The Raising of the Cross is one in a series of paintings based on the crucifixion of Christ by Peter Paul Rubens. This piece was painted between 1609 and 1610 with oil on canvas in life size with the centerpiece of the triptych measuring 15’2” by 11’2”. It is now displayed in the Cathedral of Our Lady in Antwerp, Belgium (Dunton, 164). Peter Paul Rubens was a Flemish artist that painted in Baroque style, his paintings were mostly of religious and mythical origin and his skill in such has been highly regarded in his lifetime and since. (www.peterpaulrubens.com) Born June 28, 1577, Rubens development as a painter, apparently, started early. After his father’s death and his family moving to Antwerp he decided he wished to be a painter and “In 1598, at the age of 21, he was accorded the rank of master painter of the Antwerp Guild of St. Luke” (CSU Eastbay article).
Looking across the entire triptych certain visual elements can be seen. Lighting is carefully used to highlight many important details in the painting; the dramatic facial expressions of many of the people in this scene are clearly lighted and defined to illustrate the emotions felt by the witnesses. In the left panel of The Raising of the Cross, among the mourners appear to be St. John, another man that seems to be consoling St. John, Elizabeth (the mother of John the Baptist), St. Mary (the mother of Jesus) and Mary Magdalene (hoocher.com). One of the mourners is actually looking directly at the viewer with a very distraught expression on her face. The mourner that I suspect is St. John in the back appears to be almost nauseous and his face is surrounded by darkness and is subordinate and his face is being emphasized. Also, the rocky background is subordin...
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...is parallel to the implied line shown by the stick in the soldier’s hand.
The Raising of the Cross is an amazing piece of art and the depth of meaning contained in it is, likely, beyond my grasp. There appear to be many symbolisms in this painting and I have surely overlooked some. The style of this painting is clearly inspired by the Baroque masters of Rubens day and Ruben took the style to a new level that the world had not seen at that time. The other pieces in the series of Ruben’s paintings based around the crucifixion of Christ help to give this painting clarity and to give hints to the figures in the paintings.
Dunton, Larkin (1896). The World and Its People. Silver, Burdett. p. 164.
The painting is of a young St. John the Baptist preaching to his congregation. St. John is an important figure in Catholicism not only for his preaching and baptisms in the River Jordan, but for his role as the last prophet and the forerunner of Jesus Christ. His preaching foretells the coming of Christ as the Messiah, and thereupon Christ’s baptism, the voice from Heaven told St. John that Jesus was God’s son. This piece by Calabrese captures John at the height of his oration. Fixed atop a decrepit tree trunk yet grappling for stability, John is shown here in his ascetic attire composed of camel hair, holding his staff and scroll bearing the words “Ecce Agnus Dei,” which translates into Beho...
Annunciation (Paolo Caliari) and The Raising of Lazarus (Joachim Wtewael) are oil on canvas paintings located in the Blanton Museum of Art. Annunciation is set on a balcony during sunset; the archangel Gabriel appears to be ascending from heaven and a woman seems to be falling in awe of the sight. The Raising of Lazarus depicts about fourteen people in a scene where everyone is looking at a different person, but no eye contact is taking place. The people are in the foreground, and a city can be seen in the background. Although these works of art were created during a similar time period and share a few similarities, these paintings also contrast in a number of ways when viewed closely.
The immediate background consists of natural mounds of dirt and a brick wall that enclose the Virgin, Child, and St. John, amplifying the protective effect that Mary’s figure has. The dirt mounds roll inward with a brick wall bordering them on the right, drawing the viewer’s attention towards the three figures. The background is painted in broad terms, with a simple, uniform depiction of tree leaves and smooth rock faces on the horizon. This contrasts with the fine-lined detail and texture of Mary’s hair, facial features, and veil, which further contribute to her elegance and highlight her
By most accounts, the year 1500 was in the midst of the height of the Italian Renaissance. In that year, Flemmish artist Jean Hey, known as the “Master of Moulins,” painted “The Annunciation” to adorn a section of an alter piece for his royal French patrons. The painting tells the story of the angel Gabriel’s visit to the Virgin Mary to deliver the news that she will give birth to the son of God. As the story goes, Mary, an unwed woman, was initially terrified about the prospects of pregnancy, but eventually accepts her fate as God’s servant. “The Annunciation” is an oil painting on a modest canvas, three feet tall and half as wide. The setting of the painting is a study, Mary sitting at a desk in the bottom right hand corner reading, and the angel Gabriel behind her holding a golden scepter, perhaps floating and slightly off the canvas’s center to the left. Both figures are making distinct hand gestures, and a single white dove, in a glowing sphere of gold, floats directly above Mary’s head. The rest of the study is artistic but uncluttered: a tiled floor, a bed with red sheets, and Italian-style architecture. “The Annunciation” was painted at a momentous time, at what is now considered the end of the Early Renaissance (the majority of the 15th Century) and the beginning of the High Renaissance (roughly, 1495 – 1520). Because of its appropriate placement in the Renaissance’s timeline and its distinctly High Renaissance characteristics, Jean Hey’s “Annunciation” represents the culmination of the transition from the trial-and-error process of the Early Renaissance, to the technical perfection that embodied the High Renaissance. Specifically, “Annunciation” demonstrates technical advancements in the portrayal of the huma...
