Imagery of Regent people and campus

Classic Paintings Add History to Chapel Walls

By Amanda Morad | July 29, 2013

Regent's founder and chancellor, Dr. M.G. "Pat" Robertson and wife, Dede, admire the Chapel's newest addition.
Photo courtesy of Patrick Wright.

When Regent University's new Chapel opened this spring, its architecture and place at the heart of campus gave Regent's 70 acres a fresh sense of beauty. Inside the sanctuary, however, Regent's founder and chancellor, Dr. M.G. "Pat" Robertson, felt some final touches were needed to complete the new center for worship.

Robertson commissioned two hand-painted oil replicas of Italian Renaissance masterpieces to grace the front wall of the chapel on either side of the stained glass window.

"I wanted Jesus in the center," Robertson said of the chapel's design. "That stained glass is magnificent, but at the same time, this complements it. It was a little empty before, but now it's full.... Beautiful things—I'm thrilled."

The painting that now hangs to the left of the stained glass window depicts the Baptism of Jesus by Italian Renaissance painter Paolo Veronese. A shivering Jesus kneels as he is being baptized by John the Baptist in the painting. Following an ancient tradition, the 16th-century artist Veronese organizes his work with a strong vertical axis: Jesus below, the flowing baptism water above and the dove representing the Holy Spirit crowning the top of the canvas.

To the right of the window hangs a replica of Ezekiel's Vision by Old World master painter, Raphael. In Ezekiel 1, the prophet sees "the appearance of a man" sitting on a throne shaped by four creatures. The creatures have different faces: that of a man, an ox, a lion and an eagle. This image looms large in the painting, with Ezekiel standing as a tiny figure in a beam of light in the bottom left of the canvas.

Both original paintings are on display at the Palazzo Pitti in Florence, Italy.

The 6 feet by 8 feet replicas were commissioned from Prestige Fine Art, a Florida-based company whose owner has long been connected with Robertson. With a showroom and gallery in Coral Springs, Prestige and its litany of talented artists from all over the world is a leading source for museum quality oil paintings, all reproduced by hand.

Prestige delivers beautiful and rare reproductions to collectors, aficionados, and establishments around the world. Artists with Prestige select fine Belgian linen canvas by grade, prepared and cut to each order. The artist sketches the original image to canvas and then chooses techniques based on the original artist's work to create an exact oil painting reproduction down to every last original detail.

The reproductions of the Baptism of Jesus and Ezekiel's Vision now displayed on the walls of the Regent Chapel went through this same process before arriving on campus Thursday, July 18, and being hung on Monday, July 22.

Watch CBN's 700 Club coverage of the paintings.

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