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Religion and homosexuality: a decade-long abstinence


The impact of religion on my life
Brian Sewell Writer
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Religion didn’t help matters. So... anyway.

[Q] Was religion an important part of your…? I mean, I suppose it must have been. Your mother was Catholic and so on, so were you religious, or what?

I thought I was. I wanted to be. I thought it mattered. And it really wasn’t until I’d finished… actually, I’m very glad there was a religious element in my life, because it made being a Courtauld student, where every subject in Renaissance painting… not every, but you know, so much of what goes on in Renaissance painting is of… has a religious base. And if you are not aware of what lies behind that, if you don’t know about saints and miracles and whatnot... no... a huge help, culturally. But it really wasn’t until I’d left The Courtauld, graduated, that I finally gave up attempts to be slightly normal.

Born in England, Brian Sewell (1931-2015) was considered to be one of Britain’s most prominent and outspoken art critics. He was educated at the Courtauld Institute of Art and subsequently became an art critic for the London Evening Standard; he received numerous awards for his work in journalism. Sewell also presented several television documentaries, including an arts travelogue called The Naked Pilgrim in 2003. He talked candidly about the prejudice he endured because of his sexuality.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is an independent documentary producer who has made a number of films about science and scientists for BBC TV, Channel Four, and PBS.

Tags: Courtauld Institute of Art, Renaissance

Duration: 1 minute, 16 seconds

Date story recorded: 2008

Date story went live: 28 June 2012