Monday, November 30, 2009

St Andrew

Title: St Andrew

Artist: Artus Wolffort

Medium: Oil on canvas

Size:116 x 91 cm
Date: c. 1620

Location: Private collection.

According to New Testament scripture, St. Andrew, the Apostle, son of Jonah, or John, was born in Bethsaida of Galilee. Both he and his brother Simon (Peter) were fishermen, and at the beginning of Jesus' public life occupied the same house at Capernaum. From the fourth Gospel we learn that Andrew was a disciple of the Baptist, whose testimony first led him and John the Evangelist to follow Jesus. Andrew at once recognized Jesus as the Messiah, and hastened to introduce Him to his brother, Peter. Thereafter the two brothers were disciples of Christ.

The feast of St. Andrew the Apostle (30 November) is used as a marking point for the beginning of Advent, the period of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus, which begins with the Sunday nearest to the feast day and embracing four Sundays. The first Sunday may be as early as 27 November, and then Advent has twenty-eight days, or as late as 3 December, giving the season only twenty-one days. With Advent the ecclesiastical year begins in the Western churches.

Artus Wolffort (1581 – 1641), also Wolffaert, was a Flemish Baroque painter from Antwerp. Wolffort’s work was virtually unknown until the late 1970s; some paintings were even thought to be early works by Rubens. The starting-point for the reconstruction of his oeuvre is the fully signed Women Bathing, together with several pictures bearing a monogram. He executed a number of commissioned altarpieces, such as the Ascension and the Assumption of the Virgin (both c. 1617; Antwerp, St Paul). Among his most characteristic works are his serial representations of the Twelve Apostles, the Four Evangelists and Four Fathers of the Church.