The Art Of Passover

The eight-day festival of Passover is celebrated in the early spring, from the 15th through the 22nd of the Hebrew month of Nissan, April 10–18, 2017 (Hebrew year 5777).
Happy Passover to those who celebrate. !חג פסח שמח
For Jews around the world, the Pesach Seder is an excellent occasion to gather at a large table, eat, drink and recall the exodus from Egypt.

For the great painters of the Renaissance, the ritual served as an inexhaustible source of inspiration.

Here is how Leonardo da Vinci painted the Seder of 13 Nisan 3793 on the wall of the refectory of the Dominican convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan. The painting dates from 1495-1498:
Below is the engraving of Albrecht Dürer, created in 1523, from collection of the New York Metropolitan Museum. St John is easily recognized here not only by the absence of a beard, but also by his place at the festive table. It is unclear, though, where the Jesus’s favorite pupil hid his legs. Judas is conspicuously absent, perhaps not to spoil the festive mood.Still below, is the amusing painting of Paolo Veronese “The Feast in the House of Levi”. Originally it was also called “The Last Supper”, but it had to be renamed after the intervention of the Inquisition, accusing the artist of an unfaithful depiction of the event. Veronese’s Last Supper is different from the canonical description by the evangelists. The Seder begins after the stars come out, however Veronese’s Seder feast takes place in the light of the day. The main objection, though, was the “composition” of the participants  — too many people that shouldn’t have been in the presence of Jesus at His Last Supper. The problem went away when the feast has been moved to the “house of Levi”. The canvas of epic proportions (one and a half times larger than Leonardo’s fresco) occupies the entire wall of the Venetian Academy:
The famous canvas of Tintoretto (Jacopo Robusti), created in Venice almost 100 years after the masterpiece of Leonardo. The painting is exhibited in the Basilica of San Giorgio Maggiore on the island of the same name. In the best baroque traditions, it depicts Jesus and his disciples at the festive table in the 16th century Venetian trattoria. Curiously, the mighty Inquisition had no problem with Tintoretto who placed a number of extraneous persons onto the canvas. Perhaps, it was because the supper takes place with the stars out?
“The Last Supper” by the Russian artist Nikolai Ge below was presented to the public in the fall of 1863 in the Academy of Arts of St. Petersburg. Church censorship tried to ban it and demanded its removal from the exhibition. The day was saved by Tsar Alexander II intervention. The royal mecenat bought the painting from the artist. Grudgingly, the clerics had to forget about their claims for a while (although the synodal ban on the publication of reproductions in Russia persisted until the February Revolution of 1917).It should be noted that of the five masterpieces above, only Nikolai Ge’s correctly reflected the ritual of the Last Supper: Passover, the exodus of Jews from Egyptian bondage should be celebrated reclining (מסובין) rather than sitting on the chairs around the table. Accordingly, Jesus’s beloved disciple shouldn’t be depicted sitting on the Teacher’s lap as portrayed by Durer, but rather reclined beside Him.

Many other great masters painted the Last Supper, among them Daniele Crespi, Hans Holbein (Hans the Younger), Juan de Juanes, Ugolino da Siena, Duccio di Buoninsegna

The Feather Book of Dionisio Minaggio

The Feather Book of Dionisio Minaggio, also referred to in Italian as Il bestiario barocco (The Baroque Bestiary), is a collection of 156 pictures made almost entirely from bird feathers augmented with pieces of bird skin, feet, and beaks. They were created between 1616 and 1618 by Dionisio Minaggio, the chief gardener of the Duchy of Milan and were originally bound into a book. The majority of pictures in the book are of birds indigenous to the Lombardy region of Italy at the time, but it also contained sets of other images depicting hunters, tradesmen, musicians, and commedia dell’arte characters. (Wikipedia)There are amusing scenes of everyday life: a patient suffering in the hands of a dentist, a man playing a melody on a pipe, and waiting for his dog to “do her things” — musicians, artisans and actors, birds and plants.
At that time, Milan was ruled by Spain, and the Spaniards were familiar with the art of the pen widely practiced in Central and South America. Although the style and methods were very different, it is possible that knowledge about this art form served as inspiration. Still, this is only an educated guess.To this day, we do not have the faintest idea why Dionisio Minaggio created such an unusual for the time book, and who, if anyone, commissioned it.

