Saint Francis of Assisi should have done something about Easter. It was this medieval visionary who had the idea of making a crib at Christmas time, who celebrated the animals in the stable and forged a link between the religious and popular midwinter festivals. Christmas imagery in Christian art has a joy and Franciscan realism that makes it attractive whatever your beliefs. But Easter is divisive; for the irreligious – or, let’s face it, any child – there’s a bizarre dichotomy between eggs and bunnies and the guy on the cross. This is not a great time of year for Christian public relations. Who but a steadfast believer wants to be asked to mourn among the chocolates?

On the other hand, Christians have art on their side. Great paintings depict every moment in the story of the Passion from the Agony in the Garden to the Flagellation to the Lamentation and beyond.

more from The Guardian here.