The Morgan Library has a fascinating illuminated manuscript show up right now, Demons and Devotion. It features the work of Catherine of Cleves, who created the manuscript in 1440 in the Netherlands. I simply have to get to this show.
First, I love the combination of text and image-- it lends itself to a surreal narrative. Secondly, in order to catch all the details of the illuminated manusripts, viewers are forced to get close to the image, creating an intimacy that large artwork lacks. And how can you not love the fact that this is a female whose devotion to art and God led her to create these fascinating images? It reminds me of Hildegard Von Bingen, a woman whose talent was recognized even in the 12 century. Writer, musician, artist, Bingen combined her visions of God with her passion to create. If you haven't heard her ethereal chants, you should.
These women fought the conventions of their times to express themselves, so on a Sunday morning in Lent, it seems only fitting that my own devotion leads me to some studio time of my own.