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God is in the Details: Revealing the Early Renaissance @AGOToronto

Revealing the Renaissance at the AGO - secrets in florentine art - the Peruzzi Altar Piece

Revealing the Early Renaissance: Stories and Secrets in Florentine Art (March 16 – June 16, 2013)

ART GALLERY OF ONTARIO (317 Dundas Street West)

$25 adult admission (includes admission to the rest of the gallery)

When thinking of the Renaissance, one might automatically conjure up images of Da Vinci, his Vetruvian man, and Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. It is a period in history renowned for its surge of creativity, knowledge, and innovation in areas of art, literature, music, architecture, and science.

It is a period that is also become more and more in vogue due to its resurgence in popular culture with T.V. shows like “The Tudors”, “The Borgias”, and the upcoming “Da Vinci’s Demons”, all putting their spin to this exciting and important moment in history.

But, what is rarely captured is the true birth of this period, and the movers and shakers who brought it all to life.

Perhaps its the fact that most art historians do not even know the names of most of the incredible artisans who painstakingly brought the churches of Florence to life with incredibly illuminated manuscripts, carvings, stained glass windows, and beautifully detailed panel paintings, between the years 1300 and 1350, that truly did start it all.

Revealing the renaissance: stories and secrets in florentine art

This is what Sasha Suda and the curators of the Art Gallery of Ontario‘s latest exhibition, “Revealing the Early Renaissance: Stories and Secrets in Florentine Art“, aim to bring to the forefront, allowing visitors to explore the lost masterworks that truly sparked a revolution, and would change the face of history forever.

In partnership with the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the curators have painstakingly worked on this exhibition for the past 10 years, travelling far and wide to analyze and bring overseas for the first time some of the most elaborate examples of work from this period that define the breaking point from the flatness of Medieval art to a more expressive and “humanized” perspective that has come to characterize the Renaissance.

Many of these pieces have been shut away from the public for centuries, making this one of the most impressive exhibits the AGO has ever premiered, and one that is sure to capture the imagination of all those lucky enough to visit.

The main gallery at Revealing the early renaissance- stories and secrets in florentine art - AGO- March 12, 2013

Sasha Suda Talks Art With Culture Minister Michael Chan

Curator Sasha Suda talks art with Michael Chan, Ontario Minister of Culture, Tourism, & Sport.  

One might, at first, be intimidated by the prestige of such an exhibit, but fear not, as this portal on the past is as much a reflection of our present day, as it is the 14th Century.

Whether or not you know a great deal about Renaissance art, the exhibition is packed full of information, from the audio guide, to the i-pads strategically placed amongst the exhibition to give you the full backstory on some of the exhibition’s most intriguing pieces. The curators have created an easy to understand story, that truly captures all the excitement and mystery of the artists and the works they created amidst the social context of Florence during this period.

Detail of the Peruzzi Altarpiece - christ wounds- revealing the early renaissance: stories and secrets in florentine art at the AGORevealing the Early Renaissance: Stories and Secrets in Florentine Art at the AGO -

God is in the Details . . .

As you first step into the gallery, it may not immediately strike you how these works differ from the Medieval illustrations and paintings you are used to, but upon closer examination, you will find how rich, textured, and full of emotion each piece truly is.

They are not works of art to be admired from afar, but works that deserve an acute eye, and a willingness to get lost in the stories being told within them.

There is a certain excitement generated as you begin to see the layers of colour, and painstakingly small brush strokes that capture the most miniscule details of hair and embroidery. While our culture might be used to multiple images rapidly flashing before our eyes (surely a luxury akin to witchcraft for the men and women of the Renaissance), one must note that the multi-faceted panels and illuminated manuscripts are akin to the cinema of the Renaissance, with all the drama, suspense, horror, and spectacle you could expect from a film of today, with even a bit of special effects here and there.

