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Vatican opens artistic exhibition on the depiction of the Holy Trinity


For reflection during lent and preparation for the upcoming Easter celebrations the Vatican Museum has opened up this exhibition. It is focused on the “Representation of the Mystery of the Trinity” and is on display until June 8, 2019.

The exhibition contains various artistic representations of the Holy Trinity: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. It is a central belief in the Catholic in one, triune God 

It contains works from different centuries such as this mosaic from the basilica of Saint Mary Major.

Among the works on display is this restored “Throne of Grace” by Flemish artist Vrancke Van Der Stockt. It comes from a period in Flanders famous for its “distinctive way of representing nature, the human figure in vivid colors and with a highly accentuated realism.”

Although it does not belong to the Vatican Museum's collection, the institution wanted to restore the painting because of its importance.  

BARBARA JATTA
Director of Vatican Museum

“This is because of its artistic importance and also because we are not used to having a Flemish painting in the Vatican collection. My predecessor Antonio Paolucci decided to have this restoration project done in our laboratories. It was a wonderful decision because we had the opportunity to work on this painting. It is a very interesting painting for iconography, iconology and theology.”

The painting belongs to the Basilica of San Giorgio in Caltagirone, Sicily. In 1777 Baroness Agata Interlandi of Favarotta, who was devoted to the Trinity, made it a provision in her will that it be publicly venerated there. 

The painting contains much symbolism such as this sphere for the world, the “red apocalyptic cloud,” and “the Archangels on either side of the throne.” 

These all allude to the Last Judgment reminding one that those who approach and have faith in the “merciful Trinity of the Throne of Grace” will not be refused salvation.

ADELE BREDA
Vatican Museum, Art Department

“This iconography of the Throne of Grace represents the Trinity in a way that is not usual.” “It represents God the Father who is holding in his arms his dead son, Christ, and then there is the dove to symbolize the Holy Spirit who is among them.”

Although the Holy Trinity is “inaccessible to human reason alone” this exhibition hopes to further promote reflections on “the mystery of the Trinity that constitutes the center of the Christian faith” and confessed “in the light of Christ’s revelation.”