Sunday, January 06, 2019

Epiphany card for passers-by--


"The Adoration of the Magi or The Epiphany is a triptych oil painting on wood panel by the Netherlandish artist Hieronymus Bosch, executed around 1485-1500.[1] It is housed in the Museo del Prado of MadridSpain." Public domain. Wikipedia files.


The Magi--Gentiles drawn by the call of light--offer their gifts. The gold, highest metal on the chain of being, suggests the baby's high kingship. Frankincense was burned on the Temple altar, rising like prayer toward God. Myrrh was linked to the anointing of Jewish priests and the Temple, and was used to embalm the dead. Just as we often see the baby Jesus of ancient icons lying in a manger that resembles a tiny sarcophagus, so myrrh invokes the sacrificial death to come.

5 comments:

  1. Isn’t it interesting that we have come to believe in 3 wise men (not Biblical) because of 3 gifts and a Christmas carol?

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    1. It's not so different from the ass and the ox at the manger, shown in the earliest icons. The ox is a pure animal, according to Jewish lore, but the donkey was not. It's an image of the impure (Gentiles) being included.

      In the same way, the Magi are often portrayed as of three races--all Gentiles. Both sets of images invoke the new covenant between God and humanity.

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  2. Posted yesterday: https://dc20011.blogspot.com/2019/01/the-feast-of-artists.html .

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    1. George, I don't know what is going on but I can't seem to comment! It just eats the comment and won't take any setting but Google Account. I am sorry! My own page has been wonky about my comments, too, so maybe it's something with my account. Not sure.

      What I posted that vanished: Oh, I do find that interesting. Waugh is always interesting, isn't he? And I do find that there are a number of unexpected passages in the bible that are of great meaning for artists. Hadn't thought of the magi in quite that way.

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    2. Most curious about the comments. I see that the settings did restrict the comments to "Google Accounts", which I don't recall choosing or seeing. Thank you for the heads up.

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Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.