- 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
Roman Catholic Church. This includes sculpture, painting, mosaics, metalwork, embroidery and even architecture. Catholic art has played a leading role in the history and development of Western Art since at least the fourth century. The principal subject matter of Catholic Art has been the life and times of JesusChrist, along with those of his disciples, the saints, and the events of the Jewish Old Testament.
Christian art is nearly as old as Christianity itself. The oldest Christian sculptures are from Roman
sarcophagi, dating to the beginning of the 2nd century. As a persecuted sect, however, the earliest Christian images were arcane and meant to be intelligible only to the initiated. Early Christian symbols include the dove, the fish, the lamb, the cross, symbolic representation of the Four Evangelistsas beasts, and the Good Shepherd. Early Christians also adapted Roman decorative motifs like the peacock, grapevines, and the good shepherd. It is in the Catacombs of Romethat recognizable representations of Christian figures first appear in number. The recently-excavated Dura-Europoshouse church on the borders of Syria dates from around 265 holds many images from the persecution period. The surviving frescoes of the baptistryroom are among the most ancient Christian paintings. We can see the "Good Shepherd", the "Healing of the paralytic" and "Christ and Peter walking on the water". A much larger fresco depicts the two Marys visiting Christ's tomb. . [Jean Lassus. "Landmarks of Western Art". Ed. B Myers, T Copplestone. (Hamlyn Publishing, 1965, 1985) p.187.]
In the 4th century, the
Edict of Milan, issued by the emperors Constantine Iand Liciniusin 313, allowed for public Christian worship, and led to the development of a monumental, Christian art. Christians were able to build larger and more handsome edifices for worship than the furtive meeting places they had been using. Architectural formulas for temples were unsuitable because pagan sacrifices occurred outdoors in the sight of the gods, with the temple, housing the cult figures and the treasury, as a backdrop. The Christian model for large churches was the familiar conventional architecture of the basilicas, the Roman public building used for justice and administration. These had a center navewith one or more aisles at each side and a rounded apseat one end: on this raised platform sat the bishop and priests. Richer materials could now be used for art, such as the mosaicsthat decorate Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome and the 5th century basilicas of Ravenna, where narrative sequences begin to develop. Much Christian art borrowed from Imperial imagery, including Christ in Majesty, and the use of the halo. Late AntiqueChristian art replaced classical Hellenistic naturalism with a more abstract aesthetic. The primary purpose of this new style was to convey religious meaning rather than accurately render objects and people. Realistic perspective, proportions, light and colour were ignored in favor of geometric simplification, reverse perspective and standardized conventions to portray individuals and events. Icons of Christ, Mary and the saints, ivory carving, [W.F. Volbach, "Elfenbeinarbeiten der Spätantike und des frühen Mittelalters" (Mainz, 1976).] and illuminated manuscripts became important media - even more important in terms of modern understanding, as nearly all of the few surviving works, other than buildings, from the period consist of these portable objects.
Byzantine and Orthodox art
The dedication of
Constantinopleas capital in 330created a great new Christian artistic centre for the Eastern Roman Empire, which soon became a separate political unit. Major Constantinopolitan churches built under Constantine and his son, Constantius II, included the original foundations of Hagia Sophiaand the Church of the Holy Apostles. [T. Mathews, "The early churches of Constantinople: architecture and liturgy" (University Park, 1971); N. Henck, "Constantius ho Philoktistes?," "Dumbarton Oaks Papers" 55 (2001), 279-304 ( [http://www.doaks.org/DOP55/DP55ch14.pdf available online] ).] As the Western Roman Empiredisintegrated and was taken over by "barbarian" peoples, the art of the Byzantine Empire reached levels of sophistication, power and artistry not previously seen in Christian art, which set the standards for those parts of the West still in touch with Constantinople.
