Sunday, July 24, 2016

My Favorite Artworks at Basilica Santuario Santo Stefano, Bologna


DSCN4989 _ Basilica Santuario Santo Stefano, Bologna, 18 October

DSCN4979 _ Basilica Santuario Santo Stefano, Bologna

Basilica Santuario Santo Stefano, the oldest church in Bologna, was very atmospherically evocative and romantic, and the many unique artefacts in its often darkish chambers added much allure. 

The artwork left the strongest impression on me was a small plate of relief on the exterior of its nave, featuring three primitive looking figures with haloed heads resembling astronauts' in headgear, and  stiffly raised hands sending signals of warning or blessing. The central figure, the only seated one, held a commanding upright staff with a cross top, which dissected the plate into two uneven parts, lending some dynamism to this restrained tableau. These rigid figures, perhaps Jesus and his disciples, in their strange garbs, along with their enormous and somewhat stunned eyes, formed a society beyond our worldly reach.

DSCN4976 _ Basilica Santuario Santo Stefano, Bologna, 18 October

My second favorite was a fresco painting of some wild or domestic animals accented with some scrolls, like an early day almanac, whose pale inviting atmosphere, coloration, and the wonderful sense of continuity and unity were particularly appealing.

DSCN4957 _ Basilica Santuario Santo Stefano, Bologna, 18 October

DSCN4957 _ Basilica Santuario Santo Stefano, Bologna, 18 October (detail)


My Favorite Museum Collection Series
>> My Favorite Museum Collection Series 121: To be continued
<< My Favorite Museum Collection Series 119: My Favorite Monuments at Il palazzo dell'Archiginnasio, Bologna

List of My Favorite Artworks in the Museums I've Visited

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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Featured Painting – “Forest Within” – When Reality Met Illusion

My 2005 oil painting Forest Within, currently showing at the McGuire Real Estate gallery in Berkeley as part of the “Crowded by Beauty” exhibit, is a play of optical illusion - the painting is a seemingly outdoor scene, yet the landscape is framed within a boxy confinement, and beams of light cast from behind and the shadows fall on the real or imaginary wall further enhances the blur of the boundary, where interior met exterior, reality met illusion.

Forest Within /  内置森林 / Innerhalb Wald  

Forest Within Oil on Canvas 24" x 30" Completed in 2005


Originally posted on matthewfelixsun.com

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Monday, July 18, 2016

My Favorite Monuments at Il palazzo dell'Archiginnasio, Bologna


DSCN4385 _ Il palazzo dell'Archiginnasio

Il palazzo dell'Archiginnasio (The Palace of Archeology) in Bologna is a fantastical enclosed palatial building, whose corridors are adorned with numerous decorative emblems, all of them can be viewed as relief sculptures.

DSCN4558 _ Il palazzo dell'Archiginnasio

My favorite was a monument of a tower wrapped by a snake and topped by a huge cross. I didn't like stare at that animal and couldn't decipher the exact meaning of the symbol, other than it resembled a reverse caduceus; but it stood out in the pack.

DSCN4414 _ Il palazzo dell'Archiginnasio

My second favorite was a dark stele flanked by two semi-nude females at the base, and furthered augmented by some colorful small coats of arms in formation, and as a whole, they resembled fancy peahens.

DSCN4392 _ Il palazzo dell'Archiginnasio


My Favorite Museum Collection Series
>> My Favorite Museum Collection Series 120: To be continued
<< My Favorite Museum Collection Series 118: My Favorite Paintings at Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna, Italy

List of My Favorite Artworks in the Museums I've Visited

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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

My Favorite Paintings at Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna, Italy


DSCN3267 _ Pinacoteca Nazionale, Bologna, 16 October
Pinacoteca Nazionale, Bologna

The Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna (National Gallery of Bologna) boasts a vast array of paintings dating from 13th through 18th century, such as this glorious "Jesus Christ and the Good Thief" by Titian and his assistants. 

DSCN3363 _ Gesù Cristo e il buon ladrone, Tiziano Vecellio e aiuti, c 1563
Gesù Cristo e il buon ladrone (Jesus Christ and the Good Thief), Tiziano Vecellio e aiuti (Titian and aid), c 1563

Yet, my favorite paintings in Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna are two panels from mid-15th century.  The circa 1435 piece "Paradiso e Inferno", a portal-shaped pentagon, presented a clearly contrasted two realms: colorful and buoyant paradise and somber and grim inferno.  In the middle of the pediment, haloed by red aureole, Virgin Mary, Jesus and the God formed an "eye", surrounded and supported further by numerous similarly radiant saints, in very decorative formations, which also attempted to observe rules of perspectives. The bottom third of the painting was more sparsely populated, dominated by an oversized demon, who was devouring condemned, directly below a serenading angel underneath the "eye", while other lost souls, scattered in earth trenches, being tortured and tormented by black-winged demons, systematically, methodically, and devoid of melodrama.

