Home > Culture > Contemplative VISION, A Guide to Christian Art and Prayer

Contemplative VISION, A Guide to Christian Art and Prayer

IVP Books

RRP, $23.95

Reviewed by Ann Hewson.

Juliet Brenner's training and passion for her subject shine through her careful, very readable and detailed guide.

She helps the reader to begin to appreciate the work of the artists step by step.

This is truly an education in how to appreciate both these paintings and therefore all art work in a much more educated way.

Each chapter sets the scene of the painting and asks the reader to meditate on the bible passage depicted in the scene.

Brenner then goes on to highlight parts of the passage followed by a brief synopsis of the painter and their life.

This is followed by a guide of the painting itself, concluding each chapter with thoughtful comments, 'For reflection and Discussion' which could be used by an individual or a group.

Be warned this book is certainly not for those who want a quick easy read.

It is detailed and requires the reader to take the time to do the exercise of meditating on the bible passage and slowly looking and really seeing the painting.

This is a book where the reader will have to work to truly appreciate the lessons in each chapter.

While there are small colour plates of the art works in the centre of the book they are hard to view and I think to truly appreciate the paintings and see all Brenner is pointing out one would best be served by finding the art on the internet and using those images as you go through each chapter rather than trying to flick back and forth from the chapter to the small colour plates in the book.

Overall a through and very readable book but not one you can lightly flick through.