This achievement was checked by the controversy over the use of "graven images", and the proper interpretation of the Second Commandment, which led to the crisis of Iconoclasm or destruction of religious images, which racked the Empire between 726 and 843. The restoration of Orthodoxy resulted in a strict standardization of religious imagery within the Eastern Church. Byzantine art became increasingly conservative, as the form of images themselves, many accorded divine origin, or thought to have been be painted by
Saint Lukeor other figures, was held to have a status not far off that of a scriptural text. They could be copied, but not improved upon. As a concession to Iconoclastsentiment, monumental religious sculpture was effectively banned. Neither of these attitudes were held in Western Europe, but Byzantine art nonetheless had great influence there until the High Middle Ages, and remained very popular long after that, with vast numbers of icons of the Cretan Schoolbeing exported to Europe as late as the Renaissance. Where possible, Byzantine artists were borrowed for projects such as mosaics in Veniceand Palermo, and the enigmatic frescoes at Castelsepriomay be an example of work by a Greek artist working in Italy.
The art of
Eastern Catholicismhas always been rather closer to the Orthodox art of Greece and Russia, and in countries near the Orthodox world, notably Poland, Catholic art has many Orthodox influences. The Black Madonna of Częstochowamay well have been of Byzantine origin - it has been repainted and this is hard to tell. Other images that are certainly of Greek origin, like the Salus Populi Romaniand Our Lady of Perpetual Help, both icons in Rome, have been the subject of specific veneration for centuries.
Although the influence has often been resisted, especially in Russia, Catholic art has also affected Orthodox depictions in many respects, especially in countries like
Romania, and in the post-Byzantine Cretan School, which led Greek Orthodoxart under Venetian rule in the 15th and 16th centuries. El Grecoleft Crete when relatively young, but Michael Damaskinosreturned after a brief period in Venice, and was able to switch between Italian and Greek styles. Even the traditionalist Theophanes the Cretan, working mainly on Mount Athos, nevertheless shows unmistakable Western influence.
Early Middle Ages
While the Western Roman Empire's political structure collapsed after the fall of
Rome, the Church continued to fund art where it could. The most numerous surviving works of the early period are illuminated manuscripts, at this date all presumably created by the clergy, often including abbots and other senior figures. The monastic hybrid between "barbarian" decorative styles and the book in the Insular artof the British Islesfrom the 7th century was to be enormously influential in European art for the rest of the Middle Ages, providing an alternative path to classicism, transmitted to the continent by the Hiberno-Scottish mission. At this period the Gospel book, with figurative art confined mostly to Evangelist portraits, was usually the type of book most lavishly decorated; the Book of Kellsis the most famous example.
The 9th century Emperor
Charlemagneset out to create works of art appropriate to the status of his revived Empire. Carolingian and Ottonian artwas largely confined to the circle of the Imperial court and different monastic centres, each of which had its own distinct artistic style. Carolingian artists consciously tried to emulate such examples of Byzantine and Late Antique art as were available to them, copying manuscripts like the Chronography of 354and producing works like the Utrecht Psalter, which still divides art historians as to whether it is a copy of a much earlier manuscript, or an original Carolingian creation. This in turn was copied three times in England, lastly in an Early Gothic style. Ivory carvings, often for book covers, drew on the diptychs of Late Antiquity. For example the front and back covers of the Lorsch Gospelsare of a 6th century Imperial triumph, adapted to the triumph of Christ and the Virgin. However they also drew on the Insular tradition, especially for decorative detail, whilst greatly improving on that in terms of the depiction of the human figure. Copies of the scriptures or liturgical books illustrated on vellumand adorned with precious metals were produced in abbeys and nunneries across Western Europe. A work like the Stockholm "codex aureus" might be written in gold leaf on purple vellum, in imitation of Roman and Byzantine Imperial manuscripts. [Michelle P Brown. "How Christianity came to Britain and Ireland". (Lion Hudson, 2006) pp. 176, 177, 191] Anglo-Saxon artwas often freer, making more use of lively line drawings, and there were other distinct traditions, such as the group of extraordinary Mozarabic manuscripts from Spain, including the Saint-Sever Beatus, and those in Girona and the Morgan Library.
