Sister Wendy Beckett is one of the best-known art historians in the world today. In Joy Lasts she explores her reactions to a painting that she finds uniquely compelling: the haunting Christ on the Cross by El Greco. As she candidly admits, "I have always had a difficulty in talking about religious art." This surprising admission leads her to examine the very nature of religious and spiritual art, which, Sister Wendy argues, are not at all the same things.
In the course of her discussion she takes a careful look at fourteen works by artists ranging from anonymous medieval masters to Paul Cézanne, in whose still lifes she finds the expression of a deep spirituality. The art of Correggio, Rubens, Millet, and others helps Sister Wendy arrive at a new understanding of just why it is that this particular El Greco painting speaks to her so profoundly.
Joy Lasts is a remarkable personal statement from one of the best-loved contemporary guides to the meaning and experience of art.
Sister Wendy Beckett is internationally known for her books and televised art series. Born in South Africa, she taught there for many years after studying at St. Anne's College, Oxford. Since 1970 she has lived as a contemplative nun at a Carmelite monastery in England.