A Christmas Letter from John, the Disciple and Revelator of Jesus Christ
James Abbott McNeil Whistler will be the selected artist for the images as I work my way through the book of Revelation. One thing I noticed about Revelation — what on Earth do the crazy images mean? I did not provide a formal analysis of Whistler’s paintings, but I have pointed out some simple reasons why I chose his painting for that particular section of Revelation, because that’s what I like to do.
With the possible exception of Degas, he was the wittiest man in the recorded history of art. Degas remarked of him, “If you were not a genius, you would be the most ridiculous man in Paris.” pg 11.
Although he scoffed at religion, he never forgot that his New England mother wanted him to be a parson, diligently took her to church and kept his promise never to draw or paint on the Sabbath. pg 11.
God created us with the ability to create, in a second hand sense, and to exercise His creative power. With a large pool of paintings to choose from, both abstract and realistic, I found it easy to group the visual with the verbal account, as if he was ready to pair. I had a feeling that Whistler possessed a prophetic visionary gift that would work out for this project. I would guess that Whistler is not far from the kingdom, but I’m certain God sees a more nuanced picture.
~ §tacy §weeney
Holden, Donald. WHISTLER Landscapes and Seascapes. 1976. Watson-Guptill Publications. New York.