Appreciation of Le Christ Triomphant de la Mort et du Péché by Pierre Paul Rubens

During my holidays in Basel, Switzerland, I was blessed enough to visit Strassbourg, France for a day. During my time there I visited the Strasbourg Museum of Fine Arts.

There were so many pieces of art that captured my heart, but a few made my heart skip a beat.

Christ triumphing over Death and Sin or Le Christ Triomphant de la Mort et du Péché by Pierre Paul Rubens is one of them.

This article is my appreciation and my interpretation of this painting.

One Foot on the Ground

For me the above section of the painting depicts two main things

One foot, the Right foot, solidly on the ground.

For me, this indicates that Christ was firmly grounded. He acknowledged that he was a normal human being. He was humble and grounded. It also indicates that he was solid in his faith and service.

One foot over Death, Hatred, and Ill Will

I wouldn’t want to use the word Sin, as it is over used and has too much identities and beliefs around it.

For me the skull and the bones clearly represent “Death”. The way it is presented adds a layer of “Harm” or “Ill Will”. The fact that one foot is stepping on these bones for me represents that the Christ overcame Death by attaining Eternal Peace. He reached the deathless. It also represents he is human and has human thoughts, but he is quite alert about these, hence he had overcome Hatred and Ill Will.

Serve now for the Future Generations

These segments of the painting tells me he loved planet earth and he understood the focus in the “now” should be about children as they hold the planet’s and all of humanity’s future. The child holding on to the green leaves, for me indicate that

If we plant a seed of love, hope, faith, and service, now, the children will be able to harvest the fruits of it in time to come.

Faith in the Curious to Return to Innocence

This section shows Christ’s faith, strength, determination. The cross for me represents protection. The child here represents the curious minds who yet haven’t subscribed, but are curious.

For me this child represent ego captured within every human being. Therefore as a whole Christ protects himself and others from his own ego is one way to look at it. Another is ego’s curiosity, let it be Christ’s own, his followers, or others.

Overall I see this section as,

His actions and early fruits invite some egoic energy. But with solid intention, faith, love, compassion, and strength he lets the curious egos to be! Knowing they’ll return home one day, to child-like innocence.

Children

The painting’s children represents to me Christ’s own child-like nature as well as well as how he looks at all others.

Face of the Christ

His eyes are filled with love. But the eyes also speak of sadness, heavy heartedness or pain. There are prayers of hope captured in the lovely sad eyes of the Christ.
The face itself looks peaceful.

Isn’t he Beautiful?

– Nim –

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