Sunday, December 20, 2009

Exotic Scenery

Samson and Delilah by the British neoclassical painter Joseph Solomon (1860–1927).

It’s a very well done painting showing a lot of dramatic action in an exotic scenery. Delilah is mocking Samson who is overcome by a great number of enemies. There are strong influences of history and of oriental paintings which were very fashionable in this time.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Posing as Judith

Here three more examples of Judith by the German Renaissance painter Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1533).

He was court painter to the Electors of Saxony the leaders of the Protestant Reformation and it seems that many of the noble ladies in Saxony liked it to be depicted as Judith the savior of her people. Cranach did maybe more than a dozen which can be found now in museums over half of the world.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Dutch Bathsheba

Jan Steen (c.1626–1679) was a Dutch genre painter of the Dutch Golden Age. He depicts here how Bathsheba receives the letter from King David. Despite it’s one of the relatively few paintings not showing the typical bathing scene with King David peeping it shows Bathsheba doing her toilet – probably she had not much more to do.

More interesting is therefore to compare the painting with another one depicting a normal Dutch doing her toilet.

The similarities are obvious, only that the biblical Bathsheba has more luxury, some handmaidens and shows more nudeness.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Ruth and Naomi in Italy

Ruth Declares her Loyalty to Naomi (1614) by the Dutch painter Pieter Lastman (c.1583-1633).

Lastman was a well known history painter working in Amsterdam where Rembrandt was one of his students. Ruth and Naomi are painted here as contemporary women. The only hint that the story happened in another place is the Italian landscape, which Lastman knew by his studies there.