Paintings and sculptures of what may be the most iconic scene in the history of art — the crucifixion of Jesus — are no longer commanding the auction prices they once did.
While it’s common for individual works to occasionally sell for less than they are worth, consider:
- In January, a late 14th-century Florentine painting of Jesus on the cross estimated between $80,000 and $120,000 sold at Sotheby’s for $86,500.
- An Italian Crucifixion from the same period, estimated between $100,000 and $150,000, sold for $110,500 at the same auction.
- The previous December, Sotheby’s London sold a mid-16th century Netherlandish Crucifixion sculpture estimated at $31,500 to $47,000 for about $27,500.
Even images of Crucifixions by established masters can be purchased on the cheap, said Joaneath Spicer, curator of Renaissance and baroque art at The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore. Spicer hasn’t purchased Crucifixions for the museum in some time.
In part, she said, Christian art has become the victim of its own success.
“If I want more Crucifixion bronzes, there are some in storage that are quite nice,” she said.
But there are other cultural factors that may be contributing to the declining sales prices. One of them may be changing worship styles that rely more on words and music and less on visual images. A bigger one may be an unwillingness to openly and publicly display one’s religious commitments…
Senior Roman Catholic and Lutheran officials announced on Monday they would mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017 as a shared event rather than highlight the clash that split Western Christianity.
The Vatican and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) presented a report in Geneva admitting both were guilty of harming Christian unity in the past and describing a growing consensus between the two churches in recent decades.
The 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses, the doctrinal challenge that launched the Protestant Reformation, will be the first centenary celebration in the age of ecumenism, globalisation and the secularisation of Western societies.
“The awareness is dawning on Lutherans and Catholics that the struggle of the 16th century is over,” the report said. “The reasons for mutually condemning each other’s faith have fallen by the wayside.”
They now agree belief in Jesus unites them despite lingering differences, it said, and inspires them to cooperate more closely to proclaim the Gospel in increasingly pluralistic societies.
“This is a very important step in a healing process which we all need and we are all praying for,” LWF General Secretary Martin Junge said at the report’s presentation in Geneva.
“The division of the church is something we cannot celebrate but we can see what is positive and try to find ways towards the future together,” said Cardinal Kurt Koch, head of the Vatican’s department to promote Christian unity.
Rest here as common ground is sought.
On November 17th, 1997, the Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya terrorist group massacred 62 men, women, and children–4 of them Egyptians and rest foreign tourists–at the famous Deir el-Bahari ruins in the culturally rich city of Luxor, one of the most important archaeological sites in the world.
This week, Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi named Al-Gama’a member Adel Asaad al-Khayyat as the new governor of Luxor.
The group allegedly renounced terror in 1997. Before the attack on Luxor.
They renounced it again in 2003, and are now part of the grand rainbow coalition of insane radical Muslims…
Oh, and one more thing: Al-Gama’a still hates tourists…
Read the rest of this fair warning over at God and the Machine.