I visited the Museum of Art yesterday with my New Testament class. The museum has a collection of religious and Christ-centred art. My favourite painting was Triplus Number 3 by Ron Richmond.
It is of three vessels sitting on crossed cloths. Each vessel is full of a different medium. The near vessel holds water. The far one looks to hold nothing, but actually holds Spirit. and the centre vessel holds Blood.
The symbolism cannot be ignored: three vessels sitting on crossed red and white cloths certainly have reference to our Saviour. It is also interesting to realise the only things in full focus are the vessels. The edges of the painting are hazy , drawing our attention to the middle.
I was touched how the vessel of blood takes the centre spot in the line of vessels. It is because blood, the blood of Christ, His atoning blood, is what sactifies us. We know by the water that we keep God’s commandments (baptism as Christ was), by Spirit we are justified (brought back to even level prior to sin), and by Blood we are sanctified (made Holy and able to enter God’s presence).
Christ, though absent in form, is the centre of this painting, through the use of symbols.