Visual artwork is a piece of art created primarily for visual perception.
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Saint Jerome Writing is a painting by the Italian master Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio in 1607 or 1608, housed in the Oratory of St John's Co-Cathedral, Valletta, Malta. It can be compared with Caravaggio's earlier version of the same subject in the Borghese Gallery in Rome.
Caravaggio arrived in Malta on 12 July 1607. He had spent the previous months in Naples, where he had sought refuge with his powerful protectors the Colonna family after killing a man in a brawl in Rome the previous year. In Naples he had been an instant success, achieving ten commissions, including a number or large and very prestigious altarpieces, in less than a year, and inspiring a following of Caravaggisti among the city's artists. In short, in Naples he had found professional success, the esteem of fellow-artists, and the support of important patrons. Why then leave all this for a speck of rock inhabited by warrior-monks noted more for their fighting (Peter Robb compares them to the French Foreign Legion) than for their support of the arts? The following summarises the speculation of recent biographers such as Robb and Helen Langdon: In 1607 Caravaggio was still an outlaw, at risk of being tracked
Ecce Homo (c. 1605/6 or 1609 according to John Gash) is a painting by the Italian master Caravaggio. It is housed in the Palazzo Rosso, Genoa. According to Giambatista Cardi, nephew of the Florentine artist Cigoli, Cardinal Massimo Massimi commissioned paintings on the theme of Ecce Homo from three artists, Cigoli, Caravaggio, and Domenico Passignano, without informing the artists of the multiple commissions. Cardi claimed the cardinal liked Cigoli's version best.
The scene is taken the Gospel of John (John 19): Pontius Pilate displays Christ to the crowd with the words, "Ecce homo!" ("Behold the man"). Caravaggio's version of the scene combined Pilate's display with the earlier moment of Christ, already crowned with thorns, mockingly robed like a king by his tormentors. Massimi already possessed a Crowning with Thorns (The Crowning with Thorns I) by Caravaggio, and Ecce Homo may have been intended as a companion piece. Stylistically, the painting displays characteristics of Caravaggio's mature Roman-period style. The forms are visible close-up and modelled by dramatic light, the absence of depth or background, and the psychological realism of, the torturer, who seems to mix sadism
The Assumption of the Virgin Mary or Assumption of the Holy Virgin, is a painting by Peter Paul Rubens, completed in 1626 as an altarpiece for the high altar of the Cathedral of Our Lady, Antwerp, where it remains.
In Rubens' depiction of the Assumption of Mary, a choir of angels lifts her in a spiraling motion toward a burst of divine light. Around her tomb are gathered the 12 apostles — some with their arms raised in awe; others reaching to touch her discarded shroud. The women in the painting are thought to be Mary Magdalene and the Virgin Mary's two sisters. A kneeling woman holds a flower, referring to the lilies that miraculously filled the empty coffin.
The Antwerp Cathedral of Our Lady opened a competition for an Assumption altar in 1611. Rubens submitted models to the clergy on February 16, 1618. In September 1626, 15 years later, he completed the piece.
There is a smaller studio version, with some differences, in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (The Young Ladies of Avignon, and originally titled The Brothel of Avignon) is a large oil painting created in 1907 by the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso (1881–1973). The work portrays five nude female prostitutes from a brothel on Carrer d'Avinyó (Avinyó Street) in Barcelona. Each figure is depicted in a disconcerting confrontational manner and none are conventionally feminine. The women appear as slightly menacing and rendered with angular and disjointed body shapes. Two are shown with African mask-like faces and three more with faces in the Iberian style of Picasso's native Spain, giving them a savage aura. In this adaptation of Primitivism and abandonment of perspective in favor of a flat, two-dimensional picture plane, Picasso makes a radical departure from traditional European painting. The work is widely considered to be seminal in the early development of both cubism and modern art. Demoiselles was revolutionary and controversial, and led to wide anger and disagreement, even amongst his closest associates and friends.
Painted in Paris during the summer of 1907, Picasso had created hundreds of sketches and studies in preparation for the final work. He
Sorrowing Old Man ('At Eternity's Gate') is an oil painting by Vincent van Gogh that he made in 1890 in Saint-Rémy de Provence based on an early lithograph. The painting was completed in early May at a time when he was convalescing from a severe relapse in his health and some two months before his death, generally accepted as a suicide.
In the 1970 catalogue raisonné, it is given the title Worn Out: At Eternity's Gate.
The lithograph was based on a pencil drawing Worn Out, one of a series of studies he made in 1882 of a pensioner and war veteran, Adrianus Jacobus Zuyderland, at a local almshouse in The Hague and itself a reworking of a drawing and watercolor he had made the previous year. The inspiration for Worn Out was Hubert von Herkomer's Sunday at the Chelsea Hospital, an immensely popular print depicting an old war veteran slumped dead that went on to become an acclaimed painting at the Royal Academy, The Last Muster, that van Gogh had seen in 1875 when in England. Van Gogh wrote of his drawing:
Van Gogh's first attempt at the lithograph followed just two days later. He wrote:
Later, in a rare expression of his own religious feelings, he wrote expressly about this lithograph
The Madonna and Child with St. Anne (Dei Palafrenieri) is one of the mature religious works of the Italian Baroque master Caravaggio, painted in 1605-1606, for the altar of Archconfraternity of the Papal Grooms (Italian: Arciconfraternita di Sant'Anna de Parafrenieri) in the Basilica of Saint Peter. The painting was briefly exhibited in the parish church for the Vatican, the church of Sant'Anna dei Palafrenieri on the Via di Porta Angelica in Borgo, near the Vatican. It was subsequently sold to Cardinal Scipione Borghese, and now hangs in his palazzo (Galleria Borghese), where it shares space along with five other Caravaggios: Boy with a Basket of Fruit, David with the head of Goliath (attributed to 1606), Young Sick Bacchus, Saint Jerome Writing, and St John the Baptist in the Desert.
While not his most successful arrangement, it is an atypical representation of the Virgin for its time, and must have been shocking to some contemporary viewers. The allegory, at its core, is simple. The Virgin with the aid of her son, whom she holds, tramples on a serpent, the emblem of evil or original sin. Saint Anne, whom the painting is intended to honor, is a wrinkled old grandmother,
View of Delft is an oil painting by Johannes Vermeer. Painted ca. 1660-1661, the painting of the Dutch artist's hometown is among his most popular. Painted at a time when cityscapes were not commonplace, it is one of three known paintings of Delft by Vermeer, along with The Little Street and the lost painting House Standing in Delft. The use of pointillism in the work suggests it postdates The Little Street.
In 2011, the painting was featured on gold and silver commemorative coins issued by the Royal Dutch Mint.
Mr and Mrs Andrews (1750) is an oil on canvas portrait by Thomas Gainsborough in the National Gallery, London. Today it is one of his most famous works. It was purchased in 1960 with contributions from the Pilgrim Trust, The Art Fund, Associated Television Ltd, and Mr and Mrs W. W. Spooner.
Thomas Gainsborough was twenty-one when he painted Mr and Mrs Andrews in 1750. He himself had married pregnant Margaret Burr and returned to Sudbury, his home town, after an apprenticeship in London with the French artist Hubert-François Gravelot, from whom he learnt the French rococo style. There, he also picked up a love of landscapes in the Dutch style. However, landscape painting was far less prestigious and poorly paid compared to portraits and Gainsborough was forced (since the family business, a clothiers' in Sudbury, had been bankrupted in 1733) to "face paint" as he put it. Mr and Mrs Andrews contains the widest landscape of Gainsborough's portraits, and he would not return to such compositions. Future paintings would be set against neutral or typical rococo settings. It has been speculated that Gainsborough wished to show off his landscape ability to potential clients, to satisfy his
The Portrait of Maddalena Doni is an oil painting by Italian Renaissance master Raphael, executed between 1506 and 1507. It is housed in the Pitti Palace in Florence.
The portrait is one of a pair that depict a recently married merchant and his wife.
Agnolo Doni married Maddalena Strozzi in 1503, but Raphael's portraits were probably executed in 1506, the period in which the painter studied the art of Da Vinci most closely. The composition of the portraits resembles that of the Mona Lisa: the figures are presented in the same way in respect to the picture plane, and their hands, like those of the Mona Lisa, are placed on top of one another. But the low horizon of the landscape background permits a careful assessment of the human figure by providing a uniform light which defines surfaces and volumes. This relationship between landscape and figure presents a clear contrast to the striking settings of Leonardo, which communicate the threatening presence of nature.
But the most notable characteristic that distinguishes these portraits from those of Leonardo is the overall sense of serenity which even the close attention to the materials of clothes and jewels (which draw one's attention
American Gothic is a painting by Grant Wood, in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago. Wood's inspiration came from the American Gothic House and a decision to paint the house along with "the kind of people I fancied should live in that house." The painting shows a farmer standing beside his spinster daughter. The figures were modeled by the artist's sister and their dentist. The woman is dressed in a colonial print apron evoking 19th-century Americana, and the couple are in the traditional roles of men and women, the man's pitchfork symbolizing hard labor, and the flowers over the woman's right shoulder suggesting domesticity.
It is one of the most familiar images in 20th-century American art, and one of the most parodied artworks within American popular culture.
In 1930, Grant Wood, an American painter with European training, noticed the Dibble House, a small white house built in the Carpenter Gothic architectural style in Eldon, Iowa. Wood decided to paint the house along with "the kind of people I fancied should live in that house." He recruited his sister Nan (1899–1990) to model the woman, dressing her in a colonial print apron mimicking 19th-century Americana. The
Las Meninas (Spanish for The Maids of Honour) is a 1656 painting by Diego Velázquez, the leading artist of the Spanish Golden Age, in the Museo del Prado in Madrid. The work's complex and enigmatic composition raises questions about reality and illusion, and creates an uncertain relationship between the viewer and the figures depicted. Because of these complexities, Las Meninas has been one of the most widely analyzed works in Western painting.
The painting shows a large room in the Madrid palace of King Philip IV of Spain, and presents several figures, most identifiable from the Spanish court, captured, according to some commentators, in a particular moment as if in a snapshot. Some look out of the canvas towards the viewer, while others interact among themselves. The young Infanta Margarita is surrounded by her entourage of maids of honour, chaperone, bodyguard, two dwarfs and a dog. Just behind them, Velázquez portrays himself working at a large canvas. Velázquez looks outwards, beyond the pictorial space to where a viewer of the painting would stand. In the background there is a mirror that reflects the upper bodies of the king and queen. They appear to be placed outside the
The Yellow Christ (in French: Le Christ jaune) is a painting executed by Paul Gauguin in autumn 1889 in Pont-Aven. Together with The Green Christ, it is considered to be one of the key-works of Symbolism in painting.
Gauguin first visited Pont-Aven in 1886. He returned to the village in early 1888 to stay until mid-October, when he left to join Vincent van Gogh in Arles, for little more than two months. Early in 1889, Gauguin was back to Pont-Aven to stay there until spring 1890. It was only for a short visit in summer 1889 to Paris to see the Exposition universelle and to arrange the Volpini Exhibition that Gauguin interrupted this sojourn. Soon after his return to Pont-Aven he painted The Yellow Christ:
The Yellow Christ was painted by Gauguin at Pont Aven in 1889. It is a symbolic piece that shows the crucifixion of Christ taking place in nineteenth century northern France as Breton women are gathered in prayer. Gauguin relies heavily on bold lines to define his figures and reserves shading only for the women. The autumn palette of yellow, red and green in the landscape echoes the dominant yellow in the figure of Christ. The bold outlines and flatness of the forms in this
Les Arènes is a painting by Vincent van Gogh executed in Arles, in November or December 1888, during the period of time when Paul Gauguin was living with him in The Yellow House. The bullfight season in Arles that year started on Easter Sunday 1 April and ended on 21 October. Van Gogh's painting is therefore not a study from nature but done from memory. Gauguin encouraged Van Gogh to work in the studio in this manner. The painting may not be finished as the paint is very thinly applied, and patches of bare jute show through in places.
It seems that members of the Roulin Family are depicted in this portrait/, and the woman in Arlésienne costume has the profile of Madame Ginoux.
A matter of weeks after painting this canvas, at Christmas 1888, Van Gogh cut off part of his own ear. One of the many theories about this notorious incident is that the bullfights (or "bull games" as they are called in Arles) made a deep impression on Van Gogh, in particular the custom of severing one ear of a defeated bull. The victorious matador circles the arena displaying this prize to the crowd, before presenting it to a lady of his choice. There is some doubt as to whether the bulls were killed in this
Le déjeuner sur l'herbe (English, "The Luncheon on the Grass") – originally titled Le Bain (The Bath) – is a large oil on canvas painting by Édouard Manet created in 1862 and 1863. The painting depicts the juxtaposition of a female nude and a scantily dressed female bather on a picnic with two fully dressed men in a rural setting. Rejected by the Salon jury of 1863, Manet seized the opportunity to exhibit this and two other paintings, in the 1863 Salon des Refusés, where the painting sparked public notoriety and controversy. The piece is now in the Musée d'Orsay in Paris. A smaller, earlier version can be seen at the Courtauld Gallery, London.
In 1863, Manet shocked the French public by exhibiting his Déjeuner sur l'herbe ("Luncheon on the Grass"). It is not a realist painting in the social or political sense of Daumier, but it is a statement in favor of the artist's individual freedom. The shock value of a nude woman casually lunching with two fully dressed men, which was an affront to the propriety of the time, was accentuated by the familiarity of the figures. Manet's wife, Suzanne Leenhoff, and his favorite model, Victorine Meurent, both posed for the nude woman, which has
The Madonna Litta is a late 15th-century painting of the Madonna nursing the infant Jesus which is generally attributed to Leonardo da Vinci and is displayed in the Hermitage Museum, in Saint Petersburg.
There are numerous replicas of the work by other Renaissance painters, and Leonardo's own preliminary sketch of Madonna's head in the Louvre. The Child's awkward posture, however, led some scholars to attribute parts of the painting to Leonardo's pupil Boltraffio. Other clues that contribute to the fact that Leonardo had this painting completed by one of his pupils include the harsh outlines of the Madonna and Child, as well as the plain landscape.
This work was painted sometime in the 1480s for the Visconti rulers of Milan and soon passed to the Litta family, in whose possession it would remain for centuries. In 1865, Alexander II of Russia acquired it from Count Litta, quondam minister to St Petersburg, and deposited the painting in the Hermitage Museum, where it has been exhibited to this day. The museum had the painting transferred from wood to canvas. The painting was briefly featured in the 2006 film The Da Vinci Code.
Saint Catherine of Alexandria (c. 1598) is an oil painting by the Italian Baroque master Caravaggio. It is part of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection of Madrid.
Saint Catherine of Alexandria was a popular figure in Catholic iconography. She was of noble origins, and dedicated herself as a Christian after having a vision. At the age of 18 she confronted the Roman Emperor Maximus (presumably this refers to Galerius Maximianus), debated his pagan philosophers, and succeeded in converting many of them to Christianity. Imprisoned by the emperor, she converted his empress and the leader of his armies. Maximus executed her converts (including the empress) and ordered that Catherine herself be put to death on a spiked wheel. The wheel reportedly shattered the moment Catherine touched it. Maximus then had her beheaded. She became patron saint of libraries and librarians, as well as teachers, archivists, and all those associated with wisdom and teaching, and all those whose livelihoods depended upon wheels. The year of her martyrdom was traditionally held to have been 305, (the year of a major persecution of Christians under Galerius), and her feastday was celebrated on 25 November. In 1969
The Gulf Stream is an 1899 oil painting by Winslow Homer. It shows a man in a small rudderless fishing boat struggling against the waves of the sea, and was the artist's last statement on a theme that had interested him for more than a decade. Homer vacationed often in Florida, Cuba, and the Caribbean.
Homer crossed the Gulf Stream numerous times; his first trip to the Caribbean in 1885 seems to have inspired several related works dated from the same year, including a pencil drawing of a dismasted boat, a large watercolor The Derelict (Sharks), and a larger watercolor of the forward part of the boat, Study for "The Gulfstream". A later watercolor study was The Gulfstream of 1889, in which the disabled boat now includes a black sailor and flailing shark. Additionally, there are other related watercolors; the shark in Shark Fishing of 1885 was later appropriated for The Gulfstream of 1889, and a watercolor of 1899 entitled After the Hurricane, in which a figure lies unconscious beside his beached boat, represents the finale of the watercolor narrative of man against nature.
Another possible inspiration for the series of watercolors and The Gulf Stream itself was McCabe's Curse, a
The Triumph of Death is an oil panel painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder painted c. 1562. It has been in the Museo del Prado in Madrid since 1827.
The painting shows a panorama of an army of skeletons wreaking havoc across a blackened, desolate landscape. Fires burn in the distance, and the sea is littered with shipwrecks. A few leafless trees stud hills otherwise bare of vegetation; fish lie rotting on the shores of a corpse-choked pond. Art historian James Snyder emphasizes the "scorched, barren earth, devoid of any life as far as the eye can see." In this setting, legions of skeletons advance on the living, who either flee in terror or try in vain to fight back. In the foreground, skeletons haul a wagon full of skulls; in the upper left corner, others ring the bell that signifies the death knell of the world. A fool plays the lute while a skeleton behind him plays along; a starving dog nibbles at the face of a child; a cross sits in the center of the painting. People are herded into a trap decorated with crosses, while a skeleton on horseback kills people with a scythe. The painting depicts people of different social backgrounds – from peasants and soldiers to nobles as well as
The Annunciation is a painting by Italian Renaissance artists Leonardo da Vinci and Andrea del Verrocchio, dating from circa 1472–1475 and housed in the Uffizi Gallery of Florence, Italy.
The angel holds a Madonna lily, a symbol of Mary's virginity and of the city of Florence. It is supposed that Leonardo originally copied the wings from those of a bird in flight, but they have since been lengthened by a later artist
When the Annunciation came to the Uffizi in 1867, from the Olivetan monastery of San Bartolomeo, near Florence, it was ascribed to Domenico Ghirlandaio, who was, like Leonardo, an apprentice in the workshop of Andrea del Verrocchio. In 1869, Karl Eduard von Liphart, the central figure of the German expatriate art colony in Florence, recognized it as a youthful work by Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci, one of the first attributions of a surviving work to the youthful Leonardo. Since then a preparatory drawing for the angel's sleeve has been recognized and attributed to Leonardo.
Verrocchio used lead-based paint and heavy brush strokes. He left a note for Leonardo to finish the background and the angel. Leonardo used light brush strokes and no lead. When the Annunciation
The Madonna of the Pinks (circa 1506-1507, Italian: La Madonna dei garofani) is an early devotional painting usually attributed to Italian Renaissance master Raphael. It is painted in oils on fruitwood and now hangs in the National Gallery, London.
The painting depicts a youthful Virgin Mary playing with the Christ child and handing him carnations. These flowers, whose botanical name is dianthus (Greek for ‘flower of God’), are a premonition of Christ's Passion – according to Christian legend, the flower first appeared when the Virgin wept at the Crucifixion. The event takes place in a dimly-lit domestic setting influenced by Netherlandish art. The composition is based closely on the Benois Madonna by Leonardo da Vinci, although the colour scheme of blues and greens that link the Virgin with the landscape is Raphael's own. Through the arched window is a landscape with a ruined building, symbolising the collapse of the pagan world at the birth of Christ.
The subject matter and size of the painting, little larger than a Book of Hours, suggest that it may have been intended as a portable aid to prayer. The identity of its original patron is unknown, although an inventory from the
Portrait of a Courtesan (also known as Portrait of Fillide) was a painting by the Baroque master Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. Painted between 1597 and 1599, it was destroyed in Berlin in 1945 and is known only from photographs. It has been suggested that the portrait represents the goddess Flora.
Earlier scholars identified the flower she presses to her breast as orange blossom or bergamot, symbol of marriage and fidelity, and claimed the subject as Caterina Campi, wife of Caravaggio's friend Onorio Longhi. Caravaggio scholar John Gash, however, identifies the flowers as "definitely jasmine", symbol of erotic love, and therefore more suitable to a courtesan than to a respectable married woman. The portrait belonged to Caravaggio's patron, Marchese Vincenzo Giustiniani, and the 1638 inventory of the Giustiniani collection lists a "portrait of a courtesan named Fillide", identified by modern scholars as Fillide Melandroni.
Fillide figured prominently in Caravaggio's work in the closing years of the 1590s, appearing as Saint Catherine, as Mary in Martha and Mary Magdalene, and as Judith in Judith Beheading Holofernes. She may have appeared even more frequently - a considerable
Christ on the Mount of Olives (1604-1606) was a painting by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (Italian, 1571-1610), formerly in the Kaiser Friedrich Museum painting gallery, Berlin, but destroyed in 1945.
The painting's authenticity has been disputed, but it is well attested in the collection of Marchese Vincenzo Giustiniani and his brother Cardinal Benedetto Giustiniani, its dimensions being virtually identical with those of a Caravaggio of the same subject listed in the Giustiniani inventory. In addition the model for St Peter (the reclining figure) appears identical with the two St Jeromes from Caravaggio's Roman period, Saint Jerome in Meditation and Saint Jerome, both around 1605-1606.
The subject is the episode related in the Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 26), when Jesus and his disciples went up to the Mount of Olives outside Jerusalem on the night when Christ was arrested; Jesus goes apart to pray, and returns to find the disciples sleeping. He awakens Peter with the rebuke, "What, would none of you stay awake with me one hour? Stay awake, and pray that you may be spared the test, for the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." Judas then arrives with the Roman soldiers,
L'Absinthe (English: The Absinthe Drinker or Glass of Absinthe) is a painting by Edgar Degas. Some original title translations are A sketch of a French Café, then Figures at Café, the title was finally changed in 1893 to L'Absinthe (the name the piece is known by today). It is now in the permanent collection of the Musée d'Orsay in Paris.
Painted in 1875-1876, the picture depicts two figures, a woman and man, who sit at the center and right of this painting, respectively. The man, wearing a hat, looks to the right, off the canvas, while the woman, dressed formally and also wearing a hat, stares vacantly downward. A glass filled with the eponymous greenish liquid sits before her. The painting is a representation of the increasing social isolation in Paris during its stage of rapid growth. The woman in the painting is Ellen Andrée, actress, and the man is Marcellin Desboutin, a painter, printmaker and bohemian. The café where they are taking their refreshment is the Café de la Nouvelle-Athènes in Paris.
In its first showing in 1876, the picture was panned by critics, who called it ugly and disgusting. It was put into storage until an 1892 exhibit where it was booed off the easel. It
The Crowning with Thorns was the subject of two paintings by the Italian master Caravaggio. The first version, dated to around 1604–1605, is now in the Cassa di Risparmi e Depositi of Palazzo degli Alberti, Prato (Tuscany). The attribution to Caravaggio is disputed.
On June 25, 1605, Caravaggio wrote out, in his own hand, a contract to paint "a picture of the same size and value as the one I have already done for him of Christ's crowning", which restricts the Crowning to a period prior to this date. There is no firm evidence for a more precise dating, but the figure of Christ has been clearly influenced by the Christ in Ruben's altarpiece of The Crowning with Thorns in the Church of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, Rome, completed in April 1602. The recipient of both the Crowning with Thorns and the Ecce Homo—the painting to which the contract relates—was Massimo Massimi, a wealthy financier and art collector in the circle of Caravaggio's patron Marchese Vincenzo Giustiniani. The actual date is disputed—John Gash (see References below) places it in 1601–1603.
Stylistically the painting is based on Rubens's altarpiece for the pose of Christ and on Titian's treatment of the same subject
The Three Philosophers is an oil painting on canvas attributed to the Italian High Renaissance artist Giorgione. It shows three philosophers — one young, one middle-aged, and one old. The work was commissioned by the Venetian noble Taddeo Contarini, a Venetian merchant with an interest for occult and alchemy. The painting was finished by Sebastiano del Piombo.
The Three Philosophers was finished around 1509, one year before the painter died. The picture has been reframed with nearly 1/5 width lost and its compositional balance destroyed. The painting is now displayed at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.
The current name of the work derives from a writing of Marcantonio Michiel, who saw it in a Venetian villa. The three figures portrayed are allegorical: an old bearded man, an Arab, and a sitting young man, enclosed within a natural landscape. In the background is a village with some mountains, the latter marked by a blue area whose meaning is unknown. The young man is observing a cave on the left of the scene, and apparently measuring it with some instruments.
Various interpretations about Giorgione's picture have proposed since the end of the 19th. c. when scholars and
The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp is a 1632 oil painting by Rembrandt housed in the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague, the Netherlands. Dr. Nicolaes Tulp is pictured explaining the musculature of the arm to medical professionals. Some of the spectators are various doctors who paid commissions to be included in the painting. The painting is signed in the top-left hand corner Rembrant. f[ecit] 1632. This may be the first instance of Rembrandt signing a painting with his forename (in its original form) as opposed to the monogramme RHL (Rembrant Harmenszoon of Leiden), and is thus a sign of his growing artistic confidence.
The event can be dated to 16 January 1632: the Amsterdam Guild of Surgeons, of which Tulp was official City Anatomist, permitted only one public dissection a year, and the body would have to be that of an executed criminal.
Anatomy lessons were a social event in the 17th century, taking place in lecture rooms that were actual theatres, with students, colleagues and the general public being permitted to attend on payment of an entrance fee. The spectators are appropriately dressed for a solemn social occasion. It is thought that, with the exception of the figures
Farms near Auvers or Thatched Cottages by a Hill is an oil painting by Vincent van Gogh that he painted in July 1890 when he lived in Auvers-sur-Oise, France. The painting is an example of the double-square canvases that he employed in his last landscapes.
Van Gogh spent the last few months of his life in Auvers-sur-Oise, a small town just north of Paris, after he left an asylum at Saint-Rémy in May 1890. Shortly after arriving at Auvers, Van Gogh wrote his sister Wil: "Here there are roofs of mossy thatch which are superb, and of which I’ll certainly do something." The painting appears to be unfinished. It is similar to Thatched Cottages and Houses, a painting thought to have been executed shortly after arrival at Auvers.
