The next installment on Creative Minority Report’s quest to show who is out there doing good work in the liturgical arts profiles painter Leonard Porter of New York. Porter is part of the under-40 crowd who was trained as a Modernist painter. Some years ago he rejected his Modernist training and taught himself to paint in the classical tradition. His specialty is the painting of scenes from classical mythology, but in recent years has been kept busy doing some religious and liturgical painting. His first large mural (21 feet wide) was for the Sacred Heart Chapel at the Catholic cathedral in Sioux Falls, SD.
This image of Christ Enthroned With Angels and Saints dedicated to the Eucharist and the Sacred Heart earned him great praise from the client and the traditional art community, and beyond Porter’s obvious and virtuoso technical skill is a layering of narrative and detail which equals or surpasses any art painted in all of Christian history.
Another of his works is a small devotional painting of St. Dominic’s Eighth Way of Prayer. This small 11″x14″ painting nonetheless contains an incredible level of detail and layers of symbolic meaning including a background including the Cathedral of Albi, France, the center of the Albigensian heresy which Dominic founded the Dominican Order to combat.
Porter is just now completing another mural for a church in Fort Worth, Texas of Christ enthroned with imagery based on the description of heaven in the Book of Revelation. This mural shows Christ surrounded by the 4 winged creatures and the rainbow, with all of humanity washing clean in the Blood of the Lamb below. Particularly good are Porter’s still life symbolic details, like the oil lamp (image of Christ’s light) in the shape of a pelican, another image of Christ because the mother pelican was believed to feed her young from the blood of her own breast.