Mad as a cut-out letter Q
John is mad. And so he should be. The colorful letter Q he occupies was part of an attractive early-13th-century Bible. It proudly initiated the first Letter of John with the Latin sentence Quod fuit ab initio, “that which was from the beginning.” What a life John had! His existence was surrounded by beautiful colors, rustling pages with handsomely written words, and a leather binding that closed with a satisfying thud. Every day he was touched by loving hands, eyed by devout readers, who respectfully whispered the words surrounding him. Then one day someone opened the book with a pair of scissors in his hand. Snip, snip and John was an orphan: decoration without book, a “Q” without “uod”. And so John is mad. So mad he doesn’t mind showing it.
Pic: Bloomington, Lilly Library at Indiana University, where the orphan found a good home under shelfmark Ricketts C:3 (more here).
Henk Bos (Dutch, 1901-1979)
Still life with tin can and bowls, oil on canvas, 38,5 x 34 cm.
Philadelphia/Wilmington (Cleo & Luna)
Francisco de Zurbarán
Christ Among the Doctors, ca. 1629
Museum of Fine Arts of Seville, Spain
There’s a lot going on here