Leo J. O'Donovan
The flight into Egypt has been a popular theme for artists for many centuries. The art has often been sublime, but the theology less so. The flight was by no means an idyllic excursion. It was a poor young family’s desperate escape from a tyrant king—an experience that has relevance for millions of refugees in today's world.
This exhibit, which began in Washington, D.C., and will move to Minneapolis next month, documents how Klein’s remarkably fertile (and assertive) imagination anticipated minimalism, conceptualism, and later, even performance and installation art.
In the 1430s, when Fra Angelico was at the peak of his career, he composed a three-panel painting of the Last Judgment. The left panel, Paradise, shows angels dancing through a flowering meadow as they lead the redeemed toward paradise. There is a soaring of the spirit in this lyrical painting. Heaven is seen as a great dance that all the faithful are invited to attend. Standing before this work one wants to dance and kneel at the same time. Leo O’Donovan reviews.
Duccio di Buoninsegna (c. 1255-1319) is not as well known as other Italian painters, so it came as a surprise to some that the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York purchased the Madonna and Child for a reported $45 million late last year. That’s more than twice what the Met has paid for any other painting, but it is worth it. Duccio is one of the pioneers of Western Art, and his Madonna and Child was copied by artists for generations.