1432

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Monument Men and the Mystic Lamb

Using the new technique of "perspective", Jan van Eyck has created a series of paintings that are installed as an altarpiece for the Saint Bavo Cathedral. Commissioned by the mayor of the town, the Ghent Altarpiece or Adoration of the Mystic Lamb is framed on doors with hinges. The hinged doors have paintings on both sides so that they can be displayed in various combinations depending on the religious holiday. Jan's work is astonishing and is considered his best, though even his mundane work is amazing. In these days, artists are considered craftsmen and when the nobility want to know whether a long-distance bride will make a good match, they send artists such as Jan to paint the potential bride's portrait so that the family can make an informed decision. His realistic paintings draw the line between the flat-portraits of the past and real renaissance art. [1] [2] [3] [4]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Over the years, various frames of the Ghent Altarpiece were legitimately sold or held as spoils of war. After World War 1, the war reparations treaty forced Germany to return the frames it had collected to Ghent in Flemish Belgium. The Germans deeply resented this so as World War 2 was getting started, the frames began a journey to Rome for safe-keeping. Along the way, Italy joined the war on the side of Germany, so the frames were diverted and then captured by Hitler who hid them in a salt mine along with other works of art. As the Allied powers pushed the Nazis back the Allied forces formed a special group made up of art experts called "The Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program" of simply "Monuments Men" to recover and preserve these priceless pieces. Recently a book and a major motion picture was produced where they follow the recovery of the Ghent Altarpiece. I cannot vouch for all the facts but "The Monuments Men" works well as a movie.[5] [6]

The Baccalaureate Service

College graduates are presumed to be clergy though it is unlikely that the priesthood will be their ultimate vocation. The University of Oxford has instituted the baccalaureate service. Graduates of the university must deliver a sermon in Latin at church. The sermons are sometimes as long as 4 hours so it is not clear how much worship is going on. The medieval scholastic method consists of absorbing various points of view on a subject and resolving differences through a series of logical points. Such a sermon might turn on a small detail that leads to a larger, more profound point. Although the subject is often a religious one, the method used is the same as any secular logical exercise. The skills needed for both are largely the same. [7] [8] [9] [10]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Baccalaureate services continue into the modern day. A quick Google search reveals many here in Texas.... mostly at religious institutions. YouTube has a video selection of such speeches. In a secular setting there is no religious sermon but speeches of encouragement are reasonable. In any case, there is no longer a Latin requirement. The collective student body breathes a sigh of relief.

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1432, Wikipedia.

See Also

References

  1. Edsel, Robert M. with Witter, Bret. The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History. New York: Center Street. 2009. (BOOK) Quote: "Hitler knew it was impossible to steal renowned masterpieces on the scale of the Ghent Altarpiece without drawing the condemnation of the world. While he had the conqueror's mentality, he believed he was entitled to the spoils of war, and he was determined to have them -- Hitler and the Nazis had gone to great lengths to establish new laws and procedures to "legalize" the looting activities that would follow. This included forcing the conquered countries to give him certain works as a term of their surrender."
  2. Ghent Altarpiece - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  3. Jan van Eyck - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  4. Saint Bavo Cathedral - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  5. The Monuments Men (Film) - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  6. Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  7. What is a Baccalaureate Service? (with pictures), WiseGeek.com, 2014 [last update]
  8. Baccalaureate service - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  9. Miller, Barbara. Baccalaureate services remain a popular tradition - PennLive.com. 2014 [last update]
  10. Hopkins, Jasper. (translator) Nicolas of Cusa's Early Sermons: 1430-1441. Loveland, Colorado: Arthur J. Banning Press. 2003. ISBN 093806052X (PDF)

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