Confucius once said that… Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it! During COVID 19 Days, we meditate, seek our inner soul and find beauty in many little things around us… like taking a Virtual Trip to meet the 1st Emperor of China. Please… Stay in the comfort of your HOME! Snack on something deliciously CHINESE …and ACTION!
Today I would like to take you on a trip to a Country I visited few years back and wish to visit again… when all, will be easier once more… CHINA!
I would like you to meet Quin Shi Huang Di, the man who spent a life time uniting all of China’s kingdoms “under heaven” and his rule, becoming the 1st Emperor of China!
Quin Shi Huang Di unified the country, standardized the laws, money, weights, measures and writing. He built the Great Wall of China and even had the country named after him. He built himself an amazing tomb that is famous for the army of 6,000 terra-cotta warriors.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon – This is the famous 2000 Ang Lee adventure of a young Chinese warrior who steals a sword from a famed swordsman and then escapes into a world of romantic adventure with a mysterious man… https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0190332/?ref_=ttls_li_tt
The story of the uncompromising Mulan, the story of the young Chinese maiden who disguises herself as a male warrior in order to save her father. You can see the new 2020 version of Mulan… https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4566758/
“…And so I left her to her prayers, and went To gaze upon the pride of Monza’s shrine Where in the sacristy the light still falls Upon the Iron Crown of Italy On whose crowned heads the day has closed, not yet The daybreak gilds another head to crown…” by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, A Last Confession
Once upon a time… there was a Bavarian princess named Teodolinda (570 – 627) whose fate was to prudently rule over Lombardy, and bequeath the people of Italy, a great treasure… the Iron Crown of Monza! She was the wife of two Lombard kings, Authari (c. 540 – 590) and Agilulf, (c. 555 – 616) and mother, and regent of king, Adaloaldo (603-629).
She is described as a beautiful and intelligent woman, a follower of the Nicene Creed (the First Council of Nicaea, 325 – adopted to resolve the Arian controversy) and a devoted friend of Pope Gregory the Great (c. 540 – 604). She is also described as a great patroness of the arts, providing Monza, the Lombard summer capital, with its Cathedral, a spectacular basilica dedicated to St. John the Baptist. A local legend describes how Queen Teodolinda while riding alongside the Lambro River in the area of Monza met with a dove which instructed her to build a church in the area…and how, dutifully, she did! Today, gazing upon the Monza Cathedral one can only think of the truth behind the legend!
Queen Teodolinda and Pope Gregory the Great are responsible for bringing to Monza some astonishing Early Christian works of art and relics. The Iron Crown is one such extraordinary relic, an item of veneration and great mastery of Early Christian goldsmithery.
The Crown consists of six golden, rectangular plates beautifully embellished with enamelwork and cabochon gems… garnets, amethysts and blue corundum. Each plate is divided into two uneven in size, parts. The right part is narrow and consists of a vertical row of three cabochon gems, one under the other. The other one is three times bigger in size and rectangular in shape. It is decorated with a central cabochon gem, four gold rosettes, and four amazing enamelled floral motifs. The combination of shining gold, opaque and translucent enamels add to the grace and beauty of the Crown, making it an alluring artefact of the Early Christian period.
The Iron Crown of Monza is one of the most venerated relics in Italy as tradition and legend ties it up with the Passion of Christ and the first Christian emperor, Constantine. According to Ambrose, Archbishop of Milan, Saint Helena while visiting Palestine in 326, found the nails used for Christ’s martyrdom. One of these nails was inserted as an inner circle in the creation of the Iron Crown that was first worn by no other than Emperor Constantine himself! That Crown, always according to Ambrose, was brought to Milan by Emperor Theodosius, and after many interesting adventures passed to Queen Teodolinda and finally, the Cathedral of Monza. Historically, the Iron Crown was used for the Coronation of all Italian Kings since the Carolingian Period.
