At the National Gallery, Sin Meets Art

At the National Gallery, Sin Meets Art
#Exhibitions

Universally defined over the centuries as a source of shame or a deplorable offence, sin has played a role in human history from the very beginning. Considered by Christianity and other key religions as a transgression against Divine Law, this concept also seduced the brushes of major artists throughout history, contributing to masterpieces of exquisite beauty. The National Gallery welcomes the first large exhibition in the United Kingdom which explores the concept of sin in art, bringing together works that span centuries, including artists such as Bruegel and Velázquez, Tracey Emin and Andy Warhol. The paintings of the collection of the National Gallery, created between the XVI and XVIII Centuries, will flank works on loan from international private and public collections. Visitors can marvel at Garden of Eden by Jan Brueghel the Elder, on loan from a private collection in Hong Kong, as well as Adam and Eve by Lucas Cranach the Elder, with his scenes of the Old Testament that helped defined the concept of sin in the collective consciousness of the West. In fact, the German painter depicted the moment described in the Book of Genesis when Adam and Eve eat the forbidden fruit and are expelled from the Garden of Eden for having committed the original sin. Other paintings depict acts of redemption, expiation, confession - the options available for wiping away sin - while the neon work of Tracey Emin It Was Just a Kiss could be considered a secular sort of confession though rather ambiguous. Besides offering a reflection on the enduring and universal nature of sin, the exhibition also includes the paintings of Jan Gossaert, Jan Steen, Bronzino and Venus and Cupid by Lucas Cranach the Elder, recently acquired by the Gallery.
Samantha De Martin - © 2020 ARTE.it for Bulgari Hotel London