Archive for the Guido Reni Category

Philoctetes, Nasty Snake Bites and Traitorous Comrades (plus other hot, fallen, half -naked guys)

Posted in Babylon Beefcake, Guido Reni, Hercules, LACMA, Mantegna, Philoctetes on October 3, 2011 by babylonbaroque

The better half is writing an article on Philoctetes, the Greek warrior favored by Herakles,  who suffered a snake wound, abandonment by his comrades and psychological agony.

My task of course was to find suitable images.

So here they are.

Nicolai AbrahamAbildgaard

The Wounded Philoctetes


Upon entering his own funeral pyre, Hercules entrusted Philoctetes with his bow and poisoned arrows, with which Philoctetes shot Paris. A final victory for the Greeks in the Trojan War.

His comrades proved to be far less valiant.

Guido Reni

Heracles and the Hydra (snake theme)


Philoctetes and his mates were advised by an oracle to make a sacrifice to the  god Chryse. As Philoctetes had made a  similar sacrifice with Hercules in his youth, (the two seemed to be un-naturally close) Philoctetes was chosen to lead the way. As first man in line, he encounters a snake and suffers a vicious bite.

Nicolas Poussin

Landscape with a Man Frightened by a Snake


Montreal Museum of Fine Art

(interesting note, this painting was purchased by the Bloomsbury artist duncan Grant in 1920)

So painful the bite, his howling made the sacrifice impossible to perform. Irritated by his incessant agony and quite stinky festering wound, his loyal comrades abandon him to the nearby island of Lemnos. As Hephaestus had his own foul smelling shop there no one would be bothered by his wails and stench.

Nice fellows.

Jean Germain Drovais 1763-1788

Philoctetes on the Island of Lemnos


Andrea Mantegna



Frankly, not sure how the story ends, seems to be a bunch of angst, will need to read the Beloved’s paper.

Until then, beefcake with wounds.

Jean-Simon Berthélemy 1743-1811

Death of a Gladiator

(I know not Greek, but hot, and a local favorite)



It has been quite some time since I posted but early in September, the very handsome Andy Whitfield died, without being glib, he was known for having played a particularly striking gladiator. I confess I have never seen the show, but this Welshman, of quite striking looks was difficult not to notice. To die so young, 39, adds to the pathos. 

Recquiscat in Pace

I appreciate the patience of my readers, my classes have been quite difficult, even this abbreviated post has taken me away from tasks that need attending to. Until next time, take care, Babylon Baroque

Monday’s Favorite Painting

Posted in 17th century, Babylon Beefcake, Guido Reni on June 27, 2011 by babylonbaroque

A local treasure, held by  LACMA.

Guido Reni  (1575-1642)

Bacchus and Ariadne


oil in canvas

With such loveliness in mind I can endure the bus ride  back to the mechanic.

Have a great week,

Babylon Baroque

Behold The Man; depictions of the Passion

Posted in Good Friday, Guido Reni, Il Sodoma, Pietro Perugino, Raphael, Vasari on April 21, 2011 by babylonbaroque

As my schedule did not allow my attending this evening’s  Mass of the Lord’s Supper, I am like any modern penitent, blogging as sacrifice.

I hope it counts.

For those uncomfortable with image of faith, particularly Christian, please bear with me, or wait until after Holy Week.

For those uncomfortable with discussion of faith I will attempt to keep the rhetoric to a minimum; the images are far more eloquent then anything I will ever say.

Man of Sorrows

illumination, unidentified

Christ at the Whipping Post


Francesco Vanni


Ecce Homo translates as “behold the man”, Pilate’s words to the gathered crowd.

See what we have wrought.

Ecce Homo


Guido Reni

The Man of Sorrows


Michele Giambono

Metropolitan Museum of Art

I have seen the word Misericoidia  bounced about, I did not know that it translated to mean The Man of Sorrows. This image by Giambono is indeed heart wrenching.

Difficult to not think of the Miserere.

Ecce Homo


J Petel

painted wood

Deposition from the Cross


Il Sodoma

Raphael’s mentor, Pietro Perugino  tried his hand at the Crucifixion, it is easy to see how the boy from Urbino was both  impressed and inspired.


Pietro Perugino

Giorgio Vasari tells us that Raphael was born on good Friday, 1483, he also died on Good Friday 37 years later. Vasari rather priggishly implies he whored himself to death.

No matter, his own Crucifixion is as lovely as you would imagine, the man was indeed touched by God.




National Gallery, London

Vasari also tells us that the great Raphael was born to the artist Giovanni de’ Santi, ” a painter of no great talent”. That is a bit harsh, he possesses talent, but his son is a difficult act to follow.

The following is by Papa, perhaps a bit old fashioned to Raphael’s eyes, but worthy of our attention nonetheless.

Christ Supported by Two Angels


Giovanni Santi

Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest

The fly on his chest is a particularly good touch.

Raphael will go on to create a more luminous interpretation upon the theme.

The Blessing Christ



Through history Jews have born the ugly brunt, the Passion incited foul reactions; i remember as a child hearing anti-Semitic accusations, in the 70’s!

I’m sorry about that, deeply sorry.

That said the Passion is dear to me, in many ways more so then Easter itself. 

Ecce Homo


Antonio Ciseri

I have readied the house for the Good Friday of the Lord’s Passion, the images are draped, as our the mirrors.


I will attend Mass tomorrow.

I will work on a drawing based upon the Vanni.

I will stay away from this damned keyboard.

Until then ,

Babylon Baroque