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Art for meditation - February 2024

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Piero del Pollaiolo (Florence 1441 - Rome 1496), La Speranza, 1469-72, tempera grassa on panel, 168 x 90.5 cm, Florence, Uffizi Museum 

The virtues: Hope 

We continue to examine the pictorial cycle dedicated to the Virtues that was commissioned to Piero del Pollaiolo in 1469 and destined for the Audience Room in the Tribunale di Mercanzia in Piazza della Signoria in Florence.

Before examining the second painting in the cycle, let us recall what we mean when we speak of the "theological" virtues (faith, which we wrote about last month, hope and then charity). In the Catechism of the Catholic Church we read: “the theological virtues relate directly to God. They dispose Christians to live in a relationship with the Holy Trinity. They have the One and Triune God for their origin, motive, and object.  The theological virtues are the foundation of Christian moral activity; they animate it and give it its special character. They inform and give life to all the moral virtues. They are infused by God into the souls of the faithful to make them capable of acting as his children and of meriting eternal life. They are the pledge of the presence and action of the Holy Spirit in the faculties of the human being. There are three theological virtues: faith, hope, and charity”. (Nº 1812-1813).

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Art for meditation - January 2024

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Piero del Pollaiolo (Florence 1441 - Rome 1496), The Faith, 1470, tempera grassa on panel, 168 x 90.5 cm, Florence, Uffizi Museum 

The Virtues: Faith

In this New Year, we would like to offer for reflection and contemplation figures of women that we can certainly define as "special": these are the personifications that artists of the past have made in an attempt to represent the virtues. They are always depicted as women as if to emphasise the indissoluble link between the 'habitual and firm disposition to do the good' (definition of virtue found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church 1803) and the female gender.

This first work, depicting Faith, is part of a cycle of paintings dedicated to the Virtues, commissioned to Piero del Pollaiolo in 1469 and destined for the Sala dell'Udienza of the Tribunale di Mercanzia (the body that heard the commercial disputes of Florentine merchants and administered justice among the members of the arts & crafts) in Piazza della Signoria in Florence.

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Art for meditation - December 2023

figlia di Giairo

© 2014 RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / Tony Querrec 

Veronese, Paolo Caliari called (Verona 1528 - Venice 1588), The Resurrection of the Daughter of Jairus, c. 1546, oil on paper pasted on canvas, 42 x 37 cm, Paris, Musée du Louvre 

Women of the New Testament: The Daughter of Jairus. 

When Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed him, for they were all waiting for him. And a man named Jairus, an official of the synagogue, came forward. He fell at the feet of Jesus and begged him to come to his house, because he had an only daughter, about twelve years old, and she was dying. As he went, the crowds almost crushed him. And a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years, who (had spent her whole livelihood on doctors and) was unable to be cured by anyone, came up behind him and touched the tassel on his cloak. Immediately her bleeding stopped.

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Art for Meditation - November 2023

GG 19xVeronese, Paolo Caliari said the (Verona 1528 - Venice 1588), Christ and the Samaritan, about 1585, oil on canvas, 143.5 x 288.3 cm, Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum

Month of November.

Women of the New Testament: the Samaritan.

He had to pass through Samaria. So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of land that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there. Jesus, tired from his journey, sat down there at the well. It was about noon. A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink." His disciples had gone into the town to buy food. The Samaritan woman said to him, "How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?" (For Jews use nothing in common with Samaritans.)

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Art for Mediatation - October 2023

Tiziano

Tiziano Vecelio (Pieve di Cadore c. 1488 - Venice 1576), Christ and the Adulteress, c. 1512/15, oil on canvas, 82.5 x 136.5 cm, Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum

Month of October.

Women of the New Testament: The Adulteress.

While Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. But early in the morning he arrived again in the temple area, and all the people started coming to him, and he sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery and made her stand in the middle. They said to him, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. 2 So what do you say?" They said this to test him, so that they could have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger. But when they continued asking him, he straightened up and said to them, "Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." Again he bent down and wrote on the ground. And in response, they went away one by one, beginning with the elders. So he was left alone with the woman before him. Then Jesus straightened up and said to her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" She replied, "No one, sir." Then Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you. Go, (and) from now on do not sin any more." (John 8, 1-11)

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Art for meditation - September 2023

Veronica

Master of Saint Veronica (active between 1400 and 1425), St. Veronica with the Holy Kerchief, c. 1425, oil on panel (fir wood), 78.1 x 48.2 cm, Munich, Alte Pinakothek 

Women of the New Testament: Veronica. 

