Origin of Stations of the Cross

In the adult Sunday School class this morning, Phil Barkley provided the information included below concerning the Stations of the Cross, the subject of the last post in relation to the art of Barnett Newman.  It seems appropriate to include that as a tool to understand the significance of the subjects of Passion art included in this survey.

For the origin of the practice of Stations of the Cross, its significance within the life of the church, and a visual representation of each station in addition to that which Hilah introduced to us in the last post, see http://www.ourcatholicfaith.org/stations/menu.html.

Phil also included scriptures concerning various postures of prayer that might be adopted for purposes of contemplating the Stations of the Cross, as follows:

1. Praying flat on the ground:

Mark 14:35-36

Going a little farther, he (Jesus) fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him.

Numbers 20:6

And Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they fell upon their faces: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto them.

Joshua 5:14

And he said, Nay; but [as] captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my Lord unto his servant?

1Kings 18:42

So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees,

2Chronicles 20:18

And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with [his] face to the ground: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell before the LORD, worshipping the LORD.

Matthew 26:39

And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou [wilt].

Revelation 7:11

And all the angels stood round about the throne, and [about] the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,

2. Kneeling for prayer:

Acts 21:5

All the disciples and their wives and children accompanied us out of the city, and there on the beach we knelt to pray.

1Kings 8:54

And it was [so], that when Solomon had made an end of praying all this prayer and supplication unto the LORD, he arose from before the altar of the LORD, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven.

Ezra 9:5

And at the evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness; and having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto the LORD my God,

Psalms 95:6

O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.

Isaiah 45:23

I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth [in] righteousness, and shall not return, that unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.

Luke 22:41

And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,

Acts 7:60

And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, “Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

Ephesians 3:14

For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

1Kings 8:54

And it was [so], that when Solomon had made an end of praying all this prayer and supplication unto the LORD, he arose from before the altar of the LORD, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven.

Ezra 9:5

And at the evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness; and having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto the LORD my God,

Psalms 95:6

O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.

Isaiah 45:23

I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth [in] righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.

Luke 22:41

And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,

3. Praying standing up:

Luke 18:10-13

“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: `God, I thank you that I am not like other men – robbers, evildoers, adulterers – or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, `God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

John 11:41-43

Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”

1Kings 8:22

And Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in the presence of all the congregation of Israel, and spread forth his hands toward heaven:

Mark 11:25

And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

So, you can see that in different circumstances, men of God adopted different postures. I personally pray in any position and location that I am in, usually silently, and this would seem to be what was intended by the following.

Genesis 5:24

And Enoch walked with God: and he [was] not; for God took him.

4. Bowing

Genesis 24:26

And the man bowed down his head, and worshipped the LORD.

Exodus 4:31

And the people believed: and when they heard that the LORD had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped.

Exodus 12:27

That ye shall say, “It [is] the sacrifice of the LORD’S Passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses.” And the people bowed the head and worshipped.

Exodus 34:8

And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshiped.

 

 

I had previously mentioned my daughter, Hilah, who has a minor in art history.  She contributed to the post of January 22, 2011 entitled Similar Language – Different Contexts and Expressions.  Hilah now contributes the following, which I think may be helpful to interpret some of the paintings of the Passion which I have already posted.  Stations of the Cross is a traditional, organized and comprehensive practice to contemplate the Passion.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyT4IvTGSwk  – Curator explanation Barnett’s style

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GacKM9yxiw4&playnext=1&list=PLDF282CA5953223BD – explanation of technique, Zips

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzorhPULdi0&feature=related  – To Your Hand in Mind, 8min video showing best detail of stations

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gkl1erbB9-Q&feature=related – Stations with Mozart’s Requiem

http://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1549&context=etd_hon_theses&sei-redir=1#search=”barnett+newman+images+of+stations+of+the+cross” – pages 49-63 Full images of paintings

Newman’s interpretation of the stations may be hard for some viewers at first look because of the abstraction versus a more classic story-telling piece of traditional religious art work.  Newman’s focus was to break through the theatrical, “merely interesting” beauty of art to develop emotional, intellectual art with sustainable conviction.  Newman predicted that “the art of the future will…be an art that is abstract yet full of feeling.”

Newman chose a simple color palette, black, white, and canvas to evoke a sense of light within and throughout the canvas.  His unique style of “zips” was created as a way to separate areas of color by thin vertical lines that not only define spatial structure but also creates some amount of tension that divides and/or unites the composition.