The original Monza oraculum (chapel) built on the Greek Cross plan Teodolinda commissioned back in 595, is long gone… only some walls exist today. On the exact site, however, starting from the 13th century, the Monza Cathedral was built, a Basilica church in the Latin Cross plan with an octagonal tiburium. The famous Teodolinda chapel was built at the same time. Today, the Chapel is famous for the mid-15th century wall paintings, painted by Milanese artists from the Zavattari workshop, that recount 45 episodes from Queen Teodolinda’s life and a consecrated altar, built by Luca Beltrami in 1895-96, that holds this most important of Italy’s relics… the Iron Crown of Monza. https://www.wmf.org/project/duomo-theodelindas-chapel
The Swiss painter Hans Ruedi Giger (1940 – 2014), once said that… I like elegance. I like art nouveau; a stretched line or curve… During our COVID 19 Days, we need the elegance of Art NouveauArt… and stretched, curved lines to feel comfortable and cosy! The Belgian capital city Brussels is so much Art Nouveau in spirit! It’s an ideal travel destination for our 1st May Weekend! Stay in the comfort of your HOME! Snack on something deliciously BELGIAN! …and ACTION! in a Brussels Virtual Destination Tour!
The city of Brussels, capital of Belgium, is located in the heart of Europe, and serves as the de facto capital of the European Union, as it hosts a number of principal EU institutions. Do you know that the most common theory of the origin of the name Brussels is that it derives from the Old Dutch Bruocsella, Broekzele or Broeksel, meaning “home in the marsh”?
King of the Belgians is a 2016 mockumentary comedy film produced, written and directed by Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth. While Nicolas III, King of the Belgians, is making an official visit to Istanbul, Wallonia declares its independence and so Belgium doesn’t exist any more… The hard trip back home becomes not only a desperate (and comical) travel across the Balkans but also an inner trip where Nicolas III tries to understand who he really is. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4818804/
Tintin and the Lake of Sharks is a 1972 French-Belgian animated adventure film based on The Adventures of Tintin, directed by Raymond Leblanc. It was not written by Hergé, but by the Belgian comics creator Greg (Michel Regnier), a friend of Hergé. It was later adapted into a comic book with still images from the film used as illustrations. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0069383/
The Month of May fresco comes from the Torre Aquila in the Castello del Buonconsiglio, in Trento, Italy. It is part of an amazing fresco Cycle of the Twelve Months painted on the walls of the tower’s 2nd-floor main room. It was commissioned by Prince-Bishop George of Liechtenstein, who wanted to show life and prosperity in his “well-governed” territories. The painter of these remarkable frescoes, Master Wenceslas, understanding well what he was commissioned to do, created the best 15th-century advertising brochure for the Alpine city of Trento. The Month of May presents a bright spring scene, crowded with well-dressed aristocrats who, in the lush local countryside, serenely enjoy the splendours of their privileged life.
Master Wenceslas, a Bohemian painter active in Trento since 1397, creates an amazing May scene, full of natural beauty… the sun triumphs, nature is in full bloom, and roses are present wherever you see! This is the time for Trento peasants to rest after a busy April, preparing and sowing the fields, repairing or rebuilding the fences of the vegetable gardens. Their duties accomplished by April 23, the feast of San Giorgio, as the custom dictates, they are out of the “picture.” The Month of May scene is dedicated to the local ladies and gentlemen and their idle aristocratic activities.
Master Wenceslas paints a striking May scene introducing themes and focusing on details. A city on the upper left side of the panel, surrounded by bright red walls sets the tone… bright, elaborate, almost otherworldly. The white Gothic church within its Walls balances the effect and stands out, introducing one of the four main colours present in the composition, white, red, green and blue. Next to the walled city but connected with it through a bridge, two aristocratic couples are about to eat al fresco, as a circular white-clothed table displays an abundance of delicacies. What an amazing and luxurious “picnic” setting this is… rugged mountains, a deep dark green forest, and a well-constructed fountain of spring water! They sit comfortably and talk amicably around the table, dressed in their brightest and finest, while one of the ladies is about to fetch water from the spring. Is this vignette a reference to the Fountain of Youth, which, according to legend, could renew beauty and youth for eternity?
“Art is ANYTHING you can get away with” Andy Warhol once said… How true is he when we consider the artistic oeuvre of Theodoros Ralli and his amazing Orientalism! A wealthy Greek ex-patriate artist, living between the West, mostly in Paris, and the East, Cairo during the cold month of winter, Theodoros Ralli is a true cosmopolitan of the late 19th century Gilded Age.
“A perfect Parisian type, wearing a beret à la Hermonville and a light brown vest with gold trim buttoned to the neck, still very youthful and of an open, jovial character, Mr. Ralli is a delightful conversationalist and very gallant.”
