What is Pope Francis’ idea of art?
A new documentary titled ‘Pope Francis – My idea of art,’ delves into the Roman Pontiff’s artistic side and explore what art personally means to the Pope through a series of his favorite works.
“The art of mercy is truly Pope Francis’ idea of art,” stated Barbara Jatta, Director of the Vatican Museums, according to Vatican Radio.
“It is the art that is directed toward the humble. And the Vatican Museums correspond directly to the Pope’s message on art,” Jatta continued.
The documentary was produced by the Vatican Museums and Imago Film and is based on the 2015 book written by the Holy Father and journalist Tiziana Lupi with the same title. While the book is currently only published in Italian, the new documentary will be made available in 6 languages through subtitles.
The film highlights eleven works of both classical and contemporary art from the Vatican’s collection that embody Pope Francis’ ideal message of art, which is “evangelizing and contrasting a throwaway culture.”
The documentary features drone shots and unique cinematography of St. Peter’s Square and Basilica, the Sistine Chapel, and the Vatican Gardens. The film is narrated by Pope Francis himself and also features excerpts from Sandro Barbagallo, curator at the Vatican Museums, and from the author of the book, Tiziana Lupi.
Among the Pope’s chosen works of art are the Belvedere Torso, the Sistine Chapel, a 1984 Renault, a scrap metal statue of Our Lady of Luján by Argentine sculptor Alejandro Marmo, and The Deposition by Caravaggio.
According to the Holy Father, these featured works of art contrast the current culture of waste and point toward a way of evangelization.
“The artist is a witness of the invisible and works of art are the clearest proof that the incarnation is possible,” Pope Francis narrates in the documentary.
The previous two pontificates have also been vocal about their appreciation for art, and both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have written about the importance of beauty. However, this is the first time that a pope has been featured in a film for his vision on art.
The 45-minute documentary will be released worldwide over the next few months and will also be featured in various theaters across the globe, although there is no official release date. The Vatican also has plans to submit the film for the 2018 Academy Awards.