Matthias Grunewald takes your heart to a really strange place of ascension service through God with The Crucifixion, c. 1523-1524, from Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe. Not only do we have the whole thorn bush wrapped around Christ's head, rather than a crown of thorns, his loin cloth in tatters, and enormous feet nominating the cross base, a rough cross, bashed together from a felled tree but the whole sombre background feels more inside a forest come stage set, or simply emotionally inside his heart. The unique rendering of the twisted hands and crippled up feet are also suggested in other crucifixions such as the Isenheimer Altar in Musee d'Unterlinden in Colmar, France. This larger crucifixion was part of another altarpiece and would have had side leaves on either side in a humble church of wood, one would be imagining, even in the time of Johann Sebastian Bach, the surrounding location was a darkly wooded night or the time of the Goths. Never heard an organ play. Most of Medieval German villages still feel a bit this way. So, God graced us with art and Matthias Grunewald to help us on our way.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Cosimo Tura is lacewing to the heart with The Madonna of the Zodiac, c. 1459-1463, at the Accademia of Venice. Christ asleep is beautifully rendered with a graphic quality that takes you through divine circles to speak divinity through the heart, one feels angelic threads of Gods love through his brushwork. His foot almost enters Heaven and the royal cloth the Virgin wears takes you further to Gods domain. The goldfinch on the grapes behind would talk about the crucifixion, the passion of Christ and takes you right through to the heart of man via the threads of divine fate to the Saviour, our Lord. The Christian calendar is of importance to Cosimo Tura or the planetary reference to the zodiac. Other paintings such as the panels from the organ of the Ferrara Cathedral representing St. George and the Princess along with the Annunciation also appear to take you right through to the heart of God and man with the usage of red. A red bridal for St. George's horse and strange red threads dangle down in the background of the Annunciation from a squirrel in the roof beam. Both seem to hook you through to the vascular regions of your heart. The Madonna of the Zodiac with reference to Gods love also holds your heart.
Monday, April 28, 2014
Agnolo Bronzino gives us The Panciatichi Holy Family, c. 1540. This very moving rendition of Christ being blessed by a young St. John the Baptist as a Saint, takes your heart. All look lovingly on the baby divine or Christ child asleep. Mother Mary looks like she is recovering from the birth and has divine velvet cloth around her waist. There is a divine message in the front on a scroll. Christ rests upon a small velvet cushion. And we appear to have Moses in the background looking over St. John. As a family unit they take you to the love of God.
Sunday, April 27, 2014
Clown Playing a Drum, 1865-1867, by Honore Daumier, recently exhibited in London at the Royal Academy of Arts, comments about the heart of man. Most of the clown series of Daumier appears to be self-portraiture. One is reminded of current street performers in London and in times gone by a court jester spreading the news, the vocation of the Royal court. Daumier on the other hand worked in France for the lithography press or as a printmaker and why his lithography graphic work is so strong. London do seem to be dominated by the street press and hence this exhibitions appeal. The unfortunate history of freak shows in the United Kingdom has been taken over by newspapers and Daumier would have felt like the town clown and hence, a museum exhibit.
Saturday, April 26, 2014
We are taken on another spiritual pathway with Francisco de Zurbaran and his still lives. The painting A Cup of Water and a Rose, c. 1630, of the Spanish Baroque tradition is now currently housed at the National Gallery in London. This divine painting is an offering of Zurbaran's heart through God. The divine silverware and porcelain cup are sacred, the rose is to nominate God. Upon view, this painting is from the Holy order of the divine sacrament of Christ through God to Christ and for some people to the heart of a woman, God bless their wives and the goddess, the Virgin Mary. The rose would equal the heart of God. Philosophy from the early mystic philosophy where study of divine planetary from travelling Christians on a Christian pilgrimage through Spain would have been an influence. Vanitas was a divine message to God of the order of Christ. The still life tradition of Baroque Spain nominates the worth of the Holy, something still celebrated in Spain over Easter. A Holy week is in honor of God.
Friday, April 25, 2014
Francisco de Zurbaran gave us The Lamb of God, c. 1635-1640, now housed in San Diego. This special outing takes you through to God equalling the human heart. Recently shown in Ferrara, Italy this extraordinary painting takes you to the lamb of God. He is represented elsewhere in the Ghent Altarpiece, the altarpiece was commissioned by van Eyck, premise thought to be completed by his more famous brother Jan van Eyck, the painting is also called the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb or The Lamb of God. The Zurbaran painting finished the first room of the exhibition with the sweetest feeling you could know in your heart, love, the love of God.
