Treasures Saved by the 'Monuments Men' - Mike Calendrillo

Towards the end of WWII, 1945, the 'Monuments Men' would discover Nazi hiding places for some of the worlds most important art and sculptures in both Germany and Austria. Hitler had intended to open his own massive museum with the most iconic pieces ever created, The Fuhrermuseum. This gallery represents some of the recovered pieces created by esteemed European artists.

The Birth of Venus, a beloved example of Renaissance art, depicts Venus riding on a giant seashell as she is being blown to shore by the wind god; roses strewn through the air as Venus has emerged from the sea for the first time. Modesty ensues of a woman discovering herself, she gently covers her body. Venus' handmaiden waits on the banks to dress her as the light caresses her natural exposition.
La Primavera (Spring) is an interactive scene that takes place in an orange grove. The limbs of the figures are long and slender which does not lend itself to linear perspective. An elegant Venus stands in the middle, while a blindfolded Cupid flies above. To the left are a group of three virtuous women who seem to be involved in some sort of dance, while a man with a staff reaches towards the trees. To the right of the painting, the wind god takes hold of a woman who in turn, turns into the fair maiden wearing the flower garb. Overall this is a piece full of lavish themes and complex stylization.
The Night Watch depicts the moment that the captain of this military company has ordered his men to move out but the order has yet to be heard by everyone in attendance. Certain lighting techniques call attention to the girl with the chicken, while also shielding the magnificent architecture in the background. Also the looks on the figures faces tell a tale of readiness, aloofness and stoutness all at the same time.
In the Conservatory depicts what life was like in Paris in the late 1800s. A scholarly man is in conversation with a much younger woman; she takes in what he has to say without much response as the two allow the lush botanical gardens to play host around them. The placement of the couples hands tells that they are intimate, especially since they both have a relaxed posture, even while wearing fancy attire in a public setting.
The painter is dressed in an old-fashioned outfit for the timing of this piece. His model is lovely, the way the light catches her skin and colorful dress from the darkness of room goes a long way in bringing attention to her importance of the piece. The gold hanging chandelier is prominent and tells not only of a particular place, time and religious association in history, but of whom the painter is that created the piece (perhaps it is Vermeer himself). The map on the back wall also gives insight into the location of this studio, and the lavish furniture tells of the painters fame and fortune.
St. Justa and St. Rufina, the two patron saints are holding leaves in their hands while supporting a large carved symbol. The two saints are stoic in their demeanor, they do not let their somber surroundings deter them from their cause. The faces of the women are draped in sunlight to bring attention to their righteousness while not concerning themselves with the spilled pottery that lays at their feet.
The female portrait is solely about the model. The background tells no story whatsoever. Only a light shadow to the left side of her face casts a slight glow. The fair maiden in the piece has a rosy complexion, supple fair skin, chestnut colored eyes and a regal quality that is undeniable. Her attire tells of an affluent nature, her posture of a noble background, yet a gentile naivete still rings out.
The illustration as a whole takes prominence over a specific look or reaction from one central figure. An event of the highest order is taking place, the apocalypse. Seven mythological beasts, all drawn in complex detail have ascended from hell. Upon God's orders, angels are sent into battle to protect the living. These people appear to be of a higher noble stature according to their attire. The archangel Michael holds a large cross while descending into battle. It is heaven and hell on earth.
The Holy Crown consists of three pieces, the lower part emblazoned with medallions and pictures, the middle part which is plated cross shape and the top which has the crooked cross. The crown is made of gold, precious stones and pearls. The complex nature of the crown details its illustrious history not only of the crown itself, but the empire and people it represents.
Rembrandt's self-portrait is one of a gloomy disposition, rife with a perplexed look. A middle-aged man sits having dressed himself in regal garb, that of an entertainer of the day. Much wanes on his mind as his eyes drift off in the distance. Taking a closer look at this painting it appears Rembrandt painted over another piece, as the shadows of a man's ear can be seen in the upper portions of the piece.
Credits: All media
This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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