Sunday, August 1, 2021



Vatican unveils official image for X World Meeting of Families

The official image for the upcoming World Meeting of Families has been released. Produced by Father Marko Ivan Rupnik, the image is dedicated to the Wedding at Cana. The eagerly ...


Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

I find Rupkin's art very appealing.

There's a strong echo, it seems to me, of ancient and neo-Coptic iconography. It has a lightness and a gentleness that is inviting and evocative.

His work has beein installed all around the world, from the Redemptoris Mater Chapel in the Second Loggia of the Apostolic Palace, Vatican City, to the Knights of Columbus' Headquarters' Chapel in New Haven, Connecticut, to a very large installation in the Church of Our Lady of the Southern Cross in Brisbane, Australia, to a family tomb in Galtelli, Italy.

Much of his work can be seen via this website:

Thomas Garrett said...

Good visual evidence that this pope's mindset is stuck in the 1970's. Where's Roger Scruton when you need him?

James said...

On the contrary: Roger Scruton was wholly sympathetic towards historicizing revival movements in religious art, as witness his enthusiasm for Arvo Part.

Thomas Garrett said...

I just looked up "neo-Coptic iconography". While I can see some similarities--particularly in the rendering of faces, the rest of this doesn't strike me as much of a revival of anything, save the cover of some Monthly Missalette.

OrdinaryCatholic said...

Sorry but I do not see much art in this. The fact that his art works have been installed all over the world just tells me people have lost the taste of real art, art that reflects the beauty and reality of God. This looks more like aliens having a party. But hey, it's just my opinion.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"Good visual evidence that this pope's mindset is stuck in the 1970's."

Many of Rupnik's installations were accomplished long before "this pope's" reign began.

Redemptoris Mater chapel, Vatican, 1999, Pope John Paul II.

Chapel of Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Vatican City, 2005, and Knights of Columbus' Headquarters' Chapel in New Haven, Connecticut, USA, Pope Benedict XVI.

TJM said...

Father Kavanaugh,

There is a lot of subpar religious art at the Vatican, including the 2020 Christmas Creche. Pope Francis is not alone in the bad taste department. I used to cringe at some of the vestments John Paul II wore.

Thomas Garrett said...

The influence of modernism (the artistic movement, not the heresy) and minimalism in religious art seems to have made inroads just about everywhere, regardless of WHO the pope is/was and irrespective of Vatican II. Many of the dry, vacant looking church buildings or artistic renderings of Jesus and various saints go back as far as the 1960's. I'm not an art critic, nor do I claim to have any such skill. There is no specifically "Catholic" style of art that dominates churches, paintings or even Christmas cards. The art employed by Catholics throughout the ages usually reflects the art movements of any given time period. Unfortunately, we have survived a time period that was just plain "blah" when it comes to religious art but, fortunately, there seems to be several revivals of older artistic styles, especially in church architecture.

My remark about the 70's was just my initial reaction to the art. This particular pontificate seems to revel in passe or ridiculous "art" trends that often bewilder the viewer (like Ordinary Catholic's observation about last year's space age/teletubbies nativity at the Vatican). There are just some things that reek of the 1970's. For example, when I look at the new basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, I see formerly habited nuns uncomfortably teaching in double-knit dresses and school Masses using music by The Youngbloods ("Get Together") or copies of "The Way" (Living Bible). Maybe it's just my reaction, but I feel scarred by that time period and have no desire to see any of its aesthetics return.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Thomas: "Beauty" and "Blah" are in the eye of the beholder.

As I said above, I find Rupnik's work very appealing, inviting, and evocative. I do not presume to say that all others will or should have the same reaction, that all others will or should have the appreciation for his work that I have.

Nor do I say that anyone who does not share my appreciation for this work is being taken in by "subpar" art or art that does not "reflect the beauty and reality of God."

Some find the baroque style of painting that emphasizes the power of the state, that drips emotion, or that features hidden sources of light to be off-putting. I like it, but it's not my favorite by far.

Your may be familiar with the chapel of the Trappist Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, Georgia. Some would say it is "blah" - the floor is black terrazzo, the walls are chalky grey-white, and the only color in the very large space comes from the geometric stained glass windows. I think it is one of the most beautiful, reverence-inspiring Catholic churches in the southeast.

TJM said...

Yes, Rupnik’s work is right up there with Michelangelo and Da Vinci