Being created in the image of God, with both soul and body, we human beings NEED art. Certainly I need art, and this Lent I have discovered two amazing artists whose works are like spiritual vitamins to my soul! They were both Frenchmen, and Catholic. From very different periods, using different media, and totally different styles in their works, these artists lead us to awe and amazement, gratitude and glorification of God as we view their work. Hopefully the images below will nourish your soul today, too!
Maître de Chaource
This anonymous sculptor worked in medieval France during the late 1300’s and early 1400’s. The photo of the sculptures here has to be seen larger to be believed. (On Holy Saturday I will be praying with this image–thanks Wikipedia!)
What realism! What emotion! What love for God this sculptor must have had. May God grant the Church many more such talented artists.
Speaking of realism, one of the great 19th century masters of art in this style was Bougeureau, who painted so many more paintings than just Innocence, which is ubiquitously sold in Catholic gift catalogs. Here is one for meditating on during the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary:
And I here is another:
It is astounding to me what humans are capable of creating. Truly, making beautiful things is a way we model God! And appreciating beautiful things leads us to Him, especially when they speak of Him the way these pieces do.
I hope you want to investigate the marvelous works of these incredible artists further! Doing a simple internet search will uncover more treasures for you. Enjoy!