This was an interesting concept I had heretofore never considered. So I gave it a chance. The chance became like a house with many windows, and if I stepped into a different room, went to the second floor, stood at the kitchen sink, each position offered a new view. I decided to try and see out the same window as my friend, and very soon, I was seeing the same view: everything testifies of Christ.
When observing art in a traditional museum, the majority of Western world art testifies of Christ. It is in part related to the dominance of the church and its ability to commission great works of art throughout the middle ages, but to me there is something more: it testifies of a great truth--that Christ lived.
As I meandered through the Louvre everyday for two weeks, I picked out different themes: couples, children, and the life and death of Jesus Christ. Each day, if studying in certain galleries, I asked Tony to choose his favorite among the hundred--perhaps thousands of art pieces that supported my friend's thesis: everything testifies of Christ. I wish to share a few of those pieces that inspired me to take photos.
The altarpiece below was commissioned by an aristocratic couple in an Italian workshop in the late 1300s. It is made from ground bone, mixed with other components and formed into this almost unbelievable storybook from the life of Christ. I almost passed by it without looking close--and when I did, I was stunned by the detail and craftsmanship.
"The Temptation" by Ary Scheffer in 1849 brings up an interesting theological question. Satan is painted without genitals. Was his castration the artist's commentary on Satan's evolution, his inabilities, his differences and damnation, or simply that he never came to earth to receive a body?
In 1544, Leonora Lopez de Villanova and Seigneur Antonio del Rio with his two sons, had themselves painted at the foot of the most iconic Christian moment in the history of the Savior--his ascension into heaven. I like to think of this family's utter devotion to Christianity and the incomprehensible notion that 450 years later their silent testimonies would be hanging in the Louvre for an American woman who was searching for yet another theme: that all things testify of Christ.
Tony nods his head. Sometimes we can't explain our affection for one painting or another, but the idea resonates with him too. As I study the painting as I write, I have another idea. The stunning moment is when a man recognizes who the Savior is and that he lives. This is not an isolated incident in the life of two apostles, but the very blessed moment for which we all seek.