Tuesday, September 07, 2010

A medieval photograph?

Pope Pius XII and the Romans, 1944:

Here is what Dr. Beachcombing sees:

Pius who had a slightly messianic streak at times, stands before the crowd like a crucified Christ dressed in beatific white. Pius’s face (perhaps fortunately for the effect) is not visible, but watch the Romans who might have come out of a movie on the black death twist before him. My God!
 When Beachcombing first saw this fabulous portrait he felt that he finally understood a hundred chronicle descriptions of eighth- or fourteenth-century crowds ‘ooo-ing’ and ‘aargh-ing’ over the burning of a heretic or the carrying of a religious icon.

Do you agree?  Go tell him.

1 comment:

  1. Neat photograph. Still inspiring a crowd is not unique to Popes or the Middle Ages. Surely in the 150 years of photography we have many pictures of crowds held in rapture by political, religious, artist (rock stars?) leaders and also by parading of symbols. Look at this Frenchman sobbing.
    Perhaps 2,000 years earlier his ancestor sobbed the same way when Caesar marched through the same town and took away the battle honours.

    If Beachcombing wants Medieval photographs look at the living history community and their images on the internet. Here is an example including the worst jouster in the history of the world.