WTF Art History

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Saintly Martyrdom

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  1. Off With His Head!

    Today’s entry is short and sweet: another awesome saint with a wicked martyrdom!  Permettez-moi de vous présenter Saint Denis (Allow me to introduce Saint Denis).

    André d'Ypres? (or Flemish painter working in Paris), The Crucifixion of the Parliament of Paris (detail of Saint Denis), between 1449-1453, oil on panel.  Musée du Louvre, ParisAndré d’Ypres? (or Flemish painter working in Paris), The Crucifixion of the Parliament of Paris (detail of Saint Denis), between 1449-1453, oil on panel.  Musée du Louvre, Paris

    Denis lived in the 3rd century and was bishop of Paris.  During a period of Christian persecution, he was beheaded.  According to legend / Christian tradition, Denis is said to have walked six miles holding his head preaching a sermon the entire way — and placing his head on the spot where a new basilica was to be built (known as the Basilica of St. Denis… duh).  This basilica became the burial place for French kings.

    The detail above comes from an altarpiece that once adorned the Grande Chambre du Parlement de Paris, basically the large assembly room in the Parisian parliament.  The Crucifixion takes center stage with the Virgin Mary and John the Evangelist at the base of the cross surrounded by other Biblical figures.  Four additional saints fill the remaining bays, from left to right: Saint Louis (IX), Saint John the Baptist, Saint Denis, and Charlemagne.  Remarkably, the painting still has its original frame.  Enjoy!  [BTW, don’t miss the cute little pup in the lower right hand portion of the panel… and read yesterday’s post if you’re concerned about the skull and crossbones at the base of the cross…]

    André d'Ypres? (or Flemish painter working in Paris), The Crucifixion of the Parliament of Paris, between 1449-1453, oil on panel.  Musée du Louvre, ParisAndré d’Ypres? (or Flemish painter working in Paris), The Crucifixion of the Parliament of Paris, between 1449-1453, oil on panel.  Musée du Louvre, Paris

    The above work is on view at the Louvre (@MuseeLouvre).  And one final image of Saint Denis wouldn’t hurt, right?

    Boucicaut Master, Saint Denis (fol. 31v), in Book of Hours (Ms. 2), c. 1410-15, tempera colors and gold leaf on parchment.  Musée Jacquemart-André, ParisBoucicaut Master, Saint Denis (fol. 31v), in Book of Hours (Ms. 2), c. 1410-15, tempera colors and gold leaf on parchment.  Musée Jacquemart-André, Paris

    Check out other quirky saintly martyrdom stories here.

     
     
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    9. dumbkatpress reblogged this from wtfarthistory and added:
      HELL YES
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      Today’s entry is short and sweet: another awesome saint with a wicked martyrdom! Permettez-moi de vous présenter Saint...
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    16. caravaggista reblogged this from wtfarthistory and added:
      Awesome! Wish I could walk headless while also...sermon… I love
    17. wtfarthistory posted this