Alfred Manessier




Alfred Manessier is a non-figurative French painter and stained glass maker of sacred art from the last half of the twentieth century and was associated with the Lyrical Abstraction movement after the Second World War. He is also known for his vibrantly colored lithographs many of which are in this exhibition.


In 1943 Manessier experienced a religious awakening during a 3-day visit to a Trappist monastery. Soon after he converted to Catholicism and had a fertile period of abstract painting with luminous colors. These non-figurative works are not simply an exercise in formal elements of color or design, but evoke the central narratives of his Christian faith. The titles of his works allude to the religious meaning made evident through combinations of symbols, color and abstract imagery.


Manessier created several lithographic cycles that relate to the biblical narrative of Easter. His 1978 Suite de Pâques is a series of 15 abstract images, many consisting of luminous color radiating from beneath dark latticed patterns. The series begins with Jardin des Oliviers, Envisons l’arrestation de Jesu in the deep colors of night, bursts with intense reds and purples in Les Tortures, and then depicts La montee au calvaire and Le crucifiement with the symbol of the cross. The last half of the series has lighter, more celebratory tones as we approach Le tombeau vide (the empty tomb), Le message de l’ange and the L’apparition a Marie de Magdala.


Alfred Manessier: Composer in Colors includes several other lithographs: Laudes with its meditative blues and light tones suggests quiet contemplation; La Nuit (Night) and A l’obscure (In the dark) alludes to the depths of the soul and the mysterious realms; Early Spring lightens the tone and rings of hope eternal. The original lithographic poster, Crown of Thorns, recalls the many times he used this image for his paintings.


It is hoped that this show will introduce Alfred Manessier as an important artist of faith whose art rings forth a witness. Manessier’s art stands as a model of hope in a world searching for meaning.


Composer in Colors has 20 lithographs and is available for rent beginning August 15, 2016.


This show contains:


  • An essay on Manessier written by Dr. Linda Stratford of Asbury University
  • File to print a handout for visitors to your gallery
  • File with high-resolution images of all works in the show
  • File with text for labels
  • File for Introduction panels
  • Information on unpacking and repacking show
  • Information on shipping the exhibition


Cost of rental is $500 per month (4 weeks) plus shipping. With the rental of two months the third month is free.



Bowden Collections offers a variety of traveling exhibitions available to museums, churches, colleges and seminaries: several feature the work of important historical artists such as Georges Rouault, Marc Chagall, Ottos Dix and Alfred Manessier; others explore topics related to the Bible. A packet containing everything needed to mount the exhibition with files for labels, itemized lists, a brochure or flyer in PDF format, high-resolution digital files of art in the exhibition, and shipping information is provided. Venues are responsible for the rental fee and shipping, usually to the following venue.

11 Selections from the 14 Suite de Pâques Lithographs

Selections from the other Manessier pieces

Reproduction, including downloading of Alfred Manessier works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

February 10 to May 1, 2025

St Luke’s Anglican Church

50 Pope Avenue, Hilton Head, SC 29928

Contact: Andy Sonfeld,

843 842 2990

Ruth Hauck,


October 1 to January 30, 2025

LaGrave Ave. Christian Reformed Church

107 LaGrave Avenue SE

Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503


Contact person: David Versluis

cell 712.441.9909


October 1, 2023 to April 30, 2024

Gordon Conwell Seminary Charlotte

14542 Choate Circle, Charlotte, NC 28273

Contact: Wesley Vander Lugt,


January 15 to April 20, 2020

Theology and Ministry Library

Boston College

140 Commonwealth Avenue

Chestnut Hill, MA  02467

Contact Person: Steve Dalton

(617) 552-6541


March 1 to May 30, 2019

Apostles Anglican Church

200 Colony Blvd

Lexington, KY  40502

Church phone 859-245-1318

Linda Stratford:


February 12 to May 12, 2018

First Presbyterian Church of Flint

746 S. Saginaw St.

Flint, MI 48503

Contact: Ed Bradley


March 13 - April 21, 2017

Rivier College Art Gallery

420 Main St

Nashua, NH  03060

603 897 8275

Contact: Teresa Couture


August 15 to September 30, 2016

Wilshire Baptist Church

4316 Abrams Rd

Dallas, TX 75214

Contact: Mark Wingfield, Associate Pastor

(214) 452-3128


January 10 to May 1, 2016

St Christopher's Episcopal Church

625 Main St., Chatham MA  02633

Contact: Jamie Chalker




Cost of rental is $500 per month (4 weeks) plus shipping. With the rental of two months the third month is free.







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