Friday, June 15, 2012

Sacred Heart And Batoni

Today is the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, so a very happy feast day to all readers! Last year I wrote on the importance that I attach to this feast, and how theologically rich I find it. Given that so many churches and schools are dedicated to the Sacred Heart, it is clear that historically devotion to the Sacred Heart has played a central role in Catholic life. Therefore, it seems to me, the more we can promote this devotion today, the more we promote the Church and its mission.One difficulty I do have with the Sacred Heart, though, is the iconography. Pompeo Batoni was the most wonderful painter, and famous for his portraits of various English grand tourists which are still to be found in most art galleries in the western world. But he was also responsible for the picture of the Sacred Heart that hangs in the Church of the Gesù, in Rome. Naturally enough, it is this Sacred Heart that is Batoni’s most reproduced picture, which may have something to do with the Jesuit promotion of the devotion.
Link (here) to The Catholic Herald

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