Friday, December 23, 2016

Artists marked the decline of the West when they stopped putting halos on Jesus

By Peter Burfeind
The halo, borrowed from pagan art, endowed a subject with divinity. Early Christian iconographers haloed Christ to affirm his divinity, as the “Logos made flesh.” The concept of Logos is critical, because arguably the loss of a logo-centric cosmic architecture explains the decline of the West.
Art has always been a harbinger of historical trends, especially in the West. As declining religion gave way to proxies—political religions, new-age kookery, myopic scientism, and sacralized hedonism—art heralded the way. In the Renaissance, halos begin to fade. In this painting, full naturalism is on display in a balanced, if staged, setting. In philosophical terms, it’s like the Logos loses its upper case. Can the West go on with a pursuit of objective truth without a divinized Logos fueling that pursuit? What does all this mean for today, particularly with the rise of Trump and the role of art during his administration? [link]