Walter Melion, Emory University | Newberry

Walter Melion, Emory University

Walter Melion, Emory University

Walter Melion, Emory University

Friday, October 9, 2015

1:30 to 4:30pm

The Art Institute of Chicago / Michigan and Adams Streets / Prints and Drawings Dept. Study Room

Please arrive in the lobby inside the Michigan Avenue entrance by 1:30pm to be escorted to the Print Study Room.

Center for Renaissance Studies Programs
Seminar in European Art

Evidentiae Resurrectionis: On the Mystery Discerned but not Seen in Pieter Bruegel’s Resurrection of ca. 1562-1563

Walter Melion, Emory University

Engraved by Philips Galle after Pieter Bruegel, the Resurrection of 1562-1563 explores a problem central to the exegetical tradition—namely, that this great mystery of faith, as set forth in the Gospels and Epistles, was witnessed by no one and must thus be known solely by means of the evidentiary signs left in its wake. Bruegel takes great care to show his protagonists responding to these traces: two of the soldiers peer down into the rock-cut tomb; another looks at the sealed stone; and two of the holy women have just begun to look up at the seated angel who addresses them. Moreover, the viewer’s vantage point precisely correlates to the seal, situated at mid-height, whence one can either look down with the soldiers or up with the women, following their lines of sight. Bruegel portrays the risen Christ as present and yet unseen, radiant and yet occluded: his gesture of pointing directs the viewer’s eyes toward the rising sun, which functions as a visual analogue to the Resurrection. Christ can be seen to license this and other proxies for the mystery fulfilled, not least Bruegel’s picture or, better, picture of a framed picture, whose status as yet another kind of visual evidence the artist thereby underscores. The Resurrection, in these and other ways, emphasizes that vision is an instrument of faith. This paper explores how Bruegel’s grisaille and Galle’s engraving, in the arguments they put forth about vision, break with pictorial convention in order directly to engage with the exegetical tradition.

Download a printable PDF flyer to post and distribute.

Winter/Spring 2016 Call for Proposals

Submission Deadline: November 15

The Newberry Library is pleased to announce the inauguration of a new seminar focused on the history of European Art, from its origins through the nineteenth century. This seminar will provide a forum in Chicago for presenting current research, as well as a venue to bring together a diverse community of art historians for intellectual exchange, collegial conversation, and debate.

We seek proposals for two spring sessions, to be held on March 4 and April 29. To submit a proposal, please visit this page. Download a CFP flyer to post and distribute.

Cost and Registration Information 

This program is free and open to the public. To request a copy of the paper, please email Mary N. Kennedy at Please do not request a paper unless you plan to attend.