Essay / Avant-Garde

Viewing the Crucifixion

crucifixion storm A bolt of lightning splits the stormy sky and flashes toward a monumental cross. To one side stands a Roman soldier with a sword in one hand and a long spear in the other. He smiles smugly to have completed his dirty work. It’s not a good thing to do, but he’s good at doing it. He’s fully armed and standing at the ready.

The most telling detail in the image is very subtle: Under the horizontal beam of the cross you can see two thin diagonals. These are the arms of the crucified Christ, whose body hangs on the other side of the cross from us, the viewers. The six-year-old artist has set up this image very carefully and has avoided direct depiction of the thing itself. Christ is on the far side of the cross from us.

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