The Sixty-Third A. W. Mellon Lectures in the Fine Arts: Past Belief: Visions of Early Christianity in Renaissance and Reformation Europe, Part 1: How Jesus Celebrated Passover: The Jewish Origins of Christianity

Anthony Grafton, Princeton University. In this six-part lecture series entitled Past Belief: Visions of Early Christianity in Renaissance and Reformation Europe, Anthony Grafton focuses on the efforts of artists and scholars to recreate the early history of Christianity in a period of crisis in the church from the 15th to the 17th century. In this first lecture, entitled “How Jesus Celebrated Passover: The Jewish Origins of Christianity,” originally delivered at the National Gallery of Art on March 30, 2014, Grafton explores how the pictorial form of the Last Supper, a central theme in art, was radically transformed after the beginning of the Reformation in 1517. He shows how writers with great archaeological and historical learning delved into Roman antiquities and Jewish texts from the time of the origins of Christianity in order to bring back the world in which the Last Supper actually took place.  

Released: April 01, 2014