Divine inspiration has been around since the dawn of time. Art has always been a medium by which humans try and understand the world. Archaeology has shown that prehistoric cavemen painted in caves—such as The Cave of Lascaux—as a means of record keeping and artistic expression. Even before humanity could write, we drew. This is because humans are visually oriented; it is our dominant sense according to Brainline.org. For many, Christian artists may be the most prolific and inspirational of all.
Early Christian art survives from periods near the origins of Christianity, with the oldest surviving Christian paintings hailing from the site at Megiddo.
Art inspired by God continued through The Middle Ages. While the Western Roman Empire’s political structure basically collapsed after the fall of Rome, its religious hierarchy—the modern-day Roman Catholic Church—commissioned and funded the production of religious art imagery. The Byzantine Empire also harbored a great deal of Christian art.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.”
— Colossians 3:23 (NIV)
The Resurgence of Christian Art
Fast forward hundreds of years to the 16th century and we discover an upheaval in Christian art and literature happening in Western Europe. Due to the establishment of the new Vatican, Rome became the center for this new Christian art and for Renaissance ideals. Many artists of this time were inspired by God, including Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Images of Jesus and narrative scenes from the Life of Christ are the most common subjects, and scenes from the Old Testament play a part in the art of most denominations.
“Bernini wanted to show how people could find God in their lives in a tangible way. He thought that religious art should always be intelligible and realistic. Bernini’s mission was to draw attention to the beauty of God’s creation so as to inspire the viewers to pray,” says website Ignatian Spirituality.
AKIANE’S art is generally classified as REALISM at age 12 she began expressing heavenly messages using Surrealism …. This is the definition of Surrealism …. a cultural movement that began in the early 1920s, and is best known for its visual artworks and writings. The aim was to "resolve the previously contradictory conditions of dream and reality." Artists painted unnerving, illogical scenes with photographic precision … and developed painting techniques that allowed the unconscious to express itself.
While Akiane Kramarik’s artwork is typically classified as realism from time to time her paintings best express her inspired heavenly messages with painting more surrealist in nature, focusing at times on the almost metaphysical nature of reality, drawing attention to the beauty of God’s creation is without a doubt what The Heavenly Father has inspired her to do through His divine inspiration – as seen in “Love” where Akiane says, “The hands [of God] are portrayed as comfort and affection of love. The unborn babies, vulnerable and dependent, represent all life.”
Devotional artworks were also a theme for some artists who considered themselves secular. Salvador Dali, for instance, produced a few notable and popular artworks with Christian themes, despite not baring the label of “Christian artist.” Eric Gill, Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse, Jacob Epstein, Elizabeth Frink, Graham Sutherland, Makoto Fujimura, Larry D. Alexander, and John August Swanson did the same. Some even designing works for churches.
Other Christian Artists Inspired by God
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
— Matthew 5:16 (NIV)
Unlike secular work, Christian art is sacred, holding within it mysteries and profound meanings intended for teaching The Father’s Holy Word, and showing illumination and deliverance through God. Other artists who are inspired by God include: Martha Silsbee, a 19th century American watercolor artist; Mihály Munkácsy, a 19th century Hungarian realism artist;Georges Rouault, a 20th century French expressionist painter; Stanley Spencer, a 20th century English post-impressionist artist; Thomas Blackshear, a 20th century African-American artist; and Thomas Kinkade, a 20th century American painter of popular realistic, bucolic, and idyllic subjects.
Along with these more notable and well-known Christian artists, others were also inspired by God to embrace the life of art. This includes:
Minnie Evans, an African-American visionary artist who had captivating spiritual experiences in the 1930s that led her to paint. According to Art and Design Inspiration, “It was Good Friday when she claims to have heard God’s command telling her to draw. Following this vision, she was inspired to paint for the next five decades.”
Ivan Guaderrama, a contemporary Mexican artist specializing in Christian art. “Since discovering the gift God has given me I have been faithful in my search for the purpose in which he has given me such talents. It is more clear to me now than ever that God has given me the opportunity to spread the hope found in His word through art inspired by God,” says Ivan on his website.
Audrey Barrows, a contemporary American artist hailing from San Jose, who creates acrylic paintings, chalk-art, drawings, calligraphy, and commissioned art pieces. Audrey spoke with Dainty Jewell's blog, saying, “My relationship with God is the base of everything I do regarding my business and it does inspire my work often. I learned quickly that my relationship with Him must be kept first, and not just in my personal life. Having my own business has taught me such, and has also taught me to pray in ways I have not prayed before. And it’s through prayer and being in the presence of God that my purpose and the intent of my life is found.”
Michael Dudash, a contemporary American realist painter who has completed over 1800 oil paintings and on his website states: “As the years have gone by, the subject matter of my artwork has been centered more and more on Christian themes through the use of Christian publishing and painting, and I'm thankful for having the opportunity to use my abilities to spread the Gospel.” As well as, “I labor to be an empty vessel for Jesus Christ…”
Ron DiCianni, a contemporary American painter also working within realism. As stated on his website, Ron has dedicated his career of twenty-five years to the duty of declaring the Good News of the Gospels and has a new passion and hope of sparking a renewal of visuals arts within the Church. “Whether depicting a prophet's tears, a father's prayers, or angels keeping watch, Ron's paintings have been enormously successful in reaching and awakening the spirituality of thousands of art collectors worldwide.”
Akiane’s self-portrait that describes her relationship with God and how The Heavenly Father guides her work and brush. She says, “my sight cannot wait for me,” and this harkens back to the divine providence and visions Akiane received when she was merely a toddler who saw things far beyond her understanding. Her sight did not wait; God led her by providing inspiration and her talent.
See More Divinely Inspired Art - Visit the Akiane Art Gallery (Click on the Picture)