Saturday, July 31, 2010

Artistic depictions of biblical events

For the moment, put aside the Second Commandment, and contemplate this with me:


Last week, I spent a day at The Getty taking in impressive paintings, photographs, sculptures, and architecture (as well as the gorgeous vistas of Los Angeles). What struck me was how much of the artwork was depictions of religious figures (saints, apostles, Mary and Jesus), or biblical stories. I have long enjoyed this artwork (especially the Dutch school), but I didn't realize an important feature until now.

These artists placed the biblical figures in artist's contemporary times. Contemporary architecture and dress especially.

I'm wondering why artists haven't kept up on this. The modern depictions retain the Renaissance-era chronological placement.

Some artists try to be more accurate to the actual times of the figures, but I haven't seen many who place the figures squarely in our modern times, with modern backdrops, and modern dress.

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