1471 - 1528
His prints established his reputation across Europe when he was still in his twenties, and he has been conventionally regarded as the greatest artist of the Renaissance in Northern Europe ever since.
"It may not be easy for us to see immediately the achievement which lay in this engraving. For the artist is speaking a language which is less familiar to him than that which he used in our preceding example. The harmonious forms at which he arrived by diligent measuring and balancing with compass and ruler are not as convincing and beautiful as their Italian and classical models. There is some slight suggestion of artificiality, not only in their form and posture, but also in the symmetrical composition. But this first feeling of awkwardness soon disappears when one realizes that Durer has not abandoned his real self to worship new idols, as lesser artists did. As we let him guide us into the Garden of Eden, where the mouse lies quietly beside the cat, where the elk, the cow, the rabbit and the parrot do not fear the tread of human feet, as we look deep into the grove where the tree of knowledge grows, and watch the serpent giving Eve the fatal fruit while Adam stretches out his hand to receive it, and as we notice how Durer has contrived to let the clear outline of their white and delicately modeled bodies show up against the dark shade of the forest with its rugged trees, we come to admire the first serious attempt to transplant the ideals of the South into northern soil."
Matthaus Landauer had gained his wealth by trading in ore, and in 1501 had founded a home for twelve old craftsmen who had fallen on hard times, to which the Chapel of All Saints was attached. In addition to the portrait of the donor, there is a second one in the painting, that of his son-in-law Wilhelm Haller.
The son of King Pippin the Short and Bertrada of Laon, he succeeded his father and co-ruled with his brother Carloman I. The latter got on badly with Charlemagne, but war was prevented by the sudden death of Carloman in 771. Charlemagne continued the policy of his father towards the papacy and became its protector, removing the Lombards from power in Italy, and waging war on the Saracens, who menaced his realm from Spain. It was during one of these campaigns that Charlemagne experienced the worst defeat of his life, at Roncesvalles (778). He also campaigned against the peoples to his east, especially the Saxons, and after a protracted war subjected them to his rule. By forcibly converting them to Christianity, he integrated them into his realm and thus paved the way for the later Ottonian dynasty.
Today he is not only regarded as the founding father of both French and German monarchies, but as the father of Europe: his empire united most of Western Europe for the first time since the Romans, and the Carolingian renaissance encouraged the formation of a common European identity. Pierre Riché reflects:
"he enjoyed an exceptional destiny, and by the length of his reign, by his conquests, legislation and legendary stature, he also profoundly marked the history of western Europe."
In the artistic tradition of the Roman Catholic Church, it has been usual to represent him, the patron of theological learning, anachronistically, as a cardinal, by the side of the Bishop Augustine, the Archbishop Ambrose, and the Pope Gregory I. Even when he is depicted as a half-clad anchorite, with cross, skull and Bible for the only furniture of his cell, the red hat or some other indication of his rank is as a rule introduced somewhere in the picture. He is also often depicted with a lion, due to a medieval story in which he removed a thorn from a lion's paw, and, less often, an owl, the symbol of wisdom and scholarship. Writing materials and the trumpet of final judgment are also part of his iconography.
St. James was also one of Jesus' twelve apostles. He was the son of Alpheus and a cousin of Our Lord. After Jesus ascended into heaven, James became the bishop of Jerusalem. People thought so much of him that they called him "James the Just," which means "James the Holy One." He is also called "James the Less," because he was younger than the other apostle named James. The other James was called "James the Greater" because he was older.
The saint of today's feast was very gentle and forgiving. He prayed very much. He kept begging God to forgive the people who persecuted the followers of Jesus. Even when Our Lord's enemies were putting him to death, he asked God to pardon them. St. James died a martyr in the year 62.
The Apostle Peter, also known as Saint Peter (from the Greek Petros, meaning "rock"), was one of the Twelve Apostles whom Jesus chose as his original disciples. His life is prominently featured in the New Testament Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. Peter was a Galilean fisherman assigned a leadership role by Jesus (Matthew 16:18; John 21:15-16). Many within the early Church, such as St. Irenaeu, assert his primacy among the apostles.
Christian Churches, Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Anglican Communion, consider Simon Peter a saint and associate him with the foundation of the Church in Rome, even if they differ on the significance of this and of the Pope in present-day Christianity.
Some who recognize his office as Bishop of Antioch and, later, as Bishop of Rome or Pope, hold that his episcopacy held a primacy only of honor, as a first among equals. Some propose that his primacy was not intended to pass to his successors.
