Saturday, August 28, 2010

Christ in the Wilderness Surrounded by Angels

Title: Christ in the Wilderness Surrounded by Angels

Artist: Charles de La Fosse

Medium: Oil on Canvas

Size: 143 x 193 cm

Date: c. 1690

Location: Hermitage, St. Petersburg.

Matthew 4:11: Then the devil leaves him, and behold, angels came and ministered to him.

Christ was succored after the temptation, God's agents providing for Jesus' as soon as he has vanquished his foe. After three high-stake tests the devil is driven away, and therefore Jesus can later state, in Matthew 12:29, “How can anyone go into a strong man’s house and steal his property? First he must tie up the strong man. Then he can go through his house and steal his property.” Jesus can say that he is freeing Satan's possessions because he has already bound the strong man. Jesus is the new Moses who will provide bread for his people, whom God will deliver by the resurrection, and who will eventually rule the nations.

This painting shows Jesus on the verge of ecstasy, his face a mixture of triumph and exhaustion. Having put his trust in the Lord he waits, as down, through a celestial light, the angles descend towards him, gather at his feet, bring trays of nourishment. The light from above is golden and cascades like a spotlight across the angels and onto Jesus. But unlike the angels, whose only illumination is from God’s light, Jesus is depicted with a faint nimbus, a sign that he, too, is Holy.

Charles de La Fosse (1636, Paris - 1716, Paris), also spelled Delafosse, was a French painter. Know for his decorative historical and allegorical murals, his work continued a variant of the stately French Baroque manner of the 17th century, while to developing a lighter, more brightly colored style that presaged the Rococo painting of the 18th century. La Fosse was impressed with the works of the 16th-century Italians Francesco Primaticcio, Titian, and Paolo Veronese, which he studied during his five year stay in Rome and Venice. His greatest work was the decoration of the cupola of the Church of Les Invalides in Paris, while more significant to later critics are his smaller works remarkable for their use of light and their fresh color sense. He became a member of the Royal Academy in 1673 and was named chancellor in 1715.

No comments:

Post a Comment