Saturday, March 29, 2008

Bernie's Ramblings: Interesting facts about Leonardo da Vinci's painting, "The Last Supper"...

This week I want to share some interesting facts about one of the most famous paintings of all time... "The Last Supper" by Leonardo da Vinci. I promise to continue my series on "What inspires me to create art" very soon. Old Masters like da Vinci and their works are a major inspiration for me and they also fuel my love and appreciation of art.
Hope you enjoy...

"The Last Supper"... Leonardo da Vinci

~~ The Last Supper is a mural painting by Leonardo da Vinci for his patron Duke Lodovico Sforza. ~~ The Last Supper was painted on a wall of the refectory of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan between 1495 and 1498. It was painted on a dry wall rather than on wet plaster, so it is not a true fresco. It measures 14 feet by 30 feet.... 13' 10" x 29' 7 1/2" to be exact.
~~ Leonardo began work on The Last Supper in 1495 and completed this monumental masterpiece in only three years in 1498.
~~ The Last Supper began to acquire its reverential reputation as soon as it was finished, even though the painting began to rapidly deteriorate. Leonardo refused to work in fresco, so he tried an experimental technique to paint on the wall of the monk's refectory. The experiment failed and humidity in the room caused the paint to start flaking as soon as 1517. By 1586 it could hardly even be seen.

~~ In 1652 the monks decided to cut a doorway through the center of the painting because it had so seriously deteriorated that they determined it was no longer worth saving, resulting in the feet of Jesus and part of the table being destroyed in the process.
~~ In 1796 the room was used by French troops as a stable. Despite orders from Napoleon that the masterpiece not be damaged in any way, soldiers took to throwing clay at the faces of the Apostles.~ In 1800 a flood covered the entire painting. Green mold had to be removed from its surface.
~~ In 1901 Gabriele D'Annunzio wrote what was considered to be the last of its several epitaphs in his famous Ode on the Death of a Masterpiece... "O Poets, it is no longer".
~~ It has under gone several renovations through the centuries... Because of this it cannot be certain whether the faces still resemble Leonardo's original painting; at least one (Thomas) definitely differed from the original at least until the restoration which finished in 1999. During the last restoration from 1979-1999, one of the most large-scale in history, a lot of color-levels from former restorations were removed.
~~ In 1943 a WWII air raid reduced the monastery to rubble; miraculously, The Last Supper, protected by sandbags on the rear wall, survived. (Pictured above)

~~ The monastery was restored and the painting can be seen in its original setting. (Pictured above)

Thanks for dropping by... as always... I would love to hear your comments.

Primary Source: The World of Leonardo 1452 - 1519. Time Life Library of Art, Time Life Books, 1966

Friday, March 21, 2008

Bernie's Ramblings: What Inspires Me... Scripture

Welcome to my ramblings... Over the next few weeks I plan to share with you "What inspires me to create art". If I had to put a label on one single thing that inspires me to create my artwork I would have to say "life" in general. I glean from the many things around me... seen and unseen.

This week... my inspiration topic is Scripture... God's written word. How appropriate with the Easter Season upon us. Many times I'll read a Bible verse and the subject matter for paintings will flood my mind. Sometimes the opposite occurs... as I work on a painting familiar scripture comes to mind. Either way... I find God's word often inspiring for my paintings and always inspiring for my life.

Many artist shy away from religious themes because they fear it may put them into a particular marketing category. Not me... I paint what inspires me... a broad range I might add. I want my paintings to reflect a part of who I am. When someone purchases one of my paintings... I want them to get more than pigment on canvas... I want them to get the experience and story behind the painting... in short... I want them to get a piece of me in each work. I want to share my passion for painting with them. I guess this approach could be considered marketing but I do not intentionally package myself that way. My beliefs are part of me and part of the package... therefore I do not hesitate to paint Christian subjects... it's a very big part of who I am.

Here are some examples (old and new) where Scripture was my inspiration.



"The Cross Set Before Him"... 20"x16" Oil on stretched textured canvas, 2004.

Hebrews 12:2... "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."

Read my art journal entry about this painting here... Jesus in Art....

"Basin and Towel"... 8"x10" Charcoal on Panel, 2003
John 13:15... Jesus said... "For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you." (KJV)

Art journal entry here: Masters Study... Jesus Christ

"The First Promise of a Redeemer" after Durer... 24"x18" Oil on Stretched Canvas, 2005

Genesis 3:14-15 ... So the LORD God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, "Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel."

