Our topic this month is the Holy Spirit, and there are lots of artsy dove-like directions we could go with that, but since Pentecost is also on the horizon I’m going with this version of the event, painted by an Austrian artist, Joseph Mildorfer about 260 years ago.
I think this is a gorgeous piece because unlike so many works that picture all those in the upper room neatly sitting in a row, this one depicts a level of drama that matches the event. Look at these people – they are completely enraptured by what’s happening. They’re not even looking at each other, but each seems to be totally consumed with their newfound relationship with the Holy Spirit.
Look at the tongues of fire – they are just now being sent down and have not yet come “to rest on each one of them.” They seem to be alive and are being sent from the Dove at the center of the heaven’s section at the top.
Look at the other center of this work, the Blessed Virgin Mary. See how she recognizes her beloved Friend and is welcoming His arrival?
This painting was originally at the altar of a church in Hungary dedicated to the Holy Spirit. Wouldn’t it be amazing to look up each time you were at Mass to be reminded of this beautiful relationship the Spirit offers to each of us?