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Picture in Focus: Miracle of Jesus by Unknown Peruvian Textile Artist

November 27, 2022

Picture in Focus: Miracle of Jesus by Unknown Peruvian Textile Artist

We stay in the Americas this week, moving from Mexico to the Andes region to look at an arpillera cloth art piece (Spanish for “burlap.") The coarse fibered fabric serves as the backing for these elaborately embroidered, story-telling panels in cloth of many colors that bear its name, stitched together with bits of…

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Picture in Focus: Pieta Holy Water Basin by Moises Rodriguez

November 20, 2022

Picture in Focus: Pieta Holy Water Basin by Moises Rodriguez

The last featured ceramic piece in my series on folk art in the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection takes us back to the Americas--a holy water basin molded out of clay by Mexican Potter Moises Rodriguez from the ceramic-making center of Tonala, near Guadalajara. Rodriguez is known for his “burnished” pottery pieces. He uses a stone to polish and smooth…

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Picture in Focus: Westraven Cloissone Tile of Saint George

November 13, 2022

Picture in Focus: Westraven Cloissone Tile of Saint George

My featured artwork this week is a ceramic tile from a European nation famed for its fine porcelain ware: The Netherlands. Founded in 1635, the Royal Delft (De Porceleyne Fles) factory has been known down the centuries for its blue-and-white pottery and smooth-surfaced glazed tiles, often on biblical themes, used as decorative borders. In the first decades of the…

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Pictures in Focus: Stories of the Bible from the Jerusalem Pottery workshop

November 9, 2022

Pictures in Focus: Stories of the Bible from the Jerusalem Pottery workshop

We move from works on glass to ceramic art objects this week, traveling to the Holy Land to see a quartet of tiles on biblical themes from the Jerusalem Pottery workshop of the Karakashian family. They are descendants of Armenian ceramic artists who were invited to Palestine when the British controlled the region in 1918 to restore tiles in…

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Picture in Focus: The Mystical Wine Press by Adriana Vasile

October 30, 2022

Picture in Focus: The Mystical Wine Press by Adriana Vasile

There is one more sacred folk art treasure to be found in Eastern Europe before we move on to other parts of the globe. We have looked, so far, at artisan pieces on wood, leather, and various types of paper. This week's featured work from the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection is an icon painted on a sheet of glass…

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Picture in Focus: The Vladimir Mother of God Triptych by Yu. Maleev

October 23, 2022

Picture in Focus: The Vladimir Mother of God Triptych by Yu. Maleev

We travel to Russia this week to view a folk art piece of serene beauty at odds with the savagery of that country's war with Ukraine. It is a reproduction of Russia's much revered icon of the Vladimir Mother of God with a surface appearance of highly polished wood, made from lacquered layers of compressed paper by an artisan…

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Picture in Focus: Jesus Proclaims the Kingdom of God by Roman Sledz

October 16, 2022

Picture in Focus: Jesus Proclaims the Kingdom of God by Roman Sledz

We travel north from the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains in Ukraine to the Lublin region of Poland to find this week's example of wooden art, now on view on the East European Wood Carvings page in the Schools of Sacred Art Section. The painted carved wood sculpture, Jesus Proclaims the Kingdom of…

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Picture in Focus: Ukrainian Greek Catholic Crucifix by Unknown Hutsul Woodcarver

October 9, 2022

Picture in Focus: Ukrainian Greek Catholic Crucifix by Unknown Hutsul Woodcarver

In my survey of art objects made from wood in the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection, we turn now to a traditional example of woodcarving, one of the oldest forms of folk art, created by an unknown artisan from the Hutsul people, a Slavic ethnic group who mostly live on the southern slopes of the eastern Carpathian mountains in what…

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Picture in Focus: The Last Supper from La Semilla de Dios workshop

October 2, 2022

Picture in Focus: The Last Supper from La Semilla de Dios workshop

My survey of arts and crafts in the on-line Sacred Art Pilgrim collection has looked at folk art made with paper and leather. This week, we view the first of several pieces in my listings made from wood. We journey to La Palma, a town in the mountainous north of the Central American nation of El Salvador, famed since…

