An artist in conversation with art history, and in love with the Source of all Beauty.

4.11.2014

Switching to www.ardanziger.com

Dear readers,

Over the weekend, I will be changing my settings so that my blog will be hosted on my own domain.
My old web portfolio at www.ardanziger.com will disappear and will be replaced by this blog website. One or both sites may be down for up to 48 hours. After that time, please update your links, bookmarks, etc.

Thank you very much!
Amanda

3.29.2014

Maintenance 3/29-3/30

Dear readers, I need to perform some maintenance on this blog this weekend, and then I will resume regular posting. My long-term plan is to integrate my blog and my web portfolio (www.ardanziger.com) into the same site. Thank you! A.R.

10.16.2013

Christ in Majesty Revisited

Here is another sketch for my upcoming project. This Christ in Majesty will sit in the midst of the 24 elders. I'm glad I worked on small scale copy of an illuminated manuscript before this so I could learn some of the Romanesque style's conventions and apply them appropriately to my current piece. I hesitate to say that mine is a more "naturalistic" or "realistic" representation because those words tend to imply the downplaying of the supernatural and emphasis on the natural world.  I am interested in reviving Western religious iconography (related to but distinct from Byzantine iconography) in the Roman Catholic tradition, and therefore I am very interested in a symbolic representation of supernatural realities. Anyway...


10.09.2013

Twenty-Four Elders

Here is a sneak preview of a current work-in-process. I'm working out the drawing for a painting of the adoration of the twenty-four elders before God's throne in the book of Revelation.  For reference, I actually sewed a full-length (18 ft.) toga, draped it around my husband, and snapped some photos.  Here are two of my sketches:

9.30.2013

Saint Jerome

Today is the memorial of Saint Jerome, 340-420 A.D.  Both a scholarly world-traveler and a desert ascetic, he is perhaps best known for his work on the Latin translation of the Bible, the Vulgate. It began as a project to create a translation of the four Gospels using the best Greek texts. Already fluent in both Greek and Latin, he later expended great effort to learn spoken and written Hebrew from a Jewish convert to Christianity, and consulted with rabbis to ensure the accuracy of his translation of the Hebrew Old Testament.

From the Catholic Encyclopedia:
"To sum up, the Biblical knowledge of St. Jerome makes him rank first among ancient exegetes. In the first place, he was very careful as to the sources of his information. He required of the exegete a very extensive knowledge of sacred and profane history, and also of the linguistics and geography of Palestine. He never either categorically acknowledged or rejected the deuterocanonical books as part of the Canon of Scripture, and he repeatedly made use of them. On the inspiration, the existence of a spiritual meaning, and the freedom of the Bible from error, he holds the traditional doctrine."

 Saint Jerome in his Study, Albrecht Dürer 1514

He was considered one of the original Four Doctors of the Church, and often appears in works of art with the others (St. Augustine, St. Ambrose, and St. Gregory the Great.) Hint: Jerome is the one in the red cardinal's robe and hat. Though the office of cardinal did not technically exist at that time, he held a prominent position in the court of Pope Damasus I who encouraged him to translate the scriptures.

Four Doctors of the Church, Carlo Braccesco circa

In other art he is shown studying in solitude, often wearing just a simple robe, with only a crucifix and skull in to meditate on.  Sometimes he is shown with a lion, who, according to Jerome's medieval hagiography, befriended the saint after having a thorn removed from its paw.

Jerome in his Study, Niccolo Antonio Colantonio c.

The Vulgate was the definitive edition of sacred scripture in the West for well over one thousand years, and was affirmed as the Church's official text at the Council of Trent in the 16th century. The Gutenberg Bible, the first moveable-type print edition of sacred scriptures, was a copy of the Latin Vulgate.

9.23.2013

Silos Apocalypse

I don't typically think of Spain when I think about illuminated manuscripts. That is until I was recently researching manuscripts that specifically illustrate scenes from the book of Revelation (for my most recent work). The Silos Apocalypse was created around 1100 A.D. It's actually one of several illustrated copies of Saint Beatus of Liebana's Commentary on the Apocalypse. Beatus was a contemporary of Alcuin, a monk, theologian, and geographer.



Flip through the pages yourself at the British Library website: Silos Apocalypse

While you're browsing, you can listen to some Mozarabic Chant, the liturgical music of the Iberian region which predates the Visigoths.


If you're wondering what the monks of Santo Domingo de Silos are up to nowadays, you might recall their 90's Billboard chart topping album, "Chant."

7.13.2013

Christ in Majesty

This is my latest work, "Christ in Majesty" based on the illumination of the same title from the Westminster Psalter. The original artwork was created using pen, brush, and ink, and embellished with metal leaf. I'm selling it as a high quality photo print on real Kodak photo paper.

7.11.2013

From London to the Holy Land

I just love maps.  There are some maps being featured right now on the British Museum's Medieval Manuscripts Blog. Here's one from the 1250's of a pilgrimage travel route. All the towns are about one day's travel apart.


Royal MS 14 C VII

Each town is distilled to its essential features, and each road is straight. It is more of a topological map than a topographical map, if you get my mathematical pun.  It's a really telling example of how medieval people organized, prioritized, and represented information artistically, whether geography or scripture was the subject.

