Saturday, July 21, 2012

Day 4 St. Anne's Day Soiree-VIP Book Launch

Hi Anne Fans!

Well, of course, nothing goes as planned in life!  Yesterday, my new laptop died on me.  I'm hoping it will miraculously heal itself.  I will have to look up the patron saint of technology and offer up a few prayers.  So I'm limping along with my husband's laptop at the worst possible time--in the middle of a book launch!

Yesterday, we went a bit lowbrow with trivia.  Today, we are going to get a bit artsy with some masterpieces dealing with St. Anne.

This is probably the most famous of all depictions of St. Anne.  It was painted in 1498 by Leonardo da Vinci and is entitled The Virgin and Child with St. Anne.  What is unusual about the painting is that Mary is seated on her mother's lap.  It is housed in the Louvre in Paris, and a controversy was recently ignited over it, because it seems the art restorers cleaned it--and some experts feel that they have cleaned it too well, making the colors more vibrant to their taste. I guess you can be too clean!

 This painting is entitled St. Anne leading the Virgin in the Temple.  It was painted by Jacques Stella in 1640 and is based on the traditional story that Mary was dedicated in the temple at a young age.  We will explore the lore, legends and traditions surrounding St. Anne in another posting.  Stella, a French artist, so impressed King Louis XIII, that the king named him pientre de roi (painter of the king) and allowed him to live in the Louvre.  Good thing he was gone before that whole da Vinci code murder!  

Caravaggio is one of my all-time favorite painters because he uses the contrast of light and dark so masterfully and paints so realistically, which at times got him into a bit of trouble.

He painted this in 1606 and many were startled that he depicted St. Anne as old and wrinkly, the Blessed Mother with ample breasts, and Jesus, full-Monty and uncircumcised.  Nevertheless, I think it is a beautiful painting, especially the depiction of Jesus crushing the snake, which symbolizes Him conquering sin and evil.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of renderings by artists of St. Anne.  Click here to see some of them. 

As always, invite your friends to the party and be sure to enter the sweepstakes.  Also, say a prayer that my laptop recovers.  

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