Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Because we love God we're going to buy lots of shiny things. Obviously.

In my(very humble, I'm no critic) opinion, the roof of the Cistene Chapel is one of the most beautiful pieces of art ever created. It's attention to detail and just general beauty, not to mention (although I clearly am about to) Michelangelo's incredible eye for detail on such a large scale make it simply breathtaking. Seriously, I think it's absolutely gorgeous, and I'm not just saying that out of sympathy for its creator's permanently crooked neck as a result of his efforts! Then we have the works of Da Vinci; his phenomenal statues and depictions of important Christian events which million from around the world have flocked to see.

What's brought on this random outburst of artistic appreciation I hear you cry. Well, I know next to nothing about the technical side of art and when it comes to attacking the paper myself, I think 'attack' is really the only word for it-so many ruined paintbrushes! Despite this, I do like a good art gallery and don't mind a gander at the odd statue. When it comes to art of the religious nature, most people know that a good Catholic church is usually guaranteed to be practically over-flowing with it and, I grew up with strolling around these being the main event of family holidays...

I've already shown I'm a Renaissance fan, but, they often the same awkward problem as the gawdy, completely over the top churches. Not familiar with such visual horror? Just think of a statue of Jesus. Then make it gold. Then add some silver. Then put him on an alter piled high with gold and silver, maybe a few, slightly smaller depiction of a pierced heart and shove in a couple of Mary's and a few baskets of obscenely bright flowers. Voila, you have the small alter, or maybe just a side display. If you're lucky you might have a relic too, also shrouded in gold and normally a bit of ear, or toe or something. Now, this isn't applicable for all Catholic cathedrals and churches by any means, you'll get a couple maximum in most notable European cities, well, the Catholic ones anyway. But there's still a lot of them, with a lot of gold (and silver, and jewels and craftsmanship).  

I can see why you'd do that. It's no year nine art project for sure, a heck of a lot of effort has gone into that. So that's a lot of thinking about God whilst you're drawing about how fantastic He is, you're dedicating your wealth and time to honoring him. But I could pretty confidently bet that outside such an impressive Cathedral you will usually find at least three homeless people begging, and if you can't, they've usually been shooed away and will be sleeping on those steps later on. Uhm, guys, what about love your neighbour?

So maybe, let's go easy on the silver and the gold and the general shininess (not just for the sake of my eyes) and maybe, turn it into actual money and actually help people?


  1. isn't this the whole basis of anglicanism?

  2. part of it, a lot of it is down to latin services and general politics at the time. It's a huge web, personally I don't really agree with some of their beliefs