Like most museums, you move in chronological order, observing artistic developments in progression. From flat, wooden Medieval altarpieces with stylized faces to the introduction of perspective and suggested depth to the fully understood workings of human anatomy and light, I delighted in pulling the bits of remembered art history lectures from the cobwebs of my memory. Names like Giotto, Filippo Lippi, Caravaggio, Bronzino and of course Botticelli and da Vinci.
And it must have been Heaven, because almost all of the paintings featured Jesus, Mary and assorted Saints in their majesty. Like any good icon, these religious paintings were a conduit towards the divine, an inspiration and a recognition to me of God's life and incarnation in the world, working through the hands of his creative artist children. And I wondered, as I navigated the crowds of tourists from many countries, did these images hold anything sacred for them? Or were they just another stop on the bus through European masterpieces?
As my Bishop from West Tennessee once told me, "God speaks to us in the language which we understand." And I was hearing the chorus of angels all around! Alleluia! Thanks be to God!