Sacred Made Real exhibition features multi-coloured 17th century sculptures as well as classic paintings
THE GOLDEN AGE of Spanish art comes under the spotlight at the National Gallery from today with The Sacred Made Real, an exhibition of beautiful, painful paintings and sculptures from the 17th century.
It's the sculptures that give this show its essential twist, with the already famous paintings of religious events - by the likes of Velazquez and Zurbaran - spectacularly pointed up by their less well-known 3-D companions.
The full-colour painted wooden sculptures of John the Baptist's severed head and Jesus suffering torture, complete with dripping blood, are sometimes hard for the eyes to bear, though their eerie stillness saves things from entering Mel 'The Passion of Christ' Gibson territory.
It is powerful stuff and better yet, you get to see how those artistic power-punches were created in a companion exhibition which explores the technical aspects of making the sculptures, concentrating specifically on Francisco Antonio Gijon’s sculpture of Saint John of the Cross.
The Sacred Made Real: Spanish Painting and Sculpture 1600-1700 is on at the National Gallery from today, 21 October, until 24 January 2010. You can book tickets, priced £8.80, via LondonNet.