Thursday, May 25, 2017

Cosmo Rosselli, Renaissance artist, foretold the future!

The Last Supper, Cosmo Rosselli, in the Sistine Chapel, 1481-1482. Image found in: Mark Haydu, Reflections on Vatican Art (Liguori, MO, Liguori Publications, 2013), p. 149.

This is a portrayal of Jesus and the Twelve at the Last Supper. In the foreground are some serving utensils, two pairs of bystanders entering the room, a playful dog, an alarmed cat, and a rat as big as the cat confronting it. Perhaps the two pairs of bystanders were each discussing the possibility of the authorities cracking down on the establishment because it harbored rats as big as cats!

Anyway, Rosselli appears to be foretelling the future in two ways. First, the obvious way: in the three scened depicted on the back wall of the nook Jesus and the Twelve are seated at table in, are three "windows" (Reflections, p. 148) depicting scenes from the very near future: Jesus agonizing in prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, the Judas Kiss, and the Crucifiction.

But he is also foretelling the future in different manner! Because the "windows" themselves depict future scenes, they are not really windows but telescreens! These electronic devices--or their predecessor, televisions--would not show up in any eating or drinking establishment until the mid to late Twentieth Century at the earliest for televisions, the Twenty-First for telescreens, some five hundred years into the distant future from when Roselli painted this scene.

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