Future Priests of the Third Millennium

A little insight into the life of seminarians from various dioceses preparing for ministry as Roman Catholic priests, including daily activities, personal interests, special events, the spiritual life, news from the seminary, and almost whatever comes to our minds!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Paintings, Sculptures & Architecture

by James Lannan, Theology III
Saint Paul Seminary


This is Part 2 of a Summer 2009 multi-part series on religious art that I enjoy. I made a personal pilgrimage to the Rome in August 2007. My journey to Saint Peter's Basilica and all of the amazing Churches can be summed up in one sentence I continually repeated: "I had no idea...so much beauty and grandeur for the praise and glory of God."

I do not claim to be an authority on art. I like to say that I know what I like, and what I do not like. My hope is that all who read our blog enjoy my choices and learn something new.

note: not all of my choices to blog on will be from Rome. Many will come from all over the world.

Part 3 will post soon.


The Holy Trinity, by Guido Reni is located in the Cathedral Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini (1587)

The church was built between 1587 and 1597, and was designed by Martino Longhi the Elder. It was donated to the Archconfraternity of Pilgrims and Convalescents, a charitable institution founded by St Philip Neri in 1548 to care for the poor and the sick, especially for poor pilgrims.

The painting is by Guido Reni (4 November 1575 – 18 August 1642), a prominent Italian painter of high-Baroque style. He began his apprenticeship as an artist at age 9.

I really like this painting. First, it is placed over an altar. Presumably the priest would offer the Mass "ad orientem," with the priest and the people of God facing the same direction. This painting is a great focal point for the both the priest and the people. I imagine that if I ever attended Mass at this Church, this painting would catch my eye immediately.

Second, I really like the detail of the Father, Christ the Son on the Cross, and the Holy Spirit soaring out over creation.

Thirdly, I like the contrast of the blue below and the gold above. I recall that I once read that the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Angels are often depicted in blue because of purity and virtue. That would make sense with the Archangels there (at least, I think they are Archangels). The gold swirls with clouds of angels behind God, the Father, giving a kind of perspective that the infinite abyss of the heavens.

This painting is awesome.

Thanks for listening...