Christian Art: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
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This Very Short Introduction decodes the key themes, signs, and symbols found in Christian art: the Eucharist, the image of the Crucifixion, the Virgin Mary, the Saints, Old and New Testament narrative imagery, and iconography. It also explores the theological and historical background of Christian imagery, from the devotional works of the Medieval and Renaissance periods, to the twenty-first century.
Williamson uses examples from, amongst others, Cimabue, Michelangelo, and Rosetti. She concludes by outlining the co-existence in contemporary 'post-Christian' culture of the deliberately controversial works of artists such as Andres Serrano and Chris Ofili, alongside the consciously devotional works of those such as Eric Gill and Peter Blake.
attributes. Therefore members of the community 61 would have been able to identify the saints, and would have been encouraged to offer prayers to them, hoping for their intercession and protection. But the saints here, sharing the name of the person with whom they stand, also act as attributes themselves, identifying the individual donors. It was common for people to be particularly devoted to the saint or saints who bore their own name, and to regard this saint as having a particular patronal
Bonaventure. In chapter 4 of Bonaventure’s text, it is recorded that St Francis appeared miraculously to the Franciscan community at Arles, while St Anthony of Padua was preaching to the brothers in the chapterhouse, on the subject of the inscription on Christ’s cross: ‘Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews’ (John 19: 19). Francis was seen in the doorway of the chapterhouse, ‘lifted up in mid-air, his arms extended as though on a cross, and blessing the friars’. In the painted cycle at Assisi,
that he needs a better explanation of Holy Communion before he will go’. Later his name is included among those who ‘conform’ so it is presumed that on that issue, at least, Holbein fell into line with the Basle reformers’ view of orthodoxy. Much has been made of the apparent contradiction between this equivocation and the strongly Lutheran character of the woodcuts mentioned above, carried out in the first half of the 1520s. But it must be remembered that the Reformation was not a clearly
However, the market for commissions of this sort was relatively restricted in Protestant Amsterdam, and much of Rembrandt’s religious work is represented by smaller scale paintings and drawings, many produced not in t response to direct commission, but as a result of the painter’s own choice. Christian Ar Rembrandt has sometimes been characterized as a painter unique in giving artistic expression to Protestant sensibilities. This is clearly an exaggeration, as our consideration of Cranach’s
the original Hodegetria icon in its well-known form, with the Virgin gesturing with her right hand towards the child. This particular image of the Virgin, with the pointing gesture, was replicated over and over again in icons, but also in western panel paintings of the Virgin and Child that derived their form from Byzantine icons (see Chapter 1, Fig. 4). As with images of the Evangelists writing their gospels, this painting includes an angel, who gives approval to St Luke and authority to his