Fine Art Friday - The Letter P Edition


Only one painting today, because it is so weird and wonderful. Today's entry in FAF is by Jan Provost, a painter who painted in the late 15th and early 16th century. This painting was done c. 1500, and hangs in the Louvre.

First look at the picture:


A Christian Allegory

Different, huh?

Here's what Sister Wendy had to say about it, in her book Sister Wendy's 1000 Masterpieces:

In pictorial terms, an allegory is an image in which every element has an intellectual meaning. For us, the pleasure lies in attempting to decipher what those meanings are. This is a Christian allegory, and the broad outlines are clear enough: at the top is the all-seeing eye of God, on one side the Lamb of Redemption, and on the other the Bible. A great hand, surely the hand of God, holds the terrestrial globe, which is surmounted by a cross. But readings of this kind, though not untruthful, deny the glorious ambiguity that characterizes allegory at its finest. For those to whom Christian iconography is a closed book, such an image can seem surreal, conrived, unable to convey a sacred meaning except in the most theoretical sense. Yet despite all this, who can be indifferent to this strange and haunting picture, to those hands that press up, to that peculiar and sinister eye below them, or to the expressions--Christ's, questioning and uncertain, Mary's sunlit and hopeful?

Anyway, spend a little time looking at this one. Hard to believe it's more than 500 years old, isn't it?

Happy Friday, ya'll!



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This page contains a single entry by MamaT published on September 5, 2008 12:00 AM.

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