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Seeing Salvation Images of Christ in Art

by Neil Macgregor

  • ISBN: 9780300084788
  • ISBN10: 0300084781

Seeing Salvation Images of Christ in Art

by Neil Macgregor

  • List Price: $37.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Yale Univ Pr
  • Publish date: 09/01/2000
  • ISBN: 9780300084788
  • ISBN10: 0300084781
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Description: The story of the life and death of Christ has shaped Western European art for nearly two thousand years, providing a framework for great artists to address universal questions of love, hope, heroism, and suffering. Since there are no contemporary accounts of Jesus' appearance, his image in Western art has been able to reflect variously the spiritual world of the artist, the desires of the patron, or the needs of the spectator. In this magnificently illustrated book, Neil MacGregor considers the many ways in which artists, at different times and from different cultures, have presented the story of Christ and explains how the likeness of Jesus that we now all recognize has emerged.

Focusing on images of Christ in high art and popular craft throughout the world -- in galleries, churches, museums, private homes, catacombs, and market stalls -- MacGregor traces the life of Christ and the development of Christian culture since his birth. He shows how some of the works reveal not only society's view of Christ and of itself but also the inner spiritual turmoil of their creators. MacGregor points to Michelangelo's successive sculptures of the Pieta, for example, in which the artist left a record of the evolution of his faith and of the anguish and doubt that colored his last days. In the same way, Rembrandt's reworking of his etching of the Crucifixion reveals not just his changing understanding of the event but also his darkening view of life. Throughout, MacGregor argues that images of Christ can still speak powerfully to believers and nonbelievers and that they are as important to us now as a way of understanding our lives as they were when they were made.

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