Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Neo Beuronese Sacred Art from Los Angeles County

Thanks to NLM reader Roberto who sent me pictures of this work by Enzo Selvaggi who is based in Orange County, California. Enzo is an artist based in the US who has a team of designers and artisans in his atelier. (While the work is impressive, I would make the comment that the website is hi-tech to the point of being confusing - I got lost in trying to negotiate it, but then again I am a techno-dunce.)

Anyway, website aside, here are photos of murals in St John Chrysostom Church, Inglewood, CA in Los Angeles County. It clearly draws on Egyptian art for inspiration and reminds me strongly of art from the Beuronese school which did the same. 

The Beuronese school of art was a movement that flourished briefly in the latter half of the 19th century and it drew its inspiration from Egyptian, hieratic art. It was a reaction to the over naturalistic sacred art of the period that dominated (artists such as Beaugeureaux) and sought to redress the balance between naturalism and symbolism that all Christian art must have. Rather than looking to traditional forms of Christian art to do this, the monks based in the abbey at Beuron in Germany looked to the idealised forms of Egyptian art. These were praised by Plato and it has been suggested that they were the inspiration for the highly idealised classical Greek style typified by art of the period of the 5th century BC and has been an inspiration for many Christian artists over the centuries (you can see it in the work of Raphael and Michelangelo, for example).

First we have pictures of the church and mural in Inglewood, and then at the end some examples of 19th century Beuronese art.

Here is the only photo of the exterior I could find, sorry its so small!

Here is an example of work from the 19th century.

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