Thursday, November 23, 2017

Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux's enduring admiration for Michelangelo

Pietà | Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux | The Met - The Metropolitan Museum of Art
NEW YORK---Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux's "Pietà" demonstrates an enduring admiration for the plangent heroism of Michelangelo, evinced earlier in the famous Ugolino and his Sons, conceived during his study years in Rome, of which the Metropolitan owns the marble finished in 1867. The government of Napoleon III kept Carpeaux busy with official projects, involving decorative sculpture and portraiture, but it is clear from the evidence of the private moments that he occasionally seized to sketch sacred subjects, as here, that he would have been one of the most powerful of all religious artists had he been freer to exercise this repertory. Mounding the clay pellets and pressing them into shape in mere seconds, his entire attention is on the Virgin Mary's maternal embrace, to the virtual exclusion of Christ's legs. On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 552 [More]

Happy Thanksgiving! Art by Joseph Griffith

Joseph Griffith's "The First Thanksgiving" (2013)
Virginia-based artist Joseph Griffith is consumed by the act of methodically blending the strange, the contemporary, and religious references into displays of visual delight. Drawing upon the influence of masters like Van Eyck, Trumbull, and Van der Helst, the inspired works of Joseph Griffith are also derived from his odd dreams. His work has been described as postmodern, surreal, and lowbrow. His painting "The First Thanksgiving" is dramatic contrast to traditionalist “The First Thanksgiving 1621,” by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris. We think you will agree that it's different from most all Thanksgiving paintings! His studio is lined with his original Nintendo collection, various fossils, arcade machines, and inspirational art from other artists.

It’s always Chanukah in this picture-perfect Italian town

EUGENIO CARMI 2000 60 x 60 x 3,5 cm Mixed media on wood and fabric
CASALE MONFERRATO, Italy – It’s always Chanukah in this picturesque town in northern Italy’s Piedmont region. Jews have lived in Casale Monferrato for more than 500 years, with the community reaching its peak of 850 members at about the time Jews here were granted civil rights in 1848. The town still boasts one of Italy’s most ornate synagogues, a rococo gem that dates to the 16th century. These days, only two Jewish families live in Casale. The synagogue, which is part of a larger museum complex, is now a major tourist attraction – and not only because of its opulent sanctuary with huge chandeliers, colorfully painted walls and lots of gilding. The former women’s section has been transformed into a Judaica and Jewish history museum. And the synagogue’s basement, formerly a matzah bakery, is now home to the Museum of Lights. [More]

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Museum of Russian Icons receives major gift of more than 100 works

Saint Nicholas, 19th c., The Edward and Joan Simpson Collection. Courtesy Museum of Russian Icons.
CLINTON, MA---The Museum of Russian Icons has announced that Boston area collectors Edward and Joan Simpson have donated their exceptional collection of 18th and 19th century Russian icons and sacred artifacts to the Museum–a donation that will be the largest and most valuable single gift since founder Gordon B. Lankton established the Museum in 2006. The only museum in the US dedicated to Russian icons, the Museum of Russian Icons has the largest collection of icons outside of Russia.... Whereas Gordon Lankton was primarily attracted to the traditional Old Believer style in icons produced from the 15th through 18th centuries that are often characterized by the use of metal, the Simpsons’ collection contains 18th and 19th century icons more openly influenced by European religious art. [More]