Catholic Art Blog

January 18, 2014


Top 5 Artists of 2013

Carl Bloch
I thought it would be a nice change to rank the artists on our website based off which ones get the most downloads. So, after pouring through our sales data, I compiled this list of the five most popular (all dead, R.I.P.) artists for 2013.

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January 11, 2014

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10 Beautiful Virgin Mary Artworks by Sassoferrato

Not much is known about the Italian Baroque artist Giovanni Battista Salvi da Sassoferrato. He's typically called Sassoferrato for short, which is the name of the place he came from in Italy. 

We've always appreciated his artwork here at Restored Traditions — there's a warmth and realism that melts even the coldest hearts. Three primary elements make his art appealing:

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December 28, 2013


St John's Wine: A Catholic Tradition

You can haul wine into your local Catholic church and get it blessed by the priest on the feast of St. John the Evangelist, December 27th. I did just that and brought a case to the communion rail after mass. That's right, at participating locations, the priest imparts the Church's blessing on the vino, which turns it into a sacramental. Catholics drink the wine throughout ...

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December 21, 2013


Shepherds Adore Christ in Ruins of a Classical Structure

Kneeling shepherds adore the newly-born Christ child in a dirty stable that transitions into the ruins of a classical structure. The ruins represent the ending of the Old Testament law, which was ushered out by the Savior being born on Christmas day.

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December 14, 2013


5 Virgin & Child Images Perfect for Christmas

Following Nativity artwork, images of the Virgin and Child rank high in popularity for Christmas-oriented projects. Over and over again, we see our clients using these images for Christmas cards, calendars, church bulletins, books, screen savers and quite a bit more we probably never even hear about.

What we do know for sure is that the five artworks featured in this blog post are downloaded from our website quite regularly. You'll notice that three of the images are by the artist Giovanni Battista Salvi da Sassoferrato (an Italian baroque painter), while the other two are by William A. Bouguereau (a French academic painter). Both artists employ a very realistic touch to their portrayals of the Madonna and Child, as well as other pieces they've created.

The warmth and clarity of this artwork is what makes it exceptional. The theme of pristine and pure love between Our Lady, the Virgin Mary, and her son, Jesus Christ, is rarely crystallized as well in brushstrokes as in these five inspirational images. But feel free to check out the rest of the religious art we sell for download; there's quite a bit more to see on this site. 

We hope and pray this Advent season that you benefit from these images as much as we have at Restored Traditions. Thanks for stopping by!   


Madonna with the Christ Child by Sassoferrato 




Virgin & Child by Sassoferrato



Virgin & Child (detail) by Bouguereau



The Virgin & Child Embracing by Sassoferrato



L'Innocence by Bouguereau


December 07, 2013


Top 10 Nativity Images

These are the ten most popular Nativity images at Restored Traditions. Since 2009, these beautiful artworks of the birth of Jesus Christ have been bought and downloaded more than any other Nativity images sold here (the order of the images goes from most to least downloaded).  

These paintings are a combination of several themes revolving around the birth of Christ in Bethlehem: shepherds, kings, adoration, and the holy family. The only image without the Christ child is #9, which shows the Angel announcing the Nativity to the Shepherds. 

Though there are many typical motifs present, there are a few unusual points we find fascinating:

  • Saint Joseph is sleeping while God the Father and God the Holy Ghost appear at the Nativity in #6. Though Joseph certainly deserves his rest, we usually only see him sleeping in art when the go-to-Egypt-Herod-is-after-ya'll angel appears to him in a dream.
  • The most prominent, gift-giving magi in #2 has taken off his crown and kneels to adore the Christ child. While doing so, he shows us that he's a bearded and bald king — a fashion style we don't normally see in art renditions of the three kings. 
  • A prominently shown Crucifix is painted on the top left of #7. This is certainly a foreshadowing of the reason for God becoming man: Redemption. Once again, though, a motif we don't normally see in Nativity artwork. 

We wish everyone a fruitful Advent season and blessed Christmas!


1. The Adoration of the Shepherds by Esteban Murillo 


2. The Adoration of the Magi by Franz von Rohden 


3. The Adoration of the Shepherds by Bernardo Strozzi 


4. The Adoration of the Magi by Carlo Dolci


5. The Nativity by John Singleton Copley


6. The Nativity with God the Father and Holy Ghost by Giovanni Battista Pittoni


7. The Nativity by Lorenzo Lotto


8. The Holy Night by Carl Heinrich Bloch 


9. The Shepherds and the Angel by Carl Heinrich Bloch 


10. The Nativity by Federico Barocci

August 29, 2013


New Site Launch

The midnight oil burned out two months ago, and now we're pleased to announce the launch of our completely redesigned website! We even got a new nifty logo.

The essential focus of the website makeover was enhanced functionality and minimal design—after all, we want you to focus on the Catholic images, not the color of a navigation bar.

The biggest advantage of our new Catholic art site is the ability to have one image sold in multiple sizes within the same product listing. Before, if we wanted to sell the image in two different sizes, we had to create two product listings, which was downright confusing for customers (and us). 

In order to better adapt to the needs of our clients, we created a new hierarchy of image sizes and pricing: 

  • The Small Size for Web, Mobile and smaller print jobs 
  • The Medium Size for bigger web displays, printing or graphic design elements
  • The Large Size for larger print jobs or work needing much greater detail (not available for every image)
  • The XLarge Size for when you need an ungodly and unprecedented image size to see the brushstrokes of the artist or the weave style of the canvas (once again, not available for every image) 

Another enhancement to the website is the image zoom feature for each image, which is really accurate. If you're still unsure about whether an image will work for your project, we've also rolled out complimentary image proofs. Ask, and we'll email a watermarked proof. 

Every bit of content was redone, edited and updated. Every Catholic image download we sell went through our 5-point quality check again. And the architecture of site navigation was scrutinized down to a level of detail that would make your German woodworking uncle proud.  

Thanks again to all our loyal clients who've made Restored Traditions Earth's best resource for Catholic art online since the Bush Administration!