Sunday, 12 June 2011


Those of you paying attention may have noticed that there is a distinct lack of Jesus earthly father thus far. I am speaking of course of Joseph, Mary's husband to be.

He is being omitted from my retelling due entirely to complete lack of presence he has in classical art, or indeed in my own fantasies. Mary, a strong, independent, powerful woman, a woman with no equal, bested only by God reigns supreme in my dreams. And yet, she is tied to a lowly, dull mortal man. I have an impression of brown robes and perhaps a beard, standing eternally on the periphary, unloved, unwanted, invisible. I don't remember ever seeing a portrait of him. He is an incidental character, an ordinary, forgettable person caught up in this glamourous world, living amongst royalty and the divine.

I could tell you more about King Balthazaar, one of the three Magi, than I could about the Joseph non entity.

His position in art reminds me of a series of painting I saw in the Palazzo del Doge in Venice. In one hall are portraits of every Doge of Venice, except two. These two had portraits painted, but disgraced themselves by being corrupt or villainous that subsequent generations have painted black curtains over the offended monarch. They drew the curtains and simple blocked them out of history. In some ways I feel the same has been done to Joseph.

A toast then, to absent friends.

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