What If God Was One of Us?

Jesus

So the next portrayal of Christ on our list to cover is The Last Supper. Now for the past few years I have been reviewing classical paintings, such as Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper; but this year I decided to shake it up. I was looking online trying to decide which painting to do next when I came across this photograph by Freddy Fabris.

Jesus

Fabris has been recreating famous Renaissance paintings, this one being based on Philippe de Champaigne’s Last Supper.

I liked this photograph because it tries to set Jesus and his disciples up as people ordinary people. Which is what God did when he sent him down to become a man and live on the Earth with us. Jesus wasn’t wealthy or born as a king or prince; instead he was the son of a carpenter, becoming one himself. Carpentry wasn’t as wealthy as tax collecting, but was a solid profession.

I liked the update of Jesus and the disciples being mechanics, as carpentry and fishing are done differently today, and the mechanical work and the strength needed are similar.

I also like how Jesus and the group are eating ramen and cheap cheeseburger & fries; even though it isn’t the wine and bread in the scripture, it does seem like something constantly traveling and moving people would eat.

The only thing I don’t like is that there are not enough disciples in the photo, there should be three more around the table. I also don’t like how Jesus looks. Who picked out that t-shirt?

But most of all I enjoy this photograph because it is a great take on Jesus being one of us.

“On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, when it was customary to sacrifice the Passover lamb, Jesus’ disciples asked him, ‘Where do you want us to go and make preparations for you to eat the Passover?’ So he sent two of his disciples, telling them, ‘Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him. Say to the owner of the house he enters, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.’ The disciples left, went into the city and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover. When evening came, Jesus arrived with the Twelve.”–Mark 14: 12-17

“Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, ‘Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.’ His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, ‘Ask him which one he means.’ Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, ‘Lord, who is it?’ Jesus answered, ‘It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.’ Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. So Jesus told him, ‘What you are about to do, do quickly.’ But no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him.  Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the festival, or to give something to the poor.  As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out.”–John 13: 21-30

“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, ‘Take and eat; this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”–Matt 26: 26-29

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For more Last Suppers, go to Take and Eat, This is My Body

For more portrayals of Christ, go to Entry Into Jerusalem

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What Have You Done to Him?: Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

Rosemary's Baby

What have you done to him? What have you done to his eyes, you maniacs!

So this was my first viewing of Rosemary’s Baby. Prior to watching this I knew that the haircut Mia Farrow had in the film became super popular:

rosemary'sbabyknife

That her baby is the devil’s child; and that the apartment where this all happens, the Bramhouse, is actually the Dakota; and that this film is supposed to be very scary.

i'mscared

In fact the way I was introduced to this film was actually through The Baby-Sitters Club. In one of the books, the BSC all go and visit Stacey McGill in New York, seeing the place where Stacey’s friend, Laine Cummings, lives which is the Dakota.

So let’s move on to the film review:

DeanSupernaturalLetsGetStarted

So the film starts off with a creepy, light lullaby type music. In fact the first thing it actually makes me think of is Flowers in the Attic (1987). And it is definitely creepy.

shiver

This film was based on a novel of the same name that came out the year before. The author, Ira Levinsaid that this was his favorite adaption of the novel, as the director Roman Polanski, was strict about following the book to the letter, only cutting for sake of time. This is the dream of every book lover.

Take note, rest of Hollywood.

Take note, rest of Hollywood.

We get a look at a building that has a clear gothic and early Renaissance look to it. Definitely an old building, probably made during the turn of the century. This is The Bramford, where our couple Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse are looking at the apartments.

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They are just a sweet, ordinary couple. Guy is an actor, while Rosemary doesn’t work but has amazing decorating and artistic talent. Rosemary really wants to have a baby, while Guy says they have to wait until they are “more established”. However, he did agree to move to a bigger apartment for their future child and them.

They look at the apartment, and Guy isn’t pleased. It is cram full of the prior tenant’s belongings, which are stuffed so full it is kind of ugly.

