Of Souls and Sacraments

Symbol and Context in Christian Art

July 8, 2022 – July 13, 2024

Of Souls and Sacraments

Symbol and Context in Christian Art

July 8, 2022 – July 13, 2024

“Blessed are your eyes, for they see” – Matthew 13:16

 

Symbolism was a dynamic component of Christ’s teachings, and it has been a vital aspect of Christian art ever since. Over centuries, colors, shapes, gestures, and objects have taken on sacred and sublime meanings, opening gateways to new understanding, inspiration, and adoration for their viewers.

Of Souls and Sacraments: Symbol and Context in Christian Art explores some of Christianity’s most profound themes and the roles they have played in the worship of devoted disciples over time. Featuring works from the 14th century to the present, this exhibition explores core religious ideas through a multitude of perspectives, styles, and media, that witness the power of visual imagery in religious life. Featured artists include old masters like Jusepe de Ribera, Anthony van Dyck, and Benjamin West, as well as contemporary favorites like Jorge Cocco Santangelo, Kirk Richards, and Lisa DeLong.

Among over 40 exceptional artworks, MOA visitors will recognize familiar works from our collection, such as Ron Richmond’s Triplus no. 3, as well as never-before-seen acquisitions to the collection by artists including, James C. Christensen, Luca Giordano, and Herbert Gustave Schmalz. They will also witness rare masterworks and contemporary images loaned from private collectors. All who take part will be inspired by this beautifully curated collection of symbolic artworks and the profound stories, messages, and perspectives they convey.

Selected highlights from the exhibition:

Niccolò di Pietro Gerini (1320-1426), 'Madonna and Child Enthroned, Surrounded by Saint John the Baptist, Margaret of Antioch, Saint Laurence, Saint Lucy, and Angels, the Predella Illustrated with the Deposition of Christ,' 14th century, tempera and gold ground on panel, with engaged frame, 45 3/4 x 24 7/8 inches. Courtesy of the Parker Foundation.

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