Revealing the Early Renaissance: Stories and Secrets in Florentine Art at the AGO

An exquisite panel painting. Blood, gore, and devotion. The piece reads almost like an expensive 14th Century comic . . .

It”s all for devotion sake, of course; used to invoke prayer, meditation, deep-thought, or contemplation. There’s definitely that sense of entertainment in the midst, often showcasing the more brutal and tumultuous moments of martyrs and Christ: Agatha with her breasts being cut off, another martyr is grilled on coals in ecstasy, and check out any crucified Christ in the mix and you’re bound to see more than your year’s worth of blood squirt (the most impressive, hands down, being Pacino Di Bonaguido’s “The Crucifixion” from 1315-1320, whose flowing blood rains on the spectators of the scene, as well as a juicy squirt from the chest for the viewer).

The Crucifixion by Pacino Bonaguida at the AGO - March 12, 2013 - Revealing the Early Renaissance: Stories and secrets in florentine art Revealing the Early Renaissance: Stories and Secrets in Florentine Art at the AGO - Detail of Bonaguida's "THE CRUCIFIXION"

Pacino De Bonaguida’s “The Crucifixion” and Detail of (1315-1320)

And while, we might cringe at the sight of this, its patrons felt the bloodshed and pain was the human aspect of their faith, and that one day perhaps, they may themselves reach divination, as did their faithful predecessors.

Getting lost in each piece, you begin to see that this society was obsessed with their idols, and their chance to be a part of them was as easy as getting a master to paint them into a panel or manuscript. In essence, it equated a wealthy merchant to the status of celebrity, having made his way onto the pages alongside the kingdom of heaven complete with Christ, the Virgin, and all the many martyrs who gave their life to the dedication of their fate.

The most entertaining example of this is the Laudario of Sant’Agnesse; an illuminated choir book commissioned by the Compagnia di Sant’Agnese, a fraternity of merchants, for use in charitable events and prayer, and who are also illustrated along the margins of the music. This remarkable collection of 24 illustrated manuscripts have been framed and reunited for the first time since the early 1800s, and will be performed by musical guests Lionheart on April 6 in the Walker Court of the AGO (click for more details).

Detail of Daddi's "Crowned Virgin Martyr" - Revealin ghte Early Renaissance at the AGO - Toronto

Detail of “A Crowned Virgin Martyr {Catherine of Alexandria}” (1334 – 1338) by Bernardo Daddi. 

It is amazing to think that at one time, masters like Botticelli, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Michelangelo must have set their gaze on these exact works to hone their own craft, and garner inspiration to create the masterpieces of the Renaissance we marvel at today. For when staring at the suggestive expression of Bernardo Daddi’s “A Crowned Virgin Martyr” (1334-1338), a glimpse of Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa”  with her mysterious stare, and face full of subtle shadows that delicately sculpt her face, can definitely be seen,  which make the exhibition all the more exciting, and relevant.

In many ways, the exhibition brings to light that not much has changed in the world of art and commerce; citing the importance of banking and the prosperous merchant class to the creation of these vital works of art. Being so wealthy, members of the merchant class became so concerned that they may not  reach heaven, that they began spending their fortunes on commissioning buildings, and filling them with new art that expressed their hopes, fears, ideals, and emotions.

Revealing the Early Renaissance at the AGO-A view of Bernardo Daddi Italian The Martyrdom of Saint Ursula and 11,000 Virgins

With prosperity, comes art – and not much has changed today, as many of the world’s most successful artists rely on wealthy investors and corporate big wigs to the cut the cheque on a commission. Perhaps they no longer fear purgatory for their sins, but they are most definitely keeping their fingers crossed that their commission could strike them big dollars, and in that way, achieve idol status, and a bit of heaven.

The exhibition has already been lauded by the Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times as one of the most important exhibitions in recent years, so don’t miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel through time, and take in 90 once-hidden masterworks that came to redefine life as we know it today.

