See this online text and video:
- Letter to Artists, by Pope St. John Paul II (4 April 1999). Subtitled: “To all who are passionately dedicated to the search for new ‘epiphanies’ of beauty so that through their creative work as artists they may offer these as gifts to the world”. May be read online on this page of the EWTN Libraries (linked from this page of Ignitum Today); at the Holy See (linked from this page of the Institute of Catholic Culture); on this page of JP2 Love; and on this page of The Foundation for Sacred Arts.
- Excerpts of the Letter are read out in “Pope John Paul II’s ‘Letter to Artists’”, (published April 21, 2014) at the JPCatholic Youtube channel, which may also be viewed on this page of Xt3; and on this page, which has a brief essay by Monique Ocampo, at the John Paul II Foundation. The Youtube page describes the video thus:
- “A tribute to John Paul II’s ‘Letter to Artists’, as read by students at John Paul the Great Catholic University… to commemorate his canonization to sainthood, and as a gift to Christian artists throughout the world. Many of the students reading are… students who have taken up the Pope’s invitation to pursue the arts.”
- “8 Things St. John Paul II Wanted All Artists to Know”, by Benedict Hince (October 21, 2016), at Catholic Link.
- “The Artist as Image of God the Creator” (19 May 2017) and “Letter to Artists: The Artistic Vocation (16 June 2017), by Benedict Hince at Love Good.
- “An Artistic Reflection on St. John Paul II’s ‘Letter to Artists’” by Amanda Evinger (May. 9, 2017) at the National Catholic Register.
- “Beauty and Liturgy: Pope Saint John Paul II’s Letter to Artists”, by Richard J. Clark, 12 September 2014, at Corpus Christi Watershed.
- “John Paul II’s Letter to Artists and the Force of Beauty”, by James Matthew Wilson, Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture, Volume 18, Number 1 (Winter 2015): pp. 46-70. Available online at Project Muse and at Questia (both accessible to subscribers only). With a review and excerpts in “Beauty and Reality”, by Rod Dreher (September 29, 2015) at The American Conservative.
- “Reflections on the letter to all artists by H.H. Pope John Paul II”, by Hamilton Reed Armstrong (19 February 2000), at Ad Gloriam Dei. The text states that: “An edited version of this article entitled: “The visible Form of the Good” appeared in the quarterly edition of Sursum Corda/Latin Mass, Summer 2000”.
- “When St. John Paul II Wrote a Letter to Artists“, by Tod Worner (May 02, 2016), at Aleteia.
On the anniversary of the Lateran Council of AD 769, and in observance of World Art Day and the World Day of Culture. For other related works, you may access the page Art and Architecture. For other legally free ebooks, you may access the List of Free eBooks (Arranged by Title) and the List of Free eBooks (Grouped by Subject).
“The firmament on high is his beauty, the beauty of heaven with its glorious shew. The sun, when he appeareth shewing forth at his rising, an admirable instrument, the work of the Most High… And the moon in all in her season, is for a declaration of times and a sign of the world… The glory of the stars is the beauty of heaven; the Lord enlighteneth the world on high… Look upon the rainbow, and bless him that made it: it is very beautiful in its brightness.
“By his commandment he maketh the snow to fall apace, and sendeth forth swiftly the lightnings of his judgment… The eye admireth at the beauty of the whiteness thereof, and the heart is astonished at the shower thereof… At his word the wind is still, and with his thought he appeaseth the deep, and the Lord hath planted islands therein… There are great and wonderful works: a variety of beasts, and of all living things, and the monstrous creatures of whales.
“What shall we be able to do to glorify him: for the Almighty himself is above all his works… Glorify the Lord as much as ever you can, for he will yet far exceed, and his magnificence is wonderful. Blessing the Lord, exalt him as much as you can: for he is above all praise.”
“To admire the icons and the great masterpieces of Christian art in general, leads us on an inner way, a way of overcoming ourselves; thus in this purification of vision that is a purification of the heart, it reveals the beautiful to us, or at least a ray of it. In this way we are brought into contact with the power of the truth… [T]he true apology of Christian faith, the most convincing demonstration of its truth against every denial, are the saints, and the beauty that the faith has generated. Today, for faith to grow, we must lead ourselves and the persons we meet to encounter the saints and to enter into contact with the Beautiful…
“The experience of the beautiful has received new depth and new realism. The One who is the Beauty itself let himself be slapped in the face, spat upon, crowned with thorns; the Shroud of Turin can help us imagine this in a realistic way. However, in his Face that is so disfigured, there appears the genuine, extreme beauty: the beauty of love that goes “to the very end”… The icon of the crucified Christ… imposes a condition: that we let ourselves be wounded by him, and that we believe in the Love who can risk setting aside his external beauty to proclaim, in this way, the truth of the beautiful…
“Dostoyevsky’s often-quoted sentence: ‘The Beautiful will save us’… is referring… to the redeeming Beauty of Christ… If we know him, not only in words, but if we are struck by the arrow of his paradoxical beauty, then we will truly know him, and know him not only because we have heard others speak about him. Then we will have found the beauty of Truth, of the Truth that redeems. Nothing can bring us into close contact with the beauty of Christ himself other than the world of beauty created by faith and light that shines out from the faces of the saints, through whom his own light becomes visible.”
(Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger [Pope Benedict XVI], “Contemplation of Beauty“, 2002)