Friday, 14 September 2018

Brexit and the sin of pride.

Maybe its a history of Welsh Non-Conformity, but I couldn't help thinking that the picture of arch-brexites Johnson, Rees-Mogg and Bone resembled chapel goers in their pews facing a sermon on their sins.



It then brought to mind, the most famous Welsh painting that of Capel Salem.
Salem (1908).
For those of you unfamiliar with this.Salem is a 1908 painting by the English painter Sydney Curnow Vosper, depicting a scene within Capel Salem, a Baptist Chapel in Pentre Gwynfryn Llanbedr near Harlech,  Which still exist very much as it is portrayed It is noteworthy as a depiction of Welsh piety, the traditional Welsh national costume, and for a contentious belief that the devil is depicted within it. Mass reproductions throughout the early and mid 20th century ensured the image became famous throughout Britain.[1]
The painting has been described as an icon of Wales, much as The Hay Wain is iconic of England.
IAs reproductions became popular, so did the notion that it contained a hidden figure. Discussions of the painting's intended meaning often used this notion to support their interpretations.
Aside from pious interpretations, there was much speculation that the painting had a more disapproving meaning. Some suggested the painting was a comment on the sin of vanity or pride.The Chapel clock suggests Siân Owen is arriving belatedly at a few minutes after ten (during the traditional Welsh silence before the morning service), possibly to ensure her presence is noted and appears to be wearing comparatively ostentatious clothing. The interpretation was often synonymous with a popular belief that Vosper had hidden an image of the devil in the folds of Siân Owen's shawl. The postulated image can be seen in the section of shawl around her left arm. The paisley pattern forms a horn, the folds his eye and nose and the shawl's trim his beard.
When questioned on this, Vosper always denied any such detail had been intentionally painted into the shawl. The enigmatic painter did confirm, however, an intended ghostly face painted into the verdant window scene. The partial knowledge of a hidden face somewhere within the painting is a likely starting point for the popular theory of a devil within the shawl.
The painting's variable interpretations (especially as an admonishing lesson on pride) are now considered valuable example of how the Welsh viewed themselves, and their rural nonconformist past in the twentieth century. The devil in the shawl is now most commonly considered an example of pareidolia.
So perhaps it is my sub-conscious at work, here but if an image of Old-Nick, had appeared on the coffee cup in the Brexiters picture , i don't think I would be suppressed,

No comments:

Post a Comment