Agony and the Ecstacy - Blood and Gore - Revealing the Early Renaissance at the AGO

All the Agony & The Ecstacy . . .

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Revealing the Early Renaissance: Stories and Secrets in Florentine Art” opens at the AGO on March 16 and runs until June 16, 2013. To book your tickets today, click here!

Also be sure to check out the event schedule at the AGO for exciting insights inspired by this latest exhibit (Click here).

Sasha Suda, Michael Chan (Ontario Minister of Culture), and CEO at the AGO, Matthew Teitelbaum - March 12, 2013 - AGO Press Preview

Matthew Teitelbaum (CEO at the AGO), Sasha Suda (Assistant Curator of European art at the AGO), and Michael Chan (Ontario Minister of Culture, Tourism, & Sport) – March 12, 2013. 

Until next time,

{theEye}

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E.O.F. Snapshot of the Day {December 21, 2012}

396704_380452722043501_503688897_n“Bless this home during this Merry Season. We invoke thee!”
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E.O.F. {Anti} Style Idol: Jack Kerouac [Jack is Back!]

“Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion.”

-Jack Kerouac

Every time style blogs or fashion mags bring up Jack Kerouac, they can’t seem to go past exploring his style choices with completely superficial mindsets. What would Jack Kerouac wear today? Where would he shop? Here’s where, and how?! Ta DA! NOTHING. OUTFIT.

“I went one afternoon to the church of my childhood and had a vision of what I must have really meant with “Beat”… the vision of the word Beat as being to mean beatific… People began to call themselves beatniks, beats, jazzniks, bopniks, bugniks and finally I was called the “avatar” of all this.”

“The Origins of the Beat Generation” in Playboy (June 1959)

For example, Esquire Magazine thinks Jack Kerouac would go for a Junya Watanabe coat with Louis Vuiton shoes to hang out with Allen Ginsberg. They also feature him in J.Crew, and for rolling down Beaker Street the shirt and bag combo by Loden Dager is hilarious. As noted in almost every comment, Jack Kerouac would likely never ever be caught wearing thousand dollar jackets, or Patrick Evrell anything, let along so many pairs of Louis Vuitton shoes. Who is Jack Kerouac supposed to be?

Granted, Kerouac can be seen in the simple, utilitarian, work wear looks they attempt to recreate. The only thing is, Kerouac wasn’t going for a certain kind of anything. He just was. That’s kind of the first rule about him.

Completing his draft of On the Road in April 1951 on a single 36 metre (120-foot) role of paper, this autobiographical tale of Kerouac’s journeys across America with his friends is considered the defining work of the ‘Beat Generation‘, and includes hundreds of references to the stories of his adventures on the road.

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“John Clellon Holmes … and I were sitting around trying to think up the meaning of the Lost Generation and the subsequent Existentialism and I said, ‘You know, this is really a beat generation’ and he lept up and said ‘That’s it, that’s right!'”

“The Origins of the Beat Generation” in Playboy (June 1959)

The book wasn’t published until September 5, 1957 but would quickly garner cult status , with it’s wide array of colorful characters, as well as it’s wonderfully liberated prose inspired by the jazz, drug, and poetry that would define the Beat movement.

It was a movement towards freedom, however, it wouldn’t be easily received by the mainstream critics who’s conservatism would lead them to question Kerouac’s anti-establishment philosophies and writing style. In an era of conformity, stuck in the politics of McCarthyism in America, Kerouac would keep doing it his way all the way to the end.

“If critics say your work stinks it’s because they want it to stink and they can make it stink by scaring you into conformity with their comfortable little standards. Standards so low that they can no longer be considered “dangerous” but set in place in their compartmental understandings.”

-Jack Kerouac

Is it all just a great strange dream? Jack Kerouac thought so. He also believed in the meditating powers of Buddha, not to mention having encountered God himself at his first Sacrament of Confession in 1928. He was told he he would suffer in life great pain and horrors but experience salvation in the end of it all.

