Today's Gospel in art: This is the carpenter's son

  • Patrick van der Vorst

The Carpenter's Shop/Christ in the House of His Parents, John Everett Millais,1850. © Tate Britain

The Carpenter's Shop/Christ in the House of His Parents, John Everett Millais,1850. © Tate Britain

Gospel of 2nd August 2019 - Matthew 13: 54-58

Coming to his home town, Jesus taught the people in their synagogue in such a way that they were astonished and said, 'Where did the man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers? This is the carpenter's son, surely? Is not his mother the woman called Mary, and his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Jude? His sisters, too, are they not all here with us? So where did the man get it all?' And they would not accept him. But Jesus said to them, 'A prophet is only despised in his own country and in his own house', and he did not work many miracles there because of their lack of faith.

Reflection

Yesterday we looked at a work by Damien Hirst and I mentioned that he has been subject to a lot of negative criticism towards his work. Today, this work by Millais, also was heavily criticised when it was first shown… To our 21st century eyes, this painting here looks very tame, pious and certainly non-controversial. At the time, critics were horrified by this painting, as it sets Christ in a workshop, surrounded by dust, not portrayed as the Saviour. Charles Dickins was probably the most vocal critic. If I was to publish the full commentary he wrote about this painting, you would be quite shocked.

To read on see: www.christianart.today/daily-gospel-reading/130



Tags: Christian Art Today, Millais, Carpenter's Son

We Need Your Support

ICN aims to provide speedy and accurate news coverage of all subjects of interest to Catholics and the wider Christian community. As our audience increases - so do our costs. We need your help to continue this work.

Please support our journalism by donating today.

Donate