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Gwyneth Holston is a sacred artist who works to provide and promote good quality Catholic art. Her website is gwynethholston.com.
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Much of the beauty of the older forms was lost and the hymns did not really become classical. We have reason to hope that the present reform of the breviary will also give us back the old form of the hymns. But meanwhile it seems necessary to keep the later text. This is the one best known, it is given in all hymnbooks and is still the only authorized form. Only in one case have we printed the older text of a hymn, number 57, “Urbs Jerusalem.” The modern form of this begins: “Caelestis urbs Jerusalem.” But in this case the people who changed it in the seventeenth century did not even keep its metre; so the later version cannot be sung to the old, exceedingly beautiful tune.
— Fr. Adrian Fortescue (1913)

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Do You Like This Painting or Not?
published 27 January 2014 by Gwyneth Holston


GWYN_John Chrysostom


HE PAINTING BY Jean Paul Laurens (1838 – 1921) St John Chrysostom and the Empress Eudoxia has always intrigued me, but I can’t tell whether or not I really admire it. On one hand, its golden glow is terribly attractive. The empress is as lovely as a statue in her niche. I especially like the juxtaposition of St. John Chrysostom’s white robe against the pulpit and his tensed fingers silhouetted against the background. I also like the sense of space that can be glimpsed just behind the Empress.

On the other hand, the overall geometry of the painting consists of a rather strange dialogue between a semicircle and a triangle. Does it composition really convey they meaning of the event? I find it worrisome that Saint John Chrysostom comes off as somewhat hysterical and the empress poised in comparison.