Okay, readers, we have been working though the Gospels, inspecting art in Rome which portrays many of the stories. Now, it’s time for a quiz to see how well you were paying attention. If you live in the USA, you do not need to lament that you cannot see the art that I have used for lack of travel time or funds to get to Rome. Many parallel paintings exist in our major museums in Boston, NYC, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Chicago, San Francisco, and Passadina, etc. We are fortunate to be able to stroll through the National Gallery of Art on the east end of the Mall in Washington, D.C. For this quiz, I have selected paintings from the National Gallery of Art. And, In case the blog series has whetted your appetite for more Art about Jesus, I found this book Gospel Figures in Art at the National Gallery. Enjoy.
1) Lodovio Carracci portrays The Dream of Saint Catherine of Alexandria. Catherine slumbers on the left, while Mary hold Jesus on her lap. A character with wings folds his hands in a prayerful gesture behind them. This is:
1) AN ANGEL
2) An angle
3) John the Baptist
5) Pope Sixtus IV
2) Guiseppe Casari painted another saint, this time about to have her head lopped off, in The Martyrdom of Saint Margaret. Above her is Mary, again with Jesus on her lap, with various angels and a couple of dudes. Being observent, you have noticed that the guy on the right is holding a key. Whom does this symoble represent?
A) John the Baptist
B) The Evanglist Matthew
C) PETER, TO WHOM JESUS GAVE THE KEYS TO THE KINGDOM
D) The sexton of the church
E) Jerry Garcia of the Graitful Dead
3) When Jesus carried his cross to Galgotha, he perspired heavily. Veronica handed him her viel to wipe his brow. Later the image of Jesus’ face and crown of thorns apeared on the linen. This is stored among the relics in St. Peter’s Basillica. Domenico Fetti’s painting displays The Veil of Veronica which contains an image of Jesus face and crown of thorns. Why is this image highly unlikely to have occured.
A) ART HISTORIANS BELIEVE THAT DOMENICO USED HIS OWN FACIAL IMAGE AS THS SOURCE FOR JESUS’S FACE (E.G. DOMENICO’S SELFIE)
B) Roman tradition was to not take down crucified criminals until after their bodies had rotted and the vultures had consumed their flesh
C) Relics in churches were hoaxes aimed at increase pilgramage traffic and donations
D) THE SAINT’S NAME, VERONICA, IS A PLAY ON WORDS THAT COMBINE “VERA” (TRUE) AND “ICON” (RELIGIOUS SYMBOLIC IMAGE), WITH THE SUBSEQUENT CIRCULAR REASONING.
4) The Greek, then Roman, goddess Diana became associated with the Virgin Mary in art imagery. In Luca Giordano’s painting, Diana and Endymion, the mytholigical story of Diana approaching the sleeping Endymion, is as influenced by the Virgin Mary as the Mary is by the goddess.
A) Hunting Dog
B) Dead/Sleeping, handsome young man
C) THE CRESENT MOON
D) A bear breast
5) The Pantheon is a really cool building in central Rome. The exterior design is of a large cylindar with a temple front of pillars and pediment. Inside, the ceiling is a perfect sphere, which if extended to floor would complete the globe. In the middle is an opening, the oculous, for the sun to illuminate the inside. In 609 A.D. Pope Boniface IV made the structure into a church, decorating the lower area (the implied lower section of the sphere, with pillars, niches, ect. If you are in Washington, D.C. and want to see this image replicated, where can you go?
6) When you go into St. Peter’s Basillica in Vatican City, you are allowed to Tweet, “OMG!” It is big enough to play an NFL football game inside. However, there are some behaviors that are not allowed in St. Peters. When I visited there 25 years ago, I noticed how quickly guys (not the Swiss Guard, in the blue and yellow uniforms) show up to usher people away to the exits, or infirmary. Things you should NOT do in St. Peter’s include:
A) BE A WOMAN DRESSED WITH YOUR SHOULDERS OR KNEES SHOWING
B) STAND AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS WITH YOUR ARMS OUT-STRETCHED CLAIMING THAT YOU ARE RECEIVING THE STIGMATA OF THE CROSS
C) HAVE EXTENDED CONVERSATIONS WITH THE SAINTS IN NICHES, CLAIMING THAT THE SAINTS ARE TALKING BACK
D) Light a votive candle and leave a Euro in the donation box
E) PULL OUT A HAMMER AND GO AFTER A STATUE
(Yes, I observed people doing A, B, and C, but all were wisked away quickly)
7) The Last Super, this version by Sebastiano Ricci, is ripe for action. A Passover Seder dinner; Jesus proclaiming that the bread is his body and the wine his blood; Jesus announcing that one of his twelve disciples has already agreed to betray him; other disciples asking, “Is it I?” Yet, why is there a sleeping dog in the center of the painting? Using your sleuthing skills, what clues tell you that Judas is the guy next to the sleeping dog (other than that)?
A) EVERYONE ELSE IS LOOKING AT JESUS, EXCEPT THE OTHER GUY WHO IS CHECKING OUT THE WINE BOTTLE.
B) THE GUY IS STANDING, FACING AWAY FROM THE TABLE AND POINTING TOWARD THE WAY OUT
C) HIS STOOL IS TOPPLED OVER
D) HE IS HOLDING A BAG OF MONEY
E) The elaborate room is decroated in the style of Emperor Nero’s Golden Palace
8) One of Jesus’ first miracles was when he turned water into wine at the wedding in Cana. He attended with his mother, Mary, and other family. The Marriage at Cana places us across from the table from Jesus and other guests. Servers point to the empty wine jugs, while looking up at the father and mother of the newlywed couple. What is going on in the other room, over Jesus’ and Mary’s shoulders?
A) SERVANTS ARE GETTING A BUZZ ON AWAY FROM THE MAIN PARTY
B) Other guests stepped out to get some fresh air and just returned to the celebration
C) JESUS HAS JUST TURNED THE WATER INTO WINE AND GUESTS, WHO HAVE TRIED IT, ARE PROCAILMING THAT THE HOST HAS SAVED THE BEST WINE FOR LAST
D) Jesus is foreshadowing the last supper and the development of the tradition of the Eucharist.
E) You are looking at the wrong room. The other room, with the door open, shows the wedding bed, with red linens and one white pillow. Go figure.
9) Jesus told the parable of The Return of the Prodigal Son, which Bartolome Esteban Murillo painted. While our central focus is on the reunion of the father and the lost son, Jesus told this story as he also prophecied about his upcoming arrest, death, and resurrection. To the left side of the painting, a child leads the fattened calf, along with a man carrying an axe. Why is this in the painting?
A) The cow wandered into the studio when Murillo snapped some photos that he used as models.
B) A ROMAN TRADITION WAS THAT THE SACRIFICAL COW HAS TO WILLINGLY GO TO THE ALTER, JUST AS JESUS WILLINGLY ACCEPTED THAT HE MUST DIE TO SAVE HUMANITY.
C) THE LOST SON WAS REDEEMED BOTH BY HIS CONFESSION OF WRONG DOING AND THE INTERCESSION OF JESUS’ DEATH
D) The faithful brother, who stayed home and obeyed his father, was ticked off about his brother getting his inheritance, that he sold the cow for a handful of beans.
In case I was not obvious, the correct answer(s) were in CAPITAL LETTERS. Now you can go to the musuem and find all those triava details that your friends really do not want to spout off about.