Another Question

From: Joel Wendt
Date: Wed Dec 3, 2003 9:45 am
Subject: another question

Dear List-mates,

This one is maybe a little less stupid than the last one (I had forgotten a lot of what was said out of Steiner's Christology).

It's also a little bit more complicated.

Lets start with one of Raphael's Madonna and Child paintings (Pauline this is probably right up your alley). I've got one in my room, which is a duplicate of a larger version that my second wife was encouraged to buy (we did), to have on the wall of our bedroom during her pregnancy.

I've been contemplating all kinds of feminine mysteries of late (doing a lot of work on Eros, and its relationship to Agape, in preparation for a lecture), and as I did this contemplative work of several days, the picture would more and more draw my attention. I started to notice things, and not being someone who has spent a lot of time contemplating powerful religious Art, this was an intriguing experience.

I was struck by the eyes. The Child is basically staring out directly at the observer, and Raphael has managed to make this a disconcerting experience - I find myself not wanting to meet that steady gaze, which somehow is both innocent and penetrating.

The Madonna's eyes are downcast a bit. I had several thoughts here. One is sadness, which is connected to the gesture of Her arms as She holds the Babe. She is not holding the Babe to her, as if to protect it, but rather She holds it gently, and open, almost as if making an offering. Yet, somehow the total impression is that the observer has to participate in the offering - to take what is being offered for the gesture to be complete.

The Madonna's eyes also could contain a demure look, something a young virgin might project - looking down when someone else gazes at them. This seems okay to my contemplation, but there also seems to be more.

When I take in the whole of the picture, and let it become more of a totality yet think of the Madonna aspect within that totality, there appears to be a kind of very lightly restrained power. And, not just any power, put a great power. This makes the downcast eyes seem to be also saying, in addition to sadness and demureness - you have not truly seen me, I remain yet hidden in the greater part of who I am. Now I give you the Child, should you be willing, but later there will be a great deal more.

Anybody care to comment, especially Paulina?

warm regards,
joel

...................................................................................................................................

To: anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com
From: eyecueco
Date: Thu, 04 Dec 2003 08:13:38 -0000
Subject: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: another question

--- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, Joel Wendt wrote:

Dear List-mates,

This one is maybe a little less stupid than the last one (I had forgotten a lot of what was said out of Steiner's Christology).

It's also a little bit more complicated.

Lets start with one of Raphael's Madonna and Child paintings (Pauline this is probably right up your alley). I've got one in my room, which is a duplicate of a larger version that my second wife was encouraged to buy (we did), to have on the wall of our bedroom during her pregnancy.

I've been contemplating all kinds of feminine mysteries of late (doing a lot of work on Eros, and its relationship to Agape, in preparation for a lecture), and as I did this contemplative work of several days, the picture would more and more draw my attention. I started to notice things, and not being someone who has spent a lot of time contemplating powerful religious Art, this was an intriguing experience.

I was struck by the eyes. The Child is basically staring out directly at the observer, and Raphael has managed to make this a disconcerting experience - I find myself not wanting to meet that steady gaze, which somehow is both innocent and penetrating.

The Madonna's eyes are downcast a bit. I had several thoughts here. One is sadness, which is connected to the gesture of Her arms as She holds the Babe. She is not holding the Babe to her, as if to protect it, but rather She holds it gently, and open, almost as if making an offering. Yet, somehow the total impression is that the observer has to participate in the offering - to take what is being offered for the gesture to be complete.

The Madonna's eyes also could contain a demure look, something a young virgin might project - looking down when someone else gazes at them. This seems okay to my contemplation, but there also seems to be more.

When I take in the whole of the picture, and let it become more of a totality yet think of the Madonna aspect within that totality, there appears to be a kind of very lightly restrained power. And, not just any power, put a great power. This makes the downcast eyes seem to be also saying, in addition to sadness and demureness - you have not truly seen me, I remain yet hidden in the greater part of who I am. Now I give you the Child, should you be willing, but later there will be a great deal more.

Anybody care to comment, especially Paulina?

pkl:
Don't think I can add much to what RS had to say on the esoteric significance of this painting. As you know, he said that Raphael had been John the Baptist and that this is why he was able to compose the incredible Madonna paintings that he or his workshop produced.

However, moving away from the esoteric meaning, this painting has a very interesting geometry arrangement that invovles the viewer! I suspect this could be what you are picking up on in your contemplations of this painting, although unconsciously. All the artists of that time used some arrangement of geometry to organize their compositions into harmonic proportioning of parts among them selves and the parts to the whole.
( For more info; see QUE magazine on Signac at: www.eyecueco.com).

Consider bringing yourself into the painting and see what comes of it.( I personally think this was one of Raphael's objectives in how he positioned the pope's hand. While this figure may be turned toward and looking at Mary, his right hand is pointed toward you, the viewer.

I think that if one doesn't focus on where the right index finger is pointing a very message about this painting is being overlooked.

Additionally, if one draws a straight line from the Pope's eye to the midpoint between the eyes of the Madonna, to the mid point between the eyes of St. Barbara, and back to the eye of the pope one gets a near perfect equal lateral triangle .

There are more interesting geometric interrelationships to discovery. Think about exploring the composition and see how this effects your meditations of this work. It's fascinating!

paulina

...................................................................................................................................

 

From: dottie zold
Date: Thu Dec 4, 2003 9:21 am
Subject: Re: another question

Joel:
This makes the downcast eyes seem to be also saying, in addition to sadness and demureness - you have not truly seen me, I remain yet hidden in the greater part of who I am. Now I give you the Child, should you be willing, but later there will be a great deal more.

Hi Joel,

It speaks to me thus: I know the secret, which you will also come to know in time.

Dottie

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Click to subscribe to anthroposophy_tomorrow
 

December 2003/January 2004

The Uncle Taz "Anthroposophy Tomorrow" Files

Anthroposophy & Anarchism

Anthroposophy & Scientology

Anthroposophical Morsels

Anthroposophy, Critics, and Controversy

Search this site powered by FreeFind