New for February 2017

February 1, 2017

New for February 2017

In the current empassioned debate over immigrants and refugees, we need to remember that Joseph, Mary, and the Baby Jesus once sought shelter in a foreign land to escape political violence. My new art selections from the Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection for the month of February are works by international artists who have used the theme of the Flight into Egypt to draw attention to families in peril in their own times.  In a print variation of a painting by Late 19th Century German Artist Fritz von Uhde, a homeless Virgin Mary with babe in arms and Joseph with carpenter's tools on his back set out in a bleak winter landscape in search of a better life. German Printmaker Hans Hahn casts the Holy Family in flight as Hasidic Jews in his contemporary serigraph on the theme, raising the issue of anti-semitism. In a lithograph dated June 1940 by French Artist P. Billiemaz, weary French civilians pause in their flight from invading Nazi troops in a roadside scene evoking the traditional motif of the Holy Family at rest. German Artist Hans Wohlrab repeats the subject in his charcoal drawing of an exhausted German family forced from their home in the aftermath of World War II. Swiss Artist Hans Erni offers yet another variation where a Joseph-like figure shields a mother and child from danger in his lithograph of a drawing that appeared on a United Nations stamp on the theme, the Future of Refugees, issued in May 1984. In a lithograph by Austrian Modernist Oskar Kokoschka (above), the Madonna and Christ Child face the horrors of war alone, as tanks advance through a corpse-litered battlezone in the Suez Crisis of 1956. The portrait finds echo in a painting of a traumatized mother and child by Angus Carter, based on a mass media image from the frontlines of the current conflict in Syria. These seven new art offerings can be viewed on The Flight into Egypt page of The Coming of Christ gallery in The Life of Christ section.  In place of a meditation this month, I want to leave you with the following thought: what if the Holy Family had arrived in Egypt to find no Jews were welcome? (John Kohan)