Thursday, August 11, 2016

THINGS UNSEEN: ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPTS AT THE GETTY



Jacob's Dream, from World Chronicle, about 1400 - 1410, Regensburg, unknown.

The J. Paul Getty Museum




This week's arts and culture column, on illuminated manuscripts at the Getty, begins like this:

The award-winning filmmaker Ingmar Bergman was the son of a Lutheran minister in Sweden. In his autobiography “The Magic Lantern,” he wrote of his childhood, “I devoted my interest to the church’s mysterious world of low arches, thick walls, the smell of eternity, the colored sunlight quivering above the strangest vegetation of medieval paintings and carved figures on ceilings and walls. There was everything that one’s imagination could desire — angels, saints, dragons, prophets, devils, humans.”

That’s exactly the mood evoked by a current exhibit at the Getty Center (through Sept. 25): “Things Unseen: Vision, Belief and Experience in Illuminated Manuscripts.”

Through ink, gold and pigment, Medieval and Renaissance manuscript illustrators sought to convey in images the intimacy of prayer, the mystery of revelation, and the drama of the human battleground between good and evil. These costly and labor-intensive works depicted Old Testament prophets, events from the life and Passion of Christ and stories of martyrs and saints.



READ THE WHOLE PIECE HERE.

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