Happy All Saints Day, everyone!!!!!!
Ahem. I SAID . . . Happy All Saints Day, everyone!!
Hello? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
Okay, so I forgot to post something for Halloween and now I’m trying to compensate by drumming up excitement for All Saints Day. After all, today is November 1st, a sacred and spiritual day in western Christian tradition that most people overlook. Probably because there’s no candy involved.
But you know what? I don’t care. I’m gonna go ahead and acknowledge All Saints Day. Fuck Halloween. <— that's right, I said it. Halloween is nothing more than an opportunity for the neighborhood kids to throw eggs and shaving cream at peoples' houses and steal pumpkins off front stoops. The latter actually happened to me, can you believe it? I came home from work yesterday around 6:00 to discover that my big beautiful pumpkin had been snatched. Juvenile delinquents all of them 😆
Religion, especially Christianity, has inspired an enormous amount of great art. Too much to even comprehend. The canon of saints in particular has provided some truly stunning works, much of it created, not surprisingly, between the 15th and 17th centuries, when the Bible and religion was the dominant subject matter of many painters. I’ve selected just a few to showcase here but there are literally hundreds.
Saint Peter was one of Jesus’s earliest disciples and a major figure in Christian history. From the Greek painter El Greco, this is The Tears of Saint Peter from 1607:
Saint Cecilia was the patron saint of musicians and church music. The female artist Artemisia Gentileschi painted a few versions of her. This one is titled St Cecilia Playing a Lute, 1616:
Even a non-devout person like myself has a “favorite” saint. Oh yes indeed. St. Francis of Assisi is my man because he was the patron saint of animals and spoke out for kindness and respect toward all our nonhuman friends on earth. His notable quote on the subject reads as follows:
If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.
My kind of guy 🙂 And based on this painting, he was pretty cute too! This excellent 1658 work is by Francisco Zurbarán:
In a couple of weeks, on November 25th, Catholic churches will observe the Feast of Saint Catherine. A nice addition to the rituals and services of that day would be the inclusion of this magnificent painting by the great Caravaggio. Incredible values and composition, this is Saint Catherine:
Paolo Veronese depicts a very intense scene here, one that really communicates the agony and suffering of a saint’s life. Year 1553, this is The Temptation of St Anthony:
Auguste Rodin explored sainthood as well with his scuplture Saint John the Baptist Preaching:
I warmly invite my Catholic readers to comment and share the significance of the saints, a topic I’m certain you can all discuss much more articulately than me, as theology is not my strongest subject.
All Saints by Fra Angelico:
Peace and love to all . . . of all faiths and non-faiths.