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Art Diary

Blood: Medieval/Modern

23 February 2024

Blood seeped into all aspects of life in the Middle Ages and represented the dichotomies that defined human existence in medieval Christianity: life and death; healing and sickness; salvation and condemnation. The Getty Center considers this fixation in the art of the period and at the representation of blood in modern works later this month (27 Feb–19 May). The exhibition is broken down into four themes which, in medieval times, possessed close ties to the substance – devotion, medicine, genealogy and violence. Alongside macabre illustrations such as The Execution of Philotas (c. 1470–75) that testify to the significance of blood in the Middle Ages are contemporary creations such as Queer Blood America (2021) by Jordan Eagles and Bloodscape X (1987) by Andres Serrano. Find out more from the Getty Center’s website.

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Queer Blood America (2021), Jordan Eagles. Courtesy and © the artist

The Execution of Philotas , from Book of the Deeds of Alexander the Great (c. 1470), Master of the Jardin de vertueuse consolation and assistant. J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Bloodscape X (1987), Andres Serrano. J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris/Brussels; © Andres Serrano