No thank youhowaboutno

Rosemary, on the other hand, sees the potential. With wallpaper, paint, new furnishings, it will be absolutely beautiful.

love it

The only strange thing about the apartment, is that there was a large chest put in front of one of the closet doors. The landlord and Guy move it aside and when they open it…

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Just kidding. The only thing in it are a few linens and a vacuum cleaner.

weird

It is extremely weird. Why would anyone try to keep such random things locked inside?

There must be something she was trying to keep out, or keep in. In fact, it reminds me of The Twilight Zone episode where the guy has the devil locked in the closet. Is that what happened? The tenant was keeping the devil inside and they just unleashed them?

suspicious Hmm

They speak to their friend and landlord, Eric “Hutch” Hutchinson, to get out of their of lease. Hutch has been like a father to Rosemary since the couple has moved to New York. He warns them about the Bramford place. Back at the turn of the century, Adrian Marcato was a witch and had a coven in the building, he was murdered in the lobby. Then there were the Trench sisters, they killed children and tried to eat them. And these are only a few of the strange occurrences.

But they take the apartment and Rosemary makes it absolutely beautiful.

One day, Rosemary has gone down to the basement to do laundry. There she meets a girl, Terry, who has been saved and given a home by Guy & Rosemary’s neighbors, Roman and Minnie Castevet. Rosemary is looking for new friends and they make plans to meet up later. 

Now to me that seems odd. Why would they just take this girl off the streets. Is it really out of the goodness of their hearts? Or something darker?

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

Before Terry and Rosemary can actually meet again, Guy and Rosemary come home from an evening out and find Terry’s dead body outside.

rosemarysbaby_suicide

Rosemary is sad and confused as Terry seemed so happy. She tells the Castevets that they meant a lot to Terry.

Now to me the Castevets don’t seem really sad over the death of their “adopted daughter”.

suspicious Hmm

The next day Minnie stops by to see Rosemary. She is super nosy looking at everything and every section of the apartment, she even goes as far as asking the price of everything.

How rude

She is so sad and lonely over missing Terry, and asks if Rosemary and Guy will come for dinner that night. Rosemary doesn’t really want to but feels bad and agrees.

Guy comes home and is very upset. He was auditioning for a few parts, prime ones to pull his career front and center, but lost out to every one.

Sadface Batman

He just wants to sit around and mope, but Rosemary tells him about the dinner they are supposed to go to. Guy doesn’t want to, as he doesn’t want to befriend their neighbors, then they will always be hanging around and bothering them.

But Rosemary made a promise, so they go.

Now the whole dinner is very odd. When Minnie invited them over, she made it sound like she needed a young woman to help temporary fill the space left by Terry’s absence. But at the actual dinner, they only want to pay attention to Guy.

Whattheheck

They go on and on and on about his acting, his good looks, his charms, etc.

The other strange thing is how anti-Christianity and religion they are. Like hard core being mean about it to Rosemary, even though they know that she is uncomfortable about their inflammatory remarks.

Roman Castevet: No pope ever visits a city where the newspapers are on strike.

Minnie Castevet: I heard he’s gonna postpone and wait till it’s over.

Guy Woodhouse: Well, that’s showbiz.

Roman Castevet: That’s exactly what it is: all the costumes, the rituals – all religions.

Roman Castevet: I think we’re offending Rosemary…

Rosemary Woodhouse: [Not very convincing] I wasn’t offended, really I wasn’t.

Roman Castevet: You’re not religious, my dear, are you?

Rosemary Woodhouse: I was brought up a Catholic… now, I don’t know.

Now believe what you want to believe in, but when you invite a guest to your home for dinner, you shouldn’t be as rude or insult the guest’s belief.

How rude

After dinner the ladies and men split. Minnie questions Rosemary, asking her if she is pregnant. Rosemary isn’t, but really wants a baby. She came from a large family, six kids, but once again Guy doesn’t want a baby. At least not yet.

She’s ready to go, and they interrupt the men, Guy was surprisingly having a great time with Roman.

weird

When they get home they discuss the dinner, with Rosemary saying that the food tasted weird, and left a strange taste in her mouth. Guy agrees, but he ate twice as much food as Rosemary. Surprisingly, Guy wants to go back the next day and hangout with Roman. Rosemary doesn’t want to, so they kind of fight about it.