The Stations of the Cross is a series of paintings subtitled “Lema sabachtani” or “why have you forsaken me” – words spoken by Christ on the cross and a question asked by many throughout experienced turmoil.

Below are quotes directly from the paper cited above about how viewers may interpret Newman’s Stations of the Cross:

“Viewers must, therefore, hold the emotional or metaphysical subject matter of the title

in the minds and allow their consideration of it to be conditioned by the painting in front of them.”

“The Stations are thus extremely compelling, for they are the clearest example of how this synthesis of abstract form and content can be constructive. Viewers begin with the title The Stations of the Cross, and thus consider Jesus, the Passion, God, life and death, and all that goes with the Christian Stations. Most of all, however, they will consider suffering and the question of “why?” particularly if they are given the subtitle Lema Sabachthani or are familiar with any of Newman’s discussions of the paintings. What this means initially will be different for different viewers. Some may themselves be Christians and believe in a divine plan that includes and justifies suffering, others may bring secular philosophical explanations to the topic, while still others may not have any particular answer. Regardless, each will have suffering and the question of its purpose or justification in mind.”

The Stations themselves are usually a series of 14 pictures or sculptures depicting the following scenes:

Jesus is condemned to death

Jesus is given his cross

Jesus falls the first time

Jesus meets His Mother

Simon of Cyrene carries the cross

Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

Jesus falls the second time

Jesus meets the daughters of Jerusalem

Jesus falls the third time

Jesus is stripped of His garments

Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the cross

Jesus dies on the cross

Jesus’ body is removed from the cross (Deposition or Lamentation)

Jesus is laid in the tomb and covered in incense.

 

A more traditional Stations of the Cross is presented at Église Notre-Dame des Champs (Avranches), which may be found at http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/61/Normandie_Manche_Avranches3_tango7174.jpg:

                       

 

Links to my site:

Introduction https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/introduction/

Graphic Arts https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/i-graphic-arts/

Architecture https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/ii-church-architecture-and-its-incorporation-of-art/

Music https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/iii-music/

Theology https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/iv-theology/

Home Page https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/

 

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Stations of the Cross: Barnett Newman

I had previously mentioned my daughter, Hilah, who has a minor in art history.  She contributed to the post of January 22, 2011 entitled Similar Language – Different Contexts and Expressions.  Hilah now contributes the following, which I think may be helpful to interpret some of the paintings of the Passion which I have already posted.  Stations of the Cross is a traditional, organized and comprehensive practice to contemplate the Passion.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyT4IvTGSwk  – Curator explanation Barnett’s style

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GacKM9yxiw4&playnext=1&list=PLDF282CA5953223BD – explanation of technique, Zips

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzorhPULdi0&feature=related  – To Your Hand in Mind, 8min video showing best detail of stations

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gkl1erbB9-Q&feature=related – Stations with Mozart’s Requiem

http://wesscholar.wesleyan.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1549&context=etd_hon_theses&sei-redir=1#search=”barnett+newman+images+of+stations+of+the+cross” – pages 49-63 Full images of paintings

Newman’s interpretation of the stations may be hard for some viewers at first look because of the abstraction versus a more classic story-telling piece of traditional religious art work.  Newman’s focus was to break through the theatrical, “merely interesting” beauty of art to develop emotional, intellectual art with sustainable conviction.  Newman predicted that “the art of the future will…be an art that is abstract yet full of feeling.”

Newman chose a simple color palette, black, white, and canvas to evoke a sense of light within and throughout the canvas.  His unique style of “zips” was created as a way to separate areas of color by thin vertical lines that not only define spatial structure but also creates some amount of tension that divides and/or unites the composition.

The Stations of the Cross is a series of paintings subtitled “Lema sabachtani” or “why have you forsaken me” – words spoken by Christ on the cross and a question asked by many throughout experienced turmoil.

Below are quotes directly from the paper cited above about how viewers may interpret Newman’s Stations of the Cross:

“Viewers must, therefore, hold the emotional or metaphysical subject matter of the title

in the minds and allow their consideration of it to be conditioned by the painting in front of them.”

“The Stations are thus extremely compelling, for they are the clearest example of how this synthesis of abstract form and content can be constructive. Viewers begin with the title The Stations of the Cross, and thus consider Jesus, the Passion, God, life and death, and all that goes with the Christian Stations. Most of all, however, they will consider suffering and the question of “why?” particularly if they are given the subtitle Lema Sabachthani or are familiar with any of Newman’s discussions of the paintings. What this means initially will be different for different viewers. Some may themselves be Christians and believe in a divine plan that includes and justifies suffering, others may bring secular philosophical explanations to the topic, while still others may not have any particular answer. Regardless, each will have suffering and the question of its purpose or justification in mind.”

