Back from tangent: Anyway, I only worked a half a day in the kitchen today because I drove a trip to the Francis and Sterling Clark Art Museum. I LOVE the Clark Art Museum; love that it has such a great array of European and North American art, from the Renaissance to the 20th century; definitely one of my favorite places in New England. I have been to the museum several times now, but enjoy going back every couple of months, or so, to see the newest special exhibit. The special exhibit during this particular trip was: The Strange World of Albrecht Dürer (running through mid-March 2011).
What I learned about Albrecht Durer today is, (according to the Clark's website--why reinvent the wheel, eh?)
"the strange world of Albrecht Dürer, populated by monsters, witches, hybrid animals, and marauding soldiers, shares spiritual and social preoccupations with our own time. Dürer (1471–1528) was celebrated throughout the sixteenth century and is memorialized today for his innovative techniques in printmaking, his visionary imagination, and his theoretical writing, which transformed the study of human proportion. Deeply embedded in an age of religious reformation, scientific inquiry, and artistic innovation, Dürer created prints that reflected the tumult of his era."
Though a successful painter, Dürer was also skilled in woodcutting and engraving, later going on to write on a variety of topics including geometry. So successful was he at his craft that Dürer was commissioned by the likes of Emperor Maximilian I.
Posted are two of my favorite engravings, which I saw today. The one on the left features St. Eustace. St. Eustace is the patron saint of hunters or those facing adversity. The story behind St. Eustace is that he was a Roman soldier, who, upon finding a stag with a crucifix between his horns, reflected upon faith; was baptized and converted to Christianity; refused to worship false gods; was roasted alive. If you look closely at the picture you will notice the stag is pictured with the crucifix between his horns, just as the story suggests.
The picture on the right features St. Jerome, one of my personal favorite patron saints (this may be due to the fact that St. Jerome is the patron saint of Librarians). A lover of learning, St. Jerome was appointed by Pope Damasus to revisen the Latin New Testament of the Bible. St. Jerome is often pictured in his study or with a lion, or both as it were. The lion is sometimes interpreted as meaning that St. Jerome was a "fearless champion of the faith."