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Rest on the flight into Egypt

Rest on the flight into Egypt
Nicholas Mynheer (b.1958 )

Oil

2003

Methodist Collection of Modern Christian Art, No.41

Mynheer portrays the Holy Family taking a moments rest in the shade of a tree. With the threat of Herod receding, Mary and Joseph are able to play with the baby Jesus.

The artist writes 'I remember being told that the Judean Desert blooms with wild flowers for about two weeks every spring.

I had the idea that as the Holy Family travelled across the desert it flowered in response to the presence of The Lord.

Even the tree under which they are seen resting has come into fruit; for Nature itself responds to God, praising in its own way.

This picture encapsulates my own faith for it seems to me that man is not separate from Nature and the world but rather part of it. God is to be found in everything around; in the clouds, the mountains, the trees and animals, even the stones and dust.

All these things glorify God in their own way. In the words of The Benedicite: ' O All ye Works of the Lord, bless ye the Lord: praise him, and magnify him for ever '

When I paint, sculpt stone or work with glass I stylise and simplify. Anything that I feel is not essential to the design is omitted and anything deemed important is emphasised.

If I use a background in a painting it is never just a backdrop; the very landscape is involved in the event portrayed; trees might act as pointers, clouds move in response or buildings enfold or lean away.

 

   
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