Institutional Video – English
The Sacred Art School- Firenze was born with the objective to promote creativity in art and craft, with an openness to the sacred, in the service of the Catholic Church and of society as a whole.
The school is international while being rooted in the local region so that it may revive the tradition of art and craft in the city of Florence. Through stimulating old art and craft workshops that have marked the history and the economy of the city through the ages the school seeks this renewal, forming students through apprenticeships and empowering them to create new work in the tuscan tradition.
The cooperation with the historical craft workshops and with the Opera del Duomo, a live laboratory of restoration and maintenance of the Florence Cathedral, contributes to the formation of new, specialized professionals possessing an artisan’s precision together with an artist’s creativity.
The school’s motto “forward in tradition” means to characterize the environment of the shool. An environment in which students learn to design and realize works of art that are fully contemporary, that speak to the men and women of today, while at the same time being connected to the tradition of 20 centuries of Catholic art.
The Christian faith is centered on the incarnation of God in Jesus Christ. It is rooted in history and tradition, though it is also a faith that is present–here and now– to the men and women that encounter it. Contemporary artists must seek ways to represent the sacred, so that it may speak to today’s audience.
The school, that doesn’t adhere to any particular artistic style, is above all a workshop where students and teachers, artists and artisans, may produce sacred art of high quality. So that this may happen the school aims to help artists to go “forward in tradition” through four main means:
1. An exploration of contemporary thinking that helps students to understand the sacred: for example through the work of philosopher George Steiner on “Real Presenses”, namely on the capacity of art to make the subject truly present. Another source is the Theology of the Body by Pope John Paul II, an approach to the body and to human sexuality which is of great significance for the contemporary world. Particular attention is paid to the teachings of Pope Benedict XVI, in his book The Spirit of the Liturgy. Pope John Paul II’s “Letter to Artists” is considered a foundational document which gives direction to the school.
2. A rigorous artistic and technical education that enables the student to communicate through the human form at a high level, as was learned in the renaissance art workshops and in the academies.
3. A theoretical and practical knowledge of the faith. How can contemporary artists reveal the true face o Christ without knowing him “with the head” (Christology), and without knowing “with the heart” the person of Christ, through daily prayer and the sacraments?
4. A special attention to the human figure. Placing attention anew on the human figure, beyond the contemporary iconographic crisis, and on the knowledge of academic artistic principals: this is the opportunity offered to students that learn to observe and are encouraged to interpret what they see, making informed visual choices. This approach is based on the idea that you can’t break the visual rules without first knowing them. It is through this knowledge that an intellectual, emotional and visual abstraction can be realized with understanding.
The OMA (Osservatorio Mestieri dell’Arte) collaborates with the school in forming relationships with artisan workshops.