Wednesday, December 23, 2020

The Christ, the Last Supper, and the missing afikoman

A few years ago, before governors in many states made it a Covidian crime, I was invited to a Seder meal by a friend who is also quite a well-known Philadelphia area artist and an even better known curator.

The Christ in Gethsemane III, charcoal on paper. Circa 2009 By F. Lennox Campello
Somehow the conversation turned to Christ’s Last Supper, which of course was a Seder meal, and she observed how most paintings depicting The Christ’s last meal showed regular bread instead of the unleavened bread required by Jewish tradition to celebrate the Passover. This is very interesting to the pedantic part of me, already troubled by the fact that nearly every depiction of The Christ that was presented to me in art school depicted mostly Northern European-looking Christs, rather than the Semitic Middle East Israelite that He was.

And now I wonder, are there any contemporary depictions (or any depiction) of the last supper which depict this last Seder for Christ in a more historically correct perspective?

I am sure that there exist versions of the unknown supper created by pedantic, history-aware artists of all sorts.

Religious art has pretty much been pushed aside by the postmodernists, in what can best be described as a self-mutilation of intelligent subject matter. It would be interesting to see a new contemporary view of religious art, and allow us to discover how today’s artists would interpret our diverse religious backgrounds.

Is that a great idea for an up-and-coming curator or gallery to take on or what? But I want to see The Christ as a Semite and I want to see the middle of the matzoth on the Seder plate broken in two with the larger piece hidden, to be used later as the afikoman.