DSCN3302 _ Paradiso e Inferno, Maestro dell'Avicenna, c 1435
Paradiso e Inferno, Maestro dell'Avicenna, c 1435

My second favorite was also an allegorical piece, titled "Triumph of Fame, Triumph of Time", another 15th century piece with symmetrical composition.  The most striking aspect of the painting was its vivid colors - brilliant red, sensuous pink, and heavenly azzurro, accented by bone white figures of the Triumph and the stallions drawing her Apollonian chariot.

On the left half of the painting, many crowned personalities converged towards her - personifications of the tributes from Fame; the mirroring right side was populated by similar grandees representing different sectors of society, all in their venerable ages - the tributes from Time.

This painting was very visually enchanting and its enigmatic nature added more to its allure.

DSCN3301 _ Trionfo della Fama, Trionfo della Tempo, Zanobi di Benedetto di Caroccio degli Strozzi, c 1440-45
Trionlo della Fama, Trionlo della Tempo (Triumph of Fame, Triumph of Time), Zanobi di Benedetto di Caroccio degli Strozzi, c 1440-45


My Favorite Museum Collection Series
>> My Favorite Museum Collection Series 119: My Favorite Monuments at Il palazzo dell'Archiginnasio, Bologna
<< My Favorite Museum Collection Series 117: My Favorite Sculptures at Legambiente Bologna & Emilia Romagna, Italy

List of My Favorite Artworks in the Museums I've Visited

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Saturday, July 9, 2016

My Favorite Sculptures at Legambiente Bologna & Emilia Romagna, Italy

Italian City Bologna itself is like an open museum, full of sculptures and monuments of distinction. I was quite impressed by several groups of sculptures around Legambiente Bologna & Emilia Romagna, an old city portal and the surrounding park.

DSCN3615 _ Legambiente Bologna & Emilia Romagna, 17 October

The two mirroring bronze relief sculptures at the base of the gate impressed with their incredible beautiful lines and their economic way of presenting something deeply disturbing and touching.

DSCN3616 _ Legambiente Bologna & Emilia Romagna, 17 October

DSCN3618 _ Legambiente Bologna & Emilia Romagna, 17 October

Inside the park, there were some marble high reliefs and one of them was particularly striking due to its unbridled dynamism of the figures, in contrast to the classical composition and austere patterns of the sea shell backdrop.

DSCN3591 _ Giardino della Montagnola, Via dell'Indipendenza, Bologna, 17 October


My Favorite Museum Collection Series
>> My Favorite Museum Collection Series 118: My Favorite Paintings at Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna, Italy

<< My Favorite Museum Collection Series 116: My Favorite Artworks at San Giacomo Maggiore, Bologna

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Sunday, July 3, 2016

My Favorite Artworks at San Giacomo Maggiore, Bologna

The richness and depth of artworks in numerous Italian churches, large or small, are astounding. Basilica di San Giacomo Maggiore in Bologna was just one of those enchanted me in my 2012 trip to Italy.

DSCN3443 _  Basilica di San Giacomo Maggiore, Bologna, 16 October
Basilica di San Giacomo Maggiore, Bologna

I was very taken by one of its murals, depicting enthroned Virgin Mary, flanked by several martyr saints, underneath a pediment of resurrected Jesus.  The Virgin and most of the saints were in vivid blue and red colors, contrasting strongly to the paleness of Saint Sebastien and Jesus.

DSCN3447 _  Basilica di San Giacomo Maggiore, Bologna, 16 October
Basilica di San Giacomo Maggiore

I also like very much a relief depicting a beheading scene - dramatic yet restrained, and much more moving because of that.

DSCN3446 _  Basilica di San Giacomo Maggiore, Bologna, 16 October
Basilica di San Giacomo Maggiore

My Favorite Museum Collection Series
>> My Favorite Museum Collection Series 117: My Favorite Sculptures at Legambiente Bologna & Emilia Romagna, Italy
<< My Favorite Museum Collection Series 115: My Favorite Artworks at Palazzo della Ragione, Padova (Padua), Italy

List of My Favorite Artworks in the Museums I've Visited

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