The Squirrel Review

For centuries wise men have praised and admired the one we now know as ‘the father of painting.’ Dante Alighieri, Boccaccio, Petrarch, Ghiberti, Vasari, Leonardo da Vinci or even Voltaire, just to name of few, all have written about Giotto in admiration of the modernity of his skill and his aptness in conveying the reality of religious scenes. Here we look at a work which best embodies the phenomenon, or even the miracle, that is Giotto – The Entombment of Mary.

Though Giotto was famous before this point, this painting is arguably his finest demonstration of skill and his deep philosophical understanding of religious events. In this work, we see the Virgin Mary being laid down in her casket surrounded by all the apostles, and angels. Moving away from Byzantine iconography,  Giotto utilizes naturalism to create a religious scene that is both personal and tender. That is to say, he specifically…

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The Squirrel Review

On 5th July 1816, the wreck of the French ship “Medusa” ran aground on the West African coast. Ten survivors washed ashore, and recounted the horrors that they had experienced  – dehydration, death, and even cannibalism. Their story became something of an international scandal at the time, with many using the event to justify their opposition to the newly restored French monarchy. However, for a young artist determined to make his mark, the infamously gruesome shipwreck provided the perfect scene for a painting.

The Raft of the Medusa is a work of many contrasts  – by understanding these, and how they complement each other, we can begin to appreciate this paintings excellence. Look at the despair that pervades the scene – pale greenish corpses lay scattered, a solitary man in the foreground contemplates the loss of his son, while a dark and menacing sky looms overhead. Using a Caravaggio style light and shade technique (known as ‘claire-obscure’), Géricault…

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The Immortal Jukebox

Or, to put it another way:

Four takes on, ‘Michael Row The Boat Ashore’

‘… They were tones, loud, long and deep, breathing the prayer and complaint of souls boiling over with the bitterest anguish.’ (Frederick Douglas)

‘And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great Prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as there never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, everyone shall be found written in the book.

And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to eternal life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.’.
(Book of Daniel Chapter 12 King James Version)

‘Jordan River is deep and wide, hallelujah.
Meet my mother on the other side, hallelujah
Jordan River is chilly and cold…

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