14 April 2006

Artwork of the Crucifixion

As part of my meditations today, I went to the Art Renewal Center website and did a search for artwork bearing the title "Crucifixion." There are many and varied depictions available for viewing. These are the ones I have found most moving, and providing of the most detail to my imagination:

Antonio da Firenze depicts an anguished Blessed Mother and St. John, with two penitents (flagellants) at the foot of the Cross. In beautiful contrast, a small Annunciation is shown at the top. The Blessed Mother's hand is outstreched, showing us her Son, and the Annunciation above seems almost to be an image from her memory.

Carl Heinrich Bloch shows the Blessed Mother fallen in a faint at the foot of the Cross, Joseph of Aramathea holding her hand solicitously, and St. John with his hands folded in sorrowful prayer. How the Blessed Mother and St. John must have suffered!

Salvador Dali provides a strangely cubic crucifix and desolate landscape, which remind me of how abandoned and alone Christ was. The muscles in his arms strain, his hands are clenched in pain, and his face (clean-shaven, as historians now tell us he must have been) is turned away from us, either in pain, or so that we won't see the full extent of his anguish.

Juan de Juni carved a bloody crucifix (typical Spanish), giving us an image of extreme pain and suffering.

Simone Martini also shows the Blessed Mother fainting in anguish, along with St. Mary Magdalen clinging to the base of the Cross, looking up at her Lord longingly. Two angels flank the Cross, crying out in sorrow and outrage. The painting is hardly diminished by the too-skinny arms and legs of Jesus.

No comments: