Art and religion have long gone hand in hand. One thinks of the base use of the arts to create idols for worship. But, on the other hand, one needs to remember Bezalel, who was inspired by the Holy Spirit "to desvise artistic designs" in gold, silver, and bronze for use in the Temple (Exodus 31). And the Spirit filled this man so that his artistic ability might be a blessing to the people of God. It is no less true today. One thinks of Rembrandt's work, for example. Or the twentieth-century artist Pauline Baynes, who has just died. Her marvellous drawings of figures to accompany the Narnia tales of C.S. Lewis will long be remembered by this writer/reader.
For a recent obituary, see Pauline Baynes: Illustrator who depicted Lewis's Narnia and Tolkien's Middle-earth by Brian Sibley (The Independent, August 6, 2008).