The Silent Speaker: The Sacramental Qualities of Visual Arts

John Crowson

Abstract


This paper examines the place of Visual Arts in turning the heart, mind and senses towards prayer. Visual vocabulary is simple and direct. Just as the vocabulary of prayer is without a mask, artworks elicit our silent voice to respond directly to God. I will be looking at three specific artworks which take us beyond ourselves, however unwillingly, into the life of prayer. I will be discussing the imagery and symbolism which drags us into the artworks, as we discover the depth of theological truth at our own level, and become more at one with God, growing ever so slowly at our own pace and on our individual journal. The artworks are: Rublev's 'Trinity', Grunewald's 'Crucifixion', and 'The San Damiano Crucifix'.

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