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Renaissance Art

Art Can Inspire Faith. It Can Also Empower Destructive Ideologies. Renaissance Art Depictions of Jesus Did Both

Bernard Starr | Posted 07.21.2015 | Religion
Bernard Starr

It's not surprising that artworks mirrored propaganda, since the paintings were commissioned by the Church, the biggest patron, and the wealthy, who sought to impress the Church with their devotion to Jesus and the teachings of the Church. Jesus the Jew did not fit into this illusory world.

Leonardo Da Vinci Would Have Turned 563 Today

The Huffington Post | Priscilla Frank | Posted 04.15.2015 | Arts

While to the non-art lovers of the world, April 15 is known primarily as tax day, the culture fiends among us recognize this most holy of holidays as ...

Picturing the Jewish Jesus: Bill O'Reilly and the National Geographic Channel Get It Right.

Bernard Starr | Posted 05.31.2015 | Religion
Bernard Starr

When I tuned in on March 29, 2015, for the National Geographic's film production Killing Jesus, adapted from Bill O'Reilly's book Killing Jesus, I was poised, pen in hand, to write about the return of Jesus the Tea Party guy.

Five Stages of Anti-Semitism in Art -- From Medieval to Modern Times

Bernard Starr | Posted 04.21.2015 | Arts
Bernard Starr

Although Christianity did eventually emerge as a separate religion, similar falsifications of biblical history are rampant in collections of Renaissance art spanning hundreds of years. These distortions were not harmless. They imposed a dangerous division between Christians and Jews that lingers today.

Christian or Jewish Gospel Figures? The Answer Will Surprise You

Bernard Starr | Posted 02.01.2015 | Religion
Bernard Starr

Art historians, art critics, and curators of Renaissance painting exhibits have participated in a grand deception. They have remained silent in the face of falsifications of biblical history in artworks that are staring right at them.

The Manly Pursuit of Desire: The "Classical Nude" Looks Back at You

Perry Brass | Posted 01.03.2015 | Arts
Perry Brass

A piece of art that either openly celebrates same-sex desire or points to it; or reveals within its space some aspect of an outsider sexual experience that has been withheld.

Authentic and False Images of Jesus in Artworks

Bernard Starr | Posted 11.05.2014 | Religion
Bernard Starr

Jesus would likely be horrified by the image of him displaying a crucifix. The only crucifix he ever held was the one he was nailed to in the brutal process of his crucifixion.

Images of Jesus as Christian, Jew, Criminal, and Divine: Conception Drives Perception

Bernard Starr | Posted 10.21.2014 | Religion
Bernard Starr

Like my students, Jews have shunned Jesus and failed to recognize his dedicated commitment to Judaism -- a recognition that does not require accepting him as the Messiah.

Response to Bill O'Reilly: Jesus Didn't Start a New Religion

Bernard Starr | Posted 09.17.2014 | Religion
Bernard Starr

Bill O'Reilly disputed the two main points of my recent blog on The O'Reilly Factor broadcast: My affirmation of Jesus' lifelong dedication to Judaism (meaning he did not start a new religion) and the assertion that Renaissance art representations of Jesus omit his Jewish identity and thus falsify biblical history.

Does Conspiracy Account for the Absence of Jesus' Jewish Identity in Renaissance Art?

Bernard Starr | Posted 09.09.2014 | Arts
Bernard Starr

Try to locate even a hint of Jesus' Jewish identity and heritage in Renaissance paintings and you will find yourself on a fruitless quest. Some respondents bristled at what they perceived as the suggestion of a conspiracy to suppress Jesus Jewish identity. But the falsification of biblical history in artworks was not a conspiracy.

Jewish Jesus in Renaissance Art and the Roots of Anti-Semitism

Bernard Starr | Posted 08.18.2014 | Religion
Bernard Starr

Isn't it time to celebrate the common heritage of Judaism and Christianity, despite the differences between the two faiths? Isn't it time to endorse Pope Francis's bold statement: "A Christian cannot be anti-Semitic; his roots are Jewish"?

The Idiot's Guide To Identifying Classic Paintings

The Huffington Post | Sara Roncero-Menendez | Posted 03.31.2014 | Arts

Can you tell a Rembrandt from a Caravaggio? Or a Rubens from a Michelangelo? If you answered no, have no fear. There's a quick and painless guide to t...

