which pieces of art hold, affect, influence, repulse, infuriate you? part 2
christ crowned with thorns,
painted sometime during the last decade of the fifteenth century.
national gallery london.
(the 2nd image is an over simplification of symbolic elements in the painting.)
i have spent hours in front of this piece, cumulatively, over the years, and for a while i might have said it was my favourite painting, at least in london.
as a young man temptations surrounded me, but, unlike the character in the ‘good’ book, mr christ, i succumbed to them all, the good bad and downright ugly.
is mr christ coy or flirtatious in the painting? to me he looks fey and more the tempter than the tempted, if only later to spurn them; much like the young gay man surrounded by older gay men i once was.
he is smirking or is it an enigmatic smile, faining innocence and virginal in white; however the fawning elders, leering and vainly persuading, vain in gaudy outfits of men about town, the successful, the rich and powerful, carry expressions, of sincerity, superiority, leering and beseeching.
the painting repulses me more now that holds me, maybe because i am more like the older men these days, where i was once, if only briefly, more like the central figure, of mr christ, butter would not melt.