Links Mostly About Art & One Other Time-and-Location-Sensitive-Event About the Role of the Catholic Writer
First, this time-and-location-sensitive announcement for anyone around the San Francisco Bay Area this coming Saturday: “Acclaimed Novelist Ron Hansen to Speak.”
In Napa on February 29th, 2020 at 7:30 pm, New York Times Bestselling Catholic novelist, Ron Hansen, author of Mariette in Ecstasy, Exiles, Atticus, and The Assassination of Jesse James (which was made into a 2007 movie starring Brad Pitt) will speak at a talk titled, on ‘Hotly in Pursuit of the Real: The Role of the Catholic Writer,’ at St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, 2725 Elm St., Napa, CA 94558.
The rest of today’s collection of Friday links are about art.
This next link is also time-and-location-sensitive: If you are anywhere near Rome this weekend, you might want to try to catch one of the last days of a once-in-500 years reunion of Raphael tapestries: “Photos: After 500 years, Raphael’s tapestries return to the Sistine Chapel.”
2020 marks the 500th anniversary of the death (on April 6, 1520) of the High Renaissance artist, Raphael, at the young age of 37. Pope Leo X commissioned Raphael to design ten tapestries with scenes from the lives of St. Peter and Paul for the Sistine Chapel, after Michelangelo had just finished his famous paintings on the ceiling—to ensure the lower walls weren’t bare. Raphael painted the ten “cartoons” for the tapestries, but only seven were woven before his death. The last time the complete set of ten tapestries hung together in the Sistine Chapel was in the late 1500s. After a decade of restoration, the tapestries hung together again this week for a brief reunion—before they will be returned to climate-controlled museums around the world after February 23.
Yale’s Art Survey Courses to Deconstruct European Art
This February 18 article, Yale against Western Art, reports that Yale is cancelling its venerable two-semester introductory sequence on the history of Western art. The fall semester covered the ancient Middle East to the early Renaissance; the spring semester covered the High Renaissance to the present. Yale Art history chair Tim Barringer “promises that the replacement surveys will subject European art to a variety of deconstructive readings designed to pull that tradition down from its alleged pedestal. The new classes will consider Western art in relation to ‘questions of gender, class, and ‘race’. . ..” Heather Mac Donald, author of the article, added, “Most intriguingly, the relationship between Western art and climate change will be a ‘key theme.’ . . . Barringer did not respond to an email asking for a preview of the mysterious relationship between Western art and climate change.”
Comic Artist Mœbius Illustrates Dante’s Paradiso
“In 1999, Nuages Gallery in Milan published three illustrated editions of Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso,” and the French comic artist Jean Giraud, aka Mœbius, was assigned Il Paradiso. The OPENCULTURE.COM article linked above shows three illustrations from Il Paradiso di Mœbius. The article’s author Colin Marshall wrote: “For a truly modern Divine Comedy, behold the work of Jean Giraud, better known as Mœbius.” In this linked video, In Search of Mœbius: A Documentary Introduction to the Inscrutable Imagination of the Late Comic Artist Mœbius, you can watch an overview of Moebius’ life, with an interview with Marvel Comics founder Stan Lee about how he enlisted Mœbius to collaborate with him on Silver Surfer.
In honor of Fra Angelico’s Feast day Just Past on February 18
Fra Angelico is the patron saint of artists and a model for those who would paint Christ. From the Fra Angelico article in the Catholic Encyclopedia of 1907, he was born in Fiesole, and he took the name of John (Giovanni) when he joined the Dominican order. “In modern Italian he is called Beato Angelico (Blessed Angelic One); the common English name Fra Angelico means the ‘Angelic friar.'” He was popularly called blessed for centuries before John Paul II beatified him officially on October 3, 1982. How many painters have been beatified? I can’t think of any. Vasari wrote of him that “it is impossible to bestow too much praise on this holy father, who was so humble and modest in all that he did and said and whose pictures were painted with such facility and piety.”
According to an essay at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, “Fra Angelico pioneered many of the stylistic trends that distinguish the early Renaissance, including the rational treatment of pictorial space and the volumetric modeling of forms with light and shadow. . . .”
He was wont to say that he who illustrates the acts of Christ should be with Christ. It is averred that he never handled a brush without fervent prayer and he wept when he painted a Crucifixion.”—Encyclopaedia Britannica, Volume 9