Thursday, April 30, 2009

Donkey and Pigs by George Morland

More Pigs painted by Morland

George Morland

George Morland (1763 - 1804)

Morland was a prodigious artist who, although he lived only 41 years, produced as many as 4,000 paintings, many of which were reproduced as etchings and mezzotints. Morland was a popular artist during his lifetime, though his work was sometimes criticized for being too base and for adhering too closely to nature while lacking the uplifting qualities found in the country scenes of artists such as Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788).

Edgar Hunt also Painted Pigs

Hunt Edgar
British ( 1876 - 1955)

How life should be



F. William Engdahl, Global Research

- What are the symptoms of this purported Swine Flu? That's not at all clear according to virologists and public health experts. They say Swine Flu symptoms are relatively general and nonspecific. 'So many different things can cause these symptoms. it is a dilemma,' says one doctor interviewed by CNN. 'There is not a perfect test right now to let a doctor know that a person has the Swine Flu.' It has been noted that most individuals with Swine Flu had an early on set of fever. Also it was common to see dizziness, body aches and vomiting in addition to the common sneezing, headache and other cold symptoms. These are symptoms so general as to say nothing.

The US Government's Center for Disease Control in Atlanta states on its official website, 'Swine Influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza viruses that causes regular outbreaks in pigs. People do not normally get swine flu, but human infections can and do happen. Swine flu viruses have been reported to spread from person-to-person, but in the past, this transmission was limited and not sustained beyond three people.' Nonetheless they add, 'CDC has determined that this swine influenza A (H1N1) virus is contagious and is spreading from human to human. However, at this time, it is not known how easily the virus spreads between people.

How many media that have grabbed on the headline 'suspected case of Swine Flu' in recent days bother to double check with the local health authorities to ask some basic questions? For example, the number of confirmed cases of H1N1 and their location? The number of deaths confirmed to have resulted from H1N1? Dates of both? Number of suspected cases and of suspected deaths related to the Swine Flu disease?

According to Biosurveillance, itself part of Veratect, a US Pentagon and Government-linked epidemic reporting center, on April 6, 2009 local health officials declared a health alert due to a respiratory disease outbreak in La Gloria, Perote Municipality, Veracruz State, Mexico.

They reported, 'Sources characterized the event as a 'strange' outbreak of acute respiratory infection, which led to bronchial pneumonia in some pediatric cases. According to a local resident, symptoms included fever, severe cough, and large amounts of phlegm. Health officials recorded 400 cases that sought medical treatment in the last week in La Gloria, which has a population of 3,000; officials indicated that 60% of the town's population (approximately 1,800 cases) has been affected. No precise timeframe was provided, but sources reported that a local official had been seeking health assistance for the town since February.' What they later say is 'strange' is not the form of the illness but the time of year as most flu cases occur in Mexico in the period October to February. . .

Then, most revealingly, the aspect of the story which has been largely ignored by major media, they reported, 'Residents believed the outbreak had been caused by contamination from pig breeding farms located in the area. They believed that the farms, operated by Granjas Carroll, polluted the atmosphere and local water bodies, which in turn led to the disease outbreak. According to residents, the company denied responsibility for the outbreak and attributed the cases to "flu." However, a municipal health official stated that preliminary investigations indicated that the disease vector was a type of fly that reproduces in pig waste and that the outbreak was linked to the pig farms.'

Since the dawn of American 'agribusiness,' a project initiated with funding by the Rockefeller Foundation in the 1950's to turn farming into a pure profit maximization business, US pig or hog production has been transformed into a highly efficient, mass production industrialized enterprise from birth to slaughter. Pigs are caged in what are called factory farms, industrial concentrations which are run with the efficiency of a Dachau or Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. They are all conceived by artificial insemination and once born, are regularly injected with antibiotics, not because of illnesses which abound in the hyper-crowded growing pens, but in order to make them grow and add weight faster. Turn around time to slaughter is a profit factor of highest priority. The entire operation is vertically integrated from conception to slaughter to transport distribution to supermarket.

Granjas Carroll de Mexico (happens to be such a factory farm concentration facility for hogs. In 2008 they produced almost one million factory hogs, 950,000 according to their own statistics. GCM is a joint venture operation owned 50% by the world's largest pig producing industrial company, Smithfield Foods of Virginia. The pigs are grown in a tiny rural area of Mexico, a member of the North American Free Trade Agreement, and primarily trucked across the border to supermarkets in the USA, under the Smithfields' family of labels. Most American consumers have no idea where the meat was raised.

Now the story becomes interesting.

The Times of London interviewed the mother of 4-year-old Edgar Hernandez of La Gloria in Veracruz, the location of the giant Smithfield Foods hog production facility. Their local reporter notes, 'Edgar Hernández plays among the dogs and goats that roam through the streets, seemingly unaware that the swine flu he contracted a few weeks ago - the first known case - has almost brought his country to a standstill and put the rest of the world on alert. 'I feel great,' the five-year-old boy said. 'But I had a headache and a sore throat and a fever for a while. I had to lay down in bed.''

The reporters add, 'It was confirmed on Monday (April 27 2009-w.e.) that Edgar was the first known sufferer of swine flu, a revelation that has put La Gloria and its surrounding factory pig farms and 'manure lagoons' at the centre of a global race to find how this new and deadly strain of swine flu emerged.'

