Ever wondered why modern sacred art looks like a cartoon version of the magnificent Renaissance paintings?
According to Hilary White, “[t]he point with sacred art is not to depict the subject – the Virgin Mary or an angel, for instance – as looking like a particular person, but to depict a completely different order of reality, one that “eye has not seen…” and which cannot ever be fully grasped by the human mind in this life.”
“The point of sacred art is to depict the idealised form of the person. Kind of like those videos of Korean girls making themselves look like Asian barbie dolls with face tape and nose putty… only less horrifying. In fact, those weird videos, and this strange thing of completely modifying your face or body to fit some odd cultural ideal of beauty that only exists in photoshopped magazine photos, or more appallingly in Manga cartoons, sort of illustrates what I’m talking about. These culturally-derived, arbitrary “ideals” – cf: foot-binding – have led to some pretty grotesque horrors. This is because there is a failure to understand the distinction between what the sacred artists depict as heavenly perfection – meant to be “unattainable” in this life, as well as eternal – and ordinary, earthly human beauty that is necessarily fleeting.”
Read Hilary White’s article on this subject: