Mysteries of the Rosary in Art: St. Joseph Edition

+JMJ+ Today is the optional memorial of St. Joseph the Worker, and even though he’s only seen in a couple of scenes in the Rosary (well, three scenes, sometimes four), he’s an important figure in the Church and in the lives of Christians. (I’m not going to say Catholics and Christians because that sounds like Catholics and Christians are two different groups, a notion I thoroughly reject. All Catholics are Christian, though not all Christians are Catholic, but this is a topic for another post.) When I’m searching for art for the Rosary threads I often find art related to but not exactly for the Rosary. Today’s a good day to share some St. Joseph art I’ve found, and some interesting links, too. 

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Mysteries of the Rosary in Art

This series is part of the Rosary Project.

+JMJ+ Continuing in our Rosary art series, I thought we’d look at another painting of the Resurrection, this time one by Matthias Grünewald. It’s part of a large winged altarpiece, a polyptych. And instead of me stumbling through the post, this time we have Kelly Bagdanov to guide us. These video aren’t explicitly about the Rosary, but the Resurrection is the First Glorious Mystery and the art in the video is a painting of the Resurrection (and other related scenes). That works. I’ll need a cuppa, then let’s go.

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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.)

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Anotha cuppa and a few words about Catholic Art

+JMJ+ Oh, my, how do I love thee, Elizabeth Lev? Let me count the ways. I love reading your essays, I love reading your books. I love watching your interviews. But most of all, I love watching how you light up when you have free range to talk and share stories about Italy, especially Rome, and about art and about artists, especially about Catholic art and Catholic artists, and how you light up—and light up a room—especially when you talk about Michelangelo, Catholic artist par excellence.

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No, we do not worship idols

+JMJ+  It happens more often than one might expect: non-Catholics see a post or a tweet, or my Rosary threads on Twitter, and they immediately pounce. “You shouldn’t pray to dead people. That’s necromancy.” “You shouldn’t use images. That’s idolatry.” I’ve written about prayer to saints before. Tonight I want to share something about the use of images, holy images, sacred images. It boggles my mind how things that were settled in the Church hundreds and hundreds of years ago can still be imagined to be open to debate all this time later. 

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Speaking of art

+JMJ+ I’ve been going through my collection to select artwork for the Rosary books (edit Nov. 24: I should have said ebooks, though I may do a printed run at some point), and I’ve got enough for a gazillion books. Well, maybe not a gazillion. Maybe just a million. But it beats trying to format the text and all that. Aaaaaa! My eyes! My brain! ;) Speaking of art, I was taking a break from all the close up work (and tiny fonts!) to watch a video of Thomas Mirus, host of the CatholicCulture podcast, and Dr. Elizabeth Lev, my favorite art historian, discussing St. Anthony, the Abbot (or the Egyptian, or the Great, he’s known by different names) and the way he’s represented in the iconography and art of East and West. And a lot more besides. And I’m fascinated. 

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On seeing some tapestries

+JMJ+ I had already writing a post for tonight when I saw a video that led me to lay that other one aside and do this one instead. Back in February of this year (2020 for those reading this who-knows-when), the world celebrated the 500th Anniversary of Raphael’s death with a rare showing his tapestries.

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Madonna and Child, some favorite paintings

In the previous post I shared a little something about one of my new used books, The Mother of God: Art Celebrates Mary, but I didn’t have time to do much more than mention it. Tonight I want to begin looking inside it and I’ll share that with you. I can’t reproduce the works from the book without violating copyright, but I’ll share what I can find in the public domain where possible. (Links at the end of this post.)

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Beauty: Catholic Art vs Iconoclasm Past and Present

Just watched an episode of Catholic Answers Live with Elizabeth Lev talking about her latest book, How Catholic Art Saved the Faith. Oh, my goodness, I’m enjoying this interview. When they were talking about Caravaggio I had tears in my eyes. Still do. (Video below. Links at the end of this post.)

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Fr Barron in Birmingham, the Catholicism Project; Dogma and Preaching by Pope Benedict

Catholicism seriesA few days ago I heard Fr. Robert Barron speak about his latest project, Catholicism, and the New Evangelization at the Cathedral of St. Paul’s in downtown Birmingham. Fr. Barron autographed my copy of the companion book to the series which has been airing on PBS stations around the country and also on EWTN (view the TV schedule). If you haven’t caught it yet, I highly recommend that you do so, or get a set of discs to watch any time. Or DVR it. I read somewhere on the web that even some libraries are getting copies. People are hungry for the truth and for beauty and Catholicism (both the series and the Faith) provides plenty of both.  Continue reading “Fr Barron in Birmingham, the Catholicism Project; Dogma and Preaching by Pope Benedict”

Sacred art is for the illiterate, oh, really?

I’m so tired of hearing people say that sacred art was necessary long ago because those poor people were ignorant, uneducated, illiterate and backward, so stained glass windows and such were the only way they could be taught religion. Does this mean that we who are supposedly educated and intelligent and intellectual and literate and advanced—that we do not need art? Sacred art is not produced for the likes of us? It has nothing to offer us because we do not need it? Continue reading “Sacred art is for the illiterate, oh, really?”