The next day Roman goes over there while Rosemary settles for a quiet night in, nursing her period pains.

No joke this enters m mind every month

Her quiet solitude is destroyed when Minnie comes over with her friend Laura-Louise. They just settle in without even asking, knitting, embroidering, and gabbing.

How rude

I would have had them kicked out. I mean what annoying busybodies.

They also give her a necklace of Tannis root, it’s supposed to be a good-luck charm. It was the same one Terry wore, so I don’t think it is that lucky as Terry died.

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So the film originally kept the devil impregnating Rosemary a secret, as a huge reveal at the end. Unfortunately, it was a major blockbuster, an award-winning film: so it has been referenced, parodied, is a huge part of our culture and always cropping up around Halloween. Even if you haven’t seen the film, you know Rosemary carries the devil’s baby. I mean it is mentioned in the Netflix description. So I am not going to ignore that.

So let’s talk about Guy.

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Guy is a struggling actor who really wants to hit it big. We don’t know how long he has been in New York, but he is very upset at how little his career has progressed.

Roman has come along and started flattering Guy, making him feel super special. He promises that he can achieve all of Guy’s dreams, if he joins their coven, and allows Rosemary to be used as the vessel for Satan’s child. They need the opposite of Mary: not a virgin, married, not Jewish, etc. And Guy agrees.

Whattheheck

I guess for someone as self-centered as Guy is, he can rationalize it. This small trade will enable him and Rosemary will have a fantastic life. And it is only one child, they can have more later. I can just say one thing:

No thank youhowaboutno

You do not sell your wife to be a vessel, especially for the devil’s child. Just no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no!!

Jerk

That night, Rosemary shows Guy the good-luck charm and how she doesn’t want to wear it. But Guy insists, he starts hanging around with Roman and Minnie more and more. I just think, who is this guy?

weird

That night they get a call:

LOL Cotton and Cotton

It turns out that the guy chosen for one of the parts Guy auditioned for, has gone blind.

Whattheheck

So they offer Guy the part. Soon Guy is riding high, with everyone after him. He now has no time for Rosemary, with all his other commitments.

jerk

Rosemary is sad and mentions  it to Hutch when the two talk on the phone.

One day, Guy comes homes with roses. He is sorry and wants to make it up to Rosemary, telling her that he wants to have a baby.

Whattheheck

Who is this man, what has he become? I mean he even picks out the day they should try for their baby, October 4th or 5th.

Rosemary is just so happy that he is open to having children that she agrees! She can’t wait until they have a little baby.

The appointed night comes, with Guy making it a very special, romantic night.

rosemarys-baby

As they are eating, guess who shows up at the door. Minnie.

ugh

She just drops off some mousse she made and then leaves, fortunately. They start eating it but Rosemary quickly stops. It taste funny to her and she doesn’t want it.

No thank youhowaboutno

But Guy insists. Guy has become a super control freak, I would have left to the safety of Hutch, surrogate father, rather than stay with this guy.

Anyways, when Guy steps out of the room, Rosemary dumps the mousse in her napkin, rather than eat it.

EW!

EW!

Afterwards, she is walking to the other room and faints.

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Guy carries her to the bed so she can rest. She then has one incredibly strange dream.

Super creepy!

Gilmore girls creep

The next day Rosemary wakes up and discovers herself naked and covered in scratches.

what what'shappeningSupernatural

She tells Guy her dream of being raped, and he says that he couldn’t help himself and give up on baby night.

Rosemary Woodhouse: You… you had me while I was out?

Guy Woodhouse: It was kinda fun in a necrophile sort of way

Say What

This guy is freak, get far, far, far away.

Certified Creepo Ribbon

So Rosemary goes to the doctor and discovers that she is pregnant. She tells Guy who doesn’t seem that excited. Kind of weird for a guy who “wanted a baby so much he couldn’t wait but slept with her when she was knocked out.”

suspicious Hmm

 Her due date is June 28th of the next year, 1966. Get it? 6/66?

Although it doesn’t make exact sense. 9 months from October is July, wouldn’t it make more sense if they tried for the baby in September?

