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Art History Illustrated, Celestial Clergy: Vested Angels in the Art of the Flemish Primitives

Thursday, April 20, 2023

6:30-7:30 PM

The masters of 15th-century Netherlandish painting created a sparkling treasure trove of painstakingly detailed religious scenes in glossy, translucent oil. These sumptuous works contain countless iconographic details that allude to the Christian ritual of Communion. According to Catholic doctrine, then and now, during the Mass, bread and wine are miraculously transformed by the celebrants into the flesh and blood of Christ. Art historian Brenda Edgar will show how artists such as Jan van Eyck, Robert Campin, and Rogier van der Weyden cast glorious angels in the roles of heavenly priests, deacons, and acolytes in an eternal Eucharistic celebration, and explore the lush beauty and complex symbolism of their extravagantly brocaded and jewelled vestments.

Join us for our “Art History Illustrated” talk series, held the third Thursday of every month at 6:30 p.m. This monthly illustrated talk series is presented by art historian Brenda Edgar, in collaboration with the Carnegie Center for Art and History.

Image: Detail of Jan van Eyck’s Annunciation in a Church, c. 1434/1436, in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

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