Meet The Artist: Pedro Roldán Molina

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molina 98molina 2An unusual technique, sunny colors, a fantastic country…

Molina_hudozhnikPedro Roldán Molina is an internationally recognized and well-known Spanish artist. He was born in the province of Cordoba in Rute, Spain, in 1954. He studied art in Barcelona. His work can be seen in major museums around the world.

Currently, Pedro Roldán Molina lives and works in Granada, Spain.

molina 7 molina 4An aura of a perfect dream…molina 8What you see and hear, to some extent, depends on what you are. I believe that each canvas, still life, landscape, in essence, is a self-portrait of the soul. (From a blog featuring  works of Pedro Roldán Molina.)molina 95molina 6molina 91molina 93molina 94

Trash As Art

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама Portuguese street artist Artur Bordalo creates monumental three-dimensional sculptures of animals using, well, garbage that people routinely throw out, depositing their refuse not necessarily in or around designated garbage disposal places. Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама  The artist wants to draw public attention to environmental pollution.Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама Arthur creates three-dimensional animals from garbage and old rubbish, which people throw out.Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама Artur’s work can be found not only in Portugal, but also in other countries, in particular in the United States and Estonia. Presumably, he doesn’t transport his native Portuguese garbage but uses local materials easily found no matter wherever he goes.  Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Скульптуры животных из мусора и хлама

Meet The Artist: Sergey Kolesov

red-doorDigital art. Concept art. That’s about Sergey Kolesov.  He was born, brought up and educated in Ivanovo, Russian Federation.

I love drawing since childhood. I drew on desks, in notebooks and in textbooks. I drew comics, ninjas and Schwarzenegger.

Digital art world is global “by design.” Sergey worked for Half Life 2 and then spent two years living and working at Arkane Studios in Brno, Czech Republic.

Nowadays Mr. Kolesov hails from Lyon, France, where he is employed as staff concept artist by Arkane Studios.

See more of Sergey’s works here. He also shows his technique in a series of “sped up”videos on Vimeo. Although digital artwork does not involve waiting for oil paints to dry,  the “road” from one pixel to a complete product is a very, very tedious process. It takes tons of time and patience. And talent, of course, in addition to the expertise in using digital tools. And imagination. Lots of it. Have I mentioned talent?

Meet The Artist: Victor Nizovtsev

Виктор Низовцев 1965 | Russian Fantasy painterVictor Nizovtsev is a Russian painter, a master of whimsical and narrative art.

His favorite subjects include fantasy landscapes, russian folklore, theatre and mermaids. Fashion designer, decorative painter, fine artist – these are the occupations of one person whom we are going to talk about in the following post. Victor Nizovtsev  exhibits his wonderful artworks all over the world. For today he lives in the United States where he continues his successful career. This talented Russian-American artist is known for his unique and imaginative paintings that are highly symbolic and leave the lasting impression on the viewers.

Виктор Низовцев 1965 | Russian Fantasy painter

Виктор Низовцев 1965 | Russian Fantasy painter

Виктор Низовцев 1965 | Russian Fantasy painter

Виктор Низовцев 1965 | Russian Fantasy painter
His works impress with the fantastic magic tone, vibrant colors, the amazing glaze and ever wonderful characters. One can talk for a long time about his art, but it’s better to see it one time and you are welcome to do it.

Виктор Низовцев 1965 | Russian Fantasy painter

Louis Gallait And Edwin Olaf

Abdication of Emperor Charles V. The painting shows his sister, Queen Mary of Hungary, wearing white even though she never wore anything but black after her husband's death

Abdication of Emperor Charles V. The painting shows his sister, Queen Mary of Hungary, wearing white even though she never wore anything but black after her husband’s death

Louis Gallait (9 or 10 May 1810 – 20 November 1887) was a Belgian painter whose major accomplishment was a revival of history painting in Belgium. He earned his reputation especially with the large painting of the abdication of King Charles V.

Gallait’s works were esteemed because of their realism, faithfulness of the costumes and color composition. He was also a distinguished portrait painter.

Gallait’s painting The Last Honors paid to Counts Egmont and Horn by the Corporations of the Town of Brussels (1851) was dedicated to the revolution of the Netherlands 1568 – 1648. In 1568, when the Netherlands were still a Spanish province, and the war between Catholics and Protestants raged across Europe, Counts Egmont and Horn, along with William of Orange and Philip Montmorency, organized a protest movement against rampant Inquisition.