Little talked about fact: Kerouac first began writing On the Road in Quebec French!

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[Kerouac’s parents were of French-Canadian descent, making Jack an honorary Canadian!]

Funny enough, Kerouac wasn’t exactly the artsy intellectual type in high school, that you might imagine. No doubt he was deep but Kerouac found his tall brooding frame and superior athletic skills leading him to running back for the high school football team, and eventually a scholarship to Columbia University. Who says jocks don’t write poetry?!

Just as his football career began soaring, Kerouac dropped out from school, and continued life in New York City with his girlfriend, Edie Parker. It was there on the Upper East Side he would meet such influential figures as Allen Ginsberg, Neal Casaday, William S. Burroughs who would turn up in many of Kerouac’s works.

Together, this group of misfits, along with others who shared similar views on life contrary to the devastating conservatism of America would band together to foster a movement towards artistic and sexual liberation; freedom free from censorship. Kerouac knew his greatest power would ultimately be his honesty, integrity, and commitment to the truth of the world.

The truth, you ask? It’s the same truth we all are looking for today. The meaning of life, and the truths of existence. Driving the highway searching for the faces of God. In fact, Jack insists:

” ‘On the Road’ was really a story about two Catholic buddies roaming the country in search of God. And we found him. I found him in the sky, in Market Street San Francisco (those 2 visions), and Dean (Neal) had God sweating out of his forehead all the way. THERE IS NO OTHER WAY OUT FOR THE HOLY MAN: HE MUST SWEAT FOR GOD. And once he has found Him, the Godhood of God is forever Established and really must not be spoken about.”

Though, Kerouac would most likely protest the fancy and folly of the fashion industry of 2012, there is definitely a regard to the poet and free-thinker for his laid-back and casual sensibilities. It’s easy to see the appeal – Kerouac is a very charismatic and handsome guy. Not only that, he always seems to have something on the mind- a sense of mystery.

And while polo shirts, trousers, and denim button-ups are easy to find, Kerouac’s one-of-a-kind rebel attitude and poetic insight make for most of Kerouac’s {anti}-style style. This is where style goes far beyond the clothes on one’s back, and reaches deep into the darkest depths of one’s very soul .

It’s the nonchalance and passion for life that exude from all things Kerouac, so it only makes sense that Kerouac’s day-to-day dress would reflect that in its unbuttoned simplicity.  We are talking about the guy who wrote a draft on one 120 foot long piece of paper, save the time of flipping through page after page.

“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.”

-Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

There aren’t too many public figures like Jack Kerouac these days, sadly. He died relatively young. On October 20, 1969 Kerouac experienced a violent attack on his body. While sitting in his living room, drinking whiskey and malt liquor, scribbling on a notepad, the writer felt sick, and began throwing up large amounts of blood (“Stella, I’m bleeding!”).

On October 21, 1969 after never regaining consciousness after surgery for an internal hemorrhage due to his lifetime of drinking and drug use, the legend passed at 5:15 AM. Great pains and horrors, indeed. His last appearance on television would be on the William Buckley’s show in 1968 where he rambled about society in what was obviously a little bit of drunken tom foolery on the writer’s account.

“Ah, life is a gate, a way, a path to Paradise anyway, why not live for fun and joy and love or some sort of girl by a fireside, why not go to your desire and LAUGH…”

-Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac was raw and untamed, but this we could not fault him for. Like a pilgrim searching for deliverance from evil, Kerouac wandered the land. He kept his eyes open wide, and with his account, a brilliant and timeless perspective of life as an outsider continues to inspire us to this day.

What works most about Jack Kerouac’s style sense is that every man feels they could dress like that. It is not an intimidating look, but really falls on comfort and confidence. There is a mix of his athletic roots, kind-of-academic, and streetwise to boot. Having the latter two is of the dire essence.

“the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.”

