female artists, lynn bywaters, religious tapestries, three kings and one prayer, wall tapestries
72 in. x 48 in.
the creation of adam, the creation of adam wall mural, italian art, wall murals, christianity art prints, decorative wall murals, figurative art, fine art posters, religious art prints
Rembrandt was born at Leyden in 1606, and his family enjoyed enough prosperity to permit him to choose a career. Academic life at the University of Leyden was not congenial. At the age of fourteen he was apprenticed to a Leyden painter named Swanenburg and later to Pieter Lastman, from whom Rembrandt learned the craft without absorbing very much of his master’s artistic formulas.
By 1632 his reputation was so well established that he found it expedient to move to Amsterdam. Here commissions awaited him and great demands were made upon his activity. He founded a studio, accepted pupils and assistants, and soon became Amsterdam’s most flourishing painter. It was then that he married Saskia Uylenburch, daughter of a wealthy and important family.
Saskia died in 1642. It had been around her that Rembrandt’s life revolved, and it was then that he began to drift away from the life of his times.
The vagaries of his subsequent career–living in common law with the patient, understanding Hendrickje Stoeffels, his financial failure, and abject poverty–have been told and retold with perhaps too much melodrama and more with the adornment of legend than of fact.
As Rembrandt’s prosperity and popularity diminished in the later years of his life, the quality of his art improved. The sweep of his brush became broader, his psychological insights became more penetrating, his sense of the dramatic more acute. His later painting was neither understood nor appreciated by his contemporaries; in the strictest sense it should be interpreted as a personal revolt against their canons of taste.
Venus was born in the foam of the sea and the Zephyrs carried her along the top of the waves to the Island of Cyprus where the Seasons were waiting to receive and attire her.
Venus, goddess of flowers, of the fruitfulness of nature, goddess of love: she of the Botticelli painting was in fact, or is in legend, the lovely Simonetta, the betrothed of Giuliano de Medici. It is told that, proud of her great beauty, she said to the painter: “I will be your lady Venus; you shall paint me rising from the waves.” And it is further told that, realizing as she posed that she was but a model in the painter’s eyes, she wept out of injured pride and sent him from the room.
Scraps of legend and invented hokum have preserved the reputation of many paintings that deserve to be forgotten. Botticelli “Venus” needs no such embellishment. It is “its own excuse for being.”
The term ‘glyptic’ is derived from the Greek. It embraces the arts of carving precious or semi-precious stones in relief. Engraved stones are called intagli (It. intaglio, -i) or gems, while those which are worked in high relief are called cameos. Intagli were often used for clay or wax seals and were therefore frequently worn in rings. Cameos served a variety of other purposes, but were often merely made to display the gem-cutter’s skill or the beauty of the stone.
Cameos and intagli are fashioned on the lapidary’s wheel, or with the help of carborundurn dust. The glyptic arts were practised with great skill in Mesopotamia as long ago as during the 4th millennium B.C. Cylinder seals, for impressing on some soft material, and used for official or business purposes, were already well known. The Egyptians scarcely knew the intaglio, since most of their seals were made in pottery, often in the shape of the scarab. In the Minoan and Mycenaean civilisations, the glyptic arts were much to the fore. The stone-cutters of this age used both pattern and figure decoration. Gem cutting, mostly in the form of intagli, also flourished in Ancient Greece from the 8th century B.C. onwards. As the making of intagli and cameos became an important branch of the arts, many stonecutters came to sign their work.
Under Greek influence, the glyptic arts spread to Persia, where they assumed great importance between the 6th and 4th centuries B.C.; also, from the Archaic period onwards, to Etruria and thence throughout Italy. Here, too, most of the stones were cut as intagli; the motifs were mostly based on Greek models. Cameos came into vogue during the Hellenistic period only in connection with the art of the Court; they mostly bore the portraits of princes or served to glorify ruling houses. Vessels carved in semiprecious stones were rarer and so were greatly treasured.
Since the late Hellenistic period substitutes for intagli have been used, made of glass cast from moulds (pastes). The glyptic arts were very rarely practised in the Middle Ages; but antique gems and cameos were always very highly prized and were used until the Baroque, often to decorate objects employed in the service of the Church. Gem-cutting was only rediscovered as a separate branch of the arts during the Renaissance, and it came into its own again during the Classic Revival.