art in puerto rico

Aún hay Magos

Aun hay Magos / There are still Wise Men

An original limited edition serigraph, by A.Vonn Hartung, depicting the harmony of work, art and nature, and the celebration of hope in the spirit of Christmas. As day moves into night, preparation is made to share in the tradition of Three Kings Day still honored here in Puerto Rico, of bringing gifts and good cheer.

Serigrafía original de edición limitada, de A. Vonn Hartung, que representa la armonía del trabajo, el arte y la naturaleza, y la celebración de la esperanza en el espíritu de la Navidad. A medida que el día avanza hacia la noche, se hacen preparativos para compartir la tradición del Día de los Reyes Magos que todavía se honra aquí en Puerto Rico, de traer regalos y buen ánimo.

Paz

Paz—an original limited edition serigraph  by A.Vonn Hartung.

In the spirit of praise and celebration it transports us to Bethlehem and the arrival of the Wise Men, here depicted as the Three Kings, come to adore, and pay homage to the true king, the infant Jesus.

Not admitted entrance to the inn, Mary and Joseph present the Prince of Peace who is encircled by the blessed creatures with whom he shares his nursery, and the flock of sheep, which will come to symbolize his church, with the good shepherd here shown in St. Peter-esque presence. Joy to the world!

The stars spin in the heavens, the trees dance, the horses take on the quality of great dignity for all, as the announcing angel brings the famed star to bear witness over this moment of epiphany and eternity. Hallelujah!

 

Paz—Serigrafía original de edición limitada

En el espíritu de alabanza y celebración que nos transporta a Belén y la llegada de los Reyes Magos, aquí representado como los tres reyes, vienen a adorar y rendir homenaje al verdadero rey, el niño Jesús.

No admitida la entrada a la posada, María y José presentan al Príncipe de la Paz, que está rodeado por las benditas criaturas con las que comparte su vivero, y el rebaño de ovejas, que llegará a simbolizar su iglesia, con el buen pastor aquí mostrado en Presencia de San Pedro. ¡Alegría para el mundo!

Las estrellas giran en los cielos, los árboles bailan, los caballos adquieren la calidad de una gran dignidad para todos, mientras el ángel anunciador trae a la famosa estrella para dar testimonio de este momento de epifanía y eternidad. ¡Aleluya!

Peace in the Valley

Peace in the Valley—original oil painting by A.Vonn Hartung.

“Peace in the Valley” is a mountaintop view of Puerto Rico, looking North towards the Atlantic Ocean; a section of San Juan is visible in the distance at the upper left and a cement quarry to the right. Snuggled in the middle is a valley farm with its silos and farmhouse in one of the various pastures protected by the surrounding hills.

Two small villages populate this pastoral scene. The beautiful fiery reds of Flamboyans and the passionate purples of the Reina de las Flores trees complete a typical landscape just a short distance inland from the sparkling beaches of Puerto Rico.

Peace in the Valley es una vista de la cima de una montaña de Puerto Rico, mirando al norte hacia el Océano Atlántico; una sección de San Juan es visible en la distancia en la parte superior izquierda y una cantera de cemento a la derecha. Acurrucada en el medio hay una granja en el valle con sus silos y una casa de campo en uno de los varios pastos protegidos por las colinas circundantes.

Dos pequeños pueblos pueblan esta escena pastoral. Los hermosos rojos ardientes de los Flamboyanes y los apasionados púrpuras de los árboles Reina de las Flores completan un paisaje típico a poca distancia tierra adentro de las resplandecientes playas de Puerto Rico.

El Yunque, protector from hurricanes

El Yunque, protector from hurricanes            

 I painted this work the afternoon that Hurricane Hugo was approaching Puerto Rico.  I painted until the wind blew the painting off my easel a second time. It was a horrendous hurricane and completely wiped out all the trees. You can see the mountain El Yunque in the distance, where the Taino Indians believed their gods lived and protected the island from hurricanes. It is one of the most visited tourist sites in Puerto Rico.

Pinté esta obra la tarde en que Huracán Hugo se acercaba a la isla. Pinté hasta que el viento sopló la pintura de mi caballete por segunda vez. Fue un huracán horrible y arrasó por completo con todos los árboles. Puedes ver la montaña El Yunque a lo lejos, donde los indios taínos creían que sus dioses vivían y protegían la isla de los huracanes. Es uno de los sitios turísticos más visitados de Puerto Rico.

