Archive for the Feast of the Epiphany Category

Sebastian and Lucrezia, the wonders of Dosso Dossi

Posted in 16th cent, Apollo, Borgias, Dosso Dossi, Feast of the Epiphany, Vasari on April 13, 2011 by babylonbaroque

Lucrezia Borgia and Saint Sebastian may seem odd studio mates, but in the hands of master Dosso Dossi they are given equal opportunity to blossom into full beauty.

Dosso Dossi, 1490-1542, trained as a youth in the Roman workshop of Raphael was a master colorist. His mysterious allegories wrought in oil dazzle the eye, as do his touching and often sensual images of blessed saints.


Saint Sebastian

undated

If you have been following the  mini-series The Borgias as I have, you might be interested in what the real Lucrezia is to have looked like, at least as painted by Dosso Dossi. This painting known as the Portrait of a Youth is now the only confirmed image of the siren.

Portrait of a Youth

1514-1516

National Gallery of Victoria


(Lucrezia seems a bit hotter on Showtime.)

Cesare might also have posed for Dosso Dossi,


Portrait of a Man

(possibly Cesare Borgia)

Dosso Dossi had a lush sense of coloring, unexpected bursts of visual pleasure. The Epiphany theme is always ripe for splendor, Dosso Dossi adds extra sparkle to the gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Just look at that pink, that green, wondrous.


Adoration of the Magi

1520

National Gallery

London

I first saw  the work of Dosso Dossi here in LA at the Getty Center.

Saint George

1513-1515

oil on panel

The J. Paul Getty Museum

 


From Sacred to Pagan,

Apollo

1524

In Dosso Dossi’s hand even the aged ascetic Saint Jerome seems hot.

Saint Jerome

undated-16th cent.

source

As I am now engaged in an excellent course examining  the Renaissance, and at last reading Vasari’s Lives of the Artists ,


you might be subjected to more and more work by Renaissance masters.

Have a pleasant week,

Babylon Baroque

source

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Feast Day of the Epiphany

Posted in Feast of the Epiphany, Gian-Carlo Menotti, Hieronymus Bosch, Nicholas Poussin, Orientalist, Sandro Botticelli on January 5, 2011 by babylonbaroque

January 6th is the feast day of the Epiphany, a time for many of us to tear down the tree, stash the glitter for our more somber decor, and with  a certain melancholy, be happy the hub-bub is over.

It is of course also when , to believers, the infant was revealed as the Son of God.

Adoration of the Magi with Saint Anthony Abbot

about 1390-1410

Unknown

Franco-Flemish

Getty Museum

The very word epiphany is a joy to say, it sounds magical, sacred, not of this mundane world.

Within this very special world ,where beautiful infants reveal their identity as gods, three visitors with names equally exhilarating, Melchior, Caspar, and Balthasar; artists have found intense inspiration. What artist can resist this scene, the mother and child, the barnyard beasts, the shepherds, and the Kings, with rare gifts, who would want to resist?


Adoration of the Magi

Georges Lallemant

before 1624

Adoration of the Magi

Francesco Bassano

1567-69

The Hermitage

It is unfortunately quite doubtful that the Magi were so majestically dressed, little baby Jesus would have enjoyed the spectacle.

What we do know comes from Matthew 2:1 ,

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem”.

“From the east” is what we had to run with, and artistic  imagination certainly ran. Balthasar a striking Moor, Casper and Melchior representing Orientalist fantasies of Persia and India, all so grand.

Those far wiser then this author have suggested the Magi hailed from Persia, with connections to Zoroaster, some have suggested Babylon ( which of course I would prefer). Early images of the Magi, will often have them wearing Phrygian caps.


Roman catacomb painting

Caspar

Ravenna

Basillica de Santa Maria Maggiore

c.430

Rome

Coming from the east, they made a pit stop at Herod’s palace,

Then Herod, when he had prively called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared”

Matthew 2:7.


Three Magi before Herod

early 15th century

Musée National du Moyen Ãge

I love how nasty Herod looks.

Adoration of the Magi

Duccio di Buoninisegna 1308-11

Museo dell ‘Opera de Duomo

Siena

” And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him:and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts;gold, and frankincense, and myrrh”

Matthew 2:11.

Reliquery

ca, 1200

Limoges

Musée National du Moyen Ãge

Adoration of the Magi

Jean Bourdichon

Musée du Louvre

Paris

An exciting resource for images of the Magi tale is right here in LA, the Getty Museum, this link provides a handy list.


Adoration of the Magi

Gaspare Diziani

1718

Museum of Fine Arts

Budapest

Adoration of the Magi

Sandro Botticelli

1475

Uffizi Gallery

One of my favorites,

Adoration of the Magi

Nicolas Poussin

1633

So enchanted was Gian-Carlo Mennoti by this Bosch interpretation, he was compelled to create Amahl and the Night Visitor.

Adoration of the Magi

Hieronymous Bosch

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Gian-Carlo Menotti

around 1944

b.7th July 1911

d.1st February 2007

I am familiar with this operas, I am ambivalent about the music.

My hesitations concerning this work  may be due in great part to sorrowful memories of Episcopalian amateurs caterwauling Menotti’s work; I happened to once create sets for it as my church was putting on a production.

Whatever my feelings are, I am impressed that Amahl was commissioned by NBC for its NBC Opera Theatre. I have a clip from 24th of December 1951, in which it aired on the Hallmark Hall of Fame.


Happy  Feast Day of the Epiphany !

Respectfully submitted,

BabylonBaroque