N.W.BOYER…Christian Author

Posts tagged “CNN

Raphael and the Tapestries

You will have to hurry if you want to see the magnificent tapestries designed by Raphael.  In honor of his birthday, they will only be on display at the Sistine Chapel in Rome until February 23, 2020. It was my privilege to visit Rome and see the Sistine Chapel, which is a once in a life time experience. As a student of history, I marvel that during WWII the great works of art were not completely destroyed or confiscated by the enemy invaders.  Thanks to the bravery of the men of the Church and regular citizens, of whom lost their lives, we have these beauties to enjoy today.  The Monuments Men movie gives a great understanding to the importance of protecting our history and the works to whom great men dedicated their lives.  It is my hope that you will enjoy this writing and those who are shown as contributors.  NWB

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A dozen tapestries designed by Renaissance artist Raphael are currently on view in their original home—the Sistine Chapel—for the first time in more than 400 years. But there’s a catch: The fragile works, commissioned by Pope Leo X in 1515 to complement Michelangelo’s famed frescoes, will adorn the chapel’s walls for just one week.  The exhibition offers a rare chance to see the tapestries, which depict scenes from the lives of St. Peter and St. Paul, in their intended space rather than behind conservation glass. The last time the Vatican held a similar exhibit was in 1983, the fifth centennial of Raphael’s birth. According to Henry Kamm of the New York Times, only eight of the ten main tapestries made it into this display. At the time, one of the remaining works was on loan to a museum in New York; the other was undergoing restoration.

Now, in honor of the 500th anniversary of the artist’s death, the full set of ten masterworks and two border tapestries has returned to the Sistine Chapel for a limited engagement. As exhibition curator Alessandra Rodolfo tells Reuters’ Philip Pullella, the last recorded instance of all 12 tapestries being hung in the chapel together dates to the late 1500s.   (Smithsonian Magazine)

Raphael’s tapestries hang at the floor level surrounded by the magnificent ceiling paintings by Michelangelo.

ABOUT THE TAPESTRIES:

(CNN and Staff Writers)

For the first time in centuries, 10 magnificent tapestries designed by Renaissance master Raphael will hang together on the walls of the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City.
The tapestries are usually only displayed on rotation in the “Raphael Room” at the Vatican Museum, according to the Vatican. 
But from this week until Sunday Feb. 23rd,, they are being brought together to mark the anniversary of Raphael’s death.
“We wanted for the celebration of 500 years of Raphael’s death to give the opportunity to share the beauty that is represented by the tapestry together in this beautiful, universal place that is the Sistine Chapel,” said Barbara Jatta, director of the Vatican Museums.
Pope Leo X commissioned Raphael to design the tapestries in 1515.Michelangelo had just finished his elaborate work on the ceiling and the pontiff wanted to ensure the lower walls weren’t bare.
Raphael painted 10 intricate images that depicted the lives of Saints Peter and Paul, now known as the Raphael Cartoons.(cartoons means a full-scale preparatory drawing)  The cartoons were then sent to the workshop of master weaver Pieter van Aelst in Brussels to be woven into tapestries.
At Aelst’s workshop, they were cut into vertical 90 centimeter-wide strips so the weavers could place them under their looms to recreate the image in thread.
The first tapestries were delivered to the chapel in late December 1519, however, Raphael died months later and did not see all the tapestries completed and together.
After Pope Leo X’s death in 1521, some of the tapestries were even pawned to pay off Leo X’s debts.

Self-Portrait Raphael (1483-1520) Oil on Panel, courtesy Uffizi Gallery, Florence

THE HISTORY OF THE TAPESTRIES:  

RAPHAEL-WEAVING TAPESTRY MAGIC FOR THE SISTINE CHAPEL.     (in part)

…The tapestries had a historic state visit to London in September 2010.  They were sent by the present Pope to be exhibited at the V & A Museum.

The four were commissioned in 1515 from the artist Raphael (Fafaello Sanzio da Urbino 1483-1520) especially for the Sistine Chapel. This was the first time in 500 years that the tapestries had hung alongside the original cartoons that Raphael had painted for the weavers so they could  complete this fabulous series of sensational textiles. There are ten in existence, but some scholars speculate that originally sixteen may have been planned.From the fourteenth to the sixteenth centuries in Europe most rulers or heads of important families were continually on the move. Tapestries were a way of having instant decor. They added prestige to any setting and practically helped with droughts in stone castles or chateaux, which were evolving with extended periods of peace from places of refuge into being country houses. Their narrative subjects were very attractive and they usually featured scenes from mythology, from the Bible, or of hunting and court life.At the time these were manufactured, weaving was considered the most important art form and expression of cultural development. They demonstrated the wealth and status of the ruling families of Italy, Europe and England and, had the advantage of being easily transportable.

The tapestries made for the Sistine Chapel to Raphael’s designs were woven between 1516 and 1521, They are of wool, which has been intertwined with silk and gilt metal wrapped thread. They were made in the workshop of Pieter van Aelst at Brussels the main centre for tapestry production in Europe at that time.

