In this richly illustrated volume the author argues that because much of Western art depicts key events, leaders, and practices in the history of the Christian Church, knowledge of that history is critical to an appreciation of many of our great masterpieces.
The book begins by analyzing artistic representations of liturgical objects, including altars, crosses, and censers, and follows with an examination of the duties and vestments of the variety of clerics, ranging from minor clerks to the pope. Both the rituals of the monastic life and worshippers' devotional practices are well documented in paintings depicting prayer, communal meals, funeral rites, religious processions, and cult practices.
The author next turns to artworks that capture important episodes from the Church's history, including crusades and pilgrimages, the Inquisition and the Reformation, and power struggles between popes and secular rulers, before ending with an analysis of the lives and portraits of the notable leaders who contributed to this fascinating history, from Peter and Paul to Thomas More to Pope Paul VI.
An art historian specializing in iconography, Rosa Giorgi is the author of Saints in Art(Getty Publications, 2003), Angels and Demons in Art (Getty Publications, 2005), and European Art of the Seventeenth Century (Getty Publications, 2008).
"A well-produced guide to Christian art."
—International Review of Biblical Studies
5 1/4 x 7 3/4 inches
400 color illustrations
Imprint: J. Paul Getty Museum
Series: A Guide to Imagery