Art that comforts

Vatican Museums: The Works of Mercy #8

"Proclaiming Christ means showing that believing in Him and following Him is not only true and right, but also beautiful. At the heart of the Gospel lies the beauty of God's saving love, manifested in Jesus Christ who died and rose again." Inspired by these words of Pope Francis, the Vatican Museums and Vatican News have teamed up again to explore the masterpieces in the papal collections accompanied by the words of the Popes.

Zanobi Strozzi (Florence 1412 – 1468), Christ’s Entrance into Jeusalem, Altarstep compartment with stories of Christ, tempera and gilding on poplar, golden frame, 15th century, Vatican Art Gallery © Musei Vaticani

The entrance of Christ into Jerusalem, described in the Gospels, is the event which opens the episode of the Passion. Jesus arrives seated astride a donkey, bringing with Him a foal (as in Mt 21:2). Behind Him follows an entourage of Apostles, last of which is Judas Iscariot already represented without a halo. Traditional iconography of this scene usually has Christ moving from left to right (as does Giotto in the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, and Pietro Lorenzetti in the Lower Basilica of Assisi), though this painting depicts the opposite: Jesus arrives from the right and the crowd awaits Him at the left, their faces filled with admiration and amazement. Children lay down robes, and throw olive branches along His route.

© Musei Vaticani
© Musei Vaticani

“If we wish to understand well our lives and the direction we always wish to give them, we must look to Christ: He is the King, the Lord of history, the center of every aspiration and the destination of every person. He follows His triumph by giving everything He has: His blood, honor, freedom, and His life for us. Jesus saved us in pain and in love.”

(Pope St. Paul VI, Palm Sunday 1965)

Under the direction of Paolo Ondarza
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28 March 2021, 09:00