Romanesque art, long preceded by the Pre-Romanesque, developed in Western Europe from approximately 1000 AD until the rise of the Gothic style. Church-building was characterized by an increase in height and overall size. Vaulted roofs were supported by thick stone walls, massive pillars and rounded arches. The dark interiors were illumined by frescoes of Jesus, Mary and the saints, often based on Byzantine models.
Carvings in stone adorned the exteriors and interiors, particularly the
tympanumabove the main entrance, which often featured a "Christ in Majesty" or in Judgement, and the large wooden crucifixwas a German innovation right at the start of the period. The capitals of columns were also often elaborately carved with figurative scenes. The ensemble of large and well-preserved churches at Cologne, then the largest city north of the Alps, and Segoviain Spain, are among the best places today to appreciate the impact of the new larger churches on a city landscape, but many individual buildings exist, from Durham, Ely and Tournai Cathedrals to large numbers of individual churches, especially in Southern France and Italy. In more prosperous areas, many Romanesque churches survive covered up by a Baroque makeover, much easier to do with these than a Gothic church.
Few of the large wall-paintings that originally covered most churches have survived in good condition. The
Last Judgementwas normally shown on the western wall, with a Christ in Majestyin the apse semi-dome. Extensive narrative cycles of the "Life of Christ" were developed, and the Bible, with the Psalter, became the typical focus of illumination, with much use of historiated initials. Metalwork, including decoration in enamel, became very sophisticated, and many spectacular shrines made to hold relics have survived, of which the best known is the Shrine of the Three Kings at Cologne Cathedralby Nicholas of Verdunand others (ca 1180-1225).
Gothic artemerged in France in the mid-12th century. The Basilica at Saint-Denis built by Abbot Sugerwas the first major building in the Gothic style. New monastic orders, especially the Cistercians and the Carthusians, were important builders who developed distinctive styles which they disseminated across Europe. The Franciscan friars built functional city churches with huge open naves for preaching to large congregations. However regional variations remained important, even when, by the late 14th century, a coherent universal style known as International Gothichad evolved, which continued until the late 15th century, and beyond in many areas. The principal media of Gothic art were sculpture, panel painting, stained glass, frescoand the illuminated manuscript, though religious imagery was also expressed in metalwork, tapestries and embroidered vestments. The architectural innovations of the pointed arch and the flying buttress, allowed taller, lighter churches with large areas of glazed window. Gothic art made full use of this new environment, telling a narrative story through pictures, sculpture, stained glass and soaring architecture. Chartres cathedralis a prime example of this.
Gothic art was often typological in nature, reflecting a belief that the events of the Old Testament pre-figured those of the New, and that that was indeed their main significance. Old and New Testament scenes were shown side by side in works like the
Speculum Humanae Salvationis, and the decoration of churches. The Gothic period coincided with a great resurgence in Marian devotion, in which the visual arts played a major part. Images of the Virgin Mary developed from the Byzantine hieratic types, through the Coronation of the Virgin, to more human and initimate types, and cycles of the " Life of the Virgin" were very popular. Artists like Giotto, Fra Angelicoand Pietro Lorenzettiin Italy, and Early Netherlandish painting, brought realism and a more natural humanity to art. Western artists, and their patrons, became much more confident in innovative iconography, and much more originality is seen, although copied formulae were still used by most artists. The book of hourswas developed, mainly for the lay user able to afford them - the earliest known example seems to have written for an unknown laywoman living in a small village near Oxfordin about 1240 - and now royal and aristocratic examples became the type of manuscript most often lavishly decorated. Most religious art, including illuminated manuscripts, was now produced