December 4th, 2006

wayside cross

Patrons of Wilderstead

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Found some good images of my trio of patron saints, each with his particular critters: Cuthbert; Gall; Hubert. The first three are graphic arts, the latter three statuary. Dig the cool hat on the statue of St. Hubert -- not your usual mitre!

Otters and Bear and Stag, oh my! Not to mention hounds. And swans (not pictured, but associated with St. Cuthbert). And Jägermeister, which will have you seeing critters, too -- or maybe just the head of King St. Oswald. (Now, I wonder if I could get a bear to help me with my cabin?)

Northern icon

Sometime last month, I remember reading a webpage on Warner Sallman, the artist who created so many visually memorable portraits of Christ, including his most famous, "Head of Christ." His pictures are a sort of Protestant iconography.

Well, Sallman was the son of Swedish immigrants, and looking at his "Head of Christ" hanging in our church fellowship hall this week, the essential Scandinavian look of Jesus suddenly struck me. I had always realized that this was not a Semitic Jesus, but with his elongated, thin features, I couldn't figure out what kind of ethnicity the artist was picturing Jesus in.

Suddenly, it came to me that this was a Swedish Jesus. And, remembering how Sallman had always said that he wanted to paint Jesus as a "man's man," not a reflective but an active sort, well, this image leapt to mind, and I went home and photoshopped it together.

Warning: this is not for the fluttery, over-pious. Nor is it meant to be impious. It's an exploration of how we see Jesus. What does this image convey to you?
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