ART through the AGES: through the lens of ‘The Parable of the two sons’
‘The artist is a witness of the invisible. Arts give expression to the beauty of faith’ – Pope Francis
Undoubtedly the Church has been the greatest patron of art over centuries. Painters and sculptors laboured generously to fill places of worship with marvellous art forms. Art was perceived as a medium of transition of faith and remission of sins. But when and where did it all begin? Today’s article will take us through the history and development of Christian art through the pictorial lens of the ‘Parable of the two sons.’ (Matthew 21: 28 – 32). Let’s begin at the beginning.
The art of the catacombs: (200 – 325 C.E)
Identifiable Christian art can be traced to the late 2nd century and early 3rd century. As the burial practice of the people of Rome changed from cremation to inhumation, huge catacombs were dug into the ground to bury the dead. The catacombs had chambers and were decorated with imagery and symbols familiar to the early Christians. Regular threats of persecution added impetus to the practice.