So Rosemary has been going to see Dr. Hill, the doctor who delivered her friend’s baby; but Minnie, Roman, and Guy want them to see their doctor: Dr. Abraham Sapirstein.

Dr. n tells Rosemary not to take prenatal vitamins, read any pregnancy books, or talk to her friends about her and their pregnancies as each one is different and they will worry her. She also will have to take herb shakes made by Minnie.

paris-whenitsizzlesaudreyhmmHepburn

I don’t know, that seems too weird for me. I wouldn’t trust them. These people all become controlling, and won’t let her go out or speak to any of her friends.

Rosemary is also in excruciating pain, and losing massive amounts of weight. She actually looks quite horrible, no glow.

anthony-michael-hall-brian-insecure-quotes-the breakfast club see myself don't like what i see insecure body image

Hutch comes to visit and tells her she looks bad. They are discussing the strangeness of everything, when suddenly Guy comes home in full, makeup, something he never does. He kind of chases off Hutch so it is only the two of them.

suspicious Hmm

Why is he suddenly against Hutch. Why is he suddenly against all their friends? Hmm????

That night Rosemary gets a call from Hutch.

dangerous crossingphoneringsscared

He wants to meet the next morning as he has something important to discuss with her.

The next morning she goes to the appointment place, but no Hutch. When she calls after waiting so long, she finds out that Hutch is in a coma. It happened some time after she called.

IUnderstandSomelieithot

She walks around when she runs into Minnie:

So the film moves along pretty sloooow. The people are controlling, she doesn’t go out, suffers all the time, etc. She finally starts thinking something is weird, ad stops the herbal drinks. She makes her own and decides that they are going to throw a party with their old friends.

christmas-holiday-party-with-dancing

Guy doesn’t want to, and gets mad that Minnie and Roman are not invited. Minnie tries to get invited, but Rosemary is firm..no one under the age of 60 is allowed.

No thank youhowaboutno

It comes to a head at the party when she talks to her friends about her pains and they tell her it is not normal. She needs to get a second opinion. Guy is not happy about that at all.

Guy Woodhouse: [on Rosemary’s decision to switch doctors] You know what Dr. Hill is? He’s a Charlie Nobody, that’s who he is!

Rosemary Woodhouse: I’m tired of hearing about how great Dr. Sapirstein is!

Guy Woodhouse: Well, I won’t let you do it Ro.

Rosemary Woodhouse: Why not?

Guy Woodhouse: Well, because… because it wouldn’t be fair to Sapirstein.

Rosemary Woodhouse: Not fair to Sap… – what do you mean? What about what’s fair to me?

Yeah! You SHOULD CARE MORE ABOUT YOUR WIFE!!!! NOT SOME DOCTOR’S FEELINGS!!!

Guy you suck!

Guy you suck!

However, the pain stops and she can feel the baby kicking. Everything proceeds normally as they all get ready for the baby. Their peace is shattered when Rosemary receives a call that Hutch died.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

I loved Hutch, why’d he have to go?

She goes to the funeral, where she is given a book left to her by Hutch.

Grace Cardiff: He told me to make sure and tell you: the name is an anagram.

When she gets home she opens the package and sees that it is a book on witches, “All of Them Witches“, with a chapter on Adrian Marcato and his family.

Rosemary tries to rearrange the title, but comes up with nothing.

Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

She is about to give up that it was just his being in a coma, when she looks at the chapter on Marcato’s family, specifically his son Steven. When she rearranges those letters, it comes up with Roman Castevet.

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

She starts talking about it with Guy that they are witches, and all those people are in their coven.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

Guy thinks she is insane, and needs sleep so he takes the book and throws it away.

Whattheheck

YOU DO NOT THROW AWAY BOOKS!!!!

Rosemary is incensed so she goes to the bookstore and gets another copy and another book on witchcraft. She discovers that some covens can work together and create blindness or illness if they have an object of the person.

Mal_huh Whoa Wow what

Rosemary remembers the guy who Guy took the part from. She calls Donald Baumgart and discovers that before he went blind, Guy took his tie.

