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Gloria Invisibilium

Frank Speyers's avatar Frank Speyers

Jacob van Ruisdael (b.1628) was the self-conscious starting point for my painting Gloria Invisibilium. In 2015 I felt compelled to appropriate and transmute part of Pieter Bruegel's 1568 painting into van Ruisdael’s 1647 motif in order to draw a parallel between their contexts and ours. Bruegel protested the 16th century political persecution by placing six blind men in predictable postures. Van Ruisdael a century later lamented the dramatic physical alteration of the 17th century Dutch landscape by juxtaposing a rogue natural world against a changing physical environment. Gloria Invisibilium embraces both protest and lament but goes further. The intersected highway guardrail suggests a failed Modernity and further exacerbates the off-kilter movement of the six figures. Times have changed; our contemporary context is more urgent. The oncoming storm may be construed equally as prairie fire or as something more apocalyptic. Yet behind it all lies a transcendent glory yet to be perceived and prized.

Entry Details
  • Art form: 2-D
  • Depth: 2"
  • Medium: Oil on Gesso'd Birch
  • Width: 72"
  • Year created: 2015
  • Height: 48"