FRA ANGELICO’S CHRIST GLORIFIED IN THE COURT OF HEAVEN

November 19th 2022

Probably by Fra Angelico
Christ Glorified in the Court of Heaven
about 1423-4
Egg tempera on wood, 31.7 x 73 cm
Bought, 1860
NG663.1
https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/NG663.1

The Risen Christ is shown in glory surround by the angels, some of whom make music, while others sing or pray.   The angels on the left, but on Christ’s right ,are shown in red because these are the Seraphim,. The term “Seraphim” derives from the Hebrew root “to burn”.  Christian tradition took this to mean that they were named for the ardour of their love and so gave them the highest rank.  Artist showed them in red.  On the other side and in the second rank are the Cherubim who are shown in blue. Thomas Aquinas said that these angels were distinguished by their knowledge.  The brightest element of the whole scene is the white flesh of Christ.  His skin is even brighter than his garments.  The angels are shown as bathed in this central light.  However,  there is another source of light.  This is shown in radiating pattern of gold centred on Christ which enfolds the entire Predella. It is the supernatural light of heavenly  glory.   To behold this light is to see God. 

FRA ANGELICO’S CHRIST GLORIFIED IN THE COURT OF HEAVEN

Edinburgh Catholic Chaplaincy

The Catholic Chaplaincy serves the students and staff of the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Napier University and Queen Margaret University.

The Catholic Chaplaincy is also a parish of the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh (the Parish of St Albert the Great) and all Catholic students and staff are automatically members of this parish.

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