Published November 13, 2014
ATLANTA—An exhibit of Renaissance art associated with the Franciscan and Dominican orders is on display in the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville, Tennessee, through Jan. 25.
The exhibition, titled “Sanctity Pictured,” includes more than 60 works of art from paintings and manuscript illuminations to bronze medals and printed books made between 1250 and 1550. Among the highlights are “St. Francis with Four Post-Mortem Miracles” on loan from the Vatican Museums, which is one of only eight St. Francis panels to survive from the 13th century; the Abbey Bible, among the earliest works of art made for the Dominicans, on loan from the J. Paul Getty Museum; and paintings of the “Madonna and Child with St. Francis” from the Allen Memorial Art Museum and “St. Catherine of Siena Receiving the Stigmata” by Domenico Beccafumi from the Getty Museum.
A late 13th-century choir book, likely made for St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, is ornamented with scenes of St. Francis receiving the stigmata and preaching to the birds; the manuscript has never been on exhibit in the United States before.
To bring the music in the illuminated choir books to life, the Frist Center invited the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia and the Schola Pacis, a male a capella group, both in Nashville, to record 13th-century chants for the exhibition audio guide and the website at wwww.fristcenter.org.
Twenty-eight American museums and libraries are lending works to the exhibition and for the first time the Frist Center is borrowing works from the Vatican Library and Vatican Museums.
A 244-page illustrated hardback catalogue has been published in conjunction with the exhibit, including six essays and entries for each work of art in the exhibition.
Special events include a symposium open to the public on Saturday, Jan. 10, with presentations by five visiting art historians and a curator’s tour on Friday, Jan. 16, at 7 p.m.
The center is located at 919 Broadway, Nashville. Gallery admission is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors, military and college students with ID, free for visitors 18 and younger. Discounts are offered for groups of 10 or more with advance reservations by calling 615-744-3247. The galleries are open daily. For more information call 615-244-3340 or visit www.fristcenter.org.