Giulio Monteverde

Funeral Monuments of Giulio Monteverde

Born on October 8th of 1837 in Bistagno, a municipality in the Piedmont region of Italy, Giulio Monteverde was a sculptor and educator. He moved with his family to Genova where he began, at the age of nine, his initial training at the Ligustica Academy of Fine Arts in Genova, under the guidance of sculptor Santo Varni. Monteverde also studied at Rome’s Academy of Fine Arts, where he later obtained the position of Professor.

In 1865, Monteverde won the Pensionato Artistico Triennale, a three-year grant, which allowed him to relocate to Rome and establish his own studio. A neo-classical sculptor, his romantic-realist style achieved rapid success and critical acclaim, particularly in the United States. In 1886, Italian naval officer Enrico Alberto d’Albertis acquired a castle and commissioned a statue of the young Christopher Columbus from Monteverde. The 1870 white Carrara marble sculpture, “Colombo Giovinetto”, modeled from D’Albertis’s nephew Filippo, won a gold medal at an exhibition in Parma, Italy.

In 1873, Giulio Monteverde completed a narrative work, “Edward Jenner Vaccinating His Son Against Smallpox”, a life-sized marble sculpture, which he presented at the Vienna International Exposition. This was shown again at the 1878 Universal Exposition in Paris, and now resides at Rome’s National Gallery of Modern Art. Following his success a the Vienna Exposition, Monteverde, in the following year, sculpted a realistic, intricately detailed marble statue of the Roman water nymph, Egeria.

Most of Monteverde’s talent was dedicated to the execution of  religious sculpture and funerary monuments. The theme of the Angel of Death, or of the Night, was portrayed in a number of variations throughout Italy and Spain. The tomb of the Oneto Family, commissioned by Francesco Oneto, President of the General Bank, is located at the Staglieno Cemetery in Genoa. It portrayed a sensual angel holding the trumpet of Universal Judgement in his right hand, and was replicated many times by Monteverde for other families, an exmaple of which is the more demure angel leaning against the Llambi Campbell family vault in the Recoleta Cemetery of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

As an educator, Giulio Monteverde taught at Rome’s Acadey of Fine Arts; among his students were Argentine sculptor and medalist Victor de Pol and Lola Mora, a Argentine sculptor and a pioneer of women in her field. Monteverde was made an officer in the Legion of Honor in 1878 and, in 1889, became an Italian Senator. He passed away on October 3rd of 1917, at eighty years of age.

Bottom Insert Image: Giulio Monteverde, “Colombo Giovinetto (The Young Columbus)”, 1870, Carrara Marble, Museo della Culture del Mondo, Genoa, Italy

Arcangelo Corelli

Arcangelo Corelli, Concerto in D Major Op. 6 No. 4, 1714, Performed by the Voices of Music Ensemble

Born on February 17, 1653 in Fusignano, Papal States, Italy, Arcangelo Corelli was a violinist and composer of the Italian Baroque era, whose  family were prosperous landowners, but not of the nobility. Known chiefly for his influence on the development of violin style and for his sonatas, Corelli’s “12 Concert Grossi “ established the contrast between a small group of soloists and the full orchestra as a popular compositional medium. 

Historical records of the poet Giovanni Mario Crescimbeni, founder of the celebrated Academy of Arcadians, state Arcangelo Corelli initially studied music under priests, first in the city of Faenza and then in Lugo, before he moved in 1666 to Bologna, a major center of musical culture. Plausible, but largely unconfirmed, historical accounts link his musical education with several master violinists, including Giovanni Benvenuti, Bartolomeo Laurenti, and Giovanni Battista Bassani. 

Although it is unclear exactly when Corelli arrived in Rome, it is known that he was actively engaged as a violinist in 1675. He played as one of the supporting violinists in three Lenten oratorios: one at the church of San Giovanni dei Florentini, one held on August 25th for a celebration at the church San Luigi dei Francesi, and one for the ordination ceremony of a noble Chigi family member held at the church Santi Domenico e Sisto. By February of 1675, Corelli was third violinist in the Chapel of San Luigi dei Francesi’s orchestra in Rome; by the following year Corelli was second violinist.

