Charles Dickens, who died 150 years ago, was loved for storytelling that embraced justice, compassion and redemption. He was also a brute to his loyal wife. The author of a new biography suggests that great holiness and artistic genius might both be sometimes driven by a divided personality.
News in Expressions
Poems, Image, Songs, Expressions
“One of Raphael’s favorite subjects was the Virgin Mary. To her he dedicated many a canvas that can be admired today in museums throughout the world.” Pope Francis captured well one of the characteristics of the great artist,...
In these strange times, many are reporting experiencing more vivid dreams than usual. Cath Pound asks psychotherapist Philippa Perry how art can help us understand them – and ourselves. Dreams have fascinated philosophers and artists for centuries. They have been seen as divine messages, a way of unleashing creativity and, since the advent of psychoanalysis in the 19th Century, the key to understanding our unconscious.
Next year is the 250th anniversary of his birth and already the music industry is gearing up to celebrate. The Barbican is first off the block, with its Beethoven 250 season starting on Sunday. At venues around the country there are plans to perform all the symphonies, quartets and sonatas, as well as uncovering the lesser-known corners.
Jean Vanier, the Canadian philosopher and theologian and the founder of L'Arche communities, turned ninety this week. To commemorate the occasion he released a YouTube video laying out his “ten rules for life to become more human” by sharing his thoughts on life and on growing older. He speaks about success, vulnerability, listening, fear and love.
The colour survives in the work of 17th Century Spanish colonial painters, a symbol of the wealth that ultimately doomed the Mayans, writes Devon Van Houten Maldonado. Across the Atlantic Ocean, colonial Baroque works created by artists like José Juárez, Baltasar de Echave Ibia and Cristóbal de Villalpando in early 17th Century Mexico – New Spain – were full of this beautiful blue.
The nun's inspiration for creation comes from her experience in life and prayers but mainly from the Word of God. Sister Marie described her experience as a calling within a calling. She goes where God wants her to go to preach the universal values of good relationships, faith, hope, compassion and love with believers and non-believers because her creation contained a mission of evangelization.
Several interpretations have been advanced to elucidate this section of the Gospel of Mark. Some say that Jesus was trying to maintain his disciples’ confidence despite the events that he knew were to follow. The majority of exegetes point out that the Gospel of Mark ends somewhat abruptly at Chapter 16 verse 8, with the scene in which women flee the tomb “bewildered and trembling.”
Of all the world’s enigmatic works of art, it is probably the Mona Lisathat people are the most curious about. And indeed, it is hard to imagine why a 77x53cm painting on a piece of wood might be worth more than double the £340m paid for Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi last year. So – why is she worth so much? Why is she so famous? Why is she smiling? There are answers – but they only tell you so much.
The head of the woman praying is covered in the lightest of veils, her hands rest on the candelabra with nine branches, a hannukah [menorah]. She has just lit the candles and is murmuring the blessing, all wrapped up, her hands cupped and her head veiled. This is a picture portraying the artist’s mother, one of the first of her that Antonietta Rapahael Mafai painted.
A new exhibition in Shrewsbury seeks to restore the neglected reputation of one of Britain’s most impressive stained-glass artists who was also a Carmelite nun. She rode a motorbike, smoked cigars and became a Carmelite nun. And Margaret Rope, who died in the 1950s, also designed some of Britain’s best stained glass.
Polish theatre producers have announced they are working on a pop and rock musical of the life of John Paul II, the former pope and the nation’s beloved native son. “We’re trying to create something big,” says the show’s writer Michal Kaczmarczyk. “We will tell his whole life story, from his infancy until his death.”
We’re lucky still to have the brilliant Gothic glasshouse of Henry VII’s chapel at Westminster Abbey. It might have been destroyed in the war – or earlier. After all, only outraged defence by parishioners saved the neighbouring church of St Margaret’s from demolition by the Duke of Somerset’s men who in 1549 came to tear it down for stone to build Somerset House.
His friend, the writer and broadcaster Ian McMillan, tweeted on Sunday morning: “Very sad news: the great writer Barry Hines, creator of Barnsley’s defining myth A Kestrel for a Knave, has died. Rest in peace.” Hines wrote several novels, from his first in 1966, The Blinder, about football, to his last in 2009, This Artistic Life. He also wrote the screenplay for the TV drama Threads, which imagined a nuclear attack in Sheffield.
A Lenten pilgrimage through a modern metropolis brings the sacred together with the ordinary. The Stations of the Cross are given a modern twist in Manchester and London this Lent with a trail taking visitors to different city-centre venues to view art works that reflect grief, loss and transformation.
London is having a Botticelli moment, with two sizeable exhibitions devoted to the great Renaissance painter opening within a fortnight of each other. This show, focusing on the Florentine master’s illustrations for Dante’s Divine Comedy, opens ahead of the V&A’s Botticelli Reimagined.
Dutch-born Jesuit Father Lambertus Sugiri van den Heuvel was 84 years old when he was invited to join a painting course last February at St. Theresa Parish in Central Jakarta. "They gave me canvases, paintbrushes and paints. I was so excited," he told ucanews.com.
Tributes to David Bowie who died on Sunday have highlighted the power of his songs, his originality and his creativity. Here a leading Roman cardinal, Gianfranco Ravasi, finds evidence also of a struggle with faith.
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