Saturday, March 31, 2012

Holy Week 2012

Over the last few weeks I've been struggling with the decision on what to do about Holy Week. Last year I used Giotto's marvelous paintings in the Arena Chapel at Padua to illustrate the events of the final week of Jesus' earthly life.

Duccio di Buoninsigna, Entry Into Jerusalem
Italian, 1308-1311
Sienna, Museo dell'Opera del Duomo
One option for this year was to use the similar series of paintings by Giotto's slightly older contemporary, the Siennese Duccio di Buoninsegna. These pictures occupy the back portion of Duccio's altarpiece dedicated to Mary, known as the Maestà, which was painted a few years after the completion of Giotto's masterpiece. Although they are comparable in the choice of subject, Duccio's paintings are small, with limited pictorial space available. This means that the images are often crowded and compressed or stripped down to the basic elements. An example is his Entry into Jerusalem.

Another option was to focus, not so much on images of the events of that final week, but on paintings that meditate upon those events in some way. This is a different approach, but an intriguing one, I think.

It is this second approach that I have decided to undertake. Therefore, for illustrations of the events of Holy Week I will refer you to my essays from 2011, while also offering the new essays on a group of paintings that meditate on the Passion.

© M. Duffy, 2012

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