Since launching in 2011, Exhibition on Screen has released 26 films which have been shown in over 66 countries. Working with the world’s leading museums and galleries, these cinematic immersions into breathtaking art offer a uniquely compelling way to experience some of the most iconic paintings in art history.
Their latest release, Easter in Art, is a beautiful journey through the Easter story as depicted by various artists from the time of the early Christians up to the present day. The story of Jesus Christ is surely one of the most popular subjects of Western art, and it is truly fascinating to experience these works captured so stunningly on screen. Contrasting the ways in which different artists and eras have explored the story of Christ and how the story has been told and retold, and witnessing how this understanding is ever-changing, offers a fascinating insight into faith through the years.
Shot on location in Jerusalem, the United States, and throughout Europe, this globe-spanning journey offers a remarkable and educational trip through religious history. Rachel Campbell-Johnston of The Times stated “anyone who has any interest in art… anyone who has any interest in visual culture… has to be interested in the Christian story”, and that is the angle that the film takes – it refreshingly isn’t an overtly biased or belief-based film. “Whatever one’s religious beliefs may be”, says director Phil Grabsky, “one can hardly fail to be moved by the emotion of these extraordinary paintings, nor be amazed by the sheer quality of the works (…)”. Da Vinci, Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Caravaggio…All the legends are here. But equally fascinating are the works of more niche artists, offering fascinatingly varied visions of the bible story.
As has been the case with each of Exhibition on Screen’s releases, Easter in Art truly benefits from the big screen. Although at times the delivery of the film might feel a little like a school video, it is utterly staggering to see the phenomenal artistry behind the works in a cinema, pulling us right into the paintings in a way that an art gallery never could. But those wanting to experience the series’ catalogue from home will be delighted to learn that the majority are available on digital and DVD.
Easter in Art is a compelling journey through faith as seen by some of the most skilled painters in history.