That's quite interesting. They speak of 'La Gloria and its surrounding factory pig farms and 'manure lagoons.'' Presumably the manure lagoons around the LaGloria factory pig farm of Smithfield Foods are the waste dumping place for the feces and urine waste from at least 950,000 pigs a year that pass through the facility. The Smithfield's Mexico joint venture, Norson, states that alone they slaughter 2,300 pigs daily. That's a lot. It gives an idea of the volumes of pig waste involved in the concentration facility at La Gloria.

Significantly, according to the Times reporters, 'residents of La Gloria have been complaining since March that the odor from Granjas Carroll's pig waste was causing severe respiratory infections. They held a demonstration this month at which they carried signs of pigs crossed with an X and marked with the word peligro (danger).' There have been calls to exhume the bodies of the children who died of pneumonia so that they could be tested. The state legislature of Veracruz has demanded that Smithfield's Granjas Carroll release documents about its waste-handling practices. Smithfield Foods reportedly declined to comment on the request, saying that it would 'not respond to rumours.'

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Resources to combat swine flu hysteria

#1. Math.

The greater Mexico City Metropolitan area has a population of 22 million people according to Wikipedia.

Many millions of them live in crushing poverty, poor health and with poor sanitary conditions.

1,000 "cases" (which is higher than the so-far reported number) equals 0.005% of the population. 60 deaths equals 0.0003% of the population.

#2 Deaths?

Of the few deaths, no one has mentioned who these casualties are. Are they elderly or infirm people who could just as easily be killed by the common cold or a slip and fall? It makes a difference.

#3 The long history of government/pharmaceutical industry scams

These guys have tried to institute national flu vaccination programs before. The last time was 1976 (under Gerald Ford). The public recognized the foolishness and danger involved in accepting the government vaccine and rejected it. The much-threatened "pandemic" never happened.

If you missed yesterday's video on how the US government has been positioning itself to FORCE its population to accept a flu vaccination, I strongly recommend you watch this:

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Edgar Hunt, English Painter

Hunt Edgar
British ( 1876 - 1955)

One of the most accomplished animal painters of his day, Edgar Hunt is particularly famous for his farmyard pictures, painted with meticulous detail and finish. Hunt Edgar was born in Birmingham of humble parentage, the son of a part-time art teacher, who greatly encouraged his son's talent.

As a child, Hunt spent much of his time sketching from farm life, and was considerably influenced by his brother, Walter Hunt a skilful animal painter in his own right. By his mid twenties Hunt Edgar had made up his mind to devote himself entirely to the depiction of farmyard animals.

Hunt was a great admirer and friend of John Frederick Herring Junior. When Herring died in 1907, Hunt was inconsolably bereaved and became almost a recluse, rarely leaving his farm in Sussex.

He died virtually unknown, but since his death his pictures have rapidly increased in popularity, and are now avidly collected. Hunt Edgar exhibited at the Royal Society of Artists and at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool.

Edgar Hunt and his brother Walter who were born in Birmingham, were the third generation in the Hunt family to become artists.- Hunt Edgar oil painting artist, old oil paintings England- Hunt Edgar - England old oil painting artist, old oil paintings artist Hunt Edgar Bio of old oil painting artists, England oil paintings artist Hunt Edgar, artists oil paintings.

His grandfather was Charles Hunt (1803-1877) who was well-known for his humorous genre subjects which Hunt Edgar exhibited from 1846 at the Royal Academy and other prestigious venues. Edgar’s father was Charles Hunt Jr. (1829-1900). Hunt Edgar painted in a similar vein to his father but Hunt Edgar also did some animal subjects. With this background of artistic achievement it was natural for Edgar and Walter (1861-1941) to become painters.

Edgar had no formal art training but was schooled by his father. Hunt Edgar specialised in painting exquisitely detailed works of farmyard scenes and animals, executed meticulously in a realistic style which never changed throughout his career. Hunt was devoted to animals from a very early age. Hunt Edgar had originally intended to be a farmer and had worked on a farm near Lewes in Sussex for a short period.
The artist lived in the Midlands and sold many of his pictures there. As a result of the Industrial Revolution the middle classes in England had grown increasingly wealthy. Those who had made money in the towns yearned nostalgically for an image of the country and the demand for animal paintings was huge both in England and abroad. Hunt continued the tradition of English animal painting which had begun with Landseer. Landseer was the first English artist to portray animals for their own sake, imbuing them with human characteristics and emotion. Other artists of the period continuing the pastoral tradition were T.S. Cooper, E. Verboeckhoven and Verhoesen.- Hunt Edgar oil painting artist, old oil paintings England- Hunt Edgar - England old oil painting artist, old oil paintings artist Hunt Edgar Bio of old oil painting artists, England oil paintings artist Hunt Edgar, artists oil paintings.

Edgar Hunt was best known for his paintings of chickens but Hunt Edgar also painted other birds such as ducks which were very popular during the period. Donkeys, goats and ponies were also in demand and at which Hunt Edgar excelled. Hunt Edgar was not a public man and rarely exhibited his work. However, Hunt Edgar did show eleven animal scenes at the Royal Society of Artists in Birmingham and ‘Feathered Friends’ was exhibited at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool. Hunt Edgar was a great friend of the artist J.F. Herring Jr. (1815-1907) by whom Hunt Edgar was influenced artistically. Highly successful during his life-time, Edgar Hunt remains ever popular to this day with collectors throughout the world avidly seeking his work.

