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Art Exhibits Perfect for Lenten Reflection

5. March 2010
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As evidenced by this blog’s header, Caravaggio is by far my favorite artist.  I could dwell on his paintings forever as my husband, who had to literally drag me away from “The Conversion of Saint Paul” on our honeymoon(!), could tell you.  Needless to say, I am entirely jealous of all those able to attend this art exhibit in Rome running until Jule 13th. You can virtually see the exhibition here.

To celebrate the 400th anniversary of Caravaggio’s death, the former papal stables on the Quirinale hill have assembled 25 authenticated Caravaggio paintings (no copies or “school of” or fakes) for a tour-de-force exhibition.

Examples from Caravaggio’s early work to his premature death at the age of 39 allow visitors to trace the extraordinary rise of this brilliant yet troubled artist. The limited selection encourages viewers to linger and spend time with works instead of the artistic marathon of many other major exhibitions. read more

For those of us on the western side of the “pond” powerful images of holy men and women made in 17th-century Spain will be on exhibition at Washington’s National Gallery of Art.  If only I lived in Virginia again.  Sounds like the perfect place for reflection this Lent.

The expression “the devil is in the details” is turned on its head in the exhibit “The Sacred Made Real” at Washington’s National Gallery of Art where 22 sculptures and paintings from 17th-century Spain portray Jesus, Mary and a few saints with intensely precise detail.

According to museum officials, the works were intended to “shock the senses and stir the soul” when they were created 400 years ago. And the exhibit’s curator hopes they will evoke a similar response today.

In the four rooms of the exhibit, paintings — including masterpieces by Diego Velazquez and Francisco de Zurbaran — are displayed for the first time alongside Spain’s wooden polychrome (realistically painted) sculptures. Many of the sculptures have never left Spain before and are still venerated in monasteries and churches and during Holy Week processions. read more

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