Wednesday, March 9, 2011

40 Days of Artists: St. Luke

Today is Ash Wednesday, the start of the Lenten season... those glorious 40 days before Easter (46 if you count the Sabbaths). So this year I thought I would share with you 40 of the greatest figures in the history of art. These are just some of the greatest creations of God - His creators.

The first artist I thought would be fitting to share is St. Luke. Tradition suggests he was the first painter of icons. Nothing that is certainly attributed to St. Luke exists today, though there are a few pieces that traditionally point to him. For instance, a painting known as the Black Madonna of Częstochowa, resides in Poland.
Also, the Black Madonna of Guadalupe statue in the Santa Maria de Guadalupe monastery in the Province of Cáceres, Spain was believed to have been carved by St. Luke. The story is that in the 14th century, the Virgin Mary appeared before a shepherd and told him to ask priests to dig at the location of her appearance. Upon excavation, the statue was discovered.
Much of St. Luke's identity as an artist is legend at this point, though he is revered by the Roman Catholic Church as the first patron saint of artists.

St. Luke Displaying a Painting of the Virgin
Il Guercino
oil on canvas

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