Friday, April 2, 2010

A Painting for Good Friday

This is from the wonderful exhibition in the National Gallery London, The Sacred Made Real, which I saw in January just before it closed. This is Saint Luke Contemplating the Crucifixion by Francisco de Zurbarán (1598–1664) from the Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid.

From the exhibition website: A painter, with palette and brush at hand, stands before Christ on the cross. He is identifiable as Luke the Evangelist, the patron saint of painters. Zurbarán's dramatic composition, in which the figures are illuminated like actors on a stage, invites viewers to question whether Saint Luke is contemplating a vision of the Crucifixion, or looking at a painting he has just finished or even a sculpture he has polychromed.

One of the aims of the exhibition was to show side by side some ploychromed sculptures and paintings which were influenced by them. The highlights of the exhibition are still online here and you notice how difficult it is to tell whether each image is of a painting or a sculpture.

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