The Month of January

The Month of January, late 14thcentury-latest 1407, possibly by Maestro Venceslao, Fresco, Torre Aquila, Castello del Buonconsiglio in Trento, Italy
https://www.cultura.trentino.it/eng/Cultural-venues/All-cultural-venues/Documentation-centres2/Torre-Aquila-Aquila-Tower

The Month of January is a fresco, and it 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. Today, only eleven of the original 12 panels survive as a 16th-century wooden spiral staircase, connecting the tower floors, destroyed the painted panel of March. The famous painted Cycle of the Months is divided into twelve panels, one for each month. Each one of the twelve panels is separated by a slender column, distinctive yet subtle, so as not to disturb the natural continuity between months and the seasons.

This exceptional room, 6 x 5,8 x 3 m in size, was commissioned by Prince-Bishop George of Liechtenstein, as a quiet, atmospheric retreat, away from the rest of the Castello’s busy and noisy state quarters. It has been suggested and widely accepted that the painter of this extraordinary fresco Cycle of the Months was Maestro Venceslao, a Czech painter, popular in the Tyrol area of the time.

The Cycle of the Twelve Months is a favourite theme in the arts of the Middle Ages and the Early Renaissance. Often linked to the signs of the Zodiac, the Cycle of the Months is often perceived as a link between the work of man, the seasons of the year and God’s ordering of the Universe. As a theme, it recurred in the sculptural decoration of cathedrals and churches across Europe, in illuminated manuscripts like the popular Books of Hours, palace frescoes and rarely, panel painting.

The fresco panels in Torre Aquila are rare and special. They document life in the Trentino area, with references to the aristocratic pastimes throughout the year, or the peasant activities and duties to their masters. They also depict a vivid landscape, romanticized even then, from bare and covered with snow, to rich and fertile, to autumnal, covered with fallen leaves.

The Trentino frescoes love presenting anecdotal details. The depiction of fashionable outfits for the rich, multicoloured and extravagant in style, or shabby for the farmers and artisans, is only one such striking example. The January panel is “a case in point: nowhere else in art do aristocrats come to play in the snow, men and women alike, chuckling snowballs about with determined, impish delight, their long sleeves dragging in the drifts. Oddly – but surely intentionally – the castle’s roof is snow-free, and its garden is full of summer growth. It’s an image of the warmth of their protected life. Maestro Venceslao was painting a dream, but he wanted to make it as real as possible…”

The Best Art You’ve Never Seen: 101 Hidden Treasures From Around the World by Julian Spalding, Rough Guides Reference, 2010 https://books.google.gr/books?id=L3e0BgAAQBAJ&pg=PA11&lpg=PA11&dq=cycle+of+the+months+paintings&source=bl&ots=PDmmhZPn37&sig=ACfU3U0ZvpPwd-ZSa8dnhL4AUn2uBLt26g&hl=el&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjVxcGIzNzmAhWRGewKHQiuD5g4ChDoATAGegQIBxAB#v=onepage&q=cycle%20of%20the%20months%20paintings&f=false

For a PowerPoint, please… check HERE!

For a Student Activity on the discussed Fresco Panel depicting the Month of January, please… check HERE!

The Flight

Georges Braque, 1882 – 1963, Essor (The Flight) I, 1961, Coloured Lithograph on Arches paper, 31/100, 48 × 65.5 cm, Published by Adrien Maeght, Paris, Basil & Elise Goulandris Foundation, Athens
https://goulandris.gr/el/artwork/braque-georges-flight-1

There is a small Georges Braque Lithograph, at the Basil & Elise Goulandris Foundation in Athens, titled The Flight. It caught my attention and my thoughts ran wild. I saw a soft lilac bird run, a heavy black duck dancing and a white bird, beautifully outlined over the black one, fly… away! It reminded me of Nietzsche’s idea of …dancing before flying and I felt good, content and accomplished. Please don’t ask why, this small Lithograph felt like a monumental accomplishment, like steps to freedom.

For George Braque, experimenting with the motif of birds in flight, started in1949 and never ended. He even visited the famous bird sanctuary in Camargue, in the south of France. This experience, as you can read, broadened his interest in birds flying, and led to his “metamorphose” bird motif “afresh.”