LITERATURE: ‘The Dictionary of Victorian Painters’ by C. Wood
‘Popular 19th Century Painting’ by Hook & Poltimore
‘Dictionary of Painters’ by E. Benezit

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

William Adolphe Bouguereau - Donkey Ride

William Adolphe Bouguereau - Promenade a Ane - Donkey Ride 1878
Cummer Museum of Art, Jacksonville, Florida


Adolphe William Bouguereau was born in 1825 in La Rochelle on the west coast of France. As a boy he began to show talent in his early drawings. He wanted to attend art school but his parents wanted him to work in their business. It was a client of theirs who convinced them to send him to school at Bordeaux’s School of Fine Arts.

After Bordeaux he needed money to go on to Paris for further training. His uncle convinced his parishioners to have their portraits painted. The money from this and a loan from an Aunt gave him his chance. The investment would prove to be a wise one. He would study drawing at the Ecole de Beaux Arts in Paris and would learn painting from an established artist,
Francois-Edouard Picot. Winning the Grand Prix of Rome in 1850 earned him a chance to visit Italy to study the works of Italian masters and learn classical styles.

Bouguereau was to be a staunch supporter of the classical art forms and his early successes were based on historical and mythological themes. In 1854 he was awarded portrait and decorative commissions and succeeded in large paintings displayed and sold both in the Paris Salon and in the open market. He gained many commissions to decorate interiors of churches and government buildings. However, government support for this type of work was curtailing and he needed to find new ways to earn income from his art.

Americans were beginning to accumulate wealth and collect art. Fortunately for Bouguereau they were eager for his depictions of youth, pastoral family scenes, the poor, and passionately animated biblical and mythological themes.

Realism runs throughout his work. In all of his subjects, whether a peasant girl, an angel or a mythical satyr the image is wholly believable. Drawing was essential. He would make many preliminary sketches in both pencil and watercolor with detail sketches of a face, hands or feet. He never missed an opportunity to show his ability to render exquisite hands and feet.

He was so tied to the image, he would often be at a loss to title a painting. Even the work he considered his masterpiece had the unassuming title "The Donkey Ride", which his dealer renamed "Return from the Harvest".

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes

The major Jewish religious groups at the time Jesus lived were the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes

Of the various factions that emerged under Hasmonean rule, three are of particular interest: the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Essenes.
The Pharisees

The most important of the three were the Pharisees because they are the spiritual fathers of modern Judaism. Their main distinguishing characteristic was a belief in an Oral Law that God gave to Moses at Sinai along with the Torah. The Torah or Written Law was akin to the U.S. Constitution in the sense that it set down a series of laws that were open to interpretation. The Pharisees believed that God also gave Moses the knowledge of what these laws meant and how they should be applied. This oral tradition was codified and written down roughly three centuries later in what is known as the Talmud.

The Pharisees also maintained that an afterlife existed and that God punished the wicked and rewarded the righteous in the world to come. They also believed in a messiah who would herald an era of world peace.

Pharisees were in a sense blue-collar Jews who adhered to the tenets developed after the destruction of the Temple; that is, such things as individual prayer and assembly in synagogues.
The Sadducees

The Sadducees were elitists who wanted to maintain the priestly caste, but they were also liberal in their willingness to incorporate Hellenism into their lives, something the Pharisees opposed. The Sadducees rejected the idea of the Oral Law and insisted on a literal interpretation of the Written Law; consequently, they did not believe in an afterlife, since it is not mentioned in the Torah. The main focus of Sadducee life was rituals associated with the Temple.

The Sadducees disappeared around 70 A.D., after the destruction of the Second Temple (see below). None of the writings of the Sadducees survived, so the little we know about them comes from their Pharisaic opponents.

These two "parties" served in the Great Sanhedrin, a kind of Jewish Supreme Court made up of 71 members whose responsibility was to interpret civil and religious laws.
The Dead Sea Sect

A third faction, the Essenes, emerged out of disgust with the other two. This sect believed the others had corrupted the city and the Temple. They moved out of Jerusalem and lived a monastic life in the desert, adopting strict dietary laws and a commitment to celibacy.

The Essenes are particularly interesting to scholars because they are believed to be an offshoot of the group that lived in Qumran, near the Dead Sea. In 1947, a Bedouin shepherd stumbled into a cave containing various ancient artifacts and jars containing manuscripts describing the beliefs of the sect and events of the time.

The most important documents, often only parchment fragments that had to be meticulously restored, were the earliest known copies of the Old Testament. The similarity of the substance of the material found in the scrolls to that in the modern scriptures has confirmed the authenticity of the Bible used today.

By Mitchell G. Bard

Friday, April 17, 2009

Erskine Nicol RSA ARA (1825-1904)

The Irish-Scots figure painter Erskine Nicol, was born in Leith, Scotland. After a short time as a house painters apprentice, he attended the Trustees' Academy at 12 years of age, studying painting and drawing under Thomas Duncan and William Allen. A short appointment as an art teacher at a local Leith school was followed by a 4-year stint as an art master in Dublin. Nicol supplemented his teaching stipend by painting portraits. It was in Ireland that Erskine Nicol found his true style, executing figurative scenes, landscapes and genre studies of the Irish people. In addition, he was one of the few painters of his time to portray the horrors of famine, eviction and emigration in nineteenth-century Ireland.

Returning to Scotland in 1851, he showed a series of such paintings at the Royal Scottish Academy (RSA). He became an RSA academician in 1859, then went to live in London in 1862 where, six years later, he was elected an associate member of the Royal Academy (RA). During this time, he returned regularly to Ireland to paint and exhibited his art several times at the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA). In 1885, he retired from the Royal Academy in London, and went to Scotland before finally settling in Feltham, Middlesex. Erskine's two sons - John Watson Nicol and Erskine E Nicol - followed their father and became artists.

