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BIRTH: 1937 HOCKNEY
Died on 09 July 1873: Franz Xavier
Winterhalter, German painter born on 20 April 1806.
[If he ever halted the winter it does not seem to have been by freezing
a moment of it in a winter scene; instead he is known for portraits.]
Franz Xavier Winterhalter was born in the small village of Mensenschwad in Germany. He studied painting at the academy of Munich. In 1835, after he painted a portrait of Grand Duke Leopold of Baden, Winterhalter was appointed his court painter. With that portrait his international career was launched. The royal families of England, France, and Belgium all commissioned their portraits from him. Under Napoléon III, (1852, 240x155cm), Winterhalter became the chief portrait-painter of the imperial family and court of France. Among his many regal sitters was also Queen Victoria (1843). Winterhalter first visited England in 1842, and returned several times to paint Victoria (1859), Albert (1859) and their growing family (1846), he did at least 120 works for them. Winterhalter also painted a few portraits of the aristocracy in England, mostly members of court circles. Russian aristocratic visitors to Paris also liked to have their portraits executed by the famous master. Although Winterhalter never received high praise for his work from serious critics, his royal patrons highly appreciated his ability “to create the image his sitters wished or needed to project to their subjects.” He died in Frankfurt.
— Born in the Grand-Duchy of Baden in 1805, of peasant stock, Franz Xaver Winterhalter received early training in Freiburg as a graphic artist. In 1824 he enrolled at the Munich Academy for further study in painting, while continuing to earn a living with lithographic work. Moving to Karlsruhe in 1828, he found employment as drawing master to the margravine of Baden and thus entered the world of aristocratic patronage. A travel stipend in 1833-1834 took him to Italy, where he composed romantic genre scenes in the manner of Léopold Robert (1794-1835). Though appointed court painter to the grand-ducal court on his return to Karlsruhe, he shortly moved to Paris, where he soon attracted notice with Italian genre scenes exhibited at the Salons from 1836 to 1838. King Louis-Philippe commissioned him to paint portraits of the entire royal family and of leading members of the court. Their success earned Winterhalter the reputation of a specialist in dynastic and aristocratic portraiture, skilled in combining likeness with flattery and enlivening official pomp with modern fashion. As the "Painter of Princes" he was thereafter in constant demand by the courts of Britain (from 1841), Spain, Belgium, Russia, the Germanies, and France after the accession of Napoleon III. To deal with the pressure of portrait commissions, many of them calling for multiple replicas, he made extensive use of assistants.
— Il dolce far niente (1836, 117x149cm) — A Lady (1860, 130x98cm) — The Decameron (1837, 190x254cm) — Prince Albert — Julia Louise Bosville, Lady Middleton (1863) — H.R.H Princess Marie-Clementine of Orleans, full-length (1838, 206x137cm) — Madame Ackerman, wife of the Chief Finance Minister of King Louis Philippe (1838, 98x131cm) The Empress Eugénie (1854) Mme Rimsky-Korsakov
Died on 09 July 1828: Gilbert
Stuart, US painter specialized in portraits, born on 03
Stuart was born in North Kingston, Rhode Island. He grew up in Newport RI, where he studied painting before going to London in 1775. There he became the student of the expatriate US painter Benjamin West and was much influenced by the work of the English portrait painters Thomas Gainsborough and Sir Joshua Reynolds.
In 1792, after establishing himself as a fashionable portrait painter in London and Dublin, Stuart returned to the US. His portraits, which number nearly 1000, brought him lasting fame, particularly the three he did of George Washington. His two most familiar portraits of Washington, of which he made over 100 copies, are the so-called Vaughan half-length type (1795) and the so-called Athenaeum portrayal (unfinished; 1796). Stuart also did portraits of Presidents John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison and of the British kings George III and George IV.