Not just so… Theodoros Ralli, born in Constantinople, at the crossroads of East and West, the mythical capital of the Byzantine Empire and the alluring EAST, was destined to become the most representative of the Greek, Orientalist painters. He was “the offspring of a wealthy family from the island of Chios, active in commerce in England and around the world.” Theodoros Ralli had no financial problems to pursue, unobstructed, his passion for the Arts. The photographs of his Parisian Studio that still survive today preserve his appearance and way of living. Documents of the period present him as a personality, and discuss “his courtesy, gentility, humour, patience, tenacity, smoking habit, love of Wagnerian opera, a weakness for watercolourists, aversion to long-term relationships, industriousness and his love for the fair sex, in Parisian Studios he had the nickname of Don Juan.” All documents “reinforce the picture of a man who despite his genteel and fragile appearance, disposed of enormous psychic reserves, had an iron will and the perseverance to become what he had dreamed of becoming: a painter.”
Theodoros Ralli studied painting under the academic teacher and Orientalist painter Jean-Leon Gerome until approximately 1880, sharing his teacher’s aversion towards Impressionism and the avant-garde movements of the later 19th century. He exhibited, uninterruptedly, in the official French Salons, the World Exhibitions of Paris, as well as many other exhibitions both inside and outside France, winning medals and establishing international recognition. He travelled extensively to Greece and many Middle Eastern countries, drawing inspiration for his paintings. He kept two Studios, one in Paris and another in Cairo, where he kept warm and stimulated during wintertime.
Orientalism in later 19th century Art is a tantalizing, multi-faceted, genre much loved by Europeans of the time. We can trace it back to the merchants of the Silk Road, the few adventurous Northern European travellers of the “Grand Tour,” or the Venetian Renaissance fiestas painted by Veronese, the Dutch Curiosity Cabinets, Rococo eroticism or to the many Odalisques that inspired both Ingres and Delacroix. Then we have to consider Napoleon, his Egyptian Campaign of 1798-1801, and the gradual European desire for… political involvement and colonialism. Whatever the cause of European curiosity and pathos for the East, it lingered for a long time, inspiring and creating great works of art. https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/euor/hd_euor.htm and https://www.artuk.org/discover/stories/inspired-by-the-east-thoughts-about-orientalism
For a Student Activity on Orientalism inspired by Theodoros Ralli, please… Click HERE!
Written both in Greek and English, this is a valuable source of information for the Artist: Theodoros Ralli, Looking East – The catalogue was first published on the occasion of the exhibition “Theodoros Ralli. Looking East” Benaki Museum, Museum of Islamic Art, 11th December 2014 – 22nd February 2015 https://www.benaki.org/images/publications/pdf/rallis.pdf
Socrates once said that…The secret of happiness is not found in seeking more, but in developing the ability to enjoy less… During our COVID 19 Days, seeking happiness needs nurturing… and Art can be of great assistance… for a New York Virtual Destination!
Our travel destination this upcoming weekend is in New York… and we can do it Virtually! Stay in the comfort of your HOME! Snack on something deliciously AMERICAN! …and ACTION!
Let’s start our TOUR with no other than Frank Sinatra and his famous New York, New York!!!
West Side Story, is the 1961 musical tribute to New York, the historic city of immigrants. Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins’ Romeo and Juliet reboot West Side Story – based on the 1957 musical – shows the depth of the cultural divides between the Sharks and Jets, NY street gangs. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0055614/
The Age of Innocence, Martin Scorsese’s 1993 sumptuous adaptation of Edith Wharton’s Pulitzer-winning 1920 novel, is a period-perfect evocation of the late 19th-century Gilded Age in New York City. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106226/
Ghostbusters is the 1984 hip comedy in which Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd and Harold Ramis play parapsychologists who save New York City from a ghost infestation with a 100-foot marshmallow man. Among the New York institutions captured by Ghostbusters were Columbia University, the New York Public Library, Columbus Circle, and the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087332/
FOOD New York style
Egg Benedict – This epic dish has defined brunch for many decades, an agglomeration of poached ova and Canadian bacon on an English muffin splooged with a very French hollandaise sauce. It was the creation of the legendary Chef Oscar at the Waldorf Hotel in the 1890s… https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/eggs_benedict/
“My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” the first thing that comes to my mind when I see Rogier van der Weyden’s Philadelphia Crucifixion!
