Three Things Thursday

It’s time again for Three Things Thursday, the purpose of which is to “share three things from the previous week that made you smile or laugh or appreciate the awesome of your life.”

Psychology of Baroque Art and Architecture

I never took an art appreciation course in college. Over the years I picked up on the fact that Baroque art and architecture are heavily ornate and complex, but on this trip through the heart of Europe I learned why.

The lovely Baroque churches of Europe were created to demonstrate visually for a mostly illiterate populace the grandeur of God and His heaven.

(Click on images to see a larger version.)

1. Ceiling of Benedictine Abbey Church, Melk, Austria

Our tour guide at Melk’s Benedictine Abbey explained that the church was built as an audience for God. The ceiling presents a portrait of the beauty of God’s Heaven.

Ceiling, Benedictine Abbey, Melk, Austria
Ceiling, Benedictine Abbey, Melk, Austria

2. The Pillars in St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Passau, Germany

The bottoms of the church’s pillars are ordinary, unadorned, to demonstrate the plainness of everyday existence on earth.

St. Stephan's Cathedral, Passau, Germany
St. Stephan’s Cathedral, Passau, Germany

3. Top of Pillars and Ceiling, St. Stephen’s Cathedral

The bottoms of the pillars suggest the drabness of human existence on earth, but as congregants look upward, they see the beauty and grandeur of Heaven in the gilt and ornamentation higher up. This use of decoration served to remind people that Heaven is better than earth and that they should follow the church’s teachings if they wanted to end up in Heaven.

Ceiling, St. Stephan's Cathedral, Passau, Germany
Ceiling, St. Stephan’s Cathedral, Passau, Germany
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