"Rich with historical information on multiple fronts of inquiry and eye-opening personal insights into some of the most sublime works of art of the Western civilization, the elegantly and engagingly written Sacred Muse is a sheer delight to read and contemplate. Despite its diminutive size, it deserves a place of honor alongside Sir Kenneth Clark’s Civilisation."-- Franco Mormando, Boston College, author of Bernini: His Life and His Rome
"Bringing together personal devotion and professional acumen, this slim book is unique on several levels. A true believer speaks with an objective voice on the importance of Christian visual art and music as they alternate in preeminence from the Early Renaissance to the present day. A practicing art historian, Scribner presents deep analyses of splendid works of art succinctly (with original contributions), while articulating their intensely felt sacred, often liturgical content. His analysis of sacral musical masterpieces, plus his own essential estimations, is a parallel gift. Scribner’s muse brings religious faith and aesthetic knowledge into an edifying unison."----Marilyn Aronberg Lavin, art historian
This small book provides an introduction to the rich and variegated subject of Christian currents through art and music down the ages, from Early Christian art to the present. It is personal and selective in its focus on favorite major artists and their subjects as exemplars of a wide range of sacred themes. The author’s lifelong professional focus on the Baroque giants Rubens and Bernini, along with the revolutionary Caravaggio, is evident in the central place they claim as he places them in the context of the broader tradition: medieval art, Michelangelo, Titian, Bellini, Rembrandt, Tiepolo, and other giants of the Renaissance and Baroque. Scribner’s focus is decidedly European—not global. The masters of music will be equally familiar to readers and listeners: from Palestrina and Vivaldi to Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, and Verdi down to the 20th century. It is intended to be protreptic, something that will encourage and spur on the reader—teacher, student, amateur alike—to pursue her or his own explorations in periods and artists that likewise hold special appeal. Includes 45 color and b&w illustrations.
Published by Roman & Littlefield, 2023. Available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.