he exhibition features five large altarpieces. Four of these have come from Lutheran churches in Denmark and Sweden, their first departure from their native locations. The much beloved Christ Healing the Sick at Bethesda, however, was acquired by the Museum in 2001 and remains a part of its permanent collection. Along with the altarpieces, nearly thirty additional religious and genre works will appear as part of the exhibition.
Many Christians are familiar with Bloch's artwork. What they are familiar with, however, are reproductions at a fraction of their original size. Experiencing the original paintings sheds new light on their subject matter. The Museum of Art has gone to great lengths to showcase the splendor of Bloch's altar paintings in a setting that gives viewers a sense of their original context.
The Doubting Thomas 1881
Rather than depicting Thomas's act of touching the Savior's wounds as is often represented, Bloch captures the moment of Thomas's recognition of the Resurrected Christ.
Christ and the Young Child 1873
Viewers cannot help but observe the loving, protective relationship as Christ affectionately puts His hand on the child's cheek and gestures toward him.
Christ Healing the Sick at Bethesda 1883
Bloch includes viewers in the painting; several characters look outward, making eye contact, and the steps of the pool curve inward, including the viewer in the scene.
Christ in Gethsemane 1879
Bloch interprets the scriptural text with great sensitivity; the angel tenderly and compassionately embraces the Savior as He takes upon Himself the sins and infirmities of all mankind.
Christus Consolator 1884
With outstretched arms, Christ beckons all to come unto Him; He comforts the downtrodden, heals the infirm, lifts the sinner, and blesses the children.