Art journal entry here: Masters Study... Albrecht Dürer

"The Key" ... 7x5" Oil on Panel, painted alla prima from life, 3-7-2008
Isaiah 33:6 (NIV)... "God will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure."

Art journal entry: My Tribute to Christian Rock Band..."Third Day"

Thank you for tuning in this week to Bernie's Ramblings...

Happy Easter...

In the Pines (Old Tobacco Barn)

"In the Pines" ... 6x8" Oil on Panel, alla prima, 3-2008.

Bernie Rosage Jr. recieved the The Dr. Timothy Edwards Purchase Award for this painting in the 47th Annual Spring Art Show by the Onslow Art Society.

Click on image to enlarge...

Old tobacco barns like this scatter the country side in Eastern North Carolina. Most are being reclaimed by nature like this old one nestled in the shade of several pine trees. Many southern country folk can identify with these old barns and the long summer days of work and fellowship that went under their tin roofs. It won't be to many years in the future when this will be a rare site indeed.

Luck of the Irish

"Luck of the Irish" ... 7x5" Oil on Panel, alla prima from life, St Patrick's Day 2008.
SOLD... Thanks Mary B.
New York, NY

Click on image to enlarge...

I painted this small still life in my studio on St. Patrick's Day. My wife and I have always been intrigued by anything Irish. Guess you could call us "Wild Geese"... a term often referred to the Old Irish Regiments who left Ireland to fight in foreign countries but later referred to those who left Ireland for the new country and a new life. My wife and I will spend 11 days in Ireland this summer in search of family "roots"... "tubers" in Irish.

20 1995

"Bernie's Ramblings" by American Artist, Bernie Rosage Jr.

Ever wonder what goes on in the mind of an artist?

If so... Here's your chance... Please subscribe in the sidebar on the right to get "Bernie's Ramblings" ... a collection of thoughts, ideas, techniques, etc., in article form.

Thanks for your interest in my work and "Ramblings"...



Bernie's Ramblings: Events in History and Art Inspiration... 25 years ago today!

Bernie's Ramblings: Self Taught or NOT...????... Kudos to my Mentors...

Bernie's Ramblings: There is nothing like viewing art in person ...

Bernie's Ramblings: 20 years ago today...

Bernie's Ramblings: A Tribute to Gold Star Moms

Bernie's Ramblings: Interesting facts about Leonardo da Vinci's painting, "The Last Supper"

Bernie's Ramblings: What Inspires Me... Scripture
See more of the spiritual side of my work here... My Spiritual Unveiling thru Art

Thursday, March 13, 2008

"An Unlikely Pear" by Bernie Rosage Jr.

"An Unlikely Pear"... 6x8" Oil on Panel, alla prima from life, 3-2008.
SOLD... Thanks again Randy!
Lake Ridge, VA

Click on image to see a larger view...

Two more willing and patient models... a perfect studio sitting! For some reason I love painting items on my wife's grocery list. These daily paintings from life are among my favorites to paint... I never tire of them.

20 1995

Saturday, March 08, 2008

"Bowl of Lemons" by Bernie Rosage Jr.

"Bowl of Lemons"... 6x6" Oil on Panel, alla prima from life, 3-2008.
SOLD... Thanks Cecil!
Essex, CT

Click on image to see a larger view...

Another still life painted from life. The shape of this bowl presented a challenge with its almost scalloped shaped sides. When life hands you a bowl of lemons... make lemonade...

30 3100

Down on the Farm

"Down on the Farm"... 6x8" Oil on Panel, alla prima from life, 3-2008.
SOLD... Thanks again Jonathan!

Click on image to see a larger view...

The sun is going down on this barn yard scene casting long shadows and warm light. This is another painting to share my appreciation and admiration for the American farmer and his importance to our country. Thank you...

Thursday, March 06, 2008

"Soup in a Bowl" by Bernie Rosage Jr.

"Soup in a Bowl"... 8x6" Oil on panel, alla prima from life, 3-2008.

This original oil painting by American Artist, Bernie Rosage Jr. will be presented to potter, Ben Watford at the 6th Annual "Soup in a Bowl" fundraiser on March 15th. Ben graciously donates his handmade bowls and cups for the annual fundraiser for the Council for the Arts each year. In appreciation of such a gift I wanted to give him a gift in return... the result... this small still life of one of his original cups that I painted from life in the studio.