Because cathedrals have always striven to attract the highest standards of what human beings can offer to their faith, they have as a consequence been inextricably connected to art, in its many different forms. Churches and Cathedrals have provided the inspiration and springboard, as well as the financial resources, to encourage some of the Western world’s greatest music and visual art. Artists were often commissioned to produce work which would teach, inspire, challenge and even intimidate the faithful, illustrating to them the beliefs of the Church and the practices required of the people. Also at times of widespread illiteracy, visual art in churches was a powerful means of both communication and control.
Even though the emphases may have changed, this tradition continues today. In this article we will visit some of the most famous installations in Europe and we will learn more about this interesting aspect of art. Churches and Cathedrals might have been built to honour God, but in their conception and execution they reflect the creativity and industry of humankind. The following artists have seen the possibilities of such a setting and they brilliantly reminds us of our links to the mediaeval artists and crafts people who went before us.