Episode 1: From Birth to Beheading
The National Gallery’s exhibition programme frequently explores different aspects of devotional art. These exhibitions may focus, for example, on a specific type of religious object such as the painted altarpiece or carved cult statue. Some have investigated various features of religious iconography or have focused on subjects, compositions and techniques employed in the spiritual works of a single artist.
As the products of new research the exhibitions and displays seek to promote a greater understanding of how works of art were, and still are, used as models of moral behavior, as celebrations of the deeds of holy figures or as a plea for one’s hopes, both in this life and in the afterlife.