"Aimez-vous les uns les autres" (Love One Another),
by Henri-Camille Danger (1857-1939),
signed, dated and inscribed Henri Danger Roma MDCCCXCII,
oil on canvas,
© Dorotheum Auctions, Vienna

"Aimez-vous les uns les autres" (Love One Another),
by Henri-Camille Danger (1857-1939),
signed, dated and inscribed Henri Danger Roma MDCCCXCII,
oil on canvas,
© Dorotheum Auctions, Vienna

Gospel of 14 May 2019

Love one another, as I loved you

John 15: 9-17

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my own joy may be in you and your joy be complete.

This is my commandment: love one another, as I have loved you.

A man can have no greater love than to lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends, if you do what I command you. I shall not call you servants any more, because a servant does not know his master’s business;

I call you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have learnt from my Father. You did not choose me: no, I chose you; and I commissioned you to go out and to bear fruit, fruit that will last; and then the Father will give you anything you ask him in my name.

What I command you is to love one another.’

Reflection on the Painting

In this painting we see a different take on the theme of today's Gospel: 'Love one Another', also the title of this painting. It shows what happens when we don't love each other: there is a war torn burning village in the background, dead figures in the foreground, two cemeteries depicted, a storm brewing in the top right corner, and above all, Christ looks on in absolute despair. It is rare to find a painting where Jesus is depicted looking away from events and holding His hand by his head, a very poignant pose.

Again the size of this picture plays a big role in how we as a viewer interact with it. The painting is 157 x 217 cm (around 5 x 7 feet) and draws the viewer right into the drama we are witnessing. Indeed Christ must depair at times at what we are doing to each other. Henri Camille Danger won the 'Grand Prix de Rome' painting competition in 1887. The present painting helped establish his international reputation and is one of the artist’s most iconic works. He painted this subject with beautiful meticulousness and dedication. His works were also exhibited at the Exposition Universelle in Paris (1887, when the Eiffel Tower was built) and he was awarded the Légion d’Honneur in 1903. This painting sold for $140,000 in 2016.

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