The Image of Christ: The Catalogue of the Exhibition Seeing Salvation  -     By: Gabriele Finaldi
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The Image of Christ: The Catalogue of the Exhibition Seeing Salvation

National Gallery London / 2000 / Paperback

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Product Description

"This deserves high praise for its determination to discuss nearly 200 works of art. It asks, for instance, what should Christ look like? how might his human and divine nature be represented in the same work? This is a beautifully designed, theologically sensitive journey through Christian art,"---Publishers Weekly. Includes 182 color illustrations. 224 pages, softcover. National Gallery.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 224
Vendor: National Gallery London
Publication Date: 2000
Dimensions: 9.80 X 9.80 (inches)
ISBN: 1857092929
ISBN-13: 9781857092929
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

The Image of Christ expresses the view that modern secular audiences can engage with the masterpieces of Christian art at an emotional as well as a purely aesthetic or historical level. This book aims to help the viewer understand these pictures by focusing attention on the purpose for which they were made, and explores what they might have meant to their original viewers.

The authors trace how a recognizable image of Christ evolved, starting with the earliest symbols and metaphorical images such as the Sheperd, the Lamb and the Vine. They trace the emergence of a "true likeness," emphasizing the importance of the Veronica, the "miraculous portrait" said to have been imprinted on the cloth held out to Jesus on the way to Calvary. They describe how artists conveyed the paradox of Christ's dual nature—human and divine, weak and powerful, victim and victor—in portrayals of his infancy. They also show how images of Christ's suffering during the Passion were intended to convey a cosmic, not just a personal significance. Artists have attempted to put extremes of suffering and despair into an overal context of hope–a vein of hope that runs from the catacombs to Hiroshima and beyond.

These are images that speak, even to those who do not hold Christian beliefs. Artists had to make it clear that in representing the life and death of Jesus they were offering a continuing truth; we the spectators have to become eyewitnesses to an event that matters to us now. As a result, the different moments and aspects of Christ's life become, in the hands of great artists, a reflection of all human experience. The Virgin nursing her son expresses the feelings of love every mother has for her child. Christ mocked in innocence beset by violence. Christ risen and appearing to Mary Magdalene is a universal reaffirmation that love cannot be destroyed by death. Beyond their obvious religious significance, these are paintings that have a universal meaning.   

Author Bio

Gabriele Finaldi is Deputy Director of the Prado Museum, Madrid, and a former curator ofthe National Gallery, London. Neil MacGregor is Director of the British Museum, London and former director of the National Gallery, London. Susanna Avery-Quash is Research Curator in the History of Collecting at the National Gallery, London. Xavier Bray is Chief Curator at Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, and a former Curator at the National Gallery, London. Erika Langmuir is former Head of Education at the National Gallery, London. Alexander Strugis is Director of The Holburne Museum of Art, Bath.

Editorial Reviews

"Engaging . . .  a novel approach to [a] seemingly familiar subject . . . insightful."—Jeremy W. H. Arnold, Religious Studies Review 

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