The Feeder Feed: Renaissance Siena edition

I was at the V and A today.

The Sienese painter Bernardino Fungai (+c.1516) and his Virgin and Child with Two Saints gives us a nice Christological Goldfinch.

I think this is a Renaissance variation of “I am as happy as a bird with a french fry”.

Note the wonderful sense of the fabric.

They have the oldest surviving casket, perhaps a reliquary, depicting the martyrdom of St. Thomas Becket and the ascent of his soul.

They have a mitre which may have belonged to St. Thomas.

The V and A has 5 of Leonardo’s little notebooks.  I make a comparison…

Fun. I spent hours in one gallery.

Then… after the impromptu blognic and supper with some of the folks who came… the ride home.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. lucy says:

    Mighty fine drawings there, Father. Thanks for sharing the artifacts.

  2. jmvbxx says:

    I can’t view the pictures in Chrome. Firefox works fine.

    Beautiful pictures btw

  3. revs96 says:

    Can’t see them either in Chrome. Had to use Firefox.

  4. Supertradmum says:

    The goldfinch in art is the symbol of the Crucifixion and salvific act of Christ on the Cross, as finches usually eat thorns. The pomegranate is the symbol of the Resurrection of Christ and immortal life, a la Persephone. That is why these symbols are in the painting, as in several others, including ones by da Vinci and Raphael. Charming picture….

  5. Trevor says:

    Cool pics. Although, I highly doubt St. Thomas had a mitre and gold crosier. As far as development of mitres, goes, I think this one is from our side of the second millennium.

  6. Trevor: I think the Archbishop of Canterbury, did in fact have a miter… and a crozier. But note that I didn’t say anything about the crozier.

  7. irishgirl says:

    I have a book on St. Thomas Becket that has that very same reliquary chest on the cover! I bought it on one of my visits to Canterbury.
    Very cool pictures, Father Z–are those your sketches in the notebook you’re carrying? If so, you’re quite the artist!
    I can’t even draw a straight line…sigh…
    Ah, the Victoria Station tube stop….I stayed at a hotel right next to it in 1989. One of the best ones in London location-wise. One hop off of the tube or the train station, and I was right through the lobby and up into my room!

  8. Sarah L says:

    Isn’t Vicky and Al’s just the best? I particulary enjoyed how the new Medieval Galleries displayed vestments and chalices in an area behind a rerdos – sort of like a sacristy. And my hotel in London was right by Victoria Station too – ahhh memories :-)

    Great sketches, too. It’s really the best way to get to know the shape and proportions of objects. I drew a lot of chairs and pewter sugar bowls for my grad program last year.

  9. Gabrielle says:

    Fr, before you leave you should also visit (again?) the Sir John Soames Museum in Lincoln’s Inn. You would love it!
    And I’ve been meaning to say for a while: if you ever have the chance, you should really update your Lewis and Short to the Oxford Latin Dictionary (much as it pains me, alumna Cantabrigiensis). It is leagues above in terms of scholarship, accuracy and referencing. Last time I checked it was selling for a couple of hundred $.
    Wonderful to have you in London Fr. Keep up the good work. God Bless

  10. PostCatholic says:

    The goldfinch is charming. The painting brings to mind Lorenzo Lotto’s “Annunciation”, which is exactly how it happened if it happened with a cat in the room.

  11. PostCatholic says:

    huh. Don’t know what happened to the URL there, but Google Image Search will find it for anyone who’d like to see it.

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