Thursday, 27 November 2008

Cardinal Wants Baptism

Piero della Francesca - The Baptism of Christ (ca 1450)Watch out! There's a cardinal about! And he's after one of The National Gallery's priceless treasures: Piero della Francesca's The Baptism of Christ (ca 1450). Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Archbishop of Westminster, reckons that this early Renaissance painting isn't a work of art at all; it's a work of "faith and piety". So he wants it for his cathedral. What gall! Hey, Cormac, why not grab Leonardo's The Madonna of The Rocks as well? It's a better painting. In fact, why not lay claim to most of early Renaissance art, which was dominated by religious propaganda? On the practical side, this work is so fragile it can't be moved. It needs to be in constant gallery care with temperature, humidity and light levels all controlled. Moving it to Westminster Cathedral would probably destroy it. Isn't it time the men in white coats paid Cormac a visit? He'll be after one of Hirst's stuffed sharks next!


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