Two brides for one groom: The riddle of a picturesque plot about the mystical betrothal of St. Catherine
Among the works of Renaissance masters and later periods in the history of painting, there are often those that depict “the mystical betrothal of St. Catherine.” At the same time, the essence of what is happening may seem vague – after all, betrothal in the usual sense of modern man does not occur on canvas. It turns out that two different women could be brides in such paintings, but the groom is always alone.
First bride – St. Catherine of Alexandria
St. Catherine of Alexandria lived in Egypt in the 3rd century AD. Before the adoption of Christianity, she bore the name of Dorothea and was the daughter of the ruler of Alexandria. The girl was famous for her extraordinary beauty, wisdom, spiritual qualities, and was, of course, an enviable bride, but in grooms she wanted only the most worthy – the one who will surpass her in everything. Then Catherine’s mother took her to the old hermit, who was praying in a cave near the city. He told the girl that he knew the one who is better in everything. Continue reading
Secrets of “Ladies with an Ermine”: What does the cute animal in the painting of Leonardo da Vinci hide
“The Lady with the Ermine” (1489-1490) is one of the most important works of all Western art, the subject of the greatest rarity of the genius Leonardo da Vinci and one of the four famous female portraits of the master. Modern art critics are sure – the white animal in the picture appeared for a reason.
Transformation of the picture
To date, only a small part of the picture has remained genuine, the rest has been repeatedly retouched: the entire background was darkened, the dress was changed, and the transparent veil worn by the woman was repainted in combination with hair color. Another adjustment of the unknown restorer was the addition of dark shadows between the fingers of her right hand (upon careful examination of the two lower fingers it is noticeable that they are significantly inferior to the others). However, the most important discovery of the picture was that the Italian artist did not write the work in one stage, but in three clearly distinguishable stages. Continue reading
Northern Renaissance Master Brueghel the Elder is a Dutch Renaissance artist and engraver known for landscapes and peasant scenes. He was sometimes called the “peasant Brueghel.” He portrayed his incredible Dutch proverbs more than 450 years ago. This painting, also known as “The World Upside Down,” is a detailed masterpiece visually representing more than 100 Dutch proverbs.
The plot of the picture
The canvas of the XVI century, painted in oil on oak and measuring 64 by 46 inches, is spelled out with many miniature men, women, children and animals who perform a number of unusual and bizarre actions in their village. Individual scenes are played side by side, without direct dependence on each other. The background for all this diverse activity consists of a rural house, dilapidated huts, a stone bridge with columns and a tower, a village square in the center and a manor among corn fields. In the distance, the open sea shining in the sun is visible. The old name of the painting “The World Upside Down” comes from the globe, standing on a symbolic head. This is intended to illustrate that people are in a world in which everything is not as it should be. Continue reading