All Saints’ Day

I’ve decided to rebel against Halloween and spooky artworks, and instead write about All Saints Day and some artworks involving Saints.

All Saints’ Day is a holy day that honors all Saints, known and unknown. It’s a day to celebrate the people who have died and gone to Heaven as Saints and/or as Holy figures. November 1st can be thought of as a birthday of all the Saints (even though it’s not actually all the Saint’s birthdays). It’s a day to recognize the Saints as helpers of faith. On this day, some people go to masses, some go to cemeteries and light candles, and others leave flowers at graves.

One artwork I found that included Saints was the Adoration of the Trinity (the Landauer Altarpiece), by Albrecht Dürer, 1511.

Adoration of the Trinity (the Landauer Altarpiece), Albrecht Durer, 1511.

This work demonstrates (as the title says) the adoration of the Trinity. God is holding Jesus on the Cross, and the Holy Spirit (taking the shape of a dove) is above them. Surrounding the Holy Trinity are Saints, starting with Mary on Christ’s right side, and John the Evangelist on his left. The group of Saints shows both men and women in Heaven.

Another work I found is The Forerunners of Christ with Saints and Martyrs, by Fra Angelico, 1423-1424.

The Forerunners of Christ with Saints and Martyrs, Fra Angelico, 1423-1424.

This artwork is from the early Italian Renaissance. It is just one panel of five from the Fiesole Altarpiece. The center panel (not shown here) shows Christ, and the other panels have angels, saints, and martyrs surrounding him. This particular panel shows some Saints and martyrs in Heaven. Here is a wiki link if anyone is interested in seeing the whole altarpiece!

A third artwork I discovered was done by an unknown Spanish painter, The Trinity Adored by All Saints, in 1400.

The Trinity Adored by All Saints, unknown Spanish Painter, 1400.

This work was created in the 1400s, with tempera (painting pigments combined with water and yolk) and gold on wood. This is an altarpiece for the royal monastery of Valldecrist (in Spain). The center panel has the Trinity on the top, and the angels expelling the devils from Heaven on the bottom. The side panels include saints, martyrs, apostles, and any one who is Heaven. They are the viewers of the expulsion of the devils.

The last artwork I found was created by Peter Paul Rubens, All Saints, 1614.

Peter Paul Rubens, All Saints, 1614. 

This work of art is a painting, which I found fascinating because it has such a sketchy quality to it. I was unable to find a lot of information on this, such as where the setting is and what’s occurring, but it’s meant to be a representation of all the Saints. Originally this was created as a model for an engraving that was made by Theodoor Galle. Unfortunately, I cannot find the engraving.

Here is a website that has some more information on All Saints’ Day, it is in Polish but there should be a popup that allows you to translate the website to English. Here is another website that includes some information.


Feature Image is from Khan Academy.

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