Corelli rapidly gain a reputation by playing in a number of ensembles sponsored by wealthy patrons at San Marcello al Corso, for whom he played in oratorios during the Lenten seasons from 1671 to 1679. In June of 1677, Corelli completed and sent his first composition “Sonata for Violin and Lute” to Count Fabrizio Laderchi, a noble in Faenza attached to the household of Prince Francesco Maria de Medici. Corelli’s “Twelve  Trio Sonatas (Two Violins and Cello, with Organ Basso Continuo), Opus 1”, dedicated to Queen Christina of Sweden, was published in 1681. 

From September 1687 to November 1690, Arcangelo Corelli was musical director at the Palazzo Pamphili, where he performed and conducted important musical events, Including conducting an orchestra of one hundred fifty strings for Queen Christina. A favorite of the great music patron Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni, Corelli in 1690 entered into the Cardinal’s service where he performed in concerts at Ottoboni’s Palazzo della Cancelleria. Joining him at these concerts were the violinist Matteo Fornari, the cellist G. B. Lulier from Spain, and the harpsichordist Bernardo Pasquini, and other orchestral players.

Corelli had first met Matteo Fornari in 1682, and they soon developed an intimate relationship which lasted until Corelli’s death. Socially protected by Ottoboni and living discreetly among male friends, they devoted their time together to the pursuit of their music which included many performances played together. Their relationship became the inspiration for two compositions by their friend Giuseppe Valentini, who dedicated his trio sonatas to both Corelli and Fornari. During this period, Corelli quietly developed his best-known and most influential works, the orchestral “Concerti Grossi”, and also became one of the most renowned violin teachers, who taught such students as Gasparini, Castrucci, and Locatelli.

In 1702, Corelli went to Naples and performed a composition by the Italian composer Alessandro Scarlatti, a performance which was probably performed  in the presence of its regent, King Philip IV.  In 1706, together with composer Bernardo Pasquini and Scarlatti, Corelli was received into the Pontifical Academy of Arcadia in Rome and conducted a concert for the occasion. By 1708 he withdrew from public view and began to revise his compositions. A contemporary of both Lully and Handel, Corelli died in Rome on the 8th of January in 1713. 

Arcangelo Corelli left his large art collection of paintings, all his instruments and music, and all future proceeds from it, to Matteo Fornari who readied Corelli’s unpublished “Op. 6 Concertos” for publication with Estienne Roger of Amsterdam. By special decree from the Pope, Corelli was buried next to Raphael in the section of the Pantheon in Rome that holds the remains of painters and architects.

Arcangelo Corelli’s “Concerto in D Major Op. 6”, was published in 1714 in Amsterdam and dramatically affected the style of the baroque concerto for the next generation of composers. The reception of this collection, considered one of the crown jewels of baroque instrumental music, owes a portion of its success to the music publishing boom which began around 1690. Corelli’s signature violin sonata set, “Opus 5”, also widely published, appeared in at least forty-two editions by 1800. 

Corelli’s concertos are written in an expanded trio sonata style, in which the two solo violins and cello form a small ensemble within the larger tutti framework, which is performed with all instruments together. The fourth concerto, played in the video linked above, is noteworthy for its suave and serene introduction, the gracefulness of the dance movement, the exceptionally well-balanced counterpoint and harmony, and the furious concluding coda which flows out of the second ending of the last movement.

Note: The video is from the Voices of Music Lamentations of Jeremiah concert held in April of 2014. Played with period instruments and practice,, there isn’t any conductor present at the performance. Kati Kyme and Elizabeth Blumenstock play solo baroque violins; Shirley Edith Hunt plays solo baroque cello; Gabrielle Wunsch and Maxine Nemerovski play ripieno baroque violins; Lisa Grodin plays baroque viola; Farley Pearce plays violone; Hanneke van Proosdij plays baroque organ; and David Tayler plays the archlute.

