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*Apotheosis of the Dove

Copyright David G. Wilson

oil on canvas, dia. 60", 1997; Collection of the artist.


These paintings and text are published via this medium only for the intellectual edification of the general public . No unauthorized commercial use is allowed without expressed written permission.

My infatuation with European old-master painting continuously pushes me to seek new hidden imagery within these time honored paintings. My search is frequently fruitful because I seek what I want to see in them and I almost always find what I am looking for.

On my numerous visits to the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. (I visit at least once a year, and more frequently when there are major shows) I always pay a visit to Raffaello Sanzio's*Alba Madonna.

The story of the Alba Madonna's acquisition by Mr.Andrew Mellon is a favorite of mine. So, I wanted to include this Raphael in my collection. Once again, I resorted to the landscapes and seascapes of my youth in rugged and mountainous Dominica. It is a characteristic with which I have grown immensely enamored with regards my birth-land. Once more my catholic religious education comes into play and I incorporate it fully in my work. One sees here, the central figure of Christ, whose face is formed by a solitary little girl playing close to a river bank. With a stick in her hand, she skips along as birds fly overhead and the resting dove is apotheosized as it perches for a drink of water. The cathedral perched on the hillside that overlooks the river is in direct communication with the celestial reaches of modern technology, through the telephone wires. To the left, one sees a little boy playing frisbee with his dog. Some fallen logs help to create the face of the adoring baptist, as he holds onto the cross of modern communication. He surely can reach out and touch the Lord. The fishing boats of Scottshead and Portsmouth, are my ever present eyes and nose that perrennially keep vigil over my characters.

Religion has, throughout history, anthropomorphized and apotheosized birds and other loveable creatures and there is no exemption of our modern religious teachings which legitimized it for christianity, but condemned it as pagan, in African religions.

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