Happy and Blessed Solemnity of the Annunciation

 +JMJ+ Last night we prayed the Rosary to cultivate a civilization of Love and Life and to end the culture of death, but also in honor of the Annunciation. I post a thread before the Rosary itself of things to help us prepare for our meditation, a kind of meditation before our meditation: parts of the Divine Office, images of the saint of the day, things like that. Last night I posted some images of paintings of the Annunciation. You can see that prep, and the Rosary thread that followed it, on my Twitter page. The link to that thread and many others are also on the Rosary Project Live Archives page. You can also visit the First Joyful Mystery page in the Rosary Project on the blog, available to you 24/7/365.

I’m always on the lookout for artwork to use in the Rosary Project. I also have some books in the works. I know it’s taking longer than I expected to get these books out, but they will be worth the wait. I hope. I have several books in the works, some in the vague idea stage, some in the planning stage, some in the writing/formatting stage. One thing that slows things down (often the case with blog posts and tweets as well) is finding the right artwork that is either in the public domain or that I can easily obtain permission to use. For easily, read: at no monetary cost whatsoever. I simply cannot afford to pay for artwork at this stage. Sadly, much of the artwork that is really pretty, or has even halfway true color, has been bought up by stock photo sites. Museums allow some downloads of their images, but in low quality and not for commercial use, unless I want to pay money and I do not.

Here’s an example of what I mean about color. I have not seen the original of this image so I don’t really know what the colors should be, I’m making a purely arbitrary decision based on what I think the colors should be and as close as I can get them, working with what I have to work with. The image I first found is the one that looks orangish. Next I found an image that had more color but still had a yellowish cast to it. So I used Photoshop (the Elements version, have I mentioned that money is an object?) to “enhance” the color, making it less dull and less yellow. Better? I don’t know. Maybe. I like it better.

So there you have it. I have a lot of artwork, a LOT, and that can slow me down, too, aside from messing around with colors. I have sometimes to go through a web search to find out who the artist is and whether or not I can use the image I have for whichever project I have in mind. Sometimes I have artwork I originally saved years ago and either made no note about it or couldn’t find any info at the time. And bear in mind now, I am not an art historian. I’m just a dabbler. A dilettante I was once called. (Happened many years ago and about a completely different subject.) Back then I had to look the word up. Now I know what it means but I prefer to think of myself as an amateur since I do what I do primarily for the love of it. And love for the Lord and His Blessed Mother and the Church. And for all the friends of the Rosary Project.

Well, I sat down to write about the Annunciation and here I’ve written about the Rosary Project and the art for it instead. Let me close by including some images from the collection and I’ll add some links that I think you might enjoy, too, articles written by people who are decidedly not dilettantes or dabblers.

First, an article by Elizabeth Lev, Tanner’s Realistic Annunciation. That’s the painting she’s writing about, below.

Second, Joseph Ratzinger: The Mystery of the Annunciation is the Mystery of Grace, selections from two works by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. Highly recommended!

IMAGE “Virgin Mary Annunciate” (1431-33) by Fra Angelico

And third, Annunciation – The World Created Anew, a post by Margaret Duffy, an art historian whose blog I stumbled upon years ago and have treasured ever since. I can happily fall down rabbit holes on her blog for hours, if not days, at a time.

Thanks for visiting the blog and reading. May we grow in holiness and virtue in this Lenten season, on this great day in the history of our salvation; and, by His grace, become the saints the Lord intends us to be. God bless you, and may His peace be always with you. +JMJ+

Join me on Fridays for the Rosary Project Live on Twitter at 8pm ET, 7pm CT, to cultivate a culture of Light, Life, Love, Truth, Beauty, and Goodness, for the conversion of sinners, and for the salvation of souls. There’s also a Rosary on the blog you can use anytime.

“The Rosary is the ‘weapon’ for these times.” — Padre Pio

Notes and Links

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Images, Top: Annunciation arch, by Fra Lippo Lippi. Gallery, from top, left to right: Fra Angelico, Philippe de Champaigne, Orazio Gentileschi, Fra Filipp Lippi, Giovanni Battista Cima (I added the Hail Mary), Zanobi Strozzi, Petrus Christus, Dirk Bouts, Giulio Cesare Procaccini, Francesco Albani, Francesco Capella (every time I see it I think it’s Tiepolo but it’s not), El Greco, Amaury Duval, Stanisław Durink. Next large image: Henry-Ossawa-Tanner.

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Copyright: All original material on Catholic Heart and Mind is Copyright © 2009-2023 Lee Lancaster. All rights reserved. Read more.

2 thoughts on “Happy and Blessed Solemnity of the Annunciation

  1. Always LOVE your found artwork, Lee. Am amazed at your finds of pieces never-before seen! And as always, they help very much to focus during Friday’s Rosary, as I’m so put-off by religious art from the 1960s and/or recent times that are just too modern, if that’s the right word, for my sensibilities. BTW, every morning I provide religious art to a Devotional group (they upload a daily meditation/prayer(s), I contribute art to add to the group mailing. All LOCAL church ladies, nothing on a nation-wide basis.) So when I use an image you’ve uploaded, I sometimes DO edit the coloring & contrast, as you have done above. Not always, but sometimes it does help. These ladies aren’t historical art students, and if minor edits to enhance a piece help w/failing eyesight, so be it. Sometimes I lag behind on Fridays, not from saying each decade, but bc I’m studying every detail in your images — not so much as a former art student & artist, but bc it aids in my meditation of events depicted–thus honoring the sacred & holy & truly nourishes the soul as such pieces did throughout time & before Vatican II….which I’m still recovering from, every Sunday. I always have to say to myself -Focus, Kar, focus on the Eucharist…as I often roll eyes, being a former Latin Mass attendee … which I guess is now being fully eliminated from earth & frowned upon for reasons beyond my comprehension… sorry, Lee, now I’m rambling….but as always, thanks for all you do!!! Love Kar

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Kar, for the kind words. I have such a good time ferreting out artwork for the Rosary and the blog. There’s so much out there, I feel like a kid in a candy store. ;) And I’m always glad to learn that someone finds the images useful. Great idea using them with your group. I don’t care for most of the modern stuff either, as you’ve probably noticed. ;)

      Love, Lee :)

      Liked by 1 person

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