“One summer, few years ago, I was in the Camargue. I saw some huge birds flying above the waters. From that vision I derived aerial forms. Birds have inspired me, and I try to make the best use of them that I can in my paintings. While they interest me as living animal species, I have to burry in my memory their natural functions as birds. This concept, even after the shock of inspiration which has brought them to life in my mind, must be deleted, so that I can draw closer to my essential preoccupation: the construction of pictorial art. Painting alone must impose its presence on what relates to it, and metamorphose it afresh; everything that goes to make up the picture must be integrated in this presence, and must efface itself before it.”

More on Braque’s fascination with Birds, “Apropos another bird painting, Braque talked to me about his visits to the Camargue, where our mutual friend the ornithologist Lukas Hoffmann… had established a vast bird reserve, La Tour du Valat. …Braque told me how the apparition of a heron flying low above the marshes had inspired his large 1955 Bird Returning to Its Nest, of all the late paintings the one that meant the most to him. Maybe because I shared his feelings for the Camargue, Braque gave me an oil study for this haunting work. I remember him saying how, on still, grey days, the sky seemed to reflect the lagoons rather than the other way round, and the birds seemed to swim through the air… ”

The Art Book Tradition in Twentieth-Century Europe, Edited by Kathryn Brown, Tilburg University, The Netherlands, 2013 by Ashgate Publishing, page 54 https://books.google.gr/books?id=zEMrDwAAQBAJ&pg=PA54&lpg=PA54&dq=Braque+and+Camargue&source=bl&ots=sLPlE6IiJu&sig=ACfU3U29l5ZOfxZgXeBAxTBGDRKti-F73g&hl=el&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwigrvj2lcLmAhVNKuwKHZkyDkIQ6AEwAXoECAkQAQ#v=onepage&q=Braque%20and%20Camargue&f=false

Inside the Artist Studio of Georges Braque by John Richardson, November 13, 2019, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Copyright © 1999 by John Richardson Fine Arts Ltd. Published by Knopf on November 12th with a new introduction by Jed Perl https://lithub.com/inside-the-artist-studio-of-georges-braque/

A PowerPoint of my favourite paintings of Birds and Flying, by George Braque… HERE!

Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora

The Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora, part of a grand Monastery, has many stories to tell…

Tradition has it that the church, the Katholikon of a monastic complex, was originally built during the early 5th century, outside the walls of Constantinople, and its full name was “The Church of the Holy Redeemer in the Fields,” It makes sense. When the city of Constantinople expanded at the time of Theodosius II (408-450), and formidable land walls were built by the Emperor, the monastery retained the name Chora (in the Fields), but became part of the defended city.

Historical evidence tells us that it was Maria Dukaina, the mother-in-law of Alexius I Comnenus, who rebuilt the Chora Church and Monastery around 1077–1081 as a cross- domed church, a popular architectural style of the time. Early in the 12th century, yet another Comnenus, Isaac, the 3rd son of Emperor Alexius, stepped in, restoring the church after a disastrous earthquake.

Two centuries later, around 1316-21, the powerful Byzantine statesman Theodore Metochites enlarged the church and embellished it with many fine mosaics and frescoes. Today, the Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora stands as one of the finest examples of the Palaeologian Renaissance, in architecture and mosaic-work. Theodoros Metochitis political career was turbulent during the later years of his life: He was exiled by the usurper Emperor Andronicus III in 1328, but two years later, he was allowed to return to the city and live out the last two years of his life as a monk in his beloved Chora Monastery.

Soon after the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans, the Chora Church was converted into a mosque, named Kariye Camii, serving the city’s Moslem population up until 1958, when it officially opened to the public as a museum, the Kariye Müzesi. Much of what we see today, much of what we know about Chora Church and Monastery is the work of Thomas Whittemore and Paul A. Underwood, from the Byzantine Institute of America and the Dumbarton Oaks Center for Byzantine Studies, who in 1948, sponsored a restoration and research program.

“Fear not, for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people” Luke 2:10

I can only describe the Chora Church mosaics in general, and the Church’s Nativity scene in particular, as…brilliant,  outstanding, remarkable and exceptional! They best represent the refined taste of Theodore Metochites, a man, passionate about Greek antiquity and obsessed with the ancient Greek idea of ‘grace’ in art. I stand in front of them and I see elegance, harmony and balance in their compositions. I am amazed by the grace, sophistication and spirit of the depicted figures. I feel warmth, as I am enfolded by their divine light. I marvel at their Hellenistic artistic heritage…

Best Wishes for the Holiday Season!!!

