Tackling the Art of Revelation


Tackling the Art of Revelation, A Non-Specialist’s Guide to Apocalyptic Painting.

The Book of Revelation (popularly known as The Apocalypse) is one of the foundational texts of Western culture. It captivated the minds and inspired the hearts of many religious thinkers, philosophers, and artists throughout the ages. This course aims to revisit Revelation in light of artistic developments in Western painting from the eighth through the twentieth centuries.

The first section will briefly examine the Book of Revelation, its origin, history, content, and biblical canonization. In the second section of the course, we will discuss the development of Christian apocalyptic art from the eighth through the twentieth century. In the third section, we will turn to abstract art known as “high modernism.” Our discussion of the early abstract painting in the West will culminate in the examination of one of the founders of abstraction, Wassily Kandinsky’s apocalyptic compositions.

The course will consist of short lectures and complimentary reading materials. By the end of the course, participants will be able to (1) learn about the authorship, history, and controversies surrounding the last book of the Bible; (2) understand the structure and symbolic imagery of the Book of Revelation; (3) trace the history of Christian apocalyptic art throughout the centuries.; and (4) identify various styles of Western painting from medieval through modern times.

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