— He was one of the great portraitists of his era and the creator of the most popular image of George Washington. Was born on Dec. 3, 1755, in his father's snuff mill near Narragansett, R.I.. He grew up in nearby Newport and there learned the rudiments of painting from Samuel King and Cosmo Alexander, a visiting Scotsman. He accompanied Alexander to Edinburgh about 1771, but returned home a year later. In 1775 he went to London and entered the studio of Benjamin West, with whom he worked for about 6 years. His mature style owed more, however, to Thomas Gainsborough and Sir Joshua Reynolds than to West. In 1782 he opened his own London studio and for five years enjoyed great success. In 1787 he fled to Dublin to escape his creditors. After six years in Ireland he returned to the U.S. in 1793, worked for a year in New York, then settled in Philadelphia, then the political and cultural capital of the nation. He quickly established himself as the nation's leading portrait painter, a position he held until his death, in Boston, where he had settled in 1805
Josiah Quincy (1806, 77x62cm) James MacDonald of Inglesmauldie (1785, 90x77cm) _ detail 1 (head) _ detail 2 (face) Reverend William Ellery Channing (1815, 77x64cm) _ detail (head) William Rufus Gray (1807, 85x69cm) _ detail (head) Richard Yates (1800, 76x63cm) _ detail (head) — George Washington (1795; 59kb) George Washington (1796, 81kb) head detail of a different George Washington (1796, 100kb) Washington at Dorchester Heights (1806; 75kb) James Madison (1807; 58kb) John Adams (1810; 68kb) John Adams (1826; 62kb) — James Monroe (1820, 94kb) — The Percy Children and dog (1787; 102kb)
Born on 09 July 1937: David Hockney,
painter, draftsman, printmaker, photographer, and stage designer.
His works characterized by economy of technique, preoccupation with light, and frank, mundane realism derived from both Pop art and photography. Studied at the Bradford College of Art (1953-57) and the Royal College of Art, London (1959-1962), where he received a gold medal in the graduate competition. Visited the United States in 1961, returning in 1964-1967 to teach at the universities of Iowa, Colorado, and California. Thereafter commuted between England and the United States until settling permanently in Los Angeles in 1978. The popular myth of Southern California as an earthly paradise of sand, sea, and sky attracted Hockney from the outset. LA's aesthetic had a pronounced influence on his work. Much of subject matter is autobiographical, including portraits and self-portraits. These embody a casual elegance and tranquil luminosity which also predominates in still lifes.
An exploration of photography in the 1980s resulted in Pearblossom Hwy., 11-18th April 1986 and other ambitious photocollages. Hockney has also published several series of graphic works in book form. Hockney is unusual in that he won instant international success while still a student at the Royal College of London. Exceptionally talented, his colorful lifestyle and persona contributed to his sudden and enormous success. Although considered one of the finest living draftsmen of the human figure, Hockney is distinguished above all by his versatility. When choosing subjects, he prefers to draw his own friends, placing them in familiar settings surrounded with common objects. Such situations provide the foil for his interest in light, space, and color. Technical skill and an eye for the exotic enable him to transform and perfect the ordinary. Even works of art depicting everyday objects (vases of flowers, umbrellas).
Mother I My Mother Model With Incomplete Self~Portrait Big Splash Sprinklers Mr. and Mrs. Clark and Percy Beverly Hills Housewife Nichols Canyon Place Furstenberg Portrait Surrounded by Artistic Devices Portrait of Nick Wilder in Pool Three Chairs Before Fragment of a Picasso Mural Portrait of an Artist
Buried on 09 July 1441: Jan
van Eyck, Flemish painter born in 1390 or 1368 (active 1422-1441),
brother of Hubert
Jan van Eyck was a Flemish painter, active in Bruges, who along with Robert Campin (previously known only as the Master of Flémalle) in Tournai, was the founder of the Ars Nova (“new art”) of 15th-century northern late Gothic painting. This style heralded the Renaissance in northern Europe. This period of Netherlandish art is characterized by a naturalistic style of vivid oil colors, meticulous detail, accurately rendered textures, and the illusion of three-dimensional space on a two-dimensional surface.
