Excerpts from the Bible appearing in the margins are cited from the Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition (RSV–2CE). Citations from the Bible that appear during the course of the Prologue and in the commentaries on the works of art are given in the author’s version, which is often a freer rendering. The other citations, particularly of artists, were collected by the author over a lifetime. Whenever possible a currently verifiable reference is given. All the text blocks entitled In Art History are by Mario Choueiry. Revised Standard Version of the Bible—Second Catholic Edition (Ignatius Edition), copyright © 2006 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. For information, address Magnificat, PO Box 834, Yonkers, NY 10702. COVER : Christ Cima da Conegliano (ca. 1459–1517/1518) Oil on poplar wood, 13.6 x 10 in Dresden, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I wish to thank in particular: Jean de Saint-Chéron, the talented editor of the original French edition of this book, who patiently brought it to completion; Aude Mantoux, Marie-Amélie Clercant, and Claire Lemoine for kindly rereading and critiquing my texts; Isabelle Mascaras, for the quality of her iconographic research; Marine Bezou for the beautiful graphic design. And also: Maciej Leszczynski, Father Frédéric Curnier-Laroche, Fleur Nabert, and Sophie Mouquin, who kindly shared with me their way of looking at the masterpieces of Christian art; my father-in-law, the painter Gérard Ambroselli (1906–2000), who taught me to appreciate in works of art what makes them appreciable as works of art. Pierre-Marie Dumont The spiritual and theological positions presented in this book are primarily those of the artists who painted the works or the authors of the texts reproduced and not those of the authors of the book or the publisher.