Jaques Augustin-Catherine Pajou

Jaques Augustin Pajou, Academic Male Study, 1785, Oil on Canvas, 100 x 82 cm, Private Collection

Insert: Jaques Augustin Pajou, “Academic Male Study”, 1787, Oil on Canvas, 100 x 82 cm, Private Collection

The son of famous sculptor Augustin Pajou, Jacques-Augustin-Catherine Pajou was born in August of 1766 in Paris, France. He was a historical and portrait painter in the Classical style, with the emphasis on form, simplicity, proportion and the clarity of formal structure. In 1784, Pajou became a student at Paris’ Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture. 

In 1792, accompanied with painter Louis-François Lejeune and economist Jean-Baptiste Say, Jacques Pajou became a member of the Compagnie des Arts de Paris. This military unit of the French Revolutionary Wars, organized by the Louvre, consisted of students of literature, the arts, and sciences, particularly from the École des Beaux-Arts and the École de Droit. Pajou, during this period, was stationed in Sedan, an administrative district in north-east France.

After demobilization, Jacques Pajou was a member of the General Arts Community of Paris, a revolutionary institution, founded by painters Jacques-Louis David and Jean ll Restout, to replace the Royal Academy. This movement succeeded in abolishing the Academy in September of 1793 during the French Revolution, burning paintings and books. It was later restored as a division of the Institute of France in 1803 by Napoleon Bonaparte.. Jacques Pajou served as Secretary for the General Arts Community’s president, painter Joseph-Marie Vien. 

Under the First French Empire, ruled by Napoleon Bonaparte, Jacques Pajou was commissioned to paint a portrait of Louis-Alexandre Berthier, Marshal and chief of staff to Napoleon, which is now on view at Versailles. In 1812, Pajou was awarded a gold medal for his depiction of Napoleon offering clemency to the Royalists who had taken refuge in Spain. In 1814, he painted three tableaux, displayed at the Paris Salon, which celebrated the Bourbon Restoration, the period in France following the first fall of Napoleon and the restoration of a conservative government under Louis XVII and Charles X.

Citing poor health, Jacques-Augustin-Catherine Pajou resigned in 1823 from most of the associations of which he was a member. After experiencing increasing poor health and a year of continual tremors, Pajou died in November of 1828, while residing in Paris. His body was interred at the Père-Lachaise Cemetery. 

Sebastiano Ricci

Sebastiano Ricci, “The Fall of the Rebel Angels”, 1720, Oil on Canvas, 82 x 68 cm, Dulwich Picture Gallery, London

Born in August of 1659, Sebastiano Ricci, an Italian painter of the late Baroque school of Venice, enjoyed an international reputation. He worked all over Italy, Austria, France, and England, primarily painting walls and ceilings with decorative schemes. Ricci’s patrons included Anne, Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland, and Lord Burlington, who commissioned Ricci for eight canvases of mythological frolics. 

In his 1720 “The Fall of the Rebel Angels”, Sebastiano Ricci portrays the War in Heaven, as described in the Bible’s Book of Revelation 12,2-9. Archangel Michael leads the angels of Heaven against the rebel angels, who follow Satan. Ricci portrays, with great exuberance, the moment when Saint Michael drives the fallen angels from Heaven. The light radiating from the upper left quadrant illuminates St. Michael while casting the fallen angels into darkness, offering a poignant juxtaposition between virtue and vice. 

There are five drawings relating to this composition at the Royal Library of Windsor Castle and one drawing in the Galleria dell’ Accademia in Venice.

Jean-Auguste Dominique Ingres

Jean-Auguste Dominique Ingres, “The Ambassadors of Agamemnon in the Tent of Achilles”, Detail and Full Canvas, 1801, Oil on Canvas, École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts

The monumental history painter Jean-Auguste Dominique Ingres was born in August of 1780 in the southern French town of Montauban. After receiving early instruction from his artist father, he was enrolled at the Academy of Toulouse, studying under neo-classical painter Guillaume-Joseph Roques. In 1797 Ingres left for Paris to study with Jacques-Louis David, who recognized his talent and allowed Ingres to assist on his “Portrait of Madame Récamier”.