In 1933 the painting was bequeathed by C. Frank Stoop to the Tate Collection in London, where it currently resides.
Boy with a Basket of Fruit, c.1593, is a painting generally ascribed to Italian Baroque master Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, currently in the Galleria Borghese, Rome.
The painting dates from the time when Caravaggio, newly arrived in Rome from his native Milan, was making his way in the competitive Roman art world. The model was his friend and companion, the Sicilian painter Mario Minniti, at about 16 years old. The work was in the collection of Giuseppe Cesari, the Cavaliere d'Arpino, seized by Cardinal Scipione Borghese in 1607, and may therefore date to the period when Caravaggio worked for d'Arpino "painting flowers and fruits" in his workshop; but it may date from a slightly later period when Caravaggio and Minniti had left Cavalier d'Arpino's workshop (January 1594) to make their own way selling paintings through the dealer Costantino. Certainly it cannot predate 1593, the year Minniti arrived in Rome. It is believed to predate more complex works from the same period (also featuring Minniti as a model) such as The Fortune Teller and the Cardsharps (both 1594), the latter of which brought Caravaggio to the attention of his first important patron, Cardinal Francesco Maria
Portrait of Baldassare Castiglione is a c. 1514–1515 oil painting attributed to the Italian High Renaissance painter Raphael. Considered one of the great portraits of the Renaissance, it has an enduring influence. It depicts Raphael's friend, the diplomat and humanist Baldassare Castiglione, who is considered a quintessential example of the High Renaissance gentleman.
The portrait was produced as a result of Raphael's friendship with Castiglione, whose ascent in courtly circles paralleled that of the artist. They were close friends by 1504, when Castiglione made his second visit to Urbino, as Raphael was gaining recognition as an artist in the humanist circle of the city's ducal court. Raphael was commissioned by Guidobaldo da Montefeltro in 1505 to paint a picture for Henry VII; Castiglione traveled to England to present the finished painting to the king. It is possible that Castiglione later served as a "scholarly advisor" for Raphael's The School of Athens, and that the depiction of Zoroaster in that fresco may be a portrait of the courtier.
Portrait of Baldassare Castiglione may have had a practical and intimate purpose. Castiglione left his family behind when he went to Rome,
Bal du moulin de la Galette (commonly known as Dance at Le moulin de la Galette) is an 1876 painting by French artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir. It is housed at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris and is one of Impressionism's most celebrated masterpieces. The painting depicts a typical Sunday afternoon at Moulin de la Galette in the district of Montmartre in Paris. In the late 19th century, working class Parisians would dress up and spend time there dancing, drinking, and eating galettes into the evening.
Like other works of Renoir's early maturity, Bal du moulin de la Galette is a typically Impressionist snapshot of real life. It shows a richness of form, a fluidity of brush stroke, and a flickering light.
From 1879 to 1894 the painting was in the collection of the French painter Gustave Caillebotte; when he died it became the property of the French Republic as payment for death duties. From 1896 to 1929 the painting hung in the Musée du Luxembourg in Paris. From 1929 it hung in the Musée du Louvre until it was transferred to the Musée d'Orsay in 1986.
Renoir painted a smaller version of the picture (78 × 114 cm) with the same title. This painting is in a private collection.
For many years it
Daubigny's Garden, painted three times by Vincent van Gogh, depicts the garden of the late Charles-François Daubigny, a painter whom Van Gogh admired throughout his life.
Van Gogh started with a small study of a section of the garden. Then he worked on two double-square paintings of the full enclosed garden. The paintings were made in Auvers between May 1890 and July 1890, during the last few months of his life. All three paintings are titled Daubigny's Garden and are distinguished by the museums they reside in: Kunstmuseum Basel, Hiroshima Museum of Art and Van Gogh Museum.
Charles-François Daubigny was a French artist who had been trained by his father. Van Gogh greatly admired Daubigny, a landscape artist associated with the Barbizon school who painted river and coastal scenes. Daubigny was born in Paris in 1817 and moved to Auvers-sur-Oise in 1860. In 1878 Van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo that he was very sad to hear the news that Daubigny had died because his work touched him very deeply, "A work that is good may not last forever, but the thought expressed by it will, and the work itself will surely survive for a very long time, and those who come later can do no more than
Ship of Fools (painted c. 1490–1500) is a painting by Hieronymus Bosch which may be intended to exemplify the human condition. The painting is dense in symbolism and is indebted to, if not actually satirical of Albrecht Dürer's frontispiece of Sebastian Brant's book of the same name.
The painting as we see it today is a fragment of a triptych that was cut into several parts. The Ship of Fools was painted on one of the wings of the altarpiece, and is about two thirds of its original length. The bottom third of the panel belongs to Yale University Art Gallery and is exhibited under the title Allegory of Gluttony. The wing on the other side, which has more or less retained its full length, is the Death and the Miser, now in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.. The two panels together would have represented the two extremes of prodigiality and miserliness, condemning and caricaturing both.
The painting is oil on wood, measuring 58 cm x 33 cm (23" x 13"). It is on display in the Musée du Louvre, Paris.
Tobias and the Angel is an altar painting, finished around 1470-1480, attributed to the workshop of the Italian Renaissance painter Andrea del Verrocchio. It is housed in the National Gallery of London. This painting is similar to an earlier painting depicting Tobias and the Angel, by Antonio Pollaiolo.
According to Oxford art historian Martin Kemp, Leonardo da Vinci, who was a member of Verrocchio's studio, may have painted some part of this work, most likely the fish. David Alan Brown, of the National Gallery in Washington, attributes the painting of the fluffy little dog to him as well. If so, this would be perhaps the first extant example of a painting with input by Leonardo.
Chromoluminarism, also known as Divisionism, is a technique used by Neo-Impressionists such as Georges Seurat (1859-1891). The technique involves breaking color into its basic elements, painting in very small and regular dots. From a distance the multiple dots form an optical mixture of color. The best known example is Seurat's Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte (1884-1886).
Most television and computer screens operate in a similar way.
Another, similar, variety of Neo-Impressionism is pointillism, which involves painting in dots, though not necessarily with the aim of breaking colour.
Italian Divisionist painters include Giovanni Segantini, Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo, Emilio Longoni, Vittore Grubicy de Dragon, Luigi Russolo, Gaetano Previati, Angelo Morbelli, Filippo Carcano, Plinio Nomellini and Alessio Di Lernia.
The Massacre of the Innocents is the subject of two paintings by Peter Paul Rubens depicting the episode of the biblical Massacre of the Innocents of Bethlehem, as related in the Gospel of Matthew.
The first version painted by Rubens dates from around 1611–12. In the seventeenth-century, the painting was part of the Liechtenstein Collection in Vienna, Austria, along with another Rubens' masterpiece, Samson and Delilah. After having been miscatalogued by Vincenzio Fanti in 1767, it was attributed to one of Rubens' assistants, Jan van den Hoecke, after Rubens. There, however, it remained until it was sold to an Austrian family in 1920. It was subsequently loaned in 1923 to Stift Reichersberg, a monastery in northern Austria.
In 2001, the painting was seen by George Gordon, an expert in Flemish and Dutch paintings at Sotheby's in London. He was persuaded that it was indeed a Rubens by its similar characteristics and style to the Samson and Delilah painted around the same time. The work was sold at auction at Sotheby's, London on July 10, 2002 for £49.5 million (CAD $117 Million) to Canadian businessman and art collector Kenneth Thomson, 2nd Baron Thomson of Fleet.
Rest on the Flight into Egypt (c. 1597) is a painting by the Italian Baroque master Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, in the Doria Pamphilj Gallery, Rome. It depicts an angel playing the violin to the Holy Family during their flight into Egypt.
The scene is based not on any incident in the Bible itself, but on a body of tales or legends that had grown up in the early Middle Ages around the Bible story of the Holy Family fleeing into Egypt for refuge on being warned that Herod the Great was seeking to kill the Christ Child. According to the legend, Joseph and Mary paused on the flight in a grove of trees; the Holy Child ordered the trees to bend down so that Joseph could take fruit from them, and then ordered a spring of water to gush forth from the roots so that his parents could quench their thirst. This basic story acquired many extra details during the centuries.
Caravaggio shows Mary asleep with the infant Jesus, while Joseph holds a manuscript for an angel who is playing a hymn to Mary on the violin.
The date of the painting is disputed. According to Caravaggio's contemporary Giulio Mancini, this painting and the Penitent Magdalene, together with an unidentified painting of
Café Terrace at Night, also known as The Cafe Terrace on the Place du Forum, is a coloured oil painting executed by the Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh on an industrially primed canvas of size 25 (Toile de 25 figure) in Arles, France, mid-September 1888. The painting is not signed, but described and mentioned by the artist in his letters on various occasions. There is also a large pen drawing of the composition which originates from the artist's estate.
Visitors of the site can still stand at the northeastern corner of the Place du Forum, where the artist set up his easel. He looked south towards the artificially lit terrace of the popular coffee house, as well as into the enforced darkness of the rue du Palais leading up to the building structure (to the left, not pictured) and, beyond this structure, the tower of a former church (now Musée Lapidaire). Towards the right, Van Gogh indicated a lighted shop as well, and some branches of the trees surrounding the place—but he omitted the remainders of the Roman monuments just beside this little shop.
The painting is currently at the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo, Netherlands.
After finishing Café Terrace at Night, Van Gogh wrote a
The Portrait of Bindo Altoviti is a painting finished around 1515 by the Italian High Renaissance painter Raphael. It is housed in the National Gallery of Art of Washington, D.C., United States.
Bindo Altoviti was a rich banker born in Rome in 1491, but of Florentine origin. He was a cultured man who loved the arts.
The graceful, almost effeminate position of the subject along with the heavy contrast between light and shadow are atypical of Raphael's work, particularly of his portraits of men, demonstrating the artist's experimentation with different styles and forms in his later Roman period. The influence of the works of Leonardo, which Raphael studied astutely during this period of his career, are strikingly evident in this particular piece.
The painting was a property of Altoviti’s descendants until 1808, when it was sold to Ludwig I of Bavaria. It remained at the Alte Pinakothek until 1936, when, after many debates about its attribution, the painting was lured out of Nazi Germany by "canny English dealers". Acquired by Samuel Kress, the portrait subsequently became property of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C..
Madonna in Glory with Seraphim is a painting by the Italian Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli, executed c. 1469-1470. It is housed in Galleria degli Uffizi of Florence.
Some panel paintings of the Madonna by Botticelli remain from the years around 1470 which are striking expressions of Botticelli's stylistic development. Two full figure pictures of the Madonna - the Madonna in Glory and the Madonna of the Rosegarden - are in the Uffizi. They represent monumental seated figures filling the entire picture.
Mary is enthroned on clouds in a glory of seraphim. The Christ Child, with the cruciform nimbus, is looking towards the observer and raising his hand in blessing. Botticelli has succeeded in expressing the tensions in this theme with sensitivity: the mother, who is fully aware of the Passion her son will suffer, is holding him protectively in her arms.
Saint Francis of Assisi in Ecstasy (or The Ecstasy of Saint Francis) is a painting by the Italian Baroque master Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. It is held in the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut.
The painting was the first of Caravaggio's religious canvasses, and is thought to date from 1595, when he had recently entered the household of Cardinal Francesco Maria Del Monte. It was presumably painted at the behest of Del Monte, and is thought to be one of the first paintings done by the artist as "Del Monte's painter", as he is believed to have described himself over the next few years while living in Palazzo Madama. It shows Saint Francis of Assisi (the Cardinal's name-saint) at the moment of receiving the signs of the Stigmata, the wounds left in Christ's body by the Crucifixion. The story is told by one of Francis' companions, Brother Leo. In 1224 Francis retired to the wilderness with a small number of his followers to contemplate God. On the mountainside at night Brother Leo saw a six-winged seraph (one of the higher Orders of angels) come down to Francis in answer to the saint's prayer that he might know both Christ's suffering and His love:
All of a sudden there
St. Michael is an oil painting by Italian artist Raphael. Also called the Little St. Michael to distinguish it from a larger, later treatment of the same theme, St. Michael Vanquishing Satan, it is housed in the Louvre in Paris. The work depicts the Archangel Michael in combat with the demons of Hell, while the damned suffer behind him. Along with St. George, it represents the first of Raphael's works on martial subjects.
An early work of the artist, the painting was executed for Guidobaldo da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino, in 1504 or 1505 on the back of a draughtboard, possibly commissioned to express appreciation to Louis XII of France for conferring the Order of Saint Michael on Francesco Maria I della Rovere, Urbino's nephew and heir. Whatever the impetus for its creation, by 1548 it hung in the collection at the Palace of Fontainebleau.
In 2006's Early Work of Raphael, Julia Cartwright suggests it may betray the influence of Timoteo Viti in the gold tinting to the green wings of Michael, while the sinners in the background suggest that Raphael may have consulted an illustrated volume of Dante's Inferno. The punishments depicted reflect Dante's treatment of hypocrites and
La belle ferronnière is a name given to a portrait of a woman in the Musée du Louvre, usually attributed to Leonardo da Vinci. It is also simply known as Portrait of an Unknown Woman. The Louvre currently ascribes it to the school of Leonardo da Vinci in Milan. The painting's title, applied as early as the seventeenth century, identifying the sitter as the wife or daughter of an ironmonger (a ferronnier), was said to be discreetly alluding to a reputed mistress of Francis I of France, married to a certain Le Ferron. The tale is a romantic legend of revenge in which the aggrieved husband intentionally infects himself with syphilis, which he passes to the king through infecting his wife.
Leonardo's Lady with an Ermine, has also been known by this name. This was once believed to be a portrait of Cecilia Gallerani—one of the mistresses of Lodovico 'il Moro' Sforza, Duke of Milan. The narrative and the title were applied to Lady with an Ermine when it was in Princess Czartoryski's collection, and became confused with "La Belle Ferroniere" by the presence in this image also of a jewel worn on a delicate chain across the forehead.
Although the model of the painting "La Belle Ferroniere"
The Raising of Lazarus, c. 1609, in the Museo Regionale, Messina, is a painting by the Italian artist Caravaggio (1571-1610).
In August 1608 Caravaggio fled from Malta, where he had been imprisoned for an unknown crime, and took refuge in Sicily with his friend, the artist Mario Minniti. Through Minniti's intercession he procured a number of important concessions, including this for the church of the Padri Crociferi in Messina, where it was presented by the wealthy Genoese merchant Giovanni Battista de' Lazzari on 10 June 1609. The fee was a thousand scudi, more than double any Caravaggio had received previously.
The Gospel of St John tells how Lazarus, the brother of Martha and Mary, fell sick, died, was buried and then miraculously raised from the dead by Christ. As in several paintings from this period of Caravaggio's career, the scene is set against blank walls that overwhelm the frieze of human actors. The interaction of the relief of figures caught in corporate effort and emotion, with a large void above, is quite different from the closely focussed individualised dramas of his early and middle periods. As is usual with Caravaggio, light becomes an important element in the
Inwangjesaekdo ("Clearing After Rain in Mt. Inwangsan" or "After Rain at Mt. Inwang") is a landscape painting by the famous Jeong Seon who painted it during the reign of Joseon Dynasty King Yeongjo in 1751. It is the 216th National Treasure of Korea and was designated by the South Korean government on August 6, 1984. The painting is currently held and managed by the Ho-Am Art Museum in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province and is owned by Yi Geonhui.
Mt. Inwangsan is a peak near Seoul and is where Jeong Seon lived during the later years of his life. It is 138.2 centimeters in width and 79.2 centimeters in height and painted on one roll. This scene depicts the mountain after a rain on a summer day when the fog began to thicken in the valley below. The depiction of the mountain is lifelike. The artist used heavy and repetitive top-down brush strokes with India ink to depict the mountain and rocks wet with rain. This kind of brush stroke and the thick layering effect of the ink also emphasizes the immensity and heaviness of the mountain. The artist uses black ink to depict the ridges and trees which look like unraveling threads. In stark contrast with the peaks of the mountains, the fog in the
The Tempi Madonna is an oil painting by the Italian High Renaissance painter Raphael. Painted for the Tempi family, it was bought by Ludwig I of Bavaria in 1829. It is housed in the Alte Pinakothek in Munich. It is thought to have been made in 1508, at the end of the artist's Florentine period.
The Annunciation, also known as the Cestello Annunciation, is a tempera painting by the Italian Renaissance master Sandro Botticelli, circa 1489-1490. It is housed in the Uffizi Gallery of Florence.
The picture was commissioned in 1489 by the church of the Florentine convent of Cestello which is now known as Santa Maria Maddalena de'Pazzi.
Underneath the painting on its original frame are words in Latin from St. Luke's Gospel 1:35 "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee."
Christ at the Column (also known as The Flagellation of Christ; c. 1606/1607), is a painting by the Italian Baroque painter Caravaggio, currently housed in the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen, Rouen, France.
This is one of two versions of the Flagellation of Christ by Caravaggio painted late in 1606 or early in 1607, soon after his arrival in Naples. The painting shows the flagellation of Christ following his arrest and trial and before his crucifixion. The scene was traditionally depicted in front of a column, possibly alluding to the judgement hall of Pilate. The snub-nosed torturer on the far right is recognisably the same figure who modelled as one of the torturers in The Flagellation of Christ, and as the executioner in Salome with the Head of John the Baptist.
The most famous treatment of the theme at the time was Sebastiano del Piombo's High Renaissance Flagellation of Christ in the church of San Pietro in Montorio in Rome. Piombo's Flagellation, much imitated by later artists, shows multiple idealised figures twisting through complex layers of space. Caravaggio has flattened the space, reduced the figures to a minimum, and used light to direct attention to the crucial parts
The Portrait of a Young Man is a painting by the Italian Renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli, dated between 1470 and 1475. It is housed in the Palazzo Pitti of Florence.
Variously attributed to different painters, it was eventually included in Botticelli's works. It is one of the first known three-quarters portraits in western European art.
The Crowning with Thorns is a painting by the Italian master Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. Executed probably in 1602/1604 or possibly around 1607, it is now located in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.
According to Caravaggio's biographer Giovanni Bellori a Crowning with Thorns was made for Caravaggio's patron Vincenzo Giustiniani, and this painting can be traced convincingly to the Giustiniani collection. An attribution to Giustiniani would place it in the period prior to 1606, when Caravaggio fled Rome, but Peter Robb dates it to 1607, when the artist was in Naples.
The theme of pain and sadism is certainly central to the work. John Gash points to the way the two torturers ram the crown down with the butts of their staffs, "a rhythmic and sadistic hammering." (Actually Gash believes that the torturer on the left is about to bring his stick down on the near, visible side of Christ's head, but this seems physically impossible). Robb mentions that the painting is about "how ... to give pain and feel pain, and how close pain and pleasure sometimes were, how voluptuous suffering could be on a golden afternoon." For Robb, however, the problem with the painting is "that
The Hay Wain is a painting by John Constable, finished in 1821. The painting depicts a rural scene on the River Stour in Suffolk. It hangs in the National Gallery London, and is regarded as one of the greatest British paintings.
The Hay Wain is painted in oil on canvas. It depicts, as its central feature a pair of horses pulling a hay wain or large farm cart across a river. The scene is set near a cottage, known by name in another Constable painting as Willy Lott's Cottage. It is located near Flatford Mill on the River Stour in Suffolk, though because the Stour forms the border of two counties, the left bank is in Suffolk and the landscape on the right bank is in Essex.
Flatford Mill was owned by Constable's father. The house on the left side of the painting belonged to a neighbour, Willy Lott, a tenant farmer, who was said to have been born in the house and never to have left it for more than four days in his lifetime. Willy Lott's Cottage has survived to this day practically unaltered, but none of the trees in the painting exist today. The water level is higher, as that area of East Anglia has sunk relative to sea level by one foot (30 cm) since Constable's time.
Although The Hay
The Sleeping Gypsy (French: La Bohémienne endormie) is an 1897 oil painting by French Naïve artist Henri Rousseau. The fantastical depiction of a lion musing over a sleeping woman on a moonlit night is one of the most recognizable artworks of modern times.
Rousseau first exhibited the painting at the 13th Salon des Indépendants, and tried unsuccessfully to sell it to the mayor of his hometown, Laval. Instead, it entered the private collection of a Parisian charcoal merchant where it remained until 1924, when it was discovered by the art critic Louis Vauxcelles. The Paris-based art dealer Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler purchased the painting in 1924, although a controversy arose over whether the painting was a forgery. It was acquired by art historian Alfred H. Barr Jr. for the New York Museum of Modern Art.
The painting has served as inspiration for poetry and music, and has been altered and parodied by various artists often with the lion replaced by a dog or other animal. In the Simpsons episode "Mom and Pop Art" Homer dreams of waking up in the artwork with the lion licking his head. A print of the work appears in the movie "The Apartment" above the comatose Fran Kubelik.
The Lute Player is a composition by the Italian Baroque master Caravaggio. It exists in three versions, one in the Wildenstein Collection, another in the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg and a third from Badminton House, Gloucestershire, which came to light in 2007.
Caravaggio's early biographer Giovanni Baglione gives the following description of a piece done by the artist for his patron Cardinal Francesco Del Monte:
E dipinse [per il Cardinale Del Monte]… anche un giovane, che sonava il Lauto, che vivo, e vero il tutto parea con una caraffa di fiori piena d’acqua, che dentro il reflesso d’ua fenestra eccelentemente si scorgeva con altri ripercotimenti di quella camera dentro l’acqua, e sopra quei fiori eravi una viva rugiada con ogni esquisita diligenza finta. E questo (disse) che fu il piu bel pezzo, che facesse mai. ("He also painted [for Cardinal Del Monte] a young man, playing the Lute, who seemed altogether alive and real with a carafe of flowers full of water, in which you could see perfectly the reflection of a window and other reflections of that room inside the water, and on those flowers there was a lively dew depicted with every exquisite care. And this (he said) was
The Venus of Urbino is a 1538 oil painting by the Italian master Titian. It depicts a nude young woman, identified with the goddess Venus, reclining on a couch or bed in the sumptuous surroundings of a Renaissance palace. It hangs in the Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence. The figure's pose is based on Giorgione's Sleeping Venus (c. 1510), which Titian completed. In this depiction, Titian has domesticated Venus by moving her to an indoor setting, engaging her with the viewer, and making her sensuality explicit. Devoid as it is of any classical or allegorical trappings – Venus displays none of the attributes of the goddess she is supposed to represent – the painting is unapologetically erotic.
The frankness of Venus's expression is often noted; she stares straight at the viewer, unconcerned with her nudity. In her right hand she holds a posy of roses whilst her left covers her vulva (she seems to toy with a strand of pubic hair), which is provocatively placed in the center of the composition. In the near background is a dog, often a symbol of fidelity.
The painting was commissioned by Guidobaldo II della Rovere, the Duke of Urbino, possibly to celebrate his 1534 marriage. It would
Luncheon of the Boating Party (1881, French: Le déjeuner des canotiers) is a painting by French impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir. It was purchased from the artist by the dealer-patron Paul Durand-Ruel and bought in 1923 (for $125,000) from his son by Duncan Phillips. It is currently housed in The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. It shows a richness of form, a fluidity of brush stroke, and a flickering light.
The painting depicts a group of Renoir's friends relaxing on a balcony at the Maison Fournaise along the Seine river in Chatou, France. The painter and art patron, Gustave Caillebotte, is seated in the lower right. Renoir's future wife, Aline Charigot, is in the foreground playing with a small dog. On the table is fruit and wine.
The diagonal of the railing serves to demarcate the two halves of the composition, one densely packed with figures, the other all but empty, save for the two figures of the proprietor's daughter Louise-Alphonsine Fournaise and her brother, Alphonse Fournaise, Jr, which are made prominent by this contrast. In this painting Renoir has captured a great deal of light. The main focus of light is coming from the large opening in the balcony, beside
Place de la Concorde or Viscount Lepic and his Daughters Crossing the Place de la Concorde or Ludovic Lepic and his Daughters is an 1875 oil by Edgar Degas. It depicts the cigar smoking Vicomte Ludovic-Napoléon Lepic, his daughters, and his dog, and a solitary man on the left in Place de la Concorde in Paris. The Tuileries Gardens can be seen in the background behind a stone wall. Many art historians believe that the large amount of negative space, the cropping and the way in which the figures are facing in random directions was influenced by photography.
The painting was considered lost for four decades following World War II, until the Russian authorities put it on exhibition at the Hermitage Museum, where it remains to this day. During Soviet occupation of Germany the work was moved from the collection of Otto Gerstenberg to the Hermitage.
Degas also painted the Viscount Lepic and His Daughters in a separate 1870 painting.
Saint Matthew and the Angel (1602) is a painting from the Italian master Caravaggio (1571-1610), completed for the Contarelli Chapel in the church of San Luigi dei Francesi in Rome. It was destroyed in 1945 and is now known only from black-and-white photographs and enhanced color reproductions.
Caravaggio was known for painting very realistically, using models instead of standard convention and idealization. He made his figures lifelike and relatable, as opposed to portraying unrealistic or phony poses. In this instance, however, the patrons wanted an idealization of the beloved Saint, someone who its viewers could admire and strain to be like. They did not want a bumbling peasant who looked as if he just walked in off the street. With the angel sweeping down and the Saint’s stool teetering in movement, it is arguably one of Caravaggio’s earliest examples of his dynamic style. It was a much more exciting composition then the first. Even though Caravaggio changed the composition to suit the desires of the patron, you can still see his own style under the more refined subject of Saint Matthew.
The devastation of World War II resulted in the loss not only of many lives but also many
The Adoration of the Magi is an early painting by Leonardo da Vinci. Leonardo was given the commission by the Augustinian monks of San Donato a Scopeto in Florence, but departed for Milan the following year, leaving the painting unfinished. It has been in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence since 1670.
The Virgin Mary and Child are depicted in the foreground and form a triangular shape with the Magi kneeling in adoration. Behind them is a semicircle of accompanying figures, including what may be a self-portrait of the young Leonardo (on the far right). In the background on the left is the ruin of a pagan building, on which workmen can be seen, apparently repairing it. On the right are men on horseback fighting, and a sketch of a rocky landscape.