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Picture in Focus: Jesus Stills the Storm by Unknown Ethiopian Artist

September 25, 2022

Picture in Focus: Jesus Stills the Storm by Unknown Ethiopian Artist

We turn this week from art on paper to art on leather, traveling to Ethiopia, one of the oldest Christian civilizations in the world, where a unique form of sacred art developed down the centuries influenced by African, Arabic-Islamic, Byzantine, and European culture.  My featured painting in tempera on a tanned animal skin by an unknown Ethiopian artisan shows…

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Picture in Focus: Maps of the Prodigal Son by Ediciones Vigia

September 18, 2022

Picture in Focus: Maps of the Prodigal Son by Ediciones Vigia

We travel  from Mexico to Cuba this week for a look at the last type of paper art in my Collection--a handcrafted book of verse from the Ediciones Vigia publishing house in Matanzas, a center of Cuban culture 90 km. east of Havana. This collective of writers and artists has been gathering since 1985 to make books, magazines, leaflets,…

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Picture in Focus: The Ascension of Jesus by Cristino Flores Medina

September 11, 2022

Picture in Focus: The Ascension of Jesus by Cristino Flores Medina

We leave the papyri painters of Egypt behind this week to look at a paper folk art form linked to an ancient civilization of the Americas--the amate paper art of Mexico. "Amate" comes from the Aztec (Nahuatl) word for paper and at the height of the Aztec empire thousands of sheets made from tree bark were used by scribes…

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Picture in Focus: Painting on papyrus of St. Mark by Unknown Egyptian Artist

September 4, 2022

Picture in Focus: Painting on papyrus of St. Mark by Unknown Egyptian Artist

In my survey of new arts and crafts pieces in the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection, we have looked at woodblock prints, serigraphs, and posters. This week's featured work by an unknown Egyptian artist is an example of another kind of art on paper, where the type of paper used defines the folk art genre--in this case, papyrus painting. The…

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Picture in Focus: Millennium of Poland's Christianity by Antoni Michalak

August 28, 2022

Picture in Focus: Millennium of Poland's Christianity by Antoni Michalak

We travel this week to Poland, renowned for the school of poster art that developed in the postwar Communist era, when artists with no access to a commercial art market took on official commissions for promotional signs. Given their country’s centuries-old Roman Catholic heritage, Polish graphic artists, working under official censorship, often turned to Christian symbols to evoke universal…

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Pictures in Focus: Two Serigraphs of Artisans from Puerto Rico

August 21, 2022

Pictures in Focus: Two Serigraphs of Artisans from Puerto Rico

We look at two new artworks about artisans this week from Puerto Rico, where the Caribbean island's Economic Development Administration commissioned serigraphs from noted print-makers in the 1980s celebrating local arts and crafts. A poster from Jose Luis Gonzalez de Rosabel shows Felicita Padilla crafting rosary beads, praising her as "the woman artisan--the soul of village art." In a…

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Picture in Focus: The Artisans by Jose Miguel da Silva

August 14, 2022

Picture in Focus: The Artisans by Jose Miguel da Silva

Starting this week, I will be showcasing pieces by artists and artisans represented in the Schools of Sacred Art section in a series taking us to the end of the year. The works to be presented are in a variety of mediums from paintings on handmade paper, ceramics, leather and glass to embroidered cloth, wood carvings, and embossed metal…

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Picture in Focus: Paysage biblique (rencontre) by Georges Rouault

July 31, 2022

Picture in Focus: Paysage biblique (rencontre) by Georges Rouault

Before beginning a new summer series, I want to return to the French sacred art scene this week to showcase a Georges Rouault painting just added to the on-line Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection. Paysage biblique (recontre) depicts the meeting of Mary Magdalene and the Risen Christ outside the garden tomb on Easter morning in an oil, ink, and gouache…

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Artist in Profile: Raphael Drouart (1884-1972)

July 24, 2022

Artist in Profile: Raphael Drouart (1884-1972)

Raphael Drouart is the last featured art-maker in my series on new works in the on-line Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection from the artistic circle of Maurice Denis, the Early Modern master of French sacred art. Denis was Drouart's instructor in a Parisian art school and took him on as his assistant in a prestigious mural painting project. The future…

