spiritual reflections

This following gallery includes a selection of stylistic variety in the visual arts, depicting religious works with tightly controlled brushstrokes, balanced complex compositions, expressive poses and the use of multiple textures that create visual interest.

This beautiful painting on wood shows the Virgin of the Angels and Child as she solemnly inclines her head looking downward to him on her left side, while holding an olive branch in her right hand. He holds a dove in his left hand, symbolic to peace. The use of tint is subtle. This image type is set against a gold and red background, drawing your attention to her black dress and black ceiling of the throne, making the beings dressed in patterned gowns, standing on both sides as well as the Friar at the bottom left, seem three-dimensional. The thin layer of gold around their heads suggests holiness. The side borders are adorned with images of what seem to be saints. The throne, an architectural structure, along with the proportions of the figures gives this composition a sense of unity.
“The Annunciation”, depicted in this rare Italian tapestry, is the announcement by the archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary that she would give birth to Jesus, the Son of God. Marking this the beginning of the Incarnation of the Word in the Christian faith. The scene, set in warm earthy colors, uses patterns and shapes to create the background and surrounding objects. The use of jagged hard lines delineates form. The experimentation with the portrayal of space extends from the castle in the background to the guinea fowl, peacock and doves in the foreground, creating a complex composition.
This pre-renaissance, gothic styled, tapestry depicts a nativity scene where the newborn Saviour is laying on the ground, admired by his mother and angels. The border is made up of organic shapes; the use of jagged fine lines delineates form in the figures. The use of tint and shade is subtle. Our view is directed to the "Adoration of Magi" on the top left corner, the "Annunciation" on the right and along each side to where a Sibyl stands holding a banner with text. Repeated elements establish harmony between all parts of the work.
The "Adoration of the Magi" depicts the three wise men that followed the north star bearing gifts for the newborn Jesus. In this colorful, rich and splendid painting the religious aspect is stressed. The use of lights and darks throughout the image creates the illusion of shadows and highlights. Figures are dynamic and individually expressive, the postures of their hands and bodies convey devotion and respect for the newborn Saviour set in the lower center.
In this depiction of a Netherlandish village, our view is guided thru and around each aspect of the work. The areas between the objects produces perspective, the strong colors depth. Religious references are carefully placed in obscure places. Tight brushstrokes define each figure making this asymmetrical piece harmonious.
In this imaginative rendering monsters are seen thrown down to earth while angels dressed in white albs, led by St. Michael dressed in a golden armor, seen striking with his sword a dragon with seven crowned heads, combats them. The use of geometric and organic shapes as well as the incorporation of elements derived from nature allows for the creation of grotesque creatures. Clearly defining good and evil is the contrast between light, the angels in the sky and dark, the fallen ones below. Hints of tetradic schemes consisting of red, blue, brown and green hues enliven this image.
Artistically defined is this Mesopotamian type of rounded, step-shaped ziggurat, temple tower. We can appreciate the meticulous details when comparing the proportions between the tiny laborers in the stone outer structure and around the surrounding city of the monument itself. Influenced by classical and Romanesque architecture,this asymmetrical building is intriguing and captivating.
With rhythmic decorum the "Last Day of Judgment" is impressively displayed in a 3tier-like layout. Using highlights, God on top followed by angels then people to bottom left and darks, angels, religious persons to horned creatures bottom right. The shading of drapery, folds and shapely gestures generate rhythmic pattern across the surface. Our attention is guided across the image, establishing a three dimensional space.
In the circular arrangement of miniature scenes, the emphasis is centered around the figure of the Virgin holding the Christ Child. The variety in figures clearly defined by red, black and white accents refer to religious events from the Bible and notable iconic figures of the time. The golden organic border adds elegance to the piece. The image is visually impacting and amazing.
This stylistically produced painting is arranged in three registers. Applying an analogous scheme, each one brilliantly illustrates different phrases of the hymn, establishing hierarchy. Combining tight lines and loose brushstrokes to give a celebratory feeling and the golden background to denote magnificence.
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