Loughborough University
Thesis-2015-Wyatt.pdf (9.91 MB)

The Christian image and contemporary British painting: (the communication of meaning and experience in religious paintings)

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posted on 2015-06-04, 07:39 authored by Nicholas Wyatt
My research uses my painting practice as an experimental and investigative tool to test the capacity of practical aesthetics to generate similar or analogous experiences to the non-dualist reception aesthetics of certain key examples of post-Tridentine (1563) Catholic Counter-Reformation devotional imagery, particularly, The Ecstasy of St. Theresa (1647-1652) by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and the Incarnation (1596-1600) by El Greco. I apply an interpretative method to the development of Christian imagery within painting in the post-Reformation period and its relationship to the economic system of modern capitalism and the Enlightenment aesthetic of the sublime. My research aims to see what, if any, meanings and experiences, which, I believe, were present in the affective aesthetics of certain Counter-Reformation imagery can, through the contemporary aesthetics of my painting practice, be reconstructed or re-generated again as similar experience to those original pre-Enlightenment non-dualist meanings and experiences. The experience I aim to generate in my paintings is an affective and experiential narrative of presence, - Eliot’s ‘unity of thought, feeling and action’, which I argue is found in the meaning and experience of those key Christian devotional images.



  • The Arts, English and Drama


  • Arts


© Nicholas Wyatt

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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.


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