by lay artists, but the commissioning patron often specified in detail what the work was to contain. Iconography was affected by changes in theology, with depictions of the Assumption of Marygaining ground on the older Death of the Virgin, and in devotional practices such as the Devotio Moderna, which produced new treatments of Christ in subjects such as the Man of Sorrows, Pensive Christand Pietà, which emphasized his human suffering and vulnerability, in a parallel movement to that in depictions of the Virgin. Even in "Last Judgements" Christ was now usually shown exposing his chest to show the wounds of his Passion. Saints were shown more frequently, and altarpieces showed saints relevant to the particular church or donor in attendance on a Crucifixionor enthroned Virgin and Child, or occupying the central space themselves (this usually for works designed for side-chapels). Over the period many ancient iconographical features that originated in New Testament apocryphawere gradually eliminated under clerical pressure, like the midwives at the Nativity, though others were too well-established, and considered harmless. [Emile Male, The Gothic Image , Religious Art in France of the Thirteen Century, p 165-8, English trans of 3rd edn, 1913, Collins, London (and many other editions) is a classic work on French Gothic church art]
In Early Netherlandish painting, from the richest cities of Northern Europe, a new minute realism in
oil paintingwas combined with subtle and complex theological allusions, expressed precisely through the highly detailed settings of religious scenes. The Mérode Altarpiece(1420s) of Robert Campin, and the Washington Van Eyck Annunciation or Madonna of Chancellor Rolin(both 1430s, by Jan van Eyck) are examples. [Lane, Barbara G,"The Altar and the Altarpiece, Sacramental Themes in Early Netherlandish Painting", Harper & Row, 1984, ISBN 0064301338 analyses all these works in detail. See also the references in the articles on the works.]
In the 15th century, the introduction of cheap prints, mostly in
woodcut, made it possible even for peasants to have devotional images at home. These images, tiny at the bottom of the market, often crudely coloured, were sold in thousands but are now extremely rare, most having been pasted to walls. Souvenirs of pilgrimages to shrines, such as clay or lead badges, medals and ampullaestamped with images were also popular and cheap. From the mid-century blockbooks, with both text and images cut as woodcut, seem to have been affordable by parish priests in the Low Countries, where they were most popular. By the end of the century, printed books with illustrations, still mostly on religious subjects, were rapidly becoming accessible to the prosperous middle class, as were engravings of fairly high-quality by printmakers like Israhel van Meckenemand Master E. S..
For the wealthy, small
panel paintings, even polyptychs in oil paintingwere becoming increasingly popular, often showing donor portraits alongside, though often much smaller than, the Virgin or saints depicted. These were usually displayed in the home.
Renaissance art, heavily influenced by the "rebirth" (French: "renaissance") of interest in the art and culture of classical antiquity, initially continued the trends of the preceding period without fundamental changes, but using classical clothing and architectural settings which were after all very appropriate for New Testament scenes. However a clear loss of religious intensity is apparent in many Early Renaissancereligious paintings - the famous frescoes in the Tornabuoni Chapelby Domenico Ghirlandaio(1485-90) seem more interested in the detailed depiction of scenes of bourgeois city life than their actual subjects, the "Life of the Virgin" and that of John the Baptist, and the Magi Chapelof Benozzo Gozzoli(1459-61) is more a celebration of Medicistatus than an "Arrival of the Magi". Both these examples (which still used contemporary clothes) come from Florence, the heart of the Early Renaissance, and the place where the charismatic Dominican preacher Savonarolalaunched his attack on the worldliness of the life and art of the citizens, culminating in his famous Bonfire of the Vanitiesin 1497; in fact other preachers had been holding similar events for decades, but on a smaller scale. Many Early Renaissanceartists, such as Fra Angelicoand Botticelliwere extremely devout, and the latter was one of many who fell under the influence of Savonarola.
