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Picture in Focus: The Crucifixion III by Rudolph Valentino Bostic

March 26, 2017

Picture in Focus: The Crucifixion III by Rudolph Valentino Bostic

We make a return visit to the studio of Visionary Outsider Artist Rudolph Valentic Bostic in Savannah, Georgia, for this week's new Lenten image of Christ on the Cross from the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection. This mixed media painting on recycled cardboard joins two other studies of the Crucifixion in the image gallery of the more >>

Picture in Focus: Pax of Ariberto Molded Glass Crucifix by Giovanni Reno

March 19, 2017

Picture in Focus: Pax of Ariberto Molded Glass Crucifix by Giovanni Reno

This week's featured Lenten image of Christ on the Cross from the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection has an interesting provenance. It may be a new addition to my collection, but it was actually purchased from an Italian craftsman in the San Polo district of Venice on a trip to Italy I made many years before I became a serious…

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Pictures in Focus: Two Peruvian Arpilleras of the Lord of Miracles Procession by Unknown Artists

March 12, 2017

Pictures in Focus: Two Peruvian Arpilleras of the Lord of Miracles Procession by Unknown Artists

Our Lenten series on new images of Christ on the Cross from the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection takes us this week to Peru, where unknown textile artists have created two arpillera embroidered cloth panels, showing the yearly Procession of the Lord of the Miracles, when hundreds of thousands of pilgrims join together every October to carry a wonder-working Crucifixion…

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Picture in Focus: Crucifixion Scene by Paul-Emile Colin

March 5, 2017

Picture in Focus: Crucifixion Scene by Paul-Emile Colin

French Book Illustrator Paul-Emile Colin created this week's unusual Crucifixion scene, recently added to the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection. The small format wood engraving first appeared in a 1925 edition of the collected works of the French Author and Nobel Laureate Anatole France, accompanying the text of his utopian novel, Sur la pierre blanche (On the White Stone). In…

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Picture in Focus: Crucifixion with Spear and Sponge by Bohuslav Reynek

February 26, 2017

Picture in Focus: Crucifixion with Spear and Sponge by Bohuslav Reynek

Ash Wednesday falls this year on March 1. In the weeks leading up to Easter, I will be featuring new images of Christ on the Cross from the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection by international artists in a variety of media. My first selection in this Lenten art series is a small format drypoint by Czech Artist and Poet Bohuslav…

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Pictures in Focus: Three Images of the Return of the Prodigal Son by Michael Vargas

February 22, 2017

Pictures in Focus: Three Images of the Return of the Prodigal Son by Michael Vargas

We travel from Santa Fe to Taos, New Mexico, for the last new works I have to display that were commissioned for the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection on the theme of The Return of the Prodigal Son. Saint-maker Michael Vargas actually came up with three variations on the original Rembrandt painting in different styles and media now on view…

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Picture in Focus: The Return of the Prodigal Son by Marie Romero Cash

February 12, 2017

Picture in Focus: The Return of the Prodigal Son by Marie Romero Cash

New Mexican Saint-maker Marie Romero Cash created this week's new artwork, inspired by Rembrandt's painting of The Return of the Prodigal Son, for the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection. The two figure study in-the-round is carved from wood, covered in a layer of gesso, and painted in water-based pigments in the traditional style of the bulto sculptures of the American…

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Picture in Focus: The Return of the Prodigal Son (After Rembrandt) by Carl Dixon

February 5, 2017

Picture in Focus: The Return of the Prodigal Son (After Rembrandt) by Carl Dixon

As a collector of contemporary sacred art, I not only purchase finished works but also commission new pieces directly from artists to encourage them to explore religious themes. In the weeks leading up to the Lenten season, I will be featuring five such pieces in the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection by three artists who took on the challenge of…

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Artists in Profile: Puerto Rican Serigraphs

January 29, 2017

Artists in Profile: Puerto Rican Serigraphs

My post-Epiphany survey of new images of the Magi in the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection comes to an end this week with the addition of a new artistic genre to the Schools of Sacred Art listings where the Three Wise Men are a popular theme: Puerto Rican Serigraphs. The development of this form of print-making on the U.S.-controlled Caribbean…

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Picture in Focus: Color Lithograph of the Adoration of the Magi by Karel Oberthor

January 22, 2017

Picture in Focus: Color Lithograph of the Adoration of the Magi by Karel Oberthor

