Sometimes I take this literally, but more often figuratively. Either way, I think it's beautiful and it does sum up much of what I want and feel:
One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. (Psalm 27:4) (NIV)
The Library of Trinity College, Dublin, has just placed the entirety of the Book of Kells online. I havent' figured out yet how to bookmark individual pages, and that may actually prove impossible. Take a look at these pages, however, to get a feel for some of the riches now available:
53 (symbols of the Four Evangelists); 55, 56 (beg. of Gospel of St. Matthew); 63 (Christ enthroned); 64 (carpet page); 66 (famous Chi Rho page); 226 (Christ arrested); 246; 257 (symbols of Four Evangelists); 258 (beg. of Gospel); 372, 373, 374 (beg. of Gospel); 398-402 (genealogy of Christ); 403 (temptation of Christ); 568 (a personal favorite); 579 (symbols of the Four Evangelists); 581, 582 (beg. of Gospel of St. John); 677 (last surviving side).
Only yesterday did I come across ex-voto paintings for the first time, and I find myself haunted by them. An ex-voto painting is one dedicated to God or a saint in thanks for a favor received, usually in answer to a prayer. The painting usually depicts the situation needing help, and the supernatural power who secured it, and has an inscription at the bottom explaining what has happened.
Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera were both very interested in ex-voto paintings as they are an important form of folk art in Mexico. Here is one such painting that apparently belonged to Kahlo.
Just a few moments ago I discovered the Sacred Art Pilgrim website. It is dedicated to sacred art of our own era, a much-neglected area. People who enjoy this site (i.e., Something Beautiful) will probably find much to admire there.
According to legend, while St. Jerome was fasting in the desert, a lion came to him for help. The lion had somehow gotten a thorn in his paw, which pained him very much. The lion asked Jerome for help, and Jerome kindly gave it by removing the thorn. The lion was grateful and remained with Jerome for the rest of his life.
The painting On the Bus (1929) was featured at the GAP site not long ago. It is so well done and so full of love that I could not help but notice and remember it. It was a surprise, to me at least, to learn that it was done by Frida Kahlo, an artist whom I have generally not very much cared for.