Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter Sunday

Christ On The Cross is the title of this oil painting by the French artist Phillipe de Champaigne, dating back to 1655-1660. It's stark and moody, with the sky and the outline of Jerusalem rendered dark, cold, and somber. Jesus himself is illuminated as the focus, much as you might expect out of a Caravaggio painting, with that dramatic use of shadow and light.

The Christ Child And The Infant John The Baptist With A Lamb is an oil painting by the Italian Bernardino Luini done at some point between 1507-32. The motif of the two cousins together as children was a popular subject in the era- this one is inspired by the example of Leonardo da Vinci, who painted a now lost work of his own on the two embracing. Luini in fact had worked with Leonardo. During a previous visit, a docent told me that at one point, the National Gallery had a deal underway with a donor to purchase a Leonardo, but a new government came in and cancelled the deal. The painting ended up going to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, where Ginevra de' Benci is the only Leonardo on public display in North America. So to those of you who visit that Gallery, the next time you go in and see that painting, bear in mind that it should have been Canadian.

This is referred to as the Baroque Room, filled with paintings and sculptures of the period, most of them having religious subjects or taking inspiration from Greek mythology. The bust on the left of the first shot is one I've shown you before, a marble of Pope Urban VIII by Bernini. The rest of the art in this post is found in this room.

Landscape With A Woman Washing Her Feet dates to 1650, and is a painting by the French artist Nicolas Poussin. The artist tended to use mythology as a source of inspiration, but the story to this one remains elusive. Poussin portrays a man, hidden amid the bushes, spying on a young lady and her companion.

Some of you might remember this one. The Abduction of Europa dates to around 1636, by the artist Guido Reni, and shows Zeus, in the form of a bull, taking the latest object of his affections, the princess Europa, off across the sea.

I've shown this one before as well. The Return of The Prodigal Son is an oil painting by the Italian artist Salvator Rosa, done at some point between 1655-65, depicting the New Testament story's ending.

The Feast Of Absalom is an oil painting by the Italian painter Mattia Preti, dating around 1656-61. The work depicts Absalom, a son of David, condemning his incestuous brother Amnon to death for the violation of their sister Tamar, who sits between them, looking unusual in a fanciful bonnet.


  1. Very timely and lovely post, William. Happy Easter to you.

  2. Great photos and very talented artist. Have a happy Easter!

  3. An interesting exhibition William. Happy Easter!

  4. Uma exposição fabulosa William
    Que a páscoa traga paz, amor, esperança e fé. Que o milagre da vida encante seu coração. Que os laços da nossa amizade se renovem e se fortaleçam no amor de Cristo. Uma feliz páscoa para vocês e os teus
    Um super beijo da amiga de sempre

  5. Happy Easter. if I recall correctly you don't celebrate ... but it is a Happy day no matter what, right? ( ;

  6. ...William, wishing your a Happy Easter.

  7. Very worthy place. A shame about your Leonardo

  8. I'm sure you could spend many days going through various exhibitions. One exhibition there I'll never forget is religious art from Quebec.

  9. What a superb collection of art. I appreciate your photos and the commentary!

  10. @Linda: thank you.

    @Nancy: thanks.

    @Marleen: I enjoyed it.

    @Gracita: thanks!

    @Beth: oh I do mark the occasion.

    @Tom: thanks!

    @Janis: definitely.

    @Cloudia: I suspect it was the Diefenbaker government that kiboshed the deal.

    @Red: I will have to photograph there extensively the next time I am in.

    @Lowell: thanks!

    @Sharon: thank you.

  11. Happy Easter, William! Thanks for this post of culture + religion. I always smile when seeing Bible heroes in European clothing.

  12. A perfect post, thank you.

    Good wishes for Easter ...

    All the best Jan

  13. Beautiful art works! Happy Easter to you!!

  14. Your National Gallery has an impressive collection.

  15. @Dina: and there are so many examples of artists doing that.

    @Jan: thank you.

    @Jennifer: I do enjoy coming to the Gallery.

    @Tamago: thank you.

    @Lois: I agree.

    @Revrunner: thanks!

    @Kay: definitely!

  16. Luini? Never heard of him but now I have and I LOVE!

  17. Again, perfect choices for the day....

  18. @Tom: thanks!

    @Eve: thank you.

    @Klara: that they are.

    @Mari: indeed.

    @Norma: thanks!