Erskine Nicol's paintings are represented in a number of public and private collections, including the British Museum, Tate Art Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum, Aberdeen Art Gallery, Dundee Art Gallery, Glasgow Art Gallery, Ulster Museum, National Gallery of Ireland and others.

Donkey Clock

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Christian Mistake , a really big one....

A Christian Mistake
by Jim Wallis

In ominous red and black, last week’s Newsweek cover carried the headline, “The Decline and Fall of Christian America.” The magazine’s cover story by editor Jon Meacham provoked a wide array of reactions from across the spectrum. Whether Meacham is ultimately correct in his observance of these trends and his interpretation of their meaning is yet to be seen. The 1966 Time magazine cover that asked “Is God Dead?” could not have foreseen the development of religion in American public life over the past 40 years, and we shouldn’t expect any more from Newsweek. What the latter cover has accomplished is to raise questions vital to both the health of the Christian tradition and for the public discourse of our nation.

The question that struck me and the one I began to address in a short piece for Newsweek was that of the role of religion in public life and politics. Here’s what I had to say:

The Religious Right was a Christian mistake. It was a movement that sought to implement a “Christian agenda” by tying the faithful to one political option -- the right wing of the Republican Party. The politicizing of faith in such a partisan way is always a theological mistake. But the rapid decline of the Religious Right now offers us a new opportunity to re-think the role of faith in American public life.

Personally, I am not offended or alarmed by the notion of a post-Christian America. Christianity was originally and, in my view, always meant to be a minority faith with a counter-cultural stance, as opposed to the dominant cultural and political force. Notions of a “Christian America” quite frankly haven’t turned out very well.

But that doesn’t mean a lack of religious influence — on the contrary. Committed minorities have had a tremendous influence on cultures and even on politics. Just look at all the faith-inspired social-reform movements animated by people of faith. But Martin Luther King Jr. did not get the Civil Rights Act passed because he had the most Bible verses on his side but because he entered into the public square with compelling arguments, vision, and policy that ultimately won the day. Those faith-inspired movements are disciplined by democracy, meaning they don’t expect to win just because they are “Christian.” They have to win the debates about what is best for the common good by convincing their fellow citizens.

And that is best done by shaping the values narrative, as opposed to converting everyone to their particular brand of religion. Rather, they are always looking for allies around their moral causes, including people of other faiths or of no religion. The story of Christianity in America in the coming decades will be defined by a multicultural shift as well as a generational one. “New” evangelicals and Catholics, along with black, Hispanic, and Asian churches will now shape the agenda. But also included are the millions of Americans who say they are “spiritual but not religious,” finding homes in non-traditional churches, mega-churches that teach that true religion is found in care for “the least of these.” Making a real impact on the values and directions that a democracy will choose is, perhaps, a more exciting kind of influence than relying on the illusory and often disappointing hopes of cultural and political dominance.

Barack Obama stirred the pot around this exact question recently with his comment at a press conference in Turkey that “we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation.” This statement is not a new one for Obama. He expressed it clearly during a 2006 speech to a Sojourners/Call to Renewal conference. He explained his position this way:

Democracy demands that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal, rather than religion-specific, values. It requires that their proposals be subject to argument, and amenable to reason. I may be opposed to abortion for religious reasons, but if I seek to pass a law banning the practice, I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or evoke God’s will. I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all.

Now this is going to be difficult for some who believe in the inerrancy of the Bible, as many evangelicals do. But in a pluralistic democracy, we have no choice. Politics depends on our ability to persuade each other of common aims based on a common reality. It involves the compromise, the art of what’s possible. At some fundamental level, religion does not allow for compromise. It’s the art of the impossible. If God has spoken, then followers are expected to live up to God’s edicts, regardless of the consequences. To base one’s life on such uncompromising commitments may be sublime, but to base our policy making on such commitments would be a dangerous thing.

The shift that Jon Meacham describes may be the best news in a long time.

Hoofprint to History

Donkeys delight church audience
service adds hoofprint to history

By Alistair Beaton

Published: 06/04/2009

THE Auld Kirk of Inverurie added a new hoofprint in church history during yesterday’s Palm Sunday service as a pair of donkeys joined in a procession down the aisle.

Donkeys Jane and Jill pricked up their ears at the sound of the opening 10am hymn, but stepped quietly through the doors of St Andrew’s Church to join the Rev Graeme Longmuir in front of the surprised – but still singing – congregation.

An image of Christ on a donkey had been projected on the wall above and candles shone in the 168-year-old church, as the young donkeys flanked the minister.

The 11-month-old pair barely flicked a tail before afterwards returning through the pews to the west door, the sound of their hooves muffled by carpet rather than Biblical palms.

Mr Longmuir reflected on the meaning and message of Palm Sunday, and church members joined in Hymn 366 – “come to where the crowds will be, see a strange and gentle king, on a donkey travelling”.

Jane and Jill were rewarded outside with a feed and drink, and loaded into a trailer for their journey home.

The donkeys had made their pilgrimage to the church from Braeriach, near Echt. Owner Netta Sangster said: “I thought the music might be worrying Jane and Jill to begin with, but they were no bother.

Monday, April 13, 2009

William Holman Hunt

The Light of the World

William Holman Hunt
Oil on canvas over panel
arched top, 49 3/8 x 23 l/2 inches
Keble College, Oxford.

The Light of the World

John 8:12 (New International Version)

12. When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."

Thus ends my Blogging of Lent 2009!

