Idiosyncrasy Goes Mainstream

It’s not a secret that I’m delighted with holy cards, the index-card sized illustrations of religious figures and themes. I favor the Belgian style known as “neo-Gothic” or “goldprint,” published notably by the Société Saint Augustin, or the German Beuron Art-Deco style (definitely not the gauzy pastel style popular in the U.S.A. and southern Europe — this site includes examples of various styles with source information), and I prefer images of various saints to scenes from the life of Jesus. So I was tickled when Margaret pointed out to me that BoingBoing covered the holy card phenomenon yesterday, linking to an article in the LA Times and to the Wikipedia.

For a survey of what’s out there, survey the eBay pages dedicated to holy cards. You can probably skip the entries that offer multiple cards (you won’t be able to get a good sense of the card design), but after a few minutes of skimming you’ll get the knack of spotting the real gems. That’s where I found the card of Cyril and Methodius for my Slavophile father-in-law (Hi, Dick!).

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