Jan probably came from Maaseick in the province of Limbourg. In 1422 he was working in The Hague for John of Bavaria, count of Holland. In 1425 Philip the Good, duke of Burgundy, appointed him court painter, a position he retained until his death. Jan was on especially good terms with Philip, who entrusted him with certain secret diplomatic missions, presented one of his children with a christening gift, and personally interceded for him when he learned that Jan was having trouble collecting his salary.
The uncertainty of Jan's early training makes his artistic relationship with his brother Hubert of great importance. The shadowy figure of Hubert has inspired endless speculation and debate among scholars, including one theory that he never existed. The present consensus is that he did exist and that he might have had a hand in painting some of the more problematic “Eyckian” pictures that seem to date from Jan's early career. Some of these works, ascribed variously to both Jan and Hubert or to either Jan or Hubert, are the Turin-Milan Hours (manuscript destroyed by fire in 1904), the Three Marys at the Tomb, and a diptych, Crucifixion and Last Judgment. The most famous work in this category is the monumental Ghent Altarpiece (1432), a polyptych whose outer panels open to reveal the Adoration of the Lamb, painted for the chapel of Jodocus Vyd. A Latin quatrain copied from this altarpiece states that Hubert began the work and Jan completed it. Art historians assume that Jan collected the painted panels that Hubert began before his death in 1426, added new ones of his own design, and assembled the whole in Vyd's chapel.
Nine paintings by Jan are still extant, carefully signed and dated, all between 1432 and 1439. Of these pictures, four depict religious subjects—including the Madonna with Canon van der Paele (1436) — and five are portraits, such as Giovanni Arnolfini and His Wife (1434). Although numerous unsigned panels have been attributed to him, less than a dozen of these are unquestionably by him. These works, in addition to the Ghent Altarpiece, include the Madonna and Child with Chancellor Rolin (1434) and Cardinal Nicolò Albergati (1435).
Jan's contemporaries were awed by his amazing technical skill and his precise renderings of carefully observed detail. These qualities explain why he was still called the King of Painters by his compatriots as late as the 16th century.
Jan van Eyck, the most famous and innovative Flemish painter of the 15th century, is thought to have come from the village of Maaseyck in Limbourg.
No record of his birthdate survives, but it is believed to have been about 1390; his career, however, is well documented. He was employed (1422-1424) at the court of John of Bavaria, count of Holland, at The Hague, and in 1425 he was made court painter and valet de chambre to Duke Philip the Good of Burgundy. He became a close member of the duke's court and undertook several secret missions for him, including a trip (1428-1429) to Spain and Portugal in connection with negotiations that resulted in the marriage (1430) of Philip of Burgundy and Isabella of Portugal. Documents show that in 1432-1433 van Eyck bought a house in Bruges. He signed and dated a number of paintings between 1432 and 1439, all of which are painted in oil and varnished.
Van Eyck has been credited traditionally with the invention of painting in oils, and, although this is incorrect, there is no doubt that he perfected the technique. He used the oil medium to represent a variety of subjects with striking realism in microscopic detail; for example, he infused painted jewels and precious metals with a glowing inner light by means of subtle glazes over the highlights. Like Robert Campin, van Eyck carefully selected and arranged his subject matter so that it would contribute deeper symbolic meaning to his painting, a style that can be called disguised symbolism. The meticulous attention to detail in his paintings of architectural interiors and landscapes is also evident in his portraits, painted with unrelenting, dispassionate accuracy.
Van Eyck's most famous and most controversial work is one of his first, the Ghent altarpiece (1432).
