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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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“The authority of the Pope is not unlimited. It is at the service of Sacred Tradition. Still less is any kind of general ‘freedom’ of manufacture, degenerating into spontaneous improvisation, compatible with the essence of faith and liturgy. The greatness of the liturgy depends—we shall have to repeat this frequently—on its lack of spontaneity.”
— Josef Cardinal Ratzinger (2000)

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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.