The ruins are a possible reference to the Basilica of Maxentius, which, according to Medieval legend, the Romans claimed would stand until a virgin gave birth. It is supposed to have collapsed on the night of Christ's birth (in fact it was not even built until a later date). The ruins dominate a preparatory perspective drawing by Leonardo, which also includes the fighting horsemen. The palm tree in the centre has associations with the Virgin
Maestà, the Italian word for "majesty", designates an iconic formula of the enthroned Madonna with the child Jesus, whether or not accompanied with angels and saints. The Maestà is an extension of the "Seat of Wisdom" theme of the seated "Mary Theotokos", "Mary Mother of God", which is a counterpart to the earlier icon of Christ in Majesty, the enthroned Christ that is familiar in Byzantine Mosaics. Maria Regina is an art historians' synonym for the iconic image of Mary enthroned, with or without the Child.
In the West, the image seems to have developed, based perhaps on Byzantine precedents such as the coin of Constantine's Empress Fausta, crowned and with their sons on her lap and on literary examples, such as Flavius Cresconius Corippus's celebration of Justin II's coronation in 565. Paintings depicting the Maestà came into the mainstream artistic repertory, especially in Rome, in the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries, with an increased emphasis on the veneration of Mary. The Maestà was often executed in fresco technique directly on plastered walls or as paintings on gessoed wooden altar panels.
A more domestic representation, suitable to private devotion, is the
The Portinari Altarpiece or Portinari Triptych (c. 1475) is an oil on wood triptych painting by the Flemish painter Hugo van der Goes representing the Adoration of the shepherds.
The work was commissioned for the church of the hospital of Santa Maria Nuova in Florence by the Italian banker Tommaso Portinari, a descendent of the hospital's founder. Portinari lived for more than forty years in Bruges as a representative for the Medici family's bank. Portinari himself is depicted on the left panel with his two sons Antonio and Pigello; his wife Maria di Francesco Baroncelli is shown on the right panel with their daughter Margarita. All, except Pigello, are accompanied by their patron saints: Saint Thomas (with the spear), Saint Anthony (with the bell), Mary Magdalen (with the pot of ointment) and Saint Margaret (with the book and the dragon).
In the central panel, three shepherds fall to their knees before the child Jesus. Van der Goes painted these rustic characters very realistically. Kneeling angels surround the Virgin and the Child, who is not in a crib but lies on the ground surrounded by an aureole of golden rays. This unusual representation of the adoration of Jesus is probably
The Lamentation of Christ (also known as the Lamentation of Dead Christ, or the Dead Christ) is a c. 1480 painting by the Italian Renaissance artist Andrea Mantegna. While the dating of the piece is debated, is generally believed to have been completed between 1475 and 1501. It portrays the body Christ supine on a marble slab. He is watched over by the Virgin Mary, St. John and somebody in the upper left hand corner just behind Virgin Mary who are weeping for his death.
The theme of the Lamentation is common in medieval and Renaissance art, although this treatment, dating back to a subject known as the Anointing of Christ is unusual for the period. Most Lamentations show much more contact between the mourners and the body. Rich contrasts of light and shadow abound, infused by a profound sense of pathos. The realism and tragedy of the scene are enhanced by the violent perspective, which foreshortens and dramatizes the recumbent figure, stressing the anatomical details: in particular, Christ's thorax. The holes in Christ's hands and feet, as well as the faces of the two mourners, are portrayed without any concession to idealism or rhetoric. The sharply drawn drapery which covers the
The Taking of Christ is a painting by the Italian Baroque master Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (c. 1602), originally commissioned by nobleman Ciriaco Mattei. It is housed in the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin.
There are seven figures in the painting, from left to right: St John, Jesus, Judas, two soldiers, a man (a self-portrait of Caravaggio), and a soldier. They are standing, and only the upper three-quarters of their bodies are depicted. The figures are arrayed before a very dark background, in which the setting is disguised. The main light source is not evident in the painting but comes from the upper left. There is a lantern being held by the man at the right (Caravaggio). At the far left, a man (St John) is fleeing; his arms are raised, his mouth is open in a gasp, his cloak is flying and being snatched back by a soldier. The fleeing figure of John in his terror contrasts to the entering self portrait of the artist thus making the point that even a sinner one thousand years after the resurrection has a better understanding of what Christ is than does his friend four days before. Two of the more puzzling details of the painting are, one, the fact that the heads of
The Cardsharps (painted around 1594) is a painting by the Italian Baroque artist Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio.
The work represents an important milestone for Caravaggio. He painted it when he was attempting an independent career after leaving the workshop of the Cavaliere Giuseppe Cesari d'Arpino, for whom he had been painting "flowers and fruit", finishing the details for the Cavaliere's mass-produced (and massive) output. Caravaggio left Arpino's workshop in January 1594 and began selling works through the dealer Costantino, with the assistance of Prospero Orsi, an established painter of Mannerist grotesques (masks, monsters, etc.). Orsi introduced Caravaggio to his extensive network of contacts in the world of collectors and patrons.
The painting shows an expensively-dressed but unworldly boy playing cards with another boy. The second boy, a cardsharp, has extra cards tucked in his belt behind his back, out of sight from the mark but not the viewer, and a sinister older man is peering over the dupe's shoulder and signaling to his young accomplice. The second boy has a dagger handy at his side, and violence is not far away.
It was the second such painting Caravaggio created.
The Holy Trinity or Pala delle Convertite is an altarpiece by the Italian Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli, dating to c. 1491-1493. It is housed in Courtauld Institute Galleries of London.
It was originally commissioned by the Arte dei Medici e degli Speziali (guild of the Doctors and Pharmacists) for the church of Santa Elisabetta delle Convertite in Florence, a church/monastery housing former prostitutes or fallen women, who had converted from the licentious life to one of honesty, and whose patron saint was Mary Magdalene
The picture shows the Trinity (Jesus Crucified, God and the Holy Spirit's Dove) within an almond with seraphims. In the background is a blue sky within two rocky spurs, in front of which are Mary Magdalene, taken in an intense praying posture, and St. John the Baptist, patron saint of Florence, who, as usual in the pictures of the period, is pointing to the center of the composition. The figure of Magdalene resembles the contemporary "Magdalene Penitent" by Donatello (1453–1455) and that by Desiderio da Settignano (c. 1455) in the church of Santa Trinita.
In the lower part, in a smaller scale, are the Archangel Raphael with Tobias, who is holding the fish
The Nativity (also known as The Holy Night (or La Notte) or as Adoration of the Shepherds) is a painting finished around 1529-1530 by the Italian painter Antonio da Correggio. It is housed in the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden.
The work was commissioned from Correggio in October 1522 by Alberto Pratoneri for the family chapel in the church of San Prospero of Reggio Emilia: completed at the end of the decade, it was placed in the chapel in 1530. In a what was considered a minor sacrilege, the painting was absconded in 1640 by duke Francesco I d'Este and taken to his private gallery, it was moved to Dresden in 1746.
The artist, following the trail blazed by a number of celebrated works by Titian, interpreted a scene that is fully 'à la chandell' and produced an outstanding result in the treatment of light. The scene pivots around the Child, surrounded by Mary's arms, with a group of shepherds on the left, of which the bearded figure is portrayed in the same position of Jerome in the Madonna with St. Jerome (c. 1523). On the right are the traditional presepe animals and St. Joseph. The upper left part features several angels reminiscent the ardite positions in Correggio's dome
Ophelia is a painting by British artist Sir John Everett Millais, completed between 1851 and 1852. Currently held in the Tate Britain in London, it depicts Ophelia, a character from Shakespeare's play Hamlet, singing before she drowns in a river in Denmark.
The work was not widely regarded when first exhibited at the Royal Academy, but has since come to be admired for its beauty and its accurate depiction of a natural landscape. Ophelia has been estimated to have a market value of around £30 million.
The painting depicts Ophelia, a character from Shakespeare's play Hamlet, singing while floating in a river just before she drowns. The scene is described in Act IV, Scene VII of the play in a speech by Queen Gertrude.
The episode depicted is not seen onstage, but exists only in Gertrude's description. Ophelia has fallen into the river from a tree overhanging it, while gathering flowers. She lies in the water singing songs, as if unaware of her danger ("incapable of her own distress"). Her clothes, trapping air, have allowed her to temporarily stay afloat ("Her clothes spread wide, / And, mermaid-like, awhile they bore her up."). But eventually, "her garments, heavy with their drink, /
Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I is a 1907 painting by Gustav Klimt. According to press reports it was sold for US$135 million to Ronald Lauder for his Neue Galerie in New York City in June 2006, which made it at that time the most expensive painting for about 4 months. It has been on display at the gallery since July 2006.
Klimt took three years to complete the painting. It measures 138 x 138 cm and is made of oil and gold on canvas, showing elaborate and complex ornamentation as seen in the Jugendstil style. Klimt was a member of the Vienna Secession, a group of artists that broke away from the traditional way of painting. The picture was painted in Vienna and commissioned by Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer. As a wealthy industrialist who had made his fortune in the sugar industry, he sponsored the arts and favored and supported Gustav Klimt. Adele Bloch-Bauer became the only model who was painted twice by Klimt when he completed a second picture of her, Adele Bloch-Bauer II, in 1912.
Adele Bloch-Bauer, in her will, asked her husband to donate the Klimt paintings to the Austrian State Gallery upon his death. She died in 1925 from meningitis. When the Nazis took over Austria, her widowed
The Self-Portrait with a friend (also known as Double Portrait) is a painting by Italian High Renaissance painter Raphael. It dates to c. 1518, and is housed in the Louvre Museum of Paris, France.
The identity of the man portrayed before Raphael is unknown. The ancient tradition identified him as his fencing master, since he holds the hilt of a sword. Modern art historians consider him one of the painter's pupils (perhaps Polidoro da Caravaggio or Giulio Romano), a friend and commissioner of the painting, such as Giovanni Battista Branconio, for whom Raphael had designed, in the Borgo quarter of Rome, the now destroyed Palazzo Branconio. Other people associated with the character include Pietro Aretino, Baldassarre Peruzzi and Antonio da Sangallo the Younger, as well as other painters such as Il Pordenone or Pontormo, but these hypotheses have been refuted by other portraits.
The painting was owned by Francis I of France and, in the past, was assigned to other artists, including Sebastiano del Piombo.
The Birth of Venus (La Naissance de Vénus) is one of the most famous paintings by 19th century painter William-Adolphe Bouguereau. It depicts not the actual birth of Venus from the sea, but her transportation in a shell, as a fully mature woman, from the sea to Paphos in Cyprus. For Bouguereau, it is considered a tour de force. The canvas stands at just over 9 ft 10 in (3.00 m) high, and 7 ft 2 in (2.18 m) wide. The subject matter, as well as the composition, resembles the rather more famous rendition of this subject, Sandro Botticelli's The Birth of Venus, as well as Raphael's painting, The Triumph of Galatea.
The Birth of Venus was created for the Paris Salon of 1879. It was purchased by the state for the Musée du Luxembourg. The painting is now in the permanent collection of the Musée d'Orsay in Paris.
At the center of the painting, Venus stands nude on a scallop shell (a visual metaphor for the female vulva) being pulled by a dolphin, one of her symbols. Venus was modeled by Rosalie Tobia, who also modeled for other works by Bouguereau. Fifteen putti, including Cupid and Psyche, and several nymphs and centaurs have gathered to witness Venus' arrival. Most of the figures are
The Town Hall at Auvers is a painting by Vincent van Gogh, executed mid-July 1890. It is based on the view Van Gogh had when he stepped out on the street from the Auberge Ravoux, where he stayed.
Along with other canvases from his short period in Auvers-sur-Oise, such as The Church at Auvers and paintings of houses with thatched roofs, this painting seems reminiscent of scenes from the northern landscapes of Van Gogh's childhood and youth.
This refers to the work of art of the 16th century.
The Wedding at Cana (or The Wedding Feast at Cana) is a massive painting by the late-Renaissance or Mannerist Italian painter, Paolo Veronese. It is on display in the Musée du Louvre in Paris, where it is the largest painting in that museum's collection.
The painting depicts the Wedding Feast at Cana, a miracle story from the Christian New Testament. In the story Jesus and his disciples were invited to a wedding celebration in Cana in the Galilee. Towards the end of the feast, when the wine was running out, Jesus commanded servants to fill jugs with water, which he then turned into wine (his first miracle of seven, as recounted in the Gospel according to John).
The piece was commissioned in 1562 by the Benedictine Monastery of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice, Italy, and completed in fifteen months by the year 1563. It hung in the refectory of the monastery for 235 years, until it was plundered by Napoléon in 1797, and shipped to Paris. The painting was cut in half for the journey and stitched back together in Paris. In the post-Napoléonic conciliation treaties which pursued some restitution of looted artworks, this was not
Laura, formerly sometimes known as Portrait of a Young Bride is a painting by the Italian Renaissance master Giorgione, c. 1506. It is in the Kunsthistorisches Museum of Vienna, Austria.
Like Giorgione's other works, it is unsigned. An inscription on the reverse, accepted as early 16th century, identifies Giorgione as the painter and provides the date, making this the only work by the artist bearing a reliable date. It might show a young bride backed by a branch of laurel (Laurus), symbol of chastity, and carrying the nuptial veil. The gesture of opening the fur mantle to uncover the bosom indicates fecundity (and, therefore, maternity), as an offer of love and seduction. Alternatively, the figure might show a courtesan—certainly many of the paintings in the Venetian tradition the Laura inspired were of figures to be read as courtesans, often posing as a mythological figure or the personification of an abstract quality.
It is one of the less controversial attributions to Giorgione.
This work marked the abandonment of Giovanni Bellini's models by Giorgione, to embrace a Leonardesque style.
Penitent Magdalene (also called Repentant Madalene) is a 16th century oil on canvas painting by Italian Baroque painter Caravaggio. The painting portrays a repentant Mary Magdalene, bowed over in penitent sorrow as she leaves behind her dissolute life, its trappings abandoned beside her. At the time of its completion, ca. 1594-1595, the painting was unconventional for its contemporary realism and departure from traditional Magdalene iconography. It has invited both criticism and praise, with speculation even into the 21st century as to Caravaggio's intentions. The work hangs in the Doria Pamphilj Gallery in Rome.
The painting depicts a young brunette, squatting or kneeling on a low chair, with her hands cradled in her lap. By her side is a collection of jewelry and a stoppered bottle of liquid, nearly three-quarters full. Her gaze is averted from the viewer, her head turned downward in a position that has been compared to traditional portrayals of the crucified Jesus Christ. A single tear runs down one cheek to the side of her nose.
The painting was completed ca. 1594-1595, during which time Caravaggio was residing with Giuseppe Cesari and Fantin Petrignani. Caravaggio was known to
The Birth of Venus (French: Naissance de Venus) is a painting by the French artist Alexandre Cabanel (1823–1889). It was painted in 1863, and is now in the Musée d'Orsay in Paris. A second, slightly smaller version dates from 1875; it is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Shown to great success at the Paris Salon of 1863, The Birth of Venus was immediately purchased by Napoleon III for his own personal collection. That same year Cabanel was made a professor of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts.
Cabanel's erotic imagery, cloaked in historicism, appealed to the propriety of the higher levels of society. Art historian and curator Robert Rosenblum wrote of Cabanel's The Birth of Venus that "This Venus hovers somewhere between an ancient deity and a modern dream"; he described "the ambiguity of her eyes, that seem to be closed but that a close look reveals that she is awake ... A nude who could be asleep or awake is specially formidable for a male viewer".
Cabanel was a determined opponent of the Impressionists, especially Édouard Manet, although the refusal of the academic establishment to realize the importance of new ideas and sources of inspiration would eventually prove to
The Virgin and Child with St Anne and St John the Baptist, sometimes called The Burlington House Cartoon, is a drawing by Leonardo da Vinci. The drawing is in charcoal and black and white chalk, on eight sheets of paper glued together. Because of its large size and format the drawing is presumed to be a cartoon for a painting. No painting by Leonardo exists that is based directly on this cartoon.
The drawing depicts the Virgin Mary seated on the knees of her mother St Anne and holding the Child Jesus while St. John the Baptist, the cousin of Jesus, stands to the right. It currently hangs in the National Gallery in London. It was either executed in around 1499–1500, when the artist was in Milan, or around 1506–8, when he was shuttling between Florence and Milan; the majority of scholars prefer the latter date, although the National Gallery and others prefer the former.
The subject of the cartoon is a combination of two themes popular in Florentine painting of the 15th century: The Virgin and Child with John the Baptist and The Virgin and Child with St Anne.
The drawing is notable for its complex composition, demonstrating the alternation in the positioning of figures that is first
Self-Portrait with Seven Fingers is an oil painting by Belarusian painter Marc Chagall, painted in 1913. It appeared in the 2001 movie A Beautiful Mind. This picture was painted in 1913 in France. It was painted on an oil-canvas using cubism.
The Tower of Babel is the subject of three oil paintings by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. The first, a miniature painted on ivory, was painted while Bruegel was in Rome and is now lost. The two surviving paintings depict the construction of the Tower of Babel, which according to the Book of Genesis in the Bible, was a tower built by a unified, monolingual humanity as a mark of their achievement and to prevent them from scattering: "Then they said, 'Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves; otherwise we shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.'" (Genesis 11:4). The person in the foreground is likely Nimrod, who was said to have ordered the construction of the Tower.
Bruegel's depiction of the architecture of the tower, with its numerous arches and other examples of Roman engineering, is deliberately reminiscent of the Roman Colosseum, which Christians of the time saw as both a symbol of hubris and persecution. Bruegel had visited Rome in 1552-1553. Back in Antwerp, he must have refreshed his memory of Rome with a series of engravings of the principal landmarks of the city made by the publisher
View of Arles, Flowering Orchards is a painting by Vincent van Gogh, executed in spring 1889, one of several paintings he produced on the subject of Flowering Orchards (Van Gogh series) while living in Arles. It supplies a view across a canal and the poplars on its board towards the historical center of Arles, with the towers of Saint-Trophime and Notre-Dame-le-major to the left, contrasted by recent building of the casern housing the Zouave Regiment to the right.
Van Gogh incorporated this painting in his selection of works to be displayed at Les XX, in Bruxelles 1890.
Boy Peeling Fruit is a painting by the Italian Baroque master Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571–1610) painted circa 1592-1593.
This is the earliest known work by Caravaggio, painted soon after his arrival in Rome from his native Milan in mid 1592. His movements in this period are not certain. According to his contemporary Giulio Mancini he stayed for a short time with Monsignor Pandulfo Pucci in the Palazzo Colonna, but disliked the way Pucci treated him and left after a few months. (Pucci fed his boarders exclusively on greens, and Caravaggio referred to him later as 'Monsignor Salad'). He copied religious pictures for Pucci, (none survive), and apparently did a few pieces of his own for personal sale, of which Boy Peeling a Fruit would be the only known example. The piece may also date from slightly later, when he was working for Giuseppe Cesari, the "cavaliere d'Arpino". As Caravaggio is said to have been painting only "flowers and fruit" for d'Arpino, this would again be a personal piece done for sale outside the workshop, but it was among the works seized from d'Alpino by Cardinal Scipione Borghese in 1607, together with two other early Caravaggios, the Young Sick
The Night Watch or The Shooting Company of Frans Banning Cocq (Dutch: De Nachtwacht) is the common name of one of the most famous works by Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn.
The painting may be more properly titled The Company of Frans Banning Cocq and Willem van Ruytenburch. It is on prominent display in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, being the best known painting in their collection. The Night Watch is one of the most famous paintings in the world.
The painting is renowned for three elements: its colossal size (363 x 437 cm ~ 11 ft 10in x 14 ft 4in), the effective use of light and shadow (chiaroscuro), and the perception of motion in what would have been, traditionally, a static military portrait.
This painting was completed in 1642, at the peak of the Dutch Golden Age. It depicts the eponymous company moving out, led by Captain Frans Banning Cocq (dressed in black, with a red sash) and his lieutenant, Willem van Ruytenburch (dressed in yellow, with a white sash). With effective use of sunlight and shade, Rembrandt leads the eye to the three most important characters among the crowd, the two gentlemen in the centre (from whom the painting gets its original title),
Olympia is an oil on canvas painting by Édouard Manet. Painted in 1863, it measures 130.5 by 190 centimetres (51 x 74.8 in). The nation of France acquired the painting in 1890 with a public subscription organized by Claude Monet. It is now in the Musée d'Orsay, Paris.
Though Manet's The Luncheon on the Grass (Le déjeuner sur l'herbe) sparked controversy in 1863, his Olympia stirred an even bigger uproar when it was first exhibited at the 1865 Paris Salon. Conservatives condemned the work as "immoral" and "vulgar." Journalist Antonin Proust later recalled, "If the canvas of the Olympia was not destroyed, it is only because of the precautions that were taken by the administration." However, the work had proponents as well. Émile Zola quickly proclaimed it Manet's "masterpiece" and added, "When other artists correct nature by painting Venus they lie. Manet asked himself why he should lie. Why not tell the truth?"
The painting was inspired by Titian's Venus of Urbino, which in turn refers to Giorgione's Sleeping Venus. There is also some similarity to Francisco Goya's La maja desnuda (c. 1800).
There were also pictorial precedents for a nude woman, attended by a black servant, such as
Madonna and Child with Flowers, otherwise known as the Benois Madonna, could be one of two Madonnas Leonardo da Vinci had commented on having started in October 1478. The other one could be Madonna with the Carnation from Munich.
It is likely that the Benois Madonna was the first work painted by Leonardo independently from his master Verrocchio. There are two of Leonardo's preliminary sketches for this piece in the British Museum.
The composition of Madonna and Child with Flowers proved to be one of Leonardo's most popular. It was extensively copied by young painters, including Raphael, whose own version of Leonardo's design (the Madonna of the Pinks) was acquired in 2004 by the National Gallery, London.
For centuries, Madonna and Child with Flowers was considered lost. In 1909, the architect Leon Benois sensationally exhibited it in St Petersburg as part of his father-in-law's collection. The painting had been apparently brought from Italy to Russia by the notable connoisseur Alexander Korsakov in the 1790s. Upon Korsakov's death, it was sold by his son to the Astrakhan merchant Sapozhnikov for 1400 roubles and so passed by inheritance to the Benois family in 1880. After many a
The Scream (Norwegian: Skrik) is the popular name given to each of four versions of a composition, created as both paintings and pastels, by the Expressionist artist Edvard Munch between 1893 and 1910. Der Schrei der Natur (The Scream of Nature) is the title Munch gave to these works, all of which show a figure with an agonized expression against a landscape with a tumultuous red sky. The landscape in the background is the Oslofjord, viewed from Ekeberg, Oslo, Norway.
Edvard Munch created the four versions in various media. The National Gallery, Oslo, holds one of two painted versions (1893, shown at right). The Munch Museum holds the other painted version (1910, see gallery) and a pastel version from 1893. The three versions have not traveled for years.
The fourth version (pastel, 1895) sold for $119,922,500 at Sotheby's Impressionist and Modern art auction on 2 May 2012 to financier Leon Black, the highest nominal price paid for a painting at auction. (The Card Players by Paul Cézanne was sold privately in 2011 for between $250 and 300 million.)
Also in 1895, Munch created a lithograph stone of the image. Of the lithograph prints produced by Munch, several examples survive. Only
The Portrait of a Young Woman (also known as La fornarina) is a painting by the Italian High Renaissance master Raphael, made between 1518 and 1520. It is in the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica in Palazzo Barberini, Rome.
It is probable that the picture was in the painter's studio at his death in 1520, and that it was modified and then sold by his assistant Giulio Romano. In the 16th century the picture was in the house of the Countess of Santafiora, a Roman noblewoman, and subsequently became property of the Duke Boncompagni and then of the Galleria Nazionale which still possesses it.
The woman is traditionally identified with the fornarina (bakeress) Margherita Luti, Raphael's Roman mistress, though this has been questioned. The woman is pictured with an oriental style hat and bare breasts. She is making the gesture to cover her left breast, or to turn it with her hand, and is illuminated by a strong artificial light coming from the external. Her left arm has a narrow band carrying the signature of the artist, RAPHAEL URBINAS. It has been suggested that the right hand on the left breast reveals a cancerous breast tumour disguised in a classic pose of love.
X-Ray analyses have
Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows was painted by John Constable in 1831, one year after his wife’s death. He later added nine lines from “The Seasons” by the eighteenth-century poet James Thomson that reveal the painting's meaning: That the rainbow is a symbol of hope after a storm that follows on the death of the young Amelia in the arms of her lover Celadon. Constable exhibited this painting at the Royal Academy in 1831, but continued working on it during 1833 and 1834.
This painting was a personal statement of his turbulent emotions and his changing states of mind. Possible political meanings have been attributed to it, one of which being the clash of industrialization and nature represented through the clash of elements.
Some symbolism in this painting includes:
The Last Supper (Italian: Il Cenacolo or L'Ultima Cena) is a late 15th century mural painting by Leonardo da Vinci in the refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria della Grazie, Milan. The work is presumed to have been commenced around 1495 and was commissioned as part of a scheme of renovations to the church and its convent buildings by Leonardo's patron Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan. The painting represents the scene of The Last Supper of Jesus with his disciples, as it is told in the Gospel of John, 13:21. Leonardo has depicted the consternation that occurred among the Twelve Disciples when Jesus announced that one of them would betray him.
The Last Supper measures 460 × 880 cm (15 feet × 29 ft) and covers an end wall of the dining hall at the monastery of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Italy. The theme was a traditional one for refectories, although the room was not a refectory at the time that Leonardo painted it. The main church building had only recently been completed (in 1498), but was remodeled by Bramante, hired by Ludovico Sforza to build a Sforza family mausoleum. The painting was commissioned by Sforza to be the centerpiece of the mausoleum. The lunettes above the
Ivy is the title the Dutch Post-Impressionist artist Vincent van Gogh connected with two paintings executed in Saint-Rémy, during the summer of 1889. Both size 30 canvases, the first upright version supplies a view of a stone bench in the garden of the hospital, while the second concentrates on the vegetation, allowing only a glimpse on the sunny paths beyond.
