Rebecca Allan: Landscape as a Devotional Motif

ENVIRONMENTAL PIETY IS A LARGE COMPONENT of contemporary artists’ interest in landscape. Artists announce their state of grace by genuflecting to the forms and ecosystems of the natural world. This displacement of religious impulses onto nature—Mother Mary, dressed in green—is seconded even by the churches. Think of the altar to Gaia in New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Or the Vatican’s decision, spearheaded by Cardinal Poupard of the Pontifical Council for Culture, to buy an eco-indulgence for itself by planting trees in Hungary to offset its carbon sins. Continue Reading