Equally famous is the wedding portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and his wife (1434), which the artist signed "Johannes de Eyck fuit hic 1434", testimony that he witnessed the ceremony. Other important paintings are the Madonna of Chancellor Rolin (1434) and the Madonna of Canon van der Paele (1436)
| Jan van Eyck is
considered to be a founder of the Early Renaissance style in the Northern
Renaissance. We do not know the exact date and place of his birth, it is
believed that he was born in early 1390s in the eastern province of the
Netherlands Limburg. He probably was taught the art by his brother Hubert
van Eyck, with whom he created the masterpiece The Ghent Altarpiece
(1425-1432), which they started in 1425, but after the death of Hubert,
his younger brother finished it alone.
Until 1425 Jan van Eyck served at the court of Duke Johann of Bavaria in Hague, painting and restoring pictures. Since 1425 he served at the court of Philip the Good of Burgundy, where he was greatly valued not only as an artist, but he also was entrusted by Duke with various diplomatic missions. Since 1430 van Eyck lived and worked in Bruges as painter to the court and city. It was believed, that Jan van Eyck invented painting with oils, maybe it is not true, but his technique in painting with oils is exceptional. His paint is so transparent that his works have a unique, almost luminous sheen. In The Virgin of the Chancellor Rolin (1436) Van Eyck revealed himself as a master in representation of space. Van Eyck was one of the first great masters of portrait painting in Europe. His best portraits are Portrait of Cardinal Nicola Albergati (1432), Portrait of a Young Man (1432), Man in a Red Turban (1433), which is probably a self-portrait, Portrait of Margaret van Eyck, Artist's Wife(?) (1439) and also one of the masterpieces of the Western world Giovanni Arnolfini and His Wife Giovanna Cenami (The Arnolfini Marriage) (1434). Among his other best works are Madonna from the Inn's Hall (1433), The Lucca Madonna (1436), The Madonna of Canon van der Paele (1436), The Virgin and Child in a Church (central section of a portable altar) (1437), The Virgin and Child with Saints and Donor (1441). Jan van Eyck died in Bruges.
Oil: a new painting medium
The van Eycks started their careers as manuscript illuminators. The often miniature detail and exquisite rendering found in van Eyck paintings such as the Annunciation, reveal a strong affinity with this art form. However, the single factor that most distinguishes the van Eycks from the art of manuscript illumination was the medium they used.
For many years Jan van Eyck was wrongly credited with the discovery of painting in oil. In fact, oil painting was already in existence, used to paint sculptures and to glaze over tempera paintings. The van Eycks' real achievement was the development after much experimentation of a stable varnish that would dry at a consistent rate. This was created with linseed and nut oils, and mixed with resins.
The breakthrough came when Jan or Hubert mixed the oil into the actual paints they were using, instead of the egg medium that constituted tempera paint. The result was brilliance, translucence, and intensity of color as the pigment was suspended in a layer of oil that also trapped light. The flat, dull surface of tempera was transformed into a jewel-like medium, at once perfectly suited to the representation of precious metals and gems and, more significantly, to the vivid, convincing depiction of natural light.
Van Eyck's inspired observations of light and its effects, executed with technical virtuosity through this new, transparent medium, enabled him to create a brilliant and lucid kind of reality. The invention of this technique transformed the appearance of painting.
Madonna with Canon van der Paele (1436, 122x157cm) [click on link for large reproduction and commentary].
THE GHENT ALTARPIECE:
_ Ghent altarpiece (1432), a polyptych consisting of twenty panels in the Church of St. Bavo, Ghent. On the frame is an incomplete inscription in Latin that identifies the artists of the work as Hubert and Jan van Eyck. The usual interpretation is that Hubert van Eyck (d. 18 Sep 1426) was the brother of Jan and that he was the painter who began the altarpiece, which Jan then completed. Another interpretation is that Hubert was neither Jan's brother nor a painter, but a sculptor who carved an elaborate frame for the altar. Because of this controversy, attribution of the panels, which vary somewhat in scale and even in style, has differed, according to the arguments of scholars who have studied the problem.
