Friday, March 11, 2011

The Last Supper of Jesus

Title: The Last Supper of Jesus
Artist: Andre Derain

Oil on canvas
Size: 220 x 280 cm
Date: 1911
Location: tbd.

John 13:31-38 When he was gone, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once. My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come. A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Simon Peter asked him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus replied, Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.” Peter asked, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” Then Jesus answered, “Will you really lay down your life for me? Very truly I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!”

By calling them “my children” Jesus is putting the disciples in a relation to himself that is analogous to his relation to the Father. This term of endearment expresses his love for them and is a poignant introduction to his announcement that his departure is imminent. The command to love, while on one level nothing new, is, on another level, in that it is in keeping with Jesus' own love for them. The love of God has now been mediated in a radically new way, through the incarnation. And the possibility of sharing in that divine love now becomes possible in a manner and to a degree unlike anything up to this point.

AndrĂ© Derain (June 1880 – September 1954) was a French artist, painter, sculptor and, with Henri Matisse, a co-founder of Fauvism. The years 1911–1914 are sometimes referred to as his gothic period, and about this time Derain's work began overtly reflecting his study of the Old Masters, and the role of color was reduced as his forms became austere. The 1920s marked the height of his success. However, during World War 2, due in part to his official visit to Germany traveling with other French artists to attend an exhibition by Nazi sculptor Arno Breker, he was branded a collaborator and ostracized by many former supporters.

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