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

She remembers that the day Hutch came over, he was missing a glove. Guy must have stolen it and they killed him.

She also reads that many covens use baby’s blood in their activities.

Rosemary freaks out:

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

She packs her bag and takes off to see the doctor to let him know what is going on. However, when she gets there she discovers that the doctor is a witch too.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

She takes off to get help from the only person she can think of now, Dr. Hill.

She manages to get Hill to meet with her and reveals everything. Hill seems to believe her, which I thought was weird.

suspicious Hmm

And puts her to sleep.

She wakes up to see Guy and Dr. Saperstein.

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

Noooooooooo!!!!!!!

They bring her home, but she manages to sneak away from them and get in the apartment first, locking the door and dead bolting it behind her. She calls her friend Elise, trying to get help as everyone is after her baby:

dangerous crossingphoneringsscared

However, they somehow sneak into the apartment room some way. Unfortunately, she goes into labor and then is knocked out.

The next day, Guy wakes her up.

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She asks for her baby, but they tell her he died. They give her a pill, and take her milk “to throw away”.

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Rosemary is completely heartbroken. And then she hears a baby crying.

What! Mark Wahlberg that's weird

They tell her that it is from a new family, but Rosemary knows that her baby is alive and they took him.

She slowly is a docile person, waiting for the right time to night sneak away when everyone thinks she is sleeping. She takes a knife with her for protection.

rosemary'sbabyknife

She goes to the closet that was blocked by the dresser, there she finds a secret door.

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A door that connects to the Castevet’s apartment. That must be how they got in!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Poor girl. How could her husband do that to her? How could this happen?

I have to say most of the film was kind of slow and boring, as I already knew those people were evil, but once she found that book on witches it was great. Intense and creepy! A good addition to my Halloween Horror films.

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To start Horrorfest IV from the beginning, go to You Cannot Conquer It. It Has Conquered You!: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)

For the previous post, go to She’s Been Totally Different…Like Stepford: Ted, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997)

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For more on witches, go to The Two Witch Sisters: Double, Double, Toil and Trouble (1993)

For more films based on books, go to She Cries in the Night: The Screaming Skull (1958)

Take and Eat, This is My Body

So this year I decided to use a different image for The Last Supper. This image is from the “North” as we Art Historians like to call it. During the Renaissance we have the South and the North. In the South we have Florence, and a move to more realistic images. In essence copying Giotto’s “window onto a world.”

However, in the North, we have England, Brussels, Holland, etc; i.e. Northern Europe. The North focused on other points of interest. They didn’t care about making things realistic or true to life, they instead would often have their figures dressed in modern clothes (using a lot of drapery), focused on patterns, and used lots of symbolism.

This painting is The Last Supper by Dieric Bouts the Elder. In this painting we have Jesus and all his disciples around the table, Judas more off to the side and easily spotted. While some disciples have their own little vignettes, most are wearing the same expression and not as involved in the scene, the focus being more on beauty and perfection rather than realism.

One factor of realism that they do follow is perspective, which you can clearly see from the ceiling and the floor. Just follow the lines of the beams.

Also in the background through a hatch, we have the servants waiting to serve the party. Many believe that one is supposed to be Dieric, painting himself into the scene.

This painting is often seen as the first Flemish painting of The Last Supper, and focuses on Jesus’ role of priest in preforming the Eucharist, rather than the betrayal by Judas.

The Last Supper, Dieric Bouts the Elder, 1464

“On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, when it was customary to sacrifice the Passover lamb, Jesus’ disciples asked him, ‘Where do you want us to go and make preparations for you to eat the Passover?’ So he sent two of his disciples, telling them, ‘Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him. Say to the owner of the house he enters, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.’ The disciples left, went into the city and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover. When evening came, Jesus arrived with the Twelve.”–Mark 14: 12-17

“Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, ‘Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.’ His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, ‘Ask him which one he means.’ Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, ‘Lord, who is it?’ Jesus answered, ‘It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.’ Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. So Jesus told him, ‘What you are about to do, do quickly.’ But no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him.  Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the festival, or to give something to the poor.  As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out.”–John 13: 21-30

“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, ‘Take and eat; this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”–Matt 26: 26-29

“Do this in remembrance of me.”–Luke 22:19

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For the previous painting, go to The Triumphal Entry

For more on The Last Supper, go to Do This in Remembrance of Me

The Triumphal Entry

Hey, Happy Palm Sunday everyone!