Van Gogh incorporated the first version in his selection of works to be displayed at Les XX, Brussels, in 1890.
Portrait of Tommaso Inghirami is an oil painting by Italian artist Raphael. Painted ca. 1509, it exists in two copies, one of which is in display in the Palatina Gallery in Florence and the other in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Known for its realism and attention to detail, the image is reminiscent of works by Hans Holbein the Elder, by whom Raphael may have been influenced in its execution. Stylistically, it relates to Raphael's Portrait of Agnolo Doni, ca.1506, in what Claudio Strinati described in 1998 as its "merciless clarity."
The subject of the painting, Tommaso Inghirami, was a friend of Raphael's, a prelate nicknamed Phaedra following a skillful exhibition of Latin poetry improvisation during a performance of Seneca's Phaedra wherein he carried the title role. A popular orator and actor, Tommaso Inghirami suffered from strabismus. According to 2005's Cambridge Companion to Raphael, the piece is "the first likeness into which Raphael introduced the concept of movement", in the twist of his body as he contemplates his composition. By means of this device, Raphael focused attention away from his subject's disfigurement.
The San Giovenale Triptych or Cascia Altarpiece is a 1422 painting by Italian Renaissance artist Masaccio, housed in a museum behind the church of Cascia di Reggello, in the Roman Pieve of San Pietro di Cascia near Florence, Italy.
This work, discovered in 1961 in a state of poor preservation, in the loft of a house adjacent to the small chapel of San Giovenale two kilometres from Cascia by Juliana Arnetoli. It had allegedly been hidden there before the second world war to prevent the occupying German army from removing it from the chapel. It is probably the first original work by Masaccio. It was commissioned by the Florentine family of Castellani for the Basilica of San Lorenzo, and was later moved to San Giovenale.
It is dated at the bottom in modern humanist letters, the first work in Europe not inscribed in Gothic characters, which read, "ANNO DOMINI MCCCCXXII A DI VENTITRE D'AP[RILE]" (April 23, 1422). The central panel shows the Madonna enthroned with two angels and the child Jesus eating some vine, as a symbol of the Eucharist. The left panel depicts Saint Bartholomew and Saint Blaise, and the right panel depicts Saint Anthony and Saint Juvenal (Giovenale). The left and
The Sleeping Venus, also known as the Dresden Venus, is a painting by the Italian Renaissance master Giorgione, with, it is now generally accepted, the landscape and sky, by Titian, completed after Giorgione's death in 1510, as Vasari first noted. It is in the Gemäldegalerie, Dresden.
The painting, one of the last works by Giorgione, portrays a nude woman whose profile seems to follow that of the hills in the background. Giorgione put a great deal of effort into painting the background details and shadows. The choice of a nude woman marked a revolution in art, and is considered by some authorities one of the starting points of modern art. The painting was unfinished at the time of his death. The landscape and sky were later finished by Titian, who later painted the similar Venus of Urbino.
Underlying erotic implications are made by Venus's raised arm and the placement of her left hand on her groin. The sheets are painted in silver, being a cold color rather than the more commonly used warm tones for linens, and they are rigid looking in comparison to those depicted in similar paintings by Titian or Velázquez. The landscape mimics the curves of the woman's body and this, in turn,
St. Jerome in His Study is a painting by the Italian Renaissance master Antonello da Messina, thought to have been completed around 1460-1475. It is currently housed in the National Gallery, London.
The picture was painted by Antonello during his Venetian sojourn, and was property of Antonio Pasqualino.
The small picture portrays St. Jerome working in his studio, a room without walls and ceiling seen from a kind of triumphal arch (probably within some church of Aragonese style). As in several other works by the Messinese painter, the main scene is accompanied by a host of details, that have point of contacts with the contemporary Flemish school: books, animals, objects, all painted with a magnificent taste for details and "optical truth".
The scene is devised such that the light rays coincide with the perspective axes, centering on the saints's bust and hands. A Mediterranean landscape is hinted at through the windows opening on both sides of the study. Animals include a partridge (alectoris graeca) and a peacock, in the foreground, both having symbolical meanings, a cat and a mysterious lion in the shade on the right.
Antonello uses many symbols throughout the painting. The book
Supper at Emmaus (1606) is a painting by the Italian master Caravaggio, housed in the Pinacoteca di Brera (Sala XXIX), Milan.
In the collection of Marchese Patrizi by 1624 and possibly commissioned by him, references by Caravaggio's early biographers Giulio Mancini and Giovanni Bellori suggest it was painted in the few months after May 1606 when the artist was in hiding on the estates of Prince Marzio Colonna following the death of Ranuccio Tomassoni (see main article, Caravaggio), although it may also have been painted in Rome earlier in the year - the innkeeper's wife seems to be the same as the model for Saint Anne in Madonna and Child with St. Anne of 1605, although given the almost complete echoing of pose and lighting, she may have been done from memory.
The painting inevitably invites comparison with the National Gallery version of the same subject: the expansive theatrical guestures have become understated and natural, the shadows are darkened, and the colours muted although still saturated. The effect is to emphasise presence more than drama. Some details - the ear of the disciple on the right, the right hand of the innkeeper's wife - remain badly drawn, but there is a
Cutting the Stone, also called The Extraction of the Stone of Madness or The Cure of Folly, is a painting by Hieronymus Bosch in the Museo del Prado in Madrid, completed around 1494 or later.
The painting depicts the extraction of the stone of madness, a "keye" (modern Dutch: kei) (in English a "stone" or "bulb") from a patient's head, using trepanation by a man wearing a funnel hat. In the painting Bosch has exchanged the traditional "stone" as the object of extraction with the bulb of a flower. Another flower is on the table.
The Gothic inscription reads
Lubbert Das was a comical (foolish) character in Dutch literature.
It is possible that the flower is a pun on "tulip head" - meaning mad in Netherlands. Another possibility is that the flower hints that the doctor is a charlatan as does the funnel hat. The woman balancing a book on her head is thought by Skemmer to be a satire of the Flemish custom of wearing amulets made out of books and scripture, a pictogram for the word phylactery. Otherwise, she is thought to depict folly.
This painting, and others by Bosch, were an inspiration to the works of the seminal Punk musicians Wire. On their album, "The Ideal Copy", they included a
David with the Head of Goliath is a painting by the Italian Baroque artist Caravaggio. It is housed in the Galleria Borghese, Rome. The painting, which was in the collection of Cardinal Scipione Borghese in 1613, has been dated as early as 1605 and as late as 1609–1610, with more recent scholars tending towards the latter.
The immediate inspiration for Caravaggio is a work by a follower of Giorgione, c.1510, but Caravaggio captures the drama more effectively by having the head dangling from David's hand and dripping blood, rather than resting on a ledge. The sword in David's hand carries an abbreviated inscription H-AS OS; this has been interpreted as an abbreviation of the Latin phrase Humilitas occidit superbiam ("humility kills pride").
David is perturbed, "his expression mingling sadness and compassion." The decision to depict him as pensive rather than jubilant creates an unusual psychological bond between him and Goliath. This bond is further complicated by the fact that Caravaggio has depicted himself as Goliath, while the model for David is il suo Caravaggino ("his own little Caravaggio"). This most plausibly refers to Cecco del Caravaggio, the artist's studio assistant in
Liberty Displaying the Arts and Sciences (1792) is an oil-on-canvas painting by American artist Samuel Jennings.
The Library Company of Philadelphia, a private lending library founded in the mid-18th century, commissioned Jennings (an ex-Philadelphian relocated to London) to create a work depicting "the figure of Liberty (with her cap and proper Insignia) displaying the arts", as a representation of slavery and a symbol of the abolitionist movement.
Jennings's painting shows a blond, white Goddess of Liberty (with a liberty cap on a pike or spear) presenting books (the catalog of the Library Company, and two others, labeled "philosophy" and "agriculture") to three grateful, supplicant blacks (freed slaves). Surrounding the four figures, in the foreground, are various symbols of knowledge and learning: a bust, a scroll (labeled "geometry"), papers and columns (architecture); a globe (geography), a lyre and sheet music (music), and a paper with escutcheons on it (history and heraldry). In the background, former slaves are dancing and celebrating around a liberty pole; behind them is a ship on some body of water.
The work is the earliest American painting extant celebrating
The Tragedy of Lucretia is a tempera and oil painting on a wood cassone or spalliera panel by the Italian Renaissance master Sandro Botticelli, painted between 1496 and 1504. Known less formally as the Botticelli Lucretia, it is housed in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum of Boston, having been owned by Isabella Stewart Gardner in her lifetime.
The picture is a syncretion of scenes from different legendary themes in different time periods that Botticelli considered related. The topic is revolt against tyranny, a popular one in the volatile Italian republics. The main scene is given center foreground. It is the beginning of the revolution that created the Roman republic. The legend is that Lucretia, a noblewoman, was taken advantage of by the son of the last king of Rome, Sextus Tarquinius (see under Lucretia). As a result, Lucius Junius Brutus took an oath to expel the Tarquinii from Rome and never to allow anyone else to reign. In the centre of the picture Lucretia's corpse is on public display as a heroine. Brutus stands over her exhorting the populace to revolt and recruiting a revolutionary army of young men. There is much sword-waving. The dagger with which Lucretia killed
"The Toilet of Venus" is an oil-on-canvas painting by French painter François Boucher (1703–1770). It once decorated the appartement des bains of Madame de Pompadour's château de Bellevue. Today it is part of the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, NY.
Baptism of St. Zenobius and His Appointment as a Bishop is a painting by the Italian Renaissance master Sandro Botticelli, c. 1500-1505.
The Histories of St. Zenobius are the last known work of Botticelli. The other three paintings are:
La maja desnuda (known in English as The Nude Maja or sometimes The Naked Maja) is an oil on canvas painting by the Spanish painter Francisco Goya (1746–1828), portraying a nude woman reclining on a bed of pillows. It was executed some time between 1797 and 1800, and is among the first clear depictions of female pubic hair in a large Western painting. The painting has been in the Museo del Prado in Madrid since 1910.
Goya created another painting of the same woman identically posed, but clothed, entitled La maja vestida (The Clothed Maja); also in the Prado, it is usually hung next to La maja desnuda. The identity of the model and why the paintings were created are still unknown. Both paintings were first recorded as belonging to the collection of Prime Minister Manuel de Godoy, Duke of Alcudia, and it has been conjectured that the woman depicted was his young mistress. It has also been suggested that the woman was María del Pilar Teresa Cayetana de Silva y Álvarez de Toledo, 13th Duchess of Alba, with whom Goya is rumored to have been romantically involved and did complete known portraits of. However, many scholars have rejected this possibility, including Australian art critic
Landscape with the Fall of Icarus is a painting in oil on canvas (73.5 by 112 centimetres (28.9 × 44 in)) long thought to be by Pieter Bruegel, although following technical examinations in 1996, that attribution is regarded as very doubtful, and it is now seen as a good early copy by an unknown artist of Bruegel's original, perhaps painted in the 1560s.
Largely derived from Ovid, the painting itself became the subject of a poem of the same name by William Carlos Williams, and is described in W. H. Auden's famous poem Musée des Beaux-Arts, named after the museum in which the painting is housed in Brussels.
In Greek mythology, Icarus succeeded in flying, with wings made by his father Daedalus, using feathers secured with wax. Ignoring his father's warnings, Icarus chose to fly too close to the sun, melting the wax, and fell into the sea and drowned. His legs can be seen in the water just below the ship. The sun, already half-set on the horizon, is a long way away; the flight did not reach anywhere near it.
The ploughman, shepherd and angler are mentioned in Ovid's account of the legend; they are: "astonished and think to see gods approaching them through the aether", which is not
The Mérode Altarpiece is a triptych by the Early Netherlandish painter Robert Campin, although believed by some to be by a follower, probably copying an original by Campin. It is currently described by the Metropolitan as by "Robert Campin and assistant". It was created after 1422, likely between 1425 and 1428.
As arguably the finest Early Netherlandish work in New York, and in North America until the Washington Van Eyck Annunciation was acquired, it has become Campin's best known work, helped by the undoubted charm of the domestic setting and townscape outside the windows.
The piece is a hinged triptych, or three part panel. It was probably commissioned for private use, as the central panel is a relatively small 64 x 63 cm and each wing measures 65 x 27 cm. The portraits of the donors are in the left panel; the figure of the female donor, and the servant behind her, appear to have been added to the painting after completion by a different artist, perhaps after the donor married. They are identifiable as bourgeoisie from nearby Mechelen who are documented in Tournai in 1427, by the coats-of-arms in stained-glass in the window of the central panel. The central panel shows an
Narcissus is a painting by the Italian Baroque master Caravaggio, painted circa 1597-1599. It is housed in the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica in Rome.
This is one of only two known Caravaggios on a theme from Classical mythology, although this reflects the accidents of survival rather than the historical reality. The story of Narcissus, told by the poet Ovid in his Metamorphoses, is of a handsome youth who falls in love with his own reflection. The story was well known in the circles of collectors, such as Cardinal Francesco Maria Del Monte and the banker Vincenzo Giustiniani, in which Caravaggio was moving at this period. The story of Narcissus was particularly appealing to artists (or at least the kind who painted for the educated tastes of patrons such as Giustiniani and Del Monte), for reasons explained by the Renaissance theorist Leon Battista Alberti: "the inventor of painting ... was Narcissus ... What is painting but the act of embracing by means of art the surface of the pool?"
The painting conveys an air of brooding melancholy: the figure of Narcissus is locked in a circle with his reflection, surrounded by darkness, so that the only reality is inside this
Saint Francis in Meditation (c. 1604/06 or 1607/10), is a painting by the Italian master Caravaggio, in the Museo Civico, Cremona.
This is one of two paintings of almost identical measurements showing Saint Francis of Assisi contemplating a skull (see Saint Francis in Prayer) - neither is documented and both are disputed, although the dispute is as to whether they are originals or copies. The dating of both is highly uncertain, although the cypress trunk behind this Saint Francis is very reminiscent of the tree behind the Corsini John the Baptist. St Francis was a popular subject during the Counter-Reformation, when the Church stressed - at least officially - the virtues of poverty and the imitation of Christ.
The Deposition from the Cross is an altarpiece of the Deposition of Christ by the Italian Renaissance painter Jacopo Pontormo, completed in 1528. It is broadly considered to be the artist's surviving masterpiece. Painted in oil on wood, The Deposition is located above the altar of the Capponi Chapel at the church of Santa Felicita, in Florence.
This painting suggests a whirling dance of the grief-stricken. They inhabit a flattened space, comprising a sculptural congregation of brightly demarcated colors. The vortex of the composition droops down towards the limp body of Jesus off center in the left. Those lowering Christ appear to demand our help in sustaining both the weight of his body (and the burden of sin Christ took on) and their grief. No Cross is visible; the natural world itself also appears to have nearly vanished: a lonely cloud and a shadowed patch of ground with a crumpled sheet provide sky and stratum for the mourners. If the sky and earth have lost color, the mourners have not; bright swathes of pink and blue envelop the pallid, limp Christ.
Pontormo's undulating mannerist contortions have been interpreted as intending to express apoplectic and uncontrolled spasms of
The Fighting Temeraire tugged to her last Berth to be broken up, 1838 is an oil painting executed in 1839 by the English artist J. M. W. Turner. It depicts one of the last second-rate ships of the line which played a distinguished role in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, the 98-gun ship HMS Temeraire, being towed towards its final berth in Rotherhithe south east London in 1838 to be broken up for scrap. The painting hangs in the National Gallery, London, having been bequeathed to the nation by the artist in 1851.
Sir Henry Newbolt wrote a ballad titled The Fighting Temeraire, referencing the scenario depicted: "And she's fading down the river, But in England's song for ever, She's the Fighting Téméraire." Turner himself presented the painting for display in 1839 accompanied by an altered excerpt from Thomas Campbell's poem Ye Mariners of England, reading:
"The flag which braved the battle and the breeze,
"No longer owns her."
When Turner came to paint this picture in 1839 he was at the height of his career, having exhibited at the Royal Academy, London, for 40 years. He was renowned for his highly atmospheric paintings in which he explored the subjects of the weather, the sea and
The Harvesters is an oil on wood painting by Pieter Bruegel in 1565. The painting is one in a series of six works, five of which are still extant, that depict different times of the year. As in many of his paintings, the focus is on peasants and their work. Notably, some of the peasants are shown eating while others are harvesting, a diachronic (relating to phenomena — ideas/language/culture — as they occur or change over a period of time) depiction of both the production and consumption of food. In the center left of the painting, a group of villagers can be seen participating in the blood sport of cock throwing. The painting is currently located in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, located in New York City.
Fall of Leaves (original French title: Chûte de feuillus), or Falling Autumn Leaves is a pair of paintings (in French pendants, i. e. counterparts) by the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh executed during the two months he shared his studio in Arles with his friend and mentor Paul Gauguin, as well as the subjects they chose.
Following months of correspondence, Paul Gauguin joins Van Gogh in Arles in October 1888. Both were intent on depicting a "non-naturalist landscape". The paintings are of the first works that van Gogh and Gauguin painted following Gauguin's arrival.
Van Gogh and Gauguin visited an ancient Roman necropolis, "Les Alyscamps", which had been built by the Romans outside city walls. Over time the grounds were overtaken by factories and the railroad, leaving the Allee des Tombeaux, the avenue of tombs, a lane of shady poplar trees that led to a Romanesque chapel.
During a period of bad weather Van Gogh worked on a second pair of "Les Alyscamps" paintings, which were taken from a vantage point above the lane and looking through the poplar trees, made in the studio. The yellow-orange of the leaves contrast to the violet-blue trunks of the poplar trees. This painting, made
John the Baptist (sometimes called John in the Wilderness) was the subject of at least eight paintings by the Italian Baroque artist Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571–1610).
The story of John the Baptist is told in the Gospels. John was the cousin of Jesus, and his calling was to prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah. He lived in the wilderness of Judea between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, "his raiment of camel's hair, and a leather girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey." He baptised Jesus in the Jordan, and was eventually killed by Herod Antipas when he called upon the king to reform his evil ways. John was frequently shown in Christian art, identifiable by his bowl, reed cross, camel's skin and lamb. The most popular scene prior to the Counter-Reformation was of John's baptism of Jesus, or else the infant Baptist together with the infant Jesus and Mary his mother, frequently supplemented by the Baptist's own mother St Elizabeth. John alone in the desert was less popular, but not unknown. For the young Caravaggio, John was invariably a boy or youth alone in the wilderness. This image was based on the statement in the Gospel of Luke that "the
The Madonna of the Book, also known as the Madonna del Libro, is a small painting by the Italian Renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli, circa 1483. It is housed in the Museo Poldi Pezzoli in Milan, Italy. A larger, more detailed version is currently on display at the Museum of Biblical Art in Dallas, Texas.
Martha and Mary Magdalene (c. 1598) is a painting by the Italian Baroque master Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. It is in the Detroit Institute of Arts. Alternate titles include Martha Reproving Mary, The Conversion of the Magdalene.
The painting shows the sisters Martha and Mary from the New Testament. Martha is in the act of converting Mary from her life of pleasure to the life of virtue in Christ. Martha, her face shadowed, leans forward, passionately arguing with Mary, who twirls an orange blossom between her fingers as she holds a mirror, symbolising the vanity she is about to give up. The power of the image lies in Mary's face, caught at the moment when conversion begins.
Martha and Mary was painted while Caravaggio was living in the palazzo of his patron, Cardinal Francesco Maria Del Monte. His paintings for Del Monte fall into two groups: the secular genre pieces such as The Musicians, The Lute Player, and Bacchus - all featuring boys and youths in somewhat claustophobic interior scenes - and religious images such as Rest on the Flight into Egypt and Ecstasy of Saint Francis. Among the religious paintings was a group of four works featuring the same two female models,
Oath of the Horatii (French: Le Serment des Horaces), is a large painting by the French artist Jacques-Louis David painted in 1784 and now in the Louvre in Paris. The painting immediately became a huge success with critics and the public, and remains the best known painting of Neoclassicism.
It depicts a scene from a Roman legend about a dispute between two warring cities; Rome and Alba Longa, when three brothers from a Roman family, the Horatii, agree to end the war by fighting three brothers from a family of Alba Longa, the Curiatii. The three brothers, all of whom appear willing to sacrifice their lives for the good of Rome, are shown saluting their father who holds their swords out for them. The principal sources for the story behind David's Oath are the first book of Livy (sections 24-6) which was elaborated by Dionysius in book 3 of his Roman Antiquities. However, the moment depicted in David's painting is his own invention.
It grew to be considered a paradigm of neoclassical art. The painting increased David's fame, allowing him to rear his own students.
In 1774, David won the Prix de Rome with his work Érasistrate découvrant la cause de la maladie d’Antiochius. This allowed
The Portrait of Fra Antonio Martelli (c. 1607/1608) is a painting by the Italian master Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, in the Palazzo Pitti, Florence.
Until recently it was thought that this painting represented Alof de Wignacourt, Grand Master of the Order of the Knights of Malta, and that it was a preparatory study for the large and famous Portrait of Alof de Wignacourt and his Page, but recent documentary discoveries indicate that it is the portrait of another prominent member of the Order, Antonio Martelli of Florence, Prior of Messina.
Portrait of Pope Julius II is an oil painting attributed to Italian painter Raphael. This painting of Pope Julius II, who was a popular subject for Raphael and his students, was unusual for its time and would carry a long influence on papal portraiture. From its beginning, it was specially hung at the pillars of Santa Maria del Popolo, at the gates to Rome, for feast and high holy days.
For many years, a version of the painting which now hangs in the Uffizi Gallery was believed to be the original, but in 1970 opinion shifted. The original is currently believed to be the version hanging in the National Gallery, London.
The painting is a portrait of Pope Julius II. The subject was a popular one. According to the 1901 catalogue of the National Gallery, "This portrait was repeated several times by Raphael, or his scholars. Passavant enumerates nine repetitions...besides three of the head only." There is a possible cartoon for the London version in the Palazzo Corsini, Florence, and a red chalk drawing at Chatsworth House.
The presentation of the subject was unusual for its time. Previous Papal portraits showed them frontally, or kneeling in profile. It was also "exceptional" at this
The Blue Boy (c. 1770) is an oil painting by Thomas Gainsborough. Perhaps Gainsborough's most famous work, it is thought to be a portrait of Jonathan Buttall, the son of a wealthy hardware merchant, although this has never been proven. It is a historical costume study as well as a portrait: the youth in his 17th-century apparel is regarded as Gainsborough's homage to Anthony Van Dyck, and in particular is very close to Van Dyck's portrait of Charles II as a boy.
Gainsborough had already painted something on the canvas before beginning The Blue Boy, which he painted over. The painting itself is on a fairly large canvas for a portrait, measuring 48 inches (1,200 mm) wide by 70 inches (1,800 mm) tall. The portrait now resides in the Huntington Library, San Marino, California.
Gainsborough painted the portrait in response to the advice of rival Joshua Reynolds, who had written:
"It ought, in my opinion, to be indispensably observed, that the masses of light in a picture be always of a warm, mellow colour, yellow, red, or a yellowish white, and that the blue, the grey, or the green colours be kept almost entirely out of these masses, and be used only to support or set off these warm
The Incredulity of Saint Thomas is a painting of the subject of the same name by the Italian Baroque master Caravaggio, c. 1601–1602. It is housed in the Sanssouci of Potsdam, Germany.
According to St John's Gospel, Thomas the Apostle missed one of Jesus's appearances to the Apostles after His resurrection, and said "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it." A week later Jesus appeared and told Thomas to touch Him and stop doubting. Then Jesus said, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
In the painting, Thomas's face shows surprise as Jesus holds his hand and guides it into the wound. The absence of a halo emphasizes the corporeality of the risen Christ. The work is in chiaroscuro.
This picture is probably related to Saint Matthew and the Angel (1602) and the The Sacrifice of Isaac (1603), all having a model in common. It belonged to Vincenzo Giustiniani before entering the Prussian royal collection, surviving the Second World War intact. This is the most copied painting of Caravaggio, with 22 copies from the 17th century
The Marriage of the Virgin, also known as Lo Sposalizio, is an oil painting by Italian High Renaissance artist Raphael. Completed in 1504 for a Franciscan church in Città di Castello, the painting depicts a marriage ceremony between Mary and Joseph. It changed hands several times before settling in 1806 at the Pinacoteca di Brera.
In the early years of the 16th century, patrons in Città di Castello sent three commissions to Raphael's teacher Pietro Perugino which, in Perugino's absence, were completed by Raphael. The Marriage of the Virgin was the last of these. Evidently inspired by one of Perugino's paintings, also known as Marriage of the Virgin, Raphael completed his own work, according to the date placed next to his signature, in 1504. There have been several historians who have disputed that Perugino's painting preceded Raphael's and some who have suggested the painting was not Perugino's at all but instead produced after Raphael's by one of Perugino's followers, but 16th century documentary evidence supports the conclusion that Perugino had begun working on the painting in 1499, though it was not completed until some point after December 26, 1503.
This particular piece was
The Night Café (original French title: Le Café de nuit) is an oil painting created in Arles in September 1888, by Vincent van Gogh. Its title is inscribed lower right beneath the signature.
The interior depicted is the Café de la Gare, 30 Place Lamartine, run by Joseph-Michel and his wife Marie Ginoux, who in November 1888 posed for Van Gogh's and Gauguin's Arlésienne; a bit later, Joseph Ginoux evidently posed for both artists, too.
The painting was executed on industrial primed canvas of size 30 (French standard). It depicts the interior of the cafe, with a half-curtained doorway in the center background leading, presumably, to more private quarters. Five customers sit at tables along the walls to the left and right, and a waiter in a light coat, to one side of a billiard table near the center of the room, stands facing the viewer.
