Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Gospels

For centuries, the four Gospels have been depicted as certain winged creatures. I suspect this was done so illiterate followers of the faith could recognize an illustration to be that of a certain Gospel. Sometimes, a famous story or parable would be painted. And if that story was found in the Gospel of Matthew, the iconic image of Matthew would appear somewhere in the painting. Other times, all four Gospels would be carved on a door or cathedral facade. Traditionally, Matthew has been represented as a man, symbolizing Christ’s humanity. Mark, a lion, for Christ’s authority. Luke, an ox, for Christ’s sacrifice. And John, an eagle, for Christ’s spirituality.

This painting is a more contemporary take on the ancient images. These beings are not winged. But there is still a subtle lighting effect behind each one to hint at something spiritual. This composition is made up of four canvases. They are arranged to make a cross. They also take your eye on a circular journey that alludes to the “eternal” in these special writings. I wanted to explore the concepts inherent in each creature. How does it broaden our understanding to see Jesus as a human, a lion, an ox, or an eagle?

Take a look at these images, and recall your favorite stories about Jesus. For the most part, all we know about the life and message of Christ is found in these four books. And these four images can also speak volumes about the mystery of Christ, “The Word Made Flesh.”

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