Christian art
Overview
 
Christian art is sacred art
Sacred art
Sacred art is imagery intended to uplift the mind to the spiritual. Sacred art involves the ritual and cultic practices and practical and operative aspects of the path of the spiritual realization within the bosom of the tradition in question....

 produced in an attempt to illustrate, supplement and portray in tangible form the principles of Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

, though other definitions are possible. Most Christian groups use or have used art to some extent, although some have had strong objections to some forms of religious image, and there have been major periods of iconoclasm
Iconoclasm
Iconoclasm is the deliberate destruction of religious icons and other symbols or monuments, usually with religious or political motives. It is a frequent component of major political or religious changes...

 within Christianity. Images of Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

 and narrative scenes from the Life of Christ
Life of Christ
The Life of Christ as a narrative cycle in Christian art comprises a number of different subjects, which were often grouped in series or cycles of works in a variety of media, narrating the life of Jesus on earth, as distinguished from the many other subjects in art showing the eternal life of...

 are the most common subjects, and scenes from the Old Testament
Old Testament
The Old Testament, of which Christians hold different views, is a Christian term for the religious writings of ancient Israel held sacred and inspired by Christians which overlaps with the 24-book canon of the Masoretic Text of Judaism...

 play a part in the art of most denominations.
Encyclopedia
Christian art is sacred art
Sacred art
Sacred art is imagery intended to uplift the mind to the spiritual. Sacred art involves the ritual and cultic practices and practical and operative aspects of the path of the spiritual realization within the bosom of the tradition in question....

 produced in an attempt to illustrate, supplement and portray in tangible form the principles of Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

, though other definitions are possible. Most Christian groups use or have used art to some extent, although some have had strong objections to some forms of religious image, and there have been major periods of iconoclasm
Iconoclasm
Iconoclasm is the deliberate destruction of religious icons and other symbols or monuments, usually with religious or political motives. It is a frequent component of major political or religious changes...

 within Christianity. Images of Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

 and narrative scenes from the Life of Christ
Life of Christ
The Life of Christ as a narrative cycle in Christian art comprises a number of different subjects, which were often grouped in series or cycles of works in a variety of media, narrating the life of Jesus on earth, as distinguished from the many other subjects in art showing the eternal life of...

 are the most common subjects, and scenes from the Old Testament
Old Testament
The Old Testament, of which Christians hold different views, is a Christian term for the religious writings of ancient Israel held sacred and inspired by Christians which overlaps with the 24-book canon of the Masoretic Text of Judaism...

 play a part in the art of most denominations. Images of the Virgin Mary
Mary (mother of Jesus)
Mary , commonly referred to as "Saint Mary", "Mother Mary", the "Virgin Mary", the "Blessed Virgin Mary", or "Mary, Mother of God", was a Jewish woman of Nazareth in Galilee...

 and saints are much rarer in Protestant art than that of Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy.

Of the three related religions Christianity, Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

, and Judaism
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

, Christianity makes far wider use of images, which are forbidden or discouraged by Islam
Aniconism in Islam
Aniconism in Islam is a proscription in Islam against the creation of images of sentient living beings. The most absolute proscription is of images of Allah, followed by depictions of Muhammad, and then Islamic prophets and the relatives of the Prophet, but the depiction of all humans and animals...

 and Judaism
Aniconism in Judaism
Aniconism in Judaism covers a number of areas. The portrayal of the deity in any kind of human or concrete form is absolutely forbidden, and there is a strong tradition of avoiding sculpture, especially if large and free-standing, of all types and in all contexts, but especially religious sculpture...

. However there is also a considerable history of aniconism in Christianity
Aniconism in Christianity
Christianity has not generally practised aniconism, or the avoidance or prohibition of types of images, but has had an active tradition of making and venerating images of God and other religious figures...

 from various periods.

Beginnings

Early Christian art survives from dates near the origins of Christianity. The oldest surviving Christian paintings are from the site at Megiddo, dated to around the year 70, and the oldest Christian sculptures are from sarcophagi, dating to the beginning of the 2nd century. The largest groups of Early Christian paintings come from the tombs in the Catacombs of Rome
Catacombs of Rome
The Catacombs of Rome are ancient catacombs, underground burial places under or near Rome, Italy, of which there are at least forty, some discovered only in recent decades. Though most famous for Christian burials, either in separate catacombs or mixed together, they began in the 2nd century, much...

