Sister Wendy Beckett is one of the best-known art historians in the world today. Here, she explores her reactions to a painting that she finds uniquely compelling: the haunting Christ on a Cross by El Greco. As she candidly admits, "I have always had trouble in talking about religious art." This surprising admission leads her to examine the very nature of religious and spiritual art, which, Sister Wendy argues, are not at all the same thing.
In the course of her discussion she takes a careful look at fourteen works by artists ranging from anonymous medieval masters to Paul Cezanne, in whose still lifes she finds the expression of a deep spirituality. The art of Correggio, Rubens, Millet, and others helps Sister Wendy arrive at a new understanding of just why it is that this particular El Greco painting speaks to her so profoundly.
Joy Lasts is a remarkable personal statement from one of the best-loved contemporary guides to the meaning and experience of art.
Sister Wendy Beckett
Sister Wendy Beckett is the author of the internationally bestselling The Story of Painting (Dorling Kindersley, 1997) and a frequent presenter of programmes on art for the BBC. Her most recent books include The Christ Journey (2011), Real Presence (2010), Encounters with God (2009), and The Art of Christmas (2008). Formerly a Sister of Notre Dame, Sister Wendy has lived since 1970 as a contemplative nun within the grounds of a Carmelite monastery in Norfolk.