High Renaissance(c. 1490–1520) of Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangeloand Raphaeltransformed Catholic art more fundamentally, breaking with the old iconography that was thoroughly integrated with theological conventions for original compositions that reflected both artistic imperatives, and the influence of Renaissance humanism. Both Michelangelo and Raphael worked almost exclusively for the Papacyfor much of their careers, including the fateful year of 1517, when Martin Lutherwrote his Ninety-Five Theses. The connection between the events was not just chronological, as the indulgences that provoked Luther helped to finance the Papal artistic programme, as many historians have pointed out. The Protestant Reformationwas a holocaust of art in many parts of Europe. Although Lutheranismwas prepared to live with much existing Catholic art so long as it did not become a focus of devotion, the more radical views of Calvin, Zwingliand others saw public religious images of any sort as idolatry, and art was systematically destroyed in areas where their followers held sway, in a process continuing until the mid 17th century, as religious wars brought periods of iconoclast Protestant control over much of the continent. In England and Scotland destruction of religious art, most intense during the English Commonwealth, was especially heavy, with stone sculpture, illuminated manuscripts and stained glass windows (expensive to replace) surviving in some numbers, but of thousands of high quality works of painted and wood-carved art produced in medieval Britain, virtually none survived. [Roy Strong. "Lost Treasures of Britain". (Viking Penguin, 1990) pp.47-65.]
In Rome, the sack of 1527 by the Catholic Emperor Charles V was enormously destructive both of art and artists, many of whose biographical records end abruptly, whilst others escaped to all parts of Italy, often finding difficulty in picking up the thread of their careers. Whilst Italian artists seem to have had little attraction to Protestantism, with the odd exception like
Girolamo da Treviso, in Germany the leading figures: Albrecht Dürerand his pupils, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Albrecht Altdorferand the Danube school, and Hans Holbein the Youngerall followed the Reformers, and the development of German religious painting had come to an abrupt halt by about 1540, although many prints and book illustrations, especially of Old Testament subjects, continued to be produced.
Council of Trent
Italian painting after 1520, with the notable exception of the art of
Venice, developed into Mannerism, a highly sophisticated style, striving for effect, that concerned many churchman as lacking appeal for the mass of the population. Church pressure to restrain religious imagery affected art from the 1530s and resulted in the decrees of the final session of the Council of Trentin 1563 including short and rather inexplicit passages concerning religious images, which were to have great impact on the development of Catholic art. Previous Catholic Church councils had rarely felt the need to pronounce on these matters, unlike Orthodox ones which have often ruled on specific types of images.
The decree confirmed the traditional doctrine that images only represented the person depicted, and that veneration to them was paid to the person themselves, not the image, and further instructed that:
...every superstition shall be removed ... all lasciviousness be avoided; in such wise that figures shall not be painted or adorned with a beauty exciting to lust... there be nothing seen that is disorderly, or that is unbecomingly or confusedly arranged, nothing that is profane, nothing indecorous, seeing that holiness becometh the house of God.
And that these things may be the more faithfully observed, the holy Synod ordains, that no one be allowed to place, or cause to be placed, any unusual image, in any place, or church, howsoever exempted, except that image have been approved of by the bishop ... [ [http://history.hanover.edu/texts/trent/ct25.html Text of the 25th decree of the Council of Trent] ]
Ten years after the decree
