The Dining Room, Opus 152,
Painted by Paul Signac (1863-1935),
Painted circa 1886/1887,
Oil on canvas
© Kröller Müller Museum, Netherlands / Alamy

The Dining Room, Opus 152,
Painted by Paul Signac (1863-1935),
Painted circa 1886/1887,
Oil on canvas
© Kröller Müller Museum, Netherlands / Alamy

Gospel of 21 September 2022

Feast of Saint Matthew

Matthew 9:9-13

As Jesus was walking on, he saw a man named Matthew sitting by the customs house, and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he got up and followed him.

While he was at dinner in the house it happened that a number of tax collectors and sinners came to sit at the table with Jesus and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does your master eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ When he heard this he replied, ‘It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick. Go and learn the meaning of the words: What I want is mercy, not sacrifice. And indeed I did not come to call the virtuous, but sinners.’

Reflection on the painting

In our Gospel reading today, we read about Jesus having a celebratory meal, possibly in the house of Matthew the tax collector who had just responded to Jesus’ unexpected call to become one of his close followers. Present at this meal were people like Matthew, tax collectors and some disciples. What were they celebrating? They were celebrating God’s forgiveness and God’s mercy, calling everyone to follow him. They were all celebrating the amazing news that they all belonged among God’s family.

Just as we would do nowadays, they celebrated a special event by gathering friends around a table. Dining together is sharing intimacy. Dining together creates a bond.

Our painting is by Paul Signac, circa 1886. Signac wanted to become a writer at first but decided to take up painting after seeing Claude Monet’s first impressionist paintings. He was entirely self taught. In 1884 Signac and Georges Seurat did research into colour and the effects of colour contrasts. They developed a new style of painting that later became known as pointillism. The technique consisted of mixing primary colours with white only and applying these directly – in small dots – onto the canvas. The colours merge together in the eye of the observer only when seen from a distance. In our painting entitled The Dining Room, Signac used mainly blue-yellow and orange-green as contrasting and complementary colours. The figures (his mother, grandfather and the housemaid) are shown frontally or in profile and are standing or sitting motionless, without showing any expression. They have not been portrayed, but are painted as types, as examples of a timeless bourgeoisie.

Happy Feast of Saint Matthew!

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Charles Marriott
Member
Charles Marriott(@chazbo)
2 months ago

Pointillism never really caught on…did it?!
We are always having meals for family and other occasions but we don’t get asked back too much.? Maybe my wife is too good a cook?.
I always say that our faith is based on a meal is it not?

Patricia O'Brien
Member
Patricia O'Brien(@marispiper)
2 months ago

Pointillism…yes, probably because it takes so l o n g to do! ?
Yes I suffer from good cook syndrome – there are a number of dishes my husband won’t order if we eat out “…it won’t be as good as yours” !
Enjoy your meal tonight ?

Patricia O'Brien
Member
Patricia O'Brien(@marispiper)
2 months ago

He came to call sinners…count me in! Thank you Lord.
I just love today’s pointillist painting from Signac (and of course Seurat) but I have a very unhappy memory of the Kroller Muller – I was bitten by a tick in the park and got Lyme Disease then meningitis. I was SO ill…. I just didn’t want to be reminded of that ??
Blessings to all today.

Charles Marriott
Member
Charles Marriott(@chazbo)
2 months ago

That sounds extremely unpleasant Patricia. Is there any way that you/we could put a positive spin on that experience? Possibly not…

Patricia O'Brien
Member
Patricia O'Brien(@marispiper)
2 months ago

Well, the positive spin Chazbo, is that was 2006 – and I am still upright and warm to the touch!! Thanks be to God.
I have joined campaigns here for more ‘tick’ warnings, like posters in known sites, but very slow. However, I have been told that the Kroller Muller park now make visitors aware… the pesky things are absolutely rife there!

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