Synopses & Reviews
"Dillenberger and Handley have addressed a subject that until recently scholars have failed to investigate. Their new study is very welcome for the light it sheds on the Spanish darkness of Picassoand#8217;s religious beliefs. Dillenberger is an eminent theologian with a deep understanding of her faith, as well as an art historian, and together they endow their book with revealing new insights."and#151;John Richardson, author of A Life of Picasso
"Hundreds of books have been written about Picasso, but this is the first study of his religious art. Although an avowed atheist, Picasso created works which are spiritual, indeed transcendental in nature. Jane Dillenberger and John Handley begin their critical study with a discussion of Picasso's competent painting of a girl at her first Communion, done when he was fourteen years old, to his magnificent sculpture of the MAN WITH LAMB, created during World War II, and on to his his life-long occupation with the Crucifixion, and his great GUERNICA mural in which the artist conveyed universal suffering in a single horse's head. The book ends with a discussion of the Corrida where the bull is 'sacrificed' (from the Latin 'made holy') and the allusion to the Christ on the Cross."and#151;Peter Selz, Professor Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley
"[Dillenberger] provides a fresh outlook that connects [Picasso] to the spiritual upbringing in his childhood and the classical past world of art."
This is the first critical examination of Pablo Picasso's use of religious imagery and the religious import of many of his works with secular subject matter. Though Picasso was an avowed atheist, his work employs spiritual themesand#151;and, often, traditional religious iconography. In five engagingly written, accessible chapters, Jane Daggett Dillenberger and John Handley address Picasso's cryptic 1930 painting of the Crucifixion; the artist's early life in the Catholic church; elements of transcendence in Guernica; Picasso's later, fraught relationship with the church, which commissioned him in the 1950s to paint murals for the Temple of Peace chapel in France; and the centrality of religious themes and imagery in bullfighting, the subject of countless Picasso drawings and paintings.
About the Author
is professor emerita of art and religion at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. She studied at the University of Chicago and is author of The Religious Art of Andy Warhol
(1998), Style and Content in Christian Art
(2004), and Secular Art with Sacred Themes
(1969). She curated several exhibitions for the Berkeley Art Museum during the 1970s on spirituality and art.
John Handley completed his PhD at the Graduate Theological Union in 2012; his dissertation focused on the religious art of Stephen De Staebler.
Table of Contents
Michael Morris, OP
1. The Crucifixion
2. The Early Years
3. Picasso and the Church
4. Guernica: Ultimate Concern
5. The Corrida and the Sketchbooks of the 195s
List of Illustrations