Art in Calenders Essay

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ART GUIDE INTRODUCTION 2012 marks the 90th edition of the Columban Calendar which is wellknown for its traditional religious paintings and liturgical information. The first Calendar was produced in 1923, the year Vegemite hit Victorian tastebuds. The iconic calendar has become a feature in homes to generations of Australians and New Zealanders and is a major fundraiser for St Columbans Mission Society. As one of the Columban benefactors recently wrote, “I will be 90 years old in 2012, the same age as the calendar. I have been a widow for 23 years and I never feel lonely or alone when I look at my calendar which takes pride of place on my living room wall.” This remark is just one of many which Columbans receive each year. As a way of saying thank you for being part of the 90th edition, Columbans have produced this beautiful DVD which gives a brief explanation of each painting included in the 2012 Calendar. The following explanations have been compiled by Claire Renkin, well-known art historian and lecturer at Yarra Theological Union. Columban Calendar 2012 90th edition FRONT COVER Virgin and Child with Angels: Gozzoli (1420-1497) The Virgin and Child are enclosed by alternating pairs of seraphim and cherubim. Within her fur-lined mantle the Virgin gently holds her Son. Christ appears not to be aware of his mother’s protective embrace. His attention is directed out of the space of the painting. Gozzoli includes a clue to explain both Christ and his mother’s expressions of introspection (the Virgin) and preoccupation (the Child). Christ holds in his left hand a tiny brightly coloured gold finch. Symbolically this bird recalls the Crucifixion for legend told how it received the bright splash of red on its breast when it flew past Christ hanging on the cross. Christ’s gesture of grasping the gold finch reminds us of His future Passion. Similarly Mary’s

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