I pulled out this old friend from the closet where it has been hidden away for six years! It took about two years to get it to this point and I simply couldn’t stand to look at it any more, but knew there was more work to do to complete it. The composition of the painting is arranged so that people looking at it become part of the crowd when it’s hung high enough. This morning I got to see at least some idea of how it will work. Bert Green did show this painting briefly in 2002, in its incomplete state.

The people in the crowd and the victims are all in the painting twice, except for one. Here, some of my students try to figure out which model posed for which pair of figures.



Some details: 



Right now the canvas is draped onto a large gold leaf panel, but needs to be re-stretched so I can continue working on it and painting it. I couldn’t resist the temptation today and worked on the piece anyway, shaping the moon into a circle and darkening the crucified victims so they drop deeper into the background. They were far too bright before. 

It’s good to revisit this piece after so long. 



Above I’ve posted an image of the piece as I left it on the easel this afternoon and below there’s a shot of what it looked like before. The focus of attention is more on the people now, which is what I want. The painting is really about us in the crowd, how we react.



About pearce

Michael Pearce is an artist, writer, and professor of art. He is the author of "Art in the Age of Emergence."
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