Jacob Wrestling The Angel
Jacob Wrestling The Angel
Inkjet on watercolour paper
85 x 57 centimeters

Originally this reimagining of the Eugene Delacroix painting, Jacob Wrestling the Angel, was set at night with the figures portrayed as surfer types engaged in a wrestling match while in the background traffic goes about its business along a busy road heedless of the drama being played out. It was a nice idea, placing a mythical entity such as an angel in an environment that any urban dweller is familiar with, and despite much fooling about with lighting and moving figures around the composition I found the idea was impossible to realise sucessfully and opted instead to locate the action in a serene morning landscape.

While this result misses the cultural jxutapostion presented by the original idea, the reduction of the composition into the simple elements of the figures locked in combat set against the greenery focused attention on fundamentals. Even though the combatants have fought throughout the night, Jacob is energetically pushing hard against the angel, almost pushing him off the little patch of grass hemmed by the shrubbery which acts as a makeshift wrestling ring. The wrestlers' haircuts and summer clothes together with utility pole visible in the top right corner are a reminder that this is a modern take of an ancient mythical contest.

Eugene Delacroix : Study for Jacob Wrestling The Angel
Eugene Delacroix : Mural of Jacob Wrestling the Angel
Gustave Dore : Jacob Wrestling With the Angel
Paul Gauguin : The Vision after the Sermon (Jacob wrestling with the Angel)
One day in the kingdom of darkness