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Posts Tagged ‘art’

Madonna of the Harpies TCB

The original Madonna of the Harpies (1517) currently resides in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy. It was painted by Andrea del Sarto (1486 – 1530) during the High Renaissance. This likely 19th century reproduction, artist unknown, resides in the hallway of a local church. Like similar paintings I’ve found in churches as I photograph their stained glass windows, the history of their paintings, tucked oftentimes in out of the way places, has faded over time. The how and the why of their existence is hard to discern without deeper research. And then in the end, as I have been reminded, one must keep in mind that during the late 19th century as wealthy Americans made grand tours of Italy there was a great demand for reproductions of Renaissance art (assuming one couldn’t buy the art outright).

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Andrea del Sarto self-portrait

Andrea del Sarto was a contemporary of Leonardo da Vinci, Michaelangelo and Raphael. This painting is considered to be one of his finest works. Much has been written about this painting. I especially enjoyed reading David Franklin’s description of the artist’s creative process on page 136 of his book Painting in Renaissance Florence, 1500-1550.  I don’t know that I shall ever make it to Florence but it was a treat to learn of this powerful work of art by walking down a hallway.

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Madonna of the Harpies by Andrea del Sarto (1517)

Sources & Additional Reading

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madonna_of_the_Harpies

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrea_del_Sarto

http://www.uffizi.com/painting-madonna-delle-arpie-uffizi-gallery.aspx

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ResurrectionbyLaFarge1902

I’ve been lucky enough to have traveled to quite a few churches around the world, to glimpse just a bit of their sacred and secular beauty, and I have to say at this moment in my life, John La Farge’s The Resurrection (1902) for Trinity Church in the City of Boston is one that moves me most. It has been a pleasure to work collaboratively with colleagues there and with design companies to identify ways to translate, if only in a tiny way, such beauty in stained glass to items that people might like to take home or share with others.

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I still love producing postcards and prints but I think this translation of the image onto a collectible oval glass ornament is especially striking given La Farge’s mastery of designing with the interplay of layered glass, paint and the effect of light always in mind. When you’re in the area, please see the window for yourself by visiting the church.  Learn more here: http://trinitychurchboston.org/visit/tours.  The oval ornament can be found in the church gift shop.

 

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CynthiaPattern

It was a rainy day which was okay because I think we need the rain. So I stayed inside dealing with necessary paperwork and wonderfully unnecessary research and in between I continued to play around with online tools like GIMP. I’m notorious for asking friends, especially when they’re grumpy, what brought you joy today? Several things brought me joy today, including dabbling in virtual paint to produce these patterns.  I hope you had a good day.

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I have read too many headlines this morning. My head is full of thoughts. I think I shall take a break from the computer screen until I can sort them. Meanwhile, I share these last images from my recent visit to the Boston Public Library’s Abbey Room and painter Edwin Austin Abbey’s expression of Tennyson’s Idylls of the King.

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Panel XIII. Sir Galahad crosses the sea in Solomon’s Ship

As for what’s happening in this scene, from the BPL website: “Sir Galahad crosses the seas to Sarras in Solomon’s Ship, guided by the Grail borne by an angel. Sir Bors and Sir Percival accompany him, while three spindles for the Tree of Life rest upon the stern of the ship.”

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https://www.flickr.com/photos/boston_public_library/sets/72157647672175522/with/15074561737/

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detail from The Arthurian Round Table and the fable of the Seat Perilous

Between 1893 and 1902 fifteen panels were installed in the Boston Public Library in Copley Square depicting the story of The Quest for the Holy Grail. Conceived of by artist Edwin Austin Abbey (1852-1911) he based his work on Lord Alfred Tennyson’s  version of the Arthurian legend. In recent years the BPL has done a magnificent job of capturing the beauty of the full panels and sharing each panel’s story with the public through Flikr. That link is below. When I walk in with my camera I tend to focus in on the details and this is what I recently saw.

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detail from King Amfortas and the Castle of the Grail lie under a spell

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This time one of my favorite panels to focus on what the last in the sequence, The Golden Tree. According to the BPL summary, an adaptation from an outline by Henry James, “Sir Galahad, now the King of Sarras, builds a golden tree. When he is presented with the Grail, his spirit and the Grail ascend to heaven. Like other elements throughout the mural cycle, the golden tree and the Grail are depicted in gilded raised relief, a method that Abbey may have learned from his studio partner John Singer Sargent.”

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Well worth a visit to see in person but until then you can see the full cycle of panels here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/boston_public_library/sets/72157647672175522/with/15258034891/

And if you have a large cup of tea at hand, or something else, you can read Tennyson’s Holy Grail upon which the murals were based. They don’t write poems like this anymore. 🙂 http://d.lib.rochester.edu/camelot/text/tennyson-the-holy-grail

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That is what I encourage you to do if you choose to view the poem, Refugee, written by Miki Byrne and beautifully illustrated by Podessto:

http://popshotpopshot.com/posts/20170215-refugee.html

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Detail from stained glass window, The Resurrection, by John La Farge (1902) at Trinity Church in the City of Boston.

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