Today's Gospel in Art - The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins

The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins, by William Blake, 1799, © Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins, by William Blake, 1799, © Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Gospel of 9th August 2019 - Matthew 25: 1-13

Jesus told this parable to his disciples: 'The kingdom of heaven will be like this: Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were sensible: the foolish ones did take their lamps, but they brought no oil, whereas the sensible ones took flasks of oil as well as their lamps. The bridegroom was late, and they all grew drowsy and fell asleep. But at midnight there was a cry, "The bridegroom is here! Go out and meet him." At this, all those bridesmaids woke up and trimmed their lamps, and the foolish ones said to the sensible ones, "Give us some of your oil: our lamps are going out." But they replied, "There may not be enough for us and for you; you had better go to those who sell it and buy some for yourselves." They had gone off to buy it when the bridegroom arrived. Those who were ready went in with him to the wedding hall and the door was closed. The other bridesmaids arrived later. "Lord, Lord," they said "open the door for us." But he replied, "I tell you solemnly, I do not know you." So stay awake, because you do not know either the day or the hour.'

Reflection on the Watercolour on Paper

This is a drawing from 1799, and yet it looks rather modern, almost Art Nouveau, showing William Blake was well ahead of his time stylistically. We see the five wise virgins on the left drawn in an elegant, luminous and composed way, holding steadily their burning lanterns; to the right we have the five foolish virgins, portrayed as being agitated and drawn in a darker colour palette, with their oil lamps being all over the place. The trumpeting angel flying overhead announces that the moment of judgment has arrived....

To read on see:

Tags: Christian Art Today, Wise and Foolish Virgins

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.