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Category Archive for 'Sacred Art'

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From “Visiting the Sick,” a tutorial by Ariel Scheib:
Visiting the sick  bikur holim) is considered an act of loving kindness (gemilut hasadim). The concept of bikur holim is first introduced in the Bible when God visits Abraham while he is recovering from circumcision (Genesis 18:1). It is from this instant on that Jews are required to [...]

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Joseph’s Magnificat

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The Cherry Tree Carol is a seasonal jewel. It dates back to the cycle of mystery plays performed in Coventry during the Feast of Corpus Christi, around the year 1400. History has brought to life various renditions of it, all of them indebted to the vagaries of memory, an era’s substitution of newer phrasings for [...]

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Half a Cloak

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Today is Veterans Day. It is also the feast day of St. Martin of Tours, patron of soldiers.
Martin is my patron saint as well. Back in second grade, when we were asked to pick a saint’s name for Confirmation, I chose Martin. There followed a brief flurry of canonical concern. Was it suitable for a [...]

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ShareI poured the wine into the chalice our church had given me. In the one-sixth gravity of the moon the wine curled slowly and gracefully up the side of the cup. It was interesting to think that the very first liquid ever poured on the moon, and the first food eaten there, were communion elements.

—Astronaut [...]

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Ad Gustum

ShareSpeaking of angels, there is this rendering of St. Michael from the gifted Daniel Mitsui :

Mitsui promises a new St. Michael, again as a samurai, later in the year. Below is St. Raphael, carrying his attributes, a staff—bamboo, this time—and a fish. Most likely a carp. (In Japanese culture the carp is a symbol of resolve, [...]

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ShareLast week’s joint dedication of Vatican City by Popes Francis and Benedict to Michael the Archangel, our defender in endless battle, brought angels to mind. While they are an integral part of our cultural history—some would say mythology—they have little purchase on contemporary Christian life, theology or spirituality. Once liturgical prayer to St. Michael was [...]

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ShareThis time last year, Studio Matters went on retreat. It withdrew in anticipation of a long, difficult year. The new one promises to be no easier. Still, retreats are meant as preludes to renewal, not abdication. I was reminded of this by a note that came from a lovely and thoughtful artist in Arkansas. She [...]

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ShareEACH CHRISTMAS MORNING I wake up relieved that the struggle against “Happy Holidays” is over for another year. Holidays are holy days, after all. When Hanukkah and Christmas arrive so close together as they do this year, I wonder if it would be possible to announce “Happy Holy Days!” into the secular void.  The wondering [...]

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ShareART HISTORIANS ARE NOT NECESSARILY the best commentators on art. They are primarily researchers: archival sleuths, inquirers, unearthers of fact. Gumshoes, the best of them.  Some can write, many cannot. The discipline draws bookish sorts who are more at home in a library carrel, reading up on the words of some other member of the [...]

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ShareHASAN NIYAZI, impressario of Three Pipe Problem, had included a list of readings that informed his essay in the previous post, Navigating the Cognitive Philosophy of Michael Fried. I omitted the roster simply to conform more closely to the format of Studio Matters. The audience for this blog are, in the main, other working artists, [...]

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