Sunday, December 11, 2011

Advent Assignment #6: Luke 8 and Baby Jesus at the National Gallery of Art

This post contains the 7th-8th grade English assignment for Wednesday, December 14.

  1. Read Luke 8 and write down the section heading for verses 46-49.

  2. Look at each of the nine pictures very carefully. You can click on them to enlarge them. The dates listed are approximately when the art was created. The paintings are from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., which I visited in November. All of the ones in this post are related to the birth of Christ. I had to take the pictures from a slight angle because otherwise I was getting a glare from the flash.

  3. These paintings and sculptures were created during the Renaissance. Some of them are gilded. Many of the the titles contain the words madonna and adoration. Click on each of these four bolded words and write down definitions.

  4. Which three pieces are not flat paintings?

  5. Which pieces were created in the 14th century? (Think carefully about this.)

  6. Three of the paintings have an instruction marked with **. Choose one to do.

  7. Read the poem "The Story Did Not Start with a Stable and a Star" which is below the pictures.
"The Adoration of the Shepherds" by Giorgione, 1505-1510

"Adoration of the Shepherds" after Annibale Fontana, 1600s, Terracotta

The words "after Annibale Fontana" means that he didn't create it himself, but it was based on one of his pieces.

In Italian, "terra" means "earth" and "cotta" means "cooked" or "baked." The American Heritage dictionary says that "terracotta" is "A hard semifired waterproof ceramic clay used in pottery and building construction." Firing is hardening or baking in an oven. There is one other terracotta piece in this blog post.

"The Adoration of the Magi" by Benvenuto di Giovanni in 1470-1475

"Madonna and Child" by the Florentine School 1425

Click here to see another Madonna and Child sculpture at the NGA.

** Copy down the Latin inscription at its base.

"Madonna and Child" by Circle of Giovanni di Turino 1430, painted and gilded terracotta

"Madonna Enthroned with Saints and Angels" by Agnolo Gaddi 1380-1390

** How is this painting and its frame similar to the Giotto one below? How is it different? (Think about the subject, style, media and shapes.)

"Madonna and Child" by Giotto 1320-1330

"The Alba Madonna" by Raphael in 1510 (St. John the Baptist is the other child in this painting.)

Read about this painting at: Alba Madonna.
** Write a sentence about the significance of what the baby Jesus is holding in his hand.

"The Flight into Egypt" by Vittore Carpaccio, 1515


"The Story Did Not Start with a Stable and a Star"
by Virginia Knowles

The story did not start with a stable and a star
But in the beginning, before billygoats on boulders or bluebirds in birch trees
The Trinity, the Three-In-One: Father, Spirit, Son
Viewed a vast void with a venturesome vision
And lo, this Lavish LORD said, “Let there be…”
And there was Light and Life and Love
Tigers and tiger lilies and tiger sharks
Amoebas and ants, aardvarks and apple trees,
Honeysuckle and honeybees and heavenly hallelujahs
For it was good: this grand garden, green and growing, glorious and glowing
With two to tend Eden: Adam and Eve
Masterpieces made to multiply more masterpieces in the image of their Maker
Working and walking with Him, worshiping Him for the wonder of His wisdom
But then came a choice and a cheater and a chilling challenge
They rebelled and rejected and ruined their Royal Relationship
In punishment, pushed out from Paradise into pain and peril, perishing
Generation after generation
Mankind multiplied moral messes
The Spirit sometimes seized sinners into the Sovereign Sacred Story
Prodding prophets, priests, and preachers to proclaim:
“Repent! Return! Revere! Renew!”
And so the Father sent his Son
And seers sought this Savior from afar
But the story did not stop with a stable and a star

The little Lord Jesus, who lay there so lowly, lived his life
This Great God-With-Us grew in grace
He, the Holy One, who helped and healed
Preached and prayed and praised His Father
This Lord of Love looked high and low to liberate the lost
This consecrated Christ carried His cross
He was crucified in His courage by our cowardice
Thus our Prophet-Priest paid the penalty price for our Paradise
His ransom rescues rebels from ruin
Freeing those who by faith will fully follow
Generation after generation
Multiplying more miracles among mortals
For the Spirit of the Sovereign Sacred Story
Still seizes sinners and sanctifies saints
And our Royal Redeemer shall return:
Holy is He! Hark the heavenly hallelujahs!
For it is good and God is glorious!
Earth shall end and eternity shall start
And the story of the Savior shall always speak to the heart.

“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth…” Genesis 1:1

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it… He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:1-5, 10-14