Divine Treasures: Medieval Christian Relics with Sabry Amroussi

Divine Treasures: Medieval Christian Relics with Sabry Amroussi


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Can't make this time? A video recording will be sent to all participants after the seminar.

Sabry Amroussi explores the ancient Christian practice of preserving holy relics and the largely forgotten art form that went with it, the reliquary. Fragments of bone or fabric placed inside a bejeweled shrine, a sculpted golden head, or even a life-sized silver hand were, and still are, objects of religious devotion believed to have the power to work miracles. 

The story of relics and reliquaries is a 2,000-year history of faith, persecution, and hope, reflected in some of the most beautiful and little-known works of art ever made. Often the preserve of church or cathedral treasuries, the art of the reliquary is an art of boxes and caskets, housing mysteries; an art of amulets and pendants; of elaborate goldsmiths’ and jewelers creations made to hold, and to hold up to veneration, sacred matter itself: the mortal remnants of the saints or objects once believed to have touched Jesus Christ himself. 

It is an art of rich things formed to house the poorest and most poignant memorials of men and women remembered as holy: bones, locks of hair, scraps of the bloodstained garments they once wore during the torments of their martyrdom. 

Sabry Amroussi is an art historian and writer living and working in Amsterdam. He specializes in the art of the Dutch Golden Age, mainly in the works of Rembrandt and his school, and has a keen interest in the Jewish history of Amsterdam. He lectures and teaches on both subjects and gives art historical tours all across Europe. As a true omnivore when it comes to art, culture, and even cuisine, he has worked with and for major museums and collectors, such as the LACMA, Rijksmuseum, van Gogh Museum and the P de Boer collection in Amsterdam. As a guide for Context, he is eager to share this knowledge in real life, always with a big scoop of humor, ofter intermingling art with social life, cuisine, and history.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 7 reviews
86%
(6)
14%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
K
K.S.
Bring on Part 2!

Guest did not leave comment

P
P.C. (North Aurora, US)
Always learn something new!

This is such a niche topic and I was delighted that there was a program about it. Sabry Amroussi has such enthusiasm when he presents his topic. Thought I knew a lot about it, but he added some new insights that I was unaware of before.

N
N. (New York, US)
Really, really excellent

This is a really excellent lecture delivered with great energy -- and offers a chance to see rare and exquisite objects. But Prof. Ambroussi goes beyond all that to explain the draw of these objects: real, fake, or stand-in.

N
N.L. (Rhinebeck, US)
Fascinating review of images and ideas behind them

Mr. Amroussi showed a range of medieval relics from Roman times till the 13th century and beyond, They were beautiful, and of real social and political interest, revealing how the church connected intensely with the people during the medieval period in Europe.

L
L.A.D. (Evanston, US)
Lisa Dimberg Divine Treasures Review

This was an extremely entertaining and informative conversation!

Customer Reviews

Based on 7 reviews
86%
(6)
14%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
K
K.S.
Bring on Part 2!

Guest did not leave comment

P
P.C. (North Aurora, US)
Always learn something new!

This is such a niche topic and I was delighted that there was a program about it. Sabry Amroussi has such enthusiasm when he presents his topic. Thought I knew a lot about it, but he added some new insights that I was unaware of before.

N
N. (New York, US)
Really, really excellent

This is a really excellent lecture delivered with great energy -- and offers a chance to see rare and exquisite objects. But Prof. Ambroussi goes beyond all that to explain the draw of these objects: real, fake, or stand-in.

N
N.L. (Rhinebeck, US)
Fascinating review of images and ideas behind them

Mr. Amroussi showed a range of medieval relics from Roman times till the 13th century and beyond, They were beautiful, and of real social and political interest, revealing how the church connected intensely with the people during the medieval period in Europe.

L
L.A.D. (Evanston, US)
Lisa Dimberg Divine Treasures Review

This was an extremely entertaining and informative conversation!