Columban Catholic Calendar Art Guide - February 2023

Columban Calendar Art Guide - February 2023 - Christ Healing the Blind of Jericho, 1650  

Use this Art Guide video in Step 3: Contemplation of Columban Visio Divina - Art Guide Resource

A resource to help you pray using the images and Art Guide of the 2023 Columban Art Calendar.

Christ Healing the Blind of Jericho, 1650 (oil on canvas) Nicolas Poussin (1594–1565) Restored Traditions Musée du Louvre, Paris

This painting by Nicolas Poussin of Christ’s miraculous healing of a blind man is based on a biblical event according to the Gospel of St Mark (10:46). The blind Bartimaeus was sitting at the gate of Jericho from where Jesus entered the city. Poussin represents the moment of healing in the Gospel when Jesus responds to the repeated calls of the blind man, ‘Have mercy upon me’. The central figure of Jesus, identified by the light purple robe, touches the eye of the kneeling Bartimaeus and restores his sight. Drama and emotion are intensified by placing the figures in the immediate foreground and adding a crowd of bystanders who witness the miracle with responses of astonishment, faith and wonder.

Poussin also creates a richly detailed cityscape and landscape setting to suggest the biblical city of Jericho. However, the buildings in the painting depict famous medieval churches of Rome, and in particular, the basilica of Saints Peter and Paul with its medieval belltower, identified just above the head of Christ. The hills, with castles atop, also belong to the walled city of Rome, where Poussin worked for many years. The painter invites the viewer to identify the miracles of Jesus as universal events that not only occurred once in the Holy Land but are also promised throughout history in all cities where the faithful call on Jesus for healing.

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