Thoughts during Lent

At Fragmenta, we are getting out of our hibernation state and started brainstorming new plans. Keep yourself prepared for new editions coming up!

Meanwhile, we want to share one of our favorite paintings. That is, a painting of a scene of Christ’s Life.

After all, we are in the middle of Lent season and both holy and unholy thoughts cross our minds – or maybe they always do, but during these weeks we are more aware of them, morally speaking.

prado_ascensionAnyways, the depiction of Christ’s Ascension (which calendar-wise is still a bit further along the line, be patient … one thing after the other… ) is so genial because it shows just that: the ultimate ascension into a different reality. Jesus is leaving the picture, that is, our realm of perception.

We think it also talks about a very post-modern point of view or “framing” issue. To keep the suspense high, the action is really happening outside of the frame. What we do see are the reactions of the audience: surprise, astonishment, anger, disbelieve, joy, sadness … and always highest attention to the action (except for this one guy on the left hand side who seems to suffer from indigestion, holding back body gasses, biting his lips under his grey beard).

Most of Christ’s Body has been cropped out the picture. The surrounding (grey-ish?) clouds create a squashed vignette to emphasize his disappearance. Christ has chosen to ascend from a rock that still bears his feet marks. The rock thus has become a sort of stony Veil of Veronica, conserving for eternity Jesus’ shoe-size (if he ever needed a pair when back in a frosty country…) The rock shows astonishing resemblance to the Dingli Cliffs.

There are birds in the air, the element the Lord is just entering in his changed state. In a way, we could say that he becomes the Air. He evaporates into Godly Clouds. Consequently, he is there, around us, at all times. And that is exactly what it says, no? We are like the observer in the fancy bright red cloth thrown to the ground, watching in awe. With our left hand, we slightly wave “good-bye”.

Last question: does God exist in a vacuum?

(Painted by Juan de Flandes, an Early Netherlandish Painter who was active in Spain around the year 1500)

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