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EWTN Presents “Catholic Canvas” An Unprecedented Look Inside the Vatican Museums


October 27, 2008

Irondale, AL (EWTN) – EWTN Global Catholic Network, with the support of the Primavera Fine Art Foundation, was given unprecedented access to the Vatican Museums to film a 10-episode original series called “Catholic Canvas.”

“We were granted four days of filming inside the Sistine Chapel – a privilege that has never been granted to any other network,” said EWTN President Michael Warsaw. “The Sistine Chapel is the backbone for the series because it conveys so beautifully in art the stories of our salvation.”

Rome Producer Mary Shovlain explains the concept behind the series.

“Catholic Canvas is a journey through salvation history as seen in the art of the Vatican Museums,” she said. “We begin with the Angels – the first to be created, the first to fall – which sets the stage for a journey through the Old Testament, from the creation to the fall of man, to our need for redemption and the promise of a redeemer, Christ.”

Entire episodes are dedicated to Mary, to the Epiphany, to Christ’s earthly ministry, His Passion, death and resurrection, St. Peter, and the Saints. “Of course, our journey ends, as will all of our journeys, with a look at the Last Judgment,” Shovlain said.

Primavera Chairman and Co-founder Earnest Bentley is thrilled with the program that resulted with the help of his Foundation’s support.

“Primavera Fine Art Foundation is committed to creating a renaissance of fine theological art in the Church,” Bentley said. “As our Art Advisor has said, ‘Every great work of art is a window between time and eternity. When we learn to contemplate art or come in contact with it, we actually come in contact with God, a little piece of His glory.’

“For this reason, the Foundation believes bringing the treasures of the Vatican Museums into the viewers’ living room is both a privilege and an opportunity to share with EWTN in this work for the Church.”

Episode 1, a visual feast called “The Angels,” will be hosted by Elisabeth Lev, Professor of Christian Art and Architecture at Duquesne University’s Italian campus. Lev’s expert commentary provides viewers with an in-depth explanation of the artistic genius behind the representation of the Cherubim and Seraphim as represented in Costanza’s Sarcophagus, Rafael’s Madonna of Foligno, and many other masterpieces.

At the conclusion of each show, viewers also have the opportunity to see Father Mark Haydu, L.C., International Director of the Vatican Museums’ Patrons of the Arts who gives a short presentation about one of the many gorgeous restoration projects being financed by the Patrons.

Episode 1 of “Catholic Canvas” will air 6:30 p.m. ET, Thursday, Nov. 6 and 11 p.m. ET, Tuesday, Nov. 11.



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