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dead christ

June 15, 2009

They may not be for the squeamish: hyper-realistic sculptures of devotional figures in their flayed and bloodied martyrdom. But if they shock, that’s because they are meant to.

The National Gallery announced today that it will mount the first major exhibition of what it regards as some of the most beautifully executed works of art ever: polychrome sculptures from the Spanish golden age, many of which have never left the churches, convents and monasteries for which they were made.

They will be displayed, for the first time, alongside religious paintings by artists such as Velázquez and Zurbarán in an attempt to explore a new art-historical theory: that these artists were directly influenced by the sculptures they saw. (read article or view slideshow)

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