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Sister Wendy on the Art of Christmas

Sr. Wendy Beckett is, by now, an elderly nun in South Africa. She is a well-known art historian and art critic and has presented many TV programmes.

This advent I have been looking for an opportunity to reflect on the spiritual aspects of one of her books. The Art of Christmas examines the religious significance and transcendental meaning conveyed by the artist.

The book features fifteen pieces of art relating to the topic of Christmas, with an extended reflection on each piece. The commentary is meditative, more reflection on the spiritual nature of the paintings' subject than art critique.

I have been searching for a hard copy of the book for some time now but have failed to find one in local bookshops. Our state of the art library told me that the only copy available in Ireland was in a library two hundred miles away! Apparently it is only available on-line. Christmas will be well and truly over by then. What a pity!


thank you for the information on Sister Wendy!
i remember her tv program well
i also often think of her
because a stretch of our road has trees on either side
in bright sunshine in can be dappled
with bright shafts of sun coning and going

Sister Wendy has epilepsy
someone who interviewed her
recalled that when he was driving her
she had to throw a cover over her head
in bright and shade patches of road
they could act as trigger

i would love to see that book!
i once did an art appreciation class
in a residence for elderly
as a volunteer
in the weeks before Christmas
i took in famous christmas scenes
and we talked about them
i progressed from the medieval concept
through the renaissance and classical periods
into modern depictions
we had 4 weeks of art and memories

I remember that she had a show on public television way back when. She was delightful.