Accompanying him were the Twelve and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, Joanna, the wife of Herod's steward Chuza, Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their resources. (Lk 8:2-3)

The women who had come from Galilee with him followed behind, and when they had seen the tomb and the way in which his body was laid in it, they returned and prepared spices and perfumed oils. Then they rested on the sabbath according to the commandment. (Lk 23:55-56)

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Art for meditation - August 2023

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Dierick Bouts (Haarlem c.1410– Louvain 1475), Christ in the House of Simon the Pharisee, between 1450 and 1475, oil on wood, cm 42.2 x 62.5 cm, Berlin, Gemäldegalerie 

Month of August. 

New Testament women: the Sinner in the House of Simon. 

A Pharisee invited him to dine with him, and he entered the Pharisee's house and reclined at table. Now there was a sinful woman in the city who learned that he was at table in the house of the Pharisee. Bringing an alabaster flask of ointment, she stood behind him at his feet weeping and began to bathe his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them, and anointed them with the ointment.

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Art for Mediatation - July 2023

maddalena penitenteJosé de Ribera (Játiva, Valencia 1591 – Napoli 1652), Penitent Magdalene, 1641, oil on canvas, cm 182 x 149, Madrid, Prado Museum.

Month of July. 

New Testament women: Mary Magdalene. 

Afterward, he journeyed from one town and village to another, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. Accompanying him were the Twelve and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, Joanna, the wife of Herod's steward Chuza, Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their resources. (Lk 8, 1-3)

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Art for Mediatation - June 2023

GG 52 WebVeronese - Paolo Caliari (Verona 1528 - Venice 1588), La risurrezione del giovane di Nain, 1565-70, oil on canvas, cm 102 x 136, Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum.

Month of June. 

New Testament women: Nain’s widow. 

Soon afterward he journeyed to a city called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd accompanied him. As he drew near to the gate of the city, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. A large crowd from the city was with her. When the Lord saw her, he was moved with pity for her and said to her, “Do not weep.” He stepped forward and touched the coffin; at this the bearers halted, and he said, “Young man, I tell you, arise!” The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, exclaiming, “A great prophet has arisen in our midst,” and “God has visited his people.” This report about him spread through the whole of Judea and in all the surrounding region.(Lc 7, 11-17)

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Art for Meditation - May 202

N 1375 00 000071 wpuDiego Velázquez (Seville 1599 - Madrid 1660), Kitchen Scene with Christ in the House of Martha and Mary, 1618, oil on canvas, 60 x 103.5 cm, London, National Gallery. 

Month of May. 

New Testament women: Martha, Mary’s sister.  

As they continued their journey he entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him. She had a sister named Mary (who) sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me." The Lord said to her in reply, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her." (Lc 10, 38-42)

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Art for meditation - April 2023

WOA IMAGE 1The image is taken from: www.hermitagemuseum.org, by kind permission of the State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia. 

Maurice Denis (Granville 1870 – Saint-Germaine-en-Laye 1943), Martha and Mary, 1896, oil on canvas, 77 x 116 cm, Saint Petersburg, Hermitage Museum. 

Month of April. 

Women of the New Testament: Mary, sister of Martha and Lazarus. 

As they continued their journey he entered a village where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him. She had a sister named Mary (who) sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me." The Lord said to her in reply, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her. (Lk 10, 38-42)

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Art for Meditation - March 2023

la profetessa AnnaRembrandt Harmensz van Rijin (Leida 1606 – Amsterdam 1669), Anne the Prophetess, 1639, oil on oak wood, oval of 79,5 x 61,7 cm, Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum. 

Month of March. 

Women of the New Testament: Anne. 

There was a prophetess, too, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in year, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem. (Lk 2, 36-38)

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Copertina novembre 2023 n.62 ENG

Voices from our Member Organisations which are testimony to the commitment of WUCWO´s members on the theme: "General Assembly 2023".

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