Monday, February 19, 2007

Representations Expressive of the Divine

A 19th-century naîve eglomisé interior scene depicting a religious at prayer, receiving symbolic visions while emitting emotive smoke spirals of spiritual ectoplasm. Mounted in an original carved and gilt walnut frame. Continental 18” by 15” (46cm X 38cm) NFS

I don’t know about you, but after the last couple of blog items I needed to cleanse my palette. Sharing this superbly outré religious item will do just the trick. It’s rather a good example of being both within the paradigm and without simultaneously, (and I look forward to seeing the algorithm code for that by Monday morning next week, Mr. Smarty Computer-pants.

On the one hand, the creator of this image was a talented amateur, existing within a narrowly defined program, producing formulaic stereotypes. On the other, for what it’s worth, I don’t think I’ve ever seen captured more precisely in two dimensions the ineffability of a spiritual experience then here, by indicating the energy with swirling vortexes of smoky matter. See how she’s mixed the burnt umber with the burnt sienna? Splitting to reveal the Eucharistic dove? Go ahead, give it a click, I dare you.

And what, for heaven’s sake, was she doing painting on glass!!!!! Couldn’t she find a board or something?

The elegant frame made for it attests to the fact that it was understood somehow, and cherished at its creation. Difficult to date—sensibilities could be a hundred years either way inside a secluded monastery or nunnery—so, say Bohemian, 1850?

Which reminds me of a guru who once said of his year's studying in the east: “the same bowl of rice, the same time of day, day in and day out.”

Aren’t we glad we’re here doing what we’re doing?

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