4.cover-sourceIn honor of the 2016 annual meeting for the Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR), we are pleased to offer free access to the latest issue of Nova Religio: a special issue on New Religious Movements and the Visual Arts (Vol. 19, No. 4), guest-edited by CESNUR director, Massimo Introvigne.

Featuring seven articles and a guest-editor’s introduction, readers can enjoy free access to this special issue today through the end of the conference on July 10.


Table of Contents:

New Religious Movements and the Visual Arts 
Massimo Introvigne
An overview of the types of influence of new religious movements on artists, and artists who have created new religious movements.

Mona Lisa’s Mysterious Smile: The Artist Initiate in Esoteric New Religions
Per Faxneld
A discussion of the views of nineteenth-century art critics and other authors of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa (La Gioconda) as containing hidden meanings and of Leonardo as an esotericist.

‘Theosophical’ Artistic Networks in the Americas, 1920-1950
Massimo Introvigne
Traces the networks of artists and persons in artistic circles in the Americas influenced by Theosophy, Rosicrucianism, and Agni Yoga.

Rose Cross, Saturn’s Menagerie and the Coal Mines of Silesia: Strange Visions of Teofil Ociepka
Karolina Maria Hess and Małgorzata Alicja Dulska
Introduces the fascinating visionary paintings of Teofil Ociepka (1891-1978), one of the Polish Naïve Art painters of Silesia. The fantastic flora and fauna in his paintings were influenced by his study of Western Esotericism and alchemy, Rosicrucianism, and a 1841 book by Jakob Lorber.

Esoteric Themes in the Artistic Works of Janina Kraupe
Izabela Trzcińsk
Discusses the art and esoteric thought of the internationally known Polish artist Janina Kraupe (1921-2016), and her appropriation of ideas from Theosophy, Anthroposophy, Zen Buddhism, and other alternative religious ideas in Poland. 

Cosmic Philosophy and the Arts: The Cosmic Movement and the Idéal et Réalité Circle
Boaz Huss
Describes the history and artistic philosophy of the Cosmic Movement founded by Max Théon (1848-1927) and his wife Théona (Mary Ware, 1843-1908) in the first decade of the 20th century, and its continuation in the Idéal et Réalité Circle in Paris.

Influence of Emanuel Swedenborg’s Religious Writings on Three Visual Artists 
Jane Williams-Hogan
Discusses the influence of the religious writings of Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) on three significant visual artists: English sculptor and illustrator John Flaxman (1755-1826); French painter Paul Gauguin (1848-1903); and American sculptor Lee Bontecou (b. 1931).

‘All the Heavens in your Hands’: Oberto Airaudi and the Art of Damanhur
PierLuigi Zoccatelli
A photo essay depicting and explaining the religious significance of the “selfic paintings” of Italian artist Oberto Airaudi (1950-2013), known as Falco in the community that he founded near Turin, Italy named the Federation of Damanhur.

Want more articles from Nova Religio? Enjoy access to a free sample issue from now through December 2016.