Michelangelo and the Reformation
This lecture outlines Michelangelo’s well known and documented involvement in a Protestant-inspired Bible study group in the 1530s. It looks at how Reformation ideas of grace begin to appear in his poetry. It then explores ways in which this influence can also be traced in his later works, especially the Last Judgement in the Sistine Chapel; the frescoes in the Pauline Chapel; and the Florentine Pietà.
Rembrandt: an artist living in sin
Rembrandt was an artist who knew the extremes of success and failure, happiness and distress, in the midst of his faith in God. He was also publicly compelled to come face to face with the reality and consequences of his own sinfulness. This lecture looks at how he uses his painting to explore universal themes such as facing up to your own failings, and understanding the forgiveness and grace of God that is available to all those who put their trust in Jesus Christ.
Half a cow is better than none: the questions of Damien Hirst
This lecture looks sympathetically at the work of Damien Hirst and other artists of the original Britpack. It examines the questions they were asking, questions to which often the Christian gospel seems to offer the most convincing answers.
By the end of the twentieth century Duchamp had emerged as its most influential artist. This lecture looks at the nature of his work, the way it seems to have been shaped by his upbringing, and its influence on subsequent generations.
Easter in Art
This lecture tells the Easter story, and looks at how artists have portrayed its various elements. Images range from early Christian mosaics and sculpture, through the Renaissance and Baroque periods, up to the modern day. Along the way we see how artists choose particular scenes, and ways to portray them,that reflect the concerns and beliefs of their own age.
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Christmas in Art
This lecture tells the Christmas story, and looks at how artists have portrayed its various elements from the stylisation of Roman-era mosaics to nineteenth-century realism. It also answers some of the key questions of Christmas: Why is there always an ox and an ass next to the manger? Doesn’t Mary ever wear anything but blue? Why is Balthasar carrying a lemon meringue pie?