Some years back, a friend took me to Gallery Row in Lancaster and I was delighted to find the galleries of Liz Hess and Freiman Stoltzfus next door to each other. Fun, fun!
Liz Hess is an artist who incorporates a red umbrella in many of her paintings. Her style is whimsical, fanciful, and worshipful and I like it a lot.
Frieman Stoltfus tends toward abstractions based on classical music, European architecture, Lancaster landscapes, and his Amish heritage. I love the emotions in his abstract paintings and the grounded, thoughtful, pointed ideas in his realistic work.
In that first visit, I saw a small print of his The Last Supper and I told myself that someday I want that in my house. I started following the gallery on Facebook, and loved all I saw, but never forgot The Last Supper. Several years later, it was August 2020 and somehow I knew that now is the time. I perused the website but couldn’t find the painting, so I contacted the gallery’s Facebook page to ask about it.
Bethanie, the gallery manager, answered quickly and said she can get it printed for me. Which size would I like? Plus, all the prints were 20% off that month! It came soon in the mail, and I carried it around campus to show people what I was so happy about. I love it so much.
It would seem that its title is an allusion to Leonardo da Vinci’s i but I always want to call it the Wedding Feast or The Marriage Supper of the Lamb because that’s what it is to me.
It’s framed now, and in our kitchen. I love to have people look at it and I ask what they see. They always mention the diversity of skin colors, ages, and cultures. They see the cathedral effect in the background, the record player, and the abstract yellows. There’s both definition and mystery.
I love the Japanese lanterns in the trees, the way the people are leaning toward each other in open body language, the groom’s hands are inviting someone outside the picture, and the empty chairs say there’s room for more. And it’s a party! There’s music and cake, wine and candles, and the night is still young. The celebration is going to go on for a long time.
It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes I get a little peek at this in real life, where there’s laughter, conversation, lights at dusk, diversity, music, and food. I have a palette of memories like this to treasure, a painting in my kitchen, and a great hope to live in.
4 thoughts on “A Dream of a Feast”
Beautiful! Just so beautiful! The painting and your words about it.
Reading this and studying the painting filled me with hope. I didn’t know how much I needed that. Thank you!!
So happy it gave you hope! Hope is a beautiful gift.
Really neat. And the faces are “faceless,” so you can fill in who this might be in the painting (which of your neighbors, your church, your family, co-workers, community). He needs to add in a disabled person. I was struck by your words “There’s both definition and mystery.” How like life. And I agree with you, this speaks more of wedding feast and heaven to me than The Last Supper.