Pursuit of God

Prayer and pilgrimage through triumph and tribulation. This gallery displays scenes that captivate the natural beauty of God's creation and postures of those in His presence. These images contrast the traditional extravagant religious paintings due to their simplistic look and lack of supernatural beings.

A pilgrim is depicted approaching a large ravine on his journey. He carries a large walking stick, which implies the length of his journey. The ravine is shadowed and there is a light coming up from the horizon beyond the ravine, in the direction of his journey. This painting fits with the theme due to this pilgrim taking an individual journey through a difficult path in order to reach the light beyond the shadow.
Here we see two farmers who have stopped their work in order to say a prayer. The two are all alone in a vast plain that was likely traveled by use of the motorcycle in the mid ground. This indicates the importance of personal prayer to God due to the stopping of their work, and the isolated nature of the scene.
The subject in this painting are two widows mourning the loss of their husbands. They have taken a boat out to be alone and the one in the center of the painting demonstrates a very submissive posture during her mourning prayer. The light shines from behind as if to symbolize a divine presence over the situation.
This painting displays Mary Magdalene praying over the death of Christ. The cross is shown out the window and Mary's gaze is directed in that direction. As opposed to having her head down in a typical mourning posture, she is gazing upward at the cross. This could symbolize the hopeful nature of her prayer.
A beautiful landscape is laid out before the viewer here, with the sun shining over the horizon to give the image a gold color. A person is seen in isolation towards the foreground of the painting and a village is nestled in the mountain backdrop. Likely this person has journey from the town and is sitting watching the sunrise. The symbolism here is in this person's individual pursuit of the divine nature of the sunlight.
The strong symbolism of this painting comes from the use of lighting to signify divine intervention on the behalf of Peter in prison. He has knelt down, ironically next to a set of keys, and has begun to pray. A light shines down illuminating him from the shadowed darkness around him. According to the Acts of the Apostles, this scene takes place just before an angel of the LORD comes to rescue Peter.
This painting depicts prayer from a different culture than the others in the gallery. Here we see a group of people all in various postures of prayer. They have left the dwelling space of the rest of the people and gone off by themselves to pray. Despite the different postures, the all face the same direction. This may imply a sense of unity of all praying towards the same God but in different ways.
The content of this painting is very subtle. The monk is shown up against the wall, almost completely covered in the shadows. His face is turned away with just a small light shining on his face. This, with the absence of all color, give a sense of simplicity and desperation. As opposed to glamorous depictions of prayer, this one shows a much more subtle, realistic depiction of personal prayer.
The subject of this painting is clearly laid out in the title of this print. A man has journeyed into the wilderness and has began to pray to God for help. His posture is upright as opposed to a kneel, perhaps to indicate his readiness to take whatever help is given and quickly apply it to the situation. His arm is also outstretched as if to reference the situation being something outside of himself. His other arm is placed over his heart, implying his personal connection to the situation he is praying for.
A nun has journeyed out into a garden, which appears to serve as a place designated for prayer. She is knelt over a piece of pottery and her knees are placed on a brick step. This appears to be a place where she may come to pray often, indicating her dedication to prayer. She is in a posture of complete submission and is isolated from anyone else. She appears to take this frequent time of prayer by her own desire.
Credits: All media
This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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