Feature: New Painting Of La Salle

LEAD Story 364

From Br. Enrico Muller FSC:

In 2019, the year of the tricentenary, I gave a painter friend, who has been attending CasArcobaleno in Scampia during the International Symposium of Art, Delphine Manet, the book of Meditations for the Time of Retreat to introduce her, from the inside, to our Founder De La Salle. This year she returned to Scampia and gave me a new painting she created inspired by the words of the Founder. I wish to share it with all you Lasallians.


John Baptist de La Salle

Pedagogy is a science. The one who walks with, alongside, accompanies the child on the path of knowledge. He escapes into the deep and moving night to become one with the sky. The luminous face of JB de La Salle attracts attention with its warm colour and gentle gaze. To his left, an angel. Woman, man.... It does not matter. He only belongs to another time. He is the one who carries the book, the Word. His hands are in a human temporality because they seem to be flesh, as if animated by life, attached to the Word that teaches. A warm glow runs over his body reflecting the light cast by De La Salle... Like little nuggets of gold, the content of the book flies away to carry far the Word of the One who transmits. No letters, for it does not matter what language is used by men. Only exchanges matter…

I worked so that the angel is, for its colour, between heaven and earth, between reality and imagination. I remember a Virgin I bought in Lourdes, which was placed on my grandmother's bedside table. She fascinated me. I looked at it as if hypnotized at night when it was lit. It shone like a magical, comforting object. It's a little bit this impression that I wanted to convey. A childlike wonder. A poetic delight. While her light is reflected on the angel.... It can be all at once that emanating from the master, the simple glow of the stars or the intensity of the words.

Children do not make mistakes. They look in the direction of the angel. He is the guide. Perhaps the representation of teachers or of God... everyone will form the image they wish to. For young people, the intertwining symbolises the link between the brothers, the pupils and the teachings. One, two, three leaves... and the words fly away. A corner of a page is slightly raised because life is never flat or insignificant. The leaf, like the words, lives and traces the different possible paths. Our gaze once again turns to the sky. The golden sparks pass in front of the five-pointed star of the Lasallians. A nod to Leonardo da Vinci, who puts Man at its centre.

I wanted this painting to represent unity as well as diversity. A diagonal composition presents a gentle but regular dynamics. It protects the children, who have to look up to the sky and thus capture the verticality. A perception that can be found in rhythms regulated by the number 3 (the Trinity): The angel, De La Salle and the words that fly away. It all forms an exchange between what is visible and the sky. I chose the night because each glow is a real sun in the darkness. The stars are either stars or souls .... Creating hence a vast community. We are not alone even in the darkness. - Delphine Manet