Virgin, circa 1665
Oil on canvas
Height: 237 cm (93.3 in); Width: 169 cm (66.5 in)
Museo del Prado, Madrid

The work represents the assumption of the Virgin Mary body and soul to Heaven.

Juan Martín Cabezalero (1633–1673) was a Spanish draftsman and painter. Born in Almadén, he studied under Juan Carreño de Miranda, court painter to Charles II of Spain; Cabezalero lived at Carreño de Miranda's house until 1666. Both he and Carreño were influenced by Van Dyck.

Few works by Cabezalero have survived. His surviving works include his St Jerome (1666, Meadows Museum, Southern Methodist University, Dallas) and the Assumption of the Virgin (ca. 1670; Madrid, Prado). The latter had been formerly attributed to Mateo Cerezo, also a pupil of Carreño de Miranda.

Antonio Palomino praises Cabezalero's modest, studious nature and laments that he died young. More on Juan Martín Cabezalero

Belief in the corporeal assumption of Mary is a dogma of the Catholic Church, in the Latin and Eastern Catholic Churches alike, and is believed as well by the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Coptic Orthodox Church, and parts of the Anglican Communion and Continuing Anglican movement.

Mary has been venerated since early Christianity, and is considered by millions to be the most meritorious saint of the religion. She is said to have miraculously appeared to believers many times over the centuries. The Eastern and Oriental Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran churches believe that Mary, as mother of Jesus, is the Theotokos (Mother of God, God-bearer). There is significant diversity in the Marian beliefs and devotional practices of major Christian traditions. The Catholic Church holds distinctive Marian dogmas, namely her status as the Mother of God, her Immaculate Conception, her perpetual virginity, and her Assumption into heaven. Many Protestants minimize Mary's role within Christianity, basing their argument on the lack of biblical support for any beliefs other than the virgin birth. Mary also has the highest position in Islam among all women. She is mentioned in the Quran more often than in the New Testament, where two of the longer chapters of the Quran are devoted to her and her family. More on Mary the Blessed Virgin

Please visit my other blogs: Art CollectorMythologyMarine ArtPortrait of a Lady, The OrientalistArt of the Nude and The Canals of VeniceMiddle East Artistsand 365 Saints, also visit my Boards on Pinterest

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