Monday, March 26, 2012

My favorite painting

Triptych of the Holy Rosary by Hans Suess Von Kulmbach

One of the paintings that struck me the very first moment I saw it is the Triptych of the Holy Rosary by Hans Suess Von Kulmbach (1510,) which is in the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum, Madrid. The two side panels show the Presentation of Mary, with St. Joachim and St. Anne at the bottom of the steps, while the other one show Mary’s parents in a loving embrace. The center and more prominent panel is very descriptive, and shows the Crucifixion encircled within the Rosary beads, each Hail Mary symbolized by a rose flower. The 5 Our Fathers are symbolized by 5 crosses, also symbolic of the 5 wounds of Christ. A scene from hell is shown in the bottom, with two angels above and two others below, one of whom I seen saving a baby and the other holding scales in his hands.

Detail of the center panel
The 4 layers of saints are described as follows, from top, left to right:
1. With God the Father and the Holy Spirit are seen Mary and a variety of angels.
2. Melchizedek, David, Moses, John the Baptist - Peter, Mark, Paul and Luke.
3. Lawrence, George, Erasmus, Stephen, Holy Innocent baby - Gregory, Jerome, Nicholas, Charlemagne.
4. Clare, Agnes, Barbara, Catherine of Alexandria - Anne, Mary, Mary Magdalene, Helen.

I present this post in memory of my father John, who would have turned 87 years today.

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