Saint John the Evangelist
Saint John the Evangelist or the Beloved Disciple is traditionally the name used to refer to the author of the Gospel of John and the First Epistle of John. Traditionally he has been identified with John the Apostle. The identification with the author of the second and third epistles of John and the author of the Book of Revelation is a long-held tradition.
Christian tradition says that John the Evangelist was one of Christ's original twelve apostles; the only one to live into old age; and not martyred for his faith. John the Evangelist is associated with Ephesus, where he is said to have lived and been buried.
St. Paul the Apostle ("Saul of Tarsus") ("Apostle to the Gentiles") was, together with Saint Peter and James the Just, the most notable of early Christian missionaries. Unlike the Twelve Apostles, there is no indication that Paul ever met Jesus prior to the latter's crucifixion. According to Acts, his conversion took place as he was traveling the road to Damascus, and experienced a vision of the resurrected Jesus. Paul asserts that he received the Gospel not from man, but by "the revelation of Jesus Christ".
Fourteen epistles in the New Testament are traditionally attributed to Paul, though in some cases the authorship is disputed. Paul had often employed an amanuensis, only occasionally writing himself. As a sign of authenticity, the writers of these epistles sometimes employ a passage presented as being in Paul's own handwriting. These epistles were circulated within the Christian community. They were prominent in the first New Testament canon ever proposed (by Marcion), and they were eventually included in the orthodox Christian canon. They are believed to be the earliest-written books of the New Testament.
Paul's influence on Christian thinking arguably has been more significant than any other New Testament author. His influence on the main strands of Christian thought has been demonstrable: from St. Augustine of Hippo to the controversies between Gottschalk and Hincmar of Reims; between Thomism and Molinism; Martin Luther, John Calvin and the Arminians; to Jansenism and the Jesuit theologians, and even to the German church of the twentieth century through the writings of the scholar Karl Barth, whose commentary on the Letter to the Romans had a political as well as theological impact.
Saint Mark the Evangelist
Mark the Evangelist is traditionally believed to be the author of the Gospel of Mark and a companion of Peter. He also accompanied Paul and Barnabas in Paul's first journey. After a sharp dispute, Barnabas separated from Paul, taking Mark to Cyprus (Acts 15:36-40). Ironically, this separation helped bring along the creation of the Gospel of Mark. Later Paul calls upon the services of Mark, the kinsman of Barnabas, and Mark is named as Paul's fellow worker.
He is also believed to be the first Pope of Alexandria by both the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Greek Church of Alexandria, and thus the founder of Christianity in Africa. His evangelistic symbol is the lion.
The second horseman of the apocalypse is spoken of in Revelation 6:4, "Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make men slay each other. To him was given a large sword." The second horseman refers to terrible warfare that will break out in the end times. The third horseman is described in Revelation 6:5-6, "...and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, 'A quart of wheat for a day's wages, and three quarts of barley for a day's wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!'" The third horseman of the apocalypse refers to a great famine that will take place, likely as a result of the wars from the second horseman. Food will be scarce, but luxuries such as wine and oil will still be readily available.
The fourth horseman is mentioned in Revelation 6:8, "I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth." The fourth horseman of the apocalypse is symbolic of death and devastation. It seems to be a combination of the previous horsemen. The fourth horseman of the apocalypse will bring further warfare and terrible famines along with awful plagues and diseases. What is most amazing, or perhaps terrifying, is that the four horsemen of the apocalypse are just "precursors" of even worse judgments that come later in the Tribulation (Revelation chapters 8-9 and 16).
Since this engraving is so frequently reproduced I will only draw your attention to a few details. The grouping of the Four Witches seems to be modeled on a common Classical artistic motif, the Three Graces. We know these figures are not the Graces (Beauty, Mirth and Good Cheer) for a few reasons. The most obvious is the devil burning away merrily in the background, through the doorway on the left-hand side (think, left-hand path).
The Judgment of Paris
The Judgment of Paris is a story from Greek mythology, which was one of the events that led up to the Trojan War and (in slightly later versions of the story) to the foundation of Rome.
It is recounted that Zeus held a banquet in celebration of the marriage of Peleus and Thetis (parents of Achilles). However, Eris, goddess of discord, was uninvited. Angered by this snub, Eris arrived at the celebration, where she threw a golden apple (the Apple of Discord) into the proceedings, upon which was the inscription ("for the fairest one").
