The Audacity of Christian Art film series
Presented by Dr Chloë Reddaway, Howard and Roberta Ahmanson Curator in Art and Religion at the National Gallery, this series of seven short films looks at paintings from the National Gallery’s Renaissance collection and explores some surprising and ingenious artistic responses to the challenge of painting Christ.
Trailer: The audacity of Christian art
How do you paint a figure who is fully human and fully divine? Presented by Dr Chloë Reddaway, Howard and Roberta Ahmanson Curator in Art and Religion at the National Gallery, this series of seven short films looks at paintings from the National Gall...
The audacity of Christian art: the problem with Christ
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.
Christ is not like a snail: Signs and symbols
This episode looks at the visual language of signs and symbols known as iconography. Chloë Reddaway considers the surprising appearance of a snail in Crivelli’s ‘The Virgin and Child with Saints Francis and Sebastian’ (1491) and asks how it might hel...
Putting God in His place: Here, everywhere, and nowhere
How do artists handle the challenge of attempting to depict a figure who lived a human life on earth – at a specific time and in specific places – but who was simultaneously divine, beyond place and time?
Time and eternity: Yesterday, today, and always
Like place, time is an important theological category and, like the Incarnation, it can be hard to comprehend. This episode looks at sophisticated ways of handling different but related time frames in Ercole de’ Roberti’s ‘The Dead Christ’ (about 149...
This world and the next: Christ on earth; Christ in heaven
This episode explores three popular picture types which have no gospel basis but which use temporal and spatial ambiguity to reflect on the mystery of Christ having a temporal life on earth, and also being part of the eternal Trinity.
So near and yet so far: Visions and thresholds
Part of the challenge of depicting Christ lies in showing his ‘visibility’ as a man who lived on earth, while also indicating the ‘invisibility’ of God eternal.
Unspeakable images: When words fail
No single painting of Christ in the canon of Christian art can adequately express what Christians believe about him, but this final episode considers how a painting can point beyond itself, encouraging the viewer not to take the image at face value b...