ΥΓΕΊΑ ΣΕ ΌΛΟΥΣ

A PowerPoint on the Nativity scene in the Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora is… HERE!

Mystical Nativity by Sandro Botticelli

Sandro Botticelli, about 1445 – 1510
 Mystical Nativity, about 1501, Tempera on canvas, 108.6 x 74.9 cm, National Gallery, London

Our 1st Christmas story is about the… Mystical Nativity by Sandro Botticelli.

“I Sandro painted this picture at the end of the year 1500 in the troubles in Italy in the half time after the time according to the 11th chapter of St. John in the second woe of the Apocalypse…”

This small Botticelli painting makes us dream, encourages us to be pensive, romantic and adoring, urges us to study details in the composition, colours, conflicting perspectives and depicted figures. It is a mystery, difficult to solve! John Ruskin saw it in London and referring to its ‘mystic symbolism’ became the painting’s godfather! Its composition is rather unusual combining all of the traditional events of the birth of Jesus and more. Is Botticelli, an ardent follower of Girolamo Savonarola, presenting us with a vision of the Nativity inspired by the prophecies in the biblical Book of Revelation of Saint John? Does Botticelli’s Nativity reveal Christ’s second coming and the end of the world?”

“The infant Christ reaches up towards the Virgin Mary, oblivious of his visitors – the Three Kings on the left and the shepherds on the right. The golden dome of heaven has opened up and is circled by 12 angels holding olive branches entwined with scrolls and hung with crowns. In the foreground, three pairs of angels and men embrace; among their feet demons scuttle for shelter in the underworld through cracks in the rocks. The Greek inscription mentions ‘the troubles of Italy’, a reference to the invasion of the French, who took Naples in 1494 and Milan in 1499, and to the civil strife in Florence itself. Botticelli associated these events with the turmoil mentioned in the biblical Book of Revelation, which talks about the end of the world and Christ’s second coming. The period of upheaval it described would end upon Christ’s return, when the devil would be buried, as in this picture.” This is the description provided by the National Gallery of London https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/sandro-botticelli-mystic-nativity

For a PowerPoint on Botticelli’s Mystical Nativity, please… check HERE!

Watercolours of the Acropolis: Émile Gilliéron in Athens

Watercolours of the Acropolis: Emile Gillieron in Athens runs through January 3, 2020, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Photo by Eleni Sakellis

While in New York, and if you are an Ancient Greek Art aficionado, the Metropolitan Museum of Art Exhibition Watercolors of the Acropolis: Émile Gilliéron in Athens is a MUST!

Back in 2011, I saw the Historic Images of the Greek Bronze Age: The Reproductions of E. Gilliéron & Son Metropolitan Museum Exhibition, and today I am eager and hopeful, to see the new Exhibition on Gilliéron père work for the Acropolis Archaic sculptures. The Gilliérons are tightly connected with Greek Bronze Age Archaeology. They were astonishing artists, hired by Sir Arthur Evans, to reconstruct the fresco paintings in the palace at Knossos. Their copies of Minoan Frescoes are highly recognizable today, allowing the viewer to accurately observe the fragmentary parts of the original fresco along with their own creative proposal for the appearance of missing elements. The Gilliéron restored Minoan Frescoes, in watercolours or plaster, popularized and spread the study of Greek Bronze Age Art throughout Europe and America. https://www.metmuseum.org/press/exhibitions/2010/e-gilli%C3%A9ron–sons-reproductions-of-art-from-greek-bronze-age-on-view-at-metropolitan-museum

The current Metropolitan Museum Exhibition titled Watercolors of the Acropolis: Émile Gilliéron in Athens features five watercolours that depict architectural sculptures from Archaic Monuments discovered in the Acropolis of Athens.

Three of the largest watercolours depict the Hekatompedos Pediment. The central composition features two Lions tearing apart a Bull. On the left side, Herakles is depicted fighting a Triton and on the right, the Winged three-bodied Deamon, commonly known as “Bluebeard” with the symbols of the three elements of nature in his hands, fills the triangular space masterfully.

The third watercolour presents pedimental sculptures depicting the Introduction of Herakles into Olympos or as described in the Acropolis Museum of Athens, the Apotheosis (deification) of Hercules. This pedimental composition, made in an Attic workshop, belonged to an unidentified small temple. It shows an imposing seated Zeus, a frontally depicted Hera, Hercules dressed in his characteristic lion skin, Iris and Athena, the hero’s divine guardian. The entire composition, as Emile Gillieron shows us, was painted with bright colours, traces of which are still visible today.