We return to Eastern Europe for this week's new image of the Adoration of the Magi from the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection, a color lithograph from Czech Graphic Artist Karel Oberthor, created as a greeting card for the 1981 holiday season. A gifted cartoonist, Oberthor loved horses and the circus. All this is in evidence in his charming depiction…

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Picture in Focus: Leather Painting of the Three Kings by Unknown Ethiopian Artist

January 15, 2017

Picture in Focus: Leather Painting of the Three Kings by Unknown Ethiopian Artist

This week's visual homage to the Three Kings from the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection is a painting on leather from an unknown Ethiopian artisan. The new image replicates a piece already on view in the gallery of the Ethiopian Icons page in the Schools of Sacred Art section and offers interesting incites on…

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Pictures in Focus: Three Linocuts of the Adoration of the Magi by Ladislav Rusek

January 8, 2017

Pictures in Focus: Three Linocuts of the Adoration of the Magi by Ladislav Rusek

Today is Epiphany Sunday, celebrating the coming of the Three Kings to worship the Christ Child. During the month of January, I will be presenting new works from the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection by international artists in a variety of media depicting this popular theme of sacred art. This week's art offering is a trio of small-sized linocut prints…

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Picture in Focus: The Nativity by Jaroslav Vodrazka

December 25, 2016

Picture in Focus: The Nativity by Jaroslav Vodrazka

                  

                   
                   Merry Christmas
                   Happy New Year

                 The Sacred Art Pilgrim

 

 

                  

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Minimalist Nativity Set by Sebastian Bergne

December 18, 2016

Minimalist Nativity Set by Sebastian Bergne

And now for something completely different in Nativity sets. British Industrial Designer Sebastian Bergne created this week's new manger scene from the Sacred Art Pilgrimage creche collection in a functional, minimalist style. The viewer decides just who is who at the Bethlehem manger in terms of the shape, color and placement of painted beech wood blocks, drawing on what…

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Picture in Focus: Quechua Nativity Retablo by Claudio Jimenez Quispe and Family

December 11, 2016

Picture in Focus: Quechua Nativity Retablo by Claudio Jimenez Quispe and Family

As we continue our global survey of new Nativity sets and scenes in the Sacred Art Pilgrim creche collection, we stop off this week at the workshop of Peruvian Folk Artist Claudio Jimenez Quispe, who handcrafts manger scenes in retablos, wooden boxes with doors that open to reveal story-telling arrangements of figurines. Jimenez Quispe and his family belong to…

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Picture in Focus: Russian Nesting Doll Nativity Set by Alexander Soshin

December 4, 2016

Picture in Focus: Russian Nesting Doll Nativity Set by Alexander Soshin

Russia is famed around the world for its nesting dolls. Not so many people are aware of the fact that in the post-Communist era these dolls within dolls, which traditionally depicted peasant women in fancy folk dress, sometimes display Nativity scenes.  Called Matryoski in their homeland (a variant of the popular peasant name, “Matryona,” with connotations of The Little…

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Picture in Focus: Varanasi Nativity Set by Unknown Indian Artist

November 27, 2016

Picture in Focus: Varanasi Nativity Set by Unknown Indian Artist

Our survey of new Nativity sets in the Sacred Art Pilgrim creche collection takes us this week to Varanasi (also known as Benares) in North India, the holiest of Hinduism’s seven sacred cities. Local artisans hand craft Christian Nativity scenes in the same style as  the brightly-colored wooden toy figures of Hindu gods and goddesses, birds, and animals, purchased…

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Picture in Focus: Thai Nativity Set by Duangkamol Srisukri

November 20, 2016

Picture in Focus: Thai Nativity Set by Duangkamol Srisukri

Thai Potter Duangkamol Srisukri created this week's new Nativity set from the Sacred Art Pilgrim creche collection in traditional Celadon (green stone) ceramic ware. These high-temperature glazed pieces are much valued for their resemblance to jade and are made following a technique brought to Thailand from China in the 13th century. Srisukri has given the conventional line-up of Nativity…

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Picture in Focus: Australian Aboriginal Nativity Bark Painting

November 13, 2016

Picture in Focus: Australian Aboriginal Nativity Bark Painting

My new art offering this week from the Sacred Art Pilgrim creche collection is an unusual cross-cultural Nativity scene on tree bark by an unknown Aboriginal artist from the Djinang people of Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory of Australia.  Painted in natural ochre earth pigments on the inner surface of a Stringybark Eucalyptus tree panel, the Holy Family…

