At Dawn.
 Hermans, Charles, 1839-1924

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Title:At Dawn
Notes: First Sunday of Advent, Year A: "Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us live honorably as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires." Romans 13:11-14

This painting by the Belgian artist, Charles Hermans, caused a sensation when it was first exhibited because of its critical social realism. Hermans contrasts a group of elegantly-dressed party-goers at the end of a long night, spilling out onto the sidewalk. They block the path of early morning laborers, whose stable, hardworking values are communicated by their working garb and lunch pails. The contrast is further underscored by the spilled ash refuse bag lying next to the bouquet of flowers on the street in the foreground. Charles Hermans' body of work included many works of a religious nature, as he developed an interest in the activities of the monastic orders when in Italy.

Artist:Hermans, Charles, 1839-1924
Building:Musées Royaux des Beaux Arts de Belgique

Scripture:Romans 13:11-14
Lectionary links:AAdvt01
General Subject:Poverty

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Attribution:Hermans, Charles, 1839-1924. At Dawn, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. [retrieved April 21, 2024]. Original source:
Record Number:53076 Last Updated: 2021-09-07 19:36:07 Record Created: 2007-10-24 00:00:00
Institution:Vanderbilt University Collection: Art in the Christian Tradition

Bibliographic Source:Grove Art Online. Oxford University Press, 2004.