The Troll Who Can Smell Christian Blood, 1896, bronze, by Niels Hansen Jacobsen, Dutch sculptor, 1861-1941. Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, Denmark.
As could be expected, this statue caused much controversy when it was created. Jacobsen’s studio in Vejen, Denmark, became a museum after his death.
The Death of the Sons of King Edward in the Tower or King Edward V and the Duke of York in the Tower of London, 1831, oil on canvas by Paul Delaroche, French, 1797-1856. Louvre, Paris, France.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester, was Lord protector of the 9 and twelve-year-old boys and sons of King Edward IV of England. When he seized the throne as Richard III, the boys disappeared.
Innocent children awaiting uncertain fates was a popular theme for Victorians. What happened to these boys is still a mystery and has been the inspiration for fiction and non-fiction books; a play, Richard III, by Shakespeare and television productions.
Delaroche painted on a firm, solid and smooth surface which appeared as a high finish. He was a son-in-law of Horace Vernet.
Morning of Streltsy’s Execution, detail, 1881, by Vasily Ivanovich Surikov, 1848-1916. Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia.
Historical controversy surrounds the Streltsy Rebellion in Russia as to whether it was against the innovations of Peter the Great or against serfdom, military hardship and harassment.
Fifty-seven of the Moscow Streltsy were executed and others were tortured or banished from Moscow.
Surikov was born in Siberia and studied under Pavel Chistyakov at the Imperial Academy of Arts. He was known for his large scale historical subjects.
Herodias’ Revenge, 1496, oil on wood by Juan De Flandes, Netherlandish painter active in Spain. Died 1519. Museum Mayer van den Bergh, Antwerp, Belgium.
Known most popularly as Salome, the young woman presents the head of John the Baptist on a plate. Her name and her mother’s name may have been Herodias, but she was often called Salome or “the girl ” to avoid confusion.
Juan de Flandes was artist for Queen Isabella of Spain and many of his works have been scattered and altar paintings dismantled. This and paintings like it spawned operas by Massenet and Strauss among others and a play by Oscar Wilde.
For a very early painting, this one shows a good sense of depth, proportion and perspective.
Altogether Too Stupid, oil on panel between 1610 and 1625, by Adriaen van de Veene, Dutch Golden Age painter, 1589-1662. Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille, Lille, France.
This peasant woman gets her wits sharpened on the knife grinder’s whetstone as others are drawn to watch the miracle cure.
Van de Veene painted allegories, genre, portraits and miniatures. He was a book illustrator poet, and political satirist.
King Solomon in the Prison, 1847, oil on panel by Henrik Weber, Hungarian, 1818-1866. Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest, Hungary.
Solomon has not been stripped of everything and has been able to keep his warmer, finer clothes in spite of being manacled. However, he still reaches for the light and longs for freedom.
Weber made his living with private lessons and lithographs. He was known for his genre paintings of the 1830’s and was a notable portraitist.
Ivan’s Repentance, oil on canvas by Klavdy Lebedev, Russian painter and illustrator, 1852-1916. Belarusian National Arts Museum, Minsk, Republic of Belarus.
After Russian Tsar Ivan IV killed his son, he asks Abbot Cornelius to let him take the tonsure at the Pskovo-Pechorsky Monastery. The murder brought about the end of the Rurik Dynasty and the Time of Troubles.
Lebedev, an artist of realism, concentrated on depicting historic scenes.
The Back Operation, oil on panel, 1636, by Adriaen Brouwer, Flemish, 1605-1638. Städel Museum, Frankfurt, Germany.
This man should be thankful they haven’t tried open heart surgery.
Brouwer ‘s Baroque style and genre studies were mostly of human pain and fear. The themes were of debauchery, drunkenness and fighting and not exactly what most people would choose for home decor.
Wandering of Odysseus, oil on canvas, 1933, by Adolf Hirémy-Hirschl, Hungarian, 1860-1933. Last at the Dorotheum auction houses.
The seamen are guided in dangerous travel by a misty spirit.
An historical and mythological painter, Hirschl centered much of his work around ancient Rome. He was the most successful in Vienna at the end of the 1800’s, but was later eclipsed by other painters and artistic movements.