The importance of art in conveying the teachings of the Church in the wake of the protestant reformation, cannot be overstated.
Liturgical art, like architecture and music, is a sacramental. It turns our hearts and minds towards God and prepares us to receive the grace of the sacraments. But it also functions somewhat like a sacrament in that it makes visible the invisible.
The artists of the Baroque period, received a rich vocabulary of signs and symbols from the traditions of the Church and used them in their paintings to depict the saints and events that make up salvation history.
Through the Beauty of their work, artists reminded people of the transcendent Truth and Goodness of the Divine, contained in the teachings of the Church.
Carlo Dolci was one of those artists. His work is a near catalog of the types and symbols used by counter-reformation artists of the 17th century. The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University is currently hosting a show of Dolci’s work which runs until January 18, 2018.
Pontifex University is an online university offering a Master’s Degree in Sacred Arts. For more information visit the website at www.pontifex.university
Lawrence Klimecki is a deacon for the diocese of Sacramento as well as a working artist, he writes on art and faith at www.DeaconLawrence.org