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Jay Constantine
Heretical History: The Münster Revolt, Jay Constantine

2016

$10,000
$12,50020% Off

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Artist: Jay Constantine (1953) Title: Heretical History: The Münster Revolt Year: 2016 Medium: Oil on Shaped Panel Size: 72 inches, diameter Condition: Excellent Inscription: Signed, dated, titled by the artist on the verso Notes: The Munster revolt was the result of the Anabaptist take-over of the city of Munster, Germany in the early 1530s. Like the German Peasant’s War, it was a unique moment in time doomed to failure. While the punishments decreed by the Catholic Church for heresy are well known, less known, are the atrocities committed by Protestants. The Radical Reformation was brutally suppressed by leaders such as Huldrych Zwingli, Martin Luther and John Calvin who advocated the harshest possible treatment for those that deviated from their views. The Mennonites, Hutterites and Amish in America are all that’s left of the Anabaptists today. The Anabaptists were interesting and quite progressive; they were pacifists who believed in conscious baptism, and embraced a communist –like sharing of goods characteristic of the early Jerusalem Church. When the Anabaptists took over the city of Munster, they expelled the Prince-Bishop Franz von Waldeck. In response to this, Waldeck formed alliances with other princes and with their military help laid siege to the city. When the armies finally penetrated the city gates, they slaughtered the entire Anabaptist population, and publicly tortured the Anabaptist leaders, whose bodies were left to rot in cages hoisted onto the city cathedral. Shocking stories are often told about several Anabaptist leaders such as Jan of Leiden and Jan Matthys during the year long siege of Munster but it should be remembered that events were probably exaggerated to portray the Anabaptists in the worst possible light. The Anabaptists’ ideas were too radical for the time, although today many consider their beliefs to be valid and even progressive. They were victims of not only Catholic oppression but also Protestant aggression. —Portraits (clockwise): —Jan of Leiden: He was an Anabaptist leader and self-proclaimed king during the siege of Münster. —Divara of Harlem: Jan of Leiden proclaimed her to be the queen of Münster and was one of his 14 wives. —Heinrich Gresbeck: He betrayed the Anabaptists occupying the city of Münster. He let the army of Prince-Bishop Franz von Waldeck sneak through the city gates. —Elisabeth Wandscherer: She was one of Jan of Leiden’s wives and was beheaded for criticizing his leadership. —Bernard Knipperdolling: He was one of the city leaders that converted to the Anabaptist cause. —Hille Feyken: She was an Anabaptist woman who was moved by the biblical story of Judith and decided to try to trick Prince-Bishop Franz von Waldeck and his soldiers into accepting a poisoned garment as a gift. Her plot was discovered and she was torture and executed. Because there is no existing portrait of Hille, I used Caravaggio’s painting of Judith to represent her. —Franz von Waldeck: He was the Catholic Prince-Bishop of Munster. After he was forced to leave the city, he appealed to other nobles in neighboring cities to support him with military assistance. He laid siege to the city of Münster for a year before Heinrich Gresbeck secretly let him through the city gates. Waldeck’s soldiers slaughtered every Anabaptist and publicly tortured Jan of Leiden and other Anabaptist leaders. —Huldrych Zwingli: Like Martin Luther, he was a leader in the Protestant Reformation. Despite being a humanist, he mercilessly persecuted the Anabaptists who were part of the Radical Reformation. JAY CONSTANTINE (1953) Jay Constantine was born in Cleveland, Ohio and received a BFA with honors at the Cleveland Institute of Art. After receiving his MFA from Northern Illinois University, he briefly lived in Chicago. He accepted a full time teaching position at Kendall College of Art and Design in 1980. As a full professor of painting, Constantine was chair of the Fine Art/Painting program for 10 years. As chair, he was instrumental in creating the undergraduate painting major and the MFA Program in Painting. Jay Constantine has received many grants and awards including the Arts Midwest/Regional NEA Grant, ArtServe Michigan Creative Artist Grant, the Michigan Council for the Arts Creative Artist Grant, the Arts Foundation of Michigan, and he was an Artist in Residence at the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art. Constantine has had solo shows at the Dennos Museum, Northern Illinois University Museum, Urban Institute for Contemporary Art, Krasl Art Center, Jesse Besser Museum, Oklahoma State University, Lansing Art Gallery and many other venues. He has been included in group exhibitions at the South Bend Regional Museum, Wood Street Gallery and the Contemporary Art Workshop in Chicago, Ann Arbor Art Association, Art Academy of Cincinnati, Spaces Gallery in Cleveland, Kresge Art Museum, Michigan Gallery, the Kalamazoo Institute of Art and many other art centers. Constantine has received awards from the Kalamazoo Institute of Art, Grand Rapids Art Museum, Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center, Muskegon Museum of Art, and other venues. His art is included in several collections including Grand Valley State University, the Kalamazoo Institute of Art, Grand Rapids Art Museum, Pratt Graphics Center and private collections. Most recently, Constantine has exhibited at Brenda Taylor Gallery in the Chelsea gallery district and at Woodward Gallery in New York City. The Show at Woodward Gallery was reviewed in Artlog and Artbeat. Also, his work was reproduced in the Fall 2012 issue of Direct Art Magazine vol. 19 published by Barnes and Noble.

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