Recently I met with a priest for a long over due confession and he described to me this print, observing that it was a great example of Christian perseverance. Notice how the knight is unwavering in moving forward. Death and Satan do not distract him from his goal. In fact, the knight's undistracted resolve seem to communicate the same to his horse and dog as well. For, they too march forward looking straight ahead. "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil . . ."
While this is a masterpiece of draftsmanship, it is also inspiring as you consider the story that it tells.
According to the Met: "The artist may have based his depiction of the 'Christian Knight' on an address from Erasmus's Instructions for the Christian Soldier (Enchiridion militis Christiani), published in 1504: 'In order that you may not be deterred from the path of virtue because it seems rough and dreary … and because you must constantly fight three unfair enemies—the flesh, the devil, and the world—this third rule shall be proposed to you: all of those spooks and phantoms which come upon you as if you were in the very gorges of Hades must be deemed for naught after the example of Virgil's Aeneas … Look not behind thee.'"
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Knight, Death and the Devil
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I'm glad you persevere my love
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