Christian Art and the Bible – Mark 7: 24-30

Mark 7:24-30 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

The Syrophoenician Woman’s Faith

24 From there he set out and went away to the region of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know he was there. Yet he could not escape notice, 25 but a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him, and she came and bowed down at his feet. 26 Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin. She begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. 27 He said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” 28 But she answered him, “Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” 29 Then he said to her, “For saying that, you may go—the demon has left your daughter.” 30 So she went home, found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.

Jesus exorcising the Canaanite Woman’s daughter from Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry, 15th century.

The Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry or Très Riches Heures, is a very famous and one of the best surviving examples of French Gothic illumination work. This can be seen in they style of buildings and landscape setting of this piece of work. It was created between 1412 and 1416. The manuscript was left unfinished, because the three painters and sponsor died in 1416 possibly victims of the plague.

Etching by Pietro del Po, The Canaanite (or Syrophoenician) woman asks Christ to cure, ca. 1650.

Pietro del Po was born in Palermo in 1616. He was an Italian painter, who studied in Naples. He was better known as an engraver than painter. He died in Naples in 1692.

This etching, for me brings out far more of the emotion in the story that you would expect to find than the above painting. Because it’s an etching, with the lack of colour it enable the imagination to build up the picture. There is also the nice touch in the addition of the dog – referencing Jesus’ comment in verse 27.

About localpreacherforkliftdriver

I am currently a Methodist Minister in the Huddersfield Circuit with pasoral charge of Hade edge, Scholes, Parkwood and Bradley churches. Views are my own.
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