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MEDIEVAL-RELIGION  October 2009

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION October 2009

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Subject:

Re: Spanish religious art in London

From:

Rosemary Hayes-Milligan and Andrew Milligan <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

medieval-religion - Scholarly discussions of medieval religious culture <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 30 Oct 2009 12:05:10 -0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Looking at the illustrations, I was not sure if this was 'for us' but then I 
read and heard lots of positive reviews so, while we were in London this 
week, we went, with our ten-year-old-son, this Tuesday.  I was not sure 
whether he would keep going but, with earphones attached, he spent a very 
concentrated hour and a half looking round, commenting, looking, considering 
gravely.  He then sat, fascinated, through the 20 minute video, which showed 
not only how the statues are used in religious processions but also how they 
are still made.  He then tried to buy every crucifix in the shop but we 
contented him with some of the postcards.

The reproductions really do not give you the same experience as being close 
to the objects (I really don't know how Sister Wendy Becket has managed to 
do so much from just looking at postcards).  There are only 31 objects in 
total, about half and half statues and paintings.  They are displayed in 
half a dozen dark rooms with effective lighting and it is possible to get 
right next to them.  The art history point that is being made is the 
influence the, disregarded, statues had on the great painters of the age, 
particularly Velasquez and Zurbaran.  The commentary also includes a 
specially composed piece of music to accompany the art.  My one major 
criticism of the exhibition is that, unless an item has been loaned by a 
religious community, there is nothing to tell you which churches they were 
made for.  There are two extraordinary pictures that shed new light (for me) 
on St Bernard's visions, one with him receiving spurting milk from the BVM 
(clearly the artist had observed breast feeding mishaps) and an unutterably 
tender one showing him receiving Christ in his arms.  Possibly the most 
moving statue was Christ as the Man of Sorrows by Pedro da Mena - which led 
me to think back over our discussions of the Turin shroud and its Byzantine 
predecessor.  Possibly the most disturbing images are of the figure of St 
Francis discovered standing incorrupt but in ecstasy by Pope Nicholas V in 
1449 - not a story I had heard although it's bang in 'my period'. 
Zurbaran's way of depicting textiles is extraordinary.

This is all very subjective but I hope that those who can comment with more 
expertise will go and give us the fruit of their wisdom.

Rosemary Hayes


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Terrence Lockyer" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, October 20, 2009 12:10 PM
Subject: [M-R] Spanish religious art in London


> medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
>
> I know that the art itself here is out of period, but thought
> listmembers might be interested in coverage of a major exhibition
> of 17th century Spanish religious painting and sculpture at
> London's National Gallery;  much especially of the latter making
> a rare if not unprecedented journey outside Spain, or indeed the
> religious institutions to which it belongs.  The Guardian has a
> small gallery and a set of reviews and articles:
>
> http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/gallery/2009/jun/09/spanish-art-national-gallery-exhibition
>
> or
>
> http://bit.ly/304A4V
>
> The Telegraph:
>
> http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/art/6349081/The-Sacred-Made-Real-at-the-National-Gallery.html
>
> or
>
> http://bit.ly/4zaunH
>
> and
>
> http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/art/art-reviews/6375890/The-Sacred-Made-Real-at-the-National-Gallery-review.html
>
> or
>
> http://bit.ly/16NwDS
>
>
> Terrence Lockyer
> Johannesburg, South Africa
>
> **********************************************************************
> To join the list, send the message: join medieval-religion YOUR NAME
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> 

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