Salvador Dalí (1904 - 1989), portfolio “Paternoster” interpreted traditional religious subject matter in a way that expresses both contemporary reality and the central mystery of the Catholic faith.
Dalí, Mystical Manifesto (1951).
The fire of Dalí’s undeniable talent once burned recklessly, but here glows in the hearth of Christian tradition. Paternoster portfolio is an assemblage of religious scenes and other symbols with personal significance to Dalí that he often repeated in his works. Dali's manner of revealing the gap between reality and illusion influenced all manner of modern artists. Beyond developing his own symbolic language, Dali elaborated a way to represent the inner mind. He is considered one of the major Surrealists who used shock and unease to illustrate moments of pleasure, and in this his work remains highly contemporary.
Giorgio De Chirico (1888 – 1978), portfolio “Apocalypse of John”, has the courage to look at the vision of John with the eyes of a child who relies totally on the goodness of the Father and of the Son, the tenderness in the night of Bethlehem. And here the picture is a sacred freedom overwhelming: is hope and play together, liturgy and the stage. Everything is accepted and imagined, except the fear and horror of the abyss. There is no disrespect, but the consciousness of mercy.
The religious themes in de Chirico is developed in the forties, from engravings to the Apocalypse and continues in later years with a search unknown, and often unprecedented, the outcome complex and problematic.
Giorgio de Chirico.
Johannine's fantastical pages, inhabited by monsters and dragons, are presented by De Chirico with images whose purity and completeness are close to childish vision: obscure, very simple and complex in philosophical and religious symbolism at the same time. That combination a peculiar perception of the world one of the greatest artists of our time - de Chirico, symbolist and surrealist, feed from the roots of classical art evergreen tree.
Marc Chagall (1887 - 1985) portfolio “12 Tribes of Israel”, originally depicted many biblical themes reflecting his Jewish heritage. His works are connected with different currents of modern art and are rich in references to his childhood, communicating joy and optimism by the use of strong and vivid colors.
Work on the stained glass on the biblical theme for the synagogue in Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem suburb of Ein Karem began in 1959 and lasted for two years. Colours spectrum of series "12 tribes of Israel" contain four main colors: red, blue, yellow and green, each panel is made in one of this colours, but using different shades. Each stained glass is a symbolic interpretation of particularly significant biblical scenes. This series is the one of the brightest in the work of Marc Chagall, it has become the embodiment of his national and religious identity, and it is also a gift to all the Jewish people, they still continue to inspire awe and reverence to all viewers.
The 12 tribes are the descendants of the 12 sons of the Patriarch Jacob, (later named Israel). They formed, according to the Scriptures, the people of Israel.
According to the Bible, each of the tribes had its own flag and emblem.
The background of the flag was said to be based on the color of the corresponding gem on the breastplate of the High Priest in Exodus 28:15. The tribal emblems were based mainly on the texts of the Jacob's blessings to his sons (Genesis 49) and Moses' blessings to the tribes (Deuteronomy 33).