Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Month of Miracles Part 19 - Healing of the Lunatic Boy

Title: The Healing of the Lunatic Boy
Artist: John Reilly
Medium: Oil on canvas
Size: 66.5 x 106 cm
Date: 1958
Location: Oxford Brookes University

Matthew 17:14-18 - When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.” Jesus replied, “You unbelieving and perverse generation, how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment.

Here Reilly has given us an image of 'before' and 'after' with yellow almost the home key, we see the child in his right mind together with Jesus on the left brightly shining after the moment of healing. Its antithesis, on the right, the blue-grey, appears slightly violet because of the way our eyes react to very strong statements of color. There we see the darkened experience of the before, of the distressed boy and his parents. Vertical and horizontal lines divide the space into definite areas which act in counterpoint to the more fluent lines of the figures. It seems as if the figures are in danger of becoming caricature. But Reilly has concentrated on the humanity of all involved, and the bold color serves to reinforce the emotion of the scenes.

John Reilly (1928- ) is a contemporary English painter who has works in such notable galleries as the Methodist Church Collection, Isle of Wight Council Heritage, and The John Wesley’s House Museum of Methodism.

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