fbpx
Connect with us

DailyArtMagazine.com – Art History Stories

Religious Ecstasies And All That Jazz

Just Weird

Religious Ecstasies And All That Jazz

If you think that searching for better and reinforced experience of reality is something modern, you’re wrong. Saints proved long ago that you don’t need drugs, alcohol or any other substances affecting your perception in order to fall into ecstasy. You just need to have faith.

Mary Magdalene

magdalen

Francesco del Cairo, Mary Magdalene in Ecstasy, c. 1650, private collection

Weirdly enough, Francesco del Cairo really enjoyed painting saints in ecstasy or other eerie subjects like severed heads of John the Baptist. I wonder why…

hugues merle

Hugues Merle, Mary Magdalene in the Cave, 1868, Private collection

Religious ecstasy can happen anywhere. Even in a cave.

Artemisia Gentileschi / Артемизия Джентилески (1593-1653) - Maria Maddalena in estasi / Мария Магдалина в экстазе (1613-1620)

Artemisia Gentileschi, Mary Magdalene in Ecstasy, 1611 or 1613-1620, Private collection

Here Mary Magdalene is truly immersed in her prayer. Or is she already asleep after her exhausting experience?

St. Francis

st francis

Stefano di Giovanni, The ecstasy of st. Francis, 1437-44, Sassetta, Florence

When St Francis reached the state of ecstasy, he also received stigmata that is the five wounds of Christ. You can see black dots on his hands and feet, and the fifth wound would be on his chest below the heart. This way the saint would experience the exact suffering of the crucified Christ.

caravaggio

Caravaggio, St Francis in Ecstasy, c. 1595, Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford

Look at this beautiful angel supporting St Francis. Can his tender look be interpreted in terms of homosexual tendencies of Caravaggio? Who knows?

St. Teresa

bernini

Gian Lorenzo Bernini, The Ecstasy of St Teresa, 1650, photograph: Wikimedia Commons.

If we’re talking about sexual implications, we need to mention this work. When Bernini completed the commission for the Cornaro Chapel in the church of Santa Maria della Vittoria in Rome, many controversies arose. Critics stated that St Teresa’s face looks as if she was having a sexual, rather than religious, experience. Bernini defended himself that he based his realistic depiction on the diaries of the saint in which she described her ecstasy:
I saw in his [angel’s] hand a long spear of gold, and at the iron’s point there seemed to be a little fire. He appeared to me to be thrusting it at times into my heart, and to pierce my very entrails; when he drew it out, he seemed to draw them out also, and to leave me all on fire with a great love of God. The pain was so great, that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I could not wish to be rid of it.

Judge it for yourselves.

Magda, art historian and Italianist, she writes about art because she cannot make it herself. She loves committed and political artists like Ai Weiwei or the Futurists; like Joseph Beuys she believes that art can change us and we can change the world.

Comments

More in Just Weird

  • Cinema

    May the 4th Be with You—Archetypes in Star Wars and Art

    By

    Today is Star Wars Day. The first documented use of the phrase “May the 4th be with you” came from Margaret Thatcher’s political party, to congratulate her on her victory in the 1979 election. The first official celebration of Star Wars Day happened at the Toronto...

  • Artist

    Art from Horror Movies: Japanese Woodblocks of Tsukioka Yoshitoshi

    By

    For centuries gore has been part of the culture in Japan, rooted in its history. Its representation is very common in woodblock engraving pictures. Muzan-e, the ‘bloody prints’, is genre par excellence. This kind of art may be the very first example of ero guro, an...

  • H, Dog, acrylic on canvas, 1993 H, Dog, acrylic on canvas, 1993

    dailyart

    What I Found in the Museum Of Bad Art

    By

    MOBA, or the Museum Of Bad Art, is replete with almost anything that could be wished for in terms of the good, the bad, the very bad, the hilarious, and of course the ugly. The category of ‘good’ doesn’t really exist here – that much will...

  • Animals

    Famous Lobsters in Art

    By

    Lobsters, large marine crustaceans, have been eaten by humans since prehistoric times. They became a delicacy by the Roman period. They were also popular among the Moche people of Peru. Historically, lobsters weren’t a very common subject of artists’ interests, but they appeared from time to...

  • Animals

    A Hero and Mythical Creatures: Famous Spiders in Art

    By

    Spiders disturb the majority of the people. Even though they are much smaller, and thus much less powerful than us, we cannot help but fear their presence. Perhaps it is the horrid looks that do not fit our aesthetic, or perhaps the fear of the unknown;...

To Top