The stories of Christianity and painting have been intertwined since at least the Middle Ages. The painters of the early, high and late Renaissance in Italy, Spain and northern Europe learned their art and craft while working in the service of both the Church and devout patrons, producing depictions of scenes from the Bible and the lives of the saints for the benefit and instruction of clergy and worshippers alike.
This book follows a course through the Christian year—from Advent and the Christmas season, through Holy Week and Easter and the periods of Ordinary Time—to present 30 works celebrating the key events and festivals of the liturgical calendar by some of the best-known names from art history. Velázquez, Piero della Francesca, Rembrandt, Raphael, Giotto, Titian and Caravaggio are just some of the many celebrated artists included in the book with their representations of feasts such as the Immaculate Conception, the Annunciation, the Nativity, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection, Pentecost and All Saints.
Historian John S. Dixon guides the reader by offering detailed analysis of the formal qualities and symbolism of each painting, while outlining the biblical stories that inspired their creation and explaining their religious and art historical significance. Full illustrations and close-up details of the featured works are accompanied by comparative illustrations of paintings and sculptures of the subjects by other masters. This beautiful book will enable all lovers of painting, both Christian and non-Christian, to expand their appreciation of these magnificent works of art.