Written by Allie Gloe, Curatorial Intern
David Areford, Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Massachusetts and guest curator of The Cummer’s 2013 exhibition “The Art of Empathy: The Cummer Mother of Sorrows in Context,” recently gave a lecture at Brown University. In his lecture, “Seeing Through Tears: The Cummer Mother of Sorrows and Empathy in Detail,” Areford explored the use of human pathos in paintings, its connection to Late Medieval devotional practices, and its dependence on an emotional response from its 15th Century audience.
The Cummer’s Mother of Sorrows was used as an example in the in-depth conversation between professors and graduate students – all whom are now eager for this upcoming exhibition. This painting is currently on exhibit at The Cummer in the Medieval Art Gallery. This painting is one of only six known works attributed to the anonymous artist, who is associated with the Stötteritz Altarpiece, a triptych located in the church at Leipzig-Stötteritz in Germany. This panel was the left half of a portable hinged diptych designed for personal devotion. The Madonna’s tears and swollen, red eyes work together to generate emotion while her costume, hair and hands bring forth religion and devotion – also discussed by Areford.
Find out more about Professor Areford’s new book, The Viewer and the Printed Image in Late Medieval Europe, and stay tuned for more details about the upcoming exhibitions soon!