Paolo Veronesewas summoned by the Inquisitionto explain why his "Last Supper", a huge canvas for the refectoryof a monastery, contained, in the words of the Inquisition: "buffoons, drunken Germans, dwarfs and other such scurrilities" as well as extravagant costumes and settings, in what is indeed a fantasy version of a Venetian patrician feast. [ [http://www.efn.org/~acd/Veronese.html Transcript of Veronese's testimony] ] Veronese was told that he must change his painting within a three month period - in fact he just changed the title to " The Feast in the House of Levi", still an episode from the Gospels, but a less doctrinally central one, and no more was said. [ David Rostand, "Painting in Sixteenth-Century Venice: Titian, Veronese, Tintoretto", 2nd ed 1997, Cambridge UP ISBN 0521565685] But the number of such decorative treatments of religious subjects declined sharply, as did "unbecomingly or confusedly arranged" Mannerist pieces, as a number of books, notably by the Flemish theologian Molanus, Saint Charles Borromeoand Cardinal Gabriele Paleotti, and instructions by local bishops, amplified the decrees, often going into minute detail on what was acceptable. One of the earliest of these, "Degli Errori dei Pittori" (1564), by the Dominican theologian Andrea Gilio da Fabriano, joined the chorus of criticism of Michelangelo's "Last Judgement" and defended the devout and simple nature of much medieval imagery. But other writers were less sympathetic to medieval art and many traditional iconographies considered without adequate scriptural foundation were in effect prohibited, as was any inclusion of classical pagan elements in religious art, and almost all nudity, including that of the infant Jesus. [Blunt Anthony, "Artistic Theory in Italy, 1450-1660", chapter VIII, especially pp. 107-128, 1940 (refs to 1985 edn), OUP, ISBN0198810504] According to the great medievalist Émile Mâle, this was "the death of medieval art". [ [http://danielmitsui.tripod.com/aaaaa/deathart.html The death of Medieval Art] Extract from book by Émile Mâle]
Baroque art, developing over the decades following the Council of Trent, though the extent to which this was an influence on it is a matter of debate, certainly met most of the Council's requirements, especially in the earlier, simpler phases associated with the
Carracciand Caravaggio, who nonetheless met with clerical opposition over the realism of his sacred figures. Subjects were shown in a direct and dramatic fashion, with relatively few abstruse allusions. Choice of subjects was widened considerably, as Baroque artists delighted in finding new biblical episodes and dramatic moments from the lives of saints. As the movement continued into the 17th century simplicity and realism tended to reduce, more slowly in Spain and France, but the drama remained, produced by the depiction of extreme moments, dramatic movement, colour and chiaroscurolighting, and if necessary hosts of agitated cherubsand swirling clouds, all intended to overwhelm the worshipper. Architecture and sculpture aimed for the same effects; Bernini(1598–1680) epitomises the Baroque style in those arts. Baroque art spread across Catholic Europe and into the overseas missions of Asia and the Americas, promoted by the Jesuitsand Franciscans.
New iconic subjects popularized in the Baroque period included the
Sacred Heartof Jesus, and the Immaculate Conceptionof Mary; the definitive iconography for the latter seems to have been established by the master and then father-in-law of Diego Velázquez, the painter and theorist Francisco Pacheco, to whom the Inquisition in Sevillealso contracted the approval of new images. The Assumption of Marybecame a very common subject, and (despite a Caravaggio of the subject) the Death of the Virginbecame almost extinct in Catholic art; Molanus and others had written against it.
In the 18th Century, secular Baroque developed into the still more flamboyant but lighter
Rococcostyle, which was difficult to adapt to religious themes, although Gianbattista Tiepolowas able to do so. In the later part of the century there was a reaction, especially in architecture, against the Baroque, and a turning back to more austere classical and Palladianforms.
By now the rate of production of religious art was noticeably slowing down. After a spate of building and re-building in the Baroque period, Catholic countries were mostly clearly overstocked with churches, monasteries and convents, in the case of some places such as
Naples, almost absurdly so. The Church was now less important as a patron than royalty and the aristocracy, and the middle class demand for art, mostly secular, was increasing rapidly. Artists could now have a successful career painting portraits, landscapes, still-lifes or other genre specialisms, without ever painting a religious subject - something unusual hitherto unusual in the Catholic countries, though long the norm in Protestant ones. The number of sales of paintings, metalwork and other church fittings to private collectors increased during the century, especially in Italy, where the Grand Tourgave rise to networks of dealers and agents. Leonardo da Vinci's London Virgin of the Rockswas sold to the Scottish artist and dealer Gavin Hamiltonby the church in Milan that it was painted for in about 1781; the version in the Louvrehaving apparently been diverted from the same church three centuries earlier by Leonardo himself, to go to the King of France.
