Peter Howson - Christ walking on the water

Peter Howson (b.1958)

Charcoal on paper

25 x 18 cm


Methodist Modern Art Collection

Image Copyright © Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes. The Methodist Church Registered Charity no. 1132208

 John 6: 18-21

The piece is simple, even minimalistic, featuring Howson’s trademark sculptural shapes built up by dense crosshatching. A loosely composed, almost monstrous figure emerges from the background, and appears to be walking into the story. He is framed by the larger, more detailed figure in the foreground who points and looks, but not directly at the other. Mouth open and head tilted, it is almost as if he is gesturing to the viewer to look and see who is coming. We may read it as Peter gesturing to the other disciples, and by extension to us, to see this mysterious figure walking through wind and over wave. In the biblical story, the moment of fear gives way to encounter with Jesus – and to a confession that he is the Son of God.

Commentary based on A Guide to the Methodist Art Collection.

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