Spiritual, innovative, intense, unique, sophisticated… here are some adjectives I can use to describe this very special Diptych, the great master of Northern Renaissance, Rogier van der Weyden, created back in 1460. Painted with vibrant colours, warm and engaging in some parts, but equally cool and standing apart, in others, Rogier’s colours create an atmosphere of poise, composure and utter sorrow. The two panels are quite distinct, as the right one, heavenly and unearthly, is dedicated to Christ’s greatest moment of Sacrifice, and the left, depicting Saint John the Evangelist supporting a devastated Mary, grounds us to human reality. Yet, the two panels unite through homogeneity in the background, and Mary’s tunic that trails from left to right, creating together, a unique composition.
Not only so… as the Philadelphia Crucifixion, his finest, in my humble opinion, masterpiece, proves Rogier to be the master conductor of a symphony in lines, shapes and glorious colours.
Just observe how masterfully he uses straight, vertical and curved lines… Bold straight lines mark the cornice of the background wall and highlight the face of Christ. The vertical lines of the cross and Christ’s body enhance the necessary need for monumentality and stability, while the outstretched and crossed hands add to Christ’s Pathos. Curved lines observe the postures of both figures on the left panel, John and Mary, adding emotional warmth and humanity. Finally, an imaginary diagonal line, pulls us towards the lower part of the right, Crucifixion panel, emphasizing the meaning of Christ’s Sacrifice on the Cross with the depiction of “Adam’s” Skull on the hill of Golgotha.
Equally important to consider are the shapes Rogier incorporates in his composition and the colours of his palette. The highlight, similarly important in both panels, is undoubtedly the use of two vivid red rectangular pieces of cloth hanging over the background wall, creating the ideal setting for the three protagonists of this amazing Crucifixion. While the hanging cloth is painted a vivid red, the garments the three figures in the composition wear, bathed in stark light, are the palest, crispiest tints the artist could use.
The meaning of this composition is complex. The way these amazing panels were used is equally perplexing… The following Bibliography might help…
Claude Monet once said that… Everyone discusses my Art and pretends to understand, as if it were necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love… During our COVID 19 Days, all you need is LOVE …and Art!
Our Spring Break Virtual Destination is very specific, a small FRENCHvillage called Giverny. This is where the great master of Impressionism, Claude Monet lived… Stay in the comfort of your HOME! Snack on something deliciously FRENCH! …and ACTION!
The following Video is an interesting Claude Monet Biography
Walking through Monet’s Giverny House you noticed how beautifully each room was decorated with Ukiyo-e Japanese Prints. This “exotic” art form greatly influenced Impressionist Art creating new energy and incorporating enormous innovation. Let’s use our imagination as a time machine, and follow Monet up when he says “Admirable… Hiroshige is a marvellous impressionist. Me and Rodin are filled with enthusiasm.… these Japanese artists confirm to me our visual position”. Enjoy a PowerPoint I prepared for my Art through the Ages students titled Impressionism and Japonism.https://drive.google.com/file/d/1a5HSUHJtNxV3LjLNLj2X8ovf86ly6_-b/view?usp=sharing
Movie Time in FRANCE of Impressionism …and more ACTION!
Exhibition on Screen: I, Claude Monet… Monet’s life… his sun-dazzled canvases and his feelings, as his art developed and his love of gardening led to the glories of his Giverny garden. His humour, insight and love of life are revealed and explored in this wonderful film… https://exhibitiononscreen.com/films/i-claude-monet/ and
Renoir… Set on the French Riviera in the summer of 1915, Jean Renoir – son of the Impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste – returns home to convalesce after being wounded in World War I. At his side is Andrée, a young woman who rejuvenates, enchants, and inspires both father and son. Rated R. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2150332/ and
The Impressionists, a BBC Docudrama… “Three-hour mini-series tells the intimate history of the most illustrious brotherhood of Impressionist artists – Monet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne and Manet. Entirely based on documentary evidence, special effects transport the viewer inside some of the world’s best-loved paintings, The Impressionists will recreate the illuminated landscapes, and haunting portraits of late 19th-century France.” https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0496201/
FOR those, much YOUNGER… An Art Activity… to exhibit Creativity!
