Fashion in Art, Cristóbal Balenciaga

Sacred Art: God at the Gallery

Portrait of Elena Sorolla, by her father

wearing a fortuny gown

Throughout the ages, Christian art served the twofold objective of paying homage to God whilst serving as a didactic illustration for the population. These illuminating sessions will introduce participants to how different artistic traditions from countries such as Spain, Italy and Flanders have depicted the most significant events in the Bible. Formidable traditions governed the representation of religious scenes, and yet artists of the past continually renewed them through creative engagement with established conventions. During these three non-sequential sessions, we will analyse in depth works from the 13th century to the 18th century; including paintings by Bosch, Van der Weyden, Fra Angelico, El Greco, Zurbarán and Velázquez.

THE THREE SESSIONS

Session 1: The Creation

This first session will concentrate on one of the most popular episodes of the Bible, the creation of Adam and Eve, as depicted from the paleo-christian era to the centuries that followed. We will also trace the evolution of the early story of mankind, as told in the book of Genesis and represented in a number of masterpieces, from Dürer to Michaelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. Meanwhile, we will offer comparisons to other cultures’ beliefs that might have some analogies to our own tradition.

Session 2: The Nativity

The well-known story of the infancy of Jesus, from the Annunciation to the episode of Jesus amongst the Elders will be embellished with beautiful artworks. These works by the Flemish masters, Italian Renaissance painters and Spanish Baroque artists demonstrate the vast diffusion that this subject experienced throughout the centuries. A wonderful occasion to prepare ourselves for the joy of Christmas.

Session 3: The Passion of Jesus Christ

The Passion narrative, which relates the events of Christ’s last week on earth, has been a constant focus for artists. Unlike the stories associated with the Nativity, these episodes were coloured by painful emotions and profound grief, as we can see in such moving works as the Descent from the Cross, by Rogier van der Weyden, or the Crucified Christ of Velázquez, and one of the main concerns of artists was to make the viewer share such feelings. In this way, the faithful would identify with Christ in his sufferings.

WHAT TO EXPECT

Session 1: The Creation

Was it really an apple?

What did the Garden of Eden look like?

Is the blame always on Eve?

Session 2: The Nativity

Do Luke and Matthew tell the same story?

Why is baby Jesus fully dressed in Medieval images, whilst he is naked in Renaissance art?

We usually believe that the Magi were three, but could we be wrong?
And what about the color of angels?

Session 3: The Passion of Jesus Christ

Why was the formidable Disrobing of Christ by El Greco rejected by the dean of the Cathedral of Toledo?

What is the role of Mary Magdalene in the Resurrection?

Why do skulls and bones often appear at the foot of the Cross?

DETAILS & BOOKING

Date & times: To be arranged with you!
Duration: 1 hour
What’s included: Sessions on Zoom by a professional art historian

 

Price: Your private session starts is $75 USD per person, for all 3 sessions

♥ NOTE: This class is held on Zoom. If you aren’t familiar with the platform, we would be delighted to send you information on how to get started and linked up!

***Please sign in to the class 10 minutes before start time

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