John Reilly - The feeding of the five thousand
John Reilly (1928-2010)
Oil on board
81 x 122 cm
Methodist Modern Art Collection
Image Copyright © Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes. The Methodist Church Registered Charity no. 1132208
Reilly divides the miracle into three, from right to left. On the right, a group of four people have seven loaves and four fish, all that was available to feed the multitude. They are in a dark umbra, and look disturbed and worried that there is not enough to eat, lacking faith in Jesus. In the centre, Jesus is illuminated from above and the light is deflected from and through him to the same four, on the left. There, after the miracle has occurred, there is enough to feed everybody. An unusual, decorative sun shines on the figures who are in casual clothes of indeterminate period, some transparent.
Commentary based on A Guide to the Methodist Art Collection.