Sunday, February 20, 2011

Jesus Encirled

Title: Jesus Encirled
Artist: Rachel Monteagudo
Medium: Linoleum print and acrylic paint
Size: tbd
Date: 2007
Location: Private collection.

While in 11th grade at Norcross High School in Norcross, Georgia, artist Rachel Monteagudo created this arresting image of Jesus, which went on to be featured in various student art shows. Her stark, almost wistful, Man of Sorrows is made triumphant by the encircling of this image with a radiant red and gold ovoid. There are allusions to the fourth chapter of the Revelation, notably chapter 4:2-3, and the vision of the throne room of God: “At once I came under the Holy Spirit's power, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with One seated on the throne! And He who sat there appeared like the crystalline brightness of jasper and the fiery carnelian, and encircling the throne there was a halo that looked like a rainbow of emerald.”

This image continues to follow a movement that seems to have evolved away from the realistic humanization of Jesus, championed by those the like the Russian Peredvizhniki, instead having focused on transcendent, redemptive imagery of the Messiah. Jesus is shown not as a human being like us, but rather as one who resonates the power and glory of the Son of Man. As foretold in the Book of Daniel 7:13-14 “I saw in the night visions, and behold, on the clouds of the heavens came One like a Son of man, and He came to the Ancient One and was presented before Him. And there was He given dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which shall not pass away, and His kingdom is one which shall not be destroyed.”

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