Saints

About

Depictions of saints—figures officially canonized by the Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox church for exceptional piety in life, and who have a distinguished position in heaven as a result. Saints played a major role in Byzantine and Medieval art, appearing in church decorations and on devotional icons. Reliquaries contained supposed physical remnants of saints, and would at times inspire the construction of entire churches and religious complexes, a prime example being St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. Various saints have captured the attention of artists; Northern Renaissance painter Hans Memling captured St. Veronica with the veil she allegedly used to wipe Jesus's forehead. Baroque sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini immortalized St. Theresa’s ecstasy, an image that street artist Banksy later juxtaposed with a fast food meal.

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