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Churches around the World: How Christianity is Represented in Art

3 min read
Churches around the World: How Christianity is Represented in Art

Churches are public buildings for Christian worship. They vary in architectural style depending on their time period and location, but often follow similar models. The Metropolitan Museum has a wide variety of church artworks, from different time periods and cultures. These artworks provide a glimpse into how Christianity has been represented and practiced across the world.

A Lock, a Column, and a Church beside a Lagoon

Italian, Venice 1697–1768 Venice / The Met

    Canaletto also painted imaginary views, which he called vedute ideate.
    Many date to the early 1740s, when he visited mainland Venice with his nephew Bernardo Bellotto.
    The originality of these pictures - and this is one of the finest - resides in the abstract design, quality of light, and combination of buildings.

Santa Maria della Salute

Italian, Venice 1712–1793 Venice / The Met

    One of the most famous sites in Venice, Baldassare Longhena's church of Santa Maria della Salute (consecrated in 1687) is flanked on the left by the Seminario Patriarcale and on the right by the Abbazia di San Gregorio, near the end of the Grand Canal towards the Bacino di San Marco.
    The baroque church dominates the entrance to the canal.
    The canvas has as a pendant a view of the Grand Canal above the Rialto Bridge (71.119).

View of Poestenkill, New York

1830–1872 / The Met

    Hidley worked in Poestenkill, New York, as a house painter, a handyman, an artist, and served as sexton of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.
    He painted a series of townscapes of Poestenkill and the surrounding villages, applying an aerial view and incorporating clearly defined, recognizable buildings in his compositions.
    Here, the aforementioned church, next to which Hindley lived, is the most prominent structure.
   Poesten Kill - "kill," from the Dutch, means "creek" - can be seen both in the left foreground, where it passes under a bridge, and in the far distance, where it spills over a dam
   The town was an important lumbering center, and many mills were located along the creek

A Section of the Via Sacra, Rome (The Church of Saints Cosmas and Damian)

Danish, Blåkrog 1783–1853 Copenhagen / The Met

    Eckersberg produced a series of urban prospects in Rome between 1813 and 1816.
    These studies were painted in repeated sittings before the motif in order to faithfully reproduce the effects of the Mediterranean sun on architectural ensembles.
    This frieze-like view depicts the fourth-century Temple of Romulus and Remus, which forms the vestibule of the sixth-century Church of Saints Cosmas and Damian.

Interior of the Oude Kerk, Delft

Dutch, Alkmaar ca. 1616–1692 Amsterdam / The Met

    This painting is a realistic depiction of the inside of the Oude Kerk in Delft.
    The painting takes some liberties with the architecture of the church.
    There are a lot of religious paintings and sculptures in the church, but they have been destroyed during the Iconoclasm.

Interior of the Oude Kerk, Delft

Dutch, Delft 1611/12–1675 Delft / The Met

    This is a painting of the church of Saint Bavo in Haarlem, Netherlands.
    It was painted from a vantage point to the west of Emmanuel de Witte's depiction of the same church hanging nearby.

From 14th Century To 15th Century

From 14th Century To 15th Century

During the 14th and 15th centuries, artists in Europe began to break away from the traditional Gothic style. They began to experiment with new techniques and styles, resulting in a period of great creativity and innovation in the arts. Some of the most famous artworks from this period include the paintings of Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, and the sculptures of Donatello. Box with Romance Scenes     This coffret illustrated with scenes from Arthurian and other courtly literature of the M
-5 min read
From 1819 To 1826

From 1819 To 1826

The 19th century was a time of great change in the world of art. Artists began to experiment with new styles and media, and the art world was forever changed as a result. Some of the most famous artists of the time include Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, and Pablo Picasso. The Falls of Niagara     The painting is of Niagara Falls from the Canadian side.     The painting is based on a vignette of the falls from a map of North America published by Henry S. Tanner in 1822. Heroic Landscape w
-4 min read
From 1787 To 1800

From 1787 To 1800

The 18th century was a time of great change in the world of art. New styles and genres emerged, and artists began to experiment with new techniques and materials. The art of the 18th century reflected the changing times, and the growing interest in the natural world and the human form. Elizabeth Farren (born about 1759, died 1829), Later Countess of Derby     The Irish actress Elizabeth Farren made her London debut in 1777 and soon became one of the most popular comic performers of the day.  
-5 min read