What are the TOP 5?

Volume 50, Issue 3 :: Michael J. Crosbie

Matisse Chapel in Vence

Henri Matisse’s Chapelle du Rosarie de Vence

The results are in, and we have the winners! Or at least we have some idea of what the most popular works or sacred art and architecture are. A few months ago, in preparation of the journal’s 50th anniversary issue, we invited our followers to vote on their Top 5 picks. Here’s what the survey completed by 61 people revealed.

First, voting for religious architecture was pretty slim—most of those who took our poll voted on works of architecture. The top work of religious art, garnering 3 votes, was Henri Matisse’s Chapelle du Rosarie de Vence. Others religious art works mentioned in the poll included Michelangelo’s “Pieta,” and the Giotto frescoes in the Scrovegni Chapel, Rogier van der Weyden’s “The Descent from the Cross,” the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, “The Annunciation” by Dante Gabriel Rosetti, and the Sistine Chapel.

In architecture, Le Corbusier’s chapel Notre Dame du Haut at Ronchamp received the most votes (14). A close second was Thorncrown Chapel by E. Fay Jones, with 12 votes. The next most cited work of sacred architecture was Antoni Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia, with 9 votes. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Unity Temple, Steven Holl’s Chapel of St. Ignatius at Seattle University, and the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul shared a three-way tie for third, each with 8 votes. Next most cited was the Pantheon in Rome and Notre-Dame de Chartres, each with 7 votes. Notre-Dame de Paris, St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Walter Netsch’s US Air Force Academy Cadet Chapel, and Marcel Breuer’s Saint John’s Abbey each received 6 votes. Tadao Ando’s work was cited in 6 votes, for this Church on the Water (2) and Church of the Light (4). Finally, a number of secular works received votes, the most for Louis Kahn’s Salk Institute (3).

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We thank everyone we participated in the Top 5 survey.