I often wonder how our ideas of the divine play into our lives – how we think about it, how we reflect upon it and how we uniquely manifest it. Well, I have recently had an opportunity to indulge in all three of these musings, each thought resounding loud and clear in my experience for the past 5 months. This is all due to the latest mural project I have just (about) completed – a Baroque ceiling mural titled ‘The Trinity in Glory & Prophets’ for a church in Houston, Texas.
The mural was loosely based on an existing Baroque mural by Pietro da Cortona, painted between 1648 – 1651, at Santa Maria in Vallicella (Our Lady in the Little Valley), otherwise known as Chiesa Nuova, Rome. I used the basic framework and layering approach to the figures as seen in the original, keeping the same prophets, angels and cherub, while adjusting some of the compositional elements of the painting to accommodate the modified size of the dome. The focal point of the painting are three adjoining figurative groupings representing the Cross uplifted, Jesus resurrected and God the Father, respectively. These scenes are the first that a viewer would notice upon entrance to the church. Following the images upward, one would see a chorus of angels and cherubs receding into the distance, completed with a pronounced ring of garland and cherubs encircling the cupola edge at the very top. An image of the Holy Spirit in the shape of a dove crowns the mural at the very center of the dome.