Monday, January 16, 2017

Collecting guide: Old Master prints of religious art

By Tim Schmelcher, International specialist
Anonymous, 15th Century (German School), The Pietà. Woodcut with extensive hand-colouring, circa 1450. Sheet 403 x 275 mm. Sold for £223,000 on 3 July 2001 at Christie’s London
Most early prints appear to have been images intended for private devotion, such as the Man of Sorrows, the Virgin or a saint, depicted in relatively simple outlines and meant to be hand-coloured. A good although slightly later example is The Pietà from mid 15th-century Germany (above), which was sold at Christie’s in 2001. It is still a matter of research and academic debate as to where the very first woodcuts in Europe were made, whether in Italy or north of the Alps. The term refers to any printed image, irrespective of the actual printing technique employed, which has been created during a period of over 600 years, from the beginning of printmaking in Europe to the end of the 18th century or early 19th century. [link]

Sunday, January 15, 2017


By Ernest & Gregory Disney-Britton
"Last Supper" (1999) by Adi Nes. 35-3/8 by 57-1/8 inch
On this weekend, as Americans honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a Jewish photographer also reminds us of the price of a dream. There is a foreshadowing of death in Adi Nes' 1999 version of the "Last Supper." Inspired by Leonardo's painting, the Nes version features 14 young Israeli soldiers who sit or stand behind a long, dinner table in a Jewish army barracks. They light each other's cigarettes, pour one another coffee, rest a hand on a brother's shoulder, or look off into space. It's a scene loaded with fraternal spirit. The color print remains on display in "Behold the Man: Jesus in Israeli Art" at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem through April 16, 2017.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Movie Review: "Silence" a gut-wrenching look at faith

By Zack Hunt
The entire movie is an unflinching look at some of the most challenging and darkest parts of faith.
The early 20th century French Catholic philosopher Jacques Maritain once wrote, “If you want to make a Christian work, then be Christian, and simply try to make a beautiful work, into which your heart will pass; do not try to ‘make Christian.’” As you are well aware, there is an entire genre of films known as “Christian movies” that has exploded in recent years as the ability to make a polished, Hollywood looking film (and the ability to turn a profit) has become easier. Enter Martin Scorsese. His is probably not the first name to come to mine when you think of someone to direct a film about faith, but that may be because he doesn’t shove his Catholic faith down your throat in every film he makes, even though he is so committed to that faith that at one point he considered joining the priesthood instead of becoming a director. [link]

Scorsese partnership gives evangelical artist wider exposure

"Silence," a new movie by Martin Scorsese, examines issues of faith as it tells the story of Jesuit priests in 17th century Japan. “Mako” Fujimura, a Japanese-American evangelical artists, served as special adviser for the film. (Paramount Pictures)
HOLLYWOOD---Decades before Makoto “Mako” Fujimura became America’s most successful evangelical fine artist—and even longer before he advised Martin Scorsese on the director’s new movie, Silence—an unplanned turn down a darkened museum hall in Tokyo defined his artistic calling. During Japan’s 250-year persecution of its Christians, magistrates forced suspected believers to trample the images or face torture and death. At first Fujimura worried the film might be “a culture wars project.” But the script impressed him, and an hour-long meeting with Scorsese convinced him of the director’s intellectual enthusiasm as well as earnestness. [link]