The wars following the
French Revolutionsaw large quantities of the finest art, paintings in particular, carefully selected for appropriation by the French armies or the secular regimes they established. Many were sent to Paris for the Louvre(some to eventually be returned, others not) or local museums established by the French, like the Brerain Milan. Suppression of monasteries, which had been under way for decades under Catholic Enlightened despotsof the Ancien Regime, for example in the Edict on Idle Institutions(1780) of Joseph II of Austria, intensified considerably. By 1830 much of the best Catholic religious art was on public display in museums, as has been the case ever since. This undoubtedly widened access to many works, and promoted public awareness of the heritage of Catholic art, but at a cost, as objects came to regarded as of primarily artistic rather than religious significance, and were seen out of their original context and the setting they were designed for.
19th and 20th centuries
The 19th Century saw a widespread repudiation by both Catholic and Protestant churches of Classicism, which was associated with the
French Revolutionand Enlightenmentsecularism. This led to the Gothic Revival, a return to Gothic-influenced forms in architecture, sculpture and painting, led by people such as Augustus Puginin England and Eugène Viollet-le-Ducin France. Across the world, thousands of Gothic churches and Cathedrals were produced in a new wave of church-building, and the collegiate Gothicstyle became the norm for other church institutions. Medieval Gothic churches, especially in England and France, were restored, often very heavy-handedly. In painting, similar attitudes led to the German Nazarene movementand the English Pre-Raphaelites. Both movements embraced both Catholic and Protestant members, but included some artists who converted to Catholicism. Outside these and similar movements, the mainstream art world produced much less religious painting than at any time since the Roman Empire, though many types of applied art for church fittings in the Gothic style were made. Commercial popular Catholic art flourished, using cheaper techniques for mass-reproduction, especially once this could be done in colour. Much of this continued to used watered-down versions of Baroque styles. The Immaculate Heart of Marywas a new subject of the 19th century, and new apparitions at Lourdesand Fatima, as well as new saints, provided new subjects for art.
Architects began to revive other earlier Christian styles, and experiment with new ones, producing results such as
Sacre Coeurin Paris, Sagrada Familiain Barcelona and the Byzantine influenced Westminster Cathedralin London. The 20th Century led to the adoption of moderniststyles of archtecture and art. This movement rejected traditional forms in favour of utilitarian shapes with a bare minimum of decoration. Such art as there was eschewed naturalism and human qualities, favouring stylised and abstract forms. Examples of modernism include the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedralof Christ the King, and Los Angeles Cathedral.
Common themes of Catholic art:
Life of Jesus:
Nativity of Jesus in art
*Adoration of the Magi
Adoration of the shepherds
Baptism of Jesus
The Last Supper
Arrest of Jesus
The Raising of the Cross
Descent from the Cross
Noli me tangere
Ascension of Jesus
Christ in Majesty
Roman Catholic Marian art
Life of the Virgin
Christ taking leave of his Mother
Death of the Virgin
Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Art
Coronation of the Virgin
Madonna and Child
*The Trinity in Art
Angels in art
Stations of the Cross
Tree of Jesse
Roman Catholic Marian art
Early Renaissance painting
List of illuminated manuscripts
*cite book |title=From Giotto to Cezanne|last=Levey |first=Michael |year=1961 |publisher=Thames and Hudson,|isbn=0-500-20024-6
*cite book |title=early Medieval Art|last=Beckwith |first=John |year=1969 |publisher=Thames and Hudson |isbn=0-500-20019-x
*cite book |title=Art of the Byzantine Era |last=Rice |first=David Talbot |year=1997 |publisher=Thames and Hudson |isbn=0-500-20004-1
*cite book |title=Landmarks of Western Art|last=Myers |first=Bernard |Coauthors= Trewin Copplestone Ed.|year=1965, 1985 |publisher=Hamlyn|isbn=0-600-35840-2
*cite book |title=How Christianity Came to Britain and Ireland|last=Brown|first=Michelle P. |year=2006 |publisher=Lion Hudson,|isbn=0-7459-5153-8
*cite book |title=Lost Treasures of Britain|last=Strong |first=Roy |year=1990 |publisher=Viking Penguin,|isbn=0-670-83383-5
* [http://www.aug.edu/augusta/iconography/index.html Christian Iconography] from Augusta State University.
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