Portraits from the Middle Ages: Spirit from the Time of Albertus Magnus

Jerome Nevins

Photographs by Jerome Nevins
September 24 - October 8, 2015
MacDonough Gallery, Campus Center
Albertus Magnus College
Gallery Hours: 9 am - 6 pm M-F

I visited the Musée National du Moyen Âge (The National Museum of the Middle Ages) in Paris, formerly known as the Musée de Cluny. It is close to Notre Dame Cathedral and steps from the University of Paris where St. Albert earned his Doctorate and later taught during the 13th century. The building dates from 1334 and sits over Roman baths. It became a public museum in 1834.

I was moved by the expressions on the faces of these pieces. Unlike much of classical sculpture from Greece and Rome, this work conveyed a sense of person, of a soul communicating real human emotion. I decided to move in close and frame just the face of each sculpture, isolating and distilling the emotion I felt conveyed from an anonymous artist working 700-800 years ago. Love, anger, serenity, hope, joy and worry were powerfully caught in stone and wood. It is my hope that this small series reaffirms that Art can communicate powerful ideas and emotions across centuries (and millennia).

Ars longa, vita brevis, attributed to ancient Greek physician Hippocrates

Art is long, life is short