RELIGIOUS AND SPIRITUAL ART IN HISTORY

 

Forthcoming

from Jeff LeFever

In answer to what importance religious art has to us today, I took it upon myself to answer this question with a look backward. First I thought we would take a look at the role it played in History - not just Christian art, but art as it related cross culturally and applied to various religious usage. Next I thought I would bring us up to date to some symbolist and modern works in which the attempt to relate visual imagery to spiritual transcendence was attempted. Then I thought I might tie all this into the state of affairs of our contemporary art world where absurdity seems to reign supreme... and then answer the question.

O. K. - I promised to produce this little bit of writing. Unfortunately, I am too busy trying to pay the bills and raise money for the first prototype painting and haven't the time needed for the writing.

In the meantime ... read this:

Is Art work about the Bible really necessary?

History tells the story of mankind with outstretched arms, seeking Divine Light. It is everywhere, in every culture. Struggling with a concept beyond the mind's ability to grasp, man has been moved by the voices and visions of artists, as artists, through time, have depicted the Divine as revealed through scripture. Using forms familiar to our world and familiar to our perception, artists from all beliefs have made God tangible to the understanding of believers.

Art is a powerful medium. In our Christian 'Western World', from the Renaissance, God has been given a visual identity with a Father image complete with white, flowing beard. All that we might better relate. Some have issue with figurative representations of God, as such representations tend to limit His Holiness, His Glory. Some takes issue that such images may lead one to the wrong understanding Such thoughts aided the Reformation, resulting in art-less churches, clean and white. Decoration was not trust worthy, and there was to be no distraction from studying God’s Word.

None the less, great religious works of art have been the result of gifted and inspired artists throughout history. Many such works have been ambitious projects that stand as moving historical achievements. The Sistine Chapel ceiling and Last Judgment wall by Michelangelo are among the best known of these artistic accomplishments. As is Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper. Less familiar achievements, yet spectacular still, the Fierenze Baptista doors by Ghiberti, the tile mosaics inside the San Marco Basilica, the Giotto paintings within the Arena Chapel. Think of the architecture of the great gothic cathedrals built to glorify God and the music of Bach. Major achievements that have stood the test of time and remain no less inspirational to us today.

These are great achievements among many artistic endeavors that have told God's story and lifted man's spirit closer to God.

Is art work about the Bible - that glorifies God’s Magnificence, necessary?

In the lineage of a great tradition, one that has inspired and moved hundreds of millions of people for centuries - to God’s great mercy - the Freedom ART Project marches forward as a tribute to God and His Holy Word.

~ Jeff LeFever, 2000

 

 

 
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Freedom ART Project History