FOOD Giverny style…
The Monet Cookbook: Recipes From Giverny... Claude Monet has become almost synonymous with his series of paintings of water lilies! Did you know that he was also a genial host and a food-loving gourmand?Monet “appreciated simple dishes made of fresh ingredients and prepared according to very basic yet authentic principles,” writes Florence Gentner, a museum consultant and author, most recently of The Monet Cookbook: Recipes From Giverny.https://www.amazon.com/Monet-Cookbook-Recipes-Giverny/dp/3791382888 and a wonderful Youtube video I highly recommend with Monet Recipes…
“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures; and that He was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve; after that, He was seen of above five thousand brethren at once.” 1 Cor. 15:3-6… Holy Week in the Greek Orthodox Churchhttps://www.goarch.org/-/holy-week-in-the-eastern-orthodox-church
Lazarus Saturday… “Six
days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany…” (John 12:1)
According to Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, a Christian theologian and philosopher of the late 5th to early 6th century, colour RED is the colour of fire, flames, and Devine Energy… It is also the colour of blood, Christ’s blood to be more specific and thus the colour of Salvation for Mankind… https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/pseudo-dionysius-areopagite/
The Raising of Lazarus, in this amazing 12th century Icon from Mount Athos, takes place in front of a blazing Byzantine RED background… It is part of the Collection of the Byzantine and Christian Museum at Athens, a Museum that houses over 25,000 artefacts dating from the 3rd century AD to present time. The Byzantine and Christian Museum is housed in Villa Ilissia, one of the loveliest buildings erected in Athens during its early years as the capital of the newly-founded Greek state. Villa Ilissia, designed by the architect Stamatis Kleanthis, was the winter residence of Sophie de Marbois-Lebrun, Duchess of Plaisance, a formidable lady with a remarkable fortune! https://www.byzantinemuseum.gr/en/ and https://www.byzantinemuseum.gr/en/museum/villa_ilissia/
Palm Sunday… “Rejoice greatly…O daughter of Jerusalem; behold, the
King comes unto Thee; he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon
an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” (Zech. 9:9)
The Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem Manuscript Illumination in the 6th century Rossano Gospels is yet another blazing RED coloured Byzantine artwork. The fragmentary manuscript presents scenes from the Life of Christ, and sometimes small portraits of Old Testament prophets, prefiguring an event described in the New Testament. It contains the texts of Matthew and Mark written in fine silver and gold uncials on purple vellum. https://www.artesacrarossano.it/eng/codex.php
“The Rossano miniatures are painted with extraordinary refinement and economy. Like the illustrations in the Vienna Genesis, they distil the narrative action in a few convincing gestures. Hellenistic naturalism survives in the soft, highlighted garments, dramatic action, and details of the setting. Christ’s trial, for example, is depicted as an authentic court procedure. Nevertheless, a weakening of classical verisimilitude and vigour is evident throughout the manuscript; in the Mark page, the personification and garden wall appear flattened and show a tendency toward abstract pattern.” https://www.thebyzantinelegacy.com/rossano-gospels
Great Monday… “May no fruit ever come from you again!”
Monday of Holy Week commemorates the blessed and noble Joseph
and the fig tree which was cursed and withered by the Lord. The story of Joseph
of the Old Testament (Genesis 37-41) serves as a great example of a virtuous
man, a model of propriety and sincere observance of ethical principles. https://www.goarch.org/-/holy-week-in-the-eastern-orthodox-church
The Throne of Maximianus, in the Archiepiscopal Museum of Ravenna, is one of the greatest examples of 6th century Byzantine Art. The wooden core of this monumental Cattedra was covered with panels of ivory carvings wonderfully encased with strips of vine scrolls inhabited by birds and animals. Ivory panels decorating the back of the Throne show scenes from the Life of Christ, while the side panels depict scenes from the Story of Joseph from the Book of Genesis. The panels used in the front of the Throne depict the Four Evangelists left and right of John the Baptist, who is holding a medallion with the Lamb of God and Maximianus’s name above him. Scholars identify two different artists working on this amazing Early Byzantine masterpiece. The explanation can be simple… the Plague of Justinian probably caused the death of the first, maybe of Alexandrian origin, artist, so that a second artist was introduced to finish this amazing imperial commission. https://www.thebyzantinelegacy.com/maximian-throne
Great Tuesday… “Lord, she who has fallen in many sins, Recognizing Your Divinity, Took up the myrrh-bearer’s office, With tears brought you myrrh before your entombment.”