, and show the evolution of the depiction of Jesus, a process not complete until the 6th century, since when the conventional appearance of Jesus in art has remained remarkably consistent. Until the adoption of Christianity by Constantine
Constantine I and Christianity
During the reign of the Emperor Constantine the Great, Christianity became the dominant religion of the Roman Empire. Constantine, also known as Constantine I, had a significant religious experience following his victory at the Battle of Milvian Bridge in 312...

 Christian art derived its style and much of its iconography
Iconography
Iconography is the branch of art history which studies the identification, description, and the interpretation of the content of images. The word iconography literally means "image writing", and comes from the Greek "image" and "to write". A secondary meaning is the painting of icons in the...

 from popular Roman art
Roman art
Roman art has the visual arts made in Ancient Rome, and in the territories of the Roman Empire. Major forms of Roman art are architecture, painting, sculpture and mosaic work...

, but from this point grand Christian buildings built under imperial patronage brought a need for Christian versions of Roman elite and official art, of which mosaic
Mosaic
Mosaic is the art of creating images with an assemblage of small pieces of colored glass, stone, or other materials. It may be a technique of decorative art, an aspect of interior decoration, or of cultural and spiritual significance as in a cathedral...

s in churches in Rome are the most prominent surviving examples. Christian art was caught up in, but did not originate, the shift in style away from the classical tradition inherited from Ancient Greek art to a less realist and otherworldly hieratic style, the start of medieval art
Medieval art
The medieval art of the Western world covers a vast scope of time and place, over 1000 years of art history in Europe, and at times the Middle East and North Africa...

.

Middle Ages

Much of the art surviving from Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 after the fall of the Roman Empire is Christian art, although this in large part because the continuity of church ownership has preserved church art better than secular works. While the Western Roman Empire
Western Roman Empire
The Western Roman Empire was the western half of the Roman Empire after its division by Diocletian in 285; the other half of the Roman Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire, commonly referred to today as the Byzantine Empire....

's political structure essentially collapsed after the fall of Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, its religious hierarchy, what is today the modern-day Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 funded and supported production of sacred art. The Orthodox Church of Constantinople, which enjoyed greater stability within the surviving Eastern Empire was key in funding arts there, and glorifying Christianity. As a stable Western European society emerged during the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

, the Catholic Church led the way in terms of art, using its resources to commission painting
Painting
Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface . The application of the medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush but other objects can be used. In art, the term painting describes both the act and the result of the action. However, painting is...

s and sculpture
Sculpture
Sculpture is three-dimensional artwork created by shaping or combining hard materials—typically stone such as marble—or metal, glass, or wood. Softer materials can also be used, such as clay, textiles, plastics, polymers and softer metals...

s.

During the development of Christian art in the Byzantine empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 (see Byzantine art
Byzantine art
Byzantine art is the term commonly used to describe the artistic products of the Byzantine Empire from about the 5th century until the Fall of Constantinople in 1453....

), a more abstract aesthetic replaced the naturalism previously established in Hellenistic
Hellenistic Greece
In the context of Ancient Greek art, architecture, and culture, Hellenistic Greece corresponds to the period between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the annexation of the classical Greek heartlands by Rome in 146 BC...

 art. This new style was hieratic, meaning its primary purpose was to convey religious meaning rather than accurately render objects and people. Realistic perspective, proportions, light and color were ignored in favor of geometric simplification of forms, reverse perspective and standardized conventions to portray individuals and events. The controversy over the use of graven images, the interpretation of the Second Commandment, and the crisis of Byzantine Iconoclasm led to a standardization of religious imagery within the Eastern Orthodoxy.

Renaissance and Early Modern period

The fall of Constantinople
Fall of Constantinople
The Fall of Constantinople was the capture of the capital of the Byzantine Empire, which occurred after a siege by the Ottoman Empire, under the command of Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II, against the defending army commanded by Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI...

 in 1453 brought an end to the highest quality Byzantine art, produced in the Imperial workshops there. Orthodox art, known as icon
Icon
An icon is a religious work of art, most commonly a painting, from Eastern Christianity and in certain Eastern Catholic churches...

s regardless of the medium, has otherwise continued with relatively little change in subject and style up to the present day, with Russia gradually becoming the leading centre of production.

