Art and religion have been in the close bond since the dawn of time. Their complex, sporadically unease, and intense relationship deserves more focus and attention since it has not only shaped each of these two phenomena but also built the foundation for many religious and artistic canons. Let’s tersely size up the essence of interrelation between religion and art and summarize their mutual importance against the background of world history.
Art and religion
On the surface, it might seem that it is almost unfeasible to separate art and religion because they morphed into the one long ago. Well, this statement is half true and depends on your personal viewpoint and attitude to the matter. From a historical perspective, religion, as we know it today, is not as old as art. From the onset, it used art as a tool for expression and performance, which tightly fastened these two social phenomena at the very nonce.
With the help of art, religion created its pantheon of religious art. Chants, iconography, ritual dancing, sculptures, and architecture have become the bedrocks of dissemination of religion and its ideas across the globe. While some of the religious art forms have remained a formality and tradition, others have become an indispensable part of people’s life. This particularly refers to religious icons, especially Russian icons, which Orthodox Christians – and not only – tend to use when worshiping God.
Art, on its part, has inherited the religious philosophy and adopted it as one of the basic “knowledge bases” for artists. Just look at how many famous paintings of the past and present share the ideas or plots from the Bible. Such a historic trend has not ceased to exist, and yet contemporary art comes across as not so loyal to religion as, for example, Baroque or Classicism.
Today, the relationship between religion and arts becomes weaker due to the peculiarities of our time. However, it cannot be denied that these two sides of human existence are intrinsically connected, and their interrelation is, without exaggeration, titanic.