“The Prophet and the Word in Chagall and Dürer"
by Laura McMillion
This paper examines Marc Chagall and Albrecht Dürer’s visual representations of two similar prophetic passages from the Bible. Because the two artists come from different religious backgrounds, their interpretations of these passages vary. Chagall’s Jewish perspective on “The Calling of Ezekiel” and Dürer’s Reformation-era Christian approach to “St. John Devouring the Book” reflect different beliefs about the nature of the word and revelation. Yet despite their obvious differences, these works of art are ultimately united by the artists’ common Judeo-Christian tradition, as evidenced by similar emphases on the role of the prophet in the process of revelation.
"Christ’s True Image: Depictions of St. Veronica’s Veil in Georges Rouault’s Miserere"
by Joy Freemyer
Georges Rouault’s Miserere series is one of the greatest examples of Christian art in the twentieth century. The Veronica image features prevalently in the series and functions as an interpretive lens through which to understand the work as a whole. Rouault’s portrayal of the suffering of the early twentieth century is rendered transcendent by the inclusion of this image as it leads the viewer to contemplation of Christ’s death and resurrection and to an understanding of right human identity, which is found only in Christ. This paper examines the image of St. Veronica’s veil within the series as a whole and within Plates XXXIII and XLVII in particular as the image contributes to the contemplative purpose of the series.
"Our Lady of Land’s End and Redemptive Suffering"
by Amy Freeman
Rouault’s Miserere et Guerre contains several images of Christ in his suffering. This paper argues that these images find their meaning in Plate 56, a depiction of the Madonna and Child that implies that human suffering finds redemption and meaning when united with the suffering of Christ. This notion emerges through an examination of Rouault’s treatment of the major themes in the series, with particular attention to Eucharistic and maternal love.
"Painting the Anguish of the World: [Re]Examining the Crucifixion Motif in Chagall"
By Caroline Barta
Although he was a Jewish artist, Marc Chagall produced several paintings in which the crucifixion of Christ is a prominent image. As a prophetic artist, Chagall not only works within the Jewish tradition, but also makes use of images from outside of this tradition in order to reveal truth in creative and striking ways. Through an iconographic and stylistic analysis of four crucifixion pieces, this paper suggests Chagall’s purpose in depicting the crucifixion. The image of the crucifixion is related to the image of the Torah, to the teachings of Kabbalah, and to historical events of Jewish suffering that occurred in Chagall’s time. By presenting the crucifixion alongside Jewish subject matter, Chagall represents in a single image not only the suffering of the Jewish people, but also hope for universal redemption.