In the West, the Renaissance saw an increase in monumental secular works, but until the Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

 Christian art continued to be produced in great quantities, both for churches and clergy and for the laiety. The Reformation had a huge effect on Christian art
The Reformation and art
The Protestant Reformation during the 16th century in Europe ushered in a new artistic tradition that embraced the Protestant agenda and diverged drastically from the southern European tradition and the humanist art produced during the high Renaissance...

, rapidly bringing the production of public Christian art to a virtual halt in Protestant countries, and causing the destruction of most of the art that already existed. Artists switched to secular genres like portrait
Portrait
thumb|250px|right|Portrait of [[Thomas Jefferson]] by [[Rembrandt Peale]], 1805. [[New-York Historical Society]].A portrait is a painting, photograph, sculpture, or other artistic representation of a person, in which the face and its expression is predominant. The intent is to display the likeness,...

s, landscape paintings and, ironically, subjects from classical mythology
Classical mythology
Classical mythology or Greco-Roman mythology is the cultural reception of myths from the ancient Greeks and Romans. Along with philosophy and political thought, mythology represents one of the major survivals of classical antiquity throughout later Western culture.Classical mythology has provided...

, now more acceptable subjects than saints. In Catholic countries, production continued, and increased during the Counter-Reformation
Counter-Reformation
The Counter-Reformation was the period of Catholic revival beginning with the Council of Trent and ending at the close of the Thirty Years' War, 1648 as a response to the Protestant Reformation.The Counter-Reformation was a comprehensive effort, composed of four major elements:#Ecclesiastical or...

, but Catholic art was brought under much tighter control by the church hierarchy than had been the case before. From the 18th century the number of religious works produced by leading artists declined sharply, though important commissions were still placed, and some artists continued to produce large bodies of religious art on their own initiative.

Modern period

As a secular, non-sectarian, universal notion of art arose in 19th century Western Europe, ancient and Medieval Christian art began to be collected for art appreciation rather than worship, while contemporary Christian art was considered marginal. Occasionally, secular artists treated Christian themes (Bouguereau , Manet
Manet
-MANET as an abbreviation:*MANET is a mobile ad hoc network, a self-configuring mobile wireless network.*MANET database or Molecular Ancestry Network, bioinformatics database-People with the surname Manet:*Édouard Manet, a 19th-century French painter....

) — but only rarely was a Christian artist included in the historical canon (such as Rouault
Georges Rouault
Georges Henri Rouault[p] was a French Fauvist and Expressionist painter, and printmaker in lithography and etching.-Childhood and education:Rouault was born in Paris into a poor family...

 or Stanley Spencer
Stanley Spencer
Sir Stanley Spencer was an English painter. Much of his work depicts Biblical scenes, from miracles to Crucifixion, happening not in the Holy Land but in the small Thames-side village where he was born and spent most of his life...

). However many modern artists such as Eric Gill
Eric Gill
Arthur Eric Rowton Gill was a British sculptor, typeface designer, stonecutter and printmaker, who was associated with the Arts and Crafts movement...

, Marc Chagall
Marc Chagall
Marc Chagall Art critic Robert Hughes referred to Chagall as "the quintessential Jewish artist of the twentieth century."According to art historian Michael J...

, Henri Matisse
Henri Matisse
Henri Matisse was a French artist, known for his use of colour and his fluid and original draughtsmanship. He was a draughtsman, printmaker, and sculptor, but is known primarily as a painter...

, Jacob Epstein
Jacob Epstein
Sir Jacob Epstein KBE was an American-born British sculptor who helped pioneer modern sculpture. He was born in the United States, and moved to Europe in 1902, becoming a British citizen in 1911. He often produced controversial works which challenged taboos on what was appropriate subject matter...

, Elizabeth Frink and Graham Sutherland
Graham Sutherland
Graham Vivien Sutherland OM was an English artist.-Early life:He was born in Streatham, attending Homefield Preparatory School, Sutton. He was then educated at Epsom College, Surrey before going up to Goldsmiths, University of London...

 have produced well-known works of art for churches.

Popular devotional art

Since the advent of printing, the sale of reproductions of pious works has been a major element of popular Christian culture. In the nineteenth century, this included genre painters such as Mihály Munkácsy
Mihály Munkácsy
Mihály Munkácsy was a Hungarian painter, who lived in Paris and earned international reputation with his genre pictures and large scale biblical paintings.-Early Years of Munkácsy:...

. The invention of color lithography led to broad circulation of holy card
Holy card
In the Catholic tradition, holy cards or prayer cards are small, devotional pictures mass-produced for the use of the faithful. They typically depict a religious scene or a saint in an image about the size of a playing card. The reverse typically contains a prayer, some of which promise an...

s. In the modern era, companies specializing in modern commercial Christian artists such as Thomas Blackshear
Thomas Blackshear
Thomas Blackshear is an African American artist, many of whose paintings adorn Evangelical churches. He is also a sculptor and a designer of ornaments, often of African American themes....

 and Thomas Kinkade
Thomas Kinkade
Thomas Kinkade is an American painter of popular and commercial realistic, bucolic, and idyllic subjects. He is notable for the mass marketing of his work as printed reproductions and other licensed products via The Thomas Kinkade Company...

, although widely regarded in the fine art world as kitsch
Kitsch
Kitsch is a form of art that is considered an inferior, tasteless copy of an extant style of art or a worthless imitation of art of recognized value. The concept is associated with the deliberate use of elements that may be thought of as cultural icons while making cheap mass-produced objects that...

, have been very successful.

The re-birth of Christian fine art

The last part of the 20th and the first part of the 21st century have seen a focused effort by artists who claim faith in Christ to re-establish art with themes that revolve around faith, Christ, God, the Church, the Bible and other classic Christian themes as worthy of respect by the secular art world. Some writers, such as Gregory Wolfe, view this resurgence as part of a larger rebirth of Christian humanism. Artists such as Makoto Fujimura
Makoto Fujimura
Makoto Fujimura is a 21st Century Contemporary Artist. He graduated with a B.A. from Bucknell University, then studied in a traditional Japanese painting doctorate program for several years at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music with several notable artists such as Takashi Murakami...

 have had significant influence both in sacred and secular arts. Other notable artists include Gary P. Bergel, Carlos Cazares, Bruce Herman, Deborah Sokolove, and John August Swanson
John August Swanson
John August Swanson is an American visual artist working primarily in the medium of serigraphy, as well as oil, watercolor, acrylic, mixed media, lithography, and etching. He is based in Los Angeles, California, the city of his birth....

.

Themes

Themes often seen in Christian art are:
  • Adoration of the Magi
    Adoration of the Magi in Art
    The Adoration of the Magi is the name traditionally given to the Christian subject in the Nativity of Jesus in art in which the three Magi, represented as kings, especially in the West, having found Jesus by following a star, lay before him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, and worship him...

  • Adoration of the shepherds
    Adoration of the shepherds
    The Adoration of the shepherds, in the Nativity of Jesus in art, is a scene in which shepherds are near witnesses to the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. It is often combined with the Adoration of the Magi, in which case it is typically just referred to by the latter title...

  • Angels
    Angels in art
    Angels have appeared in works of art for millennia.Angel-shaped beings appear in ancient Mesopotamian and Greek art and were probably the inspiration for the popular Christian image of angels....

  • Annunciation
    Annunciation
    The Annunciation, also referred to as the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary or Annunciation of the Lord, is the Christian celebration of the announcement by the angel Gabriel to Virgin Mary, that she would conceive and become the mother of Jesus the Son of God. Gabriel told Mary to name her...

  • Arrest of Jesus
    Arrest of Jesus
    The arrest of Jesus is a pivotal event recorded in the Canonical gospels. The event ultimately leads, in the Gospel accounts, to Jesus' crucifixion...

  • Ascension of Jesus
    Ascension of Jesus in Christian art
    The Ascension of Jesus to Heaven as stated in the New Testament has been a frequent subject in Christian art, as well as a theme in theological writings...

  • Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Art
  • Baptism of Jesus
    Baptism of Jesus
    The baptism of Jesus marks the beginning of Jesus Christ's public ministry. This event is recorded in the Canonical Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. In John 1:29-33 rather than a direct narrative, the Baptist bears witness to the episode...

  • Christ in Majesty
    Christ in Majesty
    Christ in Majesty, or Christ in Glory, in Latin Majestas Domini, is the Western Christian image of Christ seated on a throne as ruler of the world, always seen frontally in the centre of the composition, and often flanked by other sacred figures, whose membership changes over time and according to...

  • Coronation of the Virgin
    Coronation of the Virgin
    The Coronation of the Virgin or Coronation of Mary is a subject in Christian art, especially popular in Italy in the 13th to 15th centuries, but continuing in popularity until the 18th century and beyond. Christ, sometimes accompanied by God the Father and the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove,...

  • Crucifix
    Crucifix
    A crucifix is an independent image of Jesus on the cross with a representation of Jesus' body, referred to in English as the corpus , as distinct from a cross with no body....

  • Descent from the Cross
    Descent from the Cross
    The Descent from the Cross , or Deposition of Christ, is the scene, as depicted in art, from the Gospels' accounts of Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus taking Christ down from the cross after his crucifixion . In Byzantine art the topic became popular in the 9th century, and in the West from the...

  • Holy family
    Holy Family
    The Holy Family consists of the Child Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and Saint Joseph.The Feast of the Holy Family is a liturgical celebration in the Roman Catholic Church in honor of Jesus of Nazareth, his mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and his foster father, Saint Joseph, as a family...

  • Madonna
    Madonna (art)
    Images of the Madonna and the Madonna and Child or Virgin and Child are pictorial or sculptured representations of Mary, Mother of Jesus, either alone, or more frequently, with the infant Jesus. These images are central icons of Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodox Christianity where Mary remains...

  • Madonna and Child
  • Maestà
    Maestà
    Maestà, the Italian word for "majesty", designates an iconic formula of the enthroned Madonna with the child Jesus, whether or not accompanied with angels and saints...

  • Nativity of Jesus
    Nativity of Jesus in art
    The Nativity of Jesus has been a major subject of Christian art since the 4th century. The artistic depictions of the Nativity or birth of Jesus, celebrated at Christmas, are based on the narratives in the Bible, in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, and further elaborated by written, oral and...

  • Noli me tangere
    Noli me tangere
    Noli me tangere, meaning "don't touch me" / "touch me not", is the Latin version of words spoken, according to , by Jesus to Mary Magdalene when she recognizes him after his resurrection....

  • Pietà
    Pietà
    The Pietà is a subject in Christian art depicting the Virgin Mary cradling the dead body of Jesus, most often found in sculpture. As such, it is a particular form of the Lamentation of Christ, a scene from the Passion of Christ found in cycles of the Life of Christ...

  • Resurrection appearances of Jesus
    Resurrection appearances of Jesus
    The major Resurrection appearances of Jesus in the Canonical gospels are reported to have occurred after his death, burial and resurrection, but prior to his Ascension. Among these primary sources, most scholars believe First Corinthians was written first, authored by Paul of Tarsus along with...

  • Sanhedrin Trial of Jesus
    Sanhedrin Trial of Jesus
    The Sanhedrin trial of Jesus refers to the Canonical Gospel accounts of the trial of Jesus before the Jewish Council, or Sanhedrin, following his arrest and prior to his trial before Pontius Pilate...

  • Stations of the Cross
    Stations of the Cross
    Stations of the Cross refers to the depiction of the final hours of Jesus, and the devotion commemorating the Passion. The tradition as chapel devotion began with St...

  • The Last Judgment
    Doom (painting)
    A Doom is a traditional English term for a painting or other image of the Last Judgment, an event in Christian eschatology. Christ judges souls, and then sends them to either Heaven or Hell...

