Friday, December 19, 2008

Images of Mary

Tonight I took advantage of a seasonal Gallery Talk entitled "In Anticipation of Christmas: Images of Mary." We looked at works by Gerard David, Hieronymus Bosch, and Albrect Dürer. It is important to remember that when these paintings were made, virtually everyone in society was a devout believer (or at last outwardly behaved as such). So the imagery in religious paintings was widely recognized - for example, people would identify the various saints by symbols always used in their portrayal. Not only were they used as decoration for the ornate chapels where they were installed, religious paintings were also used as teaching mechanisms, since the majority of the population was illiterate.

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