EWTN's Art Series a Tour of Salvation History

10 Episodes Guide Viewers Through Vatican Museums

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

By Trish Bailey

ROME, OCT. 26, 2008 (Zenit.org).- A 10-episode original television series on EWTN will take viewers on a Vatican Museums tour that tells the story of salvation history through art.

With the support of the Primavera Fine Art Foundation, EWTN was given unprecedented access to the Vatican Museums to film «Catholic Canvas.»

The first episode of the show will air on EWTN at 6:30 p.m. EST on Thursday, Nov. 6 and at 11 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Nov. 11.

«Catholic Canvas is a journey through salvation history as seen in the art of the Vatican Museums,» explained Mary Shovlain, the Rome-based producer of the show. «We begin with the angels — the first to be created, the first to fall — which sets the stage for a journey through the Old Testament, from the Creation to the fall of man, to our need for redemption and the promise of a redeemer, Christ.»

Entire episodes are dedicated to Mary, to the Epiphany, to Christ’s earthly ministry, his Passion, death and resurrection, St. Peter, and the saints. «Of course, our journey ends, as will all of our journeys, with a look at the Last Judgment,» she added.

The team was also granted a rare privilege to spend four days filming inside the Sistine Chapel — a permission never granted before to any other network.

«The Sistine Chapel is the backbone for the series because, within it, the stories of our salvation are contained so beautifully,» said EWTN President Michael Warsaw.


Primavera chairman and cofounder Earnest Bentley is thrilled with the program that resulted with the support of his foundation.

«Primavera Fine Art Foundation is committed to creating a renaissance of fine theological art in the Church,» Bentley said. «The foundation believes bringing the treasures of the Vatican Museums into the viewers’ living room is both a privilege and an opportunity to share with EWTN in this work for the Church.»

The first episode, «The Angels,» was filmed in the Sistine Chapel with Elizabeth Lev as the host.

Lev, professor of Christian art and architecture at Duquesne University’s Italian campus, provides viewers with an in-depth explanation of the artistic genius behind the representation of the cherubim and seraphim as represented in Costanza’s «Sarcophagus,» Rafael’s «Madonna of Foligno,» and many other masterpieces.

At the conclusion of each show, Legionary of Christ Father Mark Haydu, international director of the Vatican Museums’ Patrons of the Arts, gives a short presentation about one of the many gorgeous restoration projects being financed by the patrons.

The Primavera Fine Art Foundation, founded in 2003 by Earnest and Barbara Bentley, is based in Norcross, Georgia. The foundation seeks to commission works of fine theological art as a means of creating an artistic renaissance in the Church and of supporting vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

The first artist commissioned by the foundation was the acclaimed Russian painter Natalia Tsarkova, who was the official portrait painter of three popes: John Paul I, John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

— — —

EWTN: www.ewtn.com/

Primavera Foundation: www.primaverafineart.org

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation