Don’t Forget to Look Up

These are the most breathtaking Church ceilings in the world – and we almost missed them:

Sometimes you find the real treasures when looking at things from a different perspective. While plenty of churches have beautiful stained glass windows, fascinating gargoyles, and stunning works of art to distract your eye, simply raising your gaze heavenward can provide the most stunning view of all. The crick in your neck will be totally worth it.

Sainte-Chapelle, Paris, France:

Heaven by Maerten Prins on 500px

Church of the Saviour of Spilled Blood, Saint Petersburg, Russia:

Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood II by Jorge Rojas on 500px

Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem:

Roof of Light by Batel Ninyo on 500px

More here.




Church Fresco Depicts Tito, Marx and Engels in Hell

The Church is in Montenegro:

Fresco from church in Podgorica, Montenegro

A church in Montenegro has sparked controversy by displaying a fresco depicting Yugoslav communist leader Josip Broz Tito in the fires of hell with Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

The newly built Church of Resurrection in the capital Podgorica has already drawn criticism for its lavish design.

Critics now say the church should not be interfering in politics.

Works by philosophers Marx and Engels were required reading when Montenegro was part of communist Yugoslavia.

One church leader, named only as Dragan, told the Agence France-Presse news agency that Marx, Engels and Tito “personify communist evil in the Balkans” and the artist should be “allowed the freedom to see things as he wishes”…

The Church of Resurrection in Podgorica

I don’t see any mention of the Churchmen who are being swallowed by the Behemoth.



Faces of Death

Lapham’s Quarterly:

…  Christian art adopted the iconography of the rich pantheon of Greek daemons, and we can see echoes of Thanatos in paintings with religious subject matter. Evelyn de Morgan’s 1890 oil on canvas, The Angel of Death, merges Biblical subject matter with an Arcadian landscape and neoclassical figures. The scythe and long cloak signal the angel’s status as an agent of death, but the dappled light on the folds of his robe and the feathers of his wings, the gentle touch of his hand, and his serene facial expression all identify him as a benefactor of divine grace rather than a merciless reaper. Christianity’s promise to the believer of a blessed afterlife strips death of its macabre quality, and this is reflected in de Morgan’s rendering.


Evelyn de Morgan, The Angel of Death, c. 1890. (Wikimedia Commons)

More on the history of the depiction of death here.


Art World Fearing the Worst

Ignorant peasant or not, this simply reprehensible!

Paris — To Olga Dogaru, a lifelong resident of the tiny Romanian village of Carcaliu, the strangely beautiful artworks her son had brought home in a suitcase four months earlier had become a curse.

No matter, she said, that the works — seven in all — were signed by Picasso, Matisse, Monet, Gauguin, Lucian Freud and Meyer de Haan. Her son had just been arrested on suspicion of orchestrating the art robbery of the century: stealing masterpieces in a brazen October-night theft from the Kunsthal museum in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

But if the paintings and drawings no longer existed, Radu Dogaru, her son, could be free from prosecution, she reasoned. So Mrs. Dogaru told the police that on a freezing night in February, she placed all seven works — which included Monet’s 1901 “Waterloo Bridge, London”; Gauguin’s 1898 “Girl in Front of Open Window”; and Picasso’s 1971 “Harlequin Head” — in a wood-burning stove used to heat saunas and incinerated them…

Read the rest here.

In total, the works were valued at hundreds of millions of dollars, but for curators and art lovers, their loss would be irreplaceable…

She even threw her plastic sandals in to help ignite the paintings… Such backwardness…



Crucifixion Art No Longer Commands Auction Prices

Paintings and sculptures of what may be the most iconic scene in the history of art — the crucifixion of Jesus — are no longer commanding the auction prices they once did.

While it’s common for individual works to occasionally sell for less than they are worth, consider:

  • In January, a late 14th-century Florentine painting of Jesus on the cross estimated between $80,000 and $120,000 sold at Sotheby’s for $86,500.
  • An Italian Crucifixion from the same period, estimated between $100,000 and $150,000, sold for $110,500 at the same auction.
  • The previous December, Sotheby’s London sold a mid-16th century Netherlandish Crucifixion sculpture estimated at $31,500 to $47,000 for about $27,500.

Even images of Crucifixions by established masters can be purchased on the cheap, said Joaneath Spicer, curator of Renaissance and baroque art at The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore. Spicer hasn’t purchased Crucifixions for the museum in some time.

In part, she said, Christian art has become the victim of its own success.

“If I want more Crucifixion bronzes, there are some in storage that are quite nice,” she said.

But there are other cultural factors that may be contributing to the declining sales prices. One of them may be changing worship styles that rely more on words and music and less on visual images. A bigger one may be an unwillingness to openly and publicly display one’s religious commitments…

The Huffington Post has the rest.