The five customers depicted in the scene have been described as "three drunks and derelicts in a large public room [...] huddled down in sleep or stupor." One scholar wrote, "The cafe was an all-night haunt of local down-and-outs and prostitutes, who are depicted slouched at tables and drinking together at the far end of the room.".
A Girl Asleep, also known as A Woman Asleep, A Woman Asleep at Table, and A Maid Asleep, is a painting by the Dutch master Johannes Vermeer, 1657. It is housed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and may not be lent elsewhere under the terms of the donor's bequest.
According to Liedtke, the presence of the dog would have alluded to "the sort of impromptu relationships canine suitors strike up on the street." The man and the dog were replaced with a mirror on a far wall, suggesting how the experience of the senses quickly passes, and a chair left at an angle with a pillow on it, possibly signifying indolence, together with a hint of recent company. The idea that she was recently together with someone is reinforced by the wine pitcher, the glass on its side and the possible presence of a knife and fork on the table. The Chinese bowl with fruit is a symbol of temptation, and for a Vermeer contemporary familiar with the symbolism of Dutch art of the time, the knife and jug lying open-mouthed under a gauzy material would have brought to mind more than social intercourse.
The painting was very likely owned by Vermeer's patron, Pieter van Ruijvan, who also owned The
The Death of the Virgin (1606) is a painting completed by the Italian Baroque master Caravaggio. It is a near contemporary with the Madonna with Saint Anne now at the Galleria Borghese. It was commissioned by Laerzio Alberti, a papal lawyer, for his chapel in the Carmelite church of Santa Maria della Scala in Trastevere, Rome.
The depiction of the Death of the Virgin caused a contemporary stir, and was rejected as unfit by the parish. It was acquired by the Gonzaga family in Mantua and subsequently, upon the recommendation by Peter Paul Rubens, who praised it as one of Caravaggio's best works, the painting was bought by Vincenzo Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua, whose collection had later to be sold to Charles I of England. After his execution the English Commonwealth put his collection up for sale, and the painting was bought for the French Royal Collection, which after the French Revolution became the property of the state. Today it hangs in the Louvre. Prior to leaving Rome, it was exposed at the Academy of Painters for under two weeks, however, by then, Caravaggio had fled Rome, never to publicly return. During one of his frequent brawls in Rome, the mercurial and impulsive Caravaggio
Garçon à la Pipe (English: Boy with a Pipe) is a painting by Pablo Picasso. It was painted in 1905 when Picasso was 24 years old, during his Rose Period, soon after he settled in the Montmartre section of Paris, France. The oil on canvas painting depicts a Parisian boy holding a pipe in his left hand and wearing a garland or wreath of flowers.
Early preparations of this work involved positioning the boy in all types of poses that involved standing, sitting or leaning against the wall. After much repositioning of the model, Picasso decided to go with the boy sitting down. Next was how to position the arm, where much time was also spent on the height and angle. Early works do not show any objects other than a pipe being used.
Although Picasso started to paint this picture, he gave it a rest period for about a month. During this time, Picasso decided to finish it off by placing a garland of flowers on the boy's head.
Le Bateau-Lavoir in Montmartre is where Picasso was living when he painted the picture. Some of the local people made a living in the entertainment industry, such as being clowns or acrobats. Picasso used many local people in his pictures, but little is known about the
The Holy Trinity, with the Virgin and Saint John and donors (Italian: Santa Trinità ) is a fresco by the Early Italian Renaissance painter Masaccio. It is located in the Dominican church of Santa Maria Novella, in Florence.
The Trinity is thought to have been created by Masaccio sometime between 1425-1427. He died in late 1428 at the age of 26, or having just turned 27, leaving behind a relatively small body of work. This painting was one of his last major commissions, and is considered to be one of his masterpieces.
The fresco is located along the middle of the basilica's left aisle. Although the configuration of this space has changed since the artwork was created, there are clear indications that the fresco was aligned very precisely in relationship with the sight-lines and perspective arrangement of the room at the time; particularly a former entrance-way facing the painting; in order to enhance the tromp l'oeil effect. There was also an actual altar-table, mounted as a shelf between the upper and lower sections of the fresco, further emphasizing the "reality" of the artiface.
Not much is known about the details of the commission; no contemporaneous documents naming the
Portraits painted by Vincent van Gogh throughout his career from 1881 through 1890.
Emile Bernard described Van Gogh as having "a sharp glace and a mouth incisively set as if to speak." Aside from consistent intensity to portraits of Van Gogh, his actual appearance seems allusive. For instance, John Russell's painting of Van Gogh looking over his shoulder seems strikingly different than the Toulouse-Lautrec's painting of Van Gogh leaning over a café table.
Van Gogh was fascinated with making portraits early in his artistic career. He wrote to his brother, Theo while studying in The Hague, "I want to do a drawing that not quite everybody will understand, the figure simplified to the essentials, with a deliberate disregard of those details that do not belong to the actual character and are merely accidental." As an example, he discussed having their parents pose for a painting, but that, in capturing the character of a "poor village clergyman" or "a couple who have grown old together in love and fidelity", they may not not appreciate the work, because in doing so the painting would not be an exact likeness. Even so, he considered it a "serious matter" to focus on their character, one
Portrait of Pietro Bembo, also called Portrait of the Young Pietro Bembo, is an oil painting by Italian artist Raphael. Completed ca. 1506, the painting hangs in the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest.
The image is ostensibly a portrait of Venetian Cardinal Pietro Bembo, Raphael's long-time friend. Raphael did make a black chalk drawing of Bembo during Bembo's visit to Urbino in 1506. The picture hung in Bembo's home for years before it disappeared.
The lack of resemblance of this picture to its namesake, particularly in the nose, has led to other subjects being proposed, including Agnolo Doni, whom Raphael painted around the same time. In a 2004 biography of Bembo, Carol Kidwell states that the subject "appears a happy courtier, not a man set on making his mark in the world, and he wears a red beret while Venetian noblemen wore black."
The Starry Night (Dutch: De sterrennacht) is a painting by the Dutch post-impressionist artist Vincent van Gogh. The painting depicts the view outside his sanitorium room window at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence (located in southern France) at night, although it was painted from memory during the day. It has been in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, part of the Lillie P. Bliss Bequest, since 1941. One of Van Gogh's most popular pieces, the painting is widely hailed as his magnum opus.
In September 1888, before his December breakdown that resulted in his hospitalisation in Arles, he painted Starry Night Over the Rhone. Van Gogh wrote about this painting::
In mid-September 1889, following a heavy crisis which lasted from mid-July to the last days of August, he thought to include Starry Night in the next batch of works to be sent to his brother, Theo, in Paris. In order to reduce the shipping costs, he withheld three of the studies, including Starry Night. These three went to Paris with the shipment that followed. When Theo did not immediately report its arrival, Vincent inquired again and finally received Theo's commentary on his recent work.
The Virgin of the Rocks (sometimes the Madonna of the Rocks) is the name used for two Late Renaissance paintings by Leonardo da Vinci, of the same subject, and of a composition which is identical except for two significant details. One painting usually hangs in the Louvre, Paris, and the other in the National Gallery, London. For a few months in late 2011 and early 2012 the two paintings have been brought together in an exhibition at the National Gallery, London. The paintings are both nearly 2 metres (over 6 feet) high and are painted in oils. Both were painted on wooden panel; that in the Louvre has been transferred to canvas.
Both paintings show the Madonna and Christ Child with the infant John the Baptist and an angel, in a rocky setting which gives the paintings their usual name. The significant compositional differences are in the gaze and right hand of the angel. There are many minor ways in which the works differ, including the colours, the lighting, the flora, and the way in which sfumato has been used. Although the date of an associated commission is documented, the complete histories of the two paintings are unknown, and lead to speculation about which of the two is
Bacchus and Ariadne (1523–24) is an oil painting by Titian. It is one of a cycle of paintings on mythological subjects produced for Alfonso d'Este, the Duke of Ferrara, for the Camerino d'Alabastro – a private room in his palazzo in Ferrara decorated with paintings based on classical texts. An advance payment was given to Raphael, who originally held the commission for the subject of a Triumph of Bacchus. At the time of Raphael's death in 1520, only a preliminary drawing was completed and the commission was then handed to Titian. In the case of Bacchus and Ariadne, the subject matter was derived from the Roman poets Catullus and Ovid. The painting, considered one of Titian's greatest works, now hangs in the National Gallery in London. The other major paintings in the cycle are The Feast of the Gods (mostly by Giovanni Bellini, now in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC), The Bacchanal of the Andrians and The Worship of Venus (both now in the Museo del Prado, Madrid).
Ariadne has been left on the island of Naxos, deserted by her lover Theseus, whose ship sails away to the far left. She is discovered on the shore by the god Bacchus, leading a procession of revelers in a
The Death of Marat (French: La Mort de Marat or Marat Assassiné) is a painting by Jacques-Louis David of the murdered French revolutionary leader Jean-Paul Marat. It is one of the most famous images of the Revolution. David was the leading French painter, as well as a Montagnard and a member of the revolutionary Committee of General Security. The painting shows the radical journalist lying dead in his bath on 13 July 1793 after his murder by Charlotte Corday. Painted in the months after Marat's murder, it has been described by T. J. Clark as the first modernist painting, for "the way it took the stuff of politics as its material, and did not transmute it".
Marat (May 24, 1743 – July 13, 1793) was one of the leaders of the Montagnards, the radical faction ascendant in French politics during the Terror until the Thermidorian Reaction. Charlotte Corday was a Girondin from a minor aristocratic family and a political enemy of Marat who blamed him for the September Massacre. She gained entrance to Marat's rooms with a note promising details of a counter-revolutionary ring in Caen. Marat suffered from a skin condition that caused him to work from his bath. Corday stabbed Marat, who died.
Boy Bitten by a Lizard (Italian: Ragazzo morso da un ramarro) is a painting by the Italian Baroque painter Caravaggio. It exists in two versions, both believed to be authentic works of Caravaggio, one in the Fondazione Roberto Longhi in Florence, the other in the National Gallery, London. The differences between the two versions are infinitesimal.
Both versions are thought to date from the period 1594-1596. According to art historian Roberto Longhi, the latter end of this period seems more likely, given that the paintings have all the signs of the early works painted in the household of Caravaggio's sophisticated patron Cardinal Francesco Del Monte, and that Caravaggio didn't enter the Cardinal's Palazzo Madama until some time in 1595.
As with all of Caravaggio's early output, much remains conjectural, and the identity of the model has been debated.
One theory is that the model was Mario Minniti, Caravaggio's companion and the model for several other paintings from the period; the bouffant, curly dark hair and pursed lips look similar, but in other pictures such as Boy with a Basket of Fruit and The Fortune Teller Mario looks less effeminate.
Michael Fried has proposed instead
The Doni Tondo or Doni Madonna, sometimes called The Holy Family, is the only finished panel painting by the mature Michelangelo to survive. Now in the Uffizi in Florence, Italy, and still in its original frame, the painting was probably commissioned by Agnolo Doni to commemorate his marriage to Maddalena Strozzi, the daughter of a powerful Tuscan family. The painting is in the form of a tondo, or round frame, which is frequently associated during the Renaissance with domestic ideas.
The work was most likely created during the period after the Doni's marriage in 1503 or 1504, as well as after the excavation of the Laocoön about 1506, yet before the Sistine Chapel ceiling frescoes were begun in 1508, dating the painting to approximately late 1506 or 1507. The Doni Tondo features the Christian Holy family (the child Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph) along with John the Baptist in the foreground and contains five ambiguous nude male figures in the background. The inclusion of these nude figures has been interpreted in a variety of ways.
The Virgin Mary is the most prominent figure in the composition, taking up much of the center of the image. Mary sits directly on the ground without a
The Lamentation over the Dead Christ with Saints is a painting of the Lamentation of Christ by the Italian Renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli, dated between 1490-1495. It is housed in the Museo Poldi Pezzoli of Milan.
The composition is pyramidal, with tightly connected figures. At the same times, it evocates the shape of a cross, culminating in Joseph of Arimathea, who shows the crown of thorns and the nails.
The Madonna of Loreto is a painting finished around 1508-1509 by the Italian High Renaissance painter Raphael. It is housed in the Musée Condé of Chantilly, France.
For centuries the painting kept company with the Portrait of Pope Julius II, first at the Santa Maria del Popolo, then in private collections, and for a time their location was unknown. Their ownership, or provenance, has been difficult to unravel because of the number of copies of both paintings, the unclear ownership chain, misinformation and delay of publication of vital information.
For instance, this painting received its name from a copy at the Basilica della Santa Casa in Loreto which was at one time thought to be the original. Now is it certain that the painting at Loreto was a copy - and therefore the painting name is a misnomer.
Even so, the well-copied painting has been a beloved and critically acclaimed painting for centuries.
The painting is tender and intimate. The Child, just awakened, plays a game with the Madonna's veil, with a melancholy Saint Joseph looking on from the shadows.
The use of veil in Renaissance paintings, from the Meditations on the Life of Christ, symbolizes the manner in which the
Madonna of the Harpies (Italian: Madonna delle Arpie) is a 1517 painting by Andrea del Sarto, considered his major contribution to High Renaissance art.
It is a depiction of the Virgin Mary and child on a pedestal, flanked by angels and two saints (Saint Bonaventure or Francis, and John the Evangelist). Originally completed in 1517 for the convent of San Francesco dei Macci, the altarpiece now resides in the Uffizi. The figures have a Leonardo-like aura, with a pyramid shaped composition.
The main character in the Kürk Mantolu Madonna (Madonna With A Fur Coat), a novel written by Turkish writer Sabahattin Ali, is a depiction of the Virgin Mary in Madonna of the Harpies.
The Madonna of the Yarnwinder (Madonna dei Fusi) is a subject depicted by Leonardo da Vinci in a painting begun in 1499 or some time later. Leonardo was documented as being at work on the original picture in Florence in 1501. Its patron was Florimond Robertet, the Secretary of State to King Louis XII of France. It is known today from several versions, two of which are thought to be partly by his hand.
The composition shows Virgin Mary with the Christ child, who looks longingly at a yarnwinder used to collect spun yarn. The yarnwinder serves as a symbol both of Mary's domesticity and the Cross on which Christ was crucified, and may also suggest the Fates, understood in classical mythology as spinners. Over thirty versions made by pupils and followers of Leonardo (such as Fernando Yanez de la Almedina, Hernando Llanos, Joos van Cleve and il Sodoma) remain. At least three versions are in private collections, two of them in the United States, including the one previously known as "The Landsdowne Madonna", the other one in Madrid. Other versions are held respectively in: Louvre museum, Paris; Wellington collection, London; Museo Soumaya, Mexico City; Musee des Beaux - Arts, Dijon;
Portrait of a Young Man is a painting by the Italian Renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli, circa 1483. It is housed in the National Gallery of London.
This was originally attributed to Giorgione, Filippino Lippi or Masaccio and is the only known en face portrait by Botticelli.
Saint Jerome in Meditation (c. 1605) is a painting by the Italian Baroque master Caravaggio, now in the Museum of the Monastery of Santa Maria, Montserrat (Museu del Monestir de Santa Maria).
Saint Jerome, hermit, Father of the Church, and responsible for the translation of the Bible into Latin, (the Vulgate Bible) was a popular figure in Caravaggio's time, and the artist painted him at least eight times (only three survive). Whether this was from personal choice or at the request of patrons is unknown, but it gave Caravaggio the opportunity to explore the potential - from an artist's perspective - of aged and wrinkled flesh. Jerome is shown here contemplating one of his symbols, the skull, a reminder of the inevitability of death and the vanity of worldly things.
The painting is probably from the Giustiniani collection (the collection of Caravaggio's patron the banker Vincenzo Giustiniani and his brother the cardinal Benedetto). Benedetto built up a large collection of religious works by the artist, and a St Jerome of the same dimensions as this one is in the Giustiniani inventory of 1638.
Caravaggio biographer Peter Robb points out that the brooding, introverted mood of this
St. Sebastian is a painting by the Italian Renaissance artist Antonello da Messina, finished in 1477-1479. It is currently housed in the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden, Germany.
One of the most famous pictures of the early Renaissance, it was once part of a triptych which was later disassembled. Until the discover of Antonello's sign, it was usually attributed to Giovanni Bellini. The work was commissioned by the Venetian School of Saint Roch after a plague, and was completed by the Messinese painter before his death, which occurred in February 1479.
This picture, dominated by the vertical figure of the saint, shows a marked influence by Piero della Francesca: this can be seen in particular in the perspective of the floor and in the "mathematical" disposition of the figurative elements. Original to Antonello is the smooth rendering of the body of St. Sebastian (defying any geometrical break-down) and the passion for the details of landscape, seen for example in Umbrian school painters like Carlo Crivelli.
Famous details include the man reclining on the left, the typical Venetian-style chimneys, the columns and the monumental appearance of the buildings (probably inspired by
The Tempest (Italian La Tempesta) is a famous Renaissance painting by Italian master Giorgione dated between 1506 and 1508. Originally commissioned by the Venetian noble Gabriele Vendramin, the painting is housed in the Gallerie dell'Accademia of Venice, Italy.
On the right a woman sits, suckling a baby. She could be a gypsy, or to some people's eyes a prostitute. Her pose is unusual - normally the baby would be held on the mother's lap; but in this case the baby is positioned at the side of the mother, so as to expose her pubic area. This appears to signal that the mother's realm is the everyday rather than the sacred. A man, possibly a soldier, holding a long staff or pike, stands in contrapposto on the left. He smiles and glances to the right, but does not appear to be looking at the woman. Art historians have identified the man alternatively as a soldier, a shepherd, a gypsy, or a member of a club of unmarried men. X-rays of the painting have revealed that in the place of the man, Giorgione originally painted another female nude. To some, he represents steadfastness; they point to the pillars behind him, which often symbolize force or strength. These pillars, however, are
Judith Beheading Holofernes is a work by Caravaggio, painted in 1598-99. The widow Judith first charms the Assyrian general Holofernes, then decapitates him in his tent.
The deutero-canonical Book of Judith tells how Judith saved her people by seducing and killing Holofernes, the Assyrian general. Judith gets Holofernes drunk, then seizes his sword and decapitates him: "Approaching to his bed, she took hold of the hair of his head, and said, Strengthen me, O Lord God of Israel, this day! And she smote twice upon his neck with all her might, and she took away his head from him." (Judith, 13:7-8).
The beheading of Holofernes was a favourite subject of the age, attempted by such names as Donatello, Sandro Botticelli, Andrea Mantegna, Giorgione, Artemisia Gentileschi, and Lucas Cranach the Elder, among many others. Caravaggio's approach was, typically, to choose the moment of greatest dramatic impact, the moment of the decapitation itself. The figures are set out in a shallow stage, theatrically lit from the side, isolated against the inky, black background. Judith and her maid Abra stand to the right, partially over Holofernes, who is vulnerable on his back. X-rays have revealed that
The Calumny of Apelles is a tempera painting by Italian Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli. Based on the description of a painting by Apelles, the work was completed in approximately 1494. It is on display in the Uffizi in Florence.
In The Calumny of Apelles, Botticelli drew on the description of a painting by Apelles, a Greek painter of the Hellenistic Period. Though Apelles' works have not survived, Lucian recorded details of one in his On Calumny:
On the right of it sits a man with very large ears, almost like those of Midas, extending his hand to Slander while she is still at some distance from him. Near him, on one side, stand two women—Ignorance and Suspicion. On the other side, Slander is coming up, a woman beautiful beyond measure, but full of malignant passion and excitement, evincing as she does fury and wrath by carrying in her left hand a blazing torch and with the other dragging by the hair a young man who stretches out his hands to heaven and calls the gods to witness his innocence. She is conducted by a pale ugly man who has piercing eye and looks as if he had wasted away in long illness; he represents envy. There are two women in attendance to Slander, one is
The Last Miracle and Death of St. Zenobius is a painting by the Italian Renaissance master Sandro Botticelli, c. 1500-1505. It was part of series of four pictures displaying episodes of the life of the saint, which is the last known work by the Florentine painter. It is housed in the Gemäldegalerie of Dresden.
The first three parts are:
The Madonna of Foligno is a painting by the Italian High Renaissance painter Raphael. First painted on wood panel, it was later transferred to canvas.
It was moved by Anna Conti, a descendent of Sigismondi Conti, to the monastery of St. Anne in Foligno in 1565 and remained there for more than two centuries, hence the name.
In 1799 it was carried to Paris, France by Napoleon. There, in 1802, the painting was transferred from panel to canvas by Hacquin and restored by Roser of Heidelberg. The process to transfer a painting from wood panel to canvas was so rare that special note was made by the restorer: "Rapporto dei cittadini Guijon Vincent Tannay e Berthollet sul ristauro dei quadri di Raffaello conosciuto sotto il nome di Madonna di Foligno."
In 1815, after the Battle of Waterloo, it was returned to Italy, where it was placed in the room with the Transfiguration in the Pinacoteca Vaticana of the Vatican Museum in the Vatican City.
The painting was executed for Sigismondo de' Conti, chamberlain to Pope Julius II, in 1511. It was placed on a high altar of the church of Santa Maria in Aracoeli on Capitoline Hill (Italian: Campidoglio) in Rome, where Sigismondo was buried in
The Portrait of Pope Leo X with two Cardinals is a painting by the Italian High Renaissance master Raphael, circa 1518-1519. It is housed in the Uffizi Gallery of Florence.
In contrast to works depicting classical, idealised Madonnas and figures from antiquity, this portrait shows the sitter in a realistic manner. The Pope is depicted with the weight of late middle age, while his sight appears to be strained. The painting sets up a series of visual contractions between appearance and reality, intended by Raphael to reflect the unrest of a period of turmoil for the papacy. Martin Luther had recently challenged papal authority, listing among other grievances, Leo X's method of selling indulgences to fund work on St Peter's.
The pommel on top of the Pope's chair evokes the symbolic abacus balls of the Medici Family, while the illuminated manuscript Bible open on the table has in the past been identified as the Hamilton Bible.
The cardinals are usually identified as Giulio di Giuliano de' Medici and Luigi de' Rossi.
Sacred and Profane Love (also called Venus and the Bride) is an oil painting by Titian, painted around 1513–1514. The painting was commissioned by Niccolò Aurelio, a secretary to the Venetian Council of Ten (so identified because his coat of arms appears on the sarcophagus or fountain in the centre of the image) to celebrate his marriage to a young widow, Laura Bagarotto. It supposedly depicts the bride dressed in white, sitting beside Cupid and being assisted by Venus in person.
Art critics have made several analyses and interpretations, among them are: Ingenious Love and Satisfied Love; Prudery and Love; the wise and foolish virgins; the dressed Aphrodite Pandemos (left) opposite the nude Aphrodite Urania. or that it contains a coded message about Bagarotto's father's innocence. Nadia Gaus notes that while the title might at first lead one to view the left hand woman as the sacred one, further thought leads to the opposite interpretation: the well dressed woman is Profane Love while the nude woman is Sacred Love. The title itself of the painting is uncertain: in 1693 it was listed as Amor Divino e Amor Profano (Divine love and Profane love).
The first record of the work under its
The Birth of Venus (in Italian: Nascita di Venere) is a 1486 painting by Sandro Botticelli. It depicts the goddess Venus, having emerged from the sea as a fully grown woman, arriving at the sea-shore (which is related to the Venus Anadyomene motif). The painting is held in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.
The iconography of Birth of Venus is very similar to a description of the event (or rather, a description of a sculpture of the event) in a poem by Angelo Poliziano, the Stanze per la giostra. No single text provides the precise content of the painting, however, which has led scholars to propose many sources and interpretations. Art historians who specialize in the Italian Renaissance have found a Neoplatonic interpretation, which was most clearly articulated by Ernst Gombrich, to be the most enduring way to understand the painting.
For Plato – and so for the members of the Florentine Platonic Academy – Venus had two aspects: she was an earthly goddess who aroused humans to physical love or she was a heavenly goddess who inspired intellectual love in them. Plato further argued that contemplation of physical beauty allowed the mind to better understand spiritual beauty. So, looking
The Fortune Teller is a painting by Italian Baroque artist Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. It exists in two versions, both by Caravaggio, the first from 1594 (now in the Musei Capitolini in Rome), the second from 1595 (which is in the Louvre museum, Paris). The dates in both cases are disputed.
The painting shows a foppishly-dressed boy (in the second version the model is believed to be Caravaggio's companion, the Sicilian painter Mario Minniti), having his palm read by a gypsy girl. The boy looks pleased as he gazes into her face, and she returns his gaze. Close inspection of the painting reveals what the young man has failed to notice: the girl is removing his ring as she gently strokes his hand.
Caravaggio's biographer Giovanni Pietro Bellori relates that the artist picked the gypsy girl out from passers-by on the street in order to demonstrate that he had no need to copy the works of the masters from antiquity:
This passage is often used to demonstrate that the classically-trained Mannerist artists of Caravaggio's day disapproved of Caravaggio's insistence on painting from life instead of from copies and drawings made from older masterpieces. However, Bellori ends by saying,
The Kiss (In German: Der Kuss) was painted by the Austrian Symbolist painter Gustav Klimt between 1907 and 1908, the highpoint of his "Golden Period", when he painted a number of works in a similar gilded style. A perfect square, the canvas depicts a couple embracing, their bodies entwined in elaborate robes decorated in a style influenced by both linear constructs of the contemporary Art Nouveau style and the organic forms of the earlier Arts and Crafts movement. The work is composed of conventional oil paint with applied layers of gold leaf, an aspect that gives it its strikingly modern, yet evocative appearance. The painting is now in the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere museum in the Belvedere palace, Vienna, and is widely considered a masterpiece of the early modern period. It is a symbol of Vienna Jugendstil—Viennese Art Nouveau—and is considered Klimt's most popular work.
Klimt was 45 when he painted The Kiss, still living with his mother and two unmarried sisters. Behind the respectable facade he was a man with a ferocious sexual appetite; he fathered at least three known illegitimate children. The Kiss reflects his fascination with eroticism, and while its overall
The Painter of Sunflowers (in French: Le Peintre de Tournesols) is a portrait of Vincent van Gogh by Paul Gauguin in December 1888. The portrait was painted when Gauguin visited in Arles. Van Gogh had asked him to come to Arles, because he wanted to start an art-colony there. Gauguin however only stayed for two months, because the painters argued.
