Sunday, January 24, 2016

Faith As Artistic Inspiration

I am moving into world artists at the Gallery today, with decidedly a religious theme. This first painting is by Giovanni Francesco Barbieri, also known as Guercino. An oil painting dating back to 1647, it is titled Christ & The Woman Of Samaria, using the story of  the encounter with the woman at the well as its subject matter.

This is Let The Children Come To Me, by the Flemish painter Anthony Van Dyck, painted circa 1618-20.

This dramatic painting is The Annunciation Of The Virgin's Death, circa 1635-1640, by the Dutch painter Paulus Bor, sometimes called Orlando. This is inspired by an encounter in the apocryphal books rather than the New Testament.

While this painting, circa 1560-1575, comes from the Italian painter Paolo Caliari, sometimes called Veronese (side note, what is it with all the painter aliases of this era? Were they all on the lam?). It is an oil painting titled The Repentent Magdalen. As you can expect, Mary Magdalene is the subject for this work that was painted in Venice.

I finish for today with a sculpture, a bust of Pope Urban VIII by the Italian master Gian Lorenzo Bernini, done circa 1632.


  1. I like the title you've put to today´s blog. Happy weekend !


  2. These paintings bring to life the stories in the bible. Have a happy Sunday!

  3. They have quite some interesting old paintings there.

  4. Yes me too William, excellent title for this post! The religious paintings always seem so dark and serious, a bit like religion itself :)

  5. The Annunciation of the Virgin's Death, both the painting and the idea, is new and surprising to me. Living in Israel, I am more used to Christians speaking of the assumption and the falling asleep of Mary; but I should remember that this is a more "recent" attitude of the Church.
    William, do you know where in the Apocrypha this angelic annunciation is mentioned?
    Thanks for all this art on Sunday.

  6. Beautiful art and thought provoking.

  7. The paintings are beautiful, and all are really in very good quality.

  8. @Tomas: thanks!

    @Nancy: thank you.

    @Marianne: they have.a lot.

    @Grace: they are quite serious.

    @Denise: thanks!

    @Dina: according to the panel the original source comes from St. John the Evangelist. The artist used a retelling by a Dutch writer called The Golden Legend.

    @Deb: very much so.

    @Marleen: they are!

    1. Thanks William! I'll go read about that legenda aurea.

  9. Faith has always been an inspiration for artists....

  10. I must admit that much of the best artistic endeavors down through the ages have come from religious sources, or at least the Christian church in its various forms.

  11. I remember the religious art collection from my visit in the sixties. I can only guess that there's lots more. I liked the art that came from Quebec.

  12. I like the title you put here today, William. Very nice post today.

  13. Van Dick and Bernini, two of my all time favourite artists... Thank you for the Sunday treat!

  14. Amazing how much emotion these paintings can evoke in viewers!

  15. Beautiful collection. I particularly like the Van Dyck painting.

  16. Sei que minha ausência tem afastado pessoas
    tão querida por mim como você.
    Concordo esta cada dia mais difícil manter
    um blog no ar.
    De verdade só quem gosta muito e fez amizades
    que nenhuma ausência separa ou nos deixa esquecer.
    A 11 ano entrava acanhada com meu primeiro
    blog no ar.
    Fonte de Amor..
    Eu mantenho todos meus blogs no ar muitos
    eu tirei do ar ,
    mas aquele que foi o primeiro me acompanha pela vida afora.
    Sinto saudades das amizades que fiz
    nesses 11 anos.
    Mas hoje venho para te agradecer seu carinho
    que tanto significa para mim.
    Peço desculpas por hoje estar mais ausente
    muitas coisas também mudou para mim.
    Veio a dor e mesmo com dificuldade ainda tento
    Que Deus abençoe você em sua jornada.
    Um feliz Domingo.
    Deixo um beijo carinhoso
    e o convite para me visitar.
    E se for do seu gosto deixei mimo
    na postagem fique a vontade para levar.
    Abraços fraternos e eternos.

  17. Faith has played a big role in the world of art for centuries.

  18. Thanks for showing us these works, especially the Bernini!

  19. @Norma: definitely.

    @Lowell: a lot of churches and popes sponsored artists, after all.

    @Red: that must have been at the previous location, since the present gallery dates to 1988.

    @Linda: thank you!

    @Ciel: you're welcome!

    @EG: they really can, yes.

    @SRQ: I figured people would go for that one.

    @Evanir: thanks! Though I think I'm going to have to run that through translation!

    @Sharon: it really has.

    @VP: I remember looking at it in a previous visit, seeing Bernini's name on the display nearby, and being astonished. There was a curator nearby that day and we chatted for a bit.

  20. Those art works are so beautiful. All the details always amaze me!

  21. So much religion involved in art!

  22. Religious art is interesting to view especially through the eyes of different artists.

  23. Nice post, but not my favorite genre of art. I appreciate the story religious art tells about religion and its role in history, and artistically how techniques and styles evolved over the centuries, but the actual subject matter is for the most part, not interesting to me. A little goes a long way for me when I travel.

  24. If the weather would ever let up, I would enjoy visiting one of our art galleries again.

  25. The paintings seem to be ok, but I don't know much about religion and religious art.

  26. @Tamago: just as long as one isn't too close to the details!

    @RedPat: especially in this era.

    @Bill: and in these cases their styles are appealing.

    @Susan: it's not quite for everyone.

    @Revrunner: it'll take a few days for your area to recover.

    @Jan: admittedly I am the same.

  27. These are fantastic William. Thank you for sharing!

  28. Tremendous artwork. By the way, sometimes the artist might anger his patron which meant relocation and painting under a different name for a period.

  29. Amazing and stunning work.Your photos are remarkable!

  30. It would be interesting to study art history. But I have vowed not to take another course. Ever! :-)
    They are beautiful pieces, even if organized religion has done so much harm in the world.

  31. Great series of photos. I think that the inspiration for the best art comes from a place that is very deep and personal to the artist and you can't get much deeper nor more personal than ones faith.

  32. I suppose you've heard the saying that all art is about either religion or sex. I don't agree personally. Oh, that sculpture is outstanding!

  33. The Bernini bust of Pope Urban is wonderful, isn't it? I often like sculpture from older periods more than paintings, since sculpture seems more focused and some of the paintings seem overblown.

  34. Thanks for sharing.
    I enjoyed your posting.

  35. @MB: they are quite something to see.

    @Lois: you're welcome.

    @Mari: that explains it.

    @Eve: thank you!

    @Tex: that they are.

    @Kay: I agree.

  36. @Jennifer: I enjoy seeing them.

    @Anita: I agree with that.

    @Linda: thank you!

    @Jack: I'd like to go to Italy sometime and see more of his work- well, his workshop's work.

    @Nefertiti: indeed.

    @Gunn: you're welcome.