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I have kept this photo for the end of the Lent or the Easter Sunday but I was too busy to upload it then. I like very much old Christian paintings they are loaded with Bible stories and symbols. First of all Christianity has recently finished the Lent, 40 days fasting period and it started to celebrate the Easter. The celebration of Easter in the Roman Catholic Church takes 50 days. This ratio 40:50 tells us that, no matter what, we should try to be more happy than sad in our lives.

I would like to take you over the scenes and symbols in these paintings here but the picture is quite small. There is no doubt that we see a scene of crucifixion here. At the right edge we also see the scene of Jesus entering the Jerusalem on the donkey just days before his death. At the very bottom there is a scene from the Gethsemane Garden where all Jesus disciples seem to be asleep while he is praying in anticipation of his death. The left side is less clear to me. I think at the very left there is a moment when two ladies come to the Jesus tomb but they meet there an angel instead sitting at the empty tomb. Opposite to the crucifixion there is certainly one of the scenes when Jesus appeared to his disciples after his resurrection. It looks as if he was taking the hand of one disciple who could be St Thomas, who said he will not believe until he gets a chance to touch Jesus body.

Crucifixion scene itself is particularly full of symbols. Not all of the traditional elements are used in this one here. Just to give you an example, even the fact that Jesus head falls to the right, which traditionally is the good side, symbolizes the victory of the good over evil, life over death. Similarly the fact that his legs were attached to the cross with one nail and the right leg went over the left one. There is really a lot to see in there.

Sadly we observe recently that traditionally Christian countries distance themselves from their cultural heritage. I can understand that certain liberties needed to be built in opposition to the overly conservative church. That makes sense. However I am quite surprised that liberals at the same time seem to have a lot of respect for people worshipping foreign religions even though the same religions are at war with liberal values. It leads to funny situation: it is in fashion to respect people of various cultures and religions living in Europe but those who choose to follow Christianity are treated as old-fashioned, conservative, fanatic or narrow minded. As a result people in the Western Europe don’t know much about the religion which has shaped their culture, while they do learn at school about other religions.

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Additional Photos by Mariusz Kamionka (mkamionka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5253 W: 103 N: 13417] (53864)
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