The Woodgates


Sacred Art and the Human Form
This lecture examines the turbulent history of Christian art. In the earliest centuries, representations of the human figure were strictly forbidden for fear of idolatry, but, once the use of images was sanctioned, art served the Church to instruct the faithful, to counter challenges from those who disputed Church doctrines, and to respond to catastrophic events such as the Black Death and the Reformation. Sacred art continues to play an important part in the art of the modern era.

The Art of Easter/Christmas
Many of the greatest and most moving works of art ever created have been inspired by the life of Christ.

A Masterpiece of the Northern Renaissance: The Isenheim Altarpiece
This world famous altarpiece, with its multiple wings, expressive style, exquisite handling of colour and brilliant use of Christian symbolism, is one of the finest creations of the Northern Renaissance. With eleven painted and two carved panels, the altarpiece is a powerful expression of the spirit of the time, weaving into the Christian narrative many late medieval beliefs and fears. The intensity of Grunewald’s treatment of the Crucifixion, with its dramatic realism and profound symbolism, remains unsurpassed in the history of Christian art and continues to inspire artists in the modern era.

The Mystical and Spiritual in British Art
The eccentric and visionary world of some of the most creative and imaginative British painters, including William Blake, Samuel Palmer, Stanley Spencer, Paul Nash and Graham Sutherland.