I did not start to blog through Lent and Holy week but I am glad I did. What I was going to do was just present the donkey art related to Palm Sunday and Lent. It grew into much more as I recalled works of art that met the moods of lent I was feeling. It was really a wonderful way to meditate on the whole passion of Christ. I also had a wonderful trip back in time and drew from my days at Edinboro University taking art history from George Pitluga. It was Pitluga who turned me onto the religious paintings of Dali. At that time the Dali Museum was located near Cleveland and we went over on a field trip and saw many of Salvador Dali's paintings. We also went to the Cleveland Art Museum. I don't think Dr. Pitluga was a religious man but he loved those religious works of Dali's and he always said. " I know I am not supposed to like these, the art critics all say they are bad but I love them anyway." I would like to dedicate this last week's blogging to the amazing man who brought art history alive for me in the 1970s. I recently found Dr Pitluga passed away a few years ago. I regret I never told him after college how much I appreciate the way he taught.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Incredulity of Saint Thomas

The Incredulity of Saint Thomas (Caravaggio)

Happy Easter!

Christ en majesté, Matthias Grünewald, 16th c.: Resurrection of Jesus

Christ and the Disciples at Emmaus

Christ and the Disciples at Emmaus
Oil on canvas
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Pascal-Adolphe-Jean Dagnan-Bouveret
born 1852 - died 1929

The Morning of the Resurrection

The Morning of the Resurrection
Edward Burne-Jones
(28 August 1833 – 17 June 1898)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

An Easter Carol

Carl Heinrich Bloch
(Born 23 May 1834- Died 22 February 1890)
An Easter Carol
by Christina Rossetti

Spring bursts to-day,
For Christ is risen and all the earth’s at play.

Flash forth, thou Sun,
The rain is over and gone, its work is done.

Winter is past,
Sweet Spring is come at last, is come at last.

Bud, Fig and Vine,
Bud, Olive, fat with fruit and oil and wine.

Break forth this morn
In roses, thou but yesterday a Thorn.

Uplift thy head,
O pure white Lily through the Winter dead.

Beside your dams
Leap and rejoice, you merry-making Lambs.

All Herds and Flocks
Rejoice, all Beasts of thickets and of rocks.

Sing, Creatures, sing,
Angels and Men and Birds and everything.

All notes of Doves
Fill all our world: this is the time of loves.


There is nothing more that they can do
For all their rage and boast :
Caiaphas with his blaspheming crew,
Herod with his host;

Pontius Pilate in his judgment hall
Judging their Judge and his,
Or he who led them all and past them all,
Arch-Judas with his kiss.

The sepulchre made sure with ponderous stone,
Seal that same stone, O priest :
It may be thou shalt block the Holy One
From rising in the east.

Set a watch about the sepulchre
To watch on pain of death :
They must hold fast the stone if One should stir
And shake it from beneath.

God Almighty, He can break a seal,
And roll away a stone :
Can grind the proud in dust who would not kneel,
And crush the mighty one.

There is nothing more that they can do
For all their passionate care,
Those who sit in dust, the blessed few,
And weep and rend their hair.

Peter, Thomas, Mary Magdalen,
The Virgin unreproved,
Joseph and Nicodemus foremost men,
And John the well-beloved.

Bring your finest linen and your spice,
Swathe the sacred Dead,
Bind with careful hands and piteous eyes
The napkin round His head :

Lay Him in the garden-rock to rest :
Rest you the Sabbath length :
The Sun that went down crimson in the west
Shall rise renewed in strength.

God Almighty shall give joy for pain,
Shall comfort him who grieves :
Lo He with joy shall doubtless come again
And with Him bring His sheaves.

Christina Rossetti
23 March 1861.

An Easter Poem

George Herbert - Easter
Rise, heart, thy lord is risen. Sing his praise
Without delays,
Who takes thee by the hand, that thou likewise
With him may'st rise:
That, as his death calcinèd thee to dust,
His life may make thee gold, and, much more, just.

Awake, my lute, and struggle for thy part
With all thy art,
The cross taught all wood to resound his name
Who bore the same.
His stretchèd sinews taught all strings what key
Is best to celebrate this most high day.

Consort, both heart and lute, and twist a song
Pleasant and long;
Or, since all music is but three parts vied
And multiplied
Oh let thy blessèd Spirit bear a part,
And make up our defects with his sweet art.

Antonio Ciseri

(The Deposition of Christ), a painting by Antonio Ciseri.

Antonio Ciseri (October 25, 1821 – March 8, 1891) was a Swiss artist.

Ciseri was born in Ronco sopra Ascona in the canton of Ticino in Switzerland. In 1833 he moved with his father to Florence. He was admitted in 1834 to the Accademia di Belle Arti, where he trained under Niccola Benvenuti. His religious paintings are Raphaelesque in their compositional outlines and their polished surfaces, but are nearly photographic in effect. He fulfilled many important commissions from churches in Italy and Switzerland. Ciseri also painted a significant number of portraits. He died in Florence on March 8, 1891.

John 19:38-42

The Entombment of Christ

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, (29 September 1571 – 18 July 1610

After these things, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, though a secret one because of his fear of the Jews, asked Pilate to let him take away the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission; so he came and removed his body. Nicodemus, who had at first come to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. Now there was a garden in the place where he was crucified, and in the garden there was a new tomb in which no one had ever been laid. And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

Holy Saturday

When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.