Van Gogh's Sunflowers series
The painting Girl with a Pearl Earring (Dutch: Het Meisje met de Parel) is one of Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer's masterworks and, as the name implies, uses a pearl earring for a focal point. Today the painting is kept in the Mauritshuis gallery in The Hague. It is sometimes referred to as "the Mona Lisa of the North" or "the Dutch Mona Lisa".
In general, very little is known about Vermeer and his works. This painting is signed "IVMeer" but not dated. It is unclear whether this work was commissioned, and, if so, by whom. In any case, it is probably not meant as a conventional portrait.
More recent Vermeer literature points to the image being a tronie, the Dutch 17th-century description of a ’head’ that was not meant to be a portrait. After the most recent restoration of the painting in 1994, the subtle colour scheme and the intimacy of the girl’s gaze toward the viewer have been greatly enhanced. During the restoration, it was discovered that the dark background, today somewhat mottled, was initially intended by the painter to be a deep enamel-like green. This effect was produced by applying a thick transparent layer of paint, called a glaze, over the present-day black background.
St. George and the Dragon is a small cabinet painting by the Italian High Renaissance master Raphael, 1504-1506, now in the National Gallery of Art in Washington. The saint wears the blue garter of the English Order of the Garter, reflecting the award of this decoration in 1504 to Raphael's patron Guidobaldo da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino, by King Henry VII of England. The first word of the order's motto, "HONI" can be made out. The painting was presumably commissioned by the Duke, either to present to the English emissary who brought the regalia to Urbino, Sir Gilbert Talbot, or to Henry himself - recent scholarship suggests the latter. The honour paid to a minor Italian ruler reflected Henry's appreciation of the cultural prestige of Renaissance Italy as much as any diplomatic purpose.
The traditional subject, Saint George and the Dragon, combining chivalry and Christianity, is appropriate for the occasion; like his father, Guidobaldo was a condottiero, or proprietor of a band of mercenary soldiers. In the early stages of his career Raphael painted a number of tiny cabinet paintings, including another St George in the Louvre, and the Vision of a Knight in the National Gallery in
The Supper at Emmaus is a painting by the Italian Baroque master Caravaggio, died 1610, and now in the National Gallery in London . Originally painted for the Roman nobleman Ciriaco Mattei, it was later purchased by Cardinal Scipione Borghese.
The painting depicts the moment when the resurrected but incognito Jesus, reveals himself to two of his disciples (presumed to be Luke and Cleophas), only to soon vanish from their sight (Gospel of Luke 24: 30-31). Cleopas wears the scallopshell of a pilgrim. The other apostle wears torn clothes. Cleopas gesticulates in a perspectively-challenging extension of arms in and out of the frame of reference. The standing groom, forehead smooth and face in darkness, appears oblivious to the event. The painting is unusual for the life-sized figures, the dark and blank background. The table lays out a still-life meal. Like the world these apostles knew, the basket of food teeters perilously over the edge.
In the Gospel of Mark (16:12) Jesus is said to have appeared to them "in another form", which may be why he is depicted beardless here, as opposed to the bearded Christ in Calling of St Matthew, where a group of seated money counters is interrupted
The Denial of Saint Peter (La Negazione di Pietro) is a painting finished around 1610 by the Italian painter Caravaggio. It depicts Peter denying Jesus after Jesus was arrested. The painting is housed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew (1599–1600) is a painting by the Italian master Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. It is located in the Contarelli Chapel of the church of the French congregation San Luigi dei Francesi in Rome, where it hangs opposite The Calling of Saint Matthew and beside the altarpiece The Inspiration of Saint Matthew, both by Caravaggio. It was the first of the three to be installed in the chapel, in July 1600.
The painting shows the martyrdom of Saint Matthew the Evangelist, author of the Gospel of Matthew. According to tradition, the saint was killed on the orders of the king of Ethiopia while celebrating Mass at the altar. The king lusted after his own niece, and had been rebuked by Matthew, for the girl was a nun, and therefore the bride of Christ. Cardinal Contarelli, who had died several decades earlier, had laid down very explicitly what was to be shown: the saint being murdered by a soldier sent by the wicked king, some suitable architecture, and crowds of onlookers showing appropriate emotion. (See the article on the Contarelli Chapel).
The commission (which, strictly speaking, was from his patron, Cardinal Francesco Maria Del Monte, rather than from the
The Potato Eaters (Dutch: De Aardappeleters) is a painting by the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh which he painted in April 1885 while in Nuenen, Netherlands. It is housed in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. The version at the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo is a preliminary oil sketch.
During March and the beginning of April 1885 he sketched studies for the painting, and corresponded with his brother, who was not impressed with his current work or the sketches Van Gogh sent him. He worked on the painting from April 13 until the beginning of May, when it was mostly done except for minor changes which he made with a small brush later the same year.
Van Gogh said he wanted to depict peasants as they really were. He deliberately chose coarse and ugly models, thinking that they would be natural and unspoiled in his finished work: "You see, I really have wanted to make it so that people get the idea that these folk, who are eating their potatoes by the light of their little lamp, have tilled the earth themselves with these hands they are putting in the dish, and so it speaks of manual labor and — that they have thus honestly earned their food. I wanted it to give the idea of a wholly
St. Paul is a painting by the Italian Renaissance painter Masaccio. It depicts Paul of Tarsus.
A chapel in Santa Maria del Carmine in Pisa commissioned an altarpiece from Masaccio on February 19, 1426 for the sum of 80 florins. Payment for the work was recorded on December 26 of that year. The altarpiece was dismantled and dispersed in the 18th century, but an attempted reconstruction was made possible due to a detailed description of the work by Vasari in 1568. Eleven pieces have been found as of 2010, and they are insufficient to reliably reconstruct the whole work. The Crucifixion is one of the surviving panels connected with the Pisa Altarpiece (also known as the Pisa Polyptych). This piece is the only portion of the commissioned work which remains in Pisa.
Impression, Sunrise (Impression, soleil levant) is a painting by Claude Monet. It gave rise to the name of the Impressionist movement.
Dated 1872, its subject is the harbour of Le Havre in France, using very loose brush strokes that suggest rather than delineate it. Monet explained the title later:
It was displayed in 1874 during the first independent art show of the Impressionists (who were not yet known by that name). Critic Louis Leroy, inspired by the painting's name, titled his hostile review of the show in Le Charivari newspaper, "The Exhibition of the Impressionists", thus inadvertently naming the new art movement. He wrote:
The painting was stolen from the Musée Marmottan Monet in 1985 by Philippe Jamin and Youssef Khimoun but recovered in 1990. Since 1991 it has been back on display in the museum.
Although it seems that the sun is the brightest spot on the canvas, it is in fact, when measured with a photometer, the same brightness (or luminance) as the sky.
Dr. Margaret Livingstone, a professor of neurobiology at Harvard University, said "If you make a black and white copy of Impression: Sunrise, the Sun disappears [almost] entirely."
Livingstone said that this caused the
The Annunciation is an oil painting by the Italian master Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, finished around 1608. It housed in the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nancy.
The painting has been considerably damaged and retouched, and what remains of Caravaggio's brushwork is the angel, who bears a resemblance to the figure in John the Baptist at the Fountain. The illusionistic treatment of the angel, floating on his cloud and seeming to protrude outside the picture plane, is more Baroque than is normal for Caravaggio, but the contrast between the energetic pose of the heavenly messenger and the receptive Mary is dramatically and psychologically effective. The loose brushwork is typical of Caravaggio's later period.
The painting was given by Henry II, Duke of Lorraine, to his primatial church in Nancy as the main altarpiece, and was perhaps acquired by one of the Duke's sons in the course of a visit to Malta in 1608.
The Painter's Studio (L'Atelier du peintre): A Real Allegory of a Seven Year Phase in my Artistic and Moral Life is an 1855 oil painting on canvas by Gustave Courbet. It is located in the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, France.
Begun in late 1854, he completed it in six weeks. "The world comes to be painted at my studio" said Courbet. The figures in the painting are allegorical representations of various influences on Courbet's artistic life. On the left are human figures from all levels of society. In the center, Courbet works on a landscape, while turned away from a nude model who is a symbol of academic art tradition. On the right are friends and associates of Courbet including writers George Sand and Charles Baudelaire, Champfleury, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, collector Alfred Bruyas, and François Sabatier and his wife, Caroline Unger. The ghostly female figure visible to the left of Baudelaire (in the right corner of the painting) is believed to be Baudelaire's mistress Jeanne Duval, who Baudelaire requested to be painted over.
The 1855 Paris World Fair's jury accepted eleven of Courbet's work, but refused this one. So, in an act of self promotion Courbet, with the help of
The Little Street (Het Straatje) is a painting by the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer, executed c. 1657-1658. It is housed in the Rijksmuseum of Amsterdam, and signed left below the window with the writing "I V MEER". The exact location of the scene Vermeer painted is not known. However, recent study by the Delft professor F.H. Kreuger found the Voldersgracht as the location of Vermeer’s The Little Street.
Nowadays, the Vermeer Centre Delft is located here ( 52°00′44″N 4°21′34″E / 52.012222°N 4.359444°E / 52.012222; 4.359444 (Het Straatje)).
Washington Crossing the Delaware is an 1851 oil-on-canvas painting by German American artist Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze. It commemorates General George Washington's crossing of the Delaware River on the night of December 25–26, 1776, during the American Revolutionary War. That action was the first move in a surprise attack against the Hessian forces at Trenton, New Jersey in the Battle of Trenton.
The original was part of the collection at the Kunsthalle in Bremen, Germany and was destroyed in a British air raid in 1942. Leutze painted a second version which is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. There are many copies, one of which is in the West Wing reception area of the White House.
German-born Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze (1816–1868) grew up in America, then returned to Germany as an adult, where he conceived of the idea for this painting during the Revolutions of 1848. Hoping to encourage Europe's liberal reformers through the example of the American Revolution, and using American tourists and art students as models and assistants, among them Worthington Whittredge and Andreas Achenbach, Leutze finished the first painting in 1850. Just after it was completed, the
Basket of Fruit (c.1599) is a painting by the Italian Baroque master Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571–1610), which hangs in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana (Ambrosian Library), Milan.
It shows a wicker basket perched on the edge of a ledge. The basket contains a selection of summer fruit:
... a good-sized, light-red peach attached to a stem with wormholes in the leaf resembling damage by oriental fruit moth (Orthosia hibisci). Beneath it is a single bicolored apple, shown from a stem perspective with two insect entry holes, probably codling moth, one of which shows secondary rot at the edge; one blushed yellow pear with insect predations resembling damage by leaf roller (Archips argyospita); four figs, two white and two purple—the purple ones dead ripe and splitting along the sides, plus a large fig leaf with a prominent fungal scorch lesion resembling anthracnose (Glomerella cingulata); and a single unblemished quince with a leafy spur showing fungal spots. There are four clusters of grapes, black, red, golden, and white; the red cluster on the right shows several mummied fruit, while the two clusters on the left each show an overripe berry. There are two grape leaves, one
The Madonna with the Saints John the Baptist and Donatus is a painting by the Italian Renaissance painter Andrea del Verrocchio, circa 1475-1483. It is housed in the Cathedral of Pistoia, Italy. The painting depicts the Virgin Mary, and Saints John the Baptist and Donatus of Fiesole.
The Reverend Robert Walker Skating on Duddingston Loch, better known by its shorter title The Skating Minister, is an oil painting by Sir Henry Raeburn in the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh. It was practically unknown until about 1949; today, however, it is one of Scotland's best known paintings. It is considered an icon of Scottish culture, painted during one of the most remarkable periods in the country's history, the Scottish Enlightenment.
The clergyman portrayed in this painting is the Reverend Robert Walker. He was a Church of Scotland minister who was born on 30 April 1755 in Monkton, Ayrshire. As a child, Walker's father had been minister of the Scots Kirk in Rotterdam, thus the young Robert almost certainly learnt to skate on the frozen canals of the Netherlands. He was licensed by the Presbytery of Edinburgh in 1770 at the age of fifteen. He married Jean Fraser in 1778 and had five children. He became a member of the Royal Company of Archers in 1779 and their chaplain in 1798.
He was minister of the Canongate Kirk as well as being a member of the Edinburgh Skating Club, the first figure skating club formed anywhere in the world. The club met on Duddingston Loch
The Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints (Young Baptist and Saints Peter, Catherine, Lucy, and Paul), also known as the Colonna Altarpiece, is a painting by the Italian High Renaissance artist Raphael, circa 1504. It is housed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York City. It is the only altarpiece by Raphael in the United States.
The collection of Metropolitan Museum of Art also contains a painting of the Agony in the Garden from the predella of the altarpiece. Other panels from the predella can be found in the collections of the National Gallery, London, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, in Boston, and Dulwich Picture Gallery, in London. A preparatory drawing by Raphael for the composition of the agony in the garden is in the collection of the Morgan Library New York.
The pieces of the predella were separated from the altarpiece and sold to Queen Christina of Sweden, from where they reached Orleans Collection, while the main panels themselves were eventually sold to the aristocratic Colonna family in Rome, from whom the altarpiece takes its name. The Altarpiece was the last Raphael altar in private hands when J.P. Morgan purchased it in the early 20th century for a
The Portrait of Giuliano de Medici is a painting of Giuliano de Medici (1453-1478) by the Italian Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli, probably painted soon before Giuliano was assassinated in the Pazzi Conspiracy in 1478. It belongs to the Staatliche Museen of Berlin, and is in the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin.
It is believed to be the earliest of a number of versions by Botticelli and his workshop.
The Young Man with an Apple is a painting by the Italian High Renaissance painter Raphael (1505). It is housed in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. Made during the artist's Florentine period, it is often thought to be the portrait of Francesco Maria I Della Rovere.
Ginevra de' Benci (born ca. 1458) was an aristocrat from 15th-century Florence, admired for her intelligence by Florentine contemporaries. She is the subject of a portrait painting by Leonardo da Vinci. The oil-on-wood portrait was acquired by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., in 1967, for US$5 million paid to the Princely House of Liechtenstein, a record price at the time, from the Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund. It is the only painting by Leonardo on public view in the Americas.
It is known that Leonardo painted a portrait of Ginevra de' Benci in 1474, possibly to commemorate her marriage that year to Luigi di Bernardo Niccolini at the age of 16. However, according to Giorgio Vasari's "Lives of the Artists" (Second and Corrected Edition) Ginevra was not the daughter of Amerigo de' Benci but his wife. The painting's imagery and the text on the reverse of the panel support the identification of this picture. Directly behind the young lady in the portrait is a juniper tree. The reverse of the portrait is decorated with a juniper sprig encircled by a wreath of laurel and palm and is memorialized by the phrase VIRTUTEM FORMA DECORAT ("beauty adorns virtue"). The Italian word
Portraits at the Stock Exchange (also known as At the Bourse) is a painting by French artist Edgar Degas. Completed circa 1879, this painting is interpreted as an anti-Semitic depiction of Jews in Paris, due especially to the exaggerated features and postures of the subjects. In Europe during the late 19th century there were fears of a financial conspiracy, in which Jewish financiers were thought to manipulate business for their gain. In fact, Degas's anti-Semitism may have been fueled by the bankruptcy of his own family's banking business, leaving Degas with some degree of resentment toward banking and those who symbolized it.
Portraits, At the Stock Exchange also falls under the Impressionism movement of painting. Evidence for this can be seen in the painting's quick, somewhat abstract brushstrokes. The psychological perspective of the painting is one of detachment, a common viewpoint in Impressionist paintings. This painting currently resides in the Musée d'Orsay in Paris.
The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne is an oil painting by Leonardo da Vinci depicting St. Anne, her daughter the Virgin Mary and the infant Jesus. Christ is shown grappling with a sacrificial lamb symbolizing his Passion as the Virgin tries to restrain him. The painting was commissioned as the high altarpiece for the Church of Santissima Annunziata in Florence and its theme had long preoccupied Leonardo.
In 1498, Leonardo probed into incorporating these figures together by drawing the Burlington House Cartoon (National Gallery). In 2008, a curator at the Louvre discovered several faint sketches believed to have been made by Leonardo on the back of the painting. Infrared reflectography was used to reveal a "7-by-4 inch drawing of a horse's head", which had a resemblance to sketches of horses that da Vinci had made previously before drawing The Battle of Anghiari. Also revealed was a second sketch 6⁄2 inch-by-4 inch depiction of half a skull. A third sketch showed the infant Jesus playing with a lamb, which sketch was similar to that which is painted on the front side. The Louvre spokesperson said that the sketches were "very probably" made by Leonardo and that it was the first time
Venus, Cupid, Folly, and Time (also called An Allegory of Venus and Cupid and A Triumph of Venus) is an allegorical painting by the Florentine artist Agnolo Bronzino. It is now in the National Gallery, London.
About 1546, Bronzino was commissioned to create a painting that has come to be known as Venus, Cupid, Folly, and Time. It displays the ambivalence, eroticism, and obscure imagery that are characteristic of the Mannerist period, and of Bronzino's master Pontormo.
The painting may have been commissioned by Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany or by Francesco Salviati, to be presented by him as a gift to Francis I of France. Vasari wrote that it was sent to King Francis, though he does not specify by whom. The erotic imagery would have appealed to the tastes prevalent in both the Medici and French courts at this time. The attention to texture and wealth is also consistent with Bronzino's aristocratic patronage. The painting was brought by Napoleon from Paris to Vienna, where in 1813, Johann Keglević gained possession of the painting from Franz Wenzel, Graf von Kaunitz-Rietberg. Since 1860 it has been in London. The figure of Venus can be likened to a precious object (such
Arrangement in Grey and Black No.1, famous under its colloquial name Whistler's Mother, is an 1871 oil-on-canvas painting by American-born painter James McNeill Whistler. The painting is 56.81 by 63.94 inches (144.3 cm × 162.4 cm), displayed in a frame of Whistler's own design in the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, having been bought by the French state in 1891. It is now one of the most famous works by an American artist outside the United States. It has been variously described as an American icon and a Victorian Mona Lisa.
Anna McNeill Whistler posed for the painting while living in London with her son. Several unverifiable stories surround the making of the painting itself; one is that Anna Whistler acted as a replacement for another model who couldn't make the appointment. Another is that Whistler originally envisioned painting the model standing up, but that his mother was too uncomfortable to pose standing for an extended period.
The work was shown at the 104th Exhibition of the Royal Academy of Art in London (1872), but first came within a hair's breadth of rejection by the Academy. This episode worsened the rift between Whistler and the British art world; Arrangement would be the
Two paintings by the Italian Baroque painter Annibale Carracci take as their subject the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.
The first canvas was completed in 1590 and is now the Museo del Prado in Madrid.
The second is from 1600-1601 and is in the famous Cerasi Chapel of the church of Santa Maria del Popolo of Rome. Carracci competed with the major artists for this altarpiece, the prize commission for the chapel. It is however one of his less satisfactory arrangements. The Virgin awkwardly rises through a cramped crowd of apostles, levitated by half-a dozen cherubim.
The canvas was somewhat overshadowed by the two famous contemporary paintings by Caravaggio on the side walls of the chapel: the The Conversion of Saint Paul on the Road to Damascus and The Crucifixion of Saint Peter. While both painters were important in the development of Baroque art, the contrast is striking: Carracci's Virgin glows with light, but St. Paul is surrounded by menacing shadows and figures.
Christ Falling on the Way to Calvary, also known as Lo Spasimo or Il Spasimo di Sicilia, is a painting by the Italian High Renaissance painter Raphael, of circa 1514–16, now in the Museo del Prado in Madrid. It is an important work for the development of his style.
It shows the common subject of Christ Carrying the Cross to his crucifixion, at the moment when he fell and his mother suffers a spasm of agony, the Swoon of the Virgin, or "Lo Spasimo". All the emotion of the painting is densely crammed into the foreground and the background is similar to that of a stage set with distant groups of people and crosses. The man on the left in the foreground is similar to a figure in Raphael’s painting “The Judgement of Solomon” in the Raphael Rooms in the Vatican Palace, except reversed. Simon of Cyrene lifts Christ’s cross momentarily and looks sternly at the guards. The four Mary’s are depicted on the right side of the painting and towering on either side of the composition are the guards. The concept of, and devotion to, the "spasm" of the Virgin was fashionable, if somewhat controversial, in early 16th century Catholicism, although in this work the Virgin has only fallen to her kness,
The painting Gabrielle d'Estrées et une de ses soeurs (French pronunciation: [ɡabʁiɛl dɛstʁe e yn də sɛ sœʁ]) by an unknown artist (c.1594), is of Gabrielle d'Estrées, mistress of King Henry IV of France, sitting up nude in a bath, holding (assumedly) Henry's coronation ring, whilst her sister sits nude beside her and pinches her right nipple. Henry gave Gabrielle the ring as a token of his love shortly before she died.
The painting is a symbolic announcement anticipating the birth of Gabrielle's first child with Henry IV, César de Bourbon. Her maternity is expressed in three ways: her sister pinches the source of the new mother's milk, the servant in the background knits in preparation for the child, and the fire in the fireplace signifies the mother's furnace. The love between Gabrielle and Henry IV is expressed by the painting of a love scene on the back wall and by the coronation ring.
This painting is interesting in that everything is peculiarly left-handedly-biased. Gabrielle's sister is pinching her right nipple with her left hand, d'Estrées is holding what is said to be King Henry IV of France’s coronation ring with her left hand, and the seamstress in the background is
Girl Interrupted in her Music is a painting by the Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer. It was painted in the baroque style between the years 1660 and 1661, using oil on canvas. In this painting, Vermeer depicts a young woman at her music with an older gentleman. This painting shows the typical courtship during the 17th century in Europe. It also focuses on the importance of music when it comes to love. The room that they are shown in is one of higher class, most likely belonging to a person of haute bourgeoisie. The painting is very reminiscent of Vermeer’s other works.
The wine glass, discreetly shown on the table behind the songbook, is tied with both joyfulness and seduction. In the 17th century it was popular to paint scenes that depicted feasts that included drinking, gaming, and playing music. Later on, these large gatherings became smaller and more exclusive with two or three people shown. Drinking wine was also associated with love during this time period. You can see that the glass is full and untouched, which symbolizes the slow moving relationship between the man and the woman.
On the left side of the painting is a multi-paned window, from which the light source is provided
Lady with an Ermine is a painting by Leonardo da Vinci, from around 1489–1490. The subject of the portrait is identified as Cecilia Gallerani, and was probably painted at a time when she was the mistress of Lodovico Sforza, Duke of Milan, and Leonardo was in the service of the Duke.
The painting is one of only four female portraits painted by Leonardo, the others being the Mona Lisa, the portrait of Ginevra de' Benci and La belle ferronnière. It is currently displayed in the Wawel Castle, Kraków, Poland. When exhibited in The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, it was described as "signal[ling] a breakthrough in the art of psychological portraiture".
The small portrait generally called The Lady with the Ermine was painted in oils on wooden panel by Leonardo da Vinci. At the time of its painting, the medium of oil paint was relatively new to Italy, having been introduced in the 1470s. Leonardo was one of the artists who adopted the new medium and skillfully exploited its qualities. The sitter has been identified with reasonable security as Cecilia Gallerani, who was the mistress of Leonardo's employer, Lodovico Sforza, known as Lodovico il Moro.
At the time of her portrait, Cecilia was
The Madonna of the Pomegranate is a painting by the Italian Renaissance master Sandro Botticelli, circa 1487. It is housed in the Uffizi Gallery of Florence, Italy.
Several copies of the work exist, currently held at the Berlin State Museums, the Wernher Collection in London and the Aynard Collection at Lyon.
Portrait of a Man with a Medal of Cosimo the Elder, also known as Portrait of a Youth with a Medal, is a tempera painting by Italian Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli. The painting features a young man displaying in triangled hands a medal stamped with the likeness of Cosimo de' Medici. The identity of the young man has been a long-enduring mystery. Completed in approximately 1475, it is on display in the Uffizi Gallery of Florence.
Central to the painting, seated before a landscape, is a young man with a medal between his hands. The man gazes out into the audience, while the medal displays the profiled likeness of Cosimo de' Medici. The medal is a pastiglia imitation of a real metal medal, made of gilded gesso and inset into the portrait. As the medal is not reversed, evidently Botticelli either had access to the original mold or made a cast from the medal to produce his gesso. The medal seems to date to the latter half of the 1460s.
The portrait is remarkable in part for the orientation of its subject. In 1997's The Sculptures of Adrea del Verrocchio, Andrew Butterfield suggests that Botticelli may have "attempted to devise a new format for portraits" with this and his
The Young Sick Bacchus (Italian: Bacchino Malato), also known as the Sick Bacchus or the Self-Portrait as Bacchus, is an early self-portrait by the Baroque artist Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, dated between 1593 and 1594. It now hangs in the Galleria Borghese in Rome. According to Caravaggio's first biographer, Giovanni Baglione, it was a cabinet piece painted by the artist using a mirror.
The painting dates from Caravaggio's first years in Rome following his arrival from his native Milan in mid-1592. Sources for this period are inconclusive and probably inaccurate, but they agree that at one point the artist fell extremely ill and spent six months in the hospital of Santa Maria della Consolazione. According to a 2009 article in the American medical publication Clinical Infectious Diseases, the painting indicate that Caravaggio's physical ailment likely involved malaria, as the jaundiced appearance of the skin and the icterus in the eyes are indications of some active hepatic disease causing high levels of bilirubin.
The Sick Bacchus was among the many works making up the collection of Giuseppe Cesari, one of Caravaggio's early employers, which was seized by the art-collector
St. Sebastian is a painting by the Italian Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli, executed in 1474 for the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, Florence. It is housed in the Staatliche Museen of Berlin.