Louis Gallait

Louis Gallait. Last Honors to the Remains of the Counts Egmont and Horn. (1851)

In 2012, at the request of the Directorate of the Gaasbeek Castle (Dutch: Kasteel Gaasbeek), today a national museum, located in the municipality of Lennik in the province of Flemish Brabant, Belgium, photographer Erwin Olaf Springveld, professionally known as Erwin Olaf, created a homage to Louis Gallait — his own interpretation of the legendary painting.

Erwin Olaf. Last Honors to the Remains of the Counts Egmont and Horn. 2012. Digital print. © Erwin Olaf. © Commissioned by Gaasbeek Castle. © Courtesy Galerie Rabouan Moussion, Paris, France

Erwin Olaf. Last Honors to the Remains of the Counts Egmont and Horn. 2012. Digital print. © Erwin Olaf. © Commissioned by Gaasbeek Castle. © Courtesy Galerie Rabouan Moussion, Paris, France

All photos become fantasy series based on the story of the Gallait’s paintings. Other works of the series:o1Erwin Olaf .“Captain of Brussels Royal Guild of crossbow shooters, Order of St. George”  (2012)o2Erwin Olaf. “Sabine, Countess of Egmont, the widow of Count Egmont. Interpretation” (2012)

Sabine Egmont was the daughter of Count Palatine Johann II von Zimmern and Beatrice of Baden. At 16, she  married  Count Egmont Lamoralya. Their wedding was attended by the King of Spain and Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. The marriage was very happy. On her knees, Sabine  begged the Duke of Alba to spare her husband’s life, but to no avail. After Egmont’s death, all his property was confiscated and until the end of her days Sabine lived in poverty. o3Erwin Olaf. “Spy of Duke of Alba” (2012)o4Erwin Olaf. “Johanna, daughter of Count Egmont. Interpretation” (2012)

Very little is known about Johanna Egmont, other than the fact that she became abbess of a Catholic monastery in Brussels. At the moment of her father’s death Johanna was five years old.o5Erwin Olaf. “Spanish soldiers” (2012)o6Erwin Olaf. “Still life with the heart of Count Egmont. A variation on the theme of Vanitas” (2012)

The real historical figures — Egmont, his wife Sabine, and the hearts of their two sons, who faithfully served the Spanish crown, buried in the Belgian city of Zottegeme. Egmont’s heart was placed in a special shell and placed on Sabine’s grave.

Art And Stairwells

stairwell56This is no art. This is a stairwell in a typical multilevel apartment building somewhere in Russia. The cow is optional, perhaps even photo-shopped.
stairwell99.jpgThis is another stairwell somewhere in Russia, obviously in need of repair. The level of neglect is appalling. Can’t say if it’s typical.
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I’d say, this one is more typical, however dull.

Artist Boris Chernichenko, originally from Astrachan, decided to liven up the stairway  and landings of the Moscow apartment building where he lives in one of the flats. He worked nights, turning the walls into paintings of charming birch groves, blue expanse of the river, the monastery…
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Charming, isn’t it?  The artist has done it on his own time, for the benefit and enjoyment of his neighbors; his artwork wasn’t either commissioned or monetarily rewarded.

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Meet The Artist: Valentin Rekunenko

rekunenko91

rekunenko92Valentin Rekunenko was born in 1955, graduated from the Dnepropetrovsk Art College in 1974, member of the National Union of Artists of Ukraine since 1987.

Member Triennale Art in Kiev in 1998, 2001, participant of a number of national and international art exhibitions. Works in oil, gouache, pastel.

His artwork grace private galleries of Russia, Poland,
Germany and the United States.

Never heard of him or seen his artwork before. Glad I finally did.

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Ballet On Paper

CalligraphyJake Weidmann  is the world’s youngest known Master Penman, an honor for which he learned to perfectly execute 15 scripts—yes, as in pen and paper—from Old English to Spencerian cursive.

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In 2013, Jake Weidmann has written himself into history books as he penned the preamble of Colorado’s Constitution in handwritten ink for the first time since it has been machine-printed in 1876. His work has a permanent home in the new Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial CenterCalligraphy2Beyond that, Weidmann  is the self-taught calligrapher, illustrator, painter, and sculptor.

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