It’s an image which is famous around the world; a depiction full of pathos, tragedy and the pain but glory of salvation: It is the crucifixion of Jesus, the event which sits at the centre of the Christian religion.
In depicting lately a series of Norms based on the art historical tradition of religious-themed paintings, I could not pass by the opportunity to create a Norm version of this crucial Christian scene. With its dark skies and bleak landscape, it is an image which evokes the full drama and horror of one of art’s most famous portrayals, while the hope of salvation which the event brought Christian believers everywhere is symbolised through the presence of angels. One in fact is charged with gathering up the blood dripping from Jesus-Norm’s wound; a representation of the fact that intrinsic to the core belief of transubstantiation, his blood becomes the wine of the Holy Communion and vice versa.
To his right and left, the two convicted thieves who died at his side are present, one depicted, as per tradition, as the good thief seeking salvation from Jesus, while the other is depicted as the bad thief, mocking Christ for giving into his fate. Meanwhile at the foot of Jesus Norm’s cross are the figures who consistently feature in depictions of the crucifixion – Mary his mother, Mary Magdalene, and St John the Apostle.
For anyone religious looking at this work, take note that this is not an attempt to dilute the sanctity of this religious festival, but rather, as is the central aim of my blog, to reference and reinvent art history and the most popular depictions in art. There is no greater scene than the crucifixion to get across the Christian message in art, and my Norm version has to be amongst my favourite of all my Norm sketches. Happy Easter everyone.
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