Fine Art

Holy Moses and More An exhibit of medieval religious frescoes from the Vatican Museums on display in . . . Lubbock? Let that sink in—like paint applied to wet plaster on a permanent wall. Wouldn't you have to move the whole wall? Well, no, says the Reverend Malcolm Neyland, the priest in the Roman Catholic diocese of Lubbock, who has worked for fourteen years to bring the first-ever exhibition of this collection of original frescoes to the High Plains. The frescoes were carefully removed in the mid-eighteenth century from two ancient Roman churches (St. Agnes Outside the Walls and St. Nicholas in Prison), attached to a canvas backing, and restored in 1930 and 1931. Never before exhibited in their refreshed state, the works range from decorative images, which Neyland believes may be repainted motifs from the early Christian period, to images of the Hebrew prophets and whole series on the lives of Saint Catherine of Alexandria and Saint Benedict. And, as it turns out, the frescoes are from a period between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries, a time that art scholars have recently been reassessing. Reservations are required to see "Medieval Frescoes From the Vatican Museums Collection," which will run June 2-September 15 and will be complemented by side exhibits of paintings and ceremonial objects from the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation, in Houston, and the Museo Franz Meyer, in Mexico City. (See Elsewhere: Museums/Galleries.)

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