One of my favorite paintings is this sacred piece of holy art.
If you’ve followed me for awhile, you know that I love decorating with antique religious pieces.
These spiritual pieces can bring such a sense of serenity to a room, as well as create instant history in your home. One such piece that is very special to me is a large oil painting hanging in our dining room.
The painting is of the “Madonna of the Chair”, originally by the Italian Renaissance painter, Raphael.
The “Madonna of the Chair” is so called because in this picture the Virgin is seated. She is sitting in a low chair, holding her child, Jesus, on her knee, and encircling him with her arms. Her head is laid tenderly against the child’s, and she looks out of the picture with a tranquil, happy sense of motherly love.
The child Jesus has the rounded limbs and playful action of the feet of a healthy, warm-blooded infant, and he nestles into his mother’s embrace as snugly as a young bird in its nest. But as he leans against the mother’s bosom and follows her gaze, there is a serious and even grand expression in his eyes which Raphael and other painters always sought to give to the child Jesus to mark the difference between him and common children.
By the side of the Madonna is the child who is to grow up as St. John the Baptist.
He carries a cross, as if to herald the death of the Saviour; his hands are clasped in prayer, and though the other two look out of the picture at us, he fixes his steadfast look on the child, in ardent worship.
I was fortunate enough to be able to purchase this sacred painting from a dear friend of mine that was downsizing. He and I love so many of the same things, and this painting was one that I had always adored.
It is a bit shabby with wear to the century old paint. Many people would look at it and think it was ruined, but I think the imperfections only add to it’s beauty. Of course, it could always be restored and maybe someday I will do that, but for now, I feel like it’s perfect as it is.
We hung it in our dining room with a pair of heavy iron cherub sconces on each side of it.
Once we start some of the minor renovations in the dining room, it may get moved to a different location, but for now it’s in the perfect location.
Antique holy art can evoke an impression of peace in the home, reinforcing my belief that one’s home should be your sanctuary.
“Madonna of The Chair” is one of my favorite paintings from the Old Masters. It has such a sense of serenity to it and I’m especially fond of anything depicting little St. John the Baptist as a child.
Religious art is historical and are beautiful pieces of the past. Some of the best holy art ever commissioned came from the churches and were painted by the old French and Italian masters.
Adding even a small piece of holy art to your home can add a layer of beauty and inspiration.
Even though this painting is one of my favorites, I do have a few others that I love as well.
This painting, “St. John the Baptist with the Christ Child” was painted by Bartolome Esteban Murillo (1617-1682), a Spanish Baroque painter, and was best known for his religious works.
This is such a sweet painting showing the infant Christ Child offering little St. John the Baptist a drink of water from a clam shell, with a lamb at their feet and angels over their heads.
I’m especially fond of this sweet painting by Bernardo Luini (1480-1532).
Titled, “Infant Jesus with Lamb“, Luini was a North Italian painter from Leonardo’s circle during the High Renaissance.
I love this painting, “Song of the Angels“. The painting is an Old Masters work of art by William Bouguereau (1825-1905) who was a French painter known for his realistic genre paintings of the Madonna, St. John the Baptist, and the Christ Child.
This lovely painting shows the beautiful Madonna with the infant Christ Child being serenaded by angels.
“The Holy Family and St. John the Baptist” is a gorgeous painting depicting the Holy Family and little St. John the Baptist, by Antonio Allegri da Correggio (1489-1534).
Usually known as just Correggio, he was the foremost painter of the Parma school of the High Italian Renaissance, who was responsible for some of the most beautiful religious works of the sixteenth century.
This gorgeous and sacred “Madonna and Christ Child” painting is the Old Masters work by William Bouguereau (1825-1905).
Bouguereau was a French painter known for his realistic genre paintings of the Madonna, St. John the Baptist, and the Christ Child.
This next painting, “Mary Magdalene” always speaks to me. The look of utter devotion and love on her face always tugs at my heart.
The original painting was painted in the 17th c. by Carlo Dolci.
Carlo Dolci, born in Florence, Italy, (1616-1686) and was an Italian painter of the Baroque period, active mainly in Florence. He was known for highly finished religious pictures, often repeated in many versions.
Today is Easter, the time to rejoice and be thankful for the gift of life, love and joy.