sometime in 2016 i dove pretty deep into studying Flemish and Netherlandish paintings. while studying, i noticed a similarity in the composition of these paintings and my method of writing. the painting in this post is by the Brunswick Monogrammist, an anonymous painter accredited to several paintings which depicted Biblical events and the scenes already portrayed by the text. the painting shows Jesus’ trial before the people where the people were to decide between Barabbas and Christ. the painting does an amazing job of showing the response of the people within the crowd and i wanted to write what i saw in the painting.
/Peering through the masses clad in flesh and wine the seeking young men forged paths among those who cursed the day. Pillars of salt perched among those who had not yet feared the wrath of temporality. He who had purged his heart of tenderness./
i start by presenting the main characters of this post, the young men, in contrast against the masses. flesh is used in the Bible to refer to worldly things and here i use it in the same manner to describe the crowd of people as those who are there not understanding the purpose of the event or who may be there for entertainment only.’pillars of salt’ is here to represent faith with doubt and it is paired with ‘the wrath of temporality’ to connect those who doubt with those who have not yet heard but don’t believe (temporality being death). ‘purging your heart of tenderness’ is to show that to live in this state of anger and confusion is to remove your child-like innocence.
/Red, deep blue, ivory, and glistening black. Blissful peace exhumed from the dust bellow of his name./
the subject of the painting is Christ however the focal point leads you through the crowd towards Christ. i wanted to use color to mirror the journey the eye takes to find Christ in the crowd with the journey an individual takes to the same person, both leading to Christ over black. his name holds the highest significance here.
/Crowds of drunkards and wives chant for the king of scorn. Wisdom-boy stood on his toes to witness the feast of humanity laid at his feet. The dutiful few who will allot his salvation at the gallows. Among them the unconcerned, the unaware, and the unamused./
at the bottom center of the painting is a boy standing on a mound watching the events unfold. due to his contrasting colors i assumed him to be the righteous one watching over a scene of grand injustice. after introducing him in my post i write the last two sentences as words from his thoughts from the scene. he, like Christ, has noticed those who recognized Christ. furthermore, and finally, he has noticed that though they look similar the righteous are among the unrighteous and the characteristics that separate them are the ones that define the unrighteous: ‘unconcerned, unaware, and unamused’.