I’m not sure why, but this grabbed my attention this morning when I spotted it on Twitter Today’s Art - probably it was the use of Scripture within the painting and the way it is so relevant to the three characters depicted here and in the other panels which you can link to below. Not to mention the first paragraph of the quotation below the painting…
Centre panel of the Braque triptych. The work was a turning-point in art north of the Alps. It was one of the first times that saints were depicted in this manner: midway up high, against a background of a worldly landscape, suggesting the universal scope of Christ’s message.
The legend over Christ’s head reads: “ego sum panis vivus”, or “I am the living bread”. It is a phrase from John 6.
The legend over Mary’s head reads: “Magnificat anima mea Dominum: Et exultavit spiritus meus in Deo salutari meo”, or in English “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour”. It is a line from the Song of Mary (Luke 1:46-55).
Above John it reads: “Et Verbum caro factum est Et habitavit in nobis”, in English: “And the Word was made flesh, And dwelt among us”. That text is from John 1:14 .
- left wing: John the Baptist
- centre panel: Mary, Jesus, John the Evangelist
- right wing: Mary Magdalene
Source: Art and the Bible
As I prepare for Sunday services in two churches which do not use Powerpoint, it makes me think that church art had /has real power to illustrate when speaking from the Bible – especially when Scripture is quoted as effectively as is the case here.