Rosary Project, the Art: A New Series Begins

The Resurrection painting, He is risen, by Arthur Hughes

+JMJ+ (I’ve got two posts today, this one and later a personal update on my little miniature Dachshund, Miss Lucy Dawg.) Tonight we begin a new series. Since I’ve been posting a Rosary thread on Twitter for the last couple of years—well, I guess it’s been longer than a couple of years now, wow. Anyway, since I’m into this Rosary Project thing and collecting art for the threads, and since from time to time people ask me about the art, and since I don’t know much about it, I thought I’d do a series and share the little I know, and also share some links and books from people who know much more than I do. (This is the first post in the series. Hopefully I will learn more and get better at this as the series progresses.)

Since we’re in the Easter season a good place to start might be with the Resurrection. I’ll share one that I discovered while preparing the Rosary for Easter Friday. See below.

He is risen, a painting by Arthur Hughes

And the angel answering, said to the women:
Fear not you; for I know that you seek Jesus Who was crucified.
He is not here, for He is risen, as He said.
Matthew 28:5-6, Douay-Rheims Bible, public domain.

The women on the left side of the painting, huddled together in the darkness, looking with fear and wonder at the luminous figure hovering in the air before the open tomb. The soldier on the ground. Has he fallen there out of fear? Has he been sleeping and missed the whole moment? Did the stone roll away and knock him to the ground? 

Those blossoms on the tree. Is that a dogwood? They’re so delicate. Look at the way the crooked trunk of the tree with its blossoms separate the darker portion of the painting from the lighter one. Do the women really think they can hide behind it? Is that a dove perched behind them? I didn’t see that until just now. Look at that blue of the night sky behind the dove and to the left. Beautiful color and light. Light is an important element in this painting. I suppose it would be in all paintings but especially in this one. I wish I had the right vocabulary to understand this and communicate it. Perhaps as time goes by I someday will. Anybody reading who can add to this in the comment section, please do.

Arthur Hughes is the artist, “an English painter and illustrator associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.” I got that info where I also get most of my art, at Wikipedia, because they have so much artwork ready at hand and usually in the public domain, even though it’s often of low resolution, and the color can be way off. But I’ve found that museums offer much the same quality unless one wants to pay for it and I don’t. 

The colors remind me of Rembrandt. Don’t expect me to wax eloquent about that. I’ve gone about as far as I can until I find more about this one.

I found one at WikiArt but looking around the web there is quite a range of color variation. See the screenshot below of partial search results for an example. In the end I chose one from Free Christ Images because the color seemed more rich and vibrant than many out there.

 No, I’m no art historian, but I do know where to find one or two. First up, Margaret Duffy owns and runs Ad Imaginem Dei: Thoughts on the history of European art, from a Catholic perspective. What a marvelous site and obviously a labor of love and lots of it, both labor and love. Amazing. She’s a Catholic with a “BA from Fordham University, with a double major in medieval history and in the history of art.” Her bio is impressive. Impressed me, anyway. Read about her blog, it’s impressive, too. Her posts are lengthy and full of knowledge and images and well worth the time spent with them. I always look forward to grabbing anotha cuppa and settling in to explore her blog. She’s been at it for years, there’s plenty to explore. Check out her Links for the Easter Season. It’s a mega-mega-post. Sadly, I haven’t found anything about this painting on her site. Most of the other sites that have the painting display it and maybe something about purchasing it, but not much more. 

Another art historian I who always entertains as she teaches is Elizabeth Lev. I love to hear her tell stories about art and artists. You can find her at her site and with others at Masters’ Gallery Rome: “Learn about Roman Masterpieces from the Masters in the Field.” You may recognize her from EWTN or her talks and interviews on YouTube, or her books. I highly recommend this one: How Catholic Art Saved the Faith.

Thanks for visiting the blog and reading. May we grow in holiness and virtue during this Easter season, and, by His grace, become more closely united with Christ, becoming the saints we were meant to be. God bless you, and may His peace be always with you. +JMJ+

Join me on Fridays for the Rosary Project Live on Twitter at 8pm ET, 7pm CT, to cultivate a culture of Light, Life, Love, Truth, Beauty, and Goodness, for the conversion of sinners, and for the salvation of souls. There’s also a Rosary on the blog you can use anytime.

“The Rosary is the ‘weapon’ for these times.” — Padre Pio

Notes and Links

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Image: In the banner: Madonna of the Rosary, by Lorenzo Lotto, via Wikimedia Commons, public domain. He is Risen: the First Easter, by Arthur Hughes, 1893-1896, associated with the Pre-Raphaelites but not one of them. Image from Free Christ Images. And a screenshot of a search for the image giving an idea of the range of colors and quality available on the web, especially for free images.

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Copyright: All original material on Catholic Heart and Mind is Copyright © 2009-2023 Lee Lancaster. All rights reserved. Read more.

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Annotated Table of Contents Mysteries of the Rosary in Art Series
Annotated Table of Contents for all series.

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