Christ Carrying the Cross, painted by the Circle of Giovanni Bellini in the early years of the High Renaissance, was Isabella Stewart Gardner’s favorite painting. We’ll discuss the background of this painting and the stories it tells us. We’ll look at why the placement of this painting at her Museum was so important to Mrs. Gardner and what that reveals about faith and memory. Lastly, we’ll consider how Mrs. Gardner’s relationship with this painting demonstrates how the affective nature of art helps us to be more fully human. We’ll see how art – as a meditative tool – opens our hearts to God.
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