Many of these paintings are from altars and similar spaces in churches and cathedrals in Denmark and Germany (as well as other places in Europe and America,) so the museum built temporary altar-like frames for them that lend a beautifully sacred ambiance to the exhibit, but are simple enough to not distract from the pieces themselves and their subject: Christ our Savior.
As well as being an enriching cultural and artistic experience, it was amazingly spiritual as well. The portraits of the Savior, although differing in physical appearance, all show an amazing depth of love, sacrifice, and holiness. The eyes of every portrait captivated me. I was amazed by how well these painters seemed to know their Lord. I didn't know before visiting this exhibit how personally religious they all were. Some of them painted for themselves as much as others. Hofmann's famous Portrait of Christ was originally placed in his bedroom to be a reminder for him of who he should be and how he should live. I thought that was really touching.
I would strongly encourage everyone and anyone who can to go to this exhibit. It is so beautiful and so touching. I'm so grateful for art and for the depth and beauty it lends to life.
To learn more about the exhibit or reserve tickets (they're free) go to http://sacredgifts.byu.edu/tickets/