Three goddesses claimed the apple: Hera, Athena and Aphrodite. They asked Zeus to judge which of them was fairest, and eventually Zeus, reluctant to favor any claim himself, declared that Paris, a Phrygian mortal, would judge their cases, for he had recently shown his exemplary fairness in a contest in which Ares in bull form had bested Paris's own prize bull, and the shepherd-prince had unhesitatingly awarded the prize to the god.
Thus it happened that, with Hermes as their guide, all three of the candidates appeared to Paris on Mount Ida, in the climactic moment that is the crux of the tale. After bathing in the spring of Ida, each attempted with her powers to bribe Paris; Hera offered to make him king of Europe and Asia, Athena offered wisdom and skill in war, and Aphrodite, who had the Charites and the Horai to enhance her charms with flowers and song (according to a fragment of the Cypria quoted by Athenagoras), offered the love of the world's most beautiful woman (Euripides, Andromache, l.284, Helena l. 676). This was Helen of Sparta, wife of the Greek king Menelaus. Paris accepted Aphrodite's gift and awarded the apple to her, receiving Helen as well as the enmity of the Greeks and especially of Hera. The Greeks' expedition to retrieve Helen from Paris in Troy is the mythological basis of the Trojan War.
According to tradition "cow-eyed" Hera was indeed the most objectively beautiful. Hera was the Goddess of the marital order and of cuckolded wives, amongst other things. Hera was often portrayed as the shrewish, jealous wife of Zeus, who himself often escaped from her controlling ways by cheating on her with mortal and immortal women.
Aphrodite was effortlessly sexual and charming; thus her ability to sway Paris and her position as Goddess of Love were more palatable to Paris.
Athena's beauty is rarely commented upon in the myths, perhaps because Greeks held her up as an asexual being, being able to "overcome" her "womanly weaknesses" in order to become both wise and talented in war (both considered male domains by the Greeks). Her rage at losing makes her join the Greeks in the battle against Paris's Trojans, a key event in the turning point of the war.
Seen purely as a story, such as is recounted in Bulfinch's Mythology, the Judgment of Paris is simply an amoral episode in which Paris' skill for sound judgment (for which the gods approved him) is overcome by appeals to his lust; thus a lengthy and blood-soaked war revolves upon a series of apparently trivial episodes, each adding to the inertia that drives events to their inevitable and tragic conclusions.
Desiderius Erasmus was a classical scholar who wrote in a "pure" Latin style and enjoyed the sobriquet "Prince of the Humanists." Renaissance humanists were especially learned and interested in the study of ancient languages. Using humanist techniques he prepared important new Latin and Greek editions of the New Testament which raised questions that would be influential in the Reformation. He also wrote The Praise of Folly, Handbook of a Christian Knight, On Civility in Children, Copia: Foundations of the Abundant Style, and many other works.
Erasmus lived during a time when many learned people were critical of various Christian beliefs and practices. Some such critics ultimately rejected the authority of the pope and developed new theological systems. Erasmus numbered among those Reformers who consistently criticized certain contemporaneous Christian beliefs and practices but who remained intellectually committed throughout his life to a Catholic notion of church and to papal authority. He also remained committed to a Catholic notion of free will, which many Protestant Reformers rejected in favor of the doctrine of predestination. This middle road disappointed, even angered, leading Protestants, such as Martin Luther, and more fervid anti papists.
One of the most beloved of saints, his images and statues are ubiquitous. Proclaimed a Doctor of the Church on January 16, 1946, he is sometimes called "Evangelical Doctor". He is especially invoked for the recovery of things lost ("Saint Anthony, Saint Anthony, please come around. Something is lost and cannot be found.").
On January 27, 1907 in Beaumont, Texas, a church was dedicated and named in honor of St. Anthony of Padua. The church was later designated a cathedral in 1966 with the formation of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Beaumont, but was not formally consecrated. On April 28, 1974, St Anthony Cathedral was dedicated and consecrated by Bishop Warren Boudreaux. In 2006 Pope Benedict XVI granted St. Anthony Cathedral the designation of minor basilica. St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica celebrated its 100th anniversary on January 28, 2007.
Seventeenth century Spanish missionaries came across a small Native American community along what was then known as the Yanaguana River on the feast day of Saint Anthony and renamed the river and eventually a mission built nearby in his honor. This mission would at first become the focal point of a small community that would eventually grow in size and scope to become the city of San Antonio.
The festival of St. Bartholomew is celebrated on August 24 in the western Church and on June 11 in the Eastern churches. The Armenian Apostolic Church honors Saint Bartholomew, along with Saint Thaddeus as their patron saint. The Coptic Church remembers him on January 1.
Source: Web Gallery of Art
Source: Art Renewal Center
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