Catholic Art

bellows crucifixion

George Bellows: The Crucifixion

Expressions of the Faith sometimes emanate from unlikely places.  The American artist George Wesley Bellows (1882-1925) was known for his rugged boxing pictures, gritty cityscapes and elegant society portraits depicting the dynamic world of change in the early twentieth century.  Raised by a strict Methodist family in Ohio, Bellows rebelled against his religious upbringing and developed strong sympathies for the socialist and anarchist movements.  During […]

modern

Modern Church Aesthetics: Back to the Future

  Note: This article is part of a continuing series on Catholicism and art. A common complaint about modern churches is that they look like “warehouses”—bare, soulless barns rather than houses of worship.  Such a style of architecture, many feel, renders the religious experience banal and devoid of transcendence.  Many Catholics attribute this style to the influence […]

Vittore Carpaccio (Italian, c. 1465 - 1525/1526 ), The Virgin Reading, c. 1505, oil on panel transferred to canvas, Samuel H. Kress Collection

Portrait of a Young Woman: Vittore Carpaccio’s “The Virgin Reading”

On February 2 we celebrate the Feast of the Presentation, also known as Candlemas, marking the official end of the larger Christmas season.  This feast commemorates the day when the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph took the baby Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem to be “presented” to God, in observance of Jewish law […]

Willem Claesz Heda
Dutch, 1593/1594 - 1680
Banquet Piece with Mince Pie
1635
oil on canvas, 106.7 x 111.1 cm (42 x 43 3/4 in.)
National Gallery of Art, Washington
Patrons' Permanent Fund

The Mystical in the Everyday: Some Catholic Art of Holland

While visiting the National Gallery of Art in Washington recently, I took a tour entitled “Glimpses of Seventeenth-Century Life” which led me through some of the most glorious paintings of the museum’s permanent collection.  The artists of the seventeenth century replicated reality and depicted the details of everyday life with a photographic realism never before […]

P02988

Behold, the mystery!

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. As with most popular phrases, this is only partly true. For a picture to be worth a thousand words, it needs to be a good picture. For it to be able to express something for which even a thousand words are insufficient—something like, say, the […]

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