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Crucifixion and Resurrection & Heaven or Hell: The Last Judgment (The Development of Christian Symbolism)

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(Dec 30, 2008)
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Many symbols used today had their beginnings during the Middle Ages and flourished in the Renaissance. The Development of Christian Symbolism Video Series examines the meanings and origins of these symbols and discusses the literature from which they were derived. Accompanied by authentic music the two DVD s in the series utilizes sculpture and painting to illustrate the changes theological, historical, and artistic - that occurred from the sixth to the eighteenth centuries. VOLUME ONE: Brings together the award winning documentaries Madonna and Child & The Virgin Mary in Art, Renaissance to Reformation. It tells the story of the life of the Virgin Mary and the Christmas story. VOLUME TWO : Brings together the award winning documentaries Crucifixion and Resurrection & Heaven or Hell :The Last Judgment. It tells the Easter story of Christ's passion and the redemption of man. CRUCIFIXION AND RESURRECTION, begins with Jesus Baptism and follows his life through the Resurrection, while describing the importance of the symbolism in each event that took place. It emphasizes the significance of the Old Testament prophecies that Jesus would fulfill. Claus Sluter's beautiful Well of Moses, is only one of the numerous pieces of art used to illustrate the importance of this. Explanations are also given for the various types of crosses found in art. HEAVEN OR HELL, depicts the changes brought about by medieval theologians (including the four Latin Fathers) to visual images of The Last Judgment. In the beginning the apocalyptic vision of St. John with its emphasis on Satan and the seven deadly sins were the focus. Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel and the Wise and Foolish Virgins were some of the stories in stone used to illustrate the fate of sinners. But by the time of the 15th century the forgiveness of Christ and the seven Cardinal virtues, as seen in Michel Colombe s tomb of Francis II of Brittany, held sway. Conques, Autun, and Vezelay are just a few of the places and objects of art photographed for this video. Each DVD is also a CD-ROM with both the original information booklet that provides the names and locations of the sites, the exact Biblical quotations cited, and additional material on the artistic representations and plainsong, and suggestions on how to use the DVD in an educational setting, as well an additional 50 pages of notes. The visual material for this DVD was photographed over a 40 year period at countless European and American Churches and Museums, including both the world famous and the obscure. The Catholic Audio-Visual Educators commendation mentions that the scholorship is enhanced by a beautiful cinemagraphic record. The authentic music was provided by Choir Director Kevin M. Clarke, The Episcopal Church of Incarnation, and Paul Reido, formerly the Music Director of the St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church and the Dallas Symphony Orechestra organist.


Winner of both the 1995 (C.A.V.E.) Catholic Audio-Visual Educators Fine Arts Award and Festival Favorite. The musical score (authentic plainsong) sets the tone of awe and reverence that the visuals reinforce. The commentary is insightful and provocative, providing new insights for religious and artistic analysis. --Catholic Audio Visual Educators

The scholarship and care that went into making this documentary is evident throughout. The material is presented in an orderly and logical manner with lucid commentary. This would serve as an excellent teaching tool in art history courses from senior high school on up. --Video Rating Guide for Libraries ****

The tapes are worthwhile ventures into a specific area of art history. The videos are aimed at adult audiences and can be used in a scholarly manner. The tapes have strong religious overtones without appearing denominational. The thoroughness of the formatting of this series of videos makes them accessible on a variety of levels. It is interesting to see the evolving symbolism as it changes from each time period with its' influences and writers. The comparative explanations enrich the meaning and understanding of art in a time relying on the narrativeof sculpture to define its' morals and history. The complete set is recommended, but the videotapes are sold separately as well. --Visual Resources Association Bulletin

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Crucifixion and Resurrection & Heaven or Hell: The Last Judgment (The Development of Christian Symbolism)
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