I’m not an art historian; generally if I have art questions I turn to one of the Pollyanna Kids from Germantown, Nancy Tyner.
She is well versed in art, and she steers me in the right direction from time to time.
I always tell her, “I may not know art, but I know what I like!”
I’m a fan of art that moves me, touches me, and makes me feel good.
I collect old family photographs, and have several. They are hardly art, but in some cases they are decorative.
Some, a little scary!
I steer clear of religious art; growing UP in a Baptist preacher’s home there was little religious art, as much of it was considered idolatry.
But there are a few pieces I like, one in particular.
The Road to Emmaus by Robert Zünd.
Zünd was an important Swiss painter in the 19th century.
A middle class boy, he attended school in Lucerne and was taught drawing by James Schwegler. Eventually moving to Geneva, he was taught by Diday and Calame – apparently they were important too – I’ll have to check with Ms. Tyner!
In the 1860s, back in Lucerne, his work took on a more religious nature.
The Road to Emmaus was painted in 1877. Zünd died in 1909.
The painting depicts a scene from the Gospel of Luke, chapter 24, and verses 13-35. It took place shortly after the resurrection of Jesus Christ and in it two of Christ’s disciples meet Jesus on the Emmaus road and are completely clueless as to who He is.
Luke tells us… …and, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. But their eyes were holden that they should not know him. And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?
And one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said untio him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not know the things which are come to pass there in these days?
And he said unto them, What things?
And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:
And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel; and beside all this, today is the third day since these things were done.
Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulcher; and when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also see a vision of angels, which said he was alive. And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.
Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.
And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.
And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.
And they said one to another; Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,
Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon. And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.
Zünd and his painting may not be all that important in the world of art, but the story and what it depicts are to me.
Every time I look at the print of the painting on my wall, I’m reminded of the resurrection of Christ and what He did for the world.
Like I said, I may not know art, but I know what I like.