Dr. Chloë Reddaway
Date: Public Lecture: Friday, Feb. 10th at 7pm | Public Workshop: Saturday, Feb 11th, 10am - 12pm
Venue: Lecture: Online & In-Person at the Epiphany Chapel | Workshop: In-Person only at the Epiphany Chapel
Dr. Chloë Reddaway is VST’s 2023 G. Peter Kaye lecturer.
Lecture – Free
The Problem of Painting Christ: Strange Responses to the Greatest Artistic Challenge
The challenge of painting Christ is a uniquely complex one. How does one paint a figure who is fully human and fully divine in a meaningful way? Christian artists have faced an astonishing challenge and, in many ways, the history of Christian art is the history of artistic responses to the unique claims of the Incarnation and the very practical, as well as conceptual, problems which the Incarnation poses to artists. In this lecture, Chloë Reddaway explores some of the extra-ordinary artistic responses with which Italian painters in the Renaissance met this challenge, and takes a fresh look at well-known paintings of Christ, discovering how surprising and deeply ‘strange’ they can be. By confounding expectations and defamiliarising subject matter, the ambiguity and mystery of these paintings disturbs viewers’ expectations and reconnects them with the extraordinary mystery of the Incarnation.
Workshop – $10 registration fee (lunch included)
Strangeness and Recognition; Mystery and Familiarity in Renaissance Paintings of Christ
While neither words nor images can fully describe God, through a questioning, challenging dialogue with paintings, whose visual language disrupts itself, viewers can be brought to the limits of their own understanding and can enter into transformative and person-like relationships with paintings. These personal exchanges can lead through estrangement to the rediscovery of the familiar within the strange and the renewed within the familiar, and to the ultimately unspeakable, unpaintable, mystery of the Incarnation.
This class will develop the discussion of ‘strangeness’ from the Friday lecture, extending it to consider the idea of ‘recognition’ as a partner element in the viewing process, and exploring their twin roles in creating and relating to images of Christ. Bringing an imaginative and affective theological perspective to the discussion, we will ask how attending to paintings as theological conversation partners might inform our relationships with other people, and how person-like relationships with paintings might teach us about attending to others.
About Dr. Chloë Reddaway
Dr. Chloë Reddaway is a researcher in the Centre for Arts and the Sacred at King’s College London and McDonald Agape Theology and the Arts Research Associate at Duke University, NC. She is a former Howard and Roberta Ahmanson Fellow and Curator of Art and Religion at the National Gallery, London, and specialises in visual theology, focusing on the recovery of historical images for contemporary theology. Publications include Transformations in Persons and Paint: Visual Theology, Historical Images and the Modern Viewer (2016), and Strangeness and Recognition: Mystery and Familiarity in Renaissance Images of Christ (2019).