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The Walters Art Museum

This art museum brings art and people together for enjoyment, discovery and learning. The main objective being to create a place where humanity of all background is touched by art.

The Portrait of Maria Salviati de Medici

This is the portrait of the wife of a famous military leader, Givanni delle Bande Nere de Medici ( d. 1526) and mother of Cosimo 1 ( 1519-1574) which was by an Italian artist, Jacopo da Pontormo in ca. 1539.

In the portrait, Maria Salviati de Medici is dressed in a black (cool color that  absorbs light) dress signifying the demise and mourning of her husband. Her elegant style  and smooth texture however convey her aristocratic grace through her long fingers and fashionable pale color ( indicating a life led out of the sun) which she shared with Giulia. The medium used is oil on the panel measuring, (88*71.3 cm).

The pictures are quite detailed , clear and very impressive.

The adoration of the three kings

This portrait was done by William Stetter ( a German artist ) in 1526 on an oil panel medium , measuring ( 87.3*54 cm). This was  a representation of the three wise men according to the Bible who came from the east to adore Christ the child and acknowledge divinity. They were often depicted as kings , underscoring the importance of their homage. The artist used a smooth texture with a golden red finish signifying the warmth and modesty of their visit . The golden red used reflects light thus symbolizing the greatness of divinity. Some of the pictures appear smaller , distant but distinctively clear on the background .

The wall hanging or curtain fragment with the head of a woman

This tapestry fragmented abstract depicting the halved head of a woman was done by an unknown Egyptian during the 4th-5th century ( late antique). It was likely part of a domestic curtain or a wall hanging made of wool and measured , ( 17*17 cm) respectively.

At the time, curtains and wall hangings were used in private homes as well as in public religious buildings to prevent drafts and provide privacy.

The woman has earrings and neck-lace with a pendant to show female personification while the different colors used (black and grey) are used to achieve the modeling of the cheeks , chin and nose and a subtle alteration of the weave distinguishes the lower edge of the face from neck. The colors used both absorb light but the overall finish is of  a rough texture with open lines signifying the different changes that take place in any ones life.

The Saint John’s Bible

This is a contemporary masterpiece of both calligraphy and book arts put together to mark for the first time the manuscript as has been examined in historical context.

This 7 volume will contain 1150 pages while complete and will measure approximately 3ft. wide , 2ft. tall when opened   but a quick glance of its illuminators reflect that this is a current project . The artists include, Ben Tilghman, Zanvyl Krieger  Curatorial fellow, Kathryn Gerry and Andrew W. Mellon, Dept. of Manuscripts and rare books , and is dated February 15 – May 24, 2009.

The artists have used bold abstract designs and college techniques to create a stirring composition that cooperates the visual imagery from the modern world such as computer voice –prints and images from the hubble-space telescope. The illuminations reflect the concerns of the biblical past and the current events. This history of manuscript encourages us to reflect on how our understanding of what we read and entirely depends on the form in which we read it.

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