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National Gallery film series: The Audacity of Christian Art with Chloë Reddaway - 6 'So near and yet so far'


Part of the challenge of depicting Christ lies in showing his ‘visibility’ as a man who lived on earth, while also indicating the ‘invisibility’ of God eternal. This episode looks at ‘The Virgin and Child with Two Angels’ by Andrea del Verrocchio and Lorenzo di Credi (around 1476–8) and ‘The Vision of the Blessed Gabrielle’ by Carlo Crivelli (probably about 1489), and considers the pictorial device of the ‘threshold’ as a visual response to the simultaneous proximity of divine presence and the utter transcendence of God. ‘The audacity of Christian art: The problem of painting Christ’ is a seven-part series in which Dr Chloë Reddaway, Howard and Roberta Ahmanson Curator in Art and Religion at the National Gallery, explores the theological and artistic challenges involved in painting Christ as fully human and fully divine, and reveals some of the ingenious and surprising ways in which Renaissance artists responded.

visible and invisible human and divine the 'threshold' transcendence of God ‘The Virgin and Child with Two Angels’ Andrea del Verrocchio Lorenzo di Credi ‘The Vision of the Blessed Gabrielle’ Carlo Crivelli divine presence