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Artist in Profile: Charles Plessard (1897-1972)

July 17, 2022

Artist in Profile: Charles Plessard (1897-1972)

The founding of Les Ateliers d’Art Sacre in Paris in 1919 is an overlooked landmark in the history of contemporary sacred art. In the aftermath of World War I, French Artist Maurice Denis helped launch the Studios of Sacred Art with the bold mission of creating a new kind of religious art for peacetime Europe. more >>

Artist in Profile: Jacques Beltrand (1874-1977)

July 10, 2022

Artist in Profile: Jacques Beltrand (1874-1977)

Jacques Beltrand, the subject of a profile added this week to the Sacred Artists section, played a pivotal role in the 20th century revival of the art of the woodcut in France. He was especially gifted in converting images from other art mediums into woodblock prints for book illustrations and formed a close…

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Pictures in Focus: Woodblock prints from the Book of Tobias by Maurice Denis

July 3, 2022

Pictures in Focus: Woodblock prints from the Book of Tobias by Maurice Denis

The French celebrate Bastille Day in July, and we will be looking this month at the legacy of Maurice Denis, the painter, printmaker, art historian, and theorist who was no less a revolutionary in freeing French sacred art from the saccharine sentimentalism of late 19th century Realism to bring it into the modern…

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Picture in Focus: David and Goliath by Konstantin Kalynovych

June 26, 2022

Picture in Focus: David and Goliath by Konstantin Kalynovych

My final image in the series on artworks of David and Goliath in the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection is a small-format etching of the famous biblical duel from Russian-Ukrainian Graphic Artist Konstantin Kalynovych. He is known for highly-detailed, surrealistic bookplates that are rich in symbols, imitative of great masters of European art like…

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Picture in Focus: David Kills Goliath by Jose Ignacio Fletes Cruz

June 19, 2022

Picture in Focus: David Kills Goliath by Jose Ignacio Fletes Cruz

My survey of new images of David and Goliath in the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection takes us this week to Nicaragua, where Folk Artist Jose Ignacio Fletes Cruz sets the killing of the giant in a Central American landscape with flowering fields and volcanic mountain peaks. Fletes Cruz belonged to a utopian Christian community, founded in the mid 1960s…

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Picture in Focus: David Defeats Goliath by Carl Dixon

June 12, 2022

Picture in Focus: David Defeats Goliath by Carl Dixon

In my series on imagery of David and Goliath in the on-line Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection, a new work on this famous duel from the Hebrew Scriptures has just been added to the extensive gallery of biblical illustrations on the biosketch page of Visionary Mississippi Folk Artist Carl Dixon. While a carrion crow…

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Picture in Focus: I Samuel 17: 50 (David and Goliath) by Ben-Zion

June 5, 2022

Picture in Focus: I Samuel 17: 50 (David and Goliath) by Ben-Zion

Thus David bested the Philistine with sling and stone; he struck him down and killed him. David had no sword. (I Samuel 17: 50, JSB)

The Bible story of the battle of David the shepherd boy with Goliath the giant has been much on my mind these past few weeks, watching the Ukrainians struggle to hold back invading…

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Picture in Focus: Madonna of the Fields and Flowers by Andrzej Wojtczak

May 29, 2022

Picture in Focus: Madonna of the Fields and Flowers by Andrzej Wojtczak

The Virgin Mary appears with the Christ Child amid sunflowers, wheat stalks, and wild herbs in the last of my featured Marian images from Poland in the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection. This painted wooden sculpture is the work of Andrzej Wojtczak, one of three wood carvers who founded a school of folk art linked to the village of Kutno…

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Picture in Focus: Jasna Gora Poster by Ryszard Kaja

May 22, 2022

Picture in Focus: Jasna Gora Poster by Ryszard Kaja

In our series on images of the Virgin Mary by Polish Artists in the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection, we turn this week to a minimally modern Mary and Baby Jesus on a travel poster from Graphic Artist Ryszard Kaja, celebrating the Jasna Gora (Bright Mountain) Monastery in Czestochowa, where millions of pilgrims come each year to view the painting…

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Picture in Focus: The Blessed Virgin and the Angels by Marianna Wisnios