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Pictures in Focus: Seven Nativity Sets from Around the World

November 6, 2016

Pictures in Focus: Seven Nativity Sets from Around the World

The Season of Advent begins this month. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, I will be featuring a new genre of religious art object from the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection, highly prized by collectors, whether they have any interest or not in "fine" or "sacred" art: Nativity sets and scenes. You can…

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Artist in Profile: Barry Moser

October 30, 2016

Artist in Profile: Barry Moser

My series on new American prints and printmakers in the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection comes to an end this week with the addition to the Sacred Artists section of a profile of Barry Moser. One of the most prolific practioners of the art of wood engraving around today, the Massachusetts-based artist has illustrated…

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Artist in Profile: Robert O. Hodgell (1922-2000)

October 23, 2016

Artist in Profile: Robert O. Hodgell (1922-2000)

Robert O. Hodgell is this week's featured American Printmaker, the subject of a new profile in the Sacred Artists section. The son of a Methodist minister, he heard enough sermons growing up in Kansas to view the institutional church as an adult with a jaundiced eye, but his abiding fascination with the foundational…

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Artist in Profile: Letterio Calapai (1902-1993)

October 16, 2016

Artist in Profile: Letterio Calapai (1902-1993)

My survey of new American prints in the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection is coming to an end this month with the addition of three new profiles of American printmakers to the Sacred Artists section. This week's featured artist could justifiably be called the American printmakers' printmaker. Boston-born Letterio Calapai not only made prints, he also taught the graphic arts,…

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Picture in Focus: The Apple by Helen Siegl

October 9, 2016

Picture in Focus: The Apple by Helen Siegl

My featured American print this week from the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection is a color woodcut by Helen Siegl, an Austrian-born graphic artist who spent most of her life in the U.S. Biblical themes feature prominently in her work. Siegl considered her art-making as a form of Christian service, making her prints readily available for reproduction in church bulletins.…

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Picture in Focus: Francis of Assisi Monotype by Michael Vargas

October 2, 2016

Picture in Focus: Francis of Assisi Monotype by Michael Vargas

Western Christians will be commemorating the 790th anniversary of the death of St. Francis of Assisi on his feast day on October 4th. My featured American print this week from the Sacred Art Pilgrim collection is a monotype of Francis reflecting on his mortality by New Mexican Saint-Maker Michael Vargas. This most popular of saints is usually depicted communing…

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Picture in Focus: Annunciation by Tyrus Clutter

September 25, 2016

Picture in Focus: Annunciation by Tyrus Clutter

The church honors the Hosts of Heaven this month at the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels on September 29.  In my continuing series on new American prints in the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection, I'm featuring an angelic image this week by Florida-based Graphic Artist Tyson Clutter, pressed from an inked plastic plate.  The kneeling posture of the…

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Picture in Focus: Sacred Heart by Sister Mary Corita Kent

September 18, 2016

Picture in Focus: Sacred Heart by Sister Mary Corita Kent

This week's new American print from the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection by Sister Mary Corita Kent dates from 1969, a turbulent time in the life of the artist nun, who had gone on a "permanent sabbatical" the previous year from the Order of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Los Angeles to make art in Boston as Corita Kent.…

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Picture in Focus: "Rise and Walk" by John Mosiman

September 11, 2016

Picture in Focus:

Illinois Artist John Mosiman was a master of a special genre of performance art well known in Fundamentalist Protestant circles in the 1950s--sermons in chalk drawings. He replicated the bold colors and simple forms of the quick sketches on Bible stories he made at public appearances in churches in small format serigraphs, reprinting the figures in silhouette on backgrounds…

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Picture in Focus: The Good Samaritan by Edward Knippers

September 4, 2016

Picture in Focus: The Good Samaritan by Edward Knippers

Virginia-based Artist Edward Knippers is best known for his oil on panel paintings of biblical figures in the nude, demonstrating his belief that since God took on flesh in the person of Jesus Christ, sacred art should glorify and celebrate the human body. Knippers is also an accomplished graphic artist and created this week's featured American print from the…

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Picture in Focus: Right in the Palm of God's Hand by Ruth Starr Rose

August 28, 2016

Picture in Focus: Right in the Palm of God's Hand by Ruth Starr Rose

The graphic works of this week's featured American printmaker have not fared so well in a time of controversy over "cultural appropriation," but Maryland-born artist, Ruth Starr Rose, genuinely sought to promote racial equality and cross-community understanding in the lithographs and serigraphs she created illustrating African-American sacred songs in the era before the Civil Rights Movement. My latest addition…

