Monday, October 5, 2015

Pondering the Angelus with Art: This Week's Image

From the Walters Museum of Art's collection of miniatures comes this German depiction.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Praying the Angelus with Art: This Week's Image

Luc Oliver Merson, The Annunciation (1908)

Monday, September 21, 2015

Praying the Angelus with Art: This Week's Image

Mary, her features so familiar to us from Byzantine icons, stands at a well, facing us while Gabriel walks away, his mission complete. The winter setting makes Gabriel’s scarf (or is it a wing?) both appropriate and tantalizing.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Praying the Angelus with Art: This Week's Image

On today's feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, and in view of tomorrow's memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows, perhaps El Greco's mysterious depiction of the Annunciation serves best. It abounds in mystery as Heaven opens up within Mary's room, just as the feasts of these two days abound in mystery.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Praying the Angelus with Art: This Week's Image

For tomorrow's feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos, the Troparion from the Byzantine liturgy:
Your Nativity, O Virgin,
Has proclaimed joy to the whole universe!
The Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God,
Has shone from You, O Theotokos!
By annulling the curse,
He bestowed a blessing.
By destroying death, He has granted us eternal Life.

Donna Pierce-Clark, an Ohio artist whose motto is CELEBRATING GOD'S GLORY, ONE BRUSHSTROKE AT A TIME, beautifully portrays Mary as an innocent child, prophetically intuiting the death of the son whose coming is being announced, and at the same time hearing Gabriel’s reassuring, “Do not be afraid, Mary.” It fits well with the Byzantine hymn for tomorrow's celebration of Mary's birth.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Praying the Angelus with Art: This Week's Image

The Annunciation, by Hans Memling.

From the Metropolitan Museum page for this masterpiece: Like other fifteenth-century Flemish painters working in the wake of Jan van Eyck, Hans Memling cloaked religious imagery in the pictorial language of everyday life, paying close attention to naturalistic detail. This Annunciation takes place in a comfortably appointed bedchamber, though many of the domestic furnishings have symbolic connotations. The carafe of water, through which light passes uncorrupted, and the vase of lilies are symbols of the Virgin's purity, while the empty candleholder signifies her imminent role as bearer of Christ, light of the world. Gabriel's priestly garb alludes to the ritual of the Mass and, therefore, the incarnation of Christ. A soft glowing light falls on the Virgin and suffuses the room, elevating the scene from the realm of the ordinary and signaling the sacred nature of the drama.

The Lehman Annunciation, one of Memling's most important works, reportedly retained its original frame, inscribed with the date 1482, well into the nineteenth century. It has been suggested, however, that the final number of the inscription had become illegible and that the year recorded was actually 1489, a date more consonant with the painting's style.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Pondering the Angelus with Art: This Week's Image

"Mary is the ladder that God made for Himself, by which he descended from Heaven to earth."
Blessed James Alberione

Contemporary American artist John Lautermilch graduated from Washington University School of Fine Arts (St. Louis, Missouri) with a certificate in fine art. He has been painting for the past 60 years and has had numerous one man shows. His most recent shows were at the Missouri Botanical Garden and Componere Art Gallery in University City where he displays his work. He has completed numerous commissions in his life, the most recent was for the Lutheran Senior Services.