Sunday, September 5, 2010

Images of Christ at the MOA

While at BYU Education Week, one of my favorite afternoons was spent in the Museum of Art. Currently on exhibit in the museum's basement is "The Life of Christ" by James Tissot. In the late 1800's Tissot journeyed to the Holy Land where he sketched and then painted in water color over 365 paintings from the life of Christ. These were printed in a bible called the "Tissot Bible." BYU was donated a copy of this bible by Joseph Fielding Smith. It belonged to his father, Joseph F. Smith. 124 of the original paintings, now owned by the Brooklyn Museum, are on display. They are small in size but amazing in detail. This one took my breath away. It is Christ's view from the cross. These paintings are on display until January 2011.

Learn more here and here and here.

Interestingly, I found on another blog the Tissot paintings which were included each month in the 1908 issues of the Children’s Friend:

Saint Joseph Seeks a Lodging at Bethlehem.

St. Luke ii. 4. “And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea,
unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem.”

The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple.

St. Luke ii. 28. “Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God.”

Jesus Sitting in the Midst of the Doctors.

St. Luke ii. 46. “They found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors.”

Jesus Found in the Temple.

St. Luke ii. 49. “And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me?
wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?”

First Miraculous Draught of Fishes.

St. Luke v. 6. “And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes; and their net brake.”

Christ Sendeth Out Seventy Two-by-Two

St. Luke x. 1. “After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two.”

The Blind Man Washes in the Pool of Siloam.

St. John ix. 7. “He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.”

The Rich Young Man Went Away Sorrowful.

St. Matthew xix, 22. “But when the young man heard that saying,
he went away sorrowful for he had great possessions.

Christ Driving Out Those that Sold in the Temple.

St. Matthew xxi, 12. “And Jesus went into the temple of God,
and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple.”

The Palsied Man Let Down through the Roof.

St. Mark ii. 4. “They uncovered the roof where he was; and when they had broken it up they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.”

Jesus Healing the Blind and Lame.

St. Matthew xv, 30. “And great multitudes came unto him,
having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed.”

Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes.

St. John vi, II. “And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks,
He distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were sat down.”

I purchased "James Tissot The Life of Christ" published by the Brooklyn Museum in conjunction with its 2009 exhibit. It includes the complete set of the 350 watercolors owned by The Brooklyn Museum. Because of the small size of the originals, the images in the book are close to full size. I hope to share them with my grandchildren.

The Carl Heinrich Bloch exhibit is to open mid-November at MOA. Altar piece art works are being borrowed from churches in Denmark. These pictures of Christ's life and work are familiar to church members but this will provide an opportunity to see the very large originals in person. They were first brought out of obscurity by the Church when prints of Bloch's work were used in the "Improvement Era" in the 1950's. Timed tickets for this exhibit will be available online beginning the end of September. The exhibit runs until May 2011. See more here.

"A Miracle at the Pool of Bethesda" by Bloch (1884) is one of the MOA's signature pieces. It takes an entire wall. It arrived on September 10, 2001 from a port in New York City. This was a bit of a miracle of timing. Any later and it would have been delayed with the events of 9/11. The Bloch exhibit is a special opportunity which has been several years in the making. It has taken much time and effort to secure the agreements which will allow these paintings to make their way to Utah from Denmark.

I also bought "Jesus The Son of Man: The Life of Jesus in the Words of the Gospels and the Paintings of Carl Bloch" for the perusal of my grandchildren.

For two months it will be possible to experience both exhibits at the same time; the small water colors of Tissot and the very large oils of Bloch come together as "Images of Christ."

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