Admitted to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Ingres won the Rome Prize in 1801 with his first major work, “The Ambassadors of Agamemnon in the Tent of Achilles”. Living in Paris and studying medieval church sculptures and the works of early Italians and Flemings at the Louvre, Ingress drifted away from the classicism he studied under Roques and David. He developed a new style, intricately designed with nearly shadowless figures, formed of distinct areas of color. Ingress exhibited four works at the Salon of 1806; though three were ignored by the critics, his “Napoleon on the Imperial Throne”,with its hard Gothic-styled artificiality and symmetry, scandalized them.

Between 1806 and 1814, Ingress spent his time painting in Italy, surviving on a four year stipend from the French Academy of Rome, painting portraits, before receiving patronage from, among others, Caroline Murat, sister of Emperor Napoleon and Queen of Naples. His works during this time includes “Oedipus and the Sphinx” and the “Valpincon Bather”, both executed in 1808 and now in the Louvre. Ingres was also among the painters charged with decorations for the Quirinale Palace, the residence of Napoleon’s infant son, king of Rome, producing two large paintings: the romantic 1813 “The Dream of Ossian” and the 1812 tempera painting “Romulus Victorious over Acron”.

Ingres received his first major commission from the Restorative government for two major works: an altar piece for the church of Santa Trinita dei Monti in Rome and, for the cathedral of Montauban, a painting to depict King Louis XIII’s vow to consecrate his kingdom to the Virgin Mary in Her Assumption. “The Vow of Louis XIII” achieved critical success at the Paris Salon of 1824, establishing Ingres’s reputation as the main classical artist. He was awarded the Legion of Honor and elected to the Royal Academy, staying in France and opening a teaching studio in 1825.

After the Revolution of 1830, Ingres received honors but little work from the liberal monarchy of Louis-Philippe. He labored for ten years on a commission for the Autun Cathedral entitled “Martydom of Saint Symphorian”, only to find dismissal from the critics at the 1834 Salon as outmoded in subject matter and style. Ingress departed for Rome, staying for six years, returning only after the popular success of his 1840 “Antiochus and Stratonice”, painted for the Duke of Orlénas, the king’s eldest son.  

In the 1840s and 1850s, despite spending much of his energy on large mural works, Ingress achieved his honors from his portraits of society women, including the portraits of “Baroness Rothschild” in 1948,;“Madame Moitessier” in 1851 and now in the National Gallery of Art; and “Princess de Broglie” in 1853. For the government of Napoleon III, he painted “Apotheosis of Napoleon I” and was honored with a retrospective exhibition at the Universal Exposition of 1855.

Ingress finished his painting “Turkish Bath” in 1862 at the age of eighty-two; in the same year, he was appointed to the French Senate. He died, after a brief illness, in January of 1867, of natural causes at the age of eighty-seven. His daring individual style, often criticized, was dedicated to an idea of beauty based on the relationship between forms, and harmonies in the use of line and color.

Agnolo Di Cosimo

Agnolo Di Cosimo (Agnolo Bronzino), “Saint Sebastian”, 1533, Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Spain

Agnolo Di Cosimo, known as Agnolo Bronzino, was a prominent artist of the second-wave of Italian Mannerism in the middle of the sixteenth century. Born to a poor Florentine family in 1503, he started his art education at the age of eleven as a pupil of Raffaelino del Garbo, a Renaissance painter from Florence. In 1515 Bronzino undertook an apprenticeship in Florence with the man who would become his biggest artistic influence and, some say, adopted father: Jacopo Carucci, better known as Pontormo.

In 1525, Pontormo called upon his pupil Agnolo Di Cosimo to help with what would be Pontormo’s masterpiece, the  “Deposition from the Cross”. This altarpiece was painted in the Florentine church of Santa Felicità. Pontormo was commissioned to decorate the entire church with frescoes; in a testament to Pontormo’s trust in and affection for his pupil, Pontormo enlisted Di Cosimo to assist in the work.

After the Siege of Florence in 1530 which reinstalled the Medici family as rulers, Agnolo Di Cosimo fled to Urbino. There he was commissioned by the Duke of Urbino to paint a nude Cupid above an arch of the Imperiale vault. He was also commissioned by a prince of Urbino to paint his portrait. As Di Cosimo became known for his portraits, he became the official portraitist for the Medici family members. Di Cosimo is known mostly for these portraits, perhaps his greatest contribution to Italian Mannerism.

