Annunciation to Last Judgement: themes and variations in Christian art – 3. The Life and Ministry of Christ

  • Begins: Monday 9 August 2021
    Until: Tuesday 10 August 2021
  • Lecturer: Clare Ford-Wille

During the summer of 2021 we are offering a series of linked but separate study days on images from Christian Art. Each day can be booked individually.

The Summer Series will examine the main themes and many ways in which they were interpreted by artists and sculptors from the fourth to nineteenth centuries. We will consider the ways in which artists and their patrons interpreted the texts, not only of the Bible, but also the Revelations of St. Bridget and the fascinating commentaries in The Golden Legend.

Programme for Day 3 – Parts 1 and 2

The Life and Ministry of Christ
To avoid Herod’s anger, Christ and his parents flee to Egypt. The subject of the Flight into Egypt becomes an opportunity to explore new aspects of this subject. The Flemish artist, Patinir, used the subject to develop landscape in its own right. Schongauer and Dürer used the subject in their experiments in the new technology of the print. There is also the Return from Egypt which is not so frequently represented but can be seen in the work of Leonardo and Murillo. The narrative scenes of the Ministry of Christ, beginning with his appearance  as a twelve year old in the Temple, are less popular than the scenes of his birth or death. Protestant artists like Rembrandt were more likely to explore the scenes of Christ’s Life and Ministry.


Part 1 (9 August)
1. The Flight and Return from Egypt and Christ Teaching in the Temple
2. The Temptation, Baptism and Calling of the Apostle
Part 2 (10 August)
3. The Miracles and Parables Part I
4. The Miracle and Parables Part II

Future days

  • Entry into Jerusalem to the Last Supper – 24/25 August 2021 (online)
  • From Crucifixion to Resurrection – 6 September 2021 (in-person)
  • Ascension, Pentecost, Last Judgement – 24 September 2021 (in-person)


Clare Ford-Wille is an independent art historian, well known to members for her courses at Birkbeck and Morley College as well as a lecturer at the National Gallery, the V&A and The Arts Society groups in Britain and Europe. She has led many tours abroad. Clare is a Vice President of The London Art History Society.

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