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Art for Soul's Sake

DC denizens have just through Monday to take in The Sacred Made Real, an exhibit of paintings and sculpture from the Spanish Counter Reformation.  Wheat&Weeds excerpts Mary Eberstadt's review of the reaction to it.  I've been to the small exhibit twice--and here I thought of Zubaran as a skillful painter of lemons.

Can't make it there?  Then try this W&W-recommended virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel instead.  (Be sure to play with the controls in the lower left hand corner.)  I still like to brag about my Charlton Heston-autographed print of the ceiling.

Categories > Religion

Discussions - 3 Comments

The Sistine Chapel virtual tour is fantastic!

But I must protest -- Michelangelo's portrayal is inherently racist! :-)

I've experienced two things in my life that exceeded even my built-up expectations. One natural, the other man-made: the Grand Canyon, and St. Peter's in Rome, including the Sistine.

At the rim of the Grand Canyon I was struck not only by the scale -- it large, me small -- but also by the very hushed tones of all around me. There was no obvious reason for a reverent posture, yet everyone seemed inclined to participate.

There are many man-made things that are large in scale, some larger even than St. Peter's. But there is a quality of St. Peter's that exceeds anything I've ever seen.

I know enough about the history of that time to know that many of the popes and cardinals were motivated by things other than glorifying God. Yet St. Peter's (and the Sistine) are like flowers growing in an ugly vacant lot -- God's glory expressed in spite of the man's desire to glorify himself.


Yes, the Grand Canyon evokes a kind of natural religion in the observer. Niagara has a similar effect, not as powerful though. I can't think of another structure that has the power of St. Peter's. St. Sophia might have, before it was turned into a museum.

That is just beautiful. If I were there, I could wish to "zoom" myself just like that.


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