artes visuais e fé cristã

visual arts and christian faith

 

Detalhe de mosaico bizantino com cenas da vida de Abraão, século VI d.C., Basilica de São Vital, Ravena, Itália

Raphael’s life
Raphael Sanzio, Self-portrait (detail), 1506, oil on canvas, Uffizzi Gallery, FlorenceGet to know the story of Raphael Sanzio, great painter and master of the Italian Renaissance. Teologarte takes you to Urbino, the artist’s hometown.

 

The Sacrifice of Isaac
Rembrandt, Abraham's Sacrifice (detail of angel holding Abraham's hand), 1635, oil on canvas, The State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, RussiaTwo great artists, Caravaggio and Chagall, translate into painting the narrative of chapter 22 of the book of Genesis, in which God tested Abraham’s faith.

 

“And behold, there was a man dressed in linen,
whose waist was girded with a belt of pure gold.
His body was like beryl,
his face had the appearance of lightning,
his eyes were like flaming torches,
his arms and feet like the gleam of polished bronze,
and the sound of his words like the sound of a multitude.”

– Bible, book of the prophet Daniel, chap. 10, v. 5-6
 

Beauty fascinates human beings in a unique way. Our eyes look for what is beautiful, and we take pleasure in contemplating colors and forms – both natural and man-made. The universe of images is infinite and touches our sensitivity. God gave us the ability to create and admire. The relationship between Christianity and the arts must be explored – as it has already been throughout the history of the church – in a coherent and redemptive way. Visual arts can be a precious instrument in preaching the Gospel, teaching the Scriptures and – why not? – an integral part of our contemporary liturgy. When we let ourselves be surprised by the beauty of a painting or the perfection of a sculpture, we may come in contact more closely and sensitively with the message of the Bible.

Andrej Rublev: 'Holy Trinity', icon of 1425;

Andrei Rublev: 'Holy Trinity', icon of 1425

Unfortunately, the Reformation’s iconoclastic impulse – somewhat justified by the excesses of medieval catholic religiosity – was taken to extremes and caused us to abolish the visual arts from virtually all protestant places of worship. The barrier, almost impossible to cross, between an image-based culture and a faith stripped of any aesthetic dimensions threatens our very ability to communicate the Gospel relevantly to the world around us. This is the time for us to take up our creative nature, rescue the arts from its marginal place in the life of the church and make peace with good and meaningful Christian images. Many artists throughout history have preceded us on that way and opened doors and windows that help us to better grasp God’s Word, its relationship with culture and its impact on our individual and community lives.

 

 

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