Byzantine Art exhibit at the Smithsonian National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.

I happened to be in D.C. over Christmas break and stumbled upon a new Byzantine Art exhibit at the National Gallery of Art!  It was a small exhibit but with very fine examples of Byzantine Art from different periods of the Byzantine Empire.  They had marbles, illuminated manuscripts, icons, mosaics, frescoes, jewelry and more.  It was fantastic!  I loved most a manuscript scroll with the priest’s prayers for the Liturgy of St. Basil. It was unrolled to the very beginning and had a most beautiful illumination.  I wish I had had more time to admire it.  I also saw one of my favorite icons which they call “Man of Sorrows” from the 12th century.  It is really “Extreme Humility” and it was one of the icons I selected to write during the workshop I organized for the Prosopon School in Austin a couple of years ago.  It was a most powerful icon to write and I was so happy to have been able to see the original in person.  It was part of a double sided icon with the Theotokos Odigitria on the obverse with a surprisingly sad furrowed-brow expression, and the Christ on the other.  As a set, her expression makes sense as the lifeless body of Christ is on the reverse.  The images below are of an informational plaque about the exhibit upon entering, and the icon I wrote of the Extreme Humility after the original in this exhibit. The link for the exhibit is: http://www.nga.gov/content/ngaweb/features/byzantine.html

IMG_1788Extreme Humility 2011

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