Lent in Art – A Visual Devotional

Course Forum: Lent in Art – A Visual Devotional

23 students

In this devotional there are two basic parts. The first is called “the reading.” An analysis of art is known as a “reading” because it is intended to tell a story. In this part of the devotional, Kelly will provide the needed items of background that will help you to read the painting.

The second part is the contemplation. Kelly will give you some guidance, but she really wants you to engage with the painting and let it speak to you. Examine the painting, notice the details, read the accompanying passages of Scripture and see where the artist is taking the story, and you will be surprised that you experience the story of Jesus in a fresh new way.

We cover twenty different paintings in the whole devotional. You can use them however you like, three for every week of the Lent season will complete the twenty before Easter. Thanks for joining us on this tour of Lenten art.

Before the emergence of the printing press and the Bible written in the language of the people, most didn’t have access to the Scriptures outside of sermons, and art. Paintings served as the vehicle for many to experience what many of us now experience when reading an inspiring portion of Scripture and sensing the voice of God speaking to us. You will come to see that the masterpieces aren’t only great works of art, but incredible expressions of spiritual truth. You should also be grateful for your possession of a complete and fully accessible copy of the Scriptures.

Kelly is an educator and I was a pastor. In those roles Kelly and I have had our perspective enriched by our journey into art. Kelly has always loved art and it was translated into a tool to use in education. Her interest has shown me that art is essentially a sermon on canvas. As I began to look at art it became apparent that the way to understand art was similar to the way we attempt to understand the Bible. Art needed exegesis. There is a need to understand context, and symbolism and how those were used to tell the gospel story. There is a language to art. If you want to know more about that you can visit kellybagdanov.com and specifically the article entitled “Entering The Conversation That Is Art” where she will introduce you to the concept that “Art is a visual language, and to appreciate art fully we must learn its language. Here we will use the tools that artists use to help decode the visual language of art.”

Here is the PDF of this devotional.