Life at № 42
“… Instead, Kermani does something both refreshingly cheeky and philosophically instructive. As he wonders what Christian art says about Christianity, he meditates on works ranging from Old Masters (Leonardo, Caravaggio, Dürer) to the present day (Gerhard Richter’s stained-glass window recently installed in the great gothic cathedral of Cologne, with its colours randomly generated by computer).
Teasingly and sometimes caustically, his book teems with passages in which he looks with an outsider’s eye, wondering about the weirdness he sees. Did the Lazarus of Rembrandt’s painting really want Jesus to bring him back to life? Don’t Jesus and Mary, in El Greco’s Christ Taking Leave of His Mother, look like young lovers? Why do so many depictions of the crucifixion glorify pain?”