The Passion Altarpiece

As I said earlier I’m continuing with my Open University BA, with the course AA315 Renaissance Art Reconsidered.

As part of the course you have to do an independent essay on a piece of work that you have access to and covers part of the course content.

Luckily enough I have Bowes Museum close by and they have a selection of Renaissance works but my favourite artefact is the one pictured above.

The carvings and paintings are very detailed and work through from the arrest of Christ to his resurrection with a lot of the story being told in the carvings.

This is a religious piece of art made for a church and known as a retable or altarpiece. It was used as a screen that went behind the altar of a church so that the congregation could see the religious scenes depicted. The sheer size and detail of the piece show how important the images were thought to be.

The central panel is made of oak and has been intricately carved in the form of the head of a cross, with scenes of the passion and death of Christ. The scenes represented from left to right are: the scourging of Christ; the Carrying of the Cross; the Crucifixion; the Deposition and the Entombment. Six painted panels form the wings and these show the other significant events in Christ’s life, including the Nativity and the Resurrection.

Master of the View of St Gudule (active c.1465 – 1500) The Passion Altarpiece c.1480 – 1485 Oil on panel 241 x 585.5 cm Flemish school
Master of the View of St Gudule (active c.1465 – 1500)
The Passion Altarpiece c.1480 – 1485
Oil on panel
241 x 585.5 cm
Flemish school

The passion, death and resurrection of Christ were held in the highest regard in the Medieval Church and it was important that all Christians knew the story. However, lots of people in church congregations could not read and write and so religious artwork was vital in reinforcing ordinary people’s understanding of the Christian faith. The sheer scale and detail of this altarpiece and the highly visible location it had in church would have ensured that even if members of the congregation could not understand the Latin read out in the service, the paintings and images in front of them could still help them in their worship.

Tapestry in the Renaissance

I treated myself to this book as I was really lucky that a fellow student on the AA315 course no longer wanted it and I was able to acquire it for the cost of the postage.

My initial thoughts are that it’s a wonderful book and I’m really looking forward to getting a chance to explore it.

AP Monthly Competition – August 2013

Human Wildlife

The human animal – it’s a funny looking thing isn’t it? Walking around on its hind legs and pressing calculators and punching vending machines with its weird fleshy claws. What a perfect opportunity to track down and document this most mysterious of creatures at work or on the street.

Again I was hoping to get time to make a new image for this months competition but just didn’t make any to the theme, os I had to rely on archive images.

I chose to use the image from Grainger Market, there is a lot of movement going on with the stillness of the central character. The other thing that pulls the eye in is the receding perspective down the hallway of the market.

Norfolk 2013

These photos are from our week in Norfolk, based in Blakeney. What a wonderful area, only really used the car twice, once to get our bearings and once to visit Norwich.

Walking, cycling, trips and really good food, all quite locally meant that there was no need to go very far from the cottage.

One of the best parts of the trip was eating at The Moorings in Blakeney, some of the best food I’ve had in a restaurant, in a really nice setting, great service and all at a reasonable price.

Will definitely be going back to Blakeney in the future.

Some of the photos are from the iPhone, but as they say the best camera in the world is the one you have in your hand.

AA315: Renaissance Art Reconsidered

Really pleased to be starting AA315: Renaissance art reconsidered with the Open University. His will be my last course getting me my BA Honours 🙂 mainly in Art History (did a few IT courses early on).

After this course I will be continuing on to achieve my M.A. in Art History with the Open University.

I had stopped the art history degree to complete a work-related course and after that was finished I was at a bit of a loose end and fumbled around for a while until I decided to return to this as it was the area of academia I enjoyed the most.

I’m quite lucky in that The Bowes Museum is quite close to me so accessing Renaissance period art pieces is quite easy, though the selection is relatively limited. I think part of the preparation for the course will be seeing what other Renaissance period works are nearby.