May 15, 2022

Picture in Focus: The Blessed Virgin and the Angels by Marianna Wisnios

May is a time to remember the Virgin Mary, and what better place to find Marian-themed works of art than in Poland, where devotion to the Mother of Christ is especially fervent. For the next three weeks, I will be featuring new works by Polish artists in the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection depicting the Virgin Mary in a variety…

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Artists in Profile: New Iconography of Lviv I & II

May 6, 2022

Artists in Profile: New Iconography of Lviv I & II

During the weeks when I have been posting images of the Passion of Christ by Ukrainian artists, I had the chance to revise and expand the New Iconography of Lviv page in the Schools of Sacred Art section. This week, the listing returns on-line as two entries. The first page will focus, as before, on the many women artists…

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Pray for the Peace of Ukraine (After the Resurrection): The Road to Emmaus by Khrystyna Kvyk

May 1, 2022

Pray for the Peace of Ukraine (After the Resurrection): The Road to Emmaus by Khrystyna Kvyk

Two of [the disciples] were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him...more >>

Pray for the Peace of Ukraine (Easter): Christ Ruler of All by Lyuba Yatskiv

April 17, 2022

Pray for the Peace of Ukraine (Easter): Christ Ruler of All by Lyuba Yatskiv

                  Khrystos voskres!
                  Voistynu voskres!
                                                            
                     
Christ is risen!
                  He is risen, indeed.
               
        

 

 

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Pray for the Peace of Ukraine (Holy Week): Green Crucifixion by Natalya Rusetska

April 10, 2022

Pray for the Peace of Ukraine (Holy Week): Green Crucifixion by Natalya Rusetska

So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself. more >>

Pray for the Peace of Ukraine (Lent V): Pieta by Khrystyna Yatsyniak

April 1, 2022

Pray for the Peace of Ukraine (Lent V): Pieta by Khrystyna Yatsyniak

[The Prophet] Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, “This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.” (Luke 2:34-35,…

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Pray for the Peace of Ukraine (Lent IV): Pilate Condemns Jesus to Death by Ivanka Demchuk

March 25, 2022

Pray for the Peace of Ukraine (Lent IV): Pilate Condemns Jesus to Death by Ivanka Demchuk

Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews? ...Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but…

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Pray for the Peace of Ukraine (Lent III): Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane by Kateryna Shadrina

March 18, 2022

Pray for the Peace of Ukraine (Lent III): Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane by Kateryna Shadrina

And [Jesus] came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be…

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Pray for the Peace of Ukraine (Lent II): Christ the Grapevine by Ulyana Tomkevych

March 11, 2022

Pray for the Peace of Ukraine (Lent II): Christ the Grapevine by Ulyana Tomkevych

The Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the…

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Pray for the Peace of Ukraine (Lent I): The Triumphal Entry by Kateryna Kuziv

March 3, 2022

Pray for the Peace of Ukraine (Lent I): The Triumphal Entry by Kateryna Kuziv

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey. (Zechariah 9:9, KJV)

We begin our Lenten series on artworks from Ukraine illustrating key moments in the Passion of Christ with…

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Pray for the Peace of Ukraine: Suffering Mother Ukraine by Unknown Ukrainian Artist

February 24, 2022

Pray for the Peace of Ukraine: Suffering Mother Ukraine by Unknown Ukrainian Artist

As a longtime collector of contemporary religious artworks, I have been watching with great interest as a new school of iconography has emerged among Ukrainian Greek Catholic artists, fostered and promoted by the ICONART Contemporary Sacred Art Gallery in the city of Lviv in West Ukraine. This talented group of young men and women are at the forefront of…

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Picture in Focus: Acts of Mercy by Carl Dixon

February 20, 2022

Picture in Focus: Acts of Mercy by Carl Dixon

In this week's featured carved wood panel painting from Carl Dixon, the Mississippi Folk Artist offers illustrations of the six acts of mercy that touch the heart of God and merit eternal life in the Last Judgment narrative found in Matthew 25:31-46. As Christ returns in glory with a retinue of angels to usher in the end…

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Picture in Focus: The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus by Carl Dixon

February 13, 2022

Picture in Focus: The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus by Carl Dixon