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Picture in Focus: The Possessed by Fritz Eichenberg

August 21, 2016

Picture in Focus: The Possessed by Fritz Eichenberg

In my continuing series on American graphic artists, the spotlight falls this week on German-American Printmaker Fritz Eichenberg, an accomplished wood engraver who illustrated a library of the world's greatest literature. Eichenberg had a special eye for the rich levels of meaning in the works of the 19th century Russian novelist, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, creating this haunting image (left) in…

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Picture in Focus: Jacob and the Angel by Benton Spruance

August 14, 2016

Picture in Focus: Jacob and the Angel by Benton Spruance

Philadelphia-born Lithographer Benton Spruance was fascinated with angels and depicted them numerous times in his works. This week's featured American print from the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection illustrates one of the most dramatic (and intimate) encounters between the heavenly hosts and humankind, the story of Jacob's nighttime wrestling match with the Angel of God, recorded in Genesis 32:23-32. Spruance…

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Picture in Focus: Procession in Chalma by Jean Charlot

August 7, 2016

Picture in Focus: Procession in Chalma by Jean Charlot

This week's featured printmaker, Jean Charlot, was born in France, painted murals in Mexico, and taught art across the US, before finally making his home in Hawaii.  His sacred art was strongly influenced by Mexican and Polynesian culture, incorporating rounded figures that seem molded from clay or carved in wood.  My latest art offering from Charlot is a richly…

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Picture in Focus: Three Heads by Abraham Rattner

July 31, 2016

Picture in Focus: Three Heads by Abraham Rattner

Printmaker Abraham Rattner was born in the US and had no firsthand experience of the culture of East European Judaism like his contemporary, Ben-Zion, but he also turned to biblical themes in coming to terms with the tragic fate of the Jews in World War II. Beginning in the early 1940s, Rattner followed the path of another great modern…

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Picture in Focus: The Prophet by Ben-Zion

July 24, 2016

Picture in Focus: The Prophet by Ben-Zion

My featured American printmaker this week created powerful images that expressed the anguish of American Jews coming to terms with  the horrors of the Holocaust in the aftermath of World War II. The son of a third-generation cantor in one of the largest synagogues in what is now Eastern Poland, Ben-Zion emigrated to the U.S. in 1920 but his…

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Picture in Focus: People of the Night by Eugene Higgins

July 17, 2016

Picture in Focus: People of the Night by Eugene Higgins

My series on new works of American graphic art in the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection continues this week with a sepia monotype from Social Realist Eugene Higgins, a Missouri-born painter and printmaker known for his keenly-observed scenes of the marginalized in society. A monotype is a single image printed from an ink drawing on a plate. Higgins has used…

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Picture in Focus: Miracle in Cana by Earl Stetson Crawford

July 10, 2016

Picture in Focus: Miracle in Cana by Earl Stetson Crawford

This week's new art offering from the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection by an American printmaker is an image of Christ's first miracle at Cana, recalling the 17th century etchings of Dutch Master Rembrandt. It is the work of Earl Stetson Crawford, a onetime student in the Paris academy of Early Modernist James McNeill Whistler who returned to the U.S.…

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Picture in Focus: Gutenberg by Bernard Brussel-Smith

July 1, 2016

Picture in Focus: Gutenberg by Bernard Brussel-Smith

During the summer months, I will be focusing on the graphic arts in America, presenting new works by American printmakers already in the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection and adding three new artists who are known primarily for their prints to the Sacred Artists listings. To launch the series I have selected a wood engraving by Printmaker and Book Illustrator…

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Picture in Focus: The Good Shepherd by Frances Watt

June 5, 2016

Picture in Focus: The Good Shepherd by Frances Watt

As the summer season approaches, I have a new work from the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection to present this week on a favorite pastoral theme: the Good Shepherd. In this mixed media painting by Scottish-born Artist Frances Watt the compassionate features of the keeper of the flock are those of Christ. A quartet of evening stars suggests a halo…

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Picture in Focus: Amate Paper Color Woodcut of the Virgin of Guadalupe by Unknown Mexican Artist

May 29, 2016

Picture in Focus: Amate Paper Color Woodcut of the Virgin of Guadalupe by Unknown Mexican Artist

