Did you see the news???
An artwork, thought to be lost forever, showed up in a French woman’s house! Apparently, she had it in her kitchen above a hot pad. It’s still in amazing condition, considering everything, and art historians are totally squealing in excitement about this unexpected find!
Oh, and here’s a teaser picture from the Washington Post, just in case you want to take a peek at what this artwork looks like…
There’s more pictures of this art, if you want to click on the article.
Now, the painting is admittedly dirty. Do you see that brown background? That’s actually supposed to be gold paint! When it gets restored, it is going to pop, let me tell you!
Also, it was painted on a panel made of poplar tree. In fact! One of the ways that they verified the authenticity of the painting was to look at the wood… and, what do you know, the wood from this painting matched some of his other paintings!
So, I figured I would feature another one of Cimabue’s masterpieces that was made on the same poplar, before the panels were divide.
It is an image of the Flagellation of Christ, which is more commonly known as the Scourging at the Pillar nowadays. Christ is tied to a column while men beat him with whips with the intent of scourging Him during His Passion.
It’s a fairly straightforward image, honestly. It’s very simple and illustrates the gospel in a very quick way. The men who are beating Christ have their eyebrows furrowed and grit their teeth as they beat Christ. And Then Jesus, who seems larger than either of the two men, looks at the viewer as if to ask us whether we are contemplating the brutality of His sorrowful Passion.
A simple image, right?
However, in its time, this was quite innovative! In fact, Cimabue, along with several other artists in the 13th century (Duccio and Giotto come to mind immediately) were some of the most innovative artists that changed how the West perceived art forever.
Before this time, religious artworks were very simply drawn, with only a limited attempt to make the faces look expressive. It was the knowledge of the gospel stories themselves that were supposed to elicit emotions. The icons only intended to remind you of the stories. But, you can clearly see that Cimabue intended to draw the viewer into the painting with Christ’s expression, so as to contemplate the Passion in a different way.
It was one of the stepping stones that paved the way to the artwork of the Renaissance and beyond that allow us to more deeply contemplate the gospel.
Isn’t it incredible???
And to think, the companion to this artwork was in a little old lady’s home!