We look this week at Carl Dixon's depiction of one of Christ's clearest messages about our responsibility for others in need--the Parable of the Rich Man & Lazarus in Luke 16:19-31. The Mississippi outsider artist adds typical touches of humor to his mixed media, carved wood panel painting of this Gospel tale of a great reversal, where a wealthly…

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Picture in Focus: "The Voice of One Crying in the Wilderness" by Carl Dixon

February 6, 2022

Picture in Focus:

Mississippi Folk Artist Carl Dixon takes a look at modern-day churches in this week's featured artwork, based on the well-known biblical passage in Isaiah 40:3 about the "voice crying in the wilderness" to "prepare the way of the Lord." The "wilderness" in Dixon's sculpted wood panel piece is a typical Ameican church, filled for Sunday worship, and the "voice…

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Picture in Focus: "I Can't Breathe" by Carl Dixon

January 30, 2022

Picture in Focus:

As we see in this week's featured artwork, "I Can't Breathe," Mississippi Folk Artist Carl Dixon seeks to create images putting today's headlines in a biblical perspective. In this mixed media painting on carved wood panel, he interpretes in three different ways the last words of George Floyd, depicted to the left dying from suffocation when a law enforcement…

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Picture in Focus: Exodus: Journeys of Liberation

January 23, 2022

Picture in Focus: Exodus: Journeys of Liberation

Martin Luther King Jr. appears again in this week's featured artwork from Mississippi Folk Artist Carl Dixon alongside Barak Obama and Rosa Parks in homage to their roles in advancing the civil rights of African Americans in a work commissioned from Dixon in 2018 for a Lenten exhibition on the theme, Exodus: Journeys of Liberation. The three-part painting on…

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Picture in Focus: "I Have a Dream" by Carl Dixon

January 16, 2022

Picture in Focus:

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. (Martin Luther King Jr.)

In a week when Americans pay tribute to Martin Luther King Jr., I'm reposting a painting by Carl Dixon of…

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Picture in focus: The Gadarene Swine by Carl Dixon

January 9, 2022

Picture in focus: The Gadarene Swine by Carl Dixon

The unclean spirits came out [of the demoniac] and entered the swine; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea, and were drowned in the sea...Then people came to see what it was that had happened. They came to Jesus and saw the demoniac…

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Picture in Focus: The Sacred Art Pilgrim by Brian Whelan

December 25, 2021

Picture in Focus: The Sacred Art Pilgrim by Brian Whelan

                                

                                God our pilgrimage impels,
                                 To cross sea-waste or scale life-fells;
                                 A further shore,
                                One hill brow more,
                                Draws on the feet, or arm-plied oars,
                                As  the…

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Picture in Focus: Coucher de soleil from Stella Vespertina by Georges Rouault

December 18, 2021

Picture in Focus: Coucher de soleil from Stella Vespertina by Georges Rouault

Georges Rouault reflected on his life as an artist in a preface, composed in the style of Pascal's Pensees, to Stella Vespertina, a portfolio of 12 heliogravures of original gouache and oil sketches published in 1947. As always, Rouault pushed the limits of the printing process by mixing techniques to enhance the quality…

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Pictures in Focus: Two Aquatints from Avec Pascal by Georges Rouaul

December 12, 2021

Pictures in Focus: Two Aquatints from Avec Pascal by Georges Rouaul

Georges Rouault believed we lived our lives in "an anguised world of shadows and pretences," and the greatness of humanity in its fallen state came by emulating Christ in the acceptance of redemptive suffering. This religious world view was shaped by the writings of the 17th Century French Philosopher Blaise Pascal. Rouault kept a copy of Pascal's Pensees alongside…

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Pictures in Focus: Three Color Aquatints from Passion by Georges Rouaul

December 5, 2021

Pictures in Focus: Three Color Aquatints from Passion by Georges Rouaul

In our year end celebration of the life and work of French Artist Georges Rouault, we are showcasing a trio of color aquatints this week from Passion, a sacred-themed print suite Rouault created for Art Impresario Ambroise Vollard in collaboration with Poet Andre Suares, published in 1939. Rouault provided 99 illustrations--17 color aquatints and 82 wood engravings cut from…

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