Reformation Artists Lecture

Posted on Sep 2, 2017 in | 0 comments

October 14, 2017 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm


“Three Artists of the Reformation Era: Matthias Grünewald (+1528), Albrecht Dürer (+1528), Lucas Cranach (+1553)”

Presenter: Joel Nickel, artist and theologian

Saturday, October 14 at 4:00 pm, Free event
St. James Lutheran Church, 1315 SW Park Ave., Portland, OR 97201

In conjunction with the 500th anniversary of Luther’s act, posting the 95 theses on the castle church door in Wittenberg, presenter Joel Nickel proposes that Christians today consider the implications for visual art that this event suggested. The Lutheran tradition has within it a mixed history of iconoclasm that persisted out of fear of idolatry associated with the worship/veneration of saints. But Luther’s “theology of the cross” suggested that we find God, not in philosophical speculation (about beauty or perfection or whimsical spirituality) but in those places where God promises to show up: in the life of Christ, especially on the cross and from the empty tomb. Visual communication is prominent in the 21st century, so the Lutheran style which appeals to the mind and ear must find a way to attract the eye and heart.

The place to begin is with the three prominent artists of the early 16th century, Grünewald, Durer, and Cranach, who knew each other and worked on similar issues/images both classical (Greek) & medieval (ecclesial). All three artists have something to teach Lutherans and other Christians in our own time.

The presentation will focus on the Grünewald Isenheim altarpiece, Dürer etchings, and Cranach paintings highlighting the “social reformation.” There are bridges of comparison between all three artists: crucifixion/resurrection art, Adam & Eve images, and the artists’ contemporary world outlooks.

Reception to follow the lecture.

Click here to download a PDF copy of the Reformation Artists Lecture flyer.

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