Agnolo Di Cosimo’s painting technicus is extremely controlled and meticulous, with immaculate attention to detail..His brushstrokes appear non-existent, which give his works, particularly his portraits, an extremely realistic, almost life-like appearance. Di Cosimo used the tehnique of chiaroscuro to bring attnetion to the light-colored figures in the painting, pushing them forward against the dark background. Chiaroscuro is an effect of contrasted light and shadow created by light falling unevenly or from a particular direction on the subject of the painting.


Antonio Canova

Antonio Canova, “Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss”, Detail, 1787, Marble, Louvre Museum, Paris

“Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss” is a marble sculpture by Italian artist Antonio Canova, who was raised by his stonemason grandfather, Pasino Canova. Antonio Canova valued his independence as an artist, believing that art was above politics. However, through pressure by the French on the papacy, he was forced to accept titles and honors.

The marble sculpture is in a Neoclassical style but shows characteristics of the then emerging Romantic movement. There were two versions of this piece; the image shown being the prime version, which was acquired by Joachim Murat, Marshal of France and Admiral of France under the reign of Napoleon. After Murat’s death, the sculpture entered the Louvre Museum in 1824.

Image reblogged with thanks to

Dragon Aquamanile

Dragon Aquamanile, 1200 AD, Copper Alloy, Northern Germany, 22 x18 cm., The Cloisters Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City

An aquamanile is a vessel made specifically to hold water for hand-washing. Most of the Middle-Ages aquamaniles are fashioned from copper or bronze, an alloy of copper and tin with other metals. The artists used a lost was process, a time consuming and complicated process, to fashion these hollow figures. This process has been in use since the 4th century B.C.

Alisa Holen

Alisa Holen, Untitled, (Rice Bowls)

Alisa Holen is a ceramic artist and educator in Evansville, Indiana. She is Assistant Chair of the Department of Art and an assistant Professor of Ceramics at the University of Southern Indiana.

Holen holds a Bachelor of Art degree from Ausberg College, a Master’s degree in ceramics and a Master of Fine Arts degree in sculpture with a ceramic emphasis from the University of Iowa. She is active as a presenter in the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) Conference and is involved in many local arts activities including founding Empty Bowls Evansville.

Thutmose III

Statue of Thutmose III (Birthname: Menkheperre), Karnak Cachette, Luxor Museum, Egypt

This statue of Thutmose III, carved from greywacke, a dark coarse-grained sandstone, was found in the Karnak cachette in 1904. His reign was from 1479 to 1425 BC in which he extended the reach of the Egyptian empire during his foreign military campaigns.

Reblogged with many thanks to

Volodymyr Tsisaryk

Volodymyr Tsisaryk, “Jason and the Golden Fleece”, 2016, Bronze, 58 x 24 x 16 centimeters, Boccara Art Gallery, New York

Volodymyr Tsisaryk is a sculptor from Lviv, Ukraine,  who received his Bachelor Degree in Fine Arts at the Lviv State College of Decorative Art in 1999 and his Masters in Fine Art from the Lviv Academy of Arts in 2001.

Marco Antonio Prestinari

Marco Antonio Prestinari, “Hercules and the Nemean Lion”, Date Unknown, Terracotta, Height 52 cm.

Marco Antonio Prestinari was born in Claino, a village in the Valsolda close to Porlezza, His first recorded works for the garden and nymphaeum of Pirro Visconti’s villa at Lainate, near Milan, are the marble statues of the “Nymph” in the centre of the large grotto in the nymphaeum,, and the “Adonis” originally in the same nymphaeum, but now located in the Louvre Museum. These statues can in all likelihood be dated to the mid 1590s.

The terracotta “Hercules and the Nemean Lion” is a preparatory model for a monumental sculpture in ceppo stone of the “Teatro d’Ercole” of the garden of Villa Arconati at Castellazzo di Bollate, near Milan.

