Sacred art


The sacred art is an art that can be found within religions such as Catholicism , the Buddhism and religion Muslim among others. It is a composition of images of a religious nature that shows through paintings and sculptures , the basic principles that are expressed through the church and the Christian tradition.


What is sacred art?

Sacred art is a form of artistic expression that seeks to venerate the most sacred aspects of religion , the surrender cult to worship and to express the basic principles of the church and the Christian tradition.


What does it consist of

Sacred art is a type of art and works of art whose primary purpose is to venerate the divine or sacred aspects of religion. They are all productions and works that worship what is worshiped. It is a composition of religious images that seek to reveal the different religious principles that are expressed by the church and by the Christian tradition.


Sacred art characteristics

The main characteristics of this type of art are the following:

  • His works have a liturgical destination .
  • His works of art give greater importance to the expression of beauty in Christian terms .
  • They also express divine beauty .
  • Their objective is to guide man to God .
  • The artists have a deep religious inspiration .


It is considered that the origin of sacred art arose in the Middle Ages, in Europe , when many of the artists and teachers were sent by the Catholic Church and gradually faded in the Renaissance.


In the Middle Ages on the European continent , sacred art was not a very common type of art to observe, however in the Renaissance it did manage to develop with greater force and in fact it spread throughout many places. . This situation arose mainly due to the fact that during this period they managed to create important works of art that were made by important masters of painting and sculpture .

In Latin America this type of art was fundamental since it was the main point of all types of colonial art , mainly because it was in that period that Catholicism began to be introduced to the indigenous peoples who inhabited the region. A large number of images were created which tried to reproduce the popular beliefs that indigenous peoples had with the beliefs of the Catholic world.

Types of sacred art

There are different types of sacred art, among which we mention the following:

  • Sacred and religious art : despite being united they are not the same. Religious art represents love and faith towards God, meanwhile sacred art represented the same but it is a divine cult .
  • European Christian Art : It was common in Europe in the Middle Ages, many artists were ordained by the Catholic Church during the Renaissance . Important works were made such as the columns of the Basilica of Saint Peter, and the paintings of the Sistine Chapel.
  • Muslim sacred art: it reflected a harmonious and balanced vision of the planet . He focused on the spiritual nature and not the divine.
  • Tibetan-Buddhist sacred art : they made representations of the Vajrayāna practice . They also represented Thangkas , mandalas, and Buddhas . It was done through extreme meditation and the works were not signed by the artist who did it.


The main themes that are represented by means of sacred art is the representation of the cycle of the life of Christ and the Old Testament , representations of the saints , of Mary Most Holy , on different images of the Bible , of the death of Jesus and the risen Jesus , the crucifixion and the trial of Jesus to name a few of them. They are works exhibited mainly in Lutheran altars, Catholic temples , chapels , baptismal font and in church windows.

Medieval sacred art

Sacred art was normal to observe during the European Middle Ages and that is why it was called medieval sacred art. It was at this time that the famous Michelangelo developed who was in charge of painting the Sistine Chapel and carved the Pietà, when Gian Lorenzo Bernini created the columns in the Basilica of Saint Peter and Leonardo da Vinci painted The Last Supper. At this time, the most important Christian subject to paint was the Virgin Mary with the baby Jesus in her arms and the second subject was the crucifixion of Jesus.

Contemporary sacred art

Contemporary sacred art is used mainly to show the dialogue and the relationship that exists between the religious theme and the new and different artistic techniques that exist in reality. Many of the works that have been made are based on the biblical passage of the Annunciation , with the aim of finding and establishing a respectful dialogue between art and religion .

Sacred art by country


This type of art has a broad sense devotional is Mexico , is an art that within the Catholic religion manages to acquire a liturgical character that gives greater meaning to cults. In the country, sacred art is directed mainly towards the Catholic religion , and in its ceremonies its lavishness and the impact it causes on society can always be observed . Regarding the technique they use, they do not have one in particular since it ranges from the sculptures to the embroidery on the altars.


This type of art is used to express the Catholic faith and is a tradition in the country, so much so that in every city of importance in the country, you can find a museum about the country’s sacred heritage .


Artists seek to find a source of artistic inspiration in the religious aspect . In Argentina, this art is widely recognized as a connection between art and religion that gives the opportunity for artists to find the faith , the inspiration .


Among the most important representatives  of sacred art we can mention the following:

  • Miguel Angel
  • Leonardo da Vinci
  • Gian Lorenzo Bernini
  • Francisco de Goya
  • Marc chagall
  • Henri Matisse


Some of the most important works related to this type of art are:

  • The Angelus by Jean-François Millet , a portrait of two peasants in prayer in the middle of work, inspired by the artist’s memory.
  • El Greco’s Tears of Saint Peter , which portrays the Apostle’s repentance for denying his teacher.
  • Van der Weyden’s Descent from the Cross , a work full of realism that shows the dead body of Jesus Christ and the association of the Blessed Virgin Mary with the suffering of Christ.
  • The Immaculate Conception of Murillo inspired by the dogma of the preservation of the Mother of God from the stain of original sin.
  • The Dispute of the Sacrament of Raphael , a double heavenly and earthly scene, with the Holy Trinity and the Triumphant Church in adoration.

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