Monday, April 30, 2012

Peeping in the Arena

Faithful Unto Death - Christianae ad Leones (1897) by the British painter Herbert Gustave Carmichael Schmalz (1856-1935). One of that typical cheesy arena paintings where decorative naked Christians are waiting for the lions. Should be a great horror show but in the end it's all about the beautiful girls exposed to the onlooker – of the painting!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ecce Homo!

Ecce Homo! (1871) by the Italian painter Antonio Ciseri (1821-1891). Ciseri depicts here the moment when Pontius Pilate presents Jesus to the crowd. That's a classical scenery, but really new it isn't a religious painting, with all the architecture, the clothes the dramatic scenery it's pure history painting. It's much more decoration than religion.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Art Deco Cleopatra

Cleopatra by the American artist Maxfield Parrish (1870-1966). Parrish doesn't intend to simulate a far past, Cleopatra looks like a woman of the golden twenties. She's only a symbol for the timeless femme fatale.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Sacred Act

Druids cutting the mistletoe (1900) by the French history painter Henri-Paul Motte (1846-1922). Today it looks much more like a fantasy scene from the Lord of the Rings, but then many people thought that their past may have looked like this.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Victory of the citizens

The battle of Legnano 1176 (1831) by the Italian painter Massimo Taparelli, marquis d'Azeglio (1798-1866). Taparelli is glorifying here the moment when the citizens of the Lombard League defend their Carroccio a sacred wagon with the city standard against the knights of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa.
Especially in the 19th century Italian romantics discovered here the roots of modern citizenship.