Five things to do in November
Imagining the Divine: Art and the Rise of World Religions
Ashmolean Museum, Oxford 19 October–18 February 2018
01865 278000 ashmolean.org/exhibitions/imaginingthedivine Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum has launched an important new exhibition examining the visual culture of the earliest periods of major world religions: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism. The product of new collaborative research by Oxford University and the British Museum, as well as contributions by leading scholars, the selection of objects will demonstrate the importance of imagery in developing and explaining religious ideas throughout history.
As well as drawing on the museum’s own collections, the exhibition will also display artefacts on loan from a range of institutions including the Archaeological Museum of Macedonia and the privately owned Sarikhani Collection.
Among the items on show are some of the world’s oldest surviving Qur’ans; early Christian sarcophagi, never before exhibited; late ancient Jewish artefacts; and a host of rare maps, scrolls, drawings, coins, manuscripts and amulets. Early figurative and pre-figurative images of the Buddha will also be on display, together with Vishnu avatars – believed to be the incarnations of the Hindu deity on Earth.
The base of a third to fourth century AD gold and glass serving dish from Italy, depicting a married couple surrounded by biblical scenes of salvation