Angels Sighted in Fort Lauderdale
Florence’s Uffizi Gallery, which contains many of the most significant works of art from the Renaissance and Baroque periods, has sent a stunning exhibit called “Offering of the Angels” to the Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale Nova Southeastern University. The exhibit contains 45 works and runs until April 8, 2012 and you shouldn’t miss it if you love art and Italy. It’s an exquisitely beautiful combination of both, inspired by the life of Jesus Christ and the birth of Christianity. But no matter what your faith, the show offers an unparalleled opportunity to view significant works of art by historic painters, such as Botticelli, in an intimate setting.
“Offering of the Angels” is divided into themes. In the first room the works deal with the roots of Christianity, the events that shaped and heralded the birth of Christ. Tintoretto’s “Sacrifice of Isaac” is a harbinger of the ultimate sacrifice in Christianity – the death of Christ. The “Offering” in “Offering of the Angels” refers to the communion wafer, or bread, that Christians consume at Mass and which is the symbol of the body of Christ and his sacrifice for humanity. The Italian title of the exhibit was “Il Pane degli Angeli” but the museum chose to translate “bread” (“il pane”) to “offering.”
From the initial room, the exhibit moves the viewer into an area with works that depict The Annunciation, which was the event where God’s angel told Mary that she would be the mother of Christ. From this point, the remainder of the works show Christ’s birth, death and Resurrection. All of the paintings are exquisite because they’ve been fully restored, so the colors are vibrant and jubilant in some works, dark and foreboding in others. There are also two tapestries and both contain intricate details that are delightful.
One section of “Offering of the Angels” showcases the restoration of ‘The Madonna and Child with Saint Catherine of Alexandria,” by Titian, which dates from 1550 to 1560. The Uffizi has provided reproductions of the various stages of the restoration. The documented restoration is fascinating.
The Uffizi Gallery and Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale Nova Southeastern University have both taken great care to ensure that “Offering of the Angels” includes tools for learning — both for children and adults and regardless of whether there is prior knowledge of art or history. The accompanying audio tour brings the paintings to life and is good for both children and adults but, specifically for children, there are small angel icons on certain works, which indicate that handouts are available. This is a very child-friendly exhibit.
There’s also a lecture series that accompanies “Offering of the Angels” and provides for additional learning opportunities. Please RSVP with Shelley Edwards at the Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale Nova Southeastern University by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 954.262.0221.
“The Conservation of Old Master Paintings”
Thursday, February 16, 2012 | 6-7pm
Claire Barry, Director of Conservation at the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas
“Sin to Salvation: The Cycle of Christian Art”
Sunday, February 19, 2012 | 3-4pm
Eric Zaffran, Curator of European Art, Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut
“The Uffizi and the Medici”
Thursday, March 8, 2012 | 6-7pm
Marcia Hall, PhD, Professor and Director of Graduate Studies at the Tyler School of Art at Temple University
“Collecting Old Master Paintings”
Thursday, March 22, 2012 | 6-7pm
Christopher Apostle, SVP and Director of Old Master Paintings at Sotheby’s