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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Louvre Paintings

Web Address of Museum
Art Title
Cappella Brancacci, Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence http://toscana-domani.com/florence/churches/cappella-brancacci.html

The Expulsion of Eden
Tommaso Masaccio
(Above Ea. Paragraph)

Resurrection of the Son of Theophilus
Tommaso Masaccio


National Gallery, London http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/
Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and his Wife; Oil on oak


When it was cleaned, Tommaso Masaccio's fresco of The Expulsion (1426–1427) lost the added fig leaves.

One of my favorite periods for art was the Italian Renaissance. To find some of the best art works it is imperative to have a strong knowledge and willingness to travel to the world’s greatest chapels.

The Expulsion from the Garden of Eden (Italian: Cacciata dei progenitori dall'Eden) is a fresco by renowned early-Renaissance artist Masaccio. The fresco itself was painted on the wall of Brancacci Chapel, in the Santa Maria del Carmine church in Florence, Italy. It depicts a famous scene in the Hebrew Bible (or the Christian Old Testament), the expulsion from the garden from Genesis 3, albeit with a few differences from the canonical account.

The main points in this painting that deviate from the account as it appears in Genesis:
Adam and Eve are shown in the nude. Although this increases the drama of the scene, it differs from Genesis 3:21 (KJV) which states, "Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them."
Only one Cherub angel is present. Genesis 3:24 states, "So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, [...]" (-im being the original Hebrew plural ending of Cherub, doubled with an English plural in this version).
The arch depicted at the garden entrance does not appear in the Biblical account.
Masaccio provided a large inspiration to the more famous Renaissance painter Michelangelo, due to the fact that Michelangelo's teacher, Ghirlandaio, looked almost exclusively to him for inspiration for his religious scenes. Ghirlandaio also imitated various designs done by Masaccio. This influence is most visible in Michelangelo's "The Fall of Man and the Expulsion from the Garden of Eden" on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

Masaccio's scenes show his reference to Giotto especially. The Expulsion from the Garden of Eden, depicting a distressed Adam and Eve nude, had a huge influence on Michelangelo. Another major work is the Tribute Money in which Jesus and the Apostles are depicted as neo-classical archetypes. Seldom noted is that the shadows of the figures all fall away from the chapel window, as if the figures are lit by it; this an added stroke of verisimilitude and further tribute to Masaccio's innovative genius.
On September 1425 Masolino left the work and went to Hungary. It is not known if this was because of money quarrels with Felice or even if there was an artistic divergence with Masaccio. It has also been supposed that Masolino planned this trip from the very beginning, and needed a close collaborator who could continue the work after his departure.
Some of the scenes completed by the duo were lost in a fire in 1771; we know about them only through Vasari's biography. The surviving parts were extensively blackened by smoke, and the recent removal of marble slabs covering two areas of the paintings has revealed the original appearance of the work. Masaccio left the frescoes unfinished in 1426 in order to respond to other commissions, probably coming from the same patron. However, it has also been suggested that the declining finances of Felice Brancacci were insufficient to pay for any more work, so the painter therefore sought work elsewhere.
Many possible sources of inspiration have been pointed out that Masaccio may have drawn from. For Adam, possible references include numerous sculptures of Marsyas (from Greek Mythology) and certain crucifix done by Donatello.
For Eve, art analysts usually point to different versions of Venus Pudica, such as Prudence by Giovanni Pisano.
Three centuries after the fresco being painted, Cosimo III de' Medici came to power. Viewing nudity as disgusting, he ordered that fig leaves be drawn to conceal the more questionable areas of the figures. (see iconoclasm). This was eventually removed in the 1980's when the painting was fully restored and cleaned.

