Now See, We Could Have Stuff Like This in Church! (Part 2)

Michael Whelan did a whole series illustrating Virtues. Now, yeah, he decided that what the Virtues really needed was More Fossil, but I personally sympathize with this view. We could work with it, since ammonites were seen as symbols of bread at various times (mostly by people accustomed to spiralling round loaves of bread — and btw, the ammonites probably explained the Greeks calling those Egyptian buildings “pyramids”, according to John Ciardi).

Anyway… here’s one Virtue. Hope.

Then you have a nice rendition of the Star of Bethlehem. But since this was not commissioned for some church somewhere, you get a beautiful but generic Star of Peace instead.

You don’t exactly have to thrash sf artists, or astronomical artists, into painting stars. We could have a hundred thousand zillion beautiful versions of the Star of Bethlehem out there, assuming everyone could achieve a decent amount of theological or iconographical harmony on matters. But we don’t even try.

And this is why we don’t have nice things, in American parishes. Because we don’t get out there and commission them — not even from our own local community’s artists, not even in some tiny corner of some vast and boringly grey-and-acoustic-tiled church. We’d rather have nothing, or crud.

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