The Stations themselves are usually a series of 14 pictures or sculptures depicting the following scenes:

Jesus is condemned to death

Jesus is given his cross

Jesus falls the first time

Jesus meets His Mother

Simon of Cyrene carries the cross

Veronica wipes the face of Jesus

Jesus falls the second time

Jesus meets the daughters of Jerusalem

Jesus falls the third time

Jesus is stripped of His garments

Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the cross

Jesus dies on the cross

Jesus’ body is removed from the cross (Deposition or Lamentation)

Jesus is laid in the tomb and covered in incense.

A more traditional Stations of the Cross is presented at Église Notre-Dame des Champs (Avranches), which may be found at http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/61/Normandie_Manche_Avranches3_tango7174.jpg:

 

Links to my site:

Introduction https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/introduction/

Graphic Arts https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/i-graphic-arts/

Architecture https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/ii-church-architecture-and-its-incorporation-of-art/

Music https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/iii-music/

Theology https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/iv-theology/

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The Apostles Paul and Peter

Acts 8:1; 9:1-22 describes the conversion of Saul, who had attended the stoning of Stephen with approval.  Thereafter, he was known as Paul.

Conversion of St Paul  ANGELICO (1430)

See http://www.backtoclassics.com/gallery/fraangelico/conversionofstpaul/ for the source of the above photograph of the illumination.

The Conversion of Paul BOGAERT (1550)

See http://www.lib-art.com/artgallery/21906-dish-with-the-conversion-of-saul-bogaert-jan.html for the source of the above photograph of the dish.

The Conversion of Saul MICHELANGELO (1542-45)

See http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/m/michelan/2paintin/4paul1.html for ther source of of the above photograph and notes.

The Conversion of Saul TINTORETTO (1545)

See http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/t/tintoret/1_1540s/3conver.html for the source of the above photograph of the painting and notes.

The Conversion on the Way to Damascus CARAVAGGIO (1600)

See http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/c/caravagg/05/29ceras.html for the source of the above photograph of the painting and an excellent analysis of it.

The Conversion of Paul DUJARDIN (1662)

See http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/karel-dujardin-the-conversion-of-saint-paul for the source of the above photograph of the painting and notes.

Acts 13:1-12 tells of Barnabas and Paul’s mission.

Paul and Barnabas at Lystra BERCHEM (1650)

See http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/b/berchem/paulbarn.html for the source of the above photograph of the painting andf notes.

Acts 14:8-20 tells of Paul healing at Lystra:

St Paul Healing the Cripple at Lystra DUJARDIN

See http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/d/dujardin/2healing.html for the source of the above photograph of the painting and excellent notes.

Acts 28:1-10 tells of Paul at Malta:

St Paul at Malta ELSHEIMER (ca. 1600)

See http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/e/elsheime/stpaul_m.html for the source of the above photograph of the painting and notes.

The Crucifixion of St Peter MICHAELANGELO (1542-49)

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crucifixion_of_St._Peter_(Michelangelo) for the source of the photograph of the painting and notes.

 The Destruction of the Temple at Jerusalem POUSSIN (1637)

See http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/p/poussin/2a/20temple.html for the source of the above photograph of the painting.

Links to my site:

Introduction https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/introduction/

Graphic Arts https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/i-graphic-arts/

Architecture https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/ii-church-architecture-and-its-incorporation-of-art/

Music https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/iii-music/

Theology https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/iv-theology/

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The Early Church

Acts 5:12-21 tells of the Apostles healing and that they were persecuted.

St Mark Working Many Miracles TINTORETTO (1562-66)

See http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/t/tintoret/3a/2mark.html for the source of the above photograph of the painting and notes.

Acts 6:6-15; 7:51-60 tells of the martyrdom of Stephen.

St Stephen MORALES  (ca. 1520-1586)

See http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/m/morales/stephen.html for the source of the above photograph of the painting and notes.

Martyrdom of St Stephen CAVALLINO (1656)

See http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/c/cavallio/martyrdo.html for the source of the above photograph of the painting.

The Stoning of St Stephen PIETRO DA CORTONA (1660)

See http://www.lib-art.com/artgallery/15144-the-stoning-of-st-stephen-pietro-da-cortona.html for the source of the above photograph of the painting.

