Devotion to Mary Queen of Apostles is one of the oldest in the Church. Traditionally, this feast day has been celebrated on the first Saturday after the feast of the Ascension.
Anticipating the high feast of Pentecost, where the Holy Spirit descends upon Mary and the apostles, I looked at a seemingly endless variety of depictions. The 5"x7" “thumbnail” painting of Mary (left) is loosely based on one of Titian's later works, Pentecost.
Titian experimented with Mannerism which had been introduced into Venice during these years by Salviati and Giorgio Vasari (1511-74).
In Titian’s Pentecost, we see at least one apostle staring intently at Mary and another presumably, Thomas, is scratching his beard as if he is still doubting. Other apostles are conversing or involved in other transitional moments.
“The expressiveness of all these works derives from the way in which the forms seem to dissolve as though by a process of self-combustion”.
I sketched a few more characters before moving on to other artists' depictions. Although masterful, this wasn’t the scene that I wanted to tackle in full at this time.
More on Titian
“Titian's later works become looser and tend to lose their solidity. Colours and textures almost melt into each other, giving a shimmering, unsettling atmospheric effect. His brushwork became more vibrant, and it is thought he even started using his fingers to complete paintings”. more.
As with the Ascension, you’ll find an abundance of historical paintings. It’s worthwhile to study the progression of this scene from the earliest church renderings until modern day. One item to look for in Pentecost depiction: how many apostles were there then count?
Today concludes the liturgical Easter Season, but like Mary, we continue to ponder all these things in our hearts.
"We entrust to the maternal intercession of Mary, who was present as Mother in the midst of the disciples in the Upper Room: she is the Mother of the Church, the mother of Jesus becomes Mother of the Church. We entrust to her that the Holy Spirit descends abundantly upon the Church of our time, filling the hearts of all the faithful and kindling in them the fire of His love". Pentecost Sunday address.
Notes, Art, Photography CMJENTZ ©2013-2018
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“It is with the smallest brushes that the artist paints the most exquisitely beautiful pictures.” (St. André Bessette)