It would have been no mean feat. The weavers would have been constantly challenged working to Raphael’s painted cartoons, without the benefit of being able to enter into any sort of dialogue with the artist himself who had no part in their production. The technical difficulties were mind boggling and the finished tapestries are a tribute to the level of expertise,  experience and considerable skill the weavers had attained. One of the reasons Raphael gained the commission is that he had successfully designed the grotesque style painted decoration for architect Donato Bramante’s Gallery in the Vatican Palace .The painting of the walls and vaults of the loggia were completed by pupils under his supervision and are a high point of Renaissance art.He proved, through his attention to detail an ability to produce a design that could be transmitted to another medium. The tapestries exist because of one man, Pope Leo X (1475 – 1521) who commissioned them. He knew the richness of these amazing textiles would compliment, and not be overwhelmed by the painted glory perfected by Michelangelo when completing his ‘art above.’

POPE LEO X:  Born into the famous Medici family at Florence, whose patronage of the arts at Florence the cradle of the Renaissance world, Leo X was already celebrated as a prince of peace and acknowledged as connoisseur of music when he ascended the papal throne. His classical education had been thorough and included poetry, literature and music alongside theology, philosophy and the ancients.His love of culture and the arts did not conflict with his worship. And, his interest in the humanities meant that he sought to actively combine, in religious harmony, the past and present while helping to plan the future of the church at Rome.Part of his role as Pope and leader of the Christian church, as the sun rose on the fifteenth century, was to encourage his countries cultural development. As tapestry was considered societies most prestigious art form it is no surprise he chose to hang them in the Sistine chapel.The tapestries illustrate scenes from the lives of St. Peter and St. Paul long regarded as the founders of the Christian Church. They were at the source of the Pope’s authority and power.

HOW THE TAPESTRIES WERE MADE AND PRESERVED:

The Raphael Cartoons were design drawings made up of a mosaic of hundreds of sheets of paper glued together which was then fixed to the wall. Raphael and his assistants would have painted them in situ. Then they would then have been rolled for transport to Brussels to Pietr Van Aelst’s studio where they would have been cut up into strips for use by the tapestry weavers. The tapestries have had a turbulent history. They were pawned to pay for Pope Leo X’s funeral and recovered for the coronation of Hadrian VI (1522-3). They were stolen during the Sack of Rome in 1527, and after many adventures returned to the papal collection between 1544 and 1554. They were looted again during a French occupation of Rome in 1798 and purchased by a second hand dealer very cheaply. They were bought back again in 1808 and restored to the Vatican collection.

As part of the journey associated with every aspect of the design commission, the cartoons arrived in England after King Charles I paid £300 in 1623 to obtain them.He bought them as designs for tapestries and as painters by his time were being recognized for their individual talents, they would have proved a good investment for the crown. It was at the end of the seventeenth century when they were framed as paintings in their own right. It was Queen Victoria who sent them along to the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1865 and they have been in the public domain ever since. Originally they had woven borders showing scenes from Leo’s life, also believed to have been designed by Raphael. However the cartoons for these did not survive.

As Mark Evans who produced the splendidly detailed and scholarly catalog for the exhibition held at London in 2010 said ‘despite the toll of time those who have the good fortune to admire these beautiful tapestries five centuries after their creation can confirm the challenge to make them was triumphantly met”.

SHORT VIDEO: Turn on sound.  After watching, be certain to scroll down to the 360 tour video of the Sistine Chapel. 

http://

360 VIRTUAL TOUR OF THE SISTINE CHAPEL  (The tapestries are not shown here…only the great art.  It will move slowly around the room for a closer view of Michelangelo’s amazing works. View at your leisure. )


Begging has Gone Viral

The first Monday of September is Labor Day in the United States. Many people still work on this day, but often companies and the Government employees have this day as a holiday from their labor…whatever it may be.  The word “Labor” isn’t used too much except to state, “She is going into labor”…and yes, that is definitely work!

(pictures by Dr. Leon Baginski)

Sometimes we speak of the “Labor Force”…or “I labor over a hot stove.”  Thinking of work and Labor Day,  I remembered an email I received informing me that a person liked my blog.  That is always great news and every blogger loves that message.

As I looked at a blog of the “liker”, I saw that the person also was asking for a one-time donation because they were unemployed.  Now I have sympathy for the unemployed IF they are seriously seeking employment and are actually willing to work at a job.   It may not be the dream job of their hopes, but at least a job may hold him/her over until something better comes along. It made me wonder about such posts from a fellow blogger somewhere in the world…and an email to me and probably many other people.

Too often I see young adults sitting or standing around a store or trees in the middle of the day when just down the road are “help wanted” signs.  Sometimes the signs are even a little humorous…but real.

The job could be a dishwasher or as in the case of the bridge being built near our house, it could be for hard, manual labor.  Yes, it is in the hot, Florida sun…and not many people are wanting to carry metal rods or unload large concrete pilings, but it IS A JOB…and it PAYS!!

dish washer

Sure, it’s hard work, but it is also a learning experience.  This man shown above may someday own a restaurant and he will remember that he started the hard way.

