To bdelugma tês erêmôseôs

I kid you not, this picture is from the new liturgical lectionary published by the Italian bishops' conference. It's supposed to be a picture of Our Lord, but as for what he is supposed to be doing your guess is as good as mine, though I would be really careful about it, if I were you. You can read all about it, along with a pair of essays by Timothy Verdon and Pietro de Marco regarding the success or failure of the, uh, art, as it were, contained in the thing, at Chiesa.


Darwin said…
Is this the story in which Jesus gives the Heimlich to the man choking on a variety of ill-formed pieces of pottery?
Vitae Scrutator said…
I think he might be explaining to a group of medical students that the child he is holding turned to stone after eating an acorn, three rabbit turds, and a death cap mushroom.

Oh, and then his hair caught on fire.
Anonymous said…
If my primary school aged child came home with that work I would be so proud that I would put it on the 'fridge.

When I look at the beautiful stained glass windows in my church I am able, by myself, to meditate on the scripture passages they represent and so is a primary school aged child. The 'art' featured in the Italian Bishops' lectionary will need someone to interpret the artists' vision and even then I would not find them uplifting and conducive to meditation.
Paul Halsall said…
Blame Paul VI!

He loved modern art. The odd thing is, as I get older, so do I.
Unknown said…
Take another look at the picture. It's not Jesus as an adult, but the Blessed Virgin Mary holding the child Jesus and showing him to the Magi (Feast of the Epiphany). Note the depiction above of the Magi's gifts: incense, gold, and myrrh. The Gospel doesn't say how many Magi there were, so I think that's the crowd in front. But I must say I don't find much grace or beauty in this piece.
Vitae Scrutator said…
Wow, that's a lot of magi!

But you know, Mike, the great thing about modern art is that it means so many things to so many people! If you "see" the Blessed Virgin in that picture, then I say good for you! Some people laugh when the pious see the image of Our Lady in such humble items as a slice of toast or a piece of melon, but as you so nicely demonstrate here, all it takes is a religious sensibility to see her just about anywhere, and it is evidence, not so much of her presence in the form displayed, but of her presence in the heart of the believer!

You're quite right, of course, that the image was chosen to accompany the readings for Epiphany, which makes your own epiphany here that much more striking and moving.

As strange as it is to hear myself saying this, I agree with Paul that, as I get older, I like modern art more and more. The local Newman Center is full of it, so I have plenty of time to sit around contemplating it; I have to admit that sometimes I find it moving. I don't particularly like this piece, but de gustibus non disputandum est, I suppose.

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