Historical version 103 of Christ Church Picture Gallery (view current version)

  • 276172
  • Christ Church (Entrance via Oriel Square)
  • OX1 1DP
  • Open all year but but Winter Hours closed Tuesdays from Oct - Jul. 10.30 - 13.00 & 14.00 - 16.30. Please refer to website for opening hours througout the year.

Christ Church is unique among the Oxford and Cambridge colleges in possessing an important collection of Old Master paintings and drawings, housed in a purpose-built Gallery of considerable architectural interest in itself. The collection consists of some 300 paintings and almost 2000 drawings and is strongest in Italian art from the 14th to the 18th century.

The internationally renowned drawings collection in the Picture Gallery at Christ Church is regarded as one of the most important private collections of Old Master drawings in the country. These small in-house exhibitions are changed about every three months to enable the public to see a varied selection from this part of the collection.

CURRENT Exhibitions:

"Prophecies, Histories, Legends and Law in Drawings by Old Masters". Depictions of Old Testament scenes. 20 February - 9 June 2013

This is an exhibition presenting thirty-five master drawings and prints depicting stories and figures of the Hebrew Bible, from Adam and Eve to David and Goliath. These are stories that lie at the heart of three world religions and are the link between Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

The exhibition showcases some of the most outstanding works on paper from the Christ Church collection, above all one of the rarest and most exquisite old master drawings in existence, The Meeting of Jacob and Rachel by the Flemish artist Hugo van der Goes (1437-82). This large composition depicts one of the most important love stories of the Old Testament – symbolising the origins of the twelve tribes of Israel.

Other highlights include Albrecht Dürer’s (1471 – 1528) woodcuts of Adam and Eve and an intense miniature print by Hans Sebald Beham (1500-50) of the same topic, dramatising the sexual awakening of the first couple. The intriguing story of Lot and his daughters, the only survivors of Sodom and Gomorrah, is represented in a drawing by Hans Speeckaert (c. 1530-77) and in more detail in a group of prints by the German Renaissance artist Heinrich Aldegrever (1502-61).

There are drawings showing the story of Joseph, including the dramatic depiction of Joseph fleeing from the unwanted advances of Potiphar’s wife, designed by the Italian Baroque artist Camillo Procaccini (1551 – 1629). Seven works in the exhibition show scenes from the life of Moses – among them two excellent renderings of the Crossing of the Red Sea by the Florentine Mannerist master Angelo Bronzino (1503-72).

The works of art in the exhibition are depictions of biblical stories showing the creation of Adam and Eve, the expulsion from paradise, the great flood, Noah and the ark, Moses in the desert, David and Goliath, Susanna and the Elders and many more. They should not be mistaken as mere illustrations or pictures for the illiterate. These drawings and prints are independent creations offering visual translations and new interpretations of the texts.

"Two Landscapes Revisited". Looking at two landscapes by Viola and Domenichino. 30 January - 27 May 2013.

Admission: £3/£2. Free to those who have Bod cards and Art Fund members.

This is version 103 (as of 2013-03-05 14:36:05). View current version. List all versions.