The exterior of the altar depicts Jodocus Vijdt, the donor, and his wife kneeling on either side of two grisaille (painted in gray to resemble statuary) representations of St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist; above is an Annunciation. The brightly colored interior is dominated by a panel representing the Adoration of the Holy Lamb
The whole Ghent Altarpiece (wings open) (350x461cm) _ The most famous work of Jan van Eyck is a huge altarpiece with many scenes. It is said to have been begun by Jan's elder brother Hubert, of whom little is known, and was completed by Jan in 1432. In the past, art historians, for various reasons, have sometimes cast doubt on the existence of Hubert Van Eyck. Today, however, no one still seriously claims that the elder brother of Jan, Lambert and Margareta Van Eyck never existed. He was born at Maeseyck, near Mons, though the date of his birth is unknown. The name Hubert itself, which was not common in Ghent, may well indicate his foreign origin. A few facts can be gleaned from his tombstone, which is now in the Lapidary Museum in Saint Bavo's Abbey. An inscription engraved on a copper plate which has since disappeared but which was once affixed to the stone, recorded 18 September 1426 as the date of his death. However, the most crucial piece of information to have come down to us is the quatrain inscribed on the frame of the Adoration of the Lamb, the Van Eyck brothers' most celebrated work. The verse was placed there when the altarpiece was installed on 06 May 1432. It states that the polyptych was begun by Pictor Hubertus Eyck, and finished by his brother Jan, at the request of Jodocus Vijd, deputy burgomaster of Ghent, warden of the church of Saint John, and of his wife, Elisabeth Borluut, who commissioned it.
An additional argument for the existence of Hubert is provided by a stylistic analysis of the painting, in which the work of two different hands can be clearly discerned. The overall conception of the altarpiece is certainly the work of Hubert, along with the execution of certain parts, such as the panels in the lower tier. Here, the manner is archaic, and reflects the continuing dominance of the international style that was practiced by Broederlam. The composition is typically unoriginal: the landscape is still conceived as a distant background, with which the figures at the front have no organic relation, an effect that is reinforced by the bird's eye point of view.
This polyptych is mystical, not to say esoteric, in intention, and is imbued throughout with both spiritual and intellectual signification. When opened, it represents the communion of saints, which is "the new heaven and the new earth", in the words of the Revelation of Saint John. Thus the central panel of the lower tier portrays the saints symbolizing the eight Beatitudes gathered round the altar where the sacrifice of the Lamb is taking place, at the center of the heavenly garden which has sprung from His blood.
To left and right, in the foreground, are two processions facing one another. One of these is made up of the Old Testament patriarchs and prophets, and the other of figures from the New Testament. Some of them are kneeling, barefoot. Behind them is assembled the hierarchy of the Church - popes, deacons and bishops, wearing sumptuous jewelry and clothes in the bright red of martyrdom. In the background are two further groups, facing each other as if they had just emerged from the surrounding shrubbery. These are, on one side, the Confessors of the Faith, tightly packed together and almost all dressed in blue; and on the other side, the Virgin Martyrs, holding out palm fronds and wearing in their hair crowns of flowers of a kind traditionally worn by young girls at certain holy ceremonies. In the middle of the panel, around the altar where the Lamb spills forth his blood, angels kneel, holding the emblems of His Passion. Grace is symbolized by a radiant dove hovering in the sky, and eternal life is represented by a fountain in the foreground. A paradisiacal landscape runs across all five lower panels, uniting them in a single composition. It is strewn with plants from different countries and flowers of different seasons. The central panel is vibrant with green, while those to the sides are more arid and rocky. The horizon sits high in the frame and is closed off by groves of trees, behind which clusters of fairy-tale buildings can be made out, representing the heavenly Jerusalem.
The community of saints also extends onto the side panels. Magnificently arrayed horsemen, representing the Soldiers of Christ, are followed by the Just Judges. Opposite them are the Holy Hermits who have renounced the world, and the Pilgrim Saints, who were favorite figures of identification throughout the Middle Ages. They are led by a giant of a man, Saint Christopher. Many later commentators have suggested that his great height would have reminded the contemporary viewer of Jodocus Vijd's brother, also called Christopher. In the middle of the upper tier is God Almighty, the Word, essence and origin of the universe. He is dressed in red and is crowned with a magnificent tiara. On his left is Mary and on his right, Saint John the Baptist. These central figures are surrounded by angels who are singing or playing instruments. At the far right and left of the composition respectively are the figures of Adam and Eve. They were painted by Jan Van Eyck, and are set into trompe-l'oeil niches. Light and shadow play delicately over their forms which stand out as though they had been sculpted in the round.
whole Ghent Altarpiece (wings closed) (350x223cm) _ The realism of the
figures of Adam and Eve at the far right and left on the open altarpiece
struck contemporary viewers forcefully, and this style continues on the
outside of the panels when the altarpiece is closed. The external decoration
shows the Eritrean and Cumean Sibyls, Prophets Zacharias and Micheas, the
figures of Jodocus Vyd, the donor, and his wife Isabelle Borluut kneeling
on either side of two grisaille (painted in gray to resemble statuary) representations
of Saint John the Baptist and Saint John the Evangelist, and the Annunciation
with the angel Gabriel and the Virgin Mary. The angel and the Virgin of
the Annunciation are separated by two small panels, one with the representation
of an arched window looking out upon a city square, and the other with a
wash basin and ewer set into a niche and a white towel hanging from a rail
A striking feature is the disparity in the scale of the various figures: no less than four changes of scale exist of the outside of the wings. There are also disparities in approach; some parts are almost prosaically factual, others almost visionary in approach. Three orders of reality are present: a narrative representation of a sacred subject (the Annunciation), two highly factual donor portraits and two simulated sculptures. Yet there is a strong attempt to impose a uniform framework on these disparate elements through the governing factor of the light, which falls uniformly in all the panels from the right, and also through the use in the upper panels of a beamed ceiling running through the whole scene, and, in the lower panels, of the same cusped trefoil arches to frame the figures.
== Ghent Altarpiece with wings open (upper section)
Adam _ detail 1 (torso and head) _ detail 2 (head)
The Offerings of Abel and Cain
The Killing of Abel
Virgin Mary _ detail (torso and head)
God the Father _ detail (torso and head)
Saint John the Baptist _ detail (torso and head)
Eve _ detail 1 (torso and head) _ detail 2 (head)
Singing Angels _ detail 1 (torsos and heads) _ detail 2 (heads)
Musician Angels _ detail 1 (organist) _ detail 2 (organist torso and head) _ detail 3 (instrumentalists and head of organist) _ detail 4 (instrumentalists)
== Ghent Altarpiece with wings open (lower section)
The Just Judges
The Soldiers of Christ _ detail
The Adoration of the Lamb _ The central panel of the lower tier (detail 1) portrays the saints symbolizing the eight Beatitudes gathered round the altar where the sacrifice of the Lamb is taking place, at the center of the heavenly garden which has sprung from His blood. In the center, the sacrificial Lamb stands upon the altar, and the chalice catches the blood pouring from its breast. The instruments of the Passion are upheld by little angels kneeling round the altar, and in the foreground of the flowery hillside the pilgrims approach, both towards the altar and the Fountain of Life which gushes in the foreground
_ detail 2 _ To left and right, in the foreground, are two processions facing one another. The one to the left (detail 3) is made up of the Old Testament patriarchs and prophets, and the one to the right (detail 4) is made up of figures from the New Testament. Some of them are kneeling, barefoot. Behind them is assembled the hierarchy of the Church - popes, deacons and bishops, wearing sumptuous jewelry and clothes in the bright red of martyrdom.
In the background are two further groups, facing each other as if they had just emerged from the surrounding shrubbery. These are, on the left side (detail 5), the Confessors of the Faith, tightly packed together and almost all dressed in blue; and on the right side (detail 6), the Virgin Martyrs, holding out palm fronds and wearing in their hair crowns of flowers of a kind traditionally worn by young girls at certain holy ceremonies.
