Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Elusive Spirit

In his Pentecost homily, Father Peter related his spirit story.  I'd post it but I'm sure I've already done that.  (Although I can't find it.) In the blessing, "In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit," Father Peter states how easy it is to picture the Father as an old man; the Son is a younger man.  But the Holy Spirit? What do you picture?

Father Peter just couldn't envision an image. Then one day, in Philadelphia he saw the famous picture of the Spirit of '76, by Archibald Willard.  He then realized that the Holy Spirit can be best represented in art, which many artists have attempted.

But my story is interesting, too.  As I was looking for this picture by Archibald Willard, I came across the story of Ann O'Delia Diss Debar.  It seems that this lady and some others hoodwinked people into believing that they could get a deceased famous artist to paint his pictures AGAIN. Picture a seance atmosphere.  A blank canvass was produced.  The dead artist was asked to come back and miraculously paint his masterpiece.  Buda bing buda boom!  With one swipe of the arm, the painting appeared.

They were called "spirit paintings."  It was a magic trick.  In the chemistry of the painting was a white film that could be wiped off with a sponge to reveal a painting underneath. Copies of famous paintings were made and then covered over with this whitewash.  Then when the "spirit painter" swiped her hand of the canvass, the painting underneath was revealed. 

Needless to say, the crooks were caught.

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