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The University of Arizona Museum of Art and Archive of Visual Arts

Summer Series | What Art Gets Wrong About the Bible: A Look at Artistic Depictions of New Testament Narratives

Mystic_Nativity,_Sandro_Botticelli

August 16, 2021 @ 3:00 p.m.

For centuries the New Testament has been a sourcebook for the imagination of artists. However, some of the most popularly depicted scenes exhibit a high degree of artistic creativity that privilege certain biblical narratives over others or deviate from the Bible altogether.

Presented by Dr. Jaimie Gunderson, Postdoctoral Research and Teaching Fellow in the Department of Religious Studies at George Mason University, this talk will examine three scenes: the nativity, depictions of Mary Magdalene, and Paul’s “conversion” on the road to Damascus. It will ask what art gets wrong about the Bible and why it matters for us today.

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Image: Sandro Botticelli, The Mystical Nativity, ca. 1500–1501, Oil on canvas, National Gallery, London