Religious motifs : Overview. Search. About religious motifs

See also God, Madonna


The son of God, christianity

Example 1:

The boy was dazzled by the magnificence; the walls were radiant with color, and everything there had life and movement. The picture of Venus, the earthly Venus, impassioned and glowing life, as Titian saw her, shone in redoubled splendor. Near her were the portraits of two lovely women, reclining on soft cushions, with beautiful, unveiled limbs, heaving bosoms, and luxuriant locks falling over rounded shoulders, while their dark eyes betrayed passionate thoughts. But none of these pictures dared to step forth from their frames. The goddess of beauty herself, the Gladiators, and the Grinder remained on their pedestals, subdued by the halo around the Madonna, with the infants Jesus and St. John. The holy pictures were no longer just pictures; they were the saints themselves.

Comment on this quote: This quote ia a good example of Hans Christian Andersen's way of writing about sensuality. It is suppressed, it must be restrained, because it is a powerful force; passionate thoughts! Classical religion is oppposed to christianity as lecherous fleshfulness against strict spirituality, a tension, that is also present in among others the debut novel from the Italian, The Improvisatore (1835), and that must be recognized as a mark of the oeuvre. This way to imply and yet not write about the sexual is in thread with victorian art and literature.

Example 2:

Many probably pass this picture unnoticing, yet it contains the essence of poetry. It is Christ descending to Hell, but He is not surrounded by souls in torment; no, these are heathen. The painting is by the Florentine Agnolo Bronzino. The expression of the children's faces is most beautiful in their certainty that they are going to Heaven. Two little ones are already embracing each other; one stretches a hand out to a companion below, and points to himself as if to say, "I am going to Heaven!" All the older people stand around doubting, or hoping, or humbly bowing in prayer to the Lord Jesus.

Comment on this quote: The picture's Italian title is "Cristo al Limbo". According to "Bronzino was an Italian painter who was the outstanding artist of the Tuscan High Mannerist style. His real name was Agnolo di Cosimo. As court painter to the Medici in Florence, he produced large numbers of portraits as well as religious pictures. His style, which owed much to his teacher Jacopo da Pontormo, is cold, refined, aristocratic, and technically brilliant in its rendering of surface details and colors. His religious works, such as Christ in Limbo (1552, Santa Croce, Florence), show the typical Mannerist characteristics of elongated forms and crowded, angular compositions. His portraits, while highly stylized in their long lines and elegant poses, achieve a formalized stillness that is the ultimate refinement of Mannerism's usually hectic quality. A famous example is the cool, brilliant Portrait of a Young Man (circa 1535, Metropolitan Museum, New York City). His influence on later portraiture extended to the 19th-century French master J. A. D. Ingres."

Example 3:

He remembered all the statues, the beautiful marble Venus, and the painted pictures too. Again he gazed at the Madonna, with St. John and the infant Jesus. They stopped before the Bronzino picture of Christ standing in the underworld with the children around Him, smiling in their sweet certainty of heaven. The poor boy smiled too, for he was in his own heaven.