Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Communists in the flames ....

An Orthodox  church in the capital of Montenegro has sparked controversy, according to the BBC,  by depicting in a fresco Tito, Marx and Engels languishing in the flames of hell, while churchman are seen being devoured by what looks as if it could be the monstrous Leviathan of the Communist State.

One fails to see how this is particularly controversial, even in the Balkans, given the malign actions or influences of the trio depicted. Where would we expect Christians in that region, even those filled with the most charitable of intentions, to envisage them to be? Purgatory - or whatever one might choose to call it in the East - would perhaps be an option, yet these are those who are directly, or indirectly through their writings and activities, responsible for the slaughter of millions ....  

Of course, there are still - even now - those (in quite unexpected places, even in the West) who probably see them as somehow part of the glorious pantheon of the left, presumably along with Blessed Vladimir and Josef (seen behind Tito, Marx and Engels in the fresco?) not to mention Leon, Che and Mao Tse-tung.

It's not really my kind of religious art, possibly not my theology either, but one would have to be very stupid indeed not to understand the feelings of those who commissioned and installed it 

Thanks to the NLM for the story

1 comment:

  1. It is curious from an iconographic point of view. Typically in Orthodox iconography, damnation is synonymous with losing one's identity (after all, we are made in the image and likeness of God). Usually when hell is depicted, its inhabitants are shown with pale, faint faces, or even no faces at all.

    It seems to me that this is really political art with religious overtones, rather than religious art with political overtones. However, I think that it is quite understandable given local and regional history, and even bestirs sympathy.


Anonymous comments will not be published