Thursday, April 24, 2014
On the other hand, Martin Schongauer has Study of Peonies, 1472. The fold down the print paper is premise perhaps as it was too large for a folder reminiscent of folds of a print in a book. Almost like a heart fold as though he carried the print around with him and put it in his pocket overnight. A love letter from God. The depth of clarity of Schongauer's print work takes you right to the core of the human being and the God zone. Looking at these extraordinary peonies takes you to the blood of Christ and crucifixion. Not ten inch nails of psychological pain or the pain of loving God, simply the beauty of the bumblebee. The rest of his graphic work is this intense, too. A potent reminder of how God equals the human.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Peter Fischli and David Weiss had on offer their post humorous abstraction series from 1981-2006, a collaboration starting in 1979, at the Venice art Biennale, in Venice, Italy, called Suddenly this Overview. This series of unfired clay sculptures had been exhibited previously in London, 2006. You feel a strange affinity with their banal sense of humour, apparently communicating "unimportant events in the history of mankind", according to the late David Weiss. One does get a sense of a communication before work of their daily ascension. Other artworks of the Fischli/Weiss team included their pet cat, drinking a bowl of milk on video so the everyday appears to have meaning. These crazy unfired sculptures do not suggest anything other than popular themes gone awry or their special understanding unto God of the human being and how they are affected by general reading. Peter Fischli, on the other hand takes us to "the swamp and the simultaneity of these things". We have on offer in the Venice exhibition a small sculpture of a now realized larger version of the banality and the tourist with Rock On Top of Another, with the London garden project.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Pierre Huyghe takes us with his retrospective view to a place in philosophy that is next to slight and the automatic control of Henri Michaux drawing. These drawings were completed in a controlled drug induced environment to be able to access the unconscious mind closest to God, the Dadaists got there emotionally without aid. The Surrealists took this further into realms of dream. Freud and Jung would have been influential here, too. Their philosophy would have been equally an existential exploration of the human dream but mainly troubled dreams before death, those not quite reaching God before death. Walking through the Pierre Huyghe exhibition was like an extension of his philosophy, almost a beatific vision but more a life, death thing or the end of time, the end of an emotional destruction and possibly French philosophers from French TV that were not relevant to the individual personally. Pierre Huyghe is more a Post Dada continued process of the evaluation of what it is to be a human being in the Western world. His oeuvre is subliminal and takes you through his dream state to question peoples fears and the irrational.
Monday, April 21, 2014
The Crucified Christ, 1285-1300, by Giovanni Pisano in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, has to be one of the best depictions in sculpture philosophy of the fragility of human love and the human being equalling God. The ascension of this small altarpiece or fragment of an ivory crucifix takes you to God's love and touches your heart there. The gilded ivory talks about divinity and communicates the delicate purity of Christian love, Christ died for his love of humanity. The celebration of love with this exquisite masterpiece takes you to a place of beauty being celebrated through the divine. The level of human concern of what was touched upon with a similar Giotto crucifix of the same Gothic period takes you through to the sublime, the subliminal of a heart of glass or the most fragile place next to God.
Sunday, April 20, 2014
Carlo Naya gave us his panorama of Venice series of photographs. God takes you via the human being along the Grand Canal as if along the flow of life. Philosophy of this ascension tenets similar territory with the use of the machine as a tool for the depiction of your vision of reality. Earlier than this we have J.M.W. Turner and his atmospheric interpretation of Venetian light. The romantic philosophy of Turner was a prevalent pursuit and took you to God along another journey. Even though gondolas are reminiscent of your last ferry ride, we are not being traversed across a Hell ride and the river Styx. The panoramic view of the canal takes you through the history of Venice and its place with the royal family. St. Mark's square is in the background of this photograph and the composition has a prosaic view. Even though we are reminded of former trips to Italy and the maze of alleyways and streets Venice has on offer, my heart is always drawn to the breath of the human being.
Saturday, April 19, 2014
Davide del Verrocchio, takes you through God to the human being via a highly trained goldsmith. This masterwork would rate as one of the all time top ten list of highly acclaimed sculptures of the world. The sculpture is situated currently in a room of masterpieces of other highly trained sculptors and goldsmiths. The Bargello in Florence is home to several attributions to God via the human hand. The National Museum is on the highlight tour of the best examples of Florentine sculpture available. The place takes you to Heaven mainly through Settignano, Donatello, Luca della Robbia and Verrocchio, best blessed.
Friday, April 18, 2014
Albrecht Durer touches your heart with the order of St. John in his Apocalypse, 1498-1511, series of woodcuts. God equalling the angels is the message here. There appears to be a battle in the heart between good and evil to take us to a divine contemplation of a vision of the Holy divine angel. The end of world is not something this beatific vision could transcribe more the beginning of the angel where a key to the bottomless pit is where we find the seven divine orders to the human soul. This is a reflection on the pool that denies the self but the heart wars with the battle of divine angels to take you there. Every limit is transpired. The whole vision seems to communicate the seven sacred verses of Christ to speak with the angel, what it takes to be a human being.
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Glorifying the soul with Giotto and his Last Judgement at the Arena Chapel (Cappella Scrovegni), c. 1306, in Padua, takes you to the garden of the heart. The blue in the existent chapel takes you there, to the garden where the angels live. The trumpeting angels of the end of time nominate the beginning of the world to come. The infinite love of God. Hell demons seem to be spun off in Hell fire off the side of the sacred serpent Christ rides around in, in Heaven. The Hell victims are being beaten, hung on trees and munched on by a big, blue Satan sitting on some other kind of serpent. It is hard to imagine why the order of St. Anthony that this painting is attributed to appears to represent evil to certain unsaintly bloodlines. The pictorial story on view seems to suggest Heaven and Hell exists on earth and come Glory day where we are judged for our eternal life, the angels come down and pray. Some people have been ascended to the Heaven on High and seem to crowd the Heavens like a Choral Choir in neat rows singing the verse. While other angels surround Christ on his magical chair of the sacred serpent and appear resplendent, the angels of the cross hover over a sacred service below.