SiStan ChapLee

Monday, May 25, 2015

Un(s)even: A rare subject

(a detail)

An unusual view of Tasso on Jesus Christ concerns the seventh day of creation, the day of God's rest, interpreted as a prophecy that God would became man and share our need for sleep. It is not clear whether Tasso found this idea in some author, e.g. among Church Fathers, etc., but it surely fitted his own experience. "Jesus sleeping" is a rare subject in art, the masterpiece in this field being probably William Blake's illustration for Milton's Paradise Regained. In art, Jesus' sleep usually concerns the 'symbolic' episode in which he rests while the disciples' ship is threatened by a storm on the Lake of Galilee. In a Roman Catholic devotional trend that developed from the Baroque Era, but now almost disused, the "Infant Jesus sleeping" was often portrayed.