"It does not require belief to be moved by religious sculpture"
-Camille Paglia, Colorado College, Feb. 6, 2007
I have been brought to my knees by Michelangelo's La Pieta. I have stared in awe at his David. I have lain on the floor of the Sistine Chapel and cried. I know what it means to be moved by religious iconography and still be an athiest. Yes, we need Art History and Religious History in this country, because.....
If you don't get this:
Then you won't get this:
However, her lecture fell short of achieving my expectations (perhaps because they were too high?). Or perhaps because I cannot accept the idea that we need a modern confluence of art and religion in order for there to be a resurgence of meaningful art. So much religious art and architecture of the past was paid for with the blood, sweat, and tears of the established churches' artists/slaves, and the money they brought in from the poor villagers they were trying to influence.
That said, I still thank Camille for "resurrecting" a pleasant memory: turning hymns back into drinking songs. Since Martin Luther took German drinking songs and turned them into hymns for the masses, we used to have a good time turning them back 'round again.
For some truly brilliant Camille Commentary, please visit my brilliant friend Klayton.