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Flagellazione e di Cristo – Juliana Harn

21 Apr

Juliana 3


Artist: Tiziano Vecellio (Also known as Titan)

Medium: Oil on Canvas

Date: c. 1510

Location: Borghese Gallery

This painting is unlike anything

I have ever seen.

Hanging in a corner,

It begs for no attention.

It is quiet

And dark

And easily passed by.

This painting is not big

Nor particularly noticeable

It has no bright colors

Nothing to make it especially stand out

In this small room, in a small gallery.

Until you stop.

Until you stop right in front of it.

Until Jesus’ face catches you off guard.

Until you realize that he his in the midst of the flogging.

In the middle of being tortured

Not far from death.

Until you see that he is looking up at his attackers.

Looking straight up at those who are hurting him,

Those who are torturing him,

Those who are flogging him, inches from death.

Until you see that he is looking at them with love in his eyes






He sees the depths of their hearts,

He feels their pain of their sin,

Just as he feels his own.

He sees the worst things they have done,

And he still loves them.

He feels the whips on his back,

And he still looks at them with love.

He still loves them.

I am stopped by this quiet, dark painting.

Pictures can never do a painting justice, but

I felt his love. As I stood there,

500 years after these oils were put on this canvas,

I stood there and I thought,

“If Jesus loved those who were killing him,

If he loved those who were hurting him,

Can I not love those who hurt me?

Who scoff at me, who leave me feeling




Unworthy of attention?

If he loved those who hurt him,

Can I love those who hurt me?”

And the answer to that question

Is always yes.

This small painting

In a corner of a back room

In a small gallery

Made me stop.

Made me think.

Made me feel.

And isn’t that what art is supposed to do?


The Last Supper – Kelcee Headlee

18 Apr

The Last Supper

Artist: Leonardo da Vinci

Medium: Tempera fresco

Date: c. 1498

Location: Santa Maria delle Grazie:  Milan

Dimensions: 4.6 X 8.8 m

He is the definition of the Renaissance man, he was into art, math and science and was an inventor. Leonardo da Vinci was one of the greatest minds to ever walk the earth.  Da Vinci was born on April 15, 1452 in Vinci, Italy. At a very young age, 14, Leonardo began to become an apprentice under the artist Verrocchio. While being an apprentice, his skill set became stronger and so did his craftsmanship in art and science.  When he became twenty years old, he had completed so many works of art and scientific ideas that he had the qualifications to be considered a master artist in the Guild of St. Luke. After this occurred, he began his own practice.

Much like Botticelli, Leonardo was also commissioned by the Medici family and was asked to create the painting, The Last Supper. The purpose of the painting would for it to be offered as a peace offering between the Medici and the Duke of Milan.

In this painting there is so much symbolism. Every single line points to Jesus, just like our lives are always supposed to point to Him. On each side, there are two groups, equaling four groups total. There are two on each side to create the idea of symmetry among the people, but inside of each group are three individuals. It is said that this is the moment of action when Jesus would tell who was going to betray him. It is obvious that is what is happening. All of the disciples are questioning Jesus for why he could say such a thing. Some are angry while others are not concerned. Judas is the one begging to the right of Jesus while John the Baptist is sitting to his left.

This is probably one of my favorite pictures ever created and especially with how Jesus’ life is depicted. From the scene that Leonardo created, Jesus is more like us than we ever thought possible. He is personable and enjoys his time with friends and those who truly care about him. That is a relatable quality to us now a days. The picture is still a very serious visual, but at the same time it is relaxing to see how Christ interacts with his disciples just as if He were to have dinner with us. We would be in awe of the whole situation, but even then we would enjoy each other’s company. We are supposed to be in search of Jesus and the Lord so that we can be in good company in Heaven. That is why it is so important to have a personal relationship with Christ so that we can live in peace and harmony and one day in Heaven see all the amazing things God has done for us that are both big and little moments.  Jesus had a very friendly quality about him that made him humble. That is how we are supposed to be. As Christians, we are supposed to be welcoming and not judgmental like Christ was, we are to humble ourselves in the presence of friends and especially the Lord because we are not worthy of any of the blessing God has given us, including his son, but he loved us enough to do that. So we have to love enough to forgive and live a life God would be pleased of.


Agony In The Garden – Justin Fink

18 Apr


Artist: Il Perugino

Medium: Wood

Date: Began in 1437 Ended in 1444

Location: Uffizi Gallery: Florence

Dimensions: 166 X 171

Pietro Vannucci was nicknamed Il Perugino (the Perugian) because he was said to be from Perugia, when in all honesty he was in an area around the border of Perugia. He defined himself as a person from Perugia- that is how people defined themselves. From his self declaration of being from Perugia he gained the name of Il Perugino. His date of birth is not specified, but it was known throughout the main city of Umbria that the Vannucci family was one of the wealthiest families at the time.

Il Perugino was a painter that was involved in the Italian High Renaissance. He began his study in small local shops. He was an apprentice for many artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Filippino Lippi. One of his most famous accomplishments was being the teacher of the amazing artist Raphael.  He was one who practiced oil painting. He created many frescoes and also cartoons.

In Agony in the Garden, Perugino is showing Christ with three disciples sleeping while He was praying in the garden of Gethsemane.  This was Jesus’ last prayer before Judas would betray him and He would be arrested. After he was arrested, he would be crucified.  Jesus is the focal point of the picture just like He is in the picture of the Holy Family by Luca Signorelli.  He is also called to be the vanishing point for the picture. In the background, there are two groups of soldiers coming to arrest him while Judas is leading the way. This series of events is what follows the Last Supper as depicted by Leonardo da Vinci, which is also included in this presentation.

Just like many of these photos throughout the blog, this piece of art was also created during the time of the Renaissance. What is uncertain though about this work is when it was completed. For some time Perugino was not in Rome. It is debated if this picture was done upon his arrival back to Rome or if it was done later in his life.  Both ways, he was able to create something beautiful and an artifact that would help increase our understanding of Christ’s life before his death.

Agony in the Garden was an experiment for Perugino. He was not sure how the painting would turn out because he decided he would attempt something that had rarely worked previously to this portrait. He created a wooden panel and then would use oil as a base for the paint. The fear of this was the uncertainty if the paint would soak into the wood or if it would drip off into a puddle of mixed colors. But since being able to see this recently this semester, we are able to determine that this “experiment” became something beautiful and lasting. It has been in existence for over five hundred years. Not many paintings on canvas last that long or even frescoes for that matter. But what Perugino did would defy all odds, just like Christ did rising up from the dead on the third day.

Christ Amid His Tormenters – Meg Spierto

17 Apr


Artist: Giovanni Bazzi Sodoma
Medium: Oil on Panel
Date: around 1525
Location: Uffizi Gallery, Florence

Bound hands, bound neck, tried and sentenced
He wears a crown of thorns.

As nerves increase, the torment pesters,
Scoffing, laughing, spitting, disgust.

Though He be God, tears still flowing
From His sinless and heavenly eye.

To be amongst those men who torment,
All for love’s sake, He stayed and died.

“Cursed!”, “Die!”, “Crucify!”
They yell and scream and spit and shout.

The whispers of undying hatred,
“They know not what they’ve done”.

And still amidst the pain and anguish
He fulfilled His Father’s wish

To die for me and you and them,
No matter the magnitude of sin.

I sit and stare, my savior is aching,
All to die for me, His child.

If He can love a world so broken,
I know my life must be worthwhile.

In disgust I look upon these tormentors
Saying, “How can you crucify my savior?”

But in the end it was I who put Him there,
For my sin alone separates.

His faithfulness and love for me
Has stripped away my walls.

My life for Him, He died for me;
On my knees before Him, I fall.

For it was me who put him on that cross,
My sins became His tormentors.

Christ Before the High Priest – Shaila Costanza

17 Apr

christ before the high priest

Date: c. 1617

Artist: Gerrit van Honthorst

Location: National Gallery, London

Medium: oil on canvas

Dimensions: 272 x 183 cm

This painting was done by Garrit Van Honhorst, who first trained under his father and later became a student of Abrham Bloemart in Utrecht. He also studied under Bloemart while in Rome and was able to accomplish an international reputation.  Honhorst was commissioned by nobles and princes of the Church. He became so well known that he was even invited to English by Charles I, in which he was asked to do paintings of mythological subjects and many portraits. Other royal figures include Frederik Hendrik of Orange, Christian IV of Denmark, and the Queen of Bohemia. Mythological and portrait paintings were in high demand, along with allegorical decorations for the princes.

This particular painting was done for Marchese Vincenzo Giustiniani, who allowed Honthorst to stay in a palace during his travels.  After this painting, he was referred to as Gherardo delle Notti, – Gerard of the Nocturnes , by the Italians. Honthorst is said to have the influence of Caravaggio, but mainly in his later work. While other painters would use candlelight to create a dreamlike atmosphere, Honthorst used it for veracity and dramatic tension. This painting is depicting Matthew 26:57-64 where Jesus is presented for interrogation to be put on trial before the High Priest, Caiaphas for claiming to be the Son of God. The scene takes place after Jesus in captured in the garden and brought to Caiaphas.  In the painting, the two men standing behind the Priest are false witnesses speaking against Jesus.  The candle flame separating the High Priest and Jesus unifies the whole painting by the drawing the source of light from one point, in what seems to be illuminated the room and adding intensity to the situation. This brings the two main figures, Jesus and the High Priest to the front of the painting allowing for sharper detail in their positioning and gestures. The Priest’s hand is raised pointing his finger in disgust and authority. The captured moment may be depicting the moment he was asking Christ, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” Christ’s facial expressions are soft, warm, and inviting and have an expression of forgiveness and understanding while he gives his response: “But I say to all of you: From now on you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”  The light also illuminates key symbols in the paintings such as the books of the Law and Christ’s white robe where a torn can be seen, presumable made during his capture. The robe also seems to be reflecting the candle lite and therefore presenting Christ as the main subject in the painting as well as alluding to him being the Light of the World.