Diocesan News

Only in Print: The Ghost of Pandemics Past: Living Art and How it Was Influenced

‘The second plague in Egypt. The plague of frogs’

BAY RIDGE — Artists have always depicted real-life moments, illustrated interpretations, and expressed emotions through their mediums, allowing viewers to observe and ponder the subject matter before them. Brother Geoffrey Clement, an expert in medieval history, emphasized every piece of art is a reflection not only of the artists, but of the culture, mentality, and time in which they were produced.

He noted that art created during the Black Death once conveyed a fear of God, as plagues were seen as punishments from God for human-made sins on Earth. However, as time went on, the imagery associated with plagues and pandemics became less harsh and showed more compassion and understanding, as evident through the works of Marcantonio Raimondi, the Italian artist from the early 1500s…

The rest of this article can be found exclusively in the August 15 printed version of The Tablet. You can buy it at church for $1, or you can receive future editions of the paper in your mailbox at a discounted rate by subscribing here. Thank you for supporting Catholic journalism.