  • The Last Supper
    Last Supper in Christian art
    The Last Supper of Jesus and the Twelve Apostles has been a popular subject in Christian art, often as part of a cycle showing the Life of Christ. Depictions of the Last Supper in Christian art date back to early Christianity and can be seen in the Catacombs of Rome.The Last Supper was depicted...

  • The Raising of the Cross
  • Tree of Jesse
    Tree of Jesse
    The Tree of Jesse is a depiction in art of the Ancestors of Christ, shown in a tree which rises from Jesse of Bethlehem, the father of King David; the original use of the family tree as a schematic representation of a genealogy...


  • See also

    • Andachtsbilder
      Andachtsbilder
      Andachtsbilder is a German term often used in English in art history for Christian devotional images designed as aids for prayer or contemplation...

    • Art in Roman Catholicism
      Art in Roman Catholicism
      Roman Catholic art consists of all visual works produced in an attempt to illustrate, supplement and portray in tangible form the teachings of the Catholic Church. This includes sculpture, painting, mosaics, metalwork, embroidery and even architecture. Catholic art has played a leading role in the...

    • Buddhist art
      Buddhist art
      Buddhist art originated on the Indian subcontinent following the historical life of Siddhartha Gautama, 6th to 5th century BC, and thereafter evolved by contact with other cultures as it spread throughout Asia and the world....

    • Christian icons
      Icon
      An icon is a religious work of art, most commonly a painting, from Eastern Christianity and in certain Eastern Catholic churches...

    • Christian music
      Christian music
      Christian music is music that has been written to express either personal or a communal belief regarding Christian life and faith. Common themes of Christian music include praise, worship, penitence, and lament, and its forms vary widely across the world....

    • Christian poetry
      Christian poetry
      Christian poetry is any poetry that contains Christian teachings, themes, or references. The influence of Christianity on poetry has been great in any area that Christianity has taken hold...

    • Christian symbolism
      Christian symbolism
      Christian symbolism invests objects or actions with an inner meaning expressing Christian ideas. Christianity has borrowed from the common stock of significant symbols known to most periods and to all regions of the world. Religious symbolism is effective when it appeals to both the intellect and...

      • Saint symbolism
    • Crucifixion in the arts
      Crucifixion in the arts
      Crucifixion and crucifixes have appeared in the arts and popular culture from before the era of the pagan Roman Empire. The crucifixion of Jesus has been depicted in religious art since the 4th century CE...

    • God the Father in Western art
      God the Father in Western art
      For about a thousand years, in obedience to interpretations of specific Bible passages, pictorial representations of God the Father in Western art had been avoided by Christian painters. At first only the Hand of God, often emerging from a cloud, was portrayed...

    • Holy Spirit in Christian art
      Holy Spirit in Christian art
      The Holy Spirit has been represented in Christian art both in the Eastern and Western Churches using a variety of depictions.The depictions have ranged from nearly identical figures that represent the three persons of the Holy Trinity to a dove to a flame.The Holy Spirit is often depicted as a...

    • Iconography
      Iconography
      Iconography is the branch of art history which studies the identification, description, and the interpretation of the content of images. The word iconography literally means "image writing", and comes from the Greek "image" and "to write". A secondary meaning is the painting of icons in the...

    • Illuminated manuscript
      Illuminated manuscript
      An illuminated manuscript is a manuscript in which the text is supplemented by the addition of decoration, such as decorated initials, borders and miniature illustrations...

    • Islamic art
      Islamic art
      Islamic art encompasses the visual arts produced from the 7th century onwards by people who lived within the territory that was inhabited by or ruled by culturally Islamic populations...

    • Islamic influences on Christian art
      Islamic influences on Christian art
      Islamic influences on Christian art refers to the influence of Islamic art, the artistic production in the Islamic world from the 7th to the 19th century, on Christian art. During this period, the frontier between Christendom and the Islamic world varied a lot resulting in some case in exchanges of...

    • Resurrection of Jesus in Christian art
      Resurrection of Jesus in Christian art
      The Resurrection of Jesus has long been central to Christian faith and Christian art, whether as a single scene or as part of a cycle of the Life of Christ. In the teachings of the traditional Christian churches, the sacraments derive their saving power from the passion and resurrection of Christ,...

    • Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy
    • Theological aesthetics

    External links

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