In a recent post I mentioned meditating on the mysteries of the Holy Rosary using Art. A friend has given me a couple of wonderful books: one is the Annunciation and the other is the Crucifixion, as represneted in art. Both contain hundreds of images from the 5th century to the present.
They are both fabulous books, and provide a rich source of images to choose from, to aid your meditation. I say images, rather than paintings, as they include pictures of statuary, mosaics, stained glass windows and other media, as well as icons and paintings.
Looking at the Annunciation first; there are many favourites are here, of course, such as Duccio, and Fra Angelico, but there are also many new (to me) things to discover. I was not familiar with Brice Marden’s Annunciation before (see image), but find it strangely compelling. There are a few disappointments (there are only so many counter-reformation putti I can take, and Salvador Dalí’s Annunciation leaves me cold), but overall the selection is fabulous, and having them brought together chronologically is fascinating.
Turning to the Crucifixion, it is a similar story: Fra Angelico again turns in a fabulous image, and there's a wonderful Rembrandt etching I hadn't known before. Perhaps there are more pictures in this book which I dislike: but given the subject matter that may, of course, be a good thing. Incidentally, Dalí’s Crucifixion (based on a drawing by St John of the Cross) is one of his works I really appreciate.
As far as I can see, they are the only two that Phaidon do (but I got bored of looking after checking for Visitation and Nativity, so if you want to prove me wrong: here’s your opportunity). But they are both rich sources for meditation on these particular mysteries.