Now I know that not all of you are Christian and celebrate it, but way back I told you all I was a Christian and it is a holiday I always celebrate. So the past two years I have picked different famous pieces of art depicting Jesus, but only starting with a portrayal of The Last Supper. This year I decided to be different and am starting with The Triumphal Entry, then doing The Last SupperBetrayal of Christ, and ending on a depiction of Good Friday.

So we are starting this year with a work from Giotto, Jesus Enters Jerusalem. Giotto was one of the pioneers of Renaissance, looking toward depicting art in a more natural sense, much different from the flat Byzantine style that his contemporaries like Duccio were doing.

Jesus Enters Jerusalem by Giotto

In this image the viewer is given “a window onto a world”; that is we are seeing the scene as we would in real life. People overlap each other, there is movement, emotions, etc. Giotto was the pioneer of creating these emotional realistic scenes, that later artists eventually copy.

So we have Jesus coming into town on a donkey, having chosen this animal as he has a message of peace, rather than war (a horse). You can also clearly see the excitement of the townspeople as their faces not only depict those emotions, but accurately shows the throwing of the robes on the ground, preparing the way for Jesus.

To help further the realistic image, we have the two trees creating a background. We also have people climbing those trees, picking palms to lay on the road, who are smaller than the people in the crowd. Now to those of you who are artist, you might think, no duh; but this was revolutionary. In fact, a lot of people didn’t like it at the time, but it eventually started a revolution in art.

“As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, ‘Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me.  If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.’

This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

Say to Daughter Zion,
‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’

The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on.  A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’

‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’

‘Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

Matthew 21:1-9

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For more on Palm Sunday, go to Path of Palms

For more of Giotto’s work, go to The Betrayal of Christ

Elevation of the Cross

So last year I decided to do something different to celebrate Easter, that is by choosing art to represent and celebrate.

So the image I wanted to focus on today is The Elevation of the Cross by Reubens.

Elevation of the Cross

What is really interesting in this image is that it is a marriage between Northern and Southern styles. Now Rueben was a very big fan of Michelangelo, so if you look at his bodies you can see the similarities between the works. Both were deeply interested in the muscles and showing strength in the human form. Reubens also mimics Carvaggio in his use of the art form tenebrism and Leonardo’s chiaroscuro. The important bodies are highlighted to show that they are the focus, with the background in shadow in order to show darkness and add drama.

It utilizes the styles of the North as it is extremely detailed, you can see all the leaves and individual pieces of hair, etc. On the right side panel you can see the horses and how exact they are. It is also similar to how earlier paintings in the Renaissance used a triptych or three panels to tell the story. As for the South, it has the afore mentioned characteristics of Michelangelo, Carvaggio, and Leonardo.

Peter_Paul_Rubens_Elevation of the Cross

“They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means ‘the place of the skull’). Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it.”–Mark 15: 21-23

“Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed…one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”–Luke 23: 32-34

“Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: Jesus of Nazareth, the king of the Jews. Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.” Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.” …Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he lovedstanding nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,”  and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.”–John 19: 19-27

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“One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence?  We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”  Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”–Luke 23: 39-43

“At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”)… Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink.”–Mark 15: 33-36

“When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”–John 19: 30

“At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open…When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”–Matthew 27:51-54

“So as evening approached, Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body…Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb.”–Mark 15: 42-46

“The chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’  So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.” “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.”  So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.”–Matthew 27:62-66

To go to previous Easter posts click on The Betrayer’s Kiss 

The Betrayal of Christ

And our journey to Easter continues along…

So the next part I am going to cover is the betrayal of Christ in the garden of Gethsemene and his sentence before Pilate. I chose Giotto’s image, The Kiss of Judas, because historically it is one of the best images that portrays this scene. Giotto was one of the pioneers of Renaissance, looking toward depicting art in a more natural sense, much different from the flat Byzantine style that his contemporaries like Duccio were doing.

