Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Artsy Wednesday: The Holy Grail

I've read The DaVinci Code, of course (is there anyone left who hasn't? I think even my brother finally broke down and read it.) And seen Indiana Jones and the oft-quoted Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail.

But as it turns out, I didn't know a whole lot about the actual legend attached to the grail, even after that whole Dan Brown-inspired fury of debunking specials that appeared a few years ago.

It seems that I'm not alone in my ignorance. Encouraged by a new exhibit of Byzantine relics at the Royal Academy in London, Jerome Taylor writes an article in the Independent summarizing some of the more salient points of the grail's history, mystique and reality.

It's an interesting, and quick, read, whether you're a true believer, a medieval myth fiend, a conspiracy theorist or just somebody who's interested in art, religion and (of course) food.

Oh, and the cup in the picture? That's the Antioch Chalice, on loan to the Royal Academy from the Metropolitan Museum of Art - and the current leading contender for the honor and infamy that goes with being "the real grail." The ornate silver exterior has been dated to the sixth century, but it covers a humble wood interior chalice that can't be dated (so it could be the right age). Of course experts still disagree on exactly what form the grail has (it could be anything from a plate or cup to an intangible expression of God's grace) to whether or not such a thing really exists.

It's an interesting article - and what could be more food-related, at the very, very core?

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