A State of Grace 20x24 by Shirley Fachilla
For centuries, faith was a major theme of Western art. Our museums are filled with religious paintings and sculpture that we see as masterpieces of art. The works of Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Reubens, to name only three masters, are largely devoted to religious subjects.
Francisco Zurbaran, friend of Velazquez and follower of Caravaggio, was painter of faith with a vision particularly appealing to 21st century eyes. Zurbaran painted monks, usually as solitary figures bathed in strong light, surrounded by dark shadows, often in the throes of some sort of religious trauma. His emphasis on the individual and the individual experience makes his work seem modern. Of course, his emphasis upon religious devotion makes it seem very alien to our more secular world view.My monk, subject of A State of Grace, was done in open studio with a remarkably kind husband of one of the artists posing.