Truly this Man was the Son of God


30″ X 30″
acrylic, gold and variegated leaf on linen

This dramatic painting has a very interesting story. A neighbor who is a minister happened to stop by and I showed him into the studio. He had seen Mel Gibson’s film “The Passion of the Christ,” and said, excitedly, “you must paint the scene where the centurion looks at Jesus and says, ‘this man was the son of God’.” But, he added, he didn’t want Jesus on the cross; rather taken down from it (he wanted it for Easter week in his church, but to date he has never seen this painting). The challenge for me was to somehow imply the resurrection in this dark moment. I did a version in deep icon colors and loved it. Then I did the first American Indian painting called “Voices of my Iroquois Ancestors.” Then I painted this, having in the beginning researched Rembrandt’s drawings and paintings of the deposition. Rembrandt’s chiaroscuro was translated into reflective gold leaf and color. It is two compositions welded together: in low light the gold comes forward, while in bright light the paint is bolder. There is much symbolism that occurred unconsciously and intuitively in bold brushwork and linear definition.

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