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Author Topic: Giotto's Ognissanti Crucifix brought back to life  (Read 3665 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: November 05, 2010, 09:44:40 PM »

I thought you might find this interesting. Once of the first artists to paint iconography in a naturalistic fashion painted this 15ft tall crucifix.

Quote
...
The piece in question is the Ognissanti, or All Saints, Crucifix - which depicts Christ on a wooden cross nearly 5m (15ft) high. On one side is the Virgin Mary, on the other, St John the Evangelist. It is thought to have been painted between 1310 and 1315.

Restorer Anna-Marie Hilling says removing years of grime has revealed incredible colours, convincing restorers that it is by Giotto.  For years, the crucifix had been left in a side room of a church in Florence, unseen, unadored. There was always a suspicion it might be the work of Giotto di Bondone who, in the early part of the 14th Century, refashioned Italian art, helping give birth to the Renaissance. 'Revolution in art'

"What he did had never been done before," says Marco Ciatti, the head restorer. "He was the first here to create a naturalistic human style of Christ on the cross, showing the pain, the man. Until Giotto, Christ was portrayed in a more stylised way. Giotto heralded a revolution in art."

In other words, Christian art, for the first time, spoke directly to its audiences, thanks to Giotto. That was something they had never experienced before. [lol?]
...
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11695349


« Last Edit: November 05, 2010, 09:46:42 PM by Azurestone » Logged


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« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2010, 10:01:06 PM »


That is quite the find.  Imagine it just sitting unnoticed somewhere in a corner.  The colors are lovely.

However, I'm not sure I would call it iconography.  The article was correct in calling it Christian "art".

Unlike this depiction, Orthodoxy doesn't focus on the "man" on the Cross, nor His pain.

Just last month I was in an Art Institute and various Renaissance depictions of Christ showed Him writhing in pain....which made me wince and turn away.  How can one worship before such a piece, when in fact it is revolting to one's sensibilities?

I so much prefer actual Byzantine Iconography which focuses on the spiritual nature of Christ and His saints, and leads to contemplation, meditation and prayer.



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« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2010, 10:18:39 PM »

Just last month I was in an Art Institute and various Renaissance depictions of Christ showed Him writhing in pain....which made me wince and turn away.  How can one worship before such a piece, when in fact it is revolting to one's sensibilities?

I so much prefer actual Byzantine Iconography which focuses on the spiritual nature of Christ and His saints, and leads to contemplation, meditation and prayer.

I agree with you on your opinion. However, I think the western realism is supposed to cause an emotional reaction. I too have had a similar reaction at times. The way I take it is, you are forced to face exactly what Christ did for us by becoming man, knowing he would be rejected. You can't hide from it, it's too blatantly obvious. When I thought of it like this, I was able to appreciate the crucifix in a new way.

I don't think, this concept of being 'disturbed' is so foreign to Orthodox either. In a talk I had with a local Orthodox (GOA) priest, he described how many things in Orthodox worship are made to be disturbing and uncomfortable. Fasting, standing for a long liturgy, 'deformed' iconography, etc. cause a person to reflect on Christ. This is just a different method to the same goal.
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« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2010, 11:28:45 PM »


While I understand what you are saying...some of the "art" goes a bit too far.

When they depict Christ in such pain where his fingers resemble claws more than human hands....I find it a bit "too" much.

Again, Orthodoxy does not stress His agony....as much as His triumphant resurrection!
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« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2010, 11:33:53 PM »

The bible does say his sweat turned to drops of blood. Such imagery!
« Last Edit: November 05, 2010, 11:34:39 PM by ChristusDominus » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2010, 11:39:50 PM »


Don't get me wrong.  I do not belittle the suffering. 
It's just that the suffering was not an end on to itself.

When a mother is in labor and has her child....imagine how happy she is to have that baby.
She puts up photos of her infant...of her with her baby....of her family.

She would hardly want to post a photo of her in the pains of labor...as that was only a necessary part of giving life to a child....it's the child that was important and the final goal, not the labor.

...I'm just saying.
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« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2010, 11:54:43 PM »


Don't get me wrong.  I do not belittle the suffering.  
It's just that the suffering was not an end on to itself.

When a mother is in labor and has her child....imagine how happy she is to have that baby.
She puts up photos of her infant...of her with her baby....of her family.

She would hardly want to post a photo of her in the pains of labor...as that was only a necessary part of giving life to a child....it's the child that was important and the final goal, not the labor.

...I'm just saying.

I see what you're saying.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2010, 12:12:45 AM by ChristusDominus » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2010, 03:11:29 PM »

It was interesting- shortly before I left my former Catholic parish, they had started to use a 'King of Glory' icon cross as the altar cross in the main church. (They still had a wooden crucifix as the altar cross in the side chapel.) Better late than never, I guess.
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