Skip to comments.Russian Artist Illuminating the U.S. - Natalia Tsarkova to unveil "The Madonna of Light"
Posted on 05/19/2005 4:27:21 PM PDT by NYer
It seems that Americans are poised to teach the Europeans a thing or two about art patronage. This week a new painting by Russian artist Natalia Tsarkova, best known for her portraits of John Paul II, will be unveiled in the United States -- first in Washington, D.C., then in Atlanta.
The work is called "The Madonna of Light," and was commissioned from Tsarkova by the Primavera Foundation. This foundation was created by an American couple, Earnest and Barbara Bentley, to renew the vitality of Christian culture through the fine arts. Together with Natalia Tsarkova, they have taken the first step in this direction.
"The Madonna of Light" is also a tribute to John Paul II and the luminous mysteries of the rosary which he gave to the world in 2003. Tsarkova developed a new iconography to represent the new mysteries.
In meditating on meaning of the new mysteries she imagined the Madonna, serene and beautiful, walking across clouds coming toward the world. With one hand she dispels the dark clouds of despair, replacing them with warm, golden light. Nestled in her other arm, Baby Jesus, the hope of humanity, looks out toward the viewers.
To frame the Madonna and Child, Tsarkova chose to represent the mysteries of the rosary as angels. The luminous mysteries erupt from the heavens, shimmering with light. The angel would be offering an open book symbolizing the new mysteries.
The angels of the joyful and sorrowful mysteries would be paired as a study in contrast. The joyful angel is painted in the bright hues of the sun while the sorrowful angel is colored in cold dark tones and crying as he holds the blood-red Gospel of the Passion. The joyful angel comforts the sorrowful by pointing up toward the new mysteries. At the lower corners of the canvas, the glorious mysteries blow trumpets toward the viewer, proclaiming the luminous mysteries to mankind.
John Paul II's inspiration for the work is not forgotten in the painting. Tsarkova painted a miniature portrait of John Paul II in a reflection on the angel's trumpet. It mirrors the miniature image of Mary as "Mater Ecclesia," Mother of the Church, that she placed on his staff in her portrait of John Paul II for the Jubilee Year 2000.
John Paul II saw the "Madonna of Light" over the Christmas holidays. The work was brought to the papal apartments and stood in the Pope's library from Dec. 11 until Jan. 7. The Pope blessed the painting and was pleased to see illustration of his new mysteries.
From Rome the painting has traveled to America, where Tsarkova and the Primavera Foundation will present this Madonna of Light, this image of hope, praying that she will help bring about a Renaissance in Christian culture and Christian life in the New World.
I predict many articles denouncing this privately-funded art as being religious propaganda, as opposed to "Piss Christ," which was "real" art.
Get rid of the N.E.A. so that the market can decide objectively and artists like this one will prosper.
Poor grammar on my part above. The altarpiece is called "The Hidden Years" and the Chapel is at Murry Place.
I've never seen Langley's work. It's very nice indeed - thanks for posting. Is he contemporary?
That's beautiful. I hope he remains hidden for a while. I've seen some great stuff by unpromoted artists that is quite striking in quality. "Discovery" can destroy that.
Yes, he is.
Let me know if you want on or off the list.
There is also an article on an artist's feces on a cube that was going to be auctioned for $45,000. You can find it under Art as a keyword FR search. I didn't have the heart to ping that crap (pun intended).
I'd love to see the details described in the article above.
Nelson Shanks Portrait of Pope John Paul II, 2002 oil on canvas 53 x 49 inches
Forum Gallery Artists Nelson Shanks Portrait of Pope John Paul II was part of a yearlong exhibition entitled "St. Peter's and the Legacy of the Pope" that traveled throughout the United States 2003-04.
Shanks likeness of the pope confidently extends a five-hundred-year tradition of papal portraits, informed by the artists intense reading of the Old Masters. The painter has rendered with intense insight a towering historical personality near the end of his life, yet a figure who seems altogether contemporary and familiar, a universal father.
Shanks portrays the pope standing, offering benediction in the Great Crossing of Saint Peters Basilica, at the center of the church reaching out to the faithful.
The idea that the pope follows Christ as the light of the world prompted the artist to reconcile multiple sources of light from Michelangelos cupola to Berninis Holy Spirit window seen through the Baldachino.
Perhaps most conspicuously, Shanks has captured the translucence of his rosy-white flesh, which seems to be the result of yet another source of light altogether.
The painting is so real! Never heard of Nelson Shanks either. Thank you for posting it. Thank you too for the Fine Arts list. There is such genuine talent out there (excluding the MOMA stuff or the 'art' that adorns the Empire State Plaza .... ptooey .... one piece looks like a diving board, especially since it is near one of the reflecting pools). How wonderful to learn about these artists via the Internet.
Shanks is an amazing talent. When I came across the portrait, I studied it for a minute or two, thinking, at first sight, that I was looking at a photo. The realism Shanks captured on the canvas is reminiscent of the Old Masters, by whom he was inspired.
The Art Appreciation threads are a wonderful respite from the FR news drones that we are, and I am delighted to have yours, and other FReepers' interest.
The very first AA thread posted was during the global solemnity of Pope John's passing---the one that illustrated the magnificent Bernini altar, and the vision of its incomparable splendor that I carry with me always since I first saw it at the Vatican.
JP11---as we remember him---in deep prayer and contemplation.
If you have not yet done so, you must plan a trip to Florence, Italy. Aside from the great architecture, there is Michelangelo's David . Look at him! You can see the muscles rippling on his chest. Check out his right hand! It is larger than his left because it exemplifies the might and strength needed to slay Goliath. On closer examination, you can practically see the blood coursing through his veins. This was all carved from marble! Along the corridor leading up to the David, are Michelangelo's unfinished works. Amongst them, there is one that looks as if the individual was pushing himself out from the marble. Michelangelo often told his sculpture students while examining a block of Carrera marble that inside was a statue trying to emerge (or words to that effect). The carver's job is to assist that image to emerge.
The Pieta , St. Peter and so many other sculptures are truly marvelous oeuvres that exemplify the level of talent granted to Michelangelo.
In Milan, I was captivated by this painting. Look at the luminescence behind the figure of Christ created by another genius.
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), the Florentine master's masterwork, The Last Supper, one of the world's best loved religious paintings, is located in the inconspicuous church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan. Leonardo, always the inventor, tried using new materials for The Last Supper. Instead of using egg tempera on wet plaster (the preferred method of fresco painting, and one which had worked successfully for centuries), he thought he'd give using dry plaster a whirl. His experiment resulted in a more varied palette, which was Leonardo's intent. What he hadn't taken into account (because, who knew?) was that this method wasn't at all durable. The painted plaster began to flake off the wall almost immediately, and people have been attempting to restore it ever since.
LEONARDO DA VINCI "Obstacles cannot crush me. Every obstacle yields to stern resolve. He who is fixed to a star does not change his mind."
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