Joy Lasts: On the Spiritual in Art

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Sister Wendy Beckett is one of the best-known art historians in the world today. Here, she explores her reactions to a painting that she finds uniquely compelling: the haunting Christ on a Cross by El Greco. As she candidly admits, "I have always had trouble in talking about religious art." This surprising admission leads her to examine the very nature of religious and spiritual art, which, Sister Wendy argues, are not at all the same thing.
In the course of her discussion she ...
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Hardcover New Sister Wendy Beckett is one of the best-known art historians in the world today. Here, she explores her reactions to a painting that she finds uniquely ... compelling: the haunting Christ on a Cross by El Greco. As she candidly admits, I have always had trouble in talking about religious art. This surprising admission leads her to examine the very nature of religious and spiritual art, which, Sister Wendy argues, are not at all the same thing. In the course of her discussion she takes a careful look at fourteen works by artists ranging from anonymous medieval masters to Paul C zanne, in whose still lifes she finds the expression of a deep spirituality. The art of Correggio, Rubens, Millet, and others helps Sister Wendy arrive at a new understanding of just why it is that this particular El Greco painting speaks to her so profoundly. Joy Lasts is a remarkable personal statement from one of the best-loved contemporary guides to the meaning and experience of art. Read more Show Less

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2006 Hardcover New 978-0-89236-843-3. Flawless copy, brand new, pristine, never opened--60 pages; 40 color illustrations. Description: "Sister Wendy Beckett is one of the ... best-known art historians in the world today. In Joy Lasts she explores her reactions to a painting that she finds uniquely compelling: the haunting Christ on the Cross by El Greco. As she candidly admits, "I have always had a difficulty in talking about religious art." This surprising admission leads her to examine the very nature of religious and spiritual art, which, Sister Wendy argues, are not at all the same things. In the course of her discussion she takes a careful look at fourteen works by artists ranging from anonymous medieval masters to Paul C?zanne, in whose still lifes she finds the expression of a deep spirituality. The art of Correggio, Rubens, Millet, and others helps Sister Wendy arrive at a new understanding of just why it is that this particular El Greco painting speaks to her so profoundly." Read more Show Less

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Overview


Sister Wendy Beckett is one of the best-known art historians in the world today. Here, she explores her reactions to a painting that she finds uniquely compelling: the haunting Christ on a Cross by El Greco. As she candidly admits, "I have always had trouble in talking about religious art." This surprising admission leads her to examine the very nature of religious and spiritual art, which, Sister Wendy argues, are not at all the same thing.
In the course of her discussion she takes a careful look at fourteen works by artists ranging from anonymous medieval masters to Paul C├ęzanne, in whose still lifes she finds the expression of a deep spirituality. The art of Correggio, Rubens, Millet, and others helps Sister Wendy arrive at a new understanding of just why it is that this particular El Greco painting speaks to her so profoundly.
Joy Lasts is a remarkable personal statement from one of the best-loved contemporary guides to the meaning and experience of art.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

Meet the Author

Sister Wendy Beckett is internationally known for her books and televised art series. Born in South Africa, she taught there for many years after studying at St. Anne's College, Oxford. Since 1970 she has lived as a contemplative nun at a Carmelite monastery in England.

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  • Posted May 28, 2010

    An Intimate Essay with Beautiful Paintings

    This small hardback book is a gem. It is an essay by Sister Wendy, complete with illustrations of fourteen beautiful works.

    Sister Wendy discusses the difference between religious and spiritual paintings, and as she does, we do not merely receive an art history lesson through a learned, intuitive, and joyful approach. The essay also provides the chance to contemplate this distinction between spirituality and religion. As Sister Wendy unfolds her thoughts-inspecting several pieces from artists like Cezanne and Millet and giving unique attention to El Greco's Christ on the Cross-we see the richness (and weakness) inherent in both, and the glorious masterpieces made when the authenticity of spirituality and the craftsmanship of a master come together. Might we live our own lives as such masterpieces?

    This is a book to savor for yourself and to give to others.

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