Three Paintings by Early Italian Renaissance Artists .....  
 
A wonderful, colourful, and informative afternoon was given by Sister Marie Therese O’Toole snd as she, in her most delightful manner presented us with some early Italian Renaissance Art. 
Preceding the three paintings was a poem ‘Jesus Christ the Wisdom of God' read beautifully by Sr Patricia Montgomery snd. Then the Carol Regina Caeli Laetare was joyfully sung by Chris Mc Cann, Lesley Bentley and Sr Jean Mc Donagh snd. 

 THE HUNT IN THE FOREST by PAULO UCCELLO...........1397-1475  

The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England displays a unique and magical painting called ‘The Hunt in the Forest’ by Paulo di Dono or Paul Uccello. It is one of the genre termed spalliera (from spalla meaning shoulder) of which very few exist, and would have been placed at shoulder level in a wooden panelled room, in a wealthy Florentine house. It was painted by an artist completely fascinated by linear and spatial perspective, and who completely mastered the way to work it out on this particular painting. It is also a painting in which the message is disguised. Do study it for yourself and enjoy solving the riddle............. 
 
 
THE ANNUNCIATION by PAULO UCCELLO........... 1397-1475 
 
 
 
Following Paulo Uccello’s interest in linear and spatial perspective, he produced a three staged Annunciation Painting. This showed heavenly realm, as well as an earthly one. The Message was first given to Archangel Gabriel by God the Father in the presence of the Heavenly Choirs then taken to earth and delivered to Mary. The gold painted background emphasises the fact that the Messenger comes from God, but depends on the response from a human being for the results. (This painting is in the Prado Museum, Madrid Spain.) 
 
 
 
 
THE BIRTH OF MARY, THE VIRGIN by DOMENICO GHIRLANDAIO ......1449-1494 
This is a painting by an artist who knows how to incorporate local talent into his highly decorative every-day Religious Scenes. It shows the birthing chamber of Mary (Mother of God) having taken place in a wooden panelled room of a rich Florentine House, filled with visitors headed by the elegantly dressed wife of the Tornabuoni Family whose husband commissioned the painting. The action of a maid pouring water into a bowl to wash the child, is very distinctive. A little to the left, and at the top of a staircase outside the actual chamber, a couple embrace. It is the ‘old’ Joachim and the ‘barren’ Anna, suggesting the naturally flowing semi-circular movement from conception to birth, visually telling the story that nothing is impossible to God. (painting hangs in the Capella Maggiore, Sancta Maria Novella. Florence, Italy.) 
 
 
We are grateful to Sister for sharing her great knowledge about these paintings. For some of us we became aware of these works of art for the first time. For others we re-visited them with perhaps a deeper appreciation. We look forward to more days of art appreciation from this distinguished and very knowledgable lady. Thank you ! 
(text about the paintings written by Sr Marie Therese O Toole snd 
(photos by Sr Maureen Coyle snd) 
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