Imagine going on a tour of a world-class art museum with a talented and insightful curator. But instead of just focusing on the history, technique, and cultural significance of each piece, you have the opportunity to reflect on the spiritual aspects of the works, examining their religious significance and concentrating on the transcendental meaning conveyed by the artist. This is what you’ll find in this exquisitely produced book.
It features fifteen pieces of art relating to the topic of Christmas, with an extended reflection on each piece. The commentary is meditative, more reflection on the spiritual nature of the paintings’ subject than art critique. Sister Wendy writes with the deft hand of one who is formed in spirituality, art, and critical thinking. Her imagery is lush, creating a landscape where the sacred and profane live in comfortable coexistence through the medium of painting. For spiritual seekers and lovers of art, this book will offer a unique journey into the experiential nature of a well-rounded faith.
Sister Wendy Beckett is an English hermit. An art expert, in the 1990s she presented a series of BBC documentaries in which she reflected on the meaning of various works of art from throughout history.
Beckett entered the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur in 1946 and graduated from Oxford University in 1953, but in 1970, she obtained papal permission to leave her congregation and become a consecrated virgin. Her former congregation arranged for her to live under the protection of the Carmelite nuns at their monastery at Quidenham, Norfolk, in the east of England. There she leads a contemplative lifestyle, dedicating her life solely to solitude and prayer, but allotting two hours of work per day to earn her living.