By Darla McCammon
History tells us that few people in the days before and during the Renaissance could read or write. In order to convey the Christmas story to their citizenry, the church would often pay a commission to the best artists of the day in order to offer the narrative and an understanding of the miraculous event. Wealthy patrons also took similar steps in order to permanently memorialize the story surrounding the incredible events that occurred surrounding the birth of Jesus.
The artists were in stiff competition to be chosen for one of these picture projects since the rewards were often significant in the monetary generosity of these patrons. Today, you are looking at a real masterpiece done by Botticelli in 1489 called “The Annunciation.” There are a number of these great works of art that will be featured over the next few weeks until Christmas.
They are among the most famous and beautiful works of art ever created. You might want to pay close attention in case you are ever called to identify the artists someday on the “Jeopardy” show. The first artist we will discuss is Sandro Botticelli. Botticelli was commissioned by the Chapel of a monastery called “Cestello.” His project was to paint the Virgin Mary receiving the news from archangel Gabriel that she would give birth to the son of God. I think Botticelli conveyed the staggering emotions as his imagination carried us back to that moment Mary realized she was speaking with a heavenly being.
Botticelli was a native of Florence and lived in close proximity to this area all his life. At one point he was trained to be a goldsmith which put him in a position to develop friendships with many artists and helped him accomplish a more thorough education than other artists of that time.
He did obtain a commission to go to Rome and work on the new Sistine Chapel there. He was very successful and became a very prolific artist, creating a number of works that are considered masterpieces today. We are fortunate to be able to see his work this Christmas.
Upcoming and Current Events:
- The Warsaw City Hall Gallery will have works by Steve Creighton on display through Dec. 27.
- Through Dec. 21, Lakeland Art Association will offer their “Christmas in the Gallery” sale, which includes many works from the member competition along with special and unique gifts created by members.
- Susan Ring’s works will be displayed in January at Warsaw City Hall Gallery.
- If interested in exhibiting works at Warsaw City Hall Gallery, e-mail a short biography and photos of two artworks, as well as contact information, to Darla at [email protected] or leave a message at (574) 527-4044.