In this image the viewer is given “a window onto a world”; that is we are seeing the scene as we would in real life. People overlap each other, there is movement, emotions, etc. Giotto was the pioneer of creating these emotional realistic scenes, that later artists would eventually copy.


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“Judas, one of the Twelve, appeared. With him was a crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests, the teachers of the law, and the elders. Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: ‘The one I kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.’ Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, ‘Rabbi!’ and kissed him. The men seized Jesus and arrested him.”–Mark 14:43-46

“Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear…Jesus commanded Peter, ‘Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?’– John 18: 10-11

“And he [Jesus] touched the man’s ear and healed him.” Luke 22: 51

“Put your sword back in its place,’ Jesus said to him, ‘for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?’ In that hour Jesus said to the crowd, ‘Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me. But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.”–Matthew 26: 52-56

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For more on Giotto, go to The Triumphal Entry

For more Easter posts, go to The Last Supper

For more paintings on Christ being betrayed, go to The Betrayer’s Kiss

The Last Supper

As you all know Easter is approaching, so here is another post chronicling Jesus’ journey to the cross. I know not all of you believe in Christ, but as a mentioned earlier not only am I a Christian but I like to celebrate holidays. So to those of you who don’t mind reading this, enjoy!

Yay!!!

I chose Leonardo da Vinci’s piece because it is my favorite and the most famous. Some interesting things about it is that Leonardo was the first to ever put Judas on the inside group instead of stuck on the outside. The Last Supper pictures usually looked like this, with Judas all on his own and easy to spot right away. That is why Leonardo has Judas holding the bag of silver, he wanted to be sure that people would know who he was.

Leonardo also wanted this image to be very natural and expressive, following in the tradition of the time. Instead of stoic disciples, we have each one reacting in their own way, shedding light on each one’s individual personality.

Leonardo put the vantage point right behind Christ’s head in front of the window which makes him the center and reminds all that he is the son of God. He also has Christ’s hand in one of the standard poses shown in the High Renaissance; one hand palm up and the other one pam down. This alludes to the fact that when you die Christ will judge you whether or not you will be going up to heaven or sent to hell. It is put in to remind people to always be thinking of the future.

Leonardo also uses three’s a lot. Three is a holy number, as it alludes to the trinity, and an important geometric number, the triangle. Jesus himself is a triangle, bringing to mind the trinity, but the apostles are all in groups of three as well. On the far left of Jesus is Bartholomew (also known as Nathaniel), James, son of Alphaeus and Andrew. Next to them is  Judas IscariotPeter and John the Beloved. On the right of Jesus is ThomasJames the Greater and Philip. On the far right are MatthewJude Thaddeus and Simon the Zealot.

This was put in the refectory of a monastery so the table is a reflection of the area. If this was done in accordance to biblical times, Jesus and the 12 apostles would be sitting on the floor instead of being seated at the table. In creating this Leonardo combined fresco with tempera paint, causing it not to hold very well. In fact, very soon after he completed it it started to fall apart. It is continuously being restored. One of the great works that we hope will continued to be saved.

The Last Supper - Da Vinci 1495-98

“On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, when it was customary to sacrifice the Passover lamb, Jesus’ disciples asked him, ‘Where do you want us to go and make preparations for you to eat the Passover?’So he sent two of his disciples, telling them, ‘Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him. Say to the owner of the house he enters, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.’ The disciples left, went into the city and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.When evening came, Jesus arrived with the Twelve.”–Mark 14: 12-17

“Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, ‘Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.’His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, ‘Ask him which one he means.’ Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, ‘Lord, who is it?’ Jesus answered, ‘It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.’ Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. So Jesus told him, ‘What you are about to do, do quickly.’But no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him. Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the festival, or to give something to the poor.  As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out.”–John 13: 21-30

“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, ‘Take and eat; this is my body.’ Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”–Matt 26: 26-29

“Do this in remembrance of me.”–Luke 22:19

For more Last Supper posts, go to Do This in Remembrance of Me

For more Easter posts, go to Palm Sunday