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Catherine Osborne's Lecture on Caravaggio's Madonna of the Grooms
Seton Hall > News & Events 

Caravaggio - Madonna of the GroomsThe Center for Catholic Studies presents a lecture by Fordham University Ph.D. candidate Catherine Osborne, entitled Can ‘Vulgar’ Art Be Catholic Art?: Theological Aesthetics and Caravaggio’s Madonna of the Grooms on Monday, November 14, 2011 at 4:30 p.m. The lecture will be held in the Chancellor’s Suite at the University Student Center. The lecture is open to the public and is free to attend.

About The Lecture
In 1506, the artist Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio hung a painting of the Virgin and Child with St. Anne in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Two days later it was gone, denounced as showing nothing but "vulgarity, sacrilege, impiousness and disgust," while the artist was dismissed as "a painter that can paint well, but of a dark spirit, and who has been for a long time far from God." 500 years later, this masterpiece hangs in an art gallery, not in the chapel for which it was commissioned. The episode raises questions still relevant in the present day: what kind of art is 'appropriate' in a Catholic setting? What is the function of sacred art, anyway? How -- and why -- can we understand works of art as works of theology, and what are the tools we might use to interpret them? This lecture will use the so-called 'Madonna of the Grooms' to explore some of the basic themes of 'theological aesthetics,' the study of the relationship between theology and art.

About The Presenter
Catherine Osborne is a Ph.D. candidate in theology at Fordham University. She writes and presents regularly on theological aesthetics and on Catholic visual culture. She has most recently published an article on visual literacy that appears in The Catholic Studies Reader (Oxford University Press, 2011).

About The Center For Catholic Studies
Seton Hall University’s Center for Catholic Studies is dedicated to fostering a dialogue between the Catholic intellectual tradition and all areas of study and contemporary culture. To that end, it sponsors an undergraduate degree program for students, focusing on interdisciplinary studies, with opportunities for community, service, scholarship and foreign study. The Center is the home of the G.K. Chesterton Institute, the Bernard J. Lonergan Institute, and the Micah Institute for Business and Economics and their publications. The Center offers study and research, as well as an ongoing program on faith and culture, social justice, business and the economy for audiences world-wide. 

For more information please contact:
Sarah Adlis
(973) 275-2175


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