Carl Bloch - The Master's Hand

Our family went to the BYU Museum of Art for family night on Monday evening.  I was so moved by what we saw.  First we viewed a high-definition video projected on three huge walls, displaying Danish churches and landscapes as well as the king's oratory at Frederiksborg Castle, where Bloch's 23 paintings on the life of Christ hang.  Carl Bloch, a 19th-century Danish artist, spent 14 years crafting these paintings.  My last name is Baadsgaard because I married a man with Danish ancestors.  We enjoyed seeing the landscapes that are home to the Baadsgaard family. 

The exhibit features 5 of Bloch's 8 large alter paintings and dozens of his etchings and paintings.  I loved the painting "The Daughter of Jairus" where Bloch focuses on the moment of deepest despair yet in the darkened doorway stands Christ bringing hope. 

"Why make ye this ado, and weep?  the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth." (Mark 5:39).

Carl Bloch
Bloch fell out of favor when the modern movement took over the art world.  He never fell out of favor in my heart.  I have seen and loved his work for my entire life.  Mormon church publications and magazines have featured his work since I was a child. 

It gives me hope to learn that Bloch was very sensitive and often doubted his own abilities.  Even when his contemporaries were praising him and he was winning awards and medals, he wondered if he was good enough.  My own self-doubt finds hope through his paintings for he helps me see my Savior in the doorway bringing hope. 

Each piece invited me to contemplate the life of Christ - to ask, "Who is this Christ?"  I found myself longing to knell, pray, give thanks, adore, honor and to live a better life because I know Jesus and want to be like Him.