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If you’re interested in Buddhism, look to the work of Toos Van Holstein, a Dutch artist who has created a distinct style that draws upon elements of expressionism. Her piece Bodisathva is a stunning example of spiritual art, created using a palette of purples and blues to depict a Bodisathva. This term refers to a person who is supposedly able to reach nirvana but chooses not to in compassion for suffering beings.
For art that is spiritual in a more general sense, Jean-Luc Lacroix makes a great addition to your collection. In particular, his piece Outre Ciel shows an indistinct scene that appears to be the sea and sky above. A mysterious face looms through the clouds, suggesting an unnamed deity that could be related to any religion.
Spiritual art can be defined as any art that deals with a religious subject. Whether it’s a a meditating Buddha or the baby Jesus cradled in Mary’s arms, it all comes under the umbrella term of spiritual art. There has always been a strong connection between art and spirituality – Christian art has been popular throughout the course of history in Modern Europe, and Buddhist art on the Indian subcontinent can be dated back to the 5th Century BC. Some of the world’s most beautiful artworks can be categorised as spiritual art, and can be appreciated whether you’re a believer or not.
Many of the world’s most famous examples of religious art appeared during the Renaissance as the Catholic Church began to commission great artworks from the masters of the time. Leonardo da Vinci is perhaps the best known of these painters, and his painting of The Last Supper is instantly recognisable. The artists of this time are renowned for their technical excellence, with a noticeable jump in quality from the preceding Middle Ages. With religion as a driving force, artists were able to reach new heights of creativity and technical mastery of their medium.
However, not all spiritual art is necessarily Christian. Islamic cultures have also produced their fair share of artwork, but these take an entirely different form from their Christian counterparts. In Islam, it is prohibited to produce representational images in religious art. Instead, Allah and religious ideals are expressed through beautiful calligraphy and geometric patterns. Look closely at Islamic architecture and you’ll see geometric designs all over, but always with one very slight imperfection. The artists add these imperfections as it is believed that only Allah can be wholly perfect.