If you'd like to zoom in on it and view other pages, you can find the digitized manuscript online at the British Museum website: http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/Viewer.aspx?ref=royal_ms_14_c_vii_f002r

6.21.2013

Lindisfarne Gospels

The BBC recently did a piece on the Lindisfarne Gospels. You can listen to it here: BBC iPlayer

You can also flip through the pages at The British Museum Digitised Manuscript collection here: http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/FullDisplay.aspx?ref=Cotton_MS_nero_d_iv


 The Chi-Rho monogram from the Gospel of Matthew in the Lindisfarne Gospels, England, approximately 700A.D.

5.26.2013

Romanesque English Manuscripts

Let's take a look at a few illuminated manuscripts made in England during the Romanesque period:

Christ in majesty, spreading his hands in blessing. Winchester Bible, 12th Century


The Doubt of St. Thomas. St. Albans Psalter, 12th Century

Christ in Majesty from the Westminster Psalter, around 1200 A.D.

4.23.2013

St. George Google Doodle

It looks like St. George's Day gets the Google treatment:

Here's an article from The Independent: Google Doodle flies the flag with tribute to St George's Day 2013

Though the lettering is not, as the article claims, derived from the Bayeux Tapestry. Those are called historiated initials, and they are a feature of illuminated manuscripts.  You can see the tapestry for yourself:


An image that has been floating around the internet lately that really was created in the style of the Bayeux Tapestry would be this brilliant piece of Star Wars fan art:

link to original image: http://jibasse.deviantart.com/#/art/Nerdy-Bayeux-Tapestry-366253120?hf=1

So, as I was saying, Happy St. George's Day; and don't forget, a little bit of medieval cultural literacy goes a long way towards a proper understanding of internet humor.

4.18.2013

Museums and Libraries Online

If you're a busy mom like me, and only have time for research while your children are sleeping, there are great resources out there for exploring the great art museums and libraries of the world. Here are two I've been playing with this week:

Digital Public Library of America

Google Art Project

Next week I'll post some of the images I've compiled from these sources. For now, check out the Sobieski Book of Hours (1420-1425) http://g.co/artproject/dxec

3.21.2013

{pretty, happy, funny, real}

Well, that was a pretty ominous last post!  Here we are almost a year later and I haven't written a single blog entry. I went into labor a few hours after Easter dinner and had a brand new baby boy by morning of the next day! Then I was hospitalized with a serious infection for 2 weeks. After many antibiotics, and many prayers (including the anointing of the sick from our priest), I got to come home and my dear husband helped me work my way back up to caring for our two little ones. So, I'm not dead, just insanely busy and grateful for every moment of it!

I'm especially grateful to the ladies who write the blog Like Mother, Like Daughter for sharing their insights about life which helped me think through the priorities and logistics of caring for my growing family this year. I thought I'd kick off my return to blogging by jumping into their blog link-up. Their weekly theme is called {pretty, happy, funny, real}, which is a great way to categorize what I've been up to lately...

Pretty:

Needless to say, my hospital experience was pretty eye-opening. I realized that I have a vocation to fulfill, and first and foremost it is not as an artist, but as a wife and mother. Since my recovery, I've been making a special effort, in addition to the normal household tasks (which seem to require a superhuman amount of strength some days), to build our family culture.



We celebrated the Feast of St. Joseph this week for the first time. I decorated the table and made pasta e fagioli- a good Lenten recipe from an Italian friend. All of the beautiful things on our table were generous gifts from friends over the years, including the real lily plant that we happened to have on hand! St. Joseph is traditionally shown holding a staff blooming lilies.

Happy:



Happy St. Patrick's Day! Which we also celebrated this week since I'm really part Irish and not any Italian. This is the pen and ink drawing of St. Patrick I made last year. I also filled small biodegradable planting pots with a little of the clover I've been growing on my balcony over the winter. I had my daughter give one to her friend next door.


This baby loves books, and that makes both of us happy!

Funny:


Two children in a box. What more is there to say about that?


Our checklist for which objects sink or float in water. I've started doing some homeschool activities with my preschool age daughter and having a lot of fun in the process.

Real:


Some days are difficult, like waking up several times in the night with a baby, and then waking up again before dawn because he's wide awake now and ready to start the day. But facing that hard reality and forcing myself out of bed, I was greeted with the beautiful cosmic reality of the planet Venus rising over Seattle just before the Sun. (That single large star low in the sky).


Here is another photograph of the night sky from our summer camping trip. I just got these photos recently because I do these the old fashioned way with an SLR on slide film, and it takes me months to work my way through the roll. There's nothing like being out in nature to clear the mind, especially contemplating the stars at night. This is a long exposure that shows how the stars appear to move over time because of the Earth's rotation.

So there you have it. I've given birth, contemplated my mortality, helped children and plants to grow, celebrated feasts and changing seasons, and observed the procession of the heavens. A painfully beautiful year full of God's grace and providence.


round button chicken

3.26.2012

Raphael's Crucifixion


Since it's Lent, I'll draw your attention to a wonderful article on Raphael's Crucifixion and the Mass by David Clayton, featured on New Liturgical Movement: http://www.newliturgicalmovement.org/2012/03/mass-portrayed-in-raphaels-crucifixion.html

The only thing I have to add is what one of my priests mentioned recently in a lecture about the Tridentine Mass. There are 3 spiritual levels to this painting, which recalls the 3 steps the priest ascends to the altar

My apologies for lack of posts lately. I'm about to have a baby any day now so I've been conserving my energy and activities.  I have managed to complete one sample illustration to be submitted to publishers with a friend's manuscript for a children's book on the Parables.  Hopefully I'll be able to post it in the future.