“Deo Gratias” / I Give Thanks

"Deo Gratias" / "I Give Thanks" serigraph by AVonnHartung
Deo Gratias / I Give Thanks

Deo Gratias” / “I Give Thanks“was inspired by the history of Cristo Gate where in 1753 a miracle occurred on the feast of St. John the Baptist, the patron saint of San Juan, Puerto Rico. The work is a tribute to the power of faith which saved the boy’s life. It is also a tribute to the horse, the gift brought to the New World by the Spaniards. Depicted here is the Andalusian Horse with its typical diagonal gait.

  As was customary the local boys would assemble to race their horses. During the day one boy, Baltazar Montañez, was unable to control his horse which plummeted over the cliff onto the rocks below. Upon witnessing this, Don Mateo Pratts (the Spanish Secretary of Government) was said to have risen and pleaded aloud, “Christ of Good Health, save him!” The horse died. The boy lived. Don Mateo vowed to build a chapel near the spot and dedicate it to the Savior. It stands to this day at the end of Cristo Street in Old San Juan.

In 2020 this serigraph was published in the book “La ciudad en el tiempo: cinco siglos de representaciones artísticas de San Juan” by the State Historic Preservation Office to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the founding of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Deo Gratias” se inspiró en la leyenda del Portón de Cristo, donde en 1753, en el día de San Juan Bautista, patrón de San Juan, Puerto Rico ocurrió un milagro. La obra es un homenaje al poder de la fe, que salvó la vida del niño. Es también un tributo al caballo, el regalo que los españoles le dieron al Nuevo Mundo. Representado aquí es el caballo Andaluz con su típico paso diagonal.

Los jóvenes del pueblo acostumbraron tener carreras de caballo. Un día el joven jinete Baltazar Montañez no pudo controlar su caballo y se precipitó por el despeñadero al extremo sur de la Calle Cristo. Se dice que un testigo, Don Mateo Pratts (el Secretario de Gobierno de España) al ver lo sucedido dijo: “¡Cristo de la Salud, sálvalo!” El caballo murió. El joven sobrevivió. Don Mateo prometió construir una capilla cerca del lugar del suceso y dedicarla al Salvador. Hoy en día la vemos al final de la Calle Cristo en el Viejo San Juan.

En 2020 esta serigrafía fue publicada en el libro “La ciudad en el tiempo: cinco siglos de representaciones artísticas de San Juan” por la Oficina Estatal de Preservación Histórica para conmemorar el 500 aniversario de la fundación de San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Saint Michael Archangel

St Michael Archangel

I carved this icon in American Linden wood. It is an interpretation influenced by the tradition of Eastern Orthodox Iconography.  Saint Michael the Archangel stares down the evil one who he has pinned with his staff.  I carved in the upper corners the two fallen angels as they shrink away in shame from His divine power.

“Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil; May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; And do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.”

READ MORE about the Prayer to Saint Michael

 

San Miguel arcángel

Esculpí este icono en madera de tilo americano. Es una interpretación influenciada por la tradición de la iconografía ortodoxa oriental. San Miguel Arcángel mira fijamente al maligno que ha inmovilizado con su bastón. Esculpí en las esquinas superiores a los dos ángeles caídos mientras se alejaban avergonzados de Su poder divino.

San Miguel Arcángel, defiéndenos en la lucha. Sé nuestro amparo contra la perversidad y acechanzas del demonio. Que Dios manifieste sobre él su poder, es nuestra humilde súplica. Y tú, oh Príncipe de la Milicia Celestial, con el poder que Dios te ha conferido, arroja al infierno a Satanás, y a los demás espíritus malignos que vagan por el mundo para la perdición de las almas. Amén.

LEER MAS sobre la Oración a San Miguel

St. Francis Xavier, Patron Saint of Missionaries

In celebration of St.Francis Xavier

"En el Nombre del Padre..." San Francisco Javier Baptizing, retablo painting by AVonnHartung, in Parroquia San Francisco Javier (Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico)This painting shows the humble Jesuit missionary baptizing a youth

St. Francis Xavier brought more than 30,000 souls into the Faith. Known as the “Apostle of the Indies” and “Apostle of Japan”, he is said to have converted more people than anyone else has done since Saint Paul.

 

This Painting/Retablo was commissioned by Padre Julio Victor García in 2002 for Iglesia San Francisco Javier (Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico). It measures 6 feet in width by 11 feet in height and is my original design, built from solid mahogany, painted in acrylic and gilded with gold and copper leaf.

