An Advent Calendar – 20

‘Joseph’ – Oh, Joseph! Poor Joseph! Always off to one side, half in the shadows, but with so much responsibility. Of course, the bible says next to nothing about him – apart from the fact that he was of the house of David, and was thought to be Jesus’s father. So almost everything we knowContinue reading “An Advent Calendar – 20”

An Advent Calendar – 10

‘The Ass’ – Surely, I can hear you saying, surely there is biblical authority for the ass in a painting of Christ’s birth? It’s always there! How else would they have got to Bethlehem when, ‘there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed’ (Luke 2:10)? Well, it doesn’tContinue reading “An Advent Calendar – 10”

An Advent Calendar – 2

Angels Angels have just as much as a right as the star to be present at the Nativity. They are mentioned in all four gospels, as it happens, although Mark only mentions them when Jesus is tempted by the devil, and John has one stirring the waters of the pool of Bethesda, and more appearingContinue reading “An Advent Calendar – 2”

Day 57 – Tobias revisited

Gian Antonio Guardi, The Story of Tobias, c. 1750, Arcangelo Raffaele, Venice. I’ve told you the story of Tobias and the Angel before (Picture Of The Day  4 – you can probably find it under ‘Angels’ at the bottom of this post), so if you’d like to refresh your memory, do have a look there. At theContinue reading “Day 57 – Tobias revisited”

Day 35 – Judith and Holofernes

Donatello, Judith and Holofernes, late 1450s, Palazzo Vecchio, Florence. Talking about Judith Leyster yesterday I was reminded that I had said, when talking about Artemisia Gentileschi’s Judith Beheading Holofernes (Picture Of The Day 17), that I would talk about Donatello’s version of the same story – so here it is. And for those of you who have onlyContinue reading “Day 35 – Judith and Holofernes”

Day 17 – Judith Beheading Holofernes

Day 17 – Artemisia Gentileschi, Judith Beheading Holofernes, c. 1620, The Uffizi, Florence. Originally posted on 4 April 2020 Today should have seen the opening of ‘Artemisia’ at the National Gallery – and there is still some hope that we may yet see it. But in the meanwhile, let’s enjoy this painting. By now, after a littleContinue reading “Day 17 – Judith Beheading Holofernes”

Day 4 – Tobias and the Angel

Day 4 – Workshop of Verrocchio, Tobias and the Angel, about 1470-5, National Gallery, London. Originally posted on 22 March 2020 Day 4 and I’m building up a number of ideas, thanks to your queries, requests and enthusiasms. Thanks for the various nominations for ‘Best Cabbage in Art’ – I’ll get back to those, IContinue reading “Day 4 – Tobias and the Angel”