Friday, September 4, 2009

"Seeking Sara"
An Evidence Based Mixed Media Art Journey
Part 3


Ansaldo Ceba was born in 1565 in Genoa. He came from a noble family and attended the University of Padua where he specialized in Greek language and literature.

Ansaldo Ceba and Sara Copia Sullam were most intimately linked with his heroic poem on the sacred theme of Queen Esther.

Ceba’s poem, La Reina Ester, written in 1613. “La Reina Ester” was composed in less than two years. Ester was an extremely long poem (Canto XI has 186 stanzas; Canto IX, 170).

Being a well known literary figure, Ceba’s poem had aroused great expectations in Italy however the poem was not received at all well.

In 1618, Ansaldo Ceba received a letter that was to affect his life profoundly and bring him some joy because it was from someone who appreciated his poem Ester.

That Ansaldo Ceba was a Christian who had deemed a Jewish queen worthy of being made the heroine of an epic poem was what captured the attention of Sara.

Finished Reliquary for Ansadlo Ceba
Antique Italian photo frame
Feathers representing quills used for his written poetry
Antique beads and
Antique metal fringe from Masonary neck piece

Her letter in praise of the poem led to an exchange of letters and verse with Sara Copio Sullam. The exchange was his attempt to convert her to his Catholic faith.

There is no image available of Sara hence I substituted with this image of Queen Esther. It seems ironical that the poem that brought the lives of these two of different faiths together, uses Queen Esther’s heroism to save her people from annihilation. If the Jews at the time all became Converso's then they would have committed self annihilation.

Sara, who was extremely committed to her faith, did not relent to Ceba’s continual attempts to convert her.

Sara lived at a time when Jews were forced to live in the Venetian Ghetto. The Inquisitions still prevailed and it was with great risk to her life that Sara continued her correspondence and subsequent refusals to convert. However, the The Venetian Ghetto was famous for intellectual as well as artistic and musical attainments.

Finished Reliquary for Sara Copio Sullam

Antique Italian photo frame
Antique beads and trim
Vintage crewel leaves
Antique Piano Ivories representing her musical talents

The colours red and yellow used to symbolise the forced colours that Jews had to wear to identify themselves.
The use of the reliquary here, whilst somewhat foreign to Judaism seemed appropriate to the subject matter and the way people were remembered at the time.



Kim said...

Honestly Judy I swear objects just look for you and run out to greet you where ever you are screaming pick me, pick me, LOL! The antique frames are gorgeous as are the images. Where did you find them? The piece is coming together so well. You are such a master story teller. Love how it is all shaping up.

stregata said...

This story has me hanging on the edge of my seat... you do this so well and the pieces you are creating are so fabulous!!! Oh, to be in Cortona in May...

Lindart said...

Wonderful! I have just recently become interested in this time period as well, and have plans to do an AB on the Popes of the Renaissance. Your Reliquaries are an inspiration! I love the story too, that's partly what I want to do as well, tell stories about certain instances of the Popes lives as well as feature the art from that period. Thank you!

Sam Marshall said...

I love the way your art and the story weave together. Inspiring.

Dede Warren said...

You attention to detail in EVERY instance is unbelievable. You so deeply study your subject, and there is so much thought given... know wonder I am in awe of the work you do. These are wonderful Judy!

wildflowr said...

That was so lovely- gorgeous, sensual & informative... you are a gem!
Thanks for sharing!

Poetic Artist said...

What a wonderful story to go with your work. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I'm new to your blog, and I just love it! A superb site ;-) I will be coming back often. . .

Seth said...

Such perfect tributes to these two people. As always, the details that go into your work amazes me!

Elizabeth said...

Yoa re such an amazing teacher and chronicler of history!! I so look forward to your posts and I read and reread them many times! Of course they are nothing without the wonderful care and attention to detail that you display in your amazing artwork!
thank you, thank You!

Karen Cole said...

Beautiful work, Judy. It's a great story and you make it more so. I am having trouble finding the piano keys this morning. I'll go have a cup of coffee and come back.

Judy said...

The piano key parts are the broken ivory bits with the writing Genoa and the date on them

Clare W said...

I have really enjoyed your Blog. It's really unique x