On the last Sunday of May, I am ending my series on new artworks of the Virgin Mary from the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection with a Marian image from Mexico that has found favor among Roman Catholics around the globe: the Virgin of Guadalupe. According to tradition, the Virgin appeared to the Aztec peasant, Juan Diego, on December 1531…

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Pictures in Focus: Two Reverse Glass Paintings of Mary the Contemplative by Romanian Artists

May 22, 2016

Pictures in Focus: Two Reverse Glass Paintings of Mary the Contemplative by Romanian Artists

As we make our way through the month of May looking at new images of the Virgin Mary from the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection, I have selected two unusual works this week, showing the Mother of Christ in meditation. As we know from Luke 2:19, following the birth of Christ and the visit of the shepherds, Mary "kept all…

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Picture in Focus: Pentecost Sunday Chromolithograph by Jos Speybrouck

May 15, 2016

Picture in Focus: Pentecost Sunday Chromolithograph by Jos Speybrouck

May 15th is the date of Pentecost Sunday this year, a feast day marking the birthday of the Church, when the Holy Spirit descended in power on the disciples who had gathered in the Upper Room after the Ascension to await the coming of this Advocate and Comforter promised by Christ. It is another important event in the life…

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Picture in Focus: Glazed Tile of the Madonna by Unknown Armenian Artist

May 8, 2016

Picture in Focus: Glazed Tile of the Madonna by Unknown Armenian Artist

This week's new Marian image for the month of May from the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection was made in the Karakashian family ceramics workshop in Jerusalem. The Madonna on this glazed tile conforms to the traditional iconographic prototype of the Virgin Who Shows the Way, where Mary points to the Christ Child on her lap, who holds the scroll…

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Picture in Focus: Christ Ascends to Heaven by an Unknown Ethiopian Artist

May 1, 2016

Picture in Focus: Christ Ascends to Heaven by an Unknown Ethiopian Artist

The Western Church commemorates the Ascension of Christ to Heaven on the fifth of May this year.  May is also the month traditionally dedicated to the Virgin Mary.  As I end my current series of images of the Post-Resurrection appearances of Christ and begin a new one on portraits of Mary from the Sacred Art Pilgrim both themes come…

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Picture in Focus: Jesus' Appearance to the Apostle Thomas by Unknown East European Ex Libris Artist

April 24, 2016

Picture in Focus: Jesus' Appearance to the Apostle Thomas by Unknown East European Ex Libris Artist

As we continue our survey of new images from the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection depicting the Post-Resurrection Christ, we come this week to the story of Doubting Thomas, recorded in the Gospel of John. The Apostle Thomas was not present when the Risen Jesus first appeared to his disciples and said he would only believe in the Resurrection, if…

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Picture in Focus: Jesus' First Appearance to His Disciples by Jos Speybrouck

April 17, 2016

Picture in Focus: Jesus' First Appearance to His Disciples by Jos Speybrouck

This week's new work from the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection depicting the events after Easter shows the Risen Christ's first appearance to his disciples, recorded in Luke 24:36-51. In Belgian Printmaker Jos Speybrouck's dramatic presentation of the scene the disciples fall back in fear and wonder as an eerily illuminated Jesus floats out of a purple void to greet…

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Picture in Focus: Very Early in the Morning by Benton Spruance

April 10, 2016

Picture in Focus: Very Early in the Morning by Benton Spruance

American Printmaker Benton Spruance created this week's new image of the Resurrection from the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection. His color lithograph, Very Early in the Morning, dating from 1955, gives a contemporary spin to the traditional Eastern Orthodox iconographic theme of the Holy Myrrhbearers, who came early on Easter morning to anoint the body of Christ and encountered an…

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Picture in Focus: Sic Transit Miseria Mundi by Frances Watt

April 3, 2016

Picture in Focus: Sic Transit Miseria Mundi by Frances Watt

During the weeks between Easter and Ascension Sunday, I will be presenting new works from the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection, depicting the Resurrection of Christ and his appearances to his disciples. My first offering is a mixed media painting by Scottish Artist Frances Watt, giving this foundational theme of Christian art a decidedly classical look.  The stars are out,…

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Pictures in Focus: Four Ethiopian Parchment Paintings

September 10, 2010

Pictures in Focus: Four Ethiopian Parchment Paintings

Four new scenes from the Life of Christ, painted on parchment, have just been added to the Ethiopian Icons gallery in the Schools of Art section. I don't know the name of the artist who created these beautiful pieces, but they are clearly by a different hand than the other sacred images in my Ethiopian art collection. This folk…

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