Friday, 25 March 2016

25 March : Rogier van der Weyden

Earlier this month I was at the British Academy to hear the new Director of the National Gallery, Dr Gabriele Finaldi, give a powerful lecture on 'Rogier van der Weyden and the encounter between Faith and Art'.

It was intensely moving to hear Dr Finaldi speak about this medieval Flemish artist whom he has studied for many years and the room was silent as he explored the iconography of four paintings featured in the recent exhibition at the Prado Museum. Rogier van der Weyden was highly respected in his lifetime and was official artist for the city of Brussels from 1436 until his death in 1464.

The final image that Dr Finaldi chose was the recently restored masterpiece 'The Crucifixion' (1457-64) which was originally an altarpiece in the Charterhouse of Scheut. Dr Finaldi described standing in front of this painting for hours exploring every detail and I thought about contemplating such terrible suffering and overpowering grief over a long period of time and wondered if I would have had the strength.

Exhibition at Prado Museum 2015


  1. Our Good Friday service included stories from people in the congregation.
    From slave roots to land restitution (apartheid legacy). Catamaran sinking on Lake Kariba and swimming thru the night till rescued. A nasty burglary. A woman healed of MS and another dealing with cancer secondaries.

    So grateful for lots of music thru the service. And the contemporary art work in the church.

    1. How lovely to hear of your Good Friday service. We attended St. Mary's in Stellenbosch when we were there and it was so good to feel part of that congregation.

  2. Further to one of your earlier posts about the variable date of Easter - the Radio 4 'Beyond Belief' program last week was discussing all the complexities and ramifications of the Easter dates - very informative discussion of interest to all with a curious mind.

    1. I think that Archbishop Justin has the high on his agenda. I suspect that fixing the date will hasten the secularisation of Easter as the annual chocolate festival and you can already see this because the packaging for most chocolate eggs no longer refers to Easter.


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