Kenneth Clark considered this picture remarkable for its closeness to the spirit of harmonious repose found in classical sculpture:
There are several reasons why for fifty years or more Donatello's David had no successors... Another is the inherent restlessness of the Florentine temperament. Apollo is static. His gestures are dignified and calm. But the Florentines loved movement, the more violent the better. The two great masters of the nude in the late quattrocento, Pollaiuolo and Botticelli, are concerned with embodiments of energy or ecstatic motion, with a wrestling Hercules or a flying angel, and only once, in Botticelli's St. Sebastian, achieve a satisfactory nude in repose.
Rainer Maria Rilke's poem "Sankt Sebastian" (in Neue Gedichte, 1907) seems to have a close correspondence in description and mood to Botticelli's painting, as Rilke's translator J.B. Leishman and Jane Davidson Reid have observed.
The St. Cecilia Altarpiece is an oil painting by Italian High Renaissance painter Raphael. Completed in his later years, around 1516-1517, the painting depicts Saint Cecilia, the patron saint of musicians and Church music, listening to a choir of angels in the company of St. Paul, St. John the Evangelist, St. Augustine and Mary Magdalene. Commissioned for a church in Bologna, the painting now hangs there in the Pinacoteca Nazionale, or National Painting Gallery. According to Vasari the musical instruments strewn about Cecilia's feet were not painted by Raphael, but by his student, Giovanni da Udine.
In 1880, English Romantic poet Percy Shelley described the painting as follows:
The central figure, St. Cecilia, seems rapt in such inspiration as produced her image in the painter's mind; her deep, dark, eloquent eyes lifted up; her chestnut hair flung back from her forehead — she holds an organ in her hands — her countenance, as it were, calmed by the depth of its passion and rapture, and penetrated throughout with the warm and radiant light of life. She is listening to the music of heaven, and, as I imagine, has just ceased to sing, for the four figures that surround her evidently
The Third of May 1808 (also known as El tres de mayo de 1808 en Madrid, or Los fusilamientos de la montaña del Príncipe Pío, or Los fusilamientos del tres de mayo) is a painting completed in 1814 by the Spanish painter Francisco Goya, now in the Museo del Prado, Madrid. In the work, Goya sought to commemorate Spanish resistance to Napoleon's armies during the occupation of 1808 in the Peninsular War. Along with its companion piece of the same size, The Second of May 1808 (or The Charge of the Mamelukes), it was commissioned by the provisional government of Spain at Goya's suggestion.
The painting's content, presentation, and emotional force secure its status as a groundbreaking, archetypal image of the horrors of war. Although it draws on many sources from both high and popular art, The Third of May 1808 marks a clear break from convention. Diverging from the traditions of Christian art and traditional depictions of war, it has no distinct precedent, and is acknowledged as one of the first paintings of the modern era. According to the art historian Kenneth Clark, The Third of May 1808 is "the first great picture which can be called revolutionary in every sense of the word, in
The Vision of a Knight or The Dream of Scipio or Allegory is a small egg tempera painting on poplar by the Italian Renaissance artist Raphael, finished in 1504. It is in the National Gallery in London. It probably formed a pair with the Three Graces panel, also 17 cm square, now in the Château de Chantilly museum.
There are a number of theories as to what the panel is intended to represent. Some art historians think the sleeping knight represents the Roman general Scipio Africanus (236 - 184 BC) who dreamed that he had to choose between Virtue (behind whom is a steep and rocky path) and Pleasure (in looser robes). However, the two feminine figures are not presented as contestants. They may represent the ideal attributes of the knight: the book, sword and flower which they hold suggest the ideals of scholar, soldier and lover which a knight should combine.
The panel was moved to England by William Young Ottley in 1800.
The Alexander Mosaic, dating from circa 100 BC, is a famous Roman floor mosaic originally from the House of the Faun in Pompeii. It depicts a battle between the armies of Alexander the Great and Darius III of Persia and measures 5.82 x 3.13m (19 ft x 10 ft 3in). The original is preserved in the Naples National Archaeological Museum.
The mosaic illustrates a battle in which Alexander faced and attempted to capture or kill Darius. Alexander defeated him at the Battle of Issus and two years later at the Battle of Gaugamela. The work is traditionally believed to show the Battle of Issus.
The mosaic is held to be a copy of either a painting by Aristides of Thebes, or of a lost late 4th century BC fresco by the painter Philoxenos of Eretria. The latter is mentioned by Pliny the Elder (XXXV, 110) as a commission for the Macedonian king Cassander.
Despite being partially ruined, the two main figures are easy to recognize.
The Persian soldiers behind him have expressions of determination and consternation.
Darius's brother Oxyathres is also portrayed, sacrificing himself to save the King.
Radical foreshortening - as in the central horse, seen from behind - and the use of shading to convey a
Amor Vincit Omnia ("Love Conquers All", known in English by a variety of names including Amor Victorious, Victorious Cupid, Love Triumphant, Love Victorious, or Earthly Love) is a painting by the Italian early realist / post-Mannerist artist Caravaggio.
Amor Vincit Omnia shows Amor, the Roman Cupid, wearing dark eagle wings, half-sitting on or perhaps climbing down from what appears to be a table. Scattered around are the emblems of all human endeavours – violin and lute, armour, coronet, square and compasses, pen and manuscript, bay leaves, and an astral globe, tangled and trampled under Cupid’s foot. The painting illustrates the line from Virgil's Eclogues X.69, Omnia vincit amor et nos cedamus amori ("Love conquers all; let us all yield to love!"). A musical manuscript on the floor shows a large "V". It has therefore been suggested also that the picture is a coded reference to the attainments of Vincenzo Giustiniani: his Genoese family ruled Chios (until the island's capture by the Turks) in 1622, hence the coronet; the cultivated Marchese also wrote about music and painting (pen, manuscript and musical instruments), was constructing an imposing new palazzo (geometrical
The Conversion on the Way to Damascus (Conversione di San Paolo) is a masterpiece by Caravaggio, painted in 1601 for the Cerasi Chapel of the church of Santa Maria del Popolo, in Rome. Across the chapel is a second Caravaggio painting (1600) depicting the inverted Crucifixion of St. Peter. On the altar, is a luminous and crowded Assumption of the Virgin Mary by Annibale Carracci. The dome frescoes are by one of Carracci's apprentices, under his design. The chapel was painted for Monsignor Tiberio Cerasi, who died in 1601 and had been treasurer general under Clement VIII. The commission for Caravaggio (and perhaps Carracci) was apparently secured by his newly acquired patron, Marchese Vicenzo Guistiniani.
The painting depicts the moment recounted in Chapter 9 of Acts of the Apostles when Saul, soon to be the apostle Paul, fell on the road to Damascus. He heard the Lord say "I am Jesus, whom you persecute, arise and go into the city" (see Conversion of Paul). The Golden Legend, a compilation of medieval interpretations of biblical events, may have framed the event for Caravaggio.
Caravaggio's first version of the Conversion painting is in the collection of Principe Guido Odescalchi.
The Crucifixion of Saint Peter (Italian: Crocifissione di san Pietro; 1600) is a work by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, painted for the Cerasi Chapel of Santa Maria del Popolo in Rome. Across the chapel is a second Caravaggio work depicting the The Conversion of Saint Paul on the Road to Damascus (1601). On the altar between the two is an Assumption of the Virgin Mary by Annibale Carracci.
The painting depicts the martyrdom of St. Peter by crucifixion—Peter asked that his cross be inverted so as not to imitate his mentor, Christ, hence he is depicted upside-down. The large canvas shows Romans, their faces shielded, struggling to erect the cross of the elderly but muscular St. Peter. Peter is heavier than his aged body would suggest, and his lifting requires the efforts of three men, as if the crime they perpetrate already weighs on them.
The two Caravaggios, as well as the altarpiece by Carracci, were commissioned in September 1600 by Monsignor Tiberio Cerasi, who died shortly afterwards. Caravaggio's original versions of both paintings were rejected. They passed into the private collection of Cardinal Sannessio, and several modern scholars (including John Gash, Helen Lagdon
The Nativity with St. Francis and St. Lawrence (also known as The Adoration) is a painting from 1609 by the Italian Baroque master Caravaggio .
It was stolen on October 16, 1969 from the Oratory of San Lorenzo in Palermo, Sicily.
The painting is large measuring almost six square metres (actual size 268 cm x 197 cm) and hung above the altar. Probably because of its size, it was removed from its frame by the thief or thieves (two suspected) before being taken out of the church. After it was stolen, the Oratory was pillaged of other art, along with choir stalls of carved and gilded wood and benches inlaid with precious woods and mother of pearl.
The local Sicilian Mafia are generally considered to be the prime culprits in the theft although nobody actually knows who committed the crime. The whereabouts of the work remain unknown to this day. Rumours of its destruction during the theft or subsequently in a 1980 earthquake have circulated from time to time as has the notion that the masterpiece is now hidden abroad. In 1996, Francesco Marino Mannoia, an informant and former member of the Sicilian Mafia, claimed he had stolen the painting as a young man on the orders of a high-ranking
Portrait of a Young Woman is a painting which is commonly believed to be by the Italian Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli, executed between 1480 and 1485. Others attribute authorship to Jacopo del Sellaio.
The subject, likely Simonetta Vespucci, is shown in side profile, wearing "Nero's Seal" around her neck.
It is housed in the Städel of Frankfurt, Germany. Other Botticelli portraits with the same name are housed in Uffizi, Florence, and the Staatliche Museen in Berlin.
The Ambassadors (1533) is a painting by Hans Holbein the Younger in the National Gallery, London. As well as being a double portrait, the painting contains a still life of several meticulously rendered objects, the meaning of which is the cause of much debate. It is also a much-cited example of anamorphosis in painting.
Although a German-born artist who spent most of his time in England, Holbein displayed the influence of Early Netherlandish painters in this work. This influence can be noted most outwardly in the use of oil paint, the use of which for panel paintings had been developed a century before in Early Netherlandish painting. What is most "Flemish" of Holbein's use of oils is his use of the medium to render meticulous details that are mainly symbolic: as Jan van Eyck and the Master of Flemalle used extensive imagery to link their subjects to divinity, Holbein used symbols to link his figures to show the same things on the table.
Among the clues to the figures' explorative associations are a selection of scientific instruments including two globes (one terrestrial and one celestial), a quadrant, a torquetum, and a polyhedral sundial, as well as various textiles including
This painting, also known as the Berlin Tondo, is a desco da parto, or birthing-tray painted by the Italian Renaissance artist Masaccio, c. 1427–1428, though the work is regarded as from his workshop or by a "follower" by many recent scholars.
While the birth of Jesus, and that of his mother, were very common scenes in religious art, and often used contemporary settings and costumes, actual depictions of a contemporary childbirth were very rare.
Christ at the Column is a small painting by the Italian Renaissance artist Antonello da Messina, finished around 1475, showing the Flagellation of Christ. It is in the Louvre in Paris.
Painted in his final years, the pictures shows Antonello's assimilation of the Early Netherlandish and Venetian influences into a mature art. For long time the unusual small size and close-up view of the subject led scholars to think that the work had been cut down and originally extended lower, and that originally a parapet separated Christ from the watchers. This theory has been proved to be wrong.
The face of Christ was a common theme in Antonello's art: however, portraying Christ in the middle of his pain, in the moment in which the tortures have just begun, Antonello managed to obtain an emotive impact sometimes lacking in his similar works.
As usual, Antonello devoted high attention to the rendering of details: the sweaty hair, the beard (each hair of which can be distinguished), the half open mouth, in which teeth and tongue can be seen, the first stripes of blood marking the face, the perfectly transparent drops.
The Entombment of Christ (1602–1603) is a painting by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. It was painted for Santa Maria in Vallicella, a church built for the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri, and adjacent to the buildings of the order. A copy of the painting is now in the chapel.
The painting was originally commissioned by Alessandro Vittrice in 1601, and completed by two years later. Now it is among the treasures of the Vatican Pinacoteca.
While there is much in this representation that was revolutionary for Caravaggio's time, it is not clear that the highly naturalistic reconstruction of a gospel event in this painting would have been antithetical to the vividly faithful Oratorians, who sought to relive experiences through prayer. Even near contemporary critics of Caravaggio and his style, such as Baglione and Bellori, admired this painting.
This counter-reformation painting – with a diagonal cascade of mourners and cadaver-bearers descending to the limp, dead Christ and the bare stone – is not a moment of transfiguration, but of mourning. As the viewer's eye descends from the gloom there is, too, a descent from the hysteria of Mary of Cleophas through subdued emotion to death as the
The Madonna and Child with Angels is a painting by the Italian Renaissance painter Masaccio , who worked in collaboration with his brother Giovanni and with Andrea di Giusto.
The painting is the central panel of the Pisa Altarpiece, a large multi-paneled altarpiece executed for the chapel of St. Julian, owned by the notary Giuliano di Colino in the church of Santa Maria del Carmine in Pisa. The painting is in a very damaged state, the altarpiece having been cut up and sold in pieces long ago. Today the panel is smaller than its original state; it has lost perhaps as much as 8 cm. at the bottom and 2-2.5 cm. at each side. Eleven surviving panels of the altarpiece, which is the only documented work by Masaccio, are in various museums. Scholars hypothesize the reconstruction of the altarpiece based on a very complete description by Vasari.
The painting contains six figures: the Madonna and Child and four angels. The Madonna is the centre figure and is larger than any of the others to signify her importance. Christ sits on her knees, eating grapes offered to him by his mother. Although he is an exceedingly babyish baby (in comparison to the babies of Masaccio's immediate predecessors,
Antonio Canova’s statue The Three Graces is a Neoclassical sculpture, in marble, of the mythological three charites, daughters of Zeus – identified on some engravings of the statue as, from left to right, Euphrosyne, Aglaea and Thalia - who were said to represent beauty, charm and joy. The Graces presided over banquets and gatherings primarily to entertain and delight the guests of the Gods. As such they have always proved to be attractive figures for historical artists, notable amongst them are Botticelli and Thorvaldsen.
John Russell, the 6th Duke of Bedford, commissioned a version of the now famous work. He had previously visited Canova in his studio in Rome in 1814 and had been immensely impressed by a carving of the Graces the sculptor had made for the Empress Josephine. When the Empress died in May of the same year he immediately offered to purchase the completed piece, but was unsuccessful as Josephine’s son Eugène claimed it (his son Maximilian brought it to St. Petersburg, where it can now be found in the Hermitage Museum). Undeterred, the Duke commissioned another version for himself.
The sculpting process began in 1814 and was completed in 1817. Finally in 1819 it was
Saint Francis in Prayer (c. 1602-1604) is a painting from the Italian master Caravaggio, in the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica in Rome.
The painting is unrecorded and therefore difficult to date, or even to distinguish the original from later copies. John Gash (see references, below) identifies a version in the Chiesa dei Cappuccini as a good copy of a lost original identified by some scholars with a painting in the Church of San Pietro, Carpineto Romano (Museo di Palazzo Venezia). Helen Langdon, treating the same painting in her biography Caravaggio, refers to the version in Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, in the Palazzo Barberini. St Francis's life of poverty and humility was a popular subject in Caravaggio's age. Peter Robb makes the point that St Francis of Assisi, together with John the Baptist and St Jerome, "...make up the trio of alienated males, young, mature and old, brooding and remote from human society, that M (i.e. Caravaggio) painted again and again", becoming, in effect, private icons for Caravaggio’s own troubled life.
In the course of a libel trial in 1603 Caravaggio’s friend Orazio Gentileschi stated that he had lent the artist a monk's robe several months
The Madonna and Child Between St. Francis and St. Nicasius, also known as Castelfranco Madonna, is a painting by the Italian Renaissance artist Giorgione executed around 1503. It is housed in the Cathedral of Castelfranco Veneto, Giorgione's native city, in Veneto, northern Italy.
The altarpiece was commissioned by the condottiero Tuzio Costanzo in memory of his son Matteo, who died of a fever whilst serving the Republic of Venice, in 1503/4 or 1500. Also commissioned was a family chapel, containing the tombs of Matteo and Tuzio, built into the walls on either side of the painting. The church was subsequently demolished and replaced with the Cathedral of Castelfranco in 1724. The new building, which remains today, contains a small chapel housing the painting and the tomb of Matteo directly below. The Costanzo coat of arms, three pairs of ribs, can be seen on the tomb on the base of the Virgin's throne. (Some scholars have speculated that St. Nicasius himself is actually a portrait of Matteo).
The work has suffered bad restorations in the past centuries, and was stolen on December 10, 1972. After being recovered, it was accurately restored in 2002-2003 by the Accademia Laboratories
The Portrait of a Young Woman, also known as La Muta, is a portrait by the Italian Renaissance artist Raphael, c. 1507-1508. It is housed in the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche, in Urbino.
The picture portrays an unknown noblewoman over a near-black background, showing some Leonardesque influences. Although only recently attributed to Raphael, it is ranked among the best portraits by his hand.
The neatness of the large areas of colour which emerge in lighter tones from the background, and the analytical treatment of the details of the woman's clothing are characteristic of Raphael. The dispersive effect of this attention to detail is fully compensated by the tones of colour - used here in a fairly limited range - which unify the composition as a whole.
X-ray analysis have showed the presence of an early Raphael years drawing under the painting, showing a female, young face with soft features, with later modifications.
The Sacrifice of Isaac is the title of two paintings by the Italian master Caravaggio (1571–1610).
The Sacrifice of Isaac in the Piasecka-Johnson Collection in Princeton, New Jersey, is a disputed work that was painted circa 1603. According to Giulio Mancini, a contemporary of Caravaggio and an early biographer, the artist, while convalescing in the Hospital of the Consolazione, did a number of paintings for the prior who took them home with him to Seville. (The hospital had a Spanish prior from 1593 to around mid-1595). This would date the work to the mid-1590s, but it seems far more sophisticated than anything else known from that period of Caravaggio's career, and Peter Robb, in his 1998 biography of Caravaggio, dates it to about 1598. The model for Isaac bears a close resemblance to the model used for the John the Baptist now in the museum of Toledo cathedral, which suggests that the two should be considered together. The presence of paintings by Caravaggio in Spain at an early date is important for the influence they may have had on the young Velázquez, but there is also strong evidence that they may have been the work of Bartolomeo Cavarozzi, a talented early member of the
The Calling of Saint Matthew is a masterpiece by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, depicting the moment at which Jesus Christ inspires Matthew to follow him. It was completed in 1599-1600 for the Contarelli Chapel in the church of the French congregation, San Luigi dei Francesi in Rome, where it remains today. It hangs alongside two other paintings of Matthew by Caravaggio, The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew (painted around the same time as the Calling) and The Inspiration of Saint Matthew (1602).
Over a decade before, Cardinal Matteu Contreil (in Italian, Matteo Contarelli) had left in his will funds and specific instructions for the decoration of a chapel based on themes related to his namesake, St Matthew. The dome of the chapel was decorated with frescoes by the late Mannerist artist Cavalier D'Arpino, Caravaggio's former employer and one of the most popular painters in Rome at the time. But as D'Arpino became busy with royal and papal patronage, Cardinal Francesco Del Monte, Caravaggio's patron and also the prefect of the Fabbrica of St Peter's (the Vatican office for Church property), intervened to obtain for Caravaggio his first major church commission and his first painting
The Church at Auvers was painted by Dutch post-impressionist artist Vincent van Gogh in 1890.
The Church at Auvers — along with other canvases such as The Town Hall at Auvers and several paintings of small houses with thatched roofs — is reminiscent of scenes from the northern landscapes of his childhood and youth. A certain nostalgia for the north had already been apparent in his last weeks at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence: in a letter written a couple of weeks before his departure, he wrote "While I was ill I nevertheless did some little canvases from memory which you will see later, memories of the North"
He specifically refers to similar work done back at Nuenen when he describes this painting in a letter to his sister Wilhelmina:
The "simple deep blue" was also used in Portrait of Adeline Ravoux, painted in the same short period in Auvers-sur-Oise.
The foreground of The Church at Auvers is brightly lit by the sun, but the church itself sits in its own shadow, and "neither reflects nor emanates any light of its own." After Van Gogh had been dismissed from the evangelical career he had hoped to continue in the Borinage, he wrote to his brother Theo from Cuesmes in July 1880, and quoted
The Descent from the Cross is the central panel of a triptych painting by Peter Paul Rubens in 1612-1614. The painting is the second of Rubens's great altarpieces for the Cathedral of Our Lady, Antwerp, Belgium, along with The Elevation of the Cross. The subject was one Rubens returned to again and again in his career. This particular work was commissioned on September 7, 1611, by the Confraternity of the Arquebusiers, whose Patron Saint was St. Christopher.
Although essentially Baroque, the oil on panel piece is rooted in the Venetian tradition, and likely influenced by the work of Daniele da Volterra, Federico Barocci and Cigoli, amongst others. In its composition and use of light, the triptych recalls Caravaggio's Roman period.
Sequentially, the triptych describes the Visitation, the Descent from the Cross, and the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple.
Theophile Silvestre wrote, in his "On Rubens' Descent from the Cross - 1868":
“The principal subject is composed of nine figures: at the top of two ladders, workers are lowering the body of Christ with the aid of a shroud which one of them holds in his teeth, the other in the left hand. Bracing themselves firmly against the arms of
"The Thinker" (Le Penseur in French) is a bronze and marble sculpture by Auguste Rodin, whose first cast, of 1902, is now in the Musée Rodin in Paris; there are some 20 other original castings, as well as various other versions, studies, and posthumous castings. It depicts a man in sober meditation battling with a powerful internal struggle. It is often used to represent philosophy.
Originally named "The Poet" (Le Poète in French), the piece was part of a commission by the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, to create a monumental portal to act as the door of the museum. Rodin based his theme on The Divine Comedy of Dante and entitled the portal The Gates of Hell. Each of the statues in the piece represented one of the main characters in the epic poem. Some critics believe "The Thinker" was originally intended to depict Dante at the Gates of Hell, pondering his great poem. However, there are "questionable" aspects to this interpretation, including that the figure is naked, Dante is fully clothed throughout his poem, and that the figure, as used, in no way corresponds to Dante's effete figure. (In the final sculpture, a miniature of the statue is waiting atop the gates, pondering the
The Musicians (c. 1595) is a painting by the Italian Baroque master Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571–1610). It is held in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Caravaggio entered the household of Cardinal Francesco Maria Del Monte sometime in 1595. His biographer, the painter Baglione, says he "painted for the Cardinal youths playing music very well drawn from nature and also a youth playing a lute," the latter presumably being The Lute Player, which seems to form a companion-piece to The Musicians. The picture shows four boys in quasi-Classical costume, three playing various musical instruments or singing, the fourth dressed as Cupid and reaching towards a bunch of grapes.The central figure with the lute has been identified as Caravaggio's companion Mario Minniti, and the individual next to him and facing the viewer has been recognised as a self-portrait of the artist. The cupid bears a strong resemblance to the boy in Boy Peeling Fruit, done a few years before, and also to the angel in Saint Francis of Assisi in Ecstasy.
Scenes showing musicians were a popular theme at the time - the Church was supporting a revival of music and new styles and forms were being tried,
Bacchus, formerly Saint John the Baptist, is a painting in the Musée du Louvre, Paris, France, based on a drawing by the Italian Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci. It is presumed to have been executed by an unknown follower, perhaps in Leonardo's workshop. Sidney J. Freedberg assigns the drawing to Leonardo's second Milan period. Among the Lombard painters who have been suggested as possible authors are Cesare da Sesto, Marco d'Oggiono, Francesco Melzi, and Cesare Bernazzano. The painting shows a male figure with garlanded head and leopard skin, seated in an idyllic landscape. He points with his right hand off to his left, and with his left hand grasps his thyrsus and also points down to earth.
The painting originally depicted John the Baptist. In the late 17th century, between the years 1683 and 1693, it was overpainted and altered, to serve as Bacchus.
Cassiano dal Pozzo remarked of the painting in its former state, which he saw at Fontainebleau in 1625, that it had neither devotion, decorum nor similitude, the suavely beautiful, youthful and slightly androgynous Giovannino was so at variance with artistic conventions in portraying the Baptist— neither the older ascetic
The Triumph of Galatea is a fresco masterpiece completed in 1512 by the Italian painter Raphael for the Villa Farnesina in Rome.
The Farnesina was built for the Sienese banker Agostino Chigi, one of the richest men of that age. The Farnese family later acquired and renamed the villa, smaller than the more ostentatious palazzo at the other side of the Tiber. The fresco is a mythological scene of a series embellishing the open gallery of the building, a series never completed which was inspired to the "Stanze per la giostra" of the poet Angelo Poliziano. In Greek mythology, the beautiful Nereid Galatea had fallen in love with the peasant shepherd Acis. Her consort, one-eyed giant Polyphemus, after chancing upon the two lovers together, lobbed an enormous pillar and killed Acis.
Raphael did not paint any of the main events of the story. He chose the scene of the nymph's apotheosis (Stanze, I, 118-119). Galatea appears surrounded by other sea creatures whose forms are somewhat inspired by Michelangelo, whereas the bright colors and decoration are supposed to be inspired by ancient Roman painting. At the left, a Triton (partly man, partly fish) abducts a sea nymph; behind them, another
The Lansdowne portrait is an iconic oil-on-canvas portrait of George Washington, the first President of the United States. The portrait was commissioned in April 1796 by Senator William Bingham of Pennsylvania—one of the wealthiest men in the U.S. at the time—and his wife, Anne. The portrait measures 8 by 5 feet (2.44 by 1.52 m) and was given as a gift of appreciation to British Prime Minister, born William Petty FitzMaurice; the second Earl of Shelburne and subsequently the first Marquess of Lansdowne. Petty-FitzMaurice was an American sympathizer who supported independence of the colonies in Parliament. He succeeded in securing peace with America during his term as Prime Minister of Great Britain. The Lansdowne portrait was completed in the fall of that year by American artist Gilbert Stuart (who made two other portraits of George Washington, and many others of prominent American revolutionaries). The painting shows Washington (then at 64 years old) renouncing a third term as U.S. President. It is currently on permanent display at the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution. Replicas painted by Stuart are on display in the East Room of the White House, the Old
The Mona Lisa (La Gioconda or La Joconde, or Portrait of Lisa Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo) is a half-length portrait of a woman by the Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci, which has been acclaimed as "the best known, the most visited, the most written about, the most sung about, the most parodied work of art in the world."