The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, "Sir, we remember what that impostor said while he was still alive, `After three days I will rise again.' Therefore command the tomb to be made secure until the third day; otherwise his disciples may go and steal him away, and tell the people, `He has been raised from the dead,' and the last deception would be worse than the first." Pilate said to them, "You have a guard of soldiers; go, make it as secure as you can." So they went with the guard and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone.

Matthew 27:57-66

They Laid him in the Tomb


Carl Heinrich Bloch (May 23, 1834 – February 22, 1890) was a Danish painter.

He was born in Copenhagen and studied with Wilhelm Marstrand at the Royal Danish Academy of Art (Det Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi) there.

His early work featured rural scenes from everyday life. From 1859 to 1866, Bloch lived in Italy, and this period was important for the development of his historical style.

His first great success was the exhibition of his "Prometheus Unbound" in Copenhagen in 1865. After the death of Marstrand, he finished the decoration of the ceremonial hall at the University of Copenhagen.

He was then commissioned to produce 23 paintings for the Chapel at Frederiksborg Palace. These were all scenes from the life of Christ which have become very popular as illustrations. The originals, painted between 1865 and 1879, are still at Frederiksborg Palace.

Bloch died in Copenhagen at the age of 63.

Friday, April 10, 2009

I know my Redeemer lives

Who taught the sun where to stand in the morning
Who told the ocean you an only come this far?
Who showed the moon where to hide 'til evening
Whose words alone can catch a falling star?

Well I know my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives
All of creation testify
This life within me cries
I know my Redeemer lives

The very same God that spins things in orbit
He runs to the weary, the worn and the weak
And the same gentle hands that hold me when I'm broken
They conquered death to bring me victory

Now I know my Redeemer lives
I know my Redemer lives
Let all creation testify
Let this life wihtin me cry
I know my Redeemer, He lives

To take away my shame
And He lives forever I'll proclaim
That the payment for my sin
Was the precious life He gave
But now He's alive
And there's an empty grave.

And I know my Redeemer, He lives
I know my Redeemer lives
Let all creation testify
This life within me cries
I know my Redeemer lives

Jesus Wept - by Ralph McTell

(G) The day that (G*)Jesus a(C)rrived in Jer(D*)usalem,
The ad(G)venture almost (G*)over, the (C)night he hadn't (D)slept
(G)Dreams and premo(G*)nitions made him (C)tired and e(D*)motional,
(G)And that's why (C)Je(D)sus (G)wept.

He wasn't scared of dying, he'd made that commitment
Fulfilling the old prophecy, his bargain he had kept
He was due some satisfaction, but he was deeply troubled,
And that's why Jesus wept.

Was this his true destiny, or could he still make changes,
Someone else's nightmare into which he'd stepped?
Damage limitation couldn't save the situation,
And that's why Jesus wept.

In his dream he saw the crusade and all wars that would follow,
Declared in his name when he thought he'd been direct
Love thy neighbour, do not kill, and turn the other cheek,
And that's why Jesus wept.

He (C)saw the inqui(G)sition and the (C)burning of the (G)saints,
The con(C)version of the (G)innocents he (C*)swore he would pro(D)tect
He (G)saw them bless the (G*)bomb that was (C)dropped on Hiro(D*)shima,
And (G)that's why (C)Je(D)sus (G)wept.

Though Peter would betray him, he made him the rock
On which he would build his church to sort of keep him in his debt
A man about to die is allowed some confusion,
And that's why Jesus wept.

He thought of his disciples, especially of Judas,
The job that was ordained for him and the reward he'd collect
He saw him in the tree with the silver coins around him,
And that's why Jesus wept.

Then he thought about the good times when he turned the tables over,
Chastised the money lenders and he earned the boy's respect
He was proud of Godly anger, but ashamed of manly temper,
And that's why Jesus wept.

Rumours started flying about water into wine,
Sight to the blind and that he'd even raised the dead
The biggest miracle was that anyone believed it,
And that's why Jesus wept.

Then he mused on human nature, how fickle were the public,
So ready to accept him, so quick now to reject
Where were the five thousand he fed with loaves and fishes?
And that's why Jesus wept.

In his dream he saw a garden with all his friends asleep,
He walked away the hours until the morning crept
He wondered would the nails hurt, would he be man enough?
And that's why Jesus wept.

Was he supposed to bear it like a man or like a God,
Would tears show a weakness or a strength by their effect?
Would they be viewed as compassion or failure and self-pity?
And that's why Jesus wept.

Then he saw his houses burning on both sides of a border,
Saw the guiltless suffer with the guilty and the rest
And when they called his name and he knew he couldn't help them,
That's why Jesus wept.

Then he saw two armies marching and he heard their crucifixes
Reduced to superstitious muted jangling round their necks
And he heard his name intoned as they interred their companion,
And that's why Jesus wept.

Then he thought about his mother and the stories she had told him,
Who'd filled his dreams with angels, put voices in his head
Then the scent of pine trees made him think of dear old Joseph,
And that's why Jesus wept.

Good Friday

by Christina Rossetti

Am I a stone and not a sheep
That I can stand, O Christ, beneath Thy Cross,
To number drop by drop Thy Blood's slow loss,
And yet not weep?
Not so those women loved
Who with exceeding grief lamented Thee;
Not so fallen Peter weeping bitterly;
Not so the thief was moved;
Not so the Sun and Moon
Which hid their faces in a starless sky,
A horror of great darkness at broad noon—
I, only I.
Yet give not o'er,
But seek Thy sheep, true Shepherd of the flock;
Greater than Moses, turn and look once more
And smite a rock.

