The new campus of N.C. Art Museum— Part One

The new campus of N.C. Art Museum— Part One June 9, 2024

There is a wide variety of art in the N.C. Museum of Art, which was originally just located in downtown Raleigh, but now has a sprawling campus of several buildings on the west side of the capital city, not far from Chapel Hill.  In the following posts I’ll be highlighting some of the things in the new building, like for instance the painting above of Vulcan and his forge, and Cyclops.

This is one of two large, major paintings likely by Tintoretto, the other being the raising of Lazarus, below.

The story of Tintoretto’s attempt to break into the art scene in Venice, already dominated by Titian and Veronese, is an interesting one.  He was prepared to do commissions of both secular and sacred art.

There is other Biblical art in the new building for instance this painting of Queen Esther… by a Dutch painter named Lievens

The golden calf story is depicted as follows…

This one above was by Jan Steen in the 17th century.

How about Orento’s painting of Jacob providing water for Laban’s sheep…

Or how about Peter’s denial of Christ at the house of the high priest?


What all this, and much more, should remind us of is that the church was the major patron of the arts in many cases, hence so many pictures of Biblical scenes, and saints.   Sometimes, you can tell the painter didn’t much want to do the Biblical scene, and so he focused on something else in the foreground, for example in this painting of a meat market, which has in tiny figures in the background the Virgin Mary giving alms.  Try and guess the connection.

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