The vertical format symbolizes this world, our Church and the witness of the life and evangelizing work of San Francisco Javier.

The frame, through its striking presence displays the Sign of the Cross with which we as Christians identify ourselves in and through Baptism. It represents the tireless work of St. Francis, from sunrise to sunset, and the eternal truth, the Alpha and Omega of Christ. It acts as a window through which we enter to find further truths.

St. Francis Xavier is portrayed baptizing a youth who symbolizes the future church whose people are seen coming to the Faith.

The Holy Family is represented by any and all who do the Will of the Father in bringing young souls to be saved.

The Children brought forth by their Godparents engage us in reflection and contemplative prayer.

The Holy Trinity: Above the head of St. Francis is depicted the sacred image of The Holy Trinity, originally written (painted) by the great 15th century Russian iconographer Andre Rublev. Its inclusion is meant to draw us into the mystery of God,and to remind us of God’s love. It also prophetically reminds us of Jesus’ words as expressed in John 15: 26-27 (“When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth that proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me. And you also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.”)

The Background: Surrounding this cascade of divinity with its luminous light and vapors, are luxurious examples of Holy Creation as expressed in the abundance of nature – by the breadfruit and mango trees, symbolizing Love, Beauty and Resurrection, and by the depiction of the dove which is drawn closer, and the serpent which is driven away.

“They who pray with faith have fervor and fervor is the fire of prayer. This mysterious fire has the power of consuming all our faults and imperfections, and of giving to our actions, vitality, beauty and merit.” (Francis Xavier)

 

El Jíbaro Puertorriqueño

Today is Earth Day. What better moment to pay homage to the noble “El Jíbaro Puertorriqueño”, the Puerto Rican cultural icon! “El Jíbaro” symbolizes to me the “salt of the Earth”

"El Jíbaro" oil portrait by AVonnHartung
“El Jíbaro”
Oil portrait by A.Vonn Hartung

“El Jibaro Puertorriqueño” is a painting inspired by my neighbors who have cultivated the land of their ancestors from the beginning.

Don Pepe represents for me all those who still cultivate the land; living links to our past, sustenance today and hope for abundance and sustainability in the future.

He represents, on the one hand, the constant battle between the so-called permanence of concrete and asphalt which is quickly engulfing our fertile land and drying up our lakes and rivers due to urban sprawl and the overwhelming dominance of the automobile as symbol of impoverished planning.

And on the other hand, the stability and sustainability through cosmic spirituality which, along with intact families, are our guarantee of a healthy, harmonious continuity which must offset the suicidal (or more aptly expressed, planeticidal*) race to deplete our natural resources.

*the killing of our own planet

 

This painting was inspired by my neighbor Don Pepe “el Múcaro” (the Owl) O’Neill, who I am proud to call my friend. May he rest in peace!

(16″x20″ oil portrait, artist’s collection)

 

 

Hoy es “Dia de la Tierra”
¡Que mejor momento para rendir homenaje al noble “El Jíbaro Puertorriqueño”, el icono cultural puertorriqueño!”El Jíbaro” simboliza para mi la “sal de la tierra”

“El Jíbaro” es una obra inspirada por mis vecinos que han cultivado la tierra de sus antepasados desde el principio.

Don Pepe representa para mí todos los que todavía cultivan la tierra; vínculos vivientes con nuestro pasado, sostenimiento hoy y esperanza de abundancia y sostenibilidad para el futuro.

Él representa, por un lado, la batalla constante entre el supuesto permanencia de hormigón y asfalto, que se envuelva rápidamente nuestra tierra fértil y seca nuestros lagos y ríos debido a la expansión urbana y el abrumador dominio del automóvil como símbolo de la empobrecida planificación.

Y por otro lado, la estabilidad y sostenibilidad a través de la espiritualidad cósmica que, junto con las familias intactas, son nuestra garantía de una continuidad sana y armoniosa que debe contrarrestar la carrera suicida (o mejor expresada, planetacida*) por agotar nuestros recursos naturales.

*la matanza de nuestro propio planeta

 

Esta pintura fue inspirada por mi vecino Don Pepe “el Múcaro” O’Neill, que me siento orgulloso de llamarlo mi amigo. ¡Que en paz descanse!

(“El Jíbaro” es un retrato en óleo 16″ x 20″, colección del artista)