Vatican swaps Old Masters for modernity with Venice Biennale debut
May 14th, 2013
02:22 PM ET

Vatican swaps Old Masters for modernity with Venice Biennale debut

By Bryony Jones, CNN

(CNN) - Its art collection is the envy of galleries the world over, but until now the Vatican has been better known for Renaissance masterpieces rather than hip modernist artworks.

That may be about to change: the home of the Catholic Church has announced it will exhibit at the ultra-fashionable Venice Biennale for the first time later this year.

In a bold move away from the works of Michelangelo, Rafael and Giotto for which it is renowned, the Holy See picked Italian new media art collective Studio Azzurro, Czech-French photographer Josef Koudelka, and Australian-born U.S. painter Lawrence Carroll to interpret its chosen theme.

But the subject itself is one of the oldest and most traditional: the pavilion, inspired by Genesis, the first book of the Bible, is entitled "In the Beginning."

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Art • Catholic Church • Vatican

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