For art of the Christian church prior to Constantine and discussion of it, see http://smarthistory.khanacademy.org/early-christian-art-before-constantine.

Links to my site:

Introduction https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/introduction/

Graphic Arts https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/i-graphic-arts/

Architecture https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/ii-church-architecture-and-its-incorporation-of-art/

Music https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/iii-music/

Theology https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/iv-theology/

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Pentacost

Acts 2:1-24 tells of the Pentacostal imposition of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus followers in tongues of fire and the sound of a rushing wind.

Pentecost GIOTTO (1304-06)

See http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/g/giotto/padova/3christ/scenes_4/chris23.html for the source of the above photograph of the painting and notes.

Pentecost EL GRECO (1596-2000)

See http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/g/greco_el/12/1214grec.html for the source of the above photograph of the painting and notes.

Pentecost MENGS (1765)

See http://www.abcgallery.com/M/mengs/mengs5.html for the source of the above photograph of the painting.

Pentacost JESUS MAFA (1973)

See http://mattstone.blogs.com/photos/african_christian_art/empty_tomb_mafa.html for the source of the above photograph of the painting.

Pentecost  BROKENSHIRE (2003)

See http://www.methodist.org.uk/static/artcollection/image34.htm for the source of the above photograph of the painting and for the artist’s comments upon it.

The Holy Trinity CASTAGNO (1453)

See http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Andrea_del_Castagno,_The_Holy_Trinity.jpg for the source of the above photograph of the painting.

The Trinity BOTTICELLI (1491-93)

See http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/b/botticel/91late/030trini.html for the source of the above photograph of the painting and notes.

Trinity BECCAFUMI (1513)

See http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/b/beccafum/1trinitz.html for the source of the above photograph of the painting and notes.

In the latter art pieces, you see that artistic representations of Pentacost have provided occasions for artists to explore and comment on trinitarian notions uniting God, the Christ and the Holy Spirit which is often associated with tongues of fire.  For an excellent presentation of early to middle Rennaissance art utilizing concepts of linear perspective to express the notion of the Trinity and an informative exploration of its production, see http://smarthistory.khanacademy.org/holy-trinity-santa-maria-novella-florence.

Links to my site:

Introduction https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/introduction/

Graphic Arts https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/i-graphic-arts/

Architecture https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/ii-church-architecture-and-its-incorporation-of-art/

Music https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/iii-music/

Theology https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/iv-theology/

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Scenes From the Gospels

Several artists have painted groups of scenes representing the lives of the virgin or of Jesus.

Scenes from the New Testament BARNA DA SIENA (1340)

See http://www.terminartors.com/artworkprofile/Barna_da_Siena-Scenes_from_the_New_Testament for the source of the above photograph of the painting.

Giotto painted a series of 23 scenes of the Life of Christ which can be accessed at http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/g/giotto/padova/3christ/scenes_4/index.html

 

Links to my site:

Introduction https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/introduction/

Graphic Arts https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/i-graphic-arts/

Architecture https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/ii-church-architecture-and-its-incorporation-of-art/

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Theology https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/iv-theology/

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The Ascension

Mark 16:19, 20, Luke 24:50-53 and Acts 1:9 tell of Christ’s ascension into heaven after appearing to his disciples.

The Ascension GIOTTO (1305-06)

See http://www.aug.edu/augusta/iconography/newStuffForXnCours/arenaChapel/ascensionGiotto.html for the source of the above photograph of the painting.

The Ascension of Christ KULMBACH (ca. 1480–1521/22)

See http://www.metmuseum.org/works_of_art/collection_database/european_paintings/the_ascension_of_christ_hans_suess_von_kulmbach/objectview_enlarge.aspx?page=29&sort=0&sortdir=asc&keyword=&fp=1&dd1=11&dd2=0&vw=1&collID=11&OID=110001279&vT=1&hi=0&ov=0 for the source of the above photograph of the painting.

Ascension of Christ ALBRECHT (1527)

See http://www.wikigallery.org/wiki/painting_239603/Albrecht-Altdorfer/Ascension-of-Christ for the source of the above photograph of the painting.

The Ascension REMBRANDT (1636)

 See http://www.artbible.info/art/large/609.html for a source of the above photograph of the painting and notes.

Ascension DALI (1958)

See http://www.abcgallery.com/D/dali/dali206.html for the source of the above photograph of the painting.

Links to my site:

Introduction https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/introduction/

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Architecture https://bibleartists.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/ii-church-architecture-and-its-incorporation-of-art/

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