The Hydra pediment is the last Emile Gillieronwatercolour in the MET Exhibition. Once more, the watercolour accurately shows pedimental sculptures of great aesthetic value, very descriptive and brightly painted. The Hydra Pediment comes from an unidentified small building on the Athenian Acropolis.

According to the MET, “In the days before color photography, hand-colored drawings and photographs were the principal means of documenting polychrome Greek art.” But “Reproductions and copies fell out of fashion, and Gilliéron’s work… retired to The Met’s basement… and remained in storage until 2015.” Today and after “the conservators’ heroic efforts to rehabilitate these forgotten pieces” we can once more admire the power with which these amazing watercolours “provide a fascinating insight into the sculptures found at the Acropolis as they appeared when they were first unearthed around the turn of the century.”

For a PowerPoint inspired by the Exhibition, please… click HERE!

Bibliography on the Exhibition: https://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2019/watercolors-of-the-acropolis-emile-gillieron and https://www.metmuseum.org/press/exhibitions/2019/emile-gillieron and https://store.metmuseum.org/watercolors-of-the-acropolis-emile-gillieron-in-athens-80046986?mma_source=mainmuseum&mma_medium=metmuseum.org&mma_campaign=watercolors-of-the-acropolis&mma_term=082619&mma_content=watercolors-of-the-acropolis-80046986 and https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search#!?q=Emile%20Gilli%C3%A9ron&perPage=20&sortBy=Relevance&offset=0&pageSize=0

Last Supper in Pompeii

If your Christmas “walking shoes” take you to Oxford, England, go the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology to see Last Supper in Pompeii, a wonderful Exhibition on the Roman love affair with food and wine! Inspiration for this Exhibition comes from Pompeii, this amazing time capsule of 79 AD Roman life. Dr Paul Roberts, Head of the Ashmolean Department of Antiquities and exhibition curator, says: ‘The evocative names given to the excavations (the Villa of the Mysteries; the House of the Tragic Poet) have inspired everything from Victorian exhibitions, swords-and-sandals romances to countless scholarly works. Our fascination with the doomed people of Pompeii and their everyday lives has never waned. What better connection can we make with them as ordinary people than through their food and drink?’

Last Supper in Pompeii displays 300 objects related to the culinary arts and the role they played in Roman history and culture. Exquisite floor mosaics from the villas of the affluent Pompeiians, frescoes depicting banquets, and statues, fountains or furnishings that decorated famous triclinia, are all present. Precious or humble dining sets and utensils, simple cooking pots and carbonised food that was on the Pompeiian tables when the volcano erupted tell us interesting stories or Roman culinary voyages and cultural connections.

Useful sources: https://www.ashmolean.org/pompeii and https://www.ashmolean.org/article/last-supper-in-pompeii and https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/exhibit-spotlights-roman-delicacies-baked-dormouse-carbonized-bread-180972731/

My favourite Exhibition fresco is titled Distribution of Bread (AD 40–79) and comes from the House of the Baker in Pompeii.  It shows a man behind a wooden counter handing a loaf of bread to a man, while a young boy reaches up eagerly. The shelves are heaped with loaves of the typical round Pompeiian bread, archaeologists even found carbonized one in its entirety. Scholars today believe that the fresco represents a politician’s free distribution of bread (annona) rather than a baker selling his loaves from a food stall.

The Distribution of Bread is a fascinating Pompeian fresco. I like the artist’s ability to create a sense of depth and space through a diagonal composition, his choice of earthy colours with touches of white and aubergine purple to accentuate the depicted figures. I also like the anecdotal details… the well-crafted wooden stall, the herringbone woven basket painted on the left side of the fresco, the abundance of displayed bread loaves… most of all, I like the human touch, the boy, impatient and eager to get his part of the Distributed Bread!

Bibliography of the House of  Baker and the Distribution of Bread fresco: https://www.pompeiiinpictures.com/pompeiiinpictures/R6/6%2003%2003.htm and http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/romans/daily_life_gallery_02.shtml and https://www.ancient.eu/image/10622/sale-of-bread-fresco-pompeii/

An Activity students will enjoy is… HERE!

