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(320 words)

Author(s): Apostolos-Cappadona, Diane
[German Version] from the perspective of art history. Primary avian symbol in the Bible and Christian art. The fundamental significance of the dove is as a symbol for the soul, purification, and the Holy Spirit. In the Hebrew Bible, Noah sent a dove in search of dry land after the Flood. It returned with an olive branch in its beak, evidence that the flood waters had receded. This became the universal sign of peace (Gen 8:11). ¶ The sacrifice of doves was appropriate for the ritual purification of a newborn child according to the …

Vence Chapel

(304 words)

Author(s): Apostolos-Cappadona, Diane
[German Version] (Matisse-Chapel, 1947–1951). As a favorite to Sister Jacques-Marie, his former nurse, the renowned painter, H. Matisse, agreed to advise upon the construction plans for a new chapel. The elderly artist recognized the rare opportunity of a complete environment dedicated to his art. He seized the moment, becoming architectural planner, interior designer, and artist as well as the creator of liturgical objects and vestments. He crafted a space filled with mystical light and joyful co…

Uhde, Fritz von

(293 words)

Author(s): Apostolos-Cappadona, Diane
[German Version] (May 22, 1848, Wolkenburg – Feb 25, 1911, Munich), German painter recognized for his depictions of the Christian Scriptures in contemporary, late 19th-century settings. His interest in painting from nature emerged at Mihaly Munkácsy’s painting school in Paris (1879). Returning to Munich in 1880, M. Liebermann encouraged him to paint en plein-air and to reconstruct the works of the Dutch masters with these new cool tones, natural light, and open brushwork. Uhde’s paintings of scenes in the life of Jesus spurred controversy from the very first, Suffer the Little Chil…

Tagore, Rabīndranāth

(268 words)

Author(s): Apostolos-Cappadona, Diane
[German Version] (May 6, 1861, Calcutta – Aug 7, 1941, Shantiniketan, West Bengal), author, philosopher, educator, and social reformer. Tagore was the first Asian to win the Nobel Prize for literature (1913). He founded his school, Santiniketan (Abode of Peace), in 1901, and his Visva-Bharati (World University) in 1921; both were premised on the integration of the arts and spirituality into rural reconstruction, social values, and East-West understanding. A polymath, Tagore corresponded extensivel…

Anchor in Christian Art

(162 words)

Author(s): Apostolos-Cappadona, Diane
[German Version] The anchor (Gk ἄγκυρα/ ankyra, “crooked hook”), the classical symbol for safety in navigation, was transformed into a Christian symbol for the soul, and for hope, adherence, and steadfastness. In his Christ the Educator (Paedagogus), Clement of Alexandria identifies the anchor as appropriate for Christian seal rings, pendants, or intaglio. On early Christian sarcophagi and grave decorations as well as jewelry, the anchor combined with a cross or the Greek letter P (rho) connoted hope, while the anchor with a dolphin signif…

Vermeer, Jan

(393 words)

Author(s): Apostolos-Cappadona, Diane
[German Version] (baptized Oct 31, 1632, Delft – buried Dec 15, 1675, Delft), Dutch painter, the leading master of genre painting and disguised symbolism. His early art training remains shrouded in mystery, however he was admitted as a master to the Delft Guild of St. Luke in 1653 and converted to Catholicism in the same year. An aspiring history painter, he included biblical themes in his early works, such as Christ in the House of Mary and Martha (1655). The later overtly secular works are now interpreted as visual evidence of his deep Catholic faith, especially when V…

Vézelay Abbey

(283 words)

Author(s): Apostolos-Cappadona, Diane
[German Version] Vézelay Abbey, masterpiece of Burgundian Romanesque art and architecture. Originally founded as a convent for women, this now former Cluniac abbey (Cluny) was, from 1050, a significant stop on pilgrimage routes and the departure point for pilgrimages to Santiago de Compostela. The convent founder, Count Gérard de Roussillon, brought the relics of St. Mary Magdalene from Provence to Vézelay. Vézelay’s significance was evidenced when St. Bernard of Clairvaux preached the Second Crus…

Rembrandt, Harmenszoon van Rijn

(1,745 words)

Author(s): Apostolos-Cappadona, Diane
[German Version] (Jul 15, 1606, Leiden – Oct 4, 1669, Amsterdam), painter and graphic artist. Among the leading European masters of the 17th century, Rembrandt was the chief religious artist of the Protestant tradition. His works were profoundly influenced by those of Caravaggio, Adam Elmsheimer, and P.P. Rubens, especially with regard to advancing tenebrism and dramatic theatricality. Renowned as a portrait painter, he was able to transfer his gift of projecting onto canvas his psychological pene…


(139 words)

Author(s): Apostolos-Cappadona, Diane
[German Version] (from the Lat. bestiarius, “concerning the beasts”). A bestiary is an Old-French moralizing natural history, which merged the 4th-century Greek Physiologus with local myths, legends, and symbols of animals. Rivaling the Bible in popularity, bestiaries described the training, breeding, and medical care of animals (mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish). Typically, a bestiary recounted the history, legends, natural characteristics, and symbolism of 100 animals, while the Greek and Latin editions of the Physiologus described only 49 (or …

Zurbarán, Francisco de

(138 words)

Author(s): Apostolos-Cappadona, Diane
[German Version] (baptized Nov 7, 1598, Fuente de Cantos, Spain – Aug 27, 1664, Madrid), Spanish painter, renowned for his devotional images. Zurbarán painted narrative cycles, series, and altarpieces for churches and monasteries throughout southern Spain (Seville, Guadalupe, Jerez). His popular depictions of monks or saints (e.g. St. Francis) in meditation or prayer were simply arranged but emotionally direct. His works affirm his devotion to Mary as he created a significant Marian iconography ( Immaculate Con­ception, 1661). Zurbarán’s later works, painted in Madrid …

Christmas Plays and Pageants

(827 words)

Author(s): Apostolos-Cappadona, Diane
[German Version] The liturgical dramas or plays on the theme of Christmas or Christ's Nativity event, the goal of which was the glorification and adoration of God. The initial pedagogical function was to teach the faith through by presenting sacred history and to encourage appropriate moral behavior in a mode accessible to the otherwise illiterate Christian populace. The earliest forms of liturgical dramas were the annual retelling of the scriptural events during the La…

Liturgical Art

(614 words)

Author(s): Apostolos-Cappadona, Diane
[German Version] The term liturgical art identifies the “tangible expressions of the Christian liturgy – all the objects, vestments, (Vestments, Liturgical) paraments (Vestments/Paraments), liturgical vessels, and instruments fundamental to the celebration and aesthetics of Christian worship. Traditionally liturgical art has distinguished between movable and immovable objects. The principal immovable object is the altar, while the principal movable object is the cross (Cross/Crucifixion). A careful s…


(815 words)

Author(s): Apostolos-Cappadona, Diane
[English Version] bez. das liturgische Drama oder Spiel zum Weihnachtsfest (Weihnachten) bzw. zur Geburt Christi und dienen der Verherrlichung und Anbetung Gottes. Der urspr. päd. Zweck bestand in der Vermittlung des Glaubens durch die Darstellung der hl. Gesch. sowie in der Anregung zu angemessenem, sittlichem Verhalten in einer für die ansonsten illiterate christl. Gemeinde zugänglichen Form. Als früheste Formen liturgischer Dramaturgie galten die alljährlich wiederkehrenden Darstellungen bibl. …


(267 words)

Author(s): Apostolos-Cappadona, Diane
[English Version] Tagore, Rabīndranāth (6.5.1861 Kalkutta – 7.8.1941 Shantiniketan, West Bengal), Schriftsteller, Philosoph, Pädagoge und Sozialreformer. T. erhielt als erster Asiate den Nobelpreis für Lit. (1913). 1901 gründete er die Privatschule von Shantiniketan (»Stätte des Friedens«), 1921 die Wischwabharati-Universität (»Welt-Universität«). Ziele dieser Institutionen waren die Integration der Künste und des Geistes in eine ländliche Umgebung, soziale Werte und die Ost-West-Verständigung. Der…


(293 words)

Author(s): Apostolos-Cappadona, Diane
[English Version] Uhde, Fritz v. (22.5.1848 Wolkenburg – 25.2.1911 München), dt. Maler, bekannt durch seine Kompositionen von Christusszenen, die er in die zeitgenössische Umgebung des ausgehenden 19.Jh. transferierte. Sein Interesse an Naturmalerei wuchs seit seinem Aufenthalt in Paris, wo er unter dem Einfluß von Mihaly Munkácsy (1879) arbeitete. Im Anschluß an seine Rückkehr nach München i.J. 1880 ermutigte ihn M. Liebermann zur Freilichtmalerei und zur intensiven Auseinandersetzung mit Werken h…


(93 words)

Author(s): Apostolos-Cappadona, Diane
[English Version] Steinhausen, Wilhelm (2.2.1846 Sorau, Niederlausitz – 5.2.1924 Frankfurt/M.), Maler und Graphiker, erhielt seinen ersten Auftrag für Bibellesezeichen und Illustrationen zur »Gesch. von der Geburt unseres Herrn Jesus Christus« (1869). 1906 wurde S. Dr. h.c. der theol. Fakultät Halle. Als »prot. Maler« bekam er öfftl. und kirchl. Aufträge, darunter »Christ und die Kinder« (1888) und »Allegorie der Erziehungsgedanken antiker und christl. Kunst« (1899–1902). Diane Apostolos-Cappadona Bibliography Vf. u.a.: Christentum, Rel. und Kunst (GlWis 4/2,…


(142 words)

Author(s): Apostolos-Cappadona, Diane
[English Version] Zurbarán, Francisco de (getauft 7.11.1598 Fuente de Cantos – 27.8.1664 Madrid), span. Maler, bekannt v.a. durch seine Andachtsbilder. Z., der zu den Gegenreformatoren zählte, malte Erzählzyklen, Gemäldefolgen und Altargemälde für Kirchen und Klöster in Südspanien (Sevilla, Guadalupe, Jerez). Seine populären Darstellungen von Mönchen und Heiligen (z.B. des Hl. Franziskus) bei der Meditation oder im Gebet zeichnen sich durch schlichtes Arrangement und emotionale Unmittelbarkeit aus. …


(406 words)

Author(s): Apostolos-Cappadona, Diane
[English Version] Vermeer, Jan (getauft 31.10.1632 Delft – begraben 15.12.1675 ebd.), holländischer Maler, Spezialist der Genremalerei und des verborgenen Symbolismus. Ungeachtet seiner frühen, in verschleierter Mystik verharrenden Malübungen wurde er im Dezember 1653 in die Delfter Lukasgilde als Künstler eingetragen. 1653 konvertierte er zum Katholizismus. Als aufstrebender Historienmaler setzte er sich in seinen frühen Werken mit bibl. Themen auseinander, z.B. in »Christus bei Maria und Martha« …


(309 words)

Author(s): Apostolos-Cappadona, Diane
[English Version] Taube, kunstgeschichtlich, Vogelsymbol in der Bibel und der christl. Kunst. Die T. steht im wesentlichen für die Seele, die Reinheit und den Hl. Geist. Nach der HB entsandte Noah anläßlich der Sintflut eine T. aus, trockenes Land zu suchen. Als Beweis für den Rückgang der Wasserfluten kehrte sie mit einem Olivenzweig im Schnabel zurück. Dies wurde zum Symbol des universellen Friedens (Gen 8,11). – Eine T. als Opfergabe galt als angemessenes Ritual der Reinigung für ein neugeborene…

Vézelay, Abteikirche Ste. Madeleine

(276 words)

Author(s): Apostolos-Cappadona, Diane
[English Version] Vézelay, Abteikirche Ste. Madeleine, Meisterstück der romanischen (Romanik) Kunst und Architektur in Burgund. Urspr. als Konvent für Frauen im 9.Jh. gegründet, war die ehem. Abtei Clunys von 1050 an selbst ein bedeutender Wallfahrtsort und Ausgangspunkt für Wallfahrten nach Santiago de Compostela. Der Gründer des Konvents, Graf Girart de Roussillon, überführte die Reliquien der hl. Maria Magdalena aus der Provence nach V. Auch die Tatsache, daß Bernhard von Clairvaux von hier aus…
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