Skip to content

August 27, 2015

1

Q Combinations 4: Donne, Chagall and a possible prayer of Jacob’s

by quaesitor
Q-Combinations--chagall-donne-portraits

This is a complete mismatch chronologically – but there seems an undeniable synergy here (to me at least). For Jacob (the deceiver) is the one from whom the nation is named and the one privileged with extraordinary divine encounters.

So this famous poem of the great John Donne is fitting. Yet it hardly seems like a Hymn in the sense that many think of hymns these days. But it is a heartfelt, brutally honest dealing with the Grace-giver. Donne knows he can’t hide from God. But what is remarkable is that in this poem, he refuses to conceal his own heart from us, his readers, as well. But it is far from a grovelly, conniving self-abasement. It is done always in the confidence of those precious final lines of the 3rd stanza.

And that very same confident is echoed in Marc Chagall‘s simply glorious, exuberant retelling of Jacob’s dream of the heavenly ladder. For semi-concealed in the space all through the painting are dreamlike signs of this wonderful grace. Of course it wasn’t actually Jacob’s prayer. But it might as well have been… and I think that is why we have all those details on the right hand side of what is effectively a merged dyptic.

So truly, because of the cross, a ladder to the heavenly city is made available to all, however conniving, beastly or intentionally twisted we might be…

Q-Combinations-Chagall-&-DonneQ-Combinations--chagall-donne-portraits

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Note: HTML is allowed. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to comments

%d bloggers like this: