Articles Under: Catechizing with Art

To view and enlarge this image on a smart board click here. Norwegian painter, Carl Frithjof Smith, is not a well-known artist today. Despite his lack of fame, his art is beautiful and worthy of recognition and study. Smith lived and worked for all of his adult life in Germany, until his death in 1917. After studying at the then thriving Academy of Fine Art in Munich, Smith took a teaching position in Weimer, Germany, where he remained for most of his life. His work consists mainly of portraits and genre paintings. Genre painting explores the sphere of a person’s... Read more
To view this work of art on a smartboard, click here . How does God make order and beauty in the world, and show it to us? Along with glorious sunsets and colorful flowers, there are other ways to know God as the Creator of beauty. In the apparently invisible realm of mathematics, he is not silent; rather he conveys his order and mystery in mathematical forms, contemplated and understood as meaningful and expressive of his Divine Mind. Hidden in plain sight, those embedded forms can be seen inside of nature in things like symmetries, tessellations, crystals, and plant growth... Read more
Woman Holding a Balance by Johannes Vermeer, 1664 To view this image on a smartboard click here . Finally, I realized that love includes every vocation, that love is all things, that love is eternal, reaching down through the ages and stretching to the utmost limits of the earth. – Saint Thérèse of Lisieux Catechetical ministry involves ongoing discernment of God’s loving initiative and the human response of faith to God who reveals. This dimension of catechetical activity is brought to life in an exquisite masterpiece painting titled, Woman Holding a Balance, by the 17 th century Dutch master artist... Read more
William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1890 To view the artwork Click Here. William-Adolphe Bougueressau worked throughout his life creating art that portrayed scenes from Holy Scripture. He was trained in the École des Beaux-Arts, the French Academy of Fine Arts, and won the Prix de Rome after only four years of studying painting. Bouguereau’s work consists of over 800 paintings and focuses on classical and religious subject matter. We can appreciate his mastery of technique in this painting of “The Holy Women at the Tomb,” set on the morning of Christ’s resurrection. It illustrates well the mystery of the resurrection and is a... Read more
To view "The Crucifixion" image, click here ; then click on the download button, then on the double underscore symbol to download a high resolution version for your smart board. To view the "Chist in Limbo" (aka The Harrowing of Hell) image, click here and do the same. An Anonymous Renaissance Master, 1550-1575 “Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up” (Jn 3:13). “And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself” (Jn 12:32). The anonymous artist who painted these two images was... Read more
Becoming a friend of Jesus To view this image online click here . In the Gospels, the sisters Martha and Mary are described as friends of Jesus. In his masterpiece, “Christ in the House of Martha and Mary,” the Dutch master Jan Vermeer paints an extraordinary image of the Gospel scene when Jesus enters the home of his friends. Vermeer’s image offers us a powerful visual homily on what it means to be a friend of Jesus, an invitation that is implicit in all catechetical activity and is the goal of the spiritual life. A special guest In the tenth... Read more
J.R.R. Tolkien’s monumental fantasy novels, The Hobbit (1937) and The Lord of the Rings (1954-55), have a great deal to teach about friendship. Many readers first encounter these works in adolescence, when our first encounters with friendship are forged—and, unfortunately, tested and maybe broken—by fallen humanity. But even if we first came to Tolkien in adulthood, we can recognize the appeal of his stories to the notion of fellowship. The appeal lasts not only because the book presents shining images of stalwart friendships among its characters, but also because the book itself can be a friend in moments of friendlessness... Read more
To view this work of art on a smart board click here. Jacopo Comin, who is known to us as Tintoretto, was born in Venice in 1518. He came by the name because his father was a fabric dyer (a tintore ) and the young Jacopo, who started his painting vocation by daubing colors on the walls of his father’s workshop, was given the title “little dyer,” or tintoretto . He also acquired the title of “Il Furioso” for his “furious” and energetic approach to image making, which places him at the end of the High Renaissance into the style... Read more
To view image on a smart board click here. Put Out Into the Deep – The Call of Missionary Discipleship Missionary discipleship begins and grows in union with the person of Jesus Christ. This reality of faith comes to life in vivid color and dramatic movement in this the 16 th century large-scale masterpiece painting titled, The Miraculous Draught of Fishes, by Venetian artist, Jacopo Bassano. Completed in 1545, Bassano’s canvas is a visual catechesis on the source and inspiration of missionary discipleship as it finds rich and varied expression in the Christian community. “Duc in altum”— “put out into... Read more
To view this artwork on a smart board click here. King René of Anjou, a fifteenth century nobleman, commissioned the French Renaissance painter, Nicholas Froment, to complete an image of the Virgin Mary for the Carmelite Church at Aix-en-Provence in southern France. The king requested that the triptych include two side panels depicting himself and his wife Jeanne de Laval, which would accompany the center panel of the Virgin. The center panel is a complex narrative that features Mary as the subject. It provides us with a rich set of visual experiences that help us to know not only who... Read more