Building a bridge is really hard work, but a person who labored on the bridge may drive their car across it one day and proudly say, “I helped build this bridge!”   It might be a small bridge or one similar to the Golden Gate, but all exist because there were those who were willing to work.

bridge builder

This is what the begging blogger wrote online to her audience worldwide:

“If you like my work, then there is a way you could help me continue this work. All it takes is a few seconds of your time & 3 dollars (₹206.68) of your money. Do you have that much time & that little money? In case you do, you not only get my sincere gratitude but also a special mention (with your link) in the next post.”

You will notice that the person mentions that the blogging she is doing is her “work”.  My blog has been going over the world-wide-web for over 9 years and not once did I consider it “work”, but pleasure…and I certainly never thought of asking the unseen people of the world to support me.  My readers might have had an opportunity to go to Amazon and buy one of my books, but that would have never supported me.  If they purchased a book, they would get something in return for their money.  Our blogger simply wanted a hand-out with nothing to benefit the giver.

It is a NEW AGE, my friend.   Begging is no longer sitting on the street with a cup in hand. It has gone VIRAL. It is MODERN-DAY BEGGING.

coins in cup

Unfortunately, it may even be possible that this person online may truly make a living asking for financial help…for there are millions of people online.  A great many may say to themselves…“What’s $3.00…I can afford that!”   The blogger, herself, insinuated that it was no big deal by using the words, “little money.”    Most of us can spare a few dollars, but why would we want to throw our money into a fund using our PayPal or a credit card (as she told how to pay) when we could easily give to a charity where people are really in need of help.  The very poor or disabled may not own a computer or have finances to pay for a blog site if they can’t pay their bills.

This particular blogger was a woman. Women may take a job as a waitress, a sign holder on the road, a truck loader or other things suitable to her abilities.  She doesn’t have to stay there forever.  She may become the boss…or marry the boss.   Don’t laugh…marrying the boss should not be the goal to better things. It could make life worse!

The waitress who works long hours listening to not so sweet people and sweating over hot trays needs a tip more than $3. Save that online donation for her…with a big “Thank you” for her work and pleasant disposition.   Self-respect is worth more than money.

waitress

My whole point is to ask ourselves the big “WHY?” a most likely able-bodied person (blogger)…who at least can type…is becoming a modern-day beggar?   Why do many young adults believe themselves to be “ENTITLED” while others do the work?   This also goes for children who no longer have to work in the sweatshops because the laws protect them, but if the teen wants the fancy tennis shoes or phone, there is still the old-fashioned thing of working around the house and building up the funds from chores for the nicer things wanted.  In the long run, the lesson of work and the work ethic is being taught.

When our children were around 10 or 11 years old, my husband and I used to go out and pick up trash along the road and the children would earn some money for helping out.  Not only did we make the community look better, but their “piggy banks” got fatter.   As adults, they are hard workers of whom we are proud.

 We hear much today about adult sons and daughters who live in their parent’s home, eat their Mom’s cooking and just stay on and on without any effort to get a job or to move out on their own. We are not talking about someone trying to get on their feet and they have parents kind enough to help for a short while.  In essence, those who hang on too long are also silent beggars…maybe not online but within their family unit. Young adults like these are being given a free ride by those who love them…that is until the parents have just finally had enough of the situation. (See the CNN interview at the end of this blog.)  It seems to be a problem worldwide, especially in some European countries.

Occasionally, there will be an online FUND set up for a worthy case.  We are also not talking about those. We are talking about begging online because it is easier than working.  Besides being glued to expensive cellphones a good deal of the time, our young adult generation may want to realize that hard work does pay off in the long run…to whatever goal is out there for the future.  My advice (or challenge) given here will roll off the backs of those who are lazy, unmotivated, self-absorbed, or simply a leach….but here goes…

Begging is not the answer….. My advice for those who are able-bodied:

GET A JOB, even the smallest job…It will improve your feelings of self-worth.


Liberal Education…a Lesson in Enlightenment

Voltaire

Born in 1694, in Paris, France, Voltaire established himself as one of the leading writers of the Enlightenment.  Often at odds with French authorities over his politically charged works, he was twice imprisoned and spent many years in exile. He died in Paris in 1778.

 

The best definition of liberal education is one that I read about recently, which was  given at a commencement address by Fareed Zakaria.  One may hope that the graduates who heard him were enlightened and came out to face the world with a new vision of tolerance.

fareed-zakaria speaker  Who is Fareed Zakaria?   He is an Indian-American journalist and author.   The Post-American World, The Future of Freedom (2003) was a New York Times bestseller and has been translated into over 25 languages. His most recent book, In Defense of a Liberal Education, has been praised in the New York Times as “an accessible, necessary defense of an idea under siege.”

The essence of what he had to say is in the  video below. ( put out by CNN (Alexander King).     I think it is worth a listen before we all become so un- enlightened in this world that we cannot listen to any viewpoint but our own.   Agree or disagree, we will all live on the same planet…have many of the same worries for our global and individual safety and will share in whatever blesses or plagues us as a society.  We will have a “common destiny”.

CLICK FOR VIDEO LINK