September 9, 2010

"In this chapel people often invoke the Holy Spirit. But the people who fill this room every day aren't pure spirits."

"Such a crowd ... emanates sweat, breath, carbon dioxide, all sorts of dust. This deadly combination is moved around by winds and ends up on the walls, meaning on the artwork."

You filthy brutes. Art and religion are too beautiful for you.

22 comments:

Fred4Pres said...

People are disgusting fallen creatures.

Fred4Pres said...

I love em!

victoria said...

Duh. That is true of all houses of worship. Aren't we all supposed to be sinners?

I was raised a catholic but I have nothing but contempt for organized religion. Love the Sistine Chapel, though.

Vicki

pst314 said...

Access to those famous cave paintings in southern France is very restricted for precisely this reason.

Sweat is acidic. The reason that museum vistors are instructed not to touch sculptures is that the sweat corrodes the metal or stone.

Do you remember reading that pollution and people are causing the stone of the Taj Mahal to deteriorate?

Irene said...

pst314, they said the same thing about the Parthenon.

Two of my most memorable experiences took place in the Sistine Chapel, before the renovation, and at the Parthenon, when tourists still could walk about in it.

I laid down on the floor of the Sistine Chapel and photographed the ceiling. I remember being struck by how many people before me had been awed by it. A similar feeling overwhelmed me in the Parthenon.

Part of the beauty of seeing these places--being in them--was the sense of being *part* of the history of people who had shared the experiences.

Paddy O said...

"You filthy brutes."

Ah, a post to emphasis the wonder and scandal of the incarnation.

Jesus was just a slob like one of us. Just a brute going through the filtration system, trying to make his way to the Last Supper.

Which makes me think this would be a culturally relevant update to the stories of healing the lepers: Jesus makes the unclean clean, so that all who turn to him can behold the wonders of the Sistine chapel without being scolded by a pharisaic docent.

Christopher said...

What this calls for is some good old-fashioned eliminationist rhetoric.

Pogo said...

"What is man, when you come to think upon him, but a minutely set, ingenious machine for turning, with infinite artfulness, the red wine of Shiraz into urine?"
Isak Dinesen

Albatross said...

Isak Dinesen sounds like an ass.

Albatross said...

I tire of misanthropy expressed as insight.

c3 said...

So Victoria is it the "organized" part or the "religion" part you despise?

traditionalguy said...

Art has its claims to protection. The Catholics could start charging admission to come into the Chapel to discourage the little people.

Pogo said...

"I tire of misanthropy expressed as insight.
Not misanthropy.

Humility.

victoria said...

Actually it is the organized part.
So much hypocrisy. People being, "a good christian" on Sunday and jack-asses the rest of the week. Consistency.Trying to pray or buy your way in to heaven.

Not for me. You all can have it, not me. I think about the koran burning guy,Terry Jones, here he is with a christian church advocating destruction. And we actually paid attention to him. Not even worth a milisecond of my time. Jack ass.


Vicki

Albatross said...

Not misanthropy.

Humility.


I'll take your word for it on the particular author you quoted, as I am unfamiliar with her. But my sentiment is still the same.

Christopher said...

Vicki, fyi, but also as you must know, pretty much the entire machinery of organized religion has condemned that Koran-burning nutcase.

hombre said...

I was raised a catholic but I have nothing but contempt for organized religion.

Does it get any more cliche than this?

jaed said...

said the same thing about the Parthenon

How many millions of years of visitors would it take to do one-tenth the damage that fools who used it as an ammo dump did in a day? "Deadly combination", indeed.

bagoh20 said...

The solution is more Michelangelos. Then again, nobody cares if a Piss Christ gets rancid, so just install less sensitive art.

bagoh20 said...

Imagine a church full of dirty hippies in sandals - a congregation of Jesus and his disciples. How far we have traveled.

p.t. fogger said...

First time I visited the Sistine Chapel, in the late '80's, the ceiling was in the process of being restored. A scaffolding system had been installed that kept most of the chapel floor free while supporting a platform at the ceiling that curved to match the ceiling's curve. The whole thing was rigged to easily move up and down the length of the chamber. However, wherever the platform happened to be, that portion of the ceiling was obscured.

When I was there they were exactly halfway done with the restoration. The platform was placed right in the middle, so the climactic God-creating-man motif was blocked, which was a shame; on the other hand it was fascinating to be able to see the ceiling with an evenly split "before and after" perspective. The contrast was amazing. The colors were much, much more vibrant and bold than what we were all used to seeing in pictures. At the time there was some controversy over the restoration, which involved a lot of cleaning -- years of incense and filthy human emanations had darkened and yellowed the images -- but some claimed that Michelangelo had purposely washed the whole ceiling in a dark varnish.

In any case, even then there was talk of the wear and tear caused to the ceiling by the throngs of tourists, so this isn't exactly a new issue.

Timon said...

Victoria,

in one post you say we are all supposed to be sinners (according to organized religion?) and in the next complain that the people attending church every week are in fact sinners. Where's the problem?