Catalog of Lessons by Category > Out-of-Class Experiences > Fine Arts

Catalog of Lessons by Category > Out-of-Class Experiences > Fine Arts 2017-10-07T03:25:00+00:00
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I take 38 Class VII students to the European Paintings gallery at the Metropolitan Museum to examine their collection of devotional art. The paintings depict scenes from the life of Jesus Christ, specifically his crucifixion, lamentation, deposition, exultation, and ascension. The students are asked if a painting depicts high Christology (showing Jesus’ divine nature) or Low Christology (his human nature) or a combination of both. These terms have been previously defined in class. I ask them of specific details about why they have assigned the term high or low to the painting, and they respond with specific answers about color, texture, composition, shading, and light.

They spread out around the gallery in groups of two or three to discuss how the artists have depicted high and low Christology, using gilt or blood to show the two natures of Jesus Christ. They find that the difference between high and low Christology is sometimes not always clear, and paintings may display a mixture of both Christologies.

Next we look at paintings and search for clues as to the emotional state of Mary, Jesus, John the Baptist, and other characters from these scenes from the life of Christ. I encourage the girls to view the art as a series of choices made by the artist that show his or her theological point of view.

The lesson lasts 70 minutes, and then we return to school.