Painting of the day
Last night was the second of Professor Wheeler's excellent talks on Word and Image. One of the paintings he discussed was this one by James Jacques Tissot who made a series of illustrations of the Bible after he returned to the Catholic faith in 1885. I apologise for the poor reproduction.
You can see the man with the palsy being lowered by his friends via the roof of the house as they couldn't get through the crowds around the front door. Christ, in white sitting on the left, holds out his arms to receive him for healing. The palsied man's legs hang down in the centre of the painting but his arms are outstretched. There is a vertical line from one of the supporting arms at the top of the painting, through the cloth, through the fold of the robe of the man in yellow and through the green patterned design of the rug. This vertical line and the horizontal line of the man's arms make a cross, symbolising the crucifixion. Usually God descends to man but here we have man descending to God. The man's left hand points towards gold plates on a shelf which may represent the riches of faith, whilst his right had points to darkness, which may represent unbelief. What do you think?