teapot1

teapot1

Monday, April 1, 2013

A is for....


Welcome to my A-Z Blogging Experience.

This year I decided to share my love of art, specifically painting, for my A-Z theme. Throughout the month I’ll be highlighting artists or artwork that I especially like or that have meaning for me and for art. Disclaimer: I am not an artist, art historian or scholar, or any kind of professional in art. I just have a passion for it. I have spent many wonderful, fleeting hours in art museums. I’ve read quite a bit in art history and biographies of artists. I am no expert by any means, so take this as a personal, idiosyncratic look at some of the most beautiful and lasting creations made by the human heart and soul.

 

A is for:

Annunciation


The Annunciation was one of the most popular and beautiful subjects for painters in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Each artist used his own interpretation of the subject, and there’s a tremendous variety among them. Some show Mary in a garden, others in a bedroom or other room. Often she will be shown reading. Sometimes the angel Gabriel will be offering her a flower.

 

 


 
This one, by Simone Martini, is my favorite not only for the beautiful gilding but also because of the way Mary shrinks from Gabriel-it's different from most other depictions, and I think it's true to the way a real woman would react to being confronted with an angel!

 


 
By Rogier van der Weyden
 
 
 
 
By Meister de Sakramentars




By Leonardo da Vinci



Which do you like best?
 


Annunciation

They understood piety, the painters,

(and reverence and love)

but the heart of a young woman—

                a human heart, though blessed by God—

what could they have known?

 

They understood “Hail full of grace,”

but her face—did she gaze with awe and wonder

                at the beautiful being,

                or turn away in humility or fear?

                (Fear would be natural, in one so young,

                                even one blessed by God.)

 

When the air before her shimmered and split

                and released him, a man but not a man,

                no suitor though he brings her flowers

                (a single lily?), calls her grace.

 

Behind him the splendid air shines,

                expands, fills with white, feathery, like a crane or a dove.

 

The day, begun so ordinarily, turned miraculous—

and all she needs to do is listen, accept, a mustard seed of faith

                to grow into man’s fate.

 

Oh Lord, thy will is my will,

                Let it be done.

 

 

 

37 comments:

  1. My favourite is the one by Rogier van der Weyden. I don't really like the more modern one!

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    1. I also like van der Weyden's work in general. Thanks for stopping by, Sally!

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  2. I'm with you in liking the first one best. Suddenly having a angel appear and offer you stuff is not conducive to calm! The other Marys also seem too... high-brow for my liking. She would have been a simple woman.

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    1. Thank you, and I agree that Mary was a simple woman, just a girl, really. Most medieval and Renaissance painters painted her as a figure bathed in glory and beauty, but I like thinking about her human side. I appreciate your comments.

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  3. I like them all!! My favorite is the DaVinci piece.

    Kathy
    http://gigglingtruckerswife.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks, Kathy. I am also a Leonardo fan. And I agree that they are all beautiful. It's hard (for me, anyway) not to like an Annunciation! Thanks for visiting and commenting.

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  4. Lovely art. My favorite is the first one, but I studied Russian and love the icons, which are usually gilded.

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    1. I love gilded icons, too, Willa. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Are you doing A-Z, too?

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  5. I think I like the last one best. Love the idea for A-Day.

    Happy A to Z!
    (I'm doing EIGHT blogs. Whew.)
    Here's one:
    A is for Absent - Rhymed Acrostics from A to Z

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    1. Another vote for Leonardo--you can't go wrong with him! He was a genius. Thanks for visiting, Linda--I don't know how you have the time with eight blogs! I visited your acrostic blog and really like it!

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    1. Thank you, Linda! I appreciate that a lot. Happy A-Z to you, too. I'll stop by your blog soon!

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  7. Beautiful. I love them all, but the first is my favorite. The gold and black colors , the facial expressions...I always pictured Gabriel looking down from above...

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    1. I love all of them, too, Talya. Thanks for visiting, and thanks very much for becoming a follower. I'm following you, too.

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  8. I like the second one, mainly because it looks so medieval.

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    1. I like van der Weyden, too, Paula, and I love the bright colors in this. Medieval art is my favorite, as you can probably guess! Thanks for visiting. I'm looking forward to reading your 15th-century posts!

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  9. This is going to be a lovely challenge to read through!

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    1. Thanks, Claudia, and thanks for visiting and commenting. I'm looking forward to reading you, too.

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  10. Interesting, though I know little to nothing about art, I just know some pieces feel good to look at. A-Z

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    1. Thanks for visiting, Sandy. I hope I can give you a lot that will feel good to look at!

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  11. I never knew what that look was called in paintings; I'm looking forward to following along during A to Z.

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    1. Thanks very much, Jennifer. I'll pay you a visit, too!

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  12. I like the Davinci one. There's a serenity to it. Nice start to the challenge.

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    1. Thanks, Suzy. It is a lovely painting. I'm looking forward to your posts, also.

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  13. I think I like van der Weyden the best.

    http://joycelansky.blogspot.com

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    1. It does have beautiful, bright colors, doesn't it? Thanks for stopping by, Joyce.

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  14. Meister de Sakramentars would probably be my favorite because of the colors and style--though Mary looks a bit like a man...

    I took some art history in college, but not a lot. I have a feeling I'll learn a bit in the next 25 days by visiting your blog!

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    1. That one is definitely different and kind of anticipates modern art, I think. Kind of has an El Greco feel to it. I hope you will enjoy my personal tour through art, Sherilee! Thanks for visiting.

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  15. What a lovely choice of theme! I'm Eastern Orthodox, and we have many icons of the Mother of God written in the Byzantine style. The Feast of the Annunciation is my goddaughter's name day!

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    1. Those icons are beautiful, Lillian. What is your goddaughter's name, and how do you celebrate name day? That sounds interesting. Thanks for much for the visit and your comment.

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  16. I like the one by Martini the best, probably because of the symmetry in the architectural elements. Plus, all that gilding is just stunning!

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    1. It is stunning, isn't it? Thanks for visiting, Michelle.

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  17. The one by Simone Martini is my favorite. I love the colors. I love the peace in the faces. I will be back to see more art. Love it!

    The Write Soil

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    1. Dawn, thank you for visiting and commenting! I'll check out your blog, too.

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