Monday, May 18, 2009

Websites on Art

When I went online to research websites that would appeal to those interested in religious art, I presumed there would be a wealth of information. Instead, most of the websites are concerned with biblical art (no great shame to me mind you but there may be those interested in a more wider sphere!). Hopefully I'll be able to add to this list as more sites become live and indeed when more websites have unrestricted content.

This article is adopted from the original one published in Intercom.

One of the major advantages of such a vast resource as the Internet is the large amount of information that can be collected together and very easily accessed. Religious art is one such resource that is easily accessible on the Internet and sites such as Biblical Art highlight the ease of accessing such a great amount of information. There are 3,073 artists with 33,120 artworks categorised on this site which is searchable biblical subject, biblical text, artist, or by a simple word search. There is plenty of information on each piece of art, such as the date, the technique used and the subject of the work. Each picture is displayed with a thumbnail and the host site of the picture (usually a gallery or museum) is straightforwardly accessed with links that are kept up to date.

Other websites offer modern photographs of sites mentioned in the Bible and of archaeological digs as well as maps and paintings that would aid in any study of the Bible and Christianity. The site is best searched through “category” unless you require a specific picture and the site also features an excellent page of links to other websites. Several of the images on the site are for the sole use of students of Yale University but if you wish to use any of the accessible images, information on copyright issues is readily available from the site.

For a more hands on view of religious art, the website of St John's Bible is the resource for information on the newly published Bible that is handwritten and illuminated reviving a tradition that has been nearly absent from the Christian world since the invention of the printing press in the fifteenth century. The Saint John’s Bible uses ancient materials and techniques to create a contemporary masterpiece that brings the Word of God to life for the contemporary world. The site is designed to inform the user of the complex process of creating the Bible. By using the links on the left of the home page such as “see and hear” users can view videos of the creative process and read interviews from those involved in the work.

For more mundane uses of religious art, if you use Microsoft Office, avoid searching for clip art online and encountering some less than trustworthy websites and head for their website for free good quality clip art as well as stock photos and symbols that can be simply downloaded and used in a variety of ways.

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