Above you see a mural in the style created by artists at the
Beuron Abbey in Germany.
The Presentation of the Lord is one in a series of Beuron mural paintings on the life of Mary, Mother of God, and including her Immaculate Conception. They are located at the Benedictine Abbey in Conception, Missouri (left). The church itself is Gothic Revival and the murals were installed later in its history.
These Murals have recently been restored and can be viewed at times when the Abbey Church is open. A large gift shop is located on the premises- closed Mondays. Conception Abbey maintains a very thorough website where it lists descriptions on each these murals and the school itself. It's worth a visit. They also offer a catalog featuring Beuronese artwork.
The Beuron artists "responded to the challenge of their day." According to the Abbey website, these artists "sought a more dignified alternative to the romantic emotionalism that dominated religious during the 19th century."
Another site notes that Beuronese "art speaks to the mind of the viewer. The art is itself worshipful and invites the viewer to worship. It does not stand out boldly of itself but is part of an environment of worship. Works are anonymous, done by group effort, and not for the glory of the artist, but of God.
As in icons, the Beuronese style favors imitation over originality, with freehand copying revealing an artist's true genius. There is full integration of art and architecture. Painting and sculpture are not ‘stick-ons’ to an architectural plan but an integral part of it. Beuronese art encompasses painting, architecture, altar vessels, and furnishings."
Unusual and unique to the Beuron style, is the Egyptian element. During this time period, Western Archeologists and wealthy visitors were re-introducing ancient artifacts and arts from the Far and the Middle East. Their exotic nature intrigued the public.
It not only fascinated artists from the Beuron school. Other groups of artists and architects picked up on this theme, incorporating palm trees, headbands, and more pseudo- Egyptian embellishments. You will note this, for example, at the Basilica in Ars, France (home to St John Vianney), which was constructed in the earlier 20th century. And although it captured the public imagination for a while, the "Egyptian look" never really took hold as a permanent design element unlike the acanthus leaf and the scrolled volutes which have been popularly repeated for centuries and to this day.
It is interesting to note that the Byzantine style was also re-introduced to the West. The Byzantine Church of Hagia Sophia, which became a mosque with Ottoman rule, was reopened as a museum in the 20th century under the direction of a new regime which toppled the old.
Photographs of Hagia Sophia's regal, Byzantine mosaic "discoveries", once covered over with paint and plaster, made their way West. These mosaic prototypes stimulated the artistic imagination as well and are still reproduced quite extensively, especially in Eastern Rite and Orthodox circles. Within the United States, the interior of the Basilica of St Louis (MO) is a masterful example of Byzantine-inspired design.
Notes, Art, Photography CMJENTZ ©2013-2018
My website template has been updated. NOTES pages might have font and pictorial placement discrepancies.
All content ©LumenChristiArt.com,
Christine M. (CM) Jentz.
For comments or inquiries please
contact me. Commissions accepted.
“It is with the smallest brushes that the artist paints the most exquisitely beautiful pictures.” (St. André Bessette)