The painting, thought to be a portrait of Lisa Gherardini, the wife of Francesco del Giocondo, is in oil on a poplar panel, and is believed to have been painted between 1503 and 1506. It was acquired by King Francis I of France and is now the property of the French Republic, on permanent display at the Musée du Louvre in Paris. The ambiguity of the subject's expression, frequently described as enigmatic, the monumentality of the composition, the subtle modeling of forms and the atmospheric illusionism were novel qualities that have contributed to the continuing fascination and study of the work.
The painting's title Mona Lisa stems from a description by Giorgio Vasari: "Leonardo undertook to paint, for Francesco del Giocondo, the portrait of Mona Lisa, his wife...." In Italian, ma donna means my lady. This became madonna, and its contraction mona.
Two different crucifixes, or strictly wooden corpus figures for crucifixes, are attributed to the High Renaissance master Michelangelo, although neither is universally accepted as his. Both are relatively small figures which would have been produced in Michelangelo's youth.
One is a polychrome wood sculpture possibly finished in 1492 which had been lost from view by scholars until it re-emerged in 1962; in 2001 new investigations appeared to confirm the attribution to Michelangelo. It was perhaps made for the high altar of the Church of Santa Maria del Santo Spirito in Florence, Italy. The work is especially notable for the fact that this Christ is naked.
Michelangelo Buonarroti was a guest of the convent of Santa Maria del Santo Spirito (Florence) when he was seventeen years old, after the death of his protector Lorenzo de' Medici. Here he could make anatomical studies of the corpses coming from the convent's hospital; in exchange, he is said to have sculpted the wooden crucifix which was placed over the high altar. Today the crucifix is in the octagonal sacristy of the Basilica of Santa Maria del Santo Spirito.
The nudity of the figure is true to the Gospels. Christ's clothing
Wheatfield with Crows is a July 1890 painting by Vincent van Gogh. It is commonly stated that this was van Gogh's last painting. However, art historians are uncertain as to which painting was van Gogh's last, as no clear historical records exist. The evidence of his letters suggests that Wheatfield with Crows was completed around 10 July and predates such paintings as Auvers Town Hall on 14 July 1890 and Daubigny's Garden. Moreover, Jan Hulsker points out that a painting of harvested wheat, Field with Stacks of Wheat (F771), must be a later painting.
The Van Gogh Museum's Wheatfield with Crows was painted in July 1890, in the last weeks of van Gogh’s life. Many have claimed it as his last painting, while it is also possibleTree Roots, or the previously mentioned Daubigny's Garden, was his final painting.
Wheat Field with Crows, made on a double-square canvas, depicts a dramatic, cloudy sky filled with crows over a wheat field. A sense of isolation is heightened by a central path leading nowhere and by the uncertain direction of flight of the crows. The wind-swept wheat field fills two thirds of the canvas. Jules Michelet, one of van Gogh's favorite authors, wrote of the crow: "They
The Fortitude is a painting by the Italian Renaissance master Sandro Botticelli, finished in 1470. It is housed in the Galleria degli Uffizi, in Florence. Fortitude is the first recorded work by Botticelli.
This work originally belonged to a set of seven panels representing Virtues, intended to decorate the Tribunal Hall of Piazza della Signoria in Florence. The other six panels are not painted by Botticelli.
The Oddi Altarpiece is an altarpiece of the Coronation of the Virgin painted in 1502-1504 by the Italian Renaissance master Raphael for the altar of the Oddi family chapel in the church of San Francesco al Prato in Perugia, Italy. It is presently housed in the Vatican Pinacoteca.
The crowning of the Virgin simply shows somewhat of a split screen:
The predella (39 × 190 cm) is composed of three 27 × 50 cm paintings:
Our Lady of Sorrows, Queen of Poland, Our Lady of Licheń, or Virgin of Licheń is a Roman Catholic icon of the Virgin Mary, most likely painted in 1772. The icon is housed at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lichen, in central Poland, which was built to honor it, and receives about 1.5 million pilgrims per year.
Along with the Black Madonna of Częstochowa, located in in Częstochowa, southern Poland, the image is one of the two most venerated Marian images in Poland.
In the central image, the Virgin Mary has a gold dress, is being crowned by two angels and is surrounded by a ring of stars. Below the image a ribbon carries the inscription: "Queen of Poland, give us days of peace." The image measures 9.5 × 15.5 cm and is on larger panel of 16 × 25 cm. There is a second crown above the image, on the larger panel.
According to legend, a Polish soldier (called Thomas Kłossowski) was wounded in the Battle of Leipzig in 1813 and had a vision of the Virgin Mary who saved him from death and instructed him to look for the image upon his return to Poland. Kłossowski is then said to have looked for and found the image in the woods in Grąblin as instructed.
According to oral tradition, in 1850
Still Life with Fruit is a painting by the Italian Baroque master Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571–1610).
The picture has been variously dated between 1601 and 1605 (Caravaggio scholar John T. Spike favours the later date in his 1996 study of the artist). It depicts a wicker basket heaped with various fruit and vegetables sitting on a stone table, caught in Caravaggio's usual strong yet mellow shaft of light falling from top left, "as if through a hole in the ceiling." (Caravaggio at around this time was sued by a landlady for having cut a hole in the ceiling of the rooms he rented, presumably to create his characteristic lighting). The bulk of the space is taken up by the large melons, marrows and pumpkins, the watermelon and pumpkin cut open to display the interior, the marrows, long and twisting, seeming to wish to escape the two-dimensional space of the picture plane.
While at one level the painting is a bravura study of texture and form and light, the Renaissance symbology of fruit and vegetables was rich and intricate, and given this fact and the fact that so many of Caravaggio's apparently simple paintings, such as Boy Bitten by a Lizard, in fact carry coded messages,
The Bohemian is a painting by William-Adolphe Bouguereau completed in 1890. It depicts a barefooted young woman sitting on a concrete bench on the south bank of the Seine across from Notre Dame de Paris resting a violin in her lap. Her right arm is resting on her thigh while the palm of her left hand is pressed down on her left knee so that she does not lean on the violin. Her hands are clasped with the fingers pointing forward while her shoulders are wrapped in a shawl dyed maroon and light green, and she is wearing a gray dress that extends to her ankles. The bow of the violin has been stuck through diagonally under the fingerboard. To her right is a maple tree.
The subject is a model employed by Bouguereau for this and other paintings, including The Shepherdess.
It was owned by The Minneapolis Institute of Arts until 2004 when it was auctioned by Christie's to benefit the acquisition fund.
Venus and Cupid with a Satyr (c. 1528) is a painting by the Italian late Renaissance artist Antonio Allegri da Correggio. It is housed in the Musée du Louvre, Paris.
The painting was commissioned by Federico II Gonzaga, duke of Mantua. It depicts Venus sleeping with her son Eros. Behind them, a satyr is caught while discovering the goddess. The picture was incorrectly identified as portraying Jupiter and Antiope as, according to the legend, Zeus had turned himself into a satyr to kidnap the nymph.
The painting was probably connected to the Education of Cupid, now in the National Gallery of London.
Jupiter and Io (c. 1530) is a painting by the Italian late Renaissance artist Antonio Allegri da Correggio. It is housed in the Kunsthistorisches Museum of Vienna, Austria.
The series of Jupiter's Loves was conceived after the success of Venus and Cupid with a Satyr. Correggio painted four canvasses in total, although others had been programmed perhaps.
In the first edition of his Lives, late Renaissance art biographer Giorgio Vasari mentions only two of the paintings, Leda (today at the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin) and one Venus (presumably the Danae currently in the Borghese Gallery of Rome), although he knew them only from descriptions provided by Giulio Romano. Vasari mentions that the commissioner, duke Federico II Gonzaga, wanted to donate the works to emperor and King of Spain Charles V: the fact that the other two works, Ganymede Abducted by the Eagle and Jupiter and Io, were in Spain during the 16th century implies that they were part of the same series. British art historian Cecil Gould suggested that Federico had commissioned the Io and Ganymede for himself, and that they were ceded them to Charles V only after the duke's death in 1540, perhaps in occasion of the marriage of
The Martyrdom of Saint Ursula (1610), is a painting by the Italian artist Caravaggio (1571–1610). It is owned by the Intesa Sanpaolo Bank.
The holy Ursula, accompanied by eleven thousand virgins, was captured by the Huns. The eleven thousand virgins were slaughtered, but the king of the Huns was overcome by Ursula's modesty and beauty and begged her forgiveness if only she would marry him. Ursula replied that she would not, upon which the king transfixed her with an arrow.
Saint Ursula was done in 1610 in Naples for Marcantonio Doria, a 25-year-old nobleman from Genoa. Doria had become an ardent collector of Caravaggio's work, and he commissioned the painting to mark the entry of his stepdaughter into a religious order as Sister Ursula. The date of the painting can be located at shortly prior to 11 May 1610, when Doria's agent in Naples wrote to his master that the painting was finished. There had been a slight accident, the agent wrote, when he had tried to hasten the drying by leaving it out in the sun the day before, softening the varnish. The agent told Doria not to worry as he would take it back to Caravaggio to be fixed and, in fact, Doria should commission more works from
Battle of the Centaurs is a relief by Italian Renaissance artist Michelangelo, created around 1492. It was the last work Michelangelo created while under the patronage of Lorenzo de' Medici, who died shortly after its completion. Inspired by a classical relief created by Bertoldo di Giovanni, the unfinished marble sculpture depicts the mythic battle between the Lapiths and the Centaurs. A popular subject of art in ancient Greece, the story was suggested to Michelangelo by the classical scholar and poet Poliziano.
Battle of the Centaurs was a remarkable sculpture in several ways, presaging Michelangelo's future sculptural direction. Michelangelo had departed from the then current practices of working on a discrete plane to work multidimensionally. It was also the first sculpture Michelangelo created without the use of a bow drill and the first sculpture to reach such a state of completion with the marks of the subbia chisel left to stand as a final surface. Whether intentionally left unfinished or not, the work is significant in the tradition of "non finito" sculpting technique for that reason. Michelangelo regarded it as the best of his early works, and a visual reminder of why he
Primavera, also known as Allegory of Spring, is a tempera panel painting by Italian Renaissance artist Sandro Botticelli. Painted ca. 1482, the painting is described in Culture & Values (2009) as "[o]ne of the most popular paintings in Western art". It is also, according to Botticelli, Primavera (1998), "one of the most written about, and most controversial paintings in the world." While most critics agree that the painting, depicting a group of mythological figures in a garden, is allegorical for the lush growth of Spring, other meanings have also been explored. Among them, the work is sometimes cited as illustrating the ideal of Neoplatonic love. The painting itself carries no title and was first called La Primavera by the art historian Giorgio Vasari who saw it at Villa Castello, just outside Florence, in 1550.
The history of the painting is not certainly known, though it seems to have been commissioned by one of the Medici family. It contains elements of Ovid and Lucretius and may have been inspired by a poem by Poliziano. Since 1919 the painting has been part of the collection of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy.
The painting features six female figures and two male,
Samson and Delilah is a painting by the Flemish Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640). It dates from about 1609 to 1610.
The painting depicts an episode from the Old Testament story of Samson and Delilah (Judges 16). Samson, having fallen in love with Delilah, tells her the secret of his great strength: his uncut hair. Rubens portrays the moment, when having fallen asleep on Delilah's lap, a servant proceeds to cut Samson's hair. After, a weakened Samson is arrested by Philistine soldiers. The soldiers can be seen in the right-hand background of the painting.
The niche behind Delilah contains a statue of the Venus, the Goddess of love and her son, Cupid. This can be taken to represent the cause of Samson's fate.
The old woman standing behind her, providing further light for the scene, does not appear in the biblical narrative of Samson and Delilah. She is believed to be a procuress, and the adjacent profiles of her and Delilah may symbolise the old woman's past, and Delilah's future.
The Philistine cutting Samson's hair has his hands crossed as he cuts, this is a sign of deceit.
The painting was commissioned by Nicolaas Rockox, alderman of Antwerp, Belgium, for his town
A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte - 1884 (French: Un dimanche après-midi à l'Île de la Grande Jatte - 1884) is one of Georges Seurat's most famous works, and is an example of pointillism.
Georges Seurat spent over two years painting A Sunday Afternoon, focusing meticulously on the landscape of the park. He reworked the original as well as completed numerous preliminary drawings and oil sketches. He would go and sit in the park and make numerous sketches of the various figures in order to perfect their form. He concentrated on the issues of colour, light, and form. The painting is approximately 2 by 3 meters (6 ft 10 in x 10 ft 1 in) in size.
Motivated by study in optical and colour theory, Seurat contrasted miniature dots of colors that, through optical unification, form a single hue in the viewer's eye. He believed that this form of painting, called divisionism at the time but now known as pointillism, would make the colors more brilliant and powerful than standard brush strokes. The use of dots of almost uniform size came in the second year of his work on the painting, 1885-86. To make the experience of the painting even more vivid, he surrounded it with a frame
The Flagellation of Christ (probably 1455–1460) is a painting by Piero della Francesca in the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche in Urbino, Italy. Called by one writer an "enigmatic little painting," the composition is complex and unusual, and its iconography has been the subject of widely differing theories. Kenneth Clark placed The Flagellation in his personal list of the best ten paintings, calling it 'the greatest small painting in the world'.
The theme of the picture is the Flagellation of Christ by the Romans during his Passion. The biblical event takes place in an open gallery in the middle distance, while three figures in the foreground on the right-hand side apparently pay no attention to the event unfolding behind them. The panel is much admired for its use of linear perspective and the air of stillness that pervades the work, and it has been given the epithet "the Greatest Small Painting in the World" by the art historian Kenneth Clark.
The painting is signed under the seated emperor OPVS PETRI DE BVRGO S[AN]C[T]I SEPVLCRI – "the work of Piero of Borgo Santo Sepolcro" (his native town).
The Flagellation is particularly admired for the realistic rendering of the hall in
The Seven Works of Mercy (Italian: Sette opere di Misericordia), also known as The Seven Acts of Mercy, is an oil painting by Italian painter Caravaggio, circa 1607. The painting depicts the seven corporal works of mercy in traditional Catholic belief, which are a set of compassionate acts concerning the material welfare of others.
The painting was made for, and is still housed in, the church of Pio Monte della Misericordia in Naples. Originally it was meant to be seven separate panels around the church; however, Caravaggio combined all seven works of mercy in one composition which became the church's altarpiece.
The titular seven works/acts of mercy are represented in the painting as follows:
1. Bury the dead; In the background, two men carry a dead man (of whom only the feet are visible).
2 and 3. Visit the imprisoned, and feed the hungry; On the right, a woman visits an imprisoned man and gives him milk from her breast. This image alludes to the classical story of Roman Charity.
4. Shelter the homeless; A pilgrim (third from left, as identified by the shell in his hat) asks an innkeeper (at far left) for shelter.
5. Clothe the naked; St. Martin of Tours, fourth from the left,
The Three Graces is an oil painting by Italian painter Raphael, housed in the Musée Condé of Chantilly, France. The date of origin has not been positively determined, though it seems to have been painted at some point after his arrival to study with Pietro Perugino in about 1500, possibly 1503-1505. According to James Patrick in 2007's Renaissance and Reformation, the painting represents the first time that Raphael had depicted the nude female form in front and back views.
The image depicts three of the Graces of classical mythology. It is frequently asserted that Raphael was inspired in his painting by a ruined Roman marble statue displayed in the Piccolomini Library of the Siena Cathedral—19th century art historian [Dan K] held that it was a not very skillful copy of that original—but other inspiration is possible, as the subject was a popular one in Italy. Julia Cartwright in Early Work of Raphael (2006) proposes that the painting bears far more influence of the school of Ferrara than classical sculpture, making clear that the statue was not Raphael's model.
The three women in the painting may represent stages of development of woman, with the girded figure on the left
View of Toledo, is one of the two surviving landscapes painted by El Greco. The other, called View and Plan of Toledo lies at Museo Del Greco, Toledo, Spain.
Along with Vincent van Gogh's The Starry Night, some landscapes by William Turner, and some works by Monet, it is among the best known depictions of the sky in Western art, and features sharp color contrast between the sky and the hills below. Painted in a Mannerist (or Baroque) style, the work takes liberties with the actual layout of Toledo (some buildings are depicted in different positions than their actual location, but truthfully depicts on the side the Castle of San Servando). It is signed on the lower right corner by El Greco.
It's very rare to find an isolated landscape in the Spanish paintings during the Renaissance and even during the Baroque. This makes El Greco the first landscaper in the history of Spanish art. Regarding its enigmatic symbolism, it is thought that it could be related to the mystic spirit that the city was involved during those times. The English art historian David Davies asserts that the philosophies of Platonism and ancient Neo-Platonism, the works of Plotinus and Pseudo-Dionysius the
The Madonna and Child with St. Anne, also known as Sant'Anna Metterza, is a painting by the Italian Renaissance painter Masaccio, probably in collaboration with Masolino da Panicale, c. 1424.
The Virgin and Child, with its powerful volume and solid possession of space by means of an assured perspectival structure, is one of the earliest works credited to Masaccio. But for one, the angels, very delicate in their tender forms and pale, gentle colouring, are from the more Gothic brush of Masolino; the angel in the upper right hand curve reveals the hand of Masaccio. The figure of St. Anne is much worn and hence to be judged with difficulty, but her hand, which seems to explore the depth of the picture-space, may well be an invention of Masaccio. The ‘Madonna and Child with Saint Anne’ was originally commissioned for the Sant’Ambrogio church in Florence. According to Vasari, “It was placed in the chapel door which leads to the nuns’ parlour”.
The figure of Christ is that of a young child, a realistic presence, rather than a gothic cherub. This is also one of the first paintings to display the effect of true natural light on the figure; it is this invention which imparts the modelling
Forest is a painting (c. 1902–1904) by French painter Paul Cézanne. An oil on canvas, it represents a wooded area close to Aix-en-Provence. It is currently in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada.
Girl Reading a Letter at an Open Window is an oil painting by Dutch Baroque painter Johannes Vermeer. Completed in approximately 1657–1659, the well-preserved painting is on display at the Gemäldegalerie in Dresden. For many years, the attribution of the painting—which features a young Dutch woman reading a letter before an open window—was lost, with first Rembrandt and then Peter de Hooch being credited for the work before it was properly identified in 1880. After World War II, the painting was briefly in possession of the Soviet Union.
The painting depicts a young Dutch blonde standing at an open window, in profile, reading a letter. A red drapery hangs over the top of the window glass, which has opened inward and which, in its lower right quadrant, reflects her. A tasseled ochre drapery in the foreground left, partially closed, masks a quarter of the room in which she stands. The color of the drape reflects the green of the woman's gown and the shades of the fruit tilted in a bowl on the red-draped table. On the table beside the bowl, a peach is cut in half, revealing its pit.
In Vermeer, 1632–1675 (2000), Norbert Schneider indicates that the open window is on one level intended
Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto (c. 1597) is a painting by Italian Baroque master Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. It is located in the casino of the Villa Ludovisi, Rome. It is unusually painted in oils on plaster. Oil painting is normally on canvas or, less frequently, on wood.
According to an early biographer, one of Caravaggio's aims was to discredit critics who claimed that he had no grasp of perspective. The three figures demonstrate the most dramatic foreshortening imaginable. They contradict claims that Caravaggio always painted from live models.
The painting was done for Caravaggio's patron Cardinal Francesco Maria Del Monte and painted on the ceiling of the cardinal's garden villa at porta Pinciana, where the cardinal dabbled in alchemy. Caravaggio has painted an allegory of the alchemical triad of Paracelsus: Jupiter stands for sulphur and air, Neptune for mercury and water, and Pluto for salt and earth. Each figure is identified by his beast: Jupiter by the eagle, Neptune by the hippocamp, and Pluto by the three-headed dog Cerberus. Jupiter is reaching out to move the celestial sphere in which the Sun revolves around the Earth. Galileo was a friend of Del Monte but had yet
The Tête à Tête is the second canvas in the series of six satirical paintings known as Marriage à-la-mode, painted by William Hogarth.
The painting is the sparsest in terms of characters present, with only 4:
While the details are not always settled upon (the time of the day is one of the most disputed questions in the entire series), the primary implication is clear: The two are totally uninterested in each other, and the marriage and the household are rapidly becoming untenable.
Portrait of Paul-Eugￃﾨne Milliet is a painting by Vincent van Gogh, executed in September 1888 in Arles.
Paul-Eugￃﾨne Milliet was a 2nd Lieutenant at the 3rd Zouave Regiment which had quarters at the Caserne Calvin located on Boulevard des Lices in Arles. Vincent van Gogh gave him drawings lessons, and in revanche Milliet took a roll of paintings by Van Gogh to Paris, when in mid August he was passing the French capital on his way to the North, where Milliet spent his holidays. On his return to Arles, end September 1888, Milliet handed over a batch of Ukiyo-e woodcuts and other prints selected by Vincent's brother Theo from their collection, - and in the days to follow Vincent executed this portrait of Milliet.
In the first version of Van Gogh's Bedroom, executed in October 1888, Milliet's portrait is shown hanging to the right of the portrait of Eugￃﾨne Boch
Portrait of Paul-Eugￃﾨne MillietPortrait of Paul-Eugￃﾨne Milliet
The Baptism of Christ is a painting finished around 1475 in the studio of the Italian Renaissance painter Andrea del Verrocchio and generally ascribed to him and his pupil Leonardo da Vinci. Some art historians discern the hands of other members of Verrocchio's workshop in the painting as well. The picture depicts the Baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist as recorded in the Biblical Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. The angel to the left is recorded as having been painted by the youthful Leonardo, a fact which has excited so much special comment and mythology, that the importance and value of the picture as a whole and within the œuvre of Verrocchio is often overlooked. It is housed in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.
Andrea del Verrocchio was a sculptor, goldsmith and painter who ran a large and successful workshop in Florence in the second half of the 15th century. Among his apprentices and close associates were the painters Botticelli, Botticini, Lorenzo di Credi and Leonardo da Vinci. Verrocchio was not himself a prolific painter and very few pictures are attributed to his hand, his fame lying chiefly in his sculptured works. Verrocchio's paintings, as are typical of Florentine
The Conversion of Saint Paul (or Conversion of Saul), by the Italian painter Caravaggio, is housed in the Odescalchi Balbi Collection of Rome. It is one of at least two paintings by Caravaggio of the same subject, the Conversion of Paul. Another is The Conversion of Saint Paul on the Road to Damascus, in the Cerasi Chapel of Santa Maria del Popolo.
The painting, together with a Crucifixion of Saint Peter, was commissioned by Monsignor (later Cardinal) Tiberio Cerasi, Treasurer-General to Pope Clement VIII, in September 1600. According to Caravaggio's early biographer Giovanni Baglione, both paintings were rejected by Cerasi, and replaced by the second versions which hang in the chapel today. The dates of completion and rejection are determined from the death of Cerasi in May 1601. Baglione states that the first versions of both paintings were taken by Cardinal Giacomo Sannessio, but another early writer, Giulio Mancini, says that Sannessio's paintings were copies. Nevertheless, most scholars are satisfied that this is the first version of the Conversion of Paul.
The painting records the moment when Saul of Tarsus, on his way to Damascus to annihilate the Christian community there,
The Inspiration of Saint Matthew (1602) is a painting by the Italian master Caravaggio. Commissioned by the French Cardinal Matteo Contarelli, the canvas hangs in Contarelli chapel altar in the church of the French congregation San Luigi dei Francesi in Rome, Italy. It is one of three Caravaggio canvases in the chapel: hanging between the larger earlier canvases of The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew, and The Calling of Saint Matthew. This was not an easy commission for Caravaggio, and at least two of the three paintings had to be either replaced or repainted to satisfy his patron, the Cardinal Del Monte.
It is instructive to compare the two versions of the latter painting to see how provocative and controversial Caravaggio was in his time. Unfortunately, the first, rejected, version of this theme was destroyed in World War II, and we only have black and white reproductions. In the first version, the angel invades St Matthew's personal space and indulges in what appears more an erotic nudging than divine inspiration. The nubile angel intertwines with the old man, apparently whispering inspiration into his ear. The rejected painting can be compared to the earlier Caravaggio canvas of the
The Shepherdess (Pastourelle) (the word is a term for a shepherdess in Southern French dialect) is a painting by William-Adolphe Bouguereau completed in 1889. It depicts an idyllic, pastoral scene of a lone young woman in peasant attire posed for the artist, her arms balancing a stick across her shoulders, standing barefooted in the foreground. In the background are oxen grazing in the field. It is one of many paintings by Bouguereau depicting shepherdesses, including one of the same name created in 1881.
The subject is a model employed by Bouguereau for this and other paintings, including The Bohemian.
It is currently in the permanent collection at the Philbrook Museum of Art.
The Transfiguration is considered the last painting by the Italian High Renaissance master Raphael. It was left unfinished by Raphael, and is believed to have been completed by his pupil, Giulio Romano, shortly after Raphael's death in 1520. The picture is now housed in the Pinacoteca Vaticana of the Vatican Museum in the Vatican City.
This painting was created by Raphael and was believed to express a connection between God and his people.
The Transfiguration was created in 1516 and is another high end altarpiece. It was commissioned by Cardinal Giulio de Medici who was made archbishop of Narbonne and became Pope Clement VII.
At the time when Raphael was commissioned to paint the Transfiguration he was still doing the other commissions, the Stanze and the cartoons of the life of St Peter, three palaces and a villa. So Giulio de Medici commissioned Sebastiano del Piombo to paint the “Raising of Lazarus” to spur Raphael on.
At the time of his death, "the artist 'who lived more like a prince than a painter' lay in state for a couple of days at his house in the Borgo, with the famous Transfiguration, left unfinished at Raphael's death, at his head."
Following Raphael's premature death