You Have Seen the Father Painting

Has Visto al Padre (You Have Seen the Father) 48×36 inches oil on canvas painting.

I had the first idea for this painting back in June 2016 when going to a funeral. I drew out some concepts focused on the theme of the Trinity through the approach of Spanish colonial art that represents the Holy Trinity as 3 unique Jesus characters since Christians believe that it is indeed 3 distinct persons in 1 being. 

This is not a liturgical or even traditional piece. It’s a product of my own exploratory visualization of a central mystery of my faith.

Spanish Colonial Painting of the Trinity

 Theme

It may seem a little strange but there is a verse in sacred scripture that gives good precedent for this interpretation:

“Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” – John 14:9

I became fascinated with visualizing the Trinity back in late 2015 when I attended a JPII Healing Center retreat that focuses on leading participants to lead a life within the graces of the Trinity where we can find the most peace in life. The retreat features a living sculpture that demonstrates three people circling their arms around each other while surrounding the person from above. I used this as the central pose of the piece. Framing it from the perspective within the circle.

Final Drawing in prep of painting

Inspiration

All-Seeing Eye of God And and angels at Basilica Di Santa Maria Maggiore Rome Italy

The trinity is a common theme in art, but I’ve never been fond of the pieces that make the Father a Santa-like figure or the Holy Spirit just a white dove. They don’t communicate to me the depth of the living persons of the Trinity.

The mysterious symbols of an all-seeing eye also don’t communicate the relational aspects of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to me. I do appreciate the symbolism and visual, so I used this piece as an inspiration for the layout.

The old Eastern depictions of the Trinity as angels with Abraham also helped inspire the details of the three.

The Icon of the Trinity by the Monk-painter Andrei Rublev

Symbols

Seraphim – the 6-winged angels that surround the throne of God

Cherubim – the 4 winged angels and are just behind the seraphim

The hands

The Father – A hand of blessing in the traditional priestly position of blessing

The Son – Outstretched and pierced by the crucifixion openly offering His love

The Holy Spirit – Reaching out in welcome to invite us into the circle

The Eye of God Nebula – based on images from Hubble to show the vastness of God’s mercy while alluding to the Trinitarian symbol of the eye in a cosmic image

Space – reminiscent of the stars that line many churches as markings of sacred space

Eye of God Helix Nebula

Diversity

The 3 persons of the Holy Trinity are intentionally depicted as distinct versions of Jesus from different cultures. Most of my art features skin tones and cultures that depict important figures in non-European characteristics to show the diversity of the Church and God’s willingness to relate to us where we are.

The process

It took a long time to get to the pieces because I kept putting it to the side and lots of life changes in between.

The Final Painting

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