||"CELESTIAL ICONS" - CHRISTIAN SCROLL
PAINTINGS FROM PRE-REVOLUTIONARY CHINA
displayed in this exhibit were all painted on silk in Beijing about the
1930s and 1940s by artists associated with the Beijing Sacred Heart Church
Department of Fine Arts. They were brought to France shortly thereafter.
In 1992 they were acquired by the USF Ricci Institute. The scrolls themselves
are preserved in the collection along with archival digital photos.
The paintings [click on this Images link
or at left to begin viewing all 25) were mounted on scrolls
in Hong Kong through the kindness of the Instituto Cultural de Macau after
an exhibit in Macau from November 1994 to January 1995. The paintings were
then displayed at the Missao de Macau in Lisbon from December 1995 to March
1996. Later in 1996 they were exhibited in San Francisco at the Pacific
Heritage Museum. In 1998 they were exhibited at the USF Thacher Gallery,
and in Summer 2008 a selection of the scrolls were shown at St. Aloysius
College, Sydney, Australia.
The Christian paintings presented here have as their main subjects Jesus;
Mary, the Mother of Jesus; Joseph the husband of Mary and guardian of Jesus.
The content of the paintings is inspired especially by those parts of the
Gospels which treat the announcement of the birth, the actual birth, and
the childhood of Jesus. Only one painting here portrays Jesus as an adult.
In other parts of the world, such as Rome, Sankt Augustin (Germany) and Taipei, original paintings from the Furen school can still be found. These also represent episodes from the life of Christ as narrated in the four gospels, and the range of themes is broader.