The artists of the Baroque had a remarkably different style than artists of the Renaissance due to their different approach to form, space, and composition. This extreme differentiation in style resulted in a very different treatment of narrative. Perhaps this drastic stylistic difference between the Renaissance and Baroque in their treatment of form, space, and composition and how these characteristics effect the narrative of a painting cannot be seen more than in comparing Perugino’s Christ Delivering the Keys of the Kingdom to St. Peter from the Early Renaissance to Caravaggio’s Conversion of St. Paul from the Baroque.Perugino was one of the greatest masters of the Early Renaissance whose style ischaracterized by the Renaissance ideals of purity, simplicity, and exceptional symmetry of composition. His approach to form in Christ Delivering the Keys of the Kingdom to St.Peter was very linear. He outlined all the figures with a black line giving them a sense of stability, permanence, and power in their environment, but restricting the figures’ sense of movement. In fact, the figures seem to not move at all, but rather are merely locked at a specific moment in time by their rigid outline. Perugino’s approach to the figures’themselves is extremely humanistic and classical. He shines light on the figures in a clear, even way, keeping with the rational and uncluttered meaning of the work. His figures are all locked in a contrapposto pose engaging in intellectual conversation with their neighbor, giving a strong sense of classical rationality. The figures are repeated over and over such as this to convey a rational response and to show the viewer clarity. Perugino’s approach to space was also very rational and simple. He organizes space along three simple planes: foreground, middle ground, and background. Christ and Saint Peter occupy the center foreground and solemn choruses of saints and citizens occupy the rest of the foreground. The middle distance is filled with miscellaneous figures, which complement the front group, emphasizing its density and order, by their scattered arrangement. Buildings from the Renaissance and triumphal arches from Roman antiquity occupy the background, reinforcing the overall classical message to the
The main theme can simply be seen easily is religion. At first glance you can see why the title is so fitting. The Angel is seen pointing up while hold a tombstone, as if leading Jesus up. Jesus is shown above him pointing in the same direction almost as if talking about heaven. You can tell who Jesus is not only by his placement but by the cloth, light halo, and possible makes on his head from the thorn crown. The dramatic size as well gives it a religious feel. Cecco again shows he uncanny ability to resemble Caravaggio to build connection. Caravaggio’s work surround religion had the ability to provide “ direct communication..[and] establish” a bond “between the spectator and the sacred scene[s]” (Chorpenning 145).“When standing up close I felt that looking up I was another person there looking to where he is pointing. The dramatic scene is something to behold in person that is so interesting. The contrast of the angel and Jesus who are lighter than anyone else from the dark background make them stand out. The light sources that help bring in contrast is like a ray of light or even a spotlight light. The way the light falls helps reinforce the importance of Jesus and
A common topic of artwork throughout history has been the crucifixion of Christ. Since it is such a common topic, it makes it very easy to see how artwork changed and developed from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. The painting on the left, The Crucifixion by Pietro Lorenzetti, shows the usual characteristics of a painting from the Middle Ages. The facial expressions are not varied or very in depth, Jesus and the other saints have the typical halo that is used very often, and the colors are mostly all bright, making nothing in particular stand out. The second painting, on the right, is by Caravaggio and is titled The Flagellation of Christ. There is an obvious shift from one painting to the next. Caravaggio’s piece is much more realistic.
This painting, measuring about six-by-seven feet, is a massive work that draws viewers directly to it once they enter the room in which its displayed. It is not covered by any glass and is in a very well-lit area, thus it allows viewers to stand as close as possible to see the details of how Peter Paul Rubens handled his medium. Looking at the painting from a photograph is much different than viewing it up close and in person, because when looking at a photograph, one cannot see the texture of the paint that gives the painting its very delicate, unique, and realistic quality. The work appears to be in very good condition because most of the colors are still very rich and vibrant, such as Adonis’ red garment (Rubens). Although one cannot tell when directly viewing the piece, it has been said that previous use of radiographs for further analysis on the painting uncovered that initially, “Rubens gave A...
