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Feature Archive

Featured Online Exhibits

April, 2000

Christus Rex
Caravaggio: The Sacrifice of Isaac (detail) Christus Rex, the unofficial web site of the Vatican, boasts a very fine collection of art related to Christ and Christianity.

The first section consists of artworks grouped around a central theme: works from several sites in Florence, detail images of Renaissance angels, a collection of Russian icons and so on. One exceptionally well done exhibit is built around Masaccio's recently restored Brancacci Chapel fresco, The Tribute Money. About 20 well-scanned (but large) detail images highlight all of the major elements of the painting. There are even before and after pictures available.

The second section of the gallery is devoted to works by 23 individual artists, from the earliest Renaissance artists such as Giotto and Maso di Banco through to Rembrandt and even the 20th-century religious artist William Congdon. My personal favorite is the gallery of works by Fra Angelico, whose paintings have an otherworldly vision which is particularly apt for a religious artist.

Caravaggio: The Sacrifice of Isaac (detail) The quality of the works in these galleries is almost invariably excellent. There are one or two letdowns, such as the Eugène Burnand scan, but there are far more upside surprises where the scans are crisper and more vivid than you would think possible.

Christus Rex is a huge site, and there are other art treasures to be found here and there. There is another gallery of works by Giotto, what appears to be the complete masterpiece The Book of Hours of the Duc de Berry, a guide to the artworks in the Vatican Museums, the Stanze and Loggia of Raphael, and of course the walls and ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

There may well be other galleries I have overlooked. There's certainly all kinds of information about the Catholic Church that I have barely scratched the surface of. AND, in the spirit of full disclosure, they also have their complete weekly server statistics available off of their home page.

One of the treasures of the Internet.

(Thanks to Christus Rex for permission to reproduce the images on this page and some of the images for our related article Themes in Art: The Passion of Christ.)

Previous Featured Exhibits
  March, 2000: Inuit Art: The World Around Me
  October, 1999: Monet: O Mestre do Impressionismo
  September, 1999: Trompe l'oeil: The Art of Deception
  August, 1999: PBS: American Visions
  July, 1999: Virtuo Official Magritte Site
  June, 1999: Michael Lucero: Sculpture 1976-1995
  May, 1999: Jenny Holzer: Please Change Beliefs
  April, 1999: Treasure Island and Robinson Crusoe online with N.C. Wyeth's illustrations
  March, 1999: The Vincent van Gogh Information Gallery
  February, 1999: John Singleton Copley: Watson and the Shark