Chapter

Catholic Themes in Art and Music

Charles Scribner III

in Teaching the Tradition

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199795307
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932894 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199795307.003.0014
Catholic Themes in Art and Music

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God made things perfectly, and Michelangelo presented them in idealized form in his sculpture and painting. The anguish Michelangelo suffered to create beautiful things spurred him on to create an enormous number of beautiful shapes. His paintings of creation are mirrored in music in Haydn's grand oratorio The Creation, the writing of which was a deeply religious experience for Haydn. The early Church gradually chose “lovely” art and music as preferred ways to portray Christian belief. Church architecture found new ways to proclaim Christ as King and illustrate both his life and life with him in heaven. Caravaggio launched the age of the Baroque in Rome with his bold and brutal naturalism, portraying figures the way he saw them. In his paintings he provided wonderful, novel psychological interpretations of biblical accounts. Rubens also showed exquisite sensitivity to biblical accounts of the birth, passion, and resurrection of Christ. Bernini combined art, architecture, and sculpture in many of his works to create a beautiful whole, and he was always careful to credit God for his inspirations. His Ecstasy of St. Teresa is a beautiful interpretation in marble of a sublime experience. Mozart and Verdi were great composers of religious music.

Keywords: Michelangelo; Romanesque; Gothic; Haydn; Handel; Caravaggio; Rubens; Bernini; Verdi; Mozart

Chapter.  14068 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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