Stylistically indebted to Turner's luminous effects, this surrealistic vision of nature's raging elements is given meaning by the tiny figure of Christ standing at the prow of the boat. His father was Erasmus I, a sculptor, his brothers Artus Arnoldus I , the most distinguished sculptor member of the family, and Hubert, an engraver. On an ornamental throne, emphasized by columns, stairs and velvet drapery, is King Saul in the traditional pose of meditation, immersion in thought and spiritual tension, with his elbow on his crossed legs and his hand propping up his head.
In his right hand he holds a spear which, under the spell of an evil spirit, he will hurl at David momentarily. The youth playing his harp before the throne pays less attention to his instrument than to the explosive anger of the king, so that he can dodge the weapon. The excited group of courtiers in the background also serve to heighten the drama of the episode. Their tempestuous feelings are expressed by distorted features: knotted brows, wrinkled foreheads and lips trembling with emotion.
Even David's relief-bringing instrument, the arched harp, is decorated with a screaming monster-head. Such a dramatized presentation of biblical text is characteristic of Flemish Baroque painting, as well as of the spirit of Rubens' workshop, where this painting was created. Weenix was in Italy and returned, calling himself "Giovanni Battista", to Holland to paint Italianate landscapes with ruins of ancient buildings and figures in modern dress, very reminiscent of the work of Berchem, who is said to have been his cousin.
Later in life he changed his style entirely and painted still-life and some portraits, his very detailed style being continued by his son Jan. Other elements of the composition are real but from other parts of Italy, the obelisque is imaginary. Such dead animals can also be found in the paintings of Willem van Aelst. He is best known for his views of the Campagna with emphasis on a mother and child seen against massive classical ruins, and fanciful Mediterranean seaports , but he also painted histories, portraits, and indoor genre scenes as well as some remarkable still lifes with dead game.
His son and pupil Jan Weenix made a speciality of pictures of hunting trophies. After he returned to Holland in he invariably signed himself Gio[vanni] Batt[ist]a Weenix. His adoption of the Italian translation of his Christian name and patronymic may have been in honor of Innocent X who gave him at least one commission. The artist executed this painting after his Italian journey. Le Sueur was one of the founders and first professors of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture.
Le Sueur studied under the painter Simon Vouet and was admitted at an early age into the guild of master painters. He painted many pictures for churches and convents, among the most important being St. Paul Preaching at Ephesus , and his famous series of 22 paintings of the Life of St.
Bruno , executed in the cloister of the Chartreux. Stylistically dominated by the art of Nicolas Poussin, Raphael, and Vouet, Le Sueur had a graceful facility in drawing and was always restrained in composition by a fastidious taste. Le Sueur's style was based on Raphael and more immediately on Poussin. His best-known work is perhaps the series of paintings of the Life of Saint Bruno, dating from Paris, Louvre.
Although his style became increasingly classical, he retained a certain elegance in his draftsmanship and use of color. There has been some confusion over the exact title of this imposing painting: Nero depositing the Ashes of Germanicus and the Funeral of Poppaea have both been suggested in inscriptions or commentaries to various engravings after the picture. The earliest source, however, Florent Le Comte's Cabinet des singularitez d'architecture, peinture, sculpture et gravure , refers to the picture as Caligula depositing the Ashes of his Mother and Brother in the Tomb of his Ancestors.
There is good reason to believe that this is the correct title since Le Comte claimed to be basing his statement on information recorded in a studio book kept by the artist and retained by the Le Sueur family. Both are listed under the year The second painting is now lost, but it is recorded in a drawing. He delivered a funeral speech in honor of Tiberius to a vast crowd, weeping profusely all the while; and gave him a magnificent burial. But as soon as this was over he sailed for Pandataria and the Pontian Islands to fetch back the remains of his mother and his brother Nero; and during rough weather, too, in proof of devotion.
