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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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"It's good that you are in the USA, otherwise who is going to—in the best sense—make music?"
— Ignaz Friedman writing to Josef Hofmann (4 January 1940)

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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.