Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Mysterious Illustrated Iron Cross

The colorized version shows a couple standing under the central Christ image, perhaps this represents Mary and Joseph in Egypt above a Nile crocodile. Are the serpents which form the 4 quarters symbol at the top boomslang snakes from South Africa?

This is the mystery cross (above), it is made of iron. The figures are different than the Celtic cross characters in some cases, the ones on the right hand arm of the cross carry very large shields which resemble the Zulu shields of South Africa.

8th century Celtic cross. It is the model for the mystery cross. In the 19th century, there were many Irish Catholics and mission schools in South Africa.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Haunted Still Life - Tucson, Arizona USA

The Haunted Still Life

This is a very old and fragile painting that was damaged and has since been restored. It lay for years in storage out on a desert rancho. It appears to be a sangria still life with a baroque silver pitcher and a Chinese porcelain bowl of sangria citrus. One of the lemons is wrapped in patterned tissue paper and there is a dark red plum in the bowl as well. A wine glass containing water is perched atop a cupid candlestick. There is wine in the pitcher which is reflected on the underside of the top.
The cupid who holds a bow gives a clue that this piece concerns love, but from the other sinister elements hidden on the table, it seems to have been a love gone wrong. The first clue is the grotesque tragedy mask in the silver, and there is a profile of an old man with a white beard under the base of the handle. The next more obvious symbol is the black flower, the artist had a rainbow of colors to choose from, but chose black. In the right hand lower corner is a ring turned face down and there is blood coming from underneath it – not a good sign. On the other side of the table in the lower left, sits a small scorpion in the shadows – the tiny scorpions are the most deadly. The signature reads “Gibsen” which is a variation of the Scottish name “Gibson”.
This picture was found in Tucson, Arizona and was most likely painted here. It is ostensibly a southwestern still-life, but it tells the tale of a broken heart or possibly worse involving death – perhaps a homicide. It is an exceptional work of art, the silver pitcher is completely unique. The base resembles a silver horse`s hoof. It is just the right size for a couple of glasses of fruit and wine punch, Spanish Sangria.

For years I have been looking for someone to appreciate this canvas the way I do. I believe it portrays the same mood as the Desert Noir theme. The original is as fragile as a potato chip, but these photos convey the spirit expressed by the sorrowful artist. Could it have been painted by a woman?

MJA Mary 5/10/10

Night-blooming cactus flower and painting

Still Life

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Wednesday, January 20, 2010