The Cut That Divided Jews and Christians -- and the Mystery of the Missing Circumcision in Artworks

Bernard Starr | Posted 05.03.2014 | Religion
Bernard Starr

Art historians, curators, and critics offer extensive commentary on the minutest details and nuances of artworks but ignore the glaring and obvious falsification of biblical history.

Why Have Art Historians Been Silent About the Falsification of Biblical History in Artworks?

Bernard Starr | Posted 03.17.2014 | Arts
Bernard Starr

Contemporizing biblical figures is not the end of the story. It's the starting point of a gross misunderstanding. Contemporizing -- and fashioning in your own image -- is one thing, but erasing identities is another matter, a serious matter with serious consequences.

Jewish Jesus, 'Christ Killers,' and the Hidden Code of Hatred

Bernard Starr | Posted 02.09.2014 | Religion
Bernard Starr

Just when I thought that society had gotten over the bizarre charge that Jews were collectively responsible for the death of Jesus, an equally bizarre missive has come along to challenge my complacency.

Jesus in Jewish Art: The Missing Pieces

Bernard Starr | Posted 01.23.2014 | Arts
Bernard Starr

Artworks commonly Christianized Jesus, his family and close followers while omitting their Jewish identities. This phenomenon contributed significantly to the historic rift between Christianity and Judaism by picturing Jesus and Jews as separate.

Face to Face: Flanders, Florence and Renaissance Painting

John Seed | Posted 01.23.2014 | Arts
John Seed

Although I am used to looking at contemporary art -- which often broadcasts its messages with great immediacy -- I found myself slowing down and scanning the 15-century works on view in their entirety, hoping for more subtle moments.

Jewish Jesus Visits the Jewish Museum

Bernard Starr | Posted 11.30.2013 | Arts
Bernard Starr

While Chagall's powerful paintings restore Jesus's Jewish identity, they focus primarily on one theme: the common ground of suffering -- Jesus suffering on the cross signifying the suffering of Jews in horrendous persecutions.

Seeking The Next Michelangelo: Religious Art Gets An Update

Religion News Service | Alessandro Speciale | Posted 09.08.2013 | Religion

FLORENCE, Italy (RNS) Set in a luscious park along the banks of the Arno River, an art school is trying to revive the tradition of sacred art that mad...

Astronomy in Renaissance Art

Mario Livio | Posted 10.16.2013 | Arts
Mario Livio

The heavens have always been a source of inspiration for poetry, music and the visual arts. It was only natural then, that at the end of Medieval times, with the first signs of the Renaissance, the heavens would start making an appearance in important works of art.

A New Look at Perception (Thank You, El Greco)

Wray Herbert | Posted 05.13.2013 | Science
Wray Herbert

The El Greco fallacy is a peculiar kind of illogical thinking, which is highly intuitive but obviously wrong once it's illuminated. It may be keeping alive one of the most popular -- but questionable -- ideas now current in the field of human perception.

The Ethnic Cleansing of Judaism in Medieval and Renaissance Art

Bernard Starr | Posted 01.23.2014 | Arts
Bernard Starr

In every gallery I was surrounded by paintings that featured a cast of characters and lavish settings that bore no resemblance to the world that Jesus and his followers inhabited. Every wall greeted me with blond, fair-skinned European figures.

Leonardo and the Last Supper by Ross King

Michael Roth | Posted 03.23.2013 | College
Michael Roth

"The Last Supper" seemed to many to be a miraculous work of art because its revolutionary combination of realism, dramatic power and attention to detail was unlike anything before. By casting light on the historical context of the work, King has enabled us to see the painting anew.

Celebrating Circumcision

William M. O'Barr | Posted 12.10.2012 | Religion
William M. O'Barr

Circumcision is an ancient practice whose origins date back thousands of years. Genital surgeries on both males and females are routine in many indige...

Raphael Makes A Splash At Louvre

AP | Posted 10.09.2012 | Arts

PARIS -- Raphael, the third in the Renaissance trinity of Michaelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci, is famed for his serene paintings of classic subjects &...