Writers and historians have overlooked or denied the existence of a religious painting tradition in America . . . until now. American Masterworks of Religious Painting 1664-1964 explores 300 years of American painting and offers new revelations. Beginning with seventeenth century Puritanism and culminating in examples of intense religiosity amid twentieth century art often regarded as signifying a steady erosion of religion, each chapter offers an explosive new approach to art by America’s greatest painters based on professional scholarship. Sex, wealth, insanity and drunkenness abound but are balanced by atonement, piety, the rituals of Native Americans, and the expression of traditional beliefs, offering a new understanding of American art and artists.