Christian Church Fathers & Thinkers in Art Photos

The Catholic church has had sainted leaders and thinkers (beyond Popes) who have informed the church's thought and direction as well as creating various Catholic priestly orders. Several had impacts portayed in the art of the church.

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St Ambrose

Attrib. Bishop's hat, beehive
Church Father,
Asserted superiority of Church over secular rulers.
Portrait of St Ambrose by Francisco de Goya at Cleveland Museum of Art. Cleveland, OH St Ambrose ceramic by Andrea della Robbia of Florence at Bode Museum. Berlin, Germany
St Jerome

Attrib. Lion, skull, Cardinal's hat, praying in wilderness.
Church Father,
Translated New & Old Testaments into Latin.
St Jerome in His Study painting by Jan van Eyck at Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit, MI St Jerome in his Oratory painting attrib. Marinus van Reymerswaele at Orleans Beaux Arts Museum. Orleans, France
St Augustine

Attrib. Bishop's habit, heart with arrow or flame.
Church Father,
Authored Confessions.
Consecration of St Augustine painting by Jaume Huguet at Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya. Barcelona, Spain St Augustine in Ectasy painting by Charles-André Van Loo, known as Carle Vanloo at Angers Fine Arts Museum. Angers, France
St Gregory the Great

Attrib. Dove
Church Father,
Pope introduced Gregorian Chant, sent missionaries through Europe.
Squinch mural of St Gregory the Great, one of four doctors of the church, at Mission San Xavier del Bac. Tucson, AZ Saint Gregory with Saints Domitilla, Maurus & Papianus painting by Peter Paul Rubens at Berlin Gemaldegalerie. Berlin, Germany
St Anthony Abbot

Attrib. pig, bell, T-staff, tempted by devil.
(Aka Anthony the Hermit, Abbas, the Great,)
founder of Christian monasticism.
Carving of St Anthony the Great with pig, bell, & monk's habit symbols at St Sebaldus Church. Nuremberg, Germany Torment of St Anthony painting by Michelangelo Buonarroti at Kimbell Art Museum. Fort Worth, TX
St Patrick

Attrib. snake, shamrock, harp.
Brought Christianity to Ireland where it survived dark ages. St Patrick lights the fire that leads to the conversion of Ireland painting by Vincenzo Waldré on ceiling of St Patrick's Hall at Dublin Castle. Dublin, Ireland New Haven Cathedral stained glass of St Patrick. Roseau, Dominica
St Benedict

Attrib. undyed or black robe, crow with loaf of bread.
Founded Benedictine order, wrote rules for monastic life. Totila, king of Goths, before St Benedict tempera painting by Benozzo Gozzoli at Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, NY St Peter & St Benedict panel painting by Giovanni da Milano at Uffizi Gallery. Florence, Italy
St Bernard

Attrib. bees, pen
Founded Cistercian monasteries. Vision of St Bernard painting by Pietro Perugino at Alte Pinakothek. Munich, Germany St Bernard of Siena altarpiece flanked by Sts Michael & Anthony of Padua at Barcelona Cathedral. Barcelona, Spain
St Dominic

Attrib. Lilies, dog with torch
Founded Dominican Order. Scenes from life of St Dominic de Guzman painting from Aragon at Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya. Barcelona, Spain St Dominic painting by El Greco workshop at Hispanic Society of America Museum. New York, NY
St Francis of Assisi

Attrib. Stigmata, knotted rope belt
Founded Franciscan Order. St Francis Receiving Stigmata tempera painting by Mariotto di Nardo of Florence at RISD Museum. Providence, RI St Francis Kneeling in Meditation painting by El Greco at Art Institute of Chicago. Chicago, IL
St Anthony of Padua

Attrib. Christ Child on his arm
Franciscan monk who attracted huge crowds to his sermons. St Anthony of Padua retablo by Antonio Molleno at Hacienda de los Martinez. Taos, NM Panel of St Anthony of Padua & St Nicholas of Tolentino from Crucifixion triptych by Joos van Cleve at Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, NY
St Thomas Aquinas

Attrib. black cape over white robe holding open book.
Teachings become official philosophy of Catholicism. Virgin Mary with Sts Thomas Aquinas & Paul tempera painting by Bernardo Daddi at J. Paul Getty Museum Center. Malibu, CA Stained-glass window of St Thomas Aquinas in Great Hall at St John's University. Collegeville, MN
St Francis Xavier

Attrib. Knee-length white robe over floor-length black skirt.
Founder of Jesuits. Missionary to Asia & Japan. San Xavier statue on High altar of Mission San Xavier del Bac. Tucson, AZ Miracles of St Francis Xavier painting by Peter Paul Rubens at Kunsthistorisches Museum. Vienna, Austria
St Ignatius Loyola

Attrib. Elaborate Jesuit robes.
Founder of Jesuits. Miracles of St Ignatius Loyola painting by Peter Paul Rubens at Kunsthistorisches Museum. Vienna, Austria St Ignatius of Loyola painting by José Rafael Aragón at Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. Colorado Springs, CO
St Charles Borromeo

Attrib. humble pose in red robe.
Revived Council of Trent, fought plague in Milan. St Charles Borromeo painting by Tiepolo of Itay at Cincinnati Art Museum. Cincinnati, OH Stained glass detail of San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo Mission. CA

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All photos on this page are originals by & copyrighted by Jim Steinhart.
All rights reserved. Permission required to use.