In the middle of the panel, around the altar where the Lamb spills forth his blood, angels kneel, holding the emblems of His Passion. Grace is symbolized by a radiant dove hovering in the sky, and eternal life is represented by a fountain in the foreground. A paradisiacal landscape runs across all five lower panels, uniting them in a single composition. It is strewn with plants from different countries and flowers of different seasons. The central panel is vibrant with green, while those to the sides are more arid and rocky. The horizon sits high in the frame and is closed off by groves of trees, behind which clusters of fairy-tale buildings can be made out, representing the heavenly Jerusalem.
The Holy Hermits
The Holy Pilgrims
| == Ghent Altarpiece with
wings closed (upper section)
Angel of the Annunciation
Arched Window with a View
Niche with Wash Basin
Mary of the Annunciation _ As we look at the Annunciation, we become warmly conscious of the gentle radiance of the light, illuminating everything it embraces, from the dim upper roofing to the glancing gleam of the angel's jewels. The clarity would be too intense were it not also soft, an integrating, enveloping presence. This diffused presence, impartial in its luminescence, is also a spiritual light, surrogate of God Himself, who loves all that He has made.
The symbolism goes even deeper: the upper church is dark, and the solitary window depicts God the Father. Below though, wholly translucent, are three bright windows that remind us of the Trinity, and of how Christ is the light of the world. This holy light comes in all directions, most obviously streaming down towards the Virgin as the Holy Spirit comes to overshadow her: from this sacred shadow will arise divine brightness. Her robes swell out as if in anticipation, and she answers the angelic salutation Ave gratia plena with a humble Ecce ancilla Domini. But with charming literalness, van Eyck writes her words reversed and inverted, so that the Holy Spirit can read them. The angel is all joy, all smiles, all brightness: the Virgin is pensive, amazed, unbejewelled. She knows, as the angel apparently does not, what will be the cost of her surrender to God. Her heart will be pierced with grief when her Child is crucified, and we notice that she holds up her hands in the symbolic gesture of devotion, but also as if in unconscious anticipation of a piercing.
The angel advances over the tiles of a church, where we can make out David slaying Goliath. (Goliath represents the power--ultimately fruitless--of the Devil.) The message the angel gives Mary sets her forth on her own road to the giant-slaying that is her motherhood and holiness.
== Ghent Altarpiece with wings closed (lower section)
The Donor _ detail (torso and head)
Saint John the Baptist
Saint John the Evangelist _ According to an old tradition, Saint John the Evangelist was the author of the Apocalypse, from which the central theme of the altarpiece, the Adoration of the Lamb originates.
The Donor's Wife _ detail (torso and head)
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. The bed, the single burning candle, the solemn moment of joining as the young groom is about to place his raised hand in his betrothed's, the fruit, the faithful little dog, the rosary, the unshod feet (since this is the ground of a holy union), and even the respectful space between Giovanni Arnolfini and his wife, Giovanna Cenami, are all united in the mirror's reflection. All these details exalt us and at the same time make us aware of the human potential for goodness and fulfillment.
Three Marys at the open sepulcher (1433, 72x90cm) _ This panel illustrates the episode from Mark 16:1-8, where Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of Christ and Mary Salomé visit Christ's tomb to anoint his body with myrrh. The guards have fallen asleep, and an angel seated on the empty tomb tells them that Christ has arisen. Mary Magdalene kneels before the empty tomb; the Virgin, in a blue robe, and Mary Salomé stand to one side. Each of the women has a beautiful ointment jar. One of the soldiers is wearing a mediaeval cuirass with chain mail. His two companions are portrayed in oriental-looking robes and pointed hats. In the distance we see Jerusalem as it looked in the Middle Ages. The view is photopographically accurate. Studies suggest that the painting is a relatively early work by the Van Eyck Group. It is most closely related to parts of the famous Lamb of God panel in the Ghent altarpiece.