Crowded, chaotic, cacophonous, cavernous, and confusing: so the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City of Jerusalem seems at first glance. Determined pilgrims jostle one another as they push through the narrow entrance, form snaking lines or climb narrow stairs and duck into impossibly small spaces. Priests in vestments, sumptuous or plain, weave their way through the great sanctuary, seemingly heedless of the throngs.
But if a visitor watches quietly and looks carefully, a different picture emerges. Incense perfumes and stills the air; songs of praise in multiple languages echo through the great domed space. Mammoth Byzantine capitals high overhead seem to stand guard. Armenian mosaics, Crusader sculpture, and Ethiopian paintings are all here.
Join Barbara Drake Boehm, the Paul and Jill Ruddock curator emerita of the Met Cloisters, to explore this remarkable place, where the rhythms of history and intersecting circles of faith have given shape to an extraordinary artistic monument and a unique and vital place of worship worthy of close attention.
World Art History Certificate elective: Earn 1/2 credit*
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*Enrolled participants in the World Art History Certificate Program receive 1/2 elective credit. Not yet enrolled? Learn about the program, its benefits, and how to register here.