The Arts Society Borders
Members Favourite Pictures
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Caroline Donegall has chosen The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymous Bosch as her favourite picture (central panel shown below) “This intriguing triptych hangs in the Prado in Madrid. It was painted by Hieronymus Bosch between 1490 and 1510 and is full of religious and moral symbolism, exotic creatures and terrible mutants, leading to numerous theories about the true meaning of this work. Is the central panel a moral warning or a hedonistic paradise?  I first saw this painting when I was a teenager and have loved it ever since. One can find something new on every viewing.  A virtual online tour of ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights’ which explains some of the symbolism can be found at tuinderlusten-jheronimusbosch ntr.nl/en”   Charmian Findlay’s selection is The Medici Riccardi Chapel “On a side road off the Piazza del Duomo in Florence is a large, non-descript building with rustication on the bottom level. Up the stairs is a jewel box of a tiny private chapel (it can fit about 8 people inside). The walls are covered with frescos by Benozzo Gozzolli showing The Adoration of the Magi.  All the magi and their followers are portraits of the Medici, their family, friends, and servants. The frescos are overflowing with movement and life, and the colours are so vibrant and individuals so crisp that it looks like it has only been painted in the last few weeks. All forms of human emotion are on display, whichever direction you look.  As it is so off the beaten track it feels like the chapel is being discovered for the first time every time one visits. It’s so unappreciated in comparison to what’s down the road, and yet so full of life that every time I see it I never want to leave!” The Procession of the Young King (east wall) is shown below and detail of all four walls can be seen at https://www.wga.hu/html_m/g/gozzoli/3magi/1/index.html  Mel Houldsworth’s pick is The Annunciation by Fra Angelico. Painted c. 1432-4, it can be found in the Museo Diocesano in Cortona, a medieval hilltop town in northern Italy. “The angel Gabriel wearing a stunning pink gown with beautiful gold embroidery and sporting a splendid pair of gilded wings enters a portico of Corinthian columns. The angel genuflects before Mary and delivers his greeting. Mary drops her book and crosses her hands on her breast in acceptance of her destiny. Directly above Mary’s head under a star studded ceiling the dove of the Holy Spirit emits golden light. A garden to the left symbolises Mary’s virginity and recalls the Garden of Eden. In the background Adam and Eve are expelled from the garden.   If you are in Italy, near Cortona, go and see this painting which is larger than you might imagine.  The Museo is usually very quiet and peaceful. You will be stunned by the rich colouring and compelling beauty of the painting. The simplified yet exquisitely elegant figures are captivating.  Fra Angelico was a devout monk and was known as ‘the angelic painter’ - you will see why!” Jenny Hedgecoe has chosen the photo below: “I like this as the portrait shows both the sculptor and his creation with the obvious connection between the two.  Even if you are not particularly a Henry Moore fan l think something special can be drawn from this captured moment.”