23 April 2018

Presentation, at the Vatican, of the book, "Italian Artists in the Holy Land"

On April 19, a presentation of the book ‘Italian Artists in the Holy Land’ was held at the Vatican Museums in the presence of the Custos of the Holy Land, Friar Francesco Patton.

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A presentation of a copy of the book, ‘Italian Artists in the Holy Land’ was held at the Vatican Museums, also known as “The Pope’s Museums,” on April 19th. Among those present for the ceremony were the Director of the Vatican Museums, Barbara Jatta, and the Custos of the Holy Land, Friar Francesco Patton. This volume highlights the work of the architect Antonio Barluzzi, as well as that of Italian artists, sculptors and craftsmen who contributed their skills to the construction of Christian sanctuaries in the Holy Land.

Custos of the Holy Land
“All that Antonio Barluzzi accomplished sprang from his faith. I dare to say that he identified himself with the Franciscan custody in addition with the spirituality of the Holy places. Together with other artists, he highlighted that spirituality as it applied to each place.”

In the Land of the Fifth Gospel, there are over 20 examples of sanctuaries created or restored by Barluzzi. Among these are the Church of the Flagellation in Jerusalem, that of the Visitation at Ein Karem, and the Church of the Beatitudes in Galilee, as well as the basilicas at Gethsemane and on Mount Tabor.

Custos of the Holy Land
“The basilica at Gethsemane, where Jesus experienced his anguished prayer, is intentionally dark within, so as to represent the spiritual environment of that prayer. As another example, the church at Tabor represents light. Here Barluzzi created an elongated basilica, which invites us to look upwards. It offers an illumination which characterizes the splendor of the Transfigured Christ!

It is a book which explores Barluzzi’s own story as a tireless and fervent Christian professional.

Custos of the Holy Land
“He urged his fellow artists to express the significance of each place so as inspire the pilgrims who would visit it. Few at first, these visitors now number millions each year!

The friars, who came to the Holy Land 800 years ago, have always accorded a particular value to art, especially at the Holy Places. These are important to local Christians as well as to the countless pilgrims who visit them every year.