Spain: Special exhibit on Christ at the Prado

Source: FSSPX News

Descent from the Cross by Michelangelo Merisi

As one of the cultural events scheduled for the World Youth Day (WYD) in Madrid, the Prado Museum is planning a tour allowing visitors to discover the figure of Christ through art.  The Vatican Museums are contributing to it by lending the famous Descent from the Cross by Michelangelo Merisi, who is better known as Caravaggio.

This work from the year 1603, also called The Deposition, will be one of 14 major paintings in the exhibit entitled “The Word made image:  Paintings of Christ at the Prado Museum”.  The display includes The Annunciation by Fra Angelico, The Descent from the Cross by Roger van der Weyden, The Last Supper by Juan de Juanes, Christ Pantocrator carried by four angels (anonymous), Christ’s Descent into Hell by Sebastiano del Piombo, The Adoration of the Magi by Peter Paul Rubens, The Good Shepherd by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, “Jesus among the doctors in the Temple by Paolo Veronese, Christ washing the disciples’ feet by Tintoret, The Crucifixion by Diego Velazquez, Lamb of God by Francisco de Zurbarán, The Trinity by José de Ribera and The Resurrection of Christ by El Greco.

“This is a unique opportunity to discover genuine treasures of the iconography of Christ,” the Minister of Culture, Angeles Gonzalez Sinde declared on July 21 during the official opening of the exhibit.  Through these Baroque jewels the tour presents to the spectator depictions of the metaphors that Christ uses for himself or that were attributed to him afterward (the Good Shepherd, the Light of the World, the Way, the Truth and the Life, the Lamb of God, the Savior of the world…).

Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, Archbishop of Madrid, thanked the Prado Museum:  “I am sure that tens of thousands of young people will be amazed by the aesthetic beauty of this tour of the image of Christ at the Prado;  it will also be for them a profound faith experience.”

The tour will be marked out in the various rooms of the museum by special explanatory panels containing the WYD logo.  Each panel will provide artistic, iconographic and religious commentary on the work of art in Spanish and English.  This information will be supplemented by a free leaflet and a guidebook.  The tour can be followed by Internet in an interactive version available on the Museum website (  From August 16 to 21 admission will be free for all pilgrims who present their WYD pass.  Moreover the Museum will allow visits at night by opening the two main floors of its collection on the evenings of August 16, 17 and 18 from 10:30 p.m. to midnight.  (Sources: apic/madrid11 - DICI no. 239 dated August 13, 2011)