This is the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Here I saw thousands of artifacts gathered from all over the world. I saw denarii and shekels, the coins used at the time of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I saw different manifestations of Greek gods like Aphrodite. Once upon a time, Greek and Roman gods influenced countless lives in the ancient world. Now, they are residing in these museums. That is the power of the gospel. I saw great paintings by Christian artists. On their way to Egypt, Mary and baby Jesus take rest under the head of a pharaoh. One painting featuring Israelites gathering manna; a family praying. How beautiful that is. Whole family, father, mother, children all singing hymns and praising God.
I stopped at Bartholemew Murillo ‘Flagellated Christ’. Christ being beaten and lying on the ground and angels, who look at his suffering with sympathy. Peter Paul Rubens painting shows us how the Old Testament objects like the Feast of Passover and the Ark of the Covenant point us to their fulfillment in Christ. Thomas Cole shows us the tragedy of Adam and Eve being ejected from the Garden of Eden.
The Christian painters put God, Christ, saints, angels in their paintings. They showed us an eternal dimension to life. They showed us Christian virtues like love, sacrifice, patience, self-control and hope. You don’t see that in atheist painters. They showed us plants, trees, flowers, nude men, nude women, violence, and disorder. I saw some paintings by Picasso, they are so depressing. Look at the paintings of Rembrandt and then those of Picasso. What a difference? Rembrandt’s woman is well dressed and dignified. Picasso’s woman is naked and disfigured.Giotto, Masaccio, Jan van Eyck, Botticelli, Raphael, Leonardo da vinci, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Caravaggio, Peter Paul Rubens….those Christian painters showed us God, Christ, angels, demons, heaven, hell, Bible and prayer. When we look at them, we think about eternal values, sacredness of life, hope of heaven, fear of hell and the power of God.
Then take a look at the paintings of modern artists. Edouard Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Paul Cezanne, Picasso, Vincet van Gogh, Degas. we don’t see God or Jesus or heaven in their paintings. They were painting nude women. They would go out to a brothel, bring in a prostitute, pose for them for drawing, and then they would lie with her. It is abuse of women. Many of them got STDs from those interactions. Vincent Van Gogh got syphilis and lost all his teeth. He cut his ear and gave it to a prostitute.
Emile Zola wrote a novel titled The Masterpiece after closely observing the lives of several impressionist painters. Painter Claude Lantier focuses on painting outdoors drawing on real people in real places. He stays away from historical and religious subjects. In his painting, Open Air, he depicts a nude female figure in the front center and two female nudes in the background. Later Claude moves to a rural place, takes Christine Hallegrain with him to serve as the model for his nudes. She should also satisfy his physical needs. They will have a son. Then, Claude loses his interest in drawing, gets depressed, loses his friends, inserts bizarre elements into his paintings.
His female companion, Christine watches how the paintings, especially the nude paintings,destroy the soul of this artist. Their son dies. That tragedy inspires Claude to paint a picture of the dead of his son. The artist slides into more melancholy, madness and finally commits suicide in front of his paintings.
The impressionists were so enraged by this novel that many of them ended their friendship with Emile Zola. Ironically, they never bothered to introspect their lives as depicted by Zola. They led disorganized lives, abusing drugs and alcohol, abusing women, contracting STDs, and committing suicides. Vincent Van Gogh was a Christian missionary in his youth, then he gave us his faith in God, became a painter. He shot himself in the middle of a painting. I feel sad for him. He cut his ear. He was disfigured. All his life he wanted someone to love him. He did not get that love. He was lonely and sad. It is tragic that he died without knowing and experiencing the love of Jesus.
Jesus said, ‘Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh’. (Matthew 12:34). We can also say, ‘Out of the abundance of the imagination, the brush paints’. Their imagination lacked eternity, God, Christ, heaven and hell. So, they gave us trashy paintings. So, as I walked in this museum, I observed the degradation of art as the Western artists moved from Christianity to atheism as their main subject.
By Nathaniel Currier – http://www.octc.kctcs.edu/mmaltby/his108/Boston%20Tea%20Party.jpg%5Bdead link], Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6354651
By John Rogers Herbert – Art UK, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28250708
By Vincent van Gogh – hQGZa2I9Xi6lpA at Google Cultural Institute maximum zoom level, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22030423
By Vincent van Gogh – mwF3N6F_RfJ4_w at Google Cultural Institute maximum zoom level, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21977797
By Rickmouser45 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=93488391