For a powerpoint prepared for the Exhibition, please… click HERE!

Hercules and the Lion of Nemea

The 6th to 7th century Constantinopolitan Silversmiths were great masters of their craft. Inspired by Greek Mythology, and stories of the Old or the New Testament, they created unique artworks equally important to their monumental counterparts. The 6th-century silver Plate in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France depicting Hercules and the Lion of Nemea beautifully exemplifies their fine workmanship.

The contest between Hercules and the fierce beast takes a central position, within a typical landscape of the time, simple, yet full of “antique” landscape motives. A bending tree to the right complements the shape of the silver plate, while to the left, a pedestal supporting a vase, balances the composition, adding stability.

Hercules, nude, massive and muscular with a thick neck, a heavy jaw, large eyes and curly hair, is depicted grasping the Lion by the neck, his hands disappearing into the beast’s luxurious mane. He is the undoubted winner of this fierce fight. The Lion is equally massive but succumbs to Hercules’s power. His foreleg, limp and weak, rest on the hero’s thigh, his grimacing face, a picture of exhaustion.

The unknown artist of this silver plate of Hercules and the Lion of Nemea illustrates a well-liked mythological story, popular during antiquity and the Byzantine period that followed. The plate was found in Italy in the Massa-Carrara area of Tuscany in 1771. It is dated ca. 500-600 AD. It was acquired by the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in 1890 and is part of its Département des Monnaies, Médailles et Antiques. The Plate was part of the spectacular “Ancient Luxury and the Roman Silver Treasure from Berthouville” Getty Villa Exhibition of 2014-15.

Bibliography: http://medaillesetantiques.bnf.fr/ws/catalogue/app/collection/record/ark:/12148/c33gbq9kr and https://www.metmuseum.org/art/metpublications/Age_of_Spirituality_Late_Antique_and_Early_Christian_Art_Third_to_Seventh_Century?fbclid=IwAR2T7bRUIaYH1cUyXgg-0KuAchuDZdxoNABmimn3TAQDhrC1x3V5Ys8Jcnk …pages 162-163

For a PowerPoint the Hercules and the Lion of Nemea, please… click HERE!

Student Activities on the Silver Plate of Hercules and the Lion of Nemea are… HERE!

Telling us goodbye…

They were young and charming, elegant and playful yet sad as they were Telling us Goodbye…

Two of my favourite Ancient Greek Funerary Stele depict a young girl holding a Bird (in the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki) or in the case of the Metropolitan Museum in New York, two Birds. Both Stelae were made of Parian marble, around 440 BC.

The Funerary Stele in Thessaloniki “depicts a girl wearing a peplos and holding a dove by its wings with her left hand, while the right one lifts the edge of her garment, to reveal her body.” It is characterized by the superb quality of craftsmanship, a subtle sense of movement, and controlled emotions. Undoubtedly, it occupies a central part in the history of ancient Greek sculpture.

“The gentle gravity of this child is beautifully expressed through her sweet farewell to her pet doves. Her peplos is unbelted and falls open at the side, while the folds of drapery clearly reveal her stance…” The Metropolitan Museum Funerary Stele is the work of a great master sculptor, an artist who manages to enhance the white, translucent Parian marble by creating a “charming composition and delicate carving.”

Both Funerary Stelae grace with their beauty the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki (https://www.amth.gr/en/exhibitions/highlights and scroll down to ” Relief Funerary Stele from Nea Kallikrateia”) and the MET in New York ( https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/252890 ).

If you choose to use this Activity for your class, Grade 6 Social Studies or an Introductory Middle School class on Ancient Greek Art, it will be also nice to show Adam Fuss (the Photographer) discussing the MET Marble Grave Stele of a little girl.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art – THE ARTIST PROJECT Video http://artistproject.metmuseum.org/4/adam-fuss/

Examples of student RWAP (stands for Research-Writing-Art-Project) Sketchbooks… HERE!

Telling us Goodbye RWAP (stands for Research-Writing-Art-Project) is… HERE!

The Magic of the Olive Tree

Vincent Van Gogh, 1853-1890
Olive Picking, 1889, oil on canvas, 73.5 × 92.5 cm, Basil & Elise Goulandris Foundation, Athens

The Magic of the Olive Tree inspired so much Vincent Van Gogh that while in Saint-Remy-de Provence in 1889, he painted at least 15 paintings depicting their beauty! The same magic inspired our wonderful Pinewood Kindergarten Teacher… who organized a Unit to remember!

