For Jasper, Easter has always meant more about eggs and candy than the celebration of life and death — or death and life, if you will. But no matter how you look at the holiday, one thing can’t be denied — it has provided western civilization with some amazing art.
Here’s a look at some of our favorite works that can be filed under the theme of the Easter weekend.
Above, The Yellow Christ by Paul Gauguin, painted in 1889 when he was visiting Brittany and likely eating those delicious galettes (pancakes) and drinking Muscadet.
Next is Andrea Della Robbia‘s Resurrection from the 16th century. Andrea was part of that uber-talented Italian sculpting family that started with his uncle Luca, who many say perfected the practice of glazing terra-cotta, and continued through his son, Giovanni. When we think of Della Robbia, we often think of his beautiful relief wreaths, roundels. and tondos with their brightly colored fruits of cobalt blue and antimony yellow — oranges and browns from iron rust. This piece is located in the Bode Museum in Berlin.
Gerard David’s Christ Nailed to the Cross, above, shows Christ looking out and evoking a number of sensations in the viewer, not the least of which is awkwardness. Probably painted around 1480 on oak, it’s thought that David likely created this piece while he was still in the Netherlands’ Oudewater — where some of us from Jasper have enjoyed some of the best stroop waffles of our lives, hot from the vender and dripping with caramel — before he settled in Bruges.
Once again, in Hieronymus Bosch’s Christ Mocked (the Crowning with Thorns) JC is looking out at the viewer and demonstrating grace in the face of brutality. Check out the spiked dog collar on the dude in the upper right corner. Probably painted around 1490, Bosch wasn’t afraid to freak his viewers out with the grotesqueness of his work. This piece is in the National Gallery.
If anyone ever told told Jasper he could have dinner with whomever he wanted, living or dead, one of his top choices would be the poet, painter, print-maker, and philosopher William Blake, whose work is depicted above. A Romantic rule-breaker, Blake was born in London in 1757 an died in 1827. He rejected organized religion and embraced anarchy and revolution. The above art can be found in London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.
On April 23, 1974, performance artist Chris Burden climbed atop a Volkswagen Beetle at a Speedway Avenue garage in Venice, California and asked his assistants to crucify him to the top of the car by hammering nails into the palms of his hands, attaching him to to the Beetle’s roof. The car, which had been in the garage, was then pushed out, the motor started, and the engine revved. Two minutes later, the engine was turned off and the car was pushed back into the garage.
These are just a few of Jasper’s favorites — we’d love it if you would share your favorites with us in the spaces below.