Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Faith And Light

I came up to the world art area in the National Gallery. There's a new concept going on a couple of times a week that I enjoyed- docents can be found in the gallery spaces during these times to talk about specific pieces. I've only had one previous occasion where I've chatted with a docent about works of art within a room, but this is now a scheduled thing.

This is The Assumption Of The Virgin, painted between 1455 and 1458 by the Italian artist Neri di Bicci. It was an altarpiece for the Spini family chapel at Santa Trinita, in Florence. It depicts Mary being taken up into heaven, watched over by angels and the disciples.

This painting, titled Eve, The Serpent, And Death, is a rather brooding, morbid oil painting by a German artist, Hans Baldung, also called Grien, done circa 1510-15. It depicts Adam and Eve after the fall from grace;  Adam has decomposed into the figure of death.

An Offering To Pan is the title of this oil painting by Italian artist Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione, painted at some point between 1645-60. It depicts worshipers before a statue of Pan, the Greek god of nature.

Abraham And The Three Angels is the title of this oil painting by a Spanish artist, Bartolome Esteban Murillo, done at some point between 1670-74. It shows the Biblical story of the patriarch greeting visitors to his home- angels who will deliver the news that he and his wife Sarah will have a child.

The Fortune Teller is by the French artist, Simon Vouet, an oil painting from around 1620. During travels in Italy, Vouet was inspired by the style of Caravaggio and his dramatic use of light and shadow called chiaroscuoro.  

Caravaggio's technique seems to show up in Italian artist Luca Giordano's oil painting The Crucifixion Of St. Andrew, an oil painting done at some point in the 1650s. It shows the saint being crucified on an X-shaped cross.

This last one is Lot And His Daughters, by the Italian painter Orazio Gentileschi, an oil painting dated to circa 1622. This work displays the Old Testament man and his two daughters in the aftermath of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.


  1. Thanks for stopping by today. Happy New week!

  2. Lovely variety of olde worlde paintings. Each scene has so much detail and atmosphere. But I must admit, I have never seen a Death-like Adam figure before.

  3. Thank you for acting as our docent. I enjoyed learning a little about each painting.
    Eve, the Serpent and Death was a pretty heavy thought for 6am!


  4. Quite and interesting collection of very old paintings. Nice, brief descriptions too.

  5. the 2nd two the last is very moving, outstretched arm ... the painter was very smart, creative ... or wishing for reaction to his/her piece. well done.
    ( ;

  6. The paintings are fascinating and quite beautiful. I'm always impressed, however, by religion's focus on torture and death.

  7. @Whisk: you're welcome.

    @Gemma: it's quite unique.

    @Marleen: they were.

    @Francisco: thanks!

    @Janis: very heavy!

    @Lauren: thank you.

    @Beth: I agree.

    @Lowell: it does come up a lot.

  8. Looks like your city have some valuable international art. I agree with Lowell.... strange with the religious focus on torture and death.

  9. This is a wonderful stroll through the Art - and You are quite a docent yourself, William! Thank You

  10. Having someone talk about the artwork would certainly give you a much more information on the piece of artwork. The mix of various bodies and shapes certainly says more than just a pretty picture.

  11. These are all reminiscent of the paintings I saw in the Uffizi gallery in Florence.

  12. Great paintings. I love the chiaroscuro technique. It really gives dramatic effect!

  13. When we were in Paris, museum visits, I found it interesting that the ancient artists painted themselves into some paintings. When they come up with a scene, their choice of model is interesting. As well as the ways they invented scenes!!!

  14. @Gunn: we had a chance once to get our hands on a Leonardo, but the government of the time cancelled the deal. That painting ended up in the National Gallery in Washington.

    @Cloudia: you're welcome!

    @Red: it was enjoyable.

    @Sharon: I imagine it might be that some artists here are represented there.

    @Tamago: it does, yes.

    @Jennifer: I was looking at a painting during this visit that had exactly that- the artist put himself into the mix of the crowd.

  15. You wonder if there was no religion how much set there would be from the days past.

  16. Beautiful works of art! It is wonderful that we have these in Canada and they can be viewed by everyone.

  17. The art is beautiful. Looks like religion found its place in art through the years.
    The cataract surgery went well and it's great to have it done!

  18. Incredible works of art William, thank you for sharing them.

  19. Curious artistic connections between Greek and Biblical paintings.

  20. @Red: religion did play a big part in art during this period!

    @Pamela: it's a great place to visit.

    @Bill: good!

    @Denise: you're welcome.

    @Revrunner: a lot of artists centuries ago were painting what was in demand- biblical scenes or classical mythology. A bit of an odd mix!

  21. Beautiful. Wonder how these ended up in Canada? Maybe gifts or a safe-haven during war?

  22. Superb. It's always good to chat with the docent in any gallery or museum. They usually live up to the meaning of docent: a knowledgeable guide.

  23. @Eve: many of them have been purchased over time. Others have been gifts by private donors or by countries.

    @Kay: that they are.

    @Mari: it is, yes.

    @Lois: I think so!

    @Norma: that they are.