Christianity has been a central force in the shaping of western culture. It is not surprising, therefore, that the greatest artists down the centuries have sought to paint its story. This book tells the history of Christian art, exploring the purpose behind the masterpieces and looking at the context in which they were created. The modern secular reader who feels detached from the meaning of the paintings will be helped to understand their emotional as well as their aesthetic power. And the Christian reader will be encouraged to explore further the wonder and beauty of the Christian cultural legacy. The book includes a final chapter on the way modern artists are continuing and changing the legacy.