2. Resurrection of the Son of Theophilus

Masaccio returned in 1427 to work again in the Carmine, beginning the Resurrection of the Son of Theophilus, but apparently left it, too, unfinished, though it has also been suggested that the painting was severely damaged later in the century because it contained portraits of the Branacci family, at that time excoriated as enemies of the Medici. This painting was either restored or completed more than fifty years later by Filippino Lippi.
The Arnolfini Portrait or Giovanni and his Wife.
This painting has many hidden messages, like many paintings of its time, the clogs and outdoor sandals for example could mean many things like the couple have removed what might be typical wedding presents, or represent the taking of shoes in a sacred precincts.
"The Arnolfini Marriage" is a name that has been given to this untitled double portrait by Jan van Eyck, now in the National Gallery, London. It is one of the greatest celebrations of human mutuality. Like Rembrandt's "Jewish Bride", this painting reveals to us the inner meaning of a true marriage.
Giovanni Arnolfini, a prosperous Italian banker who had settled in Bruges, and his wife Giovanna Cenami, stand side by side in the bridal chamber, facing towards the viewer. The husband is holding out his wife's hand.
Despite the restricted space, the painter has contrived to surround them with a host of symbols. To the left, the oranges placed on the low table and the windowsill are a reminder of an original innocence, of an age before sin. Unless, that is, they are not in fact oranges but apples (it is difficult to be certain), in which case they would represent the temptation of knowledge and the Fall. Above the couple's heads, the candle that has been left burning in broad daylight on one of the branches of an ornate copper chandelier can be interpreted as the nuptial flame, or as the eye of God. The small dog in the foreground is an emblem of fidelity and love. Meanwhile, the marriage bed with its bright red curtains evokes the physical act of love which, according to Christian doctrine, is an essential part of the perfect union of man and wife.
Although all these different elements are highly charged with meaning, they are of secondary importance compared to the mirror, the focal point of the whole composition. It has often been noted that two tiny figures can be seen reflected in it, their image captured as they cross the threshold of the room. They are the painter himself and a young man, doubtless arriving to act as witnesses to the marriage. The essential point, however, is the fact that the convex mirror is able to absorb and reflect in a single image both the floor and the ceiling of the room, as well as the sky and the garden outside, both of which are otherwise barely visible through the side window. The mirror thus acts as a sort of hole in the texture of space. It sucks the entire visual world into itself, transforming it into a representation.
The cubic space in which the Arnolfinis stand is itself a prefiguration of the techniques of perspective which were still to come. Van Eyck practised perspective on a purely heuristic basis, unaware of the laws by which it was governed. In this picture, he uses the mirror precisely in order to explode the limits of the space to which his technique gives him access as soon as it threatens to limit him.
Van Eyck was intensely interested in the effects of light: oil paint allowed him to depict it with great subtlety in this picture, notably on the gleaming brass chandelier.


Design by Bernard Van ORLEY (circa 1488-1541)Landscape by Jan TONS (circa 1500-70 or thereafter) Woven in the workshop of Guillaume and Jean DERMOYENThe Hunts of Maximilian: The Month of September1531-33At the Louvre in Paris, France.

“The Louvre collection of Renaissance decorative arts offers visitors an introduction to fifteenth-century Italian innovations, and to their diffusion and assimilation in other European countries. In the early fifteenth-century Tuscany saw a revival of interest in antiquity, initiated by architects, sculptors and painters. This revival marked a decisive break with the conventions of International Gothic art, and first emerged in Florence at the very beginning of the fifteenth century. The Renaissance was thus originally an Italian movement, manifested in the field of the decorative arts in workshops making tapestries, ceramics and bronzes. Objects in new and inventive forms, re-creating the splendours of antiquity, were commissioned by illustrious princes, collectors and patrons of art. Throughout the sixteenth century, Italian stylistic innovations spread across the rest of Europe, in France, Germany and Flanders. Italian Mannerism then conquered the whole of Europe, evolving differently in each artistic centre. These gradually threw off the Italian influence and began to produce more autonomous works. All the princes of Europe commissioned tapestries, glazed pottery, bronzes and painted enamels to embellish their castles and palaces.Although the Renaissance is known above all for its paintings, the decorative arts proved to be among its most sumptuous manifestations.” –Louvre

Hunt Breakfast was painted in 1837 for the main dining room in Louis XV's suite at Fontainebleau. This lightweight illustration of the history painter's art points up the transformation of taste in interior decoration that came with the Regency, with pastoral and the hunt replacing the mythological metaphors of the past.
Son of the portraitist François de Troy, the artist set out to become the leading painter of his generation. He was eventually a Neoclassical stylist but, he remains one of the 18th century's great history painters and had a considerable influence on the young Joseph-Marie Vien. Born in Paris in 1679, Jean-François de Troy studied with his father before spending the years 1699-1706 in Italy. Returned as an admirer of Veronese and Titian, he was admitted to the Academy of Painting and Sculpture as a history painter. Deeply disappointed at not receiving major commissions, de Troy painted seven tapestry cartoons for the royal Gobelins manufactory. His Story of Esther series enjoyed great success and was woven several times in the course of the 18th century.

Jean-François de TroyParis, 1679 - Rome, 1752
de Troy also spelled Detroy French Rococo painter known for his tableaux de mode, or scenes of the life of the French upper class and aristocracy, especially during the period of the regency— “Hunt Breakfast.”


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Senior UI/UX web designer at a large-scale IT contractor for defense, intelligence, and civilian government solutions. Adventurist and certified Yoga / Barre Instructor. Love aviation, books, and travel.Prefer long light hearted series in mystery, comedy, fantasy, and romance.

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