The artist Daniel Mitsui, in his newsletter, indicates that he has new art, including a representation of the Glorious Mysteries (a nice gift to a priest after Easter) and – this really caught my eye – the Four Last Things!
I wonder if in a future version the two nasty hell critters (bottom left) corresponding to the musical heavenly angels (bottom right), shouldn’t have… I dunno… an accordion and kazoo, or maybe a vuvuzela. Here is a close up of the print I received today.
Does the critter on the left have a bagpipe? I think the other one could be hiding an ordination tambourine.
In any event, the print makes its point.
The words on the Four Last Things print are: “Ex verbis enim tuis iustificaberis, et ex verbis tuis condemnaberis.” Matthew 12:37. “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
We live by God’s grace and, please God, die in His grace, but because of our free will, a great deal of our fate really is in our hands.
When you got to Mr. Mitsui’s website, keep in mind that our computer screens seldom give the right sense of the vibrancy of colors.
I receive three prints this morning, and the colors pop right out.
Alas, my phone camera doesn’t do them justice.
Note the clock in the center of the Memento Mori.
Tick… tick… tick… you are all going to die.
To my eye, some of Mitsui’s work recalls the famous Kelmscott Chaucer. Whaddya think?
Here’s a detail of the “Death” panel (not, not the Obama Administration’s future “death panel”):
Ah, Death! Oooo… the Devil wants your soul with him in Hell! Happily, the moribund has received the last rites (candle) and his angel is praying for him.
Come to think of it, that might be a pretty good rendition of Obama Administration’s upcoming “death panels”. Just substitute a few of the characters.
Another print I received depicts in a Japanese “fusion” style the Archangel Raphael (you can tell from the fish… think Tobit).
The Mary and Child is described by Mitsui as influenced by Byzantine iconography and the English Arts and Crafts movement, together with Japanese woodblock prints.
I will add that the print of the Four Last Things is just the right size for your prayerbook or for a small frame at eye level near your bedroom prie-dieu.
A great gift to a priest or, especially, a bishop for his breviary.
Finally, I hope Mr. Mitsui will one day do something with the Christological Goldfinch!