Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Floor with “Ancient Roman mosaic” from the so called Imperial Palace in Ostia

Canvas of 41 m² (441 square feet) “Sobieski gives to the courier the message of victory for the Pope after the liberation of Vienna” 1883 by the Polish Jan Mateiko (1838/93) representing the victory of the Polish King John III Sobieski over the Turks after the siege of Vienna in 1683

It seems that the artist refused his generous compensation to donate the pope the canvas on the two-hundredth anniversary of the battle
The Turkish army of the Ottoman Empire had besieged Vienna for two months with 140,000 men
The battle of the 11th and 12th September 1683 between the Turks and the Austrian-German-Polish army composed of about 75.000/80.000 men commanded by King John III Sobieski of Poland ended the siege and it was decisive for the outcome of the war
The Turks lost about 15,000 men and the Christians about 2,000. The battle not only marked the end of the Ottoman expansionist drive in Europe, but also the beginning of their ouster from the Balkans
According to a popular legend the siege of Vienna would have led to the invention of the croissant by Viennese bakers inspired by the crescent of the Turkish insignia

“Blessed John Sarcander led to the martyrdom” by the Roman Francesco Grandi (1831/91) pupil of Tommaso Minardi

S. Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647/90) was a French nun and mystic who was beatified in 1864 and canonized in 1920
Her alleged private revelations would lead to the development of the worship and feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus established in 1856
In honor of this cult the famous Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Paris was begun in 1875 and consecrated in 1919

“S. Grata collects the body of St. Alexander” 1887 by the talented painter from Gandino (Bergamo) Ponziano Loverini (1845/1929)
St. Alexander was a Roman legionnaire who was killed in Bergamo during the persecution of 303
A woman called Grata, who was later made saint, would have collected the remains and would see lilies growing out of the shed blood of the martyr

“Martyrs of Gorkum” 1867 by Cesare Fracassini (1838/68) from Orvieto, another pupil of Tommaso Minardi

It was painted on the occasion of the canonization ceremony of the saints and it was such a big success that revealed this young artist who unfortunately died the following year only 29 years old
When this painting was shown for the first time in the studio of the artist, more than 20,000 people flocked to admire it
The martyrs of Gorkum were nineteen Catholic prelates captured in Gorcum and hanged in a barn in Brielle in South Holland by Calvinists in 1572 during the Eighty Years War (1568/1648)
The Dutch United Provinces were rebelling against the domination of Spain and the Peace of Westphalia of 1648 sanctioned the independence and the birth of the Netherlands
"The reviewers praised the perfect amalgam of historical accuracy and intensity achieved by introducing into the pathetic scene details of disturbing realism, which subordinated the usual supernatural apparatus to the focus of an all human ideal. The painting (...) as well as striking the imagination, continued to support the project of artistic propaganda of the Church during the period immediately after the unification of Italy" (Carlo Sisi – Catalogue of the exhibit Divina Bellezza)

No comments:

Post a Comment