Four Great Religious Art Pieces
When we talk about religious artwork, most of us will be able to name ‘The Last Supper’ depicted by Leonardo da Vinci, but there are many little-known facts about some of the most famous pieces just waiting to be discovered. Read on for an interesting insight into the world of religious art.
‘The Last Supper’ by Leonardo da Vinci
Located inside the Santa Maria Delle Grazie convent in Milan, Italy, this mural painting is hugely famous. If you have not had the opportunity to see this painting in person, you will not know that it is actually a lot bigger than you might have thought. A huge 15 feet by 29 feet, the original is a lot larger than the many reproductions. To help preserve this masterpiece, the temperature in the room is controlled and a maximum of 25 people are allowed in the room at any one time. Unfortunately, not much of the original paint remains due to decay and even vibrations from the bombings of World War II, and restoration attempts have not been successful.
‘Christ Crucified’ by Diego Velázquez
Thought to be painted in 1632, this masterpiece can be found in the Museo del Prado in Madrid, Spain. The exact year of the painting is unknown due to a lack of information surrounding it. Originally belonging to the Spanish Prime Minister, Manuel Godoy, this painting then changed hands many times until King Fernando VII sent it to the museum in which it resides today. Diego Velazquez usually painted portraits of the Spanish royal family and it is thought that he used his uncle as a model for this painting of Christ immediately after his death.
‘The Immaculate Conception’ by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo
This painting is also found in the Museo del Prado and stands almost nine feet tall. The image is of the Virgin Mary surrounded by cherubs, known as ‘putti’. It represents how Mary carried Jesus without original sin and is described as “a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet”. The museum does not allow visitors to take photographs of this painting, so it is most likely you will see pictures of a reproduction.
‘The Creation of Adam’ by Michelangelo
Forming part of the ceiling, this creation can be seen in the Sistine Chapel and was completed in the early 1500s, taking a total of four years to paint. It represents the moment God gave life to man in the creation passage of the Book of Genesis and shows God and Adam almost touching fingers. Surrounding God are twelve unknown figures, which has caused many people to come up with theories as to who these people are. Some say that one of them could be Eve, however, a wilder theory is that the figures and shapes represent the human brain due to Michelangelo’s knowledge of the human anatomy.
There are many religious artwork masterpieces all held in various parts of the world. It is only by viewing them in their original glory that you will truly appreciate their wonder.
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