The most moving of Portraits of Christ

Christ and Thorns
Carl Heinrich Bloch
(Born 23 May 1834- Died 22 February 1890)
Matthew 27: 29 And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Still More Tissot, 'Jesus Is Flogged in the Face

James J. Tissot, 'Jesus Is Flogged in the Face' (1896), Brooklyn Museum, watercolor

Christ of St John of the Cross

Salvador Dali's "Christ of St John of the Cross

Salvador Dali’s ‘Christ of St John of the Cross’ caused controversy and consternation when it was first purchased for the city of Glasgow, Scotland in 1951 by the then Director of Glasgow Museums, Dr. Tom Honeyman.

An art dealer with an open-minded approach to art appreciation, Honeyman saw the picture for sale at the Lefevre Gallery in London and was convinced that it was a picture that Glasgow must have.

Although the catalogue price was £12,000, Honeyman used his connections and undoubted charm and beat this down to £8,200, which just happened to be the last of the funds left from the profits in the 1901 Exhibition Fund.

In addition, he secured the copyright to the image from the artist, which was (and is) often difficult to do.

But instead of Honeyman being carried shoulder high in victory at his coup, there was an instant outcry from almost every quarter. The art establishment regarded Dali’s super-realism and uncharacteristic choice of subject as ephemeral, cynical and lacking any depth or meaning. Students at the Glasgow School of Art protested that the cash should have been spent on young local artists.

Even highly esteemed artists such as Augustus John deplored the ‘mad price’ being paid to a living painter.

Honeyman, however, was proved not only right but also spectacularly astute. The public flocked to see the painting.

Such is the polarized emotional response that visitors experience when viewing the painting that it has been attacked twice. However, Kelvingrove conservators expertly repaired the damage, and the non-professional eye would now find it hard to spot the wounds.

Trebon Altarpiece, circa 1380

Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, from the Trebon Altarpiece, circa 1380

he Master of the Třeboň Altarpiece, sometimes called the Master of Wittingau, was a Bohemian painter active in Prague around 1380-1390. His name is derived from an altarpiece from the church of Saint Eligius at the Augustinian convent of Třeboň (known in German as "Wittingau"). The altarpiece, a triptych, depicts Christ on the Mount of Olives, The Tomb of Christ, and the Resurrection. It has been dated to around 1380, and is today held at the Convent of St. Agnes branch of the National Gallery in Prague.

Stylistically, the Master seems to have been aware of French painting; in addition, the influence of northern Italian art may be seen in his work. He created the so-called "beautiful style", a Bohemian variant of the International Gothic style in which figures are placed in deep settings and modeled with chiaroscuro; such intensity had never before been seen in Bohemian art, but would be prominent in the work of future generations of artists. In addition, his influence can be seen in the work of other European artists of the period, most especially the Master of the Bamberg Altar.

Last Supper window St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh

I had the joy of seeing these windows in June of 2005 when I visited Scotland for the first time. My friend Mike Abrams took me to St. Giles where I spent quite a bit of time taking pictures. Mike took this photo of me taking pictures.

Last Supper window St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh

Last Supper, Salvador Dalí. (Spanish, 1904-1989)

The Sacrament of the Last Supper, c.1955
National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
by Salvador Dalí. (Spanish, 1904-1989)

Dali stated that this was an "arithmetic and philosophical cosmogony based on the paranoiac sublimity of the number twelve...the pentagon contains microcosmic man: Christ"

Noel Paton

by Sir Joseph Noel Paton RSA (1821-1901)

Joseph Noel Paton was a Scottish painter, born in Dunfermline, Scotland to a family of weavers. He studied at the Royal Academy, London, and became a painter of historical, fairy, allegorical and religious subjects, in a style close to that of the Pre-Raphaelites. He was appointed Queen's Limner for Scotland from 1866. He also published two volumes of poems.

Jesus At Bethany by Tissot


Matthew 26:36-56 (New International Version)


36Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." 37He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me."

39Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."

40Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?" he asked Peter. 41"Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak."

42He went away a second time and prayed, "My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done."

43When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.

45Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is near, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46Rise, let us go! Here comes my betrayer!"

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Jesus Washing Peter's Feet. by Ford Madox Brown

He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.

Jesus Washing Peter's Feet. 1852-56 by Ford Madox Brown

This picture illustrates the biblical story of Christ washing his disciples’ feet at the Last Supper. It has an unusually low viewpoint and compressed space. Critics objected to the picture’s coarseness – it originally depicted Jesus only semi-clad. This caused an outcry when it was first exhibited and it remained unsold for several years until Ford Madox Brown reworked the figure in robes.Brown was never invited to join the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood but he was a close associate of the group. Several members modelled for the disciples in this picture and the critic F G Stephens sat for Christ.


Ford Madox Brown (16 April 1821 – 6 October 1893) was an English painter of moral and historical subjects, notable for his distinctively graphic and often Hogarthian version of the Pre-Raphaelite style. While he was closely associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, he was never actually a member. Nevertheless, he remained close to Dante Gabriel Rossetti, with whom he also joined William Morris's design company, Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co., in 1861.

Last Supper by James Tissot

Maundy Thursday

Maundy Thursday (also known as Holy Thursday or Great and Holy Thursday), is the Christian feast or holy day falling on the Thursday before Easter that commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles. It is the fifth day of Holy Week, and is preceded by Holy Wednesday and followed by Good Friday. In 2009, Maundy Thursday will occur on April 9 in most Christian traditions.

