12G – Christian Art, Music and Architecture

  1. Christianity and the Arts

    Human artists are gifted with teh ability to reveal something of the mystery of God to others and to lead them closer to God.

    The letter of Pope John Paul II to artists – all who are passionately dedicated to the search for new displays of beauty so that through their creative work as artists they may offer these as gifts to the world.

  2. Church Art

    Throughout its history the Church has used the various arts to communicate and develop Christian faith.

    “Artistic creation does not copy God’s creation, it continues it. ” – Jacques Maritain. The portfolios of a modern Christian artist.

    Twelve virtual tours of key Christian churches.

    The Sistine Chapel is rectangular in shape and measures 40.93 metres long by 13.41 meters wide. This site includes a master plan of the Chapel which helps locate each painting.

    Pope Julius II commissioned 25 year old Raphael Sanzio in 1508 to paint the frescos in his four room apartment on the top floor. These rooms became known as “The Raphael Stanze” .

    The founding of the Vatican Museums can be traced back to 1503. Scores of artefacts were added throughout the next two centuries.

  3. Virtual art galleries

    Exploring religious art through the world wide web.

    The Web Gallery of Art is a virtual museum and searchable database of European painting and sculpture of the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque periods (1150-1750).

    Chris Witcombe is Professor of Art History at Sweet Briar College, Virginia. His online collection of Art History stems from pre historic times while another section of the site is sorted according to nationality and culture.

    Artcyclopedia’s offers an extensive search facility, either by movement, (e.g. pop art), medium (sculpture), subject, nationality and name.

    Famous Paintings online museum – all the notable ones listed by time period.

  4. Music

    From the earliest days of Christianity liturgy was accompained by music.

    Information on different types of instruments, Woodwind, String, Percussion, Brass, Electronic and Keyboard.

  5. Church architecture

    As the number of Christians grew bigger public buildings wher large numbers of worshippers could assemble were needed. People began to build Churches.

    The chief church of a diocese, is where the bishop has his ‘chair’ (cathedra) from which he presides, teaches, and conducts worship for the whole Christian community.  It  is called a Cathedral.

    Castles on the Web has several pages of links, complete with images and information about Abbeys and Cathedrals of historical significance.

    There are many components that go into building a church. Church Architecture is a resource which separates these aspects, highlights them and links to professionals in the field.

    Cathedrals in Britain – read the job description of a medieval stonemason and examine a floor plan of a cathedral, visit a selection of Britain’s online cathedrals and Paint Wells Cathedral in its original medieval colours.

    Cathedral of Notre Dame Chartres Catechesis in window and stone. Explore and enjoy.

  6. Drama and Dance

    Dance and drama are ways of glorifing God.

    An article that briefly traces the history of dance in worship. As with all other forms of worship, it can give glory to the performer, or it can give glory to God.

    Dance meditation is a unique, integrated movement meditation system for exploring and healing oneself. It assumes and enhances an abundant body-mind integration and it encourages receptivity, creativity and presentness.

  7. Virtual Church tours

    One way to explore Church architecture is to take a virtual tour.

    The Cathedral of the Sacred Heart Wellington is the Metropolitan Cathedral for New Zealand.

    Norwich Cathedral exploring what happens where in this old English Cathedral.

    A range of virtual tours of Churches and Cathedrals can be linked to from this site.

    Chartres Cathedral is an amazing medieval Cathedral.

  8. Support Resources for AS 90821

    If you are being assessed for this topic using Achievement Standard 90821 these resources may be useful.


    Remember that these are resources that fit the generic title of the standard if you are being assessed on your knowledge of Church Art and Architecture.  You should read the actual standard 90821, the national moderator’s report, and the assessment task that your school has set.


    AS 90821 requires you to explain and anlyse the changes in an expression of a religous tradition using a range of details and reasons (in depth) and using a range of examples to support your answer (in breadth).

    • This site gives and extensive overview of the changes in Church architecture over the years.  It does give some explanation of why the changes occured but you will have to supplement with the information from your text books and class notes.


    FaithCentral would love to know about sites that you have found useful in your preparation for assessment to any achievement standard. We are also keen to know what you would find helpful to have on FaithCentral. Please share your resources and views with us via ncrs@tci.ac.nz. Remember we are not miracle workers and will not be able to help the night before the task is due in.