Search for the Sacred Heart of Jesus, An Illustrated Lecture with Peter Nevramont
Date: Wednesday, June 24th
Location: Morbid Anatomy Museum, 424 Third Avenue, 11215, Brooklyn NY
For reasons Peter Nevraumont cannot all together explain, he has been drawn to the Sacred Heart of Jesus for most of his life. There is no question that he has felt a perverse attraction to this dreadful symbol of a pierced bleeding heart circumscribed by sharp thorns, flames shooting from its top, stabbed with a cross. At the same time Nevraumont has felt a tremendous challenge from this symbol in which Jesus exposes his heart and seems to say, "Here is my heart, I have nothing to hide. Can you say the same?"
In the late 17th century the French Visitandine nun Marguerite-Marie Alacoque reported a series of powerful incantatory visions, during which Jesus showed her his heart. In her autobiography she wrote of the "inexplicable Secrets of the Sacred Heart." I have never had a vision of the Sacred Heart yet I have at least a partial understanding of what she meant.
The Sacred Heart of Jesus is a visual symbol. If its "Secrets" could be fully articulated in words it would become a relic; an impotent symbol with feeble power to persuade. This is why the meaning of the Sacred Heart resides ultimately within renderings of it that speak "de corde tuo, ad cor tuum," about your heart, to your heart.
The illustrations presented this evening range from some of the earliest art picturing the heart of Jesus from the 2nd century to 21st-century interpretations. Examples have been selected from a wide range of mediums including paintings; wood, copper, and steel engravings; stained-glass windows; sculptures; watercolors; pastels; mosaics; ceramics; collages; silk screens; photographs; lithographs; and holy cards.
Hopefully these images, individually and then collectively, will inspire viewers to contemplate their willingness to reveal their own hearts without guile and to honor Jesus' message of love and forgiveness. To me this image of a bloody wounded heart speaks wordlessly of Jesus' passion, his challenge, his mercy, and the valley of tears through which we all must pass.
Behold the Sacred Heart of Jesus!
Peter N. Névraumont has worked at jobs as varied as a copyboy for New York's Daily News and an assistant producer at Universal Pictures. In between and beyond, he was a reporter for Women's Wear Daily (now W); an editor at Macmillan when it still published such luminaries as William Yeats and Elizabeth Kubler-Ross; managing editor of the Columbia University Forum; national director of advertising and publicity at Films Incorporated; vice president of Ruby Street stationary; and publisher at Névraumont Publishing Company which over the last decade has packaged forty illustrated natural history book written by world-class scientists and produced to art book standards. He is an accomplished writer, skilled editor, dogged researcher, and multi-award winning art director.
Of French-Belgian ancestry, he traces his lineage to the Merovingian Dynasty through Chlotar I.
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