He approached the ashes with the utmost reverence and transferred them to the urns with his own hands. Equally dramatic was his gesture of raising a standard on the stern of the bireme which brought the urns to Ostia, and thence up the Tiber to Rome. He had arranged that the most distinguished knights available should carry them to the Mausoleum in two biers, at about noon, when the streets were at their busiest. Germanicus was the adopted son of Tiberius, who most probably had him poisoned owing to his growing popularity. The subject of Agrippina's return to Brundisium with the ashes of Germanicus was a popular theme with artists during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Nicolas Poussin | Blind Orion Searching for the Rising Sun | The Met
Tiberius eliminated several members of Germanicus' family, but promoted Gaius of whom he said, 'I am nursing a viper for the Roman people and a Phaeton for the whole world. The theme that unites these two paintings might be said to be piety, both private in the actions of Caligula and public in the altruism of Lucius Albinus. Such demonstrations of moral virtue were often chosen as subjects for French paintings during the middle decades of the seventeenth century, in conjunction with the philosophical creed of Stoicism that Nicolas Poussin, amongst others, professed.
The intellectual and physical severity of this creed is reflected in the style of the painting with its stilted composition, visual clarity, carefully demarcated spatial intervals and purity of color, quite apart from the archaeological exactitude sought for the setting.
The artist made a drawing of the high priest holding the urn.
This painting and its companion piece depicting Melpomene, Erato and Polymnia were used to decorate the Cabinet of the Muses of the Hotel Lambert in Paris. These charming, delicately painted pictures foreshadow the coming of Poussin.
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The muses are the goddesses of creative inspiration in poetry, song and other arts, they are the companions of Apollo. They were the daughters of Jupiter and the Titaness Mnemosyne memory who had lain together for nine consecutive nights. The muses were originally nymphs who presided over springs that had the power to give inspiration, especially Aganippe and Hippocrene on Mount Helicon and the Castilian spring on Mount Parnassus.
The usual attributions of these Muses and two others not shown here are the following: Clio, the muse of history book, scroll or tablet and stylus. Euterpe, the muse of music, lyric poetry flute, trumpet or other instrument. Thalia, the muse of comedy, pastoral poetry scroll, small viol, masks. Urania, the muse of astronomy globe and compasses, crowned with a circle of stars. Calliope, the muse of epic poetry trumpet, tablet and stylus, books, holds laurel crown. The usual attributions of these Muses are the following: Melpomene, the muse of tragedy horn, tragic masks, sword or dagger, crown held in hand, scepters lying at feet.
Erato, the muse of lyric and love poetry tambourine, lyre, swan, a putto at her feet. The usual attributions of this Muse are the following: Terpsichore, the muse of dancing and song viol, lyre, or other stringed instrument, harp, crowned with flowers. Moved to Rome in , where he died.
Poussin was born in Les-Andelys, Normandy. The son of an impoverished family, Poussin received some early professional training at home. In Poussin left for Paris, where he entered the workshop of the mannerist painter J. The training was reinforced by independent study of mainly Italian art in the Royal Collections. By the end of s Poussin became authoritative master, the evidence of this are his commissions for decoration for the Luxembourg Palace in Paris, and the big altarpiece Assumption of Virgin. In the artist came to Italy, first to Venice, where he enriched his French training with the sensuous splendor of Venetian painting.
And in he came to Rome, where he stayed all his life, except for his trip to Paris in The s in Italy were for Poussin the years of intensive learning, and active creative work.
Erasmus At that period he acquired the dynamic style already dominant in Europe, the style that we now know as Baroque. It was at this time that he produced the most baroque of all his pictures, the altarpiece The Virgin of the Pillar Appearing to St. James the Greater , which was ordered for a church in the Spanish Netherlands. Poussin was evidently frustrated and disappointed by his lack of success in the intensely competitive field of baroque altarpiece painting.
He never attempted this style again. After a short crisis he chose the more restrained and intellectual direction of development, which appealed to the learned tastes of his Roman friends. The first Roman period on the whole is characterized by mythological themes, with sweet love, poetical inspiration, carefree happiness in harmony with nature. The artist is attracted by the situations, in which moral qualities of people reveal themselves.
In pictures of s the compositions are complex and compound with many characters, they remind the classical tragedy on stage. Poussin used a special box and wax figures: first he built his compositions, then started to draw preliminary sketches, and only then painted. The very popular in his time were the so-called bacchanal series, commissioned by Cardinal Richelieu. One of them, which survived, is Triumph of Neptune and Amphitrite Poussin did not hurry back.
This caused the violent jealousy on the part of other court artists; Vouet headed the opposition. For about two years Poussin painted altarpieces, canvases for Richelieu and supervised the decorative works in the Big Gallery in Louvre.