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Christ-eye view and Countenance


Copyright David G. Wilson

Oil on octagonal canvas, 17" sides, 1997, Collection of the artist.

Warning

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.

A significant aspect of my youth in Dominica is Roman Catholicism. I was first introduced to art in the Roman Catholic Church at Portsmouth, since then unfortunately destroyed by an earthquake on November 21 2004. I usually spent the entire Sunday morning mass studying the fourteen paintings that represented the Way of the Cross. The library of prayer books that my mother collected was of greater interest to me only because they kept me in touch with the Madonna's of Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci and Corregio among others.

The image of the crucified Christ is to me a very powerful one and I have sought to depict it in a plethora of unusual ways. I always find multiple layered symbolism in the scene of the crucifixion.

The image above represents a hitherto unseen perspective of the crucifixion. Has anyone ever envisaged the crucifixion through Christ's own eyes. Well, he looked down and saw his grieving mother, arms outstretched in prayerful supplication. Then, he felt the stabbing pain of the soldier's lance. His entire peripheral vision, framed by his pendant locks, includes the lower part of his body, the soldier, his mother and the lower part of the cross. They combine to portray the anguished countenance of his ultimate sacrifice and hour.

To realize this vision, I had to presumptuously and maybe blasphemously imagine myself in the body of Christ looking down from his crucified posture as he was hanging on the cross. I wanted to experience, at least emotionally, the extent of his agony. How did it feel to experience such a horrifying death? I could virtually feel the spear piercing my ribcage while looking down at the torturer. I could see his distraught mother kneeling at the bottom of the cross, wringing her fingers in grief and emotional agony. I could sense his long hair falling over my face as the long shaft of the cross descended to the ground where it was planted. I could see his stomach, blood oozing out of the wound where the lance had punctured his side. His loincloth turned into a pair of stern and unsmiling lips as I beheld an awesome face staring angrily at me because of my presumptuousness at questioning my faith and my replication of the agony that he had suffered.

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