Great Wednesday… “Let no fear separate you from Me…” this
is the evening of repentance, confession and the remission of sins by Christ,
preparing the faithful to receive Holy Communion…
Walters manuscript W.592
is an illuminated and illustrated Arabic manuscript of the Gospels by Matthew
(Mattá), Mark (Marqus), Luke (Luqa), and John (Yuhanna) and was copied in Egypt
by Ilyas Basim Khuri Bazzi Rahib, who was most likely a Coptic monk, in Anno
Mundi 7192/AD 1684. The text is written in Naskh in black ink with rubrics in
red. The decoration is comprised of illuminated headpieces, numerous floral
paintings, and approximately fifty illustrations. It is worth browsing through
its pages… https://art.thewalters.org/detail/17922
The Walters Art Gallery Manuscript 592, is becoming one of my favourites… I enjoy the clarity of the compositions, the vibrancy of colours applied, the bold outlines and the pure joy of the floral decorative patterns used by the artist!
Great Thursday… “Take, eat;
this is my Body. Drink of it all of you; for this is my Blood of the New
Covenant” (Matthew 26:26-28)
Scenes of a Byzantine Mystical Supper, usually depict the event in a straight-forward manner, as described in the Gospels: the Twelve Disciples are seated around an oval table, John usually rests on Jesus’ bosom, and Judas dips his hand in the dish, revealing him to be Christ’s traitor. This is not the case in the 6th century Church of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna. Chris, dressed in purple, along with the 12 Disciples dressed in white, recline around a central table. The bread and fish on the table may refer to the miracle of the loaves and fishes portrayed on the opposite wall of the Church while the Bread explicitly relates that miracle to the Eucharist, which Jesus is believed to have instituted at the Last Supper. This is one of the 13 mosaics of the Passion and Resurrection of Christ along with the upper band of the right wall of the nave. https://www.christianiconography.info/Edited%20in%202013/Italy/sApolNuovoRightNave.lastSupper.html
Oh my sweet
spring, my sweetest child, where does your beauty fade? (Excerpt from the
Lamentations of Good Friday)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has among its many Byzantine Treasures, an Ivory Icon of the Crucifixion I particularly like. It is small in size like all Byzantine Ivory panels, but so rich in quality work… Under a richly textured canopy, the MET Crucifixion emphasizes Christ’s victory over death. Christ’s body lifelessly “suspends” on the Cross while his head gracefully falls forward and leans to his left shoulder. Mary and John stand on the sides of the Cross mourning with dignity, the three soldiers divide Christ’s garment, and at the very bottom, unique to this small ivory piece, the personification of Hades! Panofsky’s Renascence at its best! https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/464428
Great Saturday… “Arise, O God, and judge Thou
the earth…” (Vespers and Divine Liturgy of Saturday evening)
This amazing Icon at the Hellenic Institute in Venice comes from Constantinople and dates from the late 14th century. It is elegant and sophisticated, a fine example of the Late Paleologean style in painting. It depicts the Resurrection of Christ, or in true Byzantine style, the Descent of Christ into Hades, according to the occult gospel of Nicodemus. Christ is depicted in the center of the composition, within a radiant glory, stepping at the gates of Hades and lifting Adam from within an open sarcophagus. Behind Adam are Eve, the prophets and on the opposite side Biblical kings like Solomon, David, and prophets from the Old Testament. In the lower central part, an angel chains Hades, while at the top, against a glorious golden background, two angels fly, holding the symbols of Christ’s Passion… http://eib.xanthi.ilsp.gr/gr/icons.asp
For a PowerPoint on The Holy Week in the Greek Orthodox Church, please… click HERE!
Picasso once said that… Art washes away the dust of everyday life. During our COVID 19 Days, the dust of everyday life rests heavily upon us… Let’s shed it away with Art… We may not be able to travel to Italy right now… but we can do a Virtual Italian Weekend!
Stay in the comfort of your HOME! Snack on something deliciously ITALIAN! …and ACTION!
Let’s travel to San Gimignano: Towering Hill Town and visit all its Attractions
The Taming of the Shrew is a 1967 American-Italian romantic comedy film based on the play of the same name by William Shakespeare about a courtship between two strong-willed people. The film was directed by Franco Zeffirelli and stars Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton as Shakespeare’s Kate and Petruchio. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0061407/
Tea with Mussolini is another good one. It takes place in Florence between 1935 – 1945. It follows a group of very proper and or eccentric English ladies (including Maggie Smith, Joan Plowright, Judi Dench) and one crass American (Cher) in this turbulent time. Again, sweet, funny, touching, and a painless way to absorb a little recent history. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120857/