Ocular Gifts: Seeing the Invisible in the Visible



The friar(s) who occupied cell 7 in the Dominican convent of San Marco in the middle of the fifteenth century might seem to have few claims to fame. It is the cell itself that is famous, however, for it contains a fresco painted by Fra Angelico, The Mocking of Christ He painted frescoes in the convent cells for friars, novices and lay brothers in a series of works of great beauty. The frescoes were instruments for emulation. They were set to enable the members of the order to pray, to meditate and to realise a metanoia, a conversion of character, to seek to see within in interior prayer and contemplation. The frescoes were amongst the few outlets for visual relief in an ascetic regime where the eyes might need some consolation, some windows of hope for life beyond one of interminable regulation and discipline.


Protestant Ethic Visual Culture Visual Expression Digital Culture Great Beauty 
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Copyright information

© Kieran Flanagan 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of BristolUK

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