|The EWTN team with host Elizabeth Lev and Father Mark Haydu, LC, International Coordinator of The Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums, in the Sistine Chapel.|
October 22, 2008. Rome, Italy. EWTN was recently given unprecedented access to
the Vatican Museums to film a 10-episode original series called
“Catholic Canvas,” a project that aims to tell the story
of salvation history through artistic masterpieces. The project was the result
of teamwork between three Catholic organizations: EWTN, which did the
main work of filming and producing the program; The
Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums, coordinated by Fr Mark
Haydu, LC, which helped the team to get free access to
important masterpieces in the Vatican Museums; and the Primavera
Fine Art Foundation, founded by Regnum Christi members Earnest and
Barbara Bentley, which provided the financial support.
The first episode of
the show will air on EWTN at 6:30 p.m. ET
on Thursday, November 6 and at 11 p.m. ET on
Tuesday, November 11.
A Journey through Salvation History
“Catholic Canvas is a
journey through salvation history as seen in the art of
the Vatican Museums,” explained Mary Shovlain, the Rome-based producer of
the show. “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.”
|Regnum Christi members Earnest and Barbara Bentley created the Primavera Foundation to spark a renaissance in art and to support vocations.|
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,” she
The team was also granted a rare privilege to spend
four days filming inside the Sistine Chapel—a permission never granted
before to any other network.
“The Sistine Chapel is the backbone
for the series because, within it, the stories of our
salvation are contained so beautifully,” said EWTN President Michael Warsaw.
Primavera chairman and cofounder Earnest Bentley is thrilled with the
program that resulted with the support of his foundation.
Art Foundation is committed to creating a renaissance of fine
theological art in the Church,” Bentley said. “As our Art
Advisor Father John Bartunek, LC, 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’
|The first episode, “The Angels,” was filmed in the Sistine Chapel with Elizabeth Lev as the host.|
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.
the conclusion of each show, viewers also have the opportunity
to see Father Mark Haydu, LC, International Coordinator of The Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums 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.
The Primavera Fine Art Foundation
Primavera Fine Art Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in
2003 by Earnest and Barbara Bentley, based in Norcross, Georgia.
The foundation seeks to commission works of fine theological art
as a means of creating an artistic renaissance in the
Church and of supporting vocations to the priesthood and religious
|Artist Natalia Tsarkova presents her painting, Our Lady of Light, to Pope John Paul II.|
The first artist commissioned by the foundation was the
acclaimed Russian painter Natalia Tsarkova, who was the official portrait
painter of three popes: John Paul I, John Paul II,
and Pope Benedict XVI.
The Primavera Foundation commissioned
three paintings from Natalia Tsarkova on three topics: faith, hope,
and love. The first of these three paintings, entitled “Our
Lady of Light” depicts the five new mysteries of the
Rosary, the Mysteries of Light, introduced by Pope John Paul
II in 2002. After a brief stay in the papal
library, the painting was moved to the Vatican, and then
to the United States Capitol Building. It is currently on tour.
To learn more about the Primavera Foundation and its
projects, visit the web site at www.primaverafineart.org.