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    The Blessing of the Animals

    Original and Prints for SaleAdd to Favorites
    0.00 ( 0 votes )
    Price: 180,000.00 USD
    Contact ajmassey@annjamesmassey.com
    Added 2019-01-31 09:17:03


    It has always been in my mind to pay homage to the presence of animals and spiritual support in my life, as well as to the techniques, composition and extraordinary art left to us by the artists of the past (particularly the Primitive Flemish such as Jan Van Eyck, Gerard David, Hans Memling, etc. in this case). The seeds were planted decades ago for the perfect integration of these three major influences with the Blessing of the Animals services in The American Cathedral, my spiritual home in Paris.

    This yearly service is traditionally held in churches on or near October 4th to celebrate the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi.  As legend has it, this remarkable saint also preached to the birds and is the patron saint of animals.

    Though the setting is a fair rendition of the Cathedral, my painting was never meant to be an exact recreation though I have retained most elements including the multiple lighting sources.  Like the artists of the past, I've simplified and deleted some minor details as well as altered perspective and scale for compositional consideration to make the image more pleasing to the viewer's eye.  Though a few people and animals from actual ceremonies have been incorporated, the rest of the participants are drawn from over 36 years of my own source material and planning. A list of participants can be found in the background on the painting at my website.

    The image has been created entirely by hand with no mechanical means.  It took a year to decide on all the participants, do the sketches, create the composition and finalize the original line drawing. The underpainting of burnt umber on Sapele mahogany panel unfortunately took three more years to complete due to a long hiatus caused by a minor right hand injury that morphed into a serious complication (now recovered). Working with traditional techniques including mixing my paints from powdered pigments, I painted at least three more layers of full color on most of the painting followed by some final scumbling and glazing.  Though fair in size, it is in fact a very large miniature.  I worked using jewelers' glasses in order to attain that level of detail (best appreciated with a magnifying glass).  Started in 2009, The Blessing of the Animals was finished December 30, 2017.

    Specific details

    Name of Artist: Ann James Massey
    Width (inches): 23
    Height (inches): 17
    Media: Oil
    Country: France
    Painting Genre: Representational / Other


    Use of Color
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