The theme can be generally recognized in this piece through color, space, and especially through use of light. The colors used in this piece are mostly calm toned, whereas the robes and shawls worn are pale blues, corals, and beiges. There are however, some harsh colored objects such as Mary’s navy blue shaul and deep coral gown, as well as Christ’s coral necklace that stand out from the rest of the colors. Mary’s veil and the angel on the lefts’ hair are translucent in certain streams of light coming from the windows throughout the room. The artists suggests that the light is dedicated not to represent the divine but to rather represent a more natural juxtaposition on the piece. The space that the characters stand in is fully used by the subjects but also has a very interesting doorway with heightened perspecti...
I chose “The Martyrdom of St. Matthew” as the painting that best illustrates the baroque period. The reasons surrounding my decision are clear in Caravaggio’s painting. Here Caravaggio uses the entire canvas to illustrate complexity, flow, and chiaroscuro. The painting depicts the source of lighting to be coming from the left side of the plane. The brightest light focuses directly on Matthew’s executioner who intends to strike Matthew with an old balcanic hand weapon. Caravaggio masterfully illustrates the use of lighting by casting believable shadows. As an example, the shadow of the handle on balcanic hand weapon reflects on the executioner’s left thigh and knee. Another shadow appears on the executioner’s right inner thigh. The lighting source to the left of the executioner, the executioner, St. Matthews, the boy, the 2 observer’s bottom, right, and the fainter lighting upper left of the canvas illustrates the technique of visual movement. The lighting is placed strategically, causing visual movement within the piece. For example, the illumination of the executioner’s forearm directs my attention to the angel who appears to be handing St. Matthew a palm leaf. As a result, my eyes then focuses on the body of St. Matthew, lying on the bottom of the altar, then my eyes shifts up toward the Angle’s arm. The lighting on the angel's arm contrasted with the darkness of the palm leaf forces the viewer to look at the hand to see what St. Matthew is reaching for. The boy fleeing the scene further draws in the viewer. The two adult observers at the bottom right of the painting are illuminated but not as bright as the two main characters. Next, my attention is drawn to the man lying on the bottom steps, left side of the canv...
... the way that the artwork is resembled in the religious background of the gospel but reconstructed in to a celebrating impression. Throughout the fresco painting it depicts the myth of the Christ’s three fold temptations relating back to the article that “distinction between fresco and panel painting is sharp, and that painters are seen as competitors amongst themselves discriminating also, between the difference in genuine attempts in being better then the other.” Baxandall, “Conditions of Trade,” 26. in relation, the painting concerns the painter’s conscious response to picture trade, and the non-isolation in pictorial interests.
Masaccio’s famous religious painting, “The Holy Trinity”, is known for the engagement of linear perspective to create an image that goes beyond just paint on canvas, (or should I say wall?) by creating the illusion of depth. This painting addresses many religious concepts by setting up different levels and layers in the constructed space. The characters depicted are made up of four groups of human figures, which include the Trinity (God the father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit), the Virgin Mary and Saint John, a pair of donors, and a skeleton on a tomb at the bottom of the picture. There is an apparent point of separation, which is made clear due to each group being on separate levels. Their difference in power is fundamental feature in explaining the relationship that is being portrayed between mankind and divinity in this painting. Because of Masaccio’s use and manipulation of perspective and a vanishing point – a new line of finite and infinity is crossed because visual manifestations of a hierarchical division between eternal life above, death below and the living in between are expressed.
The Renaissance in Western Europe brought a “rebirth” to the arts. No longer was the church the only accredited patron for the arts. Instead, a wealthy middle class arose as patrons and were able to purchase artist’s works. Although many pieces still had religious themes, the styles, freedom of creativity, and less reserved pieces were created. The Renaissance was not only confined to Italy, although it is often mistaken as the birthplace of the movement. All over Western Europe artwork flourished. Artists from the north came to Italy to study the classical arts and the renowned Italian Renaissance artists. Many of the same themes and subject matters were depicted throughout Western Europe. One such subject matter, the Annunciation, was portrayed by Jan van Eyck, a Flemish panel painter, as well as, Fra Angelico, an Italian fresco painter. In short, the Annunciation occurred when God sends the angel, Gabriel to deliver the message to Mary that she will give birth to his only son. Although both artists had the same understanding of the biblical account, their styles varied to agree with the concerns and interests of the people of the time as well as where they lived. They were able to establish their individuality through their artwork, even with the same subject matter. The Annunciation by Jan van Eyck is a perfect reflection of Northern Renaissance panel painting while Annunciation by Fra Angelico is the essence of Italian Renaissance fresco painting.
Art is important to religion in many different ways. Perhaps none has analyzed how art and religion have influenced and affected each other through the ages. Pictures painted of past events that help to bring back the feeling and importance of the past have been forgotten by some. To the one’s that haven’t forgotten are able to see the event’s as the bible says they happened. Not only can you see the events, but it also allows the younger students of the church to understand the events. The use of images of God became widespread after the second century. This religious art has defiantly been around for centuries and plays an important role to the history of religion as well as the future.