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Finding Faith: Lentils in stained glass?


Photo by Lucien de Guise, courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum

Lucien de Guise - published on 03/01/20

Food is rare in stained glass unless it's the Last Supper.

A series that looks at the visual arts for signs of the universal Church in sometimes unexpected places.
Sundays in Lent are exempt from fasting. Not that the offering in this image from 1862 would be an infringement anyway: it’s a lentil stew, or as it became known in popular culture, a “mess of pottage.” Food is rare in stained glass unless it’s the Last Supper. Jacob’s offering was tempting enough for Esau to give away his inheritance. For renowned artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti, it was a different story. He gave up on stained glass after a few years and focused entirely on painting. The challenges of presenting a steaming dish of lentils as irresistible would probably have been beyond any artist.
Photo by Lucien de Guise, courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum
Lucien de Guise is on Instagram @crossxcultural. As a Catholic writer, editor, curator and former museum director, his aim is to build bridges through art.
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