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Painting of the Week: Apparition of St. Francis at Arles

This painting by Fra Angelico was part of the predella that belonged to a triptych of the Madonna and Child with Four Saints (known as the Compagnia di San Francesco Altarpiece), assigned to the convent of Santa Croce in Florence. [Read more…]

Painting of the Week: Raphael–The Resurrection of Christ

The Resurrection of Christ, one of Raphael’s earliest known works, is packed with symbolic elements intended to communicate theological truths. Here are some highlights: [Read more…]

Painting of the Week: Balbi Holy Conversation

Tiziano Vecellio painted this striking piece of Mary and Jesus set in an open landscape with Giorgione influences, like asymmetrical composition and full figures. The piece is true to this period in art—with classicistic, refined characters, harmonious chromatic combinations, and an approach built on the psychological ties of the characters. [Read more…]

Painting of the Week: The Denial of Saint Peter

Caravaggio’s Denial of Saint Peter is thought to be one of the artist’s two last works (the other being The Martyrdom of Saint Ursula). [Read more…]

Painting of the Week: The Return of Judith to Bethulia

This disturbing piece shows Judith and her maid bringing Holofernes’ head back to Bethulia as told in Judith 13:1–20.

Judith was an attractive Jewish widow from the Israelite town of Bethulia who was devoted to God. However, the Assyrian army was threatening her city under Holofernes’ command. [Read more…]

How to Analyze Art, Part 1: What to Look for in a Painting

By Eva Marie Haine

Recently the Verbum blog has been highlighting works of art that are available through the Verbum database. As a complement to these posts on art, I was invited to write a more general post about how to look at and appreciate art, especially sacred art. This is the first in a series of two. [Read more…]

Painting of the Week: The Forerunners of Christ with Saints and Martyrs

The Forerunners of Christ with Saints and Martyrs, along with four other panels, formed the predella (or lower section) of the high altarpiece of San Domenico at Fiesole, near Florence. [Read more…]

Painting of the Week: Joseph Accused by Potiphar’s Wife

The story of Joseph fascinated Rembrandt, who crafted numerous drawings, prints, and paintings of this Old Testament figure.

Having failed to seduce Joseph, Potiphar’s wife is seen here falsely accusing him of trying to violate her. Speaking to Potiphar, the wife gestures to the red robe at the foot of the bed that Joseph left behind, intentionally darkened to emphasize the wickedness in her accusation. [Read more…]

Painting of the Week: The Woman Taken in Adultery

In The Woman Taken in Adultery, Rembrandt beautifully portrays the well-known story of Jesus defending an accused adulterer and teaching a lesson on compassion and hypocrisy.

Jesus’ stature is exaggerated to make him seem taller (and thus morally superior) to those trying to trick him. He is brightly lit with a compassionate expression, emphasizing the central theme of the narrative. [Read more…]

Painting of the Week: The Descent from the Cross

In this sorrowful piece by Rembrandt, Joseph of Arimathea is seen helping Jesus down from the cross. The man in blue holding Jesus’ arm is a self-portrait, and the man watching on the right is Nicodemus who assisted Joseph in burying Jesus (John 19:39–40). [Read more…]

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