Monday, October 15, 2012

A Month of Miracles Part 9 - Christ and the Woman with the Issue of Blood

Title: Christ and the Woman with the Issue of Blood
Artist: Paolo Veronese
Medium: Oil on Canvas
Size: tbd.
Date: c. 1565-70
Location: Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.

Luke 8:42-56 […] As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped. “Who touched me?” Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.” But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.” Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”

This woman has been hemorrhaging for years, which means she has been in a perpetual state of uncleanliness according to Jewish law, shut out from religious life, a social outcast. In despair over her loneliness and condition, she hopes that an underground approach, a surreptitious touching of Jesus, will change her fate. This is why she came up behind him. Jesus turns to the crowd and asks, "Who touched me?" Amazed at the question, Peter points out that many are crowded around Jesus. It is as if a current celebrity or political leader turned to a herd of reporters upon exiting a building and asked, "Who just took my picture?" For the woman there is no sense in trying to hide from Jesus now. She comes forward to give her public testimony of how she has been healed. Despite the embarrassment of her past condition and the timidity of her approach to Jesus, she declares what Jesus has done for her. In response Jesus issues a simple commendation: "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace." He makes her faith an example, timid as it was. The one with faith does not need to fear approaching Jesus and his authority. He is accessible and available.

Paolo Veronese (1528 –April 1588) was an Italian painter of the Renaissance in Venice. He adopted the name Paolo Cagliari or Paolo Caliari, and became known as "Veronese" from his birthplace in Verona. Veronese is known as a supreme colorist, and for his illusionistic decorations in both fresco and oil. His most famous works are elaborate narrative cycles, executed in a dramatic and colorful Mannerist style, full of majestic architectural settings and glittering pageantry. His large paintings of biblical feasts executed for the refectories of monasteries in Venice and Verona are especially notable

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