Wednesday, March 23, 2005

As Holy Thursday draws near...

The Last Supper
I know, I'm a bit ahead of myself, but I have a very demanding Triduum, so I'm getting this in early.

Anyway, it's a bit more 'modern' than I usually like my art, but one of my favourite depictions of the Last Supper is that of the German priest Sieger Köder which can be seen in this pdf file.
What I like about this work is its simple style and the clear way that the artist has worked in a number of theological motifs. We don't see the face of Christ directly in the painting, but it's reflected in the chalice of wine. The Chi-Rho symbol may be discerned in the broken bread which lies on the white tablecloth overshadowed by the cross. The disciples are huddled together in the light which seems to be coming from the head of the table where Christ sits, whilst if we peer into the shadows at the back of the room we can discern the figure of Judas who is about his deadly business. (Does Köder owe Aquinas an apology?) The disciples' faces are also a story in themselves - John trustingly inclines towards Christ and accepts the bread offered by His generous hands, poor Peter looks confused and the others have varying expressions ranging from surprise to tiredness.
There's a great charm about this painting and I've found that it's a good way to get intellegent children to reflect on what happened at the first Last Supper and what happens every day at Mass.
Also worth a look is Koder's other depiction of the Last Supper, his >Washing of the Feet. Again, there are some clear theological motifs, ranging from the fact that again we don't see Christ's face directly to the prayer shawl wrapped about His shoulders.
Other Stuff
Lauren would probably string me up if I didn't plug her new Cafepress Store. (Never trust a skinny Domincan!)
There's an interesting editorial in the Telegraph about Blair and the religion question. A related article reveals the huge religious ignorance amongst the British.
Another Holy Week penitent in Spain. And a more colourful variation on the same theme from the Philipines. Not penetential at all is this cultural celebration in China.
And finally...
Lots of goodies for bibliophiles on the British Library's new website. They are making an increasing number of their treasures availible on-line.

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