“The Kindergarten theme on Olives began with the intention of it being a transdisciplinary unit so that the children would learn many facets about it. It was introduced in a simple way – when the children reached the letter O in the English alphabet they decided to remember this letter sound by saying ‘O is for olive’… From there they learned that olives are fruit and that they grow on Olive Trees in Greece. Inspired by short videos showing how olives are picked in late Autumn, the children took a sheet, a stick and a basket and went olive picking on the school grounds. They hit the branches of the school Olive Trees and collected the fruit that fell… So enthusiastic about what they did they decided to capture their experience by making their very own olive tree grove Bulletin Board.”

Pinewood Kindergarten students “listened in awe as they travelled back into mythological times, to when Athena bestowed the gift of an Olive Tree to the Athenians. This helped the children understand what a treasure the Olive Tree is because of all the various gifts that it gives: wood (for heat, furniture), oil ( for cooking, eating, light, fuel) and soap… They tasted both green and black olives, they washed their hands with olive soap, they lit an oil-lamp with olive oil and they made olive bread… They created olive wreaths by counting card leaves and plasticine olives to a given number and learned that in ancient times an olive wreath, just like the ones they had made, were placed on the heads of champion athletes.”

Finally, students “realized how thankful they are for this humble fruit and all it provides. So when it came to Thanksgiving Day the children chose to honour the Olive Tree by writing their messages of thanks inside their olive wreaths and entitling their display, ‘In Greece, we are thankful for Olive Trees’.”

Kindergarten student Bulletin Board Art photographed by Kostas Papantoniou

“O is for Olive” is the amazing Lesson Plan prepared by the school’s Kindergarten Teacher, Mrs. Anna Maria Mathias, with assistance provided by Mrs. Kathy Lekkas. The PowerPoint photos that follow HERE! were taken by the school’s photographer, Mr. Kostas Papapatoniou.

For the purposes of this BLOG, The Magic of the Olive Tree, “teachercurator” put together a PowerPoint on Van Gogh and paintings of Olive Trees… please check HERE!

The new Basil and Elise Goulandris Foundation in Athens has a wonderful Vincent Van Gogh painting of Olive Picking from his 1889 period. Apparently, Van Gogh painted “three versions of this picture. He described the first as a study from nature “more coloured with more solemn tones” (in the Goulandris Collection) and the second as a studio rendition in a “very discreet range” of colours (National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.).” The third painting is at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, and accordingly is “the most resolved and stylized of the three.” The third painting was “intended for his sister and mother, to whom Van Gogh wrote: “I hope that the painting of the women in the olive trees will be a little to your taste—I sent [a] drawing of it to Gauguin… and he thought it good… ” https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/436536 and https://goulandris.gr/en/artwork/vincent-van-gogh-olive-picking

Leonardo da Vinci

La Belle Ferronnière (detail), 1495 – 1499, oil on wood, 62 cm × 44 cm, Louvre Museum, Paris Photo Copyright: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-50127095
…and her mesmerizing eyes

Five hundred years ago, one of the greatest Renaissance Homo Universalis passed away at the Château du Clos Lucé, in the Loire Valley. The Louvre Museum, wishing to commemorate the fifth centenary of the artist’s death, organizes an International Retrospective Exhibition on Leonardo da Vinci and his oeuvre. https://www.louvre.fr/en/expositions/leonardo-da-vinci

The Louvre Museum in Paris holds the largest collection in the world of the artist’s paintings, five of the fourteen to seventeen paintings now attributed to Leonardo, as well as 22 drawings. This collection is the core of the Retrospective that will also present “the latest research findings, critical editions of key documents and the results of the latest analysis carried out in laboratories or during recent conservation treatment by the Louvre.” https://www.louvre.fr/en/leonardo-da-vinci

A unique feature that the Exhibition presents to its visitors is the Virtual Reality experience for the Mona Lisa painting, the first of its kind at the Louvre. Virtual Reality enables visitors to go through the glass-case that protects the Mona Lisa and see minute details within the painting invisible otherwise to the naked eye. https://arts.vive.com/us/articles/projects/art-photography/mona_lisa_beyond_the_glass/ and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Au_UpzhzHwk

The PowerPoint I use for my Art History class on the artist… is HERE!