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Catholic Art and Jewelry

St. Michael – 7 sizes – by Ezio Anichini – Catholic Gift – Archival Quality

St. Michael – 7 sizes – by Ezio Anichini – Catholic Gift – Archival Quality

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As you might have noticed if you've visited our shop before, Ezio Anichini is one of our all-time favorite artists. Working mainly in the Art Nouveau style (or Stile Liberty as the Italians called it) of the early 20th Century, he was the master of dreamy religious portraits. Famous for his Litany of Loreto, less known are his extensive magazine covers he did for arts magazines in Italy, where he was often able to incorporate his Catholic faith into his assignments and promote Catholicism from the newsstands.

In this one from the April 1, 1916, edition of Scena Illustrata, an arts and literary magazine published in Florence, he has painted the Archangel Michael. We had a lot of time to study this picture because it took us several days to restore it. We noticed Anichini has made Michael a creature of light with a body only half-corporeal, more of a suggestion of a body than an actual body.

Michael is also holding his sword, but he's holding it like a cross, not in the weapon position. Why? The victory has been won. He is also carrying the laurel wreath, symbol of the sainted soul. The wreath is surrounded by a swirl of light, looking like the shield that Michael usually carries. We think Anichini was suggesting that same mixture of body and light, of the soul having its life moved from Earth to the Heavenly realms.

There are also palm branches around the sword indicating martyrdom. It is certainly Christ's martyrdom on the Cross, but in 1916, two years into World War I, it is also the sacrifice of all the Italian young men dying in the war.

We're not saying this is a war piece. Anichini's art rises above the context of his times. There is something timeless and beautiful in his work, something we always find fresh and enjoyable.

(Under the name of the magazine, Scena Illustrata, it merely says "Fortnightly magazine of art and literature directed by Pilade Pollazzi" Pilade Pollazzi was the founder, owner, and editor of the magazine for fifty years, 1885-1935.)

** IMPORTANT ** THE IMAGE IS SMALLER THAN THE PAPER! There is a blank border all around the image of about .5" for 5x7, 1.3" for 8.5x11, 1.6" for 11x14, and 1.75" for 13x17"" and larger.bAll Approx! The white space gives the framed picture a finished look without using a mat.

- Acid-free paper
- Archival pigments, rated to last for generations.
- Cardboard backer
- Above story of the art
- Enclosed in a tight-fitting, crystal clear bag.

Thanks for your interest!
Sue & John

"In order to communicate the message entrusted to her by Christ, the Church needs art." ~ St. Pope John Paul II

Original image is out-of-copyright. Descriptive text and image alterations (hence the whole new image) © by Sue Kouma Johnson
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