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The audacity of Christian art: the problem with Christ | National Gallery

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How do you paint a figure who is fully human and fully divine? This episode sets the scene for exploring the problem and considers the inherent audacity of what Christian art attempts to do. Beginning with Cima da Conegliano’s ‘The Incredulity of Saint Thomas’ (about 1502–4), Chloë Reddaway suggests thatsome artists invite viewers to ponder the mystery of the Incarnation by creating and playing with strange and paradoxical elements in their paintings. ‘The audacity of Christian art: The problem of painting Christ’ is a seven-part series in which Dr Chloë Reddaway, Howard and Roberta Ahmanson Curator in Art and Religion at the National Gallery, explores the theological and artistic challenges involved in painting Christ as fully human and fully divine, and reveals some of the ingenious and surprising ways in which Renaissance artists responded. Subscribe to be the first to know about all our new videos: http://bit.ly/1HrNTFd Like the National Gallery on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thenationalg... Follow the National Gallery on Twitter: https://twitter.com/NationalGallery Follow the National Gallery on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/national_ga... Help keep the museum accessible for everyone by supporting us here: https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/su... The National Gallery houses the national collection of paintings in the Western European tradition from the 13th to the 19th centuries. The museum is free of charge and open 361 days per year, daily between 10.00 am - 6.00 pm and on Fridays between 10.00 am - 9.00 pm. Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DN https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk
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Text Comments (25)
AtrusHB (5 months ago)
"fully human" "How do you depict that?" ...
cravis123 (5 months ago)
One of the greatest thing that you can find on youtube in the context of visual art related to Christianity beliefs regarding history of art. Beautiful!
Christine Joynes (6 months ago)
Fascinating theme for a series of films. Great job, Chloe - superbly done! Looking forward to the rest
Vaughan (6 months ago)
Excellent, fascinating and well presented, including the wonderful diction from Chloé. She could read the telephone directory and I would be attentive. Looking forward to the next instalment, and hope she is narrating.
Steve Miller (6 months ago)
Excellent series. Great resolution of the images, clear, concise and beautifully presented by Chloe R.
Church of the Art (6 months ago)
Great job! For another approach of the Incarnation and its consequences on Art, have a look at our last video "The Sexuality of Christ" :-) https://youtu.be/RO7V8Xxil4Y
Fay Folk Studios (6 months ago)
Thank you Howard and Roberta Ahmanson.
Álvaro M. H. (6 months ago)
good shit
Art History Basix (6 months ago)
Such a great concept for a series! With the number of Christian paintings at the NG, it certainly makes sense to have a curator with a background in theology.
Anthony Drozdowski (6 months ago)
Love it!!!
Helen TinSmith (6 months ago)
A lucid and fascinating commentary. Looking forward to the following episodes
Helen TinSmith (6 months ago)
HelenTinSmith
Craig Pendlebury (6 months ago)
Fascinating
Simon Jordan (6 months ago)
Excellent introduction
Seer [Mormon Art] (6 months ago)
Beautifully described, exciting content... love this!
Javier Galindo (6 months ago)
Beautifully done.
Anjee Busby (6 months ago)
Fascinating and beautifully narrated by the presenter.
Dale G (6 months ago)
Interesting topic. I hadn't considered painting Christ as human and divine as a challenge. I imagine artists as everyone else trying to make a living. Commissions came from the church and the wealthy who wanted good standing in the church. I assume they told the artists their expectations, often a biblical story to convey a truth to the congregation. I look forward to what the series reveals.
Ann Lukashenko (6 months ago)
Thats' a really interesting theme to tackle. And I like the presenter a lot, she narrates simply but captivating. Looking foward to next episodes.
Dana Law (6 months ago)
I learned a lot from your talk. I've read the bible but wasn't clear on Doubting Thomas. The idea of expressing a supernatural being in art is compelling. Thank you.
From an atheist perspective I think that this is well presented in a format that is easily digestible & wonderful when communicating this subject. Well done!
Peter Harrison (6 months ago)
Excellent idea, and well done NG for its initiative. However, is the speaker missing out the audiences’ deep familiarity with the concept of the simultaneously human/divine Christ? Might one say that all art relies on an audience’s unconscious complicity with the artist, particularly religious art, which always comes after the fact of indoctrination/catechisation (audience always sees what it expects to see)?
Helen Shih (6 months ago)
Exceptional!
Lorca M (6 months ago)
wonderful, thankyou! (and i'm agnostic!)

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