Christian Art | Mosaic, Sculptures, Paintings { 1801 images } Created 9 Apr 2011

Pictures of Christian religious art and artworks from the great churches, cathedrals and museums of the Christian world. Many of the high points of Western art up until the renaissance and reformation were commission by the Churches of the west and east. The Roman catholic church commissioned the greatest example of medieval art in western Europe and the Byzantine Romans produced the greatest examples of art in eastern Europe, the near east and northern Africa. It is not necessary to be a Christian to enjoy the magnificent Christian artworks that have been produced over the last 2000 years, even though non Christians may not understand the story the art tells. The magnificence of the Byzantine mosaics of the Palatine Chapel in Palermo or the splendour of the Gothic statues of Chartres Cathedral, or the grander of the paintings in the Sistine chapel are obvious to everyone. Christian art defines the politics in western Europe up until the 18th century Enlightenment.
The need for the churches of the west and east to strike awe into its congregations led to spectacular buildings that still stand today decorated with Christian saints and stories from the life of Christ and the tales of the Bible. Moral stories were told to illiterate congregations, who could not read the Bible in Latin let alone in their own languages, in lavish and intricate mosaic panels of great cathedrals or in simple painted frescoes on the inside of remote country churches. At one level Christian art is the story of simple devotion by millions of peasants who contributed to the glorification of God, Jesus and the saints. This can be seen in the folk art that decorated the inside of the wooden churches of Maramures. At another level Christian art is about control of those millions of peasants by a hierarchical church which demanded monumental cathedrals decorated with utmost opulence. The Christian art that both produced can be appreciated in their own way. The simple art of the poor is moving and the bombastic art of the power hungry bombastic churches is a high point of western civilisation. Until the Renaissance Christian art dominated western Europe and very little secular art was commissioned. The wealthy paid for Christian artworks in churches in the hope that their gifts would earn them remission of sins so making an entry into heaven certain. During the Early Modern Era Christian art took the back seat to great secular works of art in which the wealthy and powerful depicted themselves to show off their importance. Download pictures of Christian Art and artefacts or buy Christian art as photo wall art on line
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