Jack Kerouac “On the Road”

Sam Riley as “Sal Paradise” in ‘On the Road’ (2012)

 

Walter Salles’ long awaited screen adaptation of the Kerouac classic premiered on May 23 at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. Sam Riley stars as Kerouac’s alter-ego, Sam Paradise, in the film. Click here to visit the film’s website.

And the legend blazes on . . .

{ANTI} STYLE IDOL: JACK KEROUAC

[March 12, 1922 – October 21, 1969]

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Here’s some stuff we found to {GET THE LOOK}

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Until next time,

{theEye}

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E.O.F. Snapshot of the Day {October 9, 2012}

{“She’s never been the same after her trip from Oz.”}
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We can’t stop listening to the New Bond theme, make sure you check out our past post, also be sure to take a look at Daze of Being WILD!

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{The Eye of Faith}
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{Photoblast} Holy Fashion -Our Holy Grail.

We’ll say a lil’ prayer for you during this Photoblast.  Some symbolism you may recognize, some sights should be new! We’re feeling nostalgic for holier times… Although we’re certain we’d be burned as a Witch!

Thank our goodness, we are alive today to bring you some inspiration to say a little prayer for us! Let us be saved from this unholy hell, and bless’d our soul for whose past we grieve, but who’s future is shining and bright!

We’re sure the pearly gates are more beautiful in Death than any sights on this land, but we’d be lying if we acted as if we didn’t adore seeing Faith in Fashion and splendor in this land.

Sometimes controversially cliche, we don’t get too bored when it comes talk of God and Jesus Christ. We’ll turn our cheek and listen to the street and love what fashion houses are turning out.  We do love throwing on a wide brimmed black hat, Rosary and grabbing a Crucifix for a danced filled night out!

Thankfully we know what’s good fun, and what will get us into trouble.  We may have a Dark Side, but for heaven’s sake, we’re not Demonic! We trust our Angels to guide us along in every bold decision and choice.  And you can trust in The Eye of Faith to Graciously Guide you through the coming days.

Together we shall roam, we shall reach deliverance! Where would we be if it weren’t for our terrific readers? Follow the Eye, and no angel or demon would deny you of being a true divinity.

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{The Eye}
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E.O.F. Snapshot of the Day! [April 21/2012]

We hope everyone is having a great weekend! And to remember that there is always darkness, so stay optimistic and keep an Eye on Faith!



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We Will Endure to the End

Perdurabo [Latin]:
Verb. (First-person singular future active indicative of perdūrō)

“I will endure to the End”

Aleister Crowley (Oct. 12, 1875 – Dec. 1, 1947)

These are the wise words we at The Eye of Faith have adopted for the upcoming storms, as we at E.O.F. celebrate our one month anniversary! A big thanks to our followers for bringing their great insight, great thoughts, great taste, and above all- great support!

We haven’t been able to update for a while due to the newly arrived winter chill. We knew about it’s bite, but had forgot about it’s sting! Luckily we had the proper armour and shield waiting…Couldn’t not just say a big thanks, and look forward to bringing in more thoughts, ideas, and most of all a touch of E.O.F. style, and class.

A big warm salute to A.C. up there (Aleister Crowley; occultist supreme), and his fabulous magic motto we have up for display to remind us of the fight:

The fight to keep going, the fight to pursue, and the endurance to handle it all, too. On the same note, a high-five to the big J.C. (Jesus Christ) on display there too. He likes to see the world through the crystal, because he likes to see it refract. It’s the only way to see all sides at once…

I think he could relate to Crowley’s (and our own) quest for endurance. Don’t we all?

Have something to say? Add? Leave us a comment below!

Thanks,
{The Eye x}

(Photographs copyright © 2011, The Eye of Faith Vintage Clothing Co.)


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Commercial Break: “Curse of the Crimson Altar” (1968)

Curse of the Crimson Altar (1968)
dir. Vernon Sewell


Enjoy.
The Eye

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