The Eucharist in Art: Visualizing Mystery

Apr 10, 2021
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Free and open to the public. This event will be held online through Zoom (registration required) and live-streamed to YouTube. This event is co-presented with the Harvard Catholic Forum and co-sponsored by the Saint Benedict Institute, the Nova Forum, the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies, the Ars Vivendi Arts Initiative of the Collegium Institute, the St. Paul’s Catholic Center, the St. Lawrence Institute for Faith and Culture, and the New England Chapter of the Patron of the Arts Vatican Museums.

The 17th century Catholic Church found itself engaged in a battle over the sacraments, especially the Eucharist. Most Protestant Reformers rejected the teaching of Transubstantiation, while an increasingly empirical culture grew doubtful that a piece of bread and a glass of wine could ever be more than mere matter. To return the gaze of the faithful to mystery, to assist congregations to see beyond the material, the Catholic Church called upon the talent of Caravaggio. the Carracci School and other great artists, who produced works that still delight, teach and move people today. This talk will look at old masterpieces with new eyes, revealing how artists used their gifts to render the invisible, visible.