The Flight into Egypt. There is always a question of what to include and what to leave out when developing a composition. In this case, the viney fruit was included. Any more symbolism (although instructive) might have cluttered the scene.
For this series, I gleaned from a treasure trove of Medieval Gothic and Gothic Rival examples found in books and online. After that, I laid out a plan for executing this series of six. Each scene, although inspired by past works, is not a carbon copy of any as I liberally edited and arranged scenes as I saw fit. The client requested that the flesh colors of each figure be completed in an iconography style which is an art form shared by Eastern and Western churches. The garments will be highlighted in dramatic colors, proceeding from darker to lighter as in iconography. Each painting will be secured into the recessed, cement roundels that are located 12 feet over each church doorway.
During the age of golden legends, and even before, charming stories were recited that described how the Holy Family was fed miraculously along their way; where the fruit bowed down, so to speak, to greet them, or an angel interceded. Whether it happened in fact or in another way for the Holy Family isn't known and we are not called to believe this story as a biblical truth (although God can certainly do as he pleases). Rather, interpret the lush medieval art looking vines and fruit depicted in this scene as symbols representing an ongoing interaction between God and humans. The fruit is placed in this scene to convey allegorically that when God calls a person or persons to complete a holy task, like in the case of the Holy Family, He will not abandon the plan to chance or leave unaided.
Painting in progress:
Although "God's ways are not ours ways" and "His thoughts are not our thoughts". For all of human nature, how a situation, event, circumstance or whatever will work out in the end might require a great deal of trust in Divine Providence, as exemplified by the life of the Holy Family.
One popular saying foretells that "we make plans and God changes them!" If you are of a "riper" age, perhaps you've already experienced a time in your life where a seeming defeat, desolation, punishment, restriction or whatever was later revealed to be a success or best correction in God's overall plan for your life and/or for others.
Another angle might be where you, me or another is in the midst of a _____ situation and must strictly rely on God's Providence in order to make it through. For this we pray: May the Lord guide each step you, I and others take.
Even though I walk through the valley of darkness, I will fear no evil for you are at my side; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:1-4 ).
"...whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things." St Paul
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