Icons—sacred images that embody an object of spiritual devotion— have always been a bridge between religion and art. They go back to antiquity, and it is thought that the first icon painting was made by Saint Luke, who created three representations of the Virgin Mary. Christ and the saints are also traditional subjects, shown glowing with halos of gold leaf. Curated by Henri Loyrette, the former director of both the Musée d’Orsay and the Louvre Museum, this exhibition traces the icon from antiquity to the present day. Artifacts from Europe and Russia share the show with modern-day “icons”—works from artists such as Andy Warhol, whose silk-screened portraits of celebrities are tantamount to sacred imagery. —E.C.
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