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Church commissions Howson painting for cathedral facelift

It will be the biggest piece of art, in both size and artistic scale, that the Catholic Church in Scotland has commissioned from an artist since the Reformation.

A large painting of the execution of Saint John Ogilvie, to be placed in St Andrew’s Cathedral in Glasgow, will be painted by Peter Howson, it was announced yesterday.

Howson said that as far as denominations of Christianity were concerned, he did not care for them, though he occasionally attended Mass with his fiancee, who is a Catholic.

“When I am with Protestants I want to be with Catholics, and when I am with Catholics I want to be with Protestants,” he joked.

He added: “I follow Jesus, I am a Christian. In fact I think it’s ridiculous that there are any divisions at all.”

Responding to a question about whether it was appropriate that the former painter of nudes, such as his 2002 image of rock star Madonna, should be involved in such a commission, Mr Howson said: “I don’t think any artists in history have been saints. I can’t think of one.”

Full story at The Herald.

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