Mindblown: a blog about philosophy.

  • Three Figures

    The group of three figures most commonly met with is that of the Mother and Child with St. John. One of the earliest examples of the domestic treatment of this group is a quaint picture by Botticelli, in which Mary, bending down, holds forth the Child to be caressed by St. John—very dry in color, […]

  • Two Figures

    The simplest form of the family group is confined to two figures, and expresses merely the relation between the Mother and the Child. The motif is precisely the same as in the formal, goddess-like, enthroned Madonnas of the antique time ; but here quite otherwise worked out, and appealing to other sympathies. In the first […]

  • The Holy Family

    WHEN the Holy Family, under divine protection, had returned safely from their sojourn in Egypt, they were about to repair to Bethlehem ; but Joseph hearing that Archelaus “did reign in Judea in the room of his father Herod, he was afraid to go thither : and being warned of God in a dream, he […]

  • The Return From Egypt

    According to some authorities, the Holy Family sojourned in Egypt during a period of seven years, but others assert that they returned to Judea at the end of two years. In general, the painters have expressed the Return from Egypt by exhibiting Jesus as no longer an infant sustained in his mother’s arms, but as […]

  • Titles of the Virgin Mary

    Of the various titles given to the Virgin Mary, and thence to certain effigies and pictures of her, some appear to me very touching, as expressive of the wants, the aspirations, the infirmities and sorrows, which are common to poor suffering humanity, or of those divine attributes from which they hope to find aid and […]

  • The Legend of the Gypsy

    Before quitting the subject of the Riposo, I must mention a very pretty and poetical legend which I have met with in one picture only : a description of it may, however, lead to the recognition of others. There [was] in the collection of Lord Shrewsbury, at Alton Towers, a Riposo attributed to Giorgione, remarkable […]

  • The Repose of the Holy Family

    Ital. Il Riposo. Fr. Le Repos de la Sainte Famille. Ger. Die Ruhe in Egypten. The subject generally styled a ” Riposo ” is one of the most graceful and most attractive in the whole range of Christian Art. It is not, however, an ancient subject, for I cannot recall an instance earlier than the […]

  • The Flight into Egypt

    Ital. La Fuga in Egitto. Fr. La Fuite de la Sainte Famille en Egypte. Ger. Die Flucht nach Aegypten. The wrath of Herod against the Magi of the East, who had escaped from his power, enhanced by his fears of the divine and kingly Infant, occasioned the Massacre of the Innocents, which led to the […]

  • The Purification of the Virgin

    Ital. La Purificazione della B. Vergine. Ger. Die Darbringung im Tempel. Die Beschneidung Christi. After the birth of her Son, Mary was careful to fulfil all the ceremonies of the Mosaic law. As a first-born son, he was to be redeemed by the offering of five shekels, or a pair of young pigeons (in memory […]

  • The Adoration of the Magi

    Ital. L’ Adorazione de’ Magi. L’ Epifania. Fr. L’ Adoration des Rois Mages. Ger. Die Anbetung der Weisen aus dem Morgenland. Die heilige drei Konigen. (Jan. 6.) This, the most extraordinary incident in the early life of our Saviour, rests on the authority of one evangelist only. It is related by St. Matthew so briefly […]

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