Category

Italy

Architectural Paintings Sacred Spaces Presence

Sacred Architecture Paintings: Building Inspiration

By | Architecture, Art and Faith, Exhibits and Events, Painting, Italy

The exteriors of local churches shape the landscape of daily life-about-town, but their interiors have helped shape spiritual lives for centuries. In Europe, cavernous sacred spaces were built for throngs of religious activity, but now hold only shadows of those presences. The shapes of archways reaching towards heaven, the rhythm of dark and light passing through complex spaces inspire a sense of quiet awe and shadowy mystery.

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Orvieto and the Feast of Corpus Domini: Incarnation and the Arts

By | Art and Faith, Italy

Orvieto was the birthplace for the feast of the Eucharist, called Corpus Domini, and one of the major feasts of the Catholic church. The Cathedral of Orvieto holds a treasure – a number of them, really, including frescos by Luca Signorelli, Gentile di Fabriano, and Fra Angelico. But its spiritual treasure is a relic from the Miracle of Bolsena, the miracle which was the final impetus in the church’s decision to institute the festival of Corpus Domini: “Body of the Lord”. This feast is a reminder to artists and non-artists alike that Art and Beauty can model the Incarnation in the world.

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Orvieto – Destination of the Heart

By | Art and Faith, Italy

There are some experiences in life that stay with us far, far deeper and longer than measurable space and time would warrant. In my early 20s I spent three years working for the Gordon-in-Orvieto program in Orvieto, Italy. The experiences and the people continue to live so vividly within me that the distance of time and space does not seem possible.

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Annunciation after David by Michelle Arnold Paine

Annunciation after David

By | Art and Faith, Exhibits and Events, Painting, Virgin Mary, Italy | No Comments

This Annunciation transcription will be included in the exhibit Compassion: The Good Samaritan, opening at Adams ArtSpace, Harvard College, Cambridge this weekend.

The Annunciation is the moment when God comes to earth – when human and divine come together to become incarnate in Jesus, Savior of the world. The Incarnation, God’s greatest act of compassion.

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Annunciation after del Cossa

By | Art and Faith, Painting, Virgin Mary, Italy | No Comments

Appropriate to post another Annunciation transcription today, the Feast of the Archangels (Gabriel, Michael and Raphael). This particular Renaissance Annunciation infuses Classical architecture into the Biblical story of the Gabriel’s announcement to Mary. The painting also shows off the artists’ knowledge of perspective in the way that the artist places the angel in the foreground.

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Annunciation after Beccafumi, Oil on Canvas, 6x6 ©2012

Transcriptions: After Beccafumi

By | Art and Faith, Painting, Virgin Mary, Italy | No Comments

Another in my series of Annunciation transcriptions. The original Mannerist painting was completed in 1546 by Italian Domenico Beccafumi and is currently in the little town of Sarteano near Siena, Italy. I’m not always a fan of Mannerism, but I like the mirrored swooping curves in this painting and the sense of motion it creates, so different from the very still, stable Annunciations of Fra Angelico.

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Annunciation after Duccio, Oil on Canvas, 6x6, ©Michelle Arnold Paine

Annunciation after Duccio

By | Art and Faith, Painting, Virgin Mary, Italy | No Comments

What is the purpose of “copying” a work of art? Franklin Enspruch phrases it like this in a review of Wendy Artin’s series of watercolors of the Elgin Marbles: “She is at once paying the sculptures due homage, studying them for artistic clues, and using them to reach upward in ambition and scale.”

Somehow, in entering in to someone else’s creation, one often emerges at the other end with a clearer, renewed sense of voice and direction.

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Annunciation, Ambrogio Lorenzetti, 1344

Annunciation after Lorenzetti

By | Art and Faith, Painting, Virgin Mary, Italy | No Comments

I love the brilliant blue and of Mary and her contemplative gaze in the Annunciation altarpiece by Ambrogio Lorenzetti. Lorenzetti was a Sienese painter in the first half of the 14th century and this work of his is presently housed in the Pinacoteca Nazionale in Siena, Italy. My version is tiny, only 6″ x 6″, but I’m looking for the contemplative quality he captures.

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stpeters-sm

In honor of John Paul II on his Beatification

By | Architecture, Art and Faith, Italy | No Comments

Some recent paintings and drawings of Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome, on the occasion of the beatification of Pope John Paul II. John Paul II prayed for a “Primavera dello Spirito”: a Springtime of the Spirit. His prayer for a “Springtime of the Spirit” was answered in a multitude of ways, from the flood of youth who attended the World Youth Days (which he began).

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"Resurrection" – Goetemann, Mahler, Signorelli and Maitani

By | Art and Faith, Italy | No Comments

On Friday I made a little trip to see a cycle of paintings by  Gordon Goetemann at Andover-Newton Theological School in Newton Center, MA. The cycle of large paintings is inispired by Gustav Mahler’s 2nd Symphony in C Minor — the “Resurrection” symphony. I had found out about it from a friend who had seen the show at the Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester. We were both interested in it because of the time we spent in Orvieto, where there are two great artworks representing the Resurrection of the Flesh…

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Our Lady of the Barren Tree

The Call to Beauty –

By | Art and Faith, Painting, Virgin Mary, Italy | No Comments

Cardus has just published another of my paintings in their online journal Comment.

Our Lady of the Barren Tree is an image of hope: the strange beauty of winter, in which it requries faith to believe that trees and grass are only “sleeping” and will return with new life and growth.
The tree, the vine, the branches – these images evoke the memory of Eve in the garden of Eden whose disobedience eventually brought on the exile of humanity from paradise. Eve’s disobedience was eventually redeemed in the act of Mary’s obedient “May it be to me as you have said”.

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Teaching in Italy — Soon!

By | Teaching, Virgin Mary, Italy | No Comments

This is one of those days I would love to be back in Italy – it is warm, but not too warm, but somehow the lure of my suburban street is not as strong as the lure of an Italian street – when I am there I am always pulled outdoors to smell and see and greet and experience some one or some thing that is “new”. But part of the lure is that there is so much that is not new – it is the very, very old which is so appealing.

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