Wednesday 1 February 2006

More essential paintings for theologians

Kim Fabricius’ list of Essential Paintings for Theologians was more popular than anything else ever posted at Faith and Theology. His list has been viewed thousands of times, and it generated discussion on many other blogs.

Partly in response to all this discussion, Kim has now added a supplement to his list. So here are ten more essential paintings (and stay tuned soon for a list of Essential Icons as well):

1. Giovanni Cimabue (c.1240-1302): “Crucifix”
2. Fra Angelico (c.1400-55): “Transfiguration”
3. Andrea Mantegna (c.1431-1506): “Dead Christ”
4. El Greco (1541-1614): “Christ's Agony in the Garden”
5. Jan Vermeer (1632-75): “Woman Holding a Balance”
6. Georges Rouault (1871-1958): “Head of Christ”
7. Marc Chagall (1887-1985): “White Crucifixion”
8. Max Ernst (1891-1970): “Virgin Spanking the Christ Child before Three Witnesses”
9. Fritz Eichenberg (1901-1990): “Christ on the Breadline”
10. Roger Wagner (1957- ): “Menorah”


Fred said...

Splendid list!

New Life said...

Just think, the Puritans opted for basketball hoops hanging in the background instead of these masterpieces.

Nice to know folks can love God with their sense and not just their minds.

These are wonderful thank you.

David Williamson said...

Among the living artists painting Christian themes, Irishman Ross Wilson is a very important talent.

Photography said...

superb. nice blog too. thanks and God bless.


U2 Sermons said...

These are two magnificent lists and I'm glad to see both of them; I say that only as a lover of art and not as someone with any formal qualifications in it. That fact about me is also why I can't actually offer help on what I also think would be very important to see, and arguably just as "essential for theologians" if not more: a list of paintings that deal with significant theological themes *without* primarily framing them in terms of Christian iconography and "obviously religious" images. The first thing that leaps to mind for me as a sheer amateur is something like Picasso's "Guernica."

Anonymous said...

Beth -

I could't agree with you more - particularly in your choice of "Guernica" as (if you like) a non-religious religious painting. And the same goes for novels, poetry, music - all the arts.

How interesting that to communicate the kingdom of God Jesus' chosen medium was the parable, stories most of which have no explicit "religious" content at all (farmers, shepherds, landowners, bakers, fishermen, a woman searching for a coin, another pestering a judge, etc.). And when religious characters do appear (e.g. in the Pharisee and the Publican, or the Good Samaritan), it is in critique, not commendation.

Ben Myers said...

Great point, Beth, about Picasso's astonishing and magnificent "Guernica".

The Sanity Inspector said...

Emil Nolde's Last Supper. Nolde was in such a religious transport, he says, that in the marathon session that he did the canvas he was hardly aware if he were painting or praying.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know what the MOST controversial painting in history is?

Anonymous said...

For controversial, check out this poem that I just came across on, which takes as its inspiration not Mantenga's painting "Dead Christ", but the easel on which it was painted:
I was really blown away by the poem and think it is at once one of the most searching and unsettling religious poems that I've ever come across. Does anyone know if there is a term for poems that are based on paintings, or sculptures?

Pastor Sell said...

This is the first I've made it to the site. Thanks for the work. It is great.

What about the work of Tom duBois, a Lutheran artist in Houston TX. For you who know what they are talking about, I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Thanks see

besideourselves said...

On Picasso; as astonishing and magnificent as 'Guernica' is, if the terms were widened but a little I would submit that his prior 'La Minotauromachie' of 1935 offers even more for the theologian.

Ante Jeroncic said...

I would also recommend Sieger Köder's art, which has some resemblance, at times anyway, to Chagall. I find his vibrant and symbolo-laden paintings to be very moving.

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