On this day four events are commemorated: the washing of the Disciples' Feet by Jesus Christ, the institution of the Mystery of the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper, the agony of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, and the betrayal of Christ by Judas Iscariot.

Fresco of Judas and Jesus by Cimabue or Torriti?

(b. ca. 1240, Firenze, d. ca. 1302, Firenze)
Several frescoes in the upper church of San Francesco are attributed to Cimabue. The attribution of this fresco, located on the left wall of the church, is doubtful. Traditionally it was attributed to Cavallini. Other assumptions are that it was executed under the supervision of Cimabue, or it is the work of an unknown master strongly influenced by Cimabue, Cavallini and Torriti.

2009 Passover begins

In 2009 Passover begins at sundown on Wednesday April 8 and ends at nightfall on Thursday April 16 in the Diaspora (Wednesday April 15 in Israel).

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tissot Kiss of Judas

Matthew 26:1-5, 14-25, & More Art Related to the Betrayal

Kiss of Judas, left mural in the sanctuary of the Church of All Nations

The Church of All Nations, also known as the Church or Basilica of the Agony, is a Roman Catholic church located on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, next to the Garden of Gethsemane.


Matthew 26:1-5, 14-25

Jesus said to his disciples, "You know that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified."

Then the chief priests and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, and they conspired to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him. But they said, "Not during the festival, or there may be a riot among the people."

Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, "What will you give me if I betray him to you?" They paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he began to look for an opportunity to betray him.

On the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Where do you want us to make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?" He said, "Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, `The Teacher says, My time is near; I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.'" So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover meal.

When it was evening, he took his place with the twelve; and while they were eating, he said, "Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me." And they became greatly distressed and began to say to him one after another, "Surely not I, Lord?" He answered, "The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born." Judas, who betrayed him, said, "Surely not I, Rabbi?" He replied, "You have said so."

John 13:21-35 & The Kiss of Judas in art

French, Romanesque / St. Gilles-du-Gard: The Kiss of Judas (The Betrayal), detail of angle frieze to right of central portal of the West front, ca. 1140-1180 / St. Gilles-du-Gard


John 13:21-35

At supper with his friends, Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, "Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me." The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he was speaking. One of his disciples-- the one whom Jesus loved-- was reclining next to him; Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. So while reclining next to Jesus, he asked him, "Lord, who is it?" Jesus answered, "It is the one to whom I give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish." So when he had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot. After he received the piece of bread, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, "Do quickly what you are going to do." Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. Some thought that, because Judas had the common purse, Jesus was telling him, "Buy what we need for the festival"; or, that he should give something to the poor. So, after receiving the piece of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.

When he had gone out, Jesus said, "Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, `Where I am going, you cannot come.' I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."

The Accursed Fig Tree (Le figuier maudit)

The Accursed Fig Tree (Le figuier maudit)
Artist: James Tissot, French, 1836-1902
Medium: Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper
Place Made: France
Dates: 1886-1894

Matthew 21:18-19 Jesus Curses the Fig Tree

18. Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered.

19. And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.


Why did Jesus curse the fig tree and miraculously cause it to wither (Matthew 21:19)?

In Matthew 21 we find that Jesus was hungry and saw a fig tree by the side of the road. As He came close to it, He saw that it had no figs on it, so He cursed it and it withered (Matthew 21:19). It may appear that Jesus is just responding in anger to the tree, cursing it in tantrum-like behavior. But this is not the case at all. One must keep in mind the broader backdrop of Jesus' teaching methodology, which often involved parables and word pictures. Scholars agree that Jesus in the present case is performing a living parable -- an acted-out parable -- to teach His disciples an important truth. His cursing of the fig tree was a dramatic "visual aid."

What important truth does the parable illustrate? Scholars have different opinions. Some say Jesus was illustrating the principle of faith to the disciples. If the disciples had such faith, they too could do such things as withering fig trees and moving mountains (Matthew 17:20). They would need such faith in the hard days to come.

Other scholars believe that since the fig tree had leaves on it (Matthew 21:19), from a distance it gave the appearance of being fruitful. But upon closer examination it became clear that there was no fruit on it at all. So perhaps Jesus' cursing of the fig tree was an acted-out parable that taught the disciples that God will judge those who give an outer appearance of fruitfulness but in fact are not fruitful at all (like the Pharisees).

Still other scholars suggest the fig tree is representative of faithless Israel. Israel professed to be faithful to God and fruitful as a nation, but in fact it was faithless and fruitless. Indeed, Israel had rejected Jesus the Messiah. Israel was thus ripe for judgment. Perhaps the withering of the fig tree foreshadowed the withering (or destruction) of Israel when Titus and his Roman warriors trampled on and destroyed Jerusalem in AD 70, ending Israel as a political entity (see Luke 21:20).

And still other scholars see significance in the fact that the account of Jesus' cleansing of the temple in Mark's Gospel (Mark 11:15-19) is sandwiched between the two sections of Scripture dealing with the fig tree (verses 12-14 and 20-25). It is suggested that perhaps Jesus was teaching that at a distance the Jewish temple and its sacrificial activities looked fine. But on closer inspection it was found to be mere religion without substance, full of hypocrisy, bearing no spiritual fruit, ripe for judgment.

Blog Archive

About Me

My photo
I grew up in Chautauqua County, NY. I graduated from Edinboro University of Pennyslvania in 1981 with a BFA in Jewelry and Metalworking. I have been married 31 years. I currently run a small business with my husband. We both enjoy the outdoors and animals a great deal and live on a tiny farm in Western, NY.