Reblogged with thanks to

Simeon Solomon

Simeon Solomon,  Frontispiece to His Book ‘”A Vision of Love Revealed in Sleep”’, 1871

Solomon’s “A Vision of Love Revealed in Sleep” is an important early gay text, a prose poem,which was privately published in 1871. The image above is captioned “Until the day break and the shadows flee away”, a quotation from the Bible in the Song of Solomon 2:17.

The performance by Neil Bartlett, entitled “A Vision of Love Revealed in Sleep”, was an one-man homage to the life and work of Pre-Raphaelite painter Simeon Solomon. The performance was originally created and performed at the height of the first wave of the British AIDs epidemic in 1987.

Book of Kells

Chi-Rho Page, Book of Kells, 800 AD, Trintiry College, Dublin

The Book of Kells, known also as the Book of Columba, is an illuminated manuscript Christian Gospel book in Latin, containing the four Gospels of the New Testament together with tables and introductory texts. It was created in a Columba monastery in either Britain or Ireland around 800 AD.

The illustrations and ornamentation of the Book of Kells combines traditional Christian iconography with ornate motifs of Hiberno-Saxon art. The existing manuscript comprises 340 folios and, since 1953, has been bound in four volumes. The leaves are on high-quality vellum; the insular script is in iron gall ink, and the colors were derived from a wide range of substances, many imported from distant locations.

The Cho-Rho page dwells almost entriely of the name of Christ, or rather on its traditional abbreviation into the “Chi-Rho” symbol. In this illumination the Chi is the dominant form, an X with uneven arms, somewhat resembling a pair of curved pliers. The Rho stands in its shelter, with its loop turned into a spiral. There is also an Iota, an I, the third letter, passing up through this spiral. All three letters are abundantly decorated, their curves drawn out into flourishes, embellished with discs and spirals, filled with dense tracery and punctuated with occasional animals and angels.

Reblogged with thanks to

Sebastiano Ricci

Sebastiano Ricci, “Bacchanal”, Date Unknown, Oil on Canvas, Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Sebastiano Ricci was an Italian painter of the late Baroque School of Venice, An elder contemporary of Tiepolo, Ricci represents a late version of the vigorous and luminous Cortonesque style of grand manner fresco painting. He painted many works while under the patronage of Duke Ranuccio II, Farnes of Parma, Italy.

John Singer Sargent

John Singer Sargent, “Sketch for Perseus on Pegasus Slaying Medusa”, 1922-1924, Oil and Graphite on Canvas, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

In one version of the birth of Pegasus, the flying horse, it states the horse was miraculously formed when the blood of Medusa’s severed head poured onto the foaming sea, and out of this foam it came. Another version said the horse came out of the slain body of Medusa and upon the horse was a warrior called Chrysaor, born carrying a golden sword.  The Pegasus story states that Perseus gave the head of Medusa to the goddess Athena in gratitude for her help and in reprisal for what Medusa had done to Athena’s temple.

In Sargent’s depiction, he seems to combine the elements of the entire story: the slaying of Medusa, the birth of Pegasus, and the presenting of Medusa’s head to Athena all in one. He also, very cleverly, has kept faithful to the constellation of Pegasus, the stars in the sky aligned correctly to the position of Pegasus in his sketch.

Ando Hiroshige

Ando Hiroshige, “Suido Bridge and Suruga Hill”, Number 63 from the “One Hundred Views of Famous Places in Edo” Series, 1857, Color Woodcut, Chazen Museum of Art

Ando Hiroshige was a Japanes ukiyo-e artist, considered the last great master of that tradition. He is best known for his landscapes, such as the series “The Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido” and “The Sixty-Nine Stations of the Kiso Kaido”, and for his depictions of birds and flowers. The subjects of his work was atypical of the genre, whose typical focus was on beautiful women, popular actors, and scenes of the urban pleasure districts of Japan’s Edo period.

In 1856, Hiroshige retired from the world,  becoming a Buddhist monk; this was the year he began his “One Hundred Views of Famous Places in Edo” series.  He died aged 62 during the great Edo cholera epidemic of 1858 and was buried in a Zen Buddhist temple in Asakusa.