The great Italian Renaissance artist Raphael has always been one of my favorites. Today’s world demands vulgarity and profanity; the art of Raphael depicts love and beauty. I write often about the sexual dimensions of beauty, or eroticism, but for too long now I have neglected the spiritual. Recently I have felt that pull again, after a few years of doubt and wandering. It is strange how the power of God can keep beckoning you even when you seem so far from anything divine.
Art is a great tool for the expression of the more mysterious things of our world. The spiritual is by its very nature mysterious. This particular piece by Raphael is a product of the High Renaissance (circa 1512), a short time when classical harmony and Christian spirituality were perfectly blended. This did not last long, no, the world is too difficult for that, but the great works of this time have withstood the test of time and remain to this day some of the finest expressions of beauty, especially spiritual beauty, ever created.
I particularly love beauty that speaks to something deeper in our world, to something mysterious and eternal, to something which can nourish both the mind and the soul with wondrous joy at the possibilities of what exist beyond our daily existence.
Such were the works of this great artist.