What might heaven and hell be like? Artists through the ages have passed biblical clues through the lenses of their own imaginations to conjure up visions of the hereafter. The manner in which heaven and hell are perceived has varied greatly through the ages. For instance, the evocation of hell as a terrifying place filled with demonic creatures that torture the damned was replaced during the Age of the Enlightenment by a vision of hell on earth, as in the art of Goya, Max Beckmann and, in our own time, Jerome Witkin, among others. Meanwhile, heaven lost its traditional Christian vision of the blessed raised from the dead at the sound of the last trumpets or, as in the Age of the Enlightenment, as a bright and happy realm in the sky. Historically, argues Dr. John Walford, the way heaven and hell were figured depended on the biblical notion of bodily resurrection and the company of the blessed on the one hand and due punishment for the damned on the other hand. His examples include works by Jan van Eyck, Hans Baldung Grien, Hieronymus Bosch, Coppo di Marcovaldo, Luca Signorelli, Michelangelo, Raphael, Correggio, El Greco, Pozzo, Baccicio, Rubens, Tiepolo, Henri Matisse, Mark Rothko, Francis Bacon, Ed Kienholz and Jean Tinguely. This program is the last in a group titled “What Do We Know About Heaven and Hell?” The other programs, which cover heaven and hell as represented in the Old Testament, New Testament, secular literature and music, are available in a separate album of audio programs. “What Do We Know About Heaven and Hell?” is part of the Ears To Hear series of audio programs from Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Warrenville, Ill. Dr. John Walford is professor of art history at Wheaton College. He is the author of Great Themes in Art (Prentice-Hall, 2001) and other books. He was named Senior Teacher of the Year in 1997 and received Wheaton’s Senior Scholar Achievement Award in 2002.
LINK TO CD: $28.99
Running Time: 48 minutes