The Writing on the Wall
The Writing on the Wall
Inkjet on watercolour paper
90 x 60 centimeters

The writing on the wall, a phrase that originated from a mysterious hand writing the words; Numbered, Weighed, Divided on a wall at a magnificent feast hosted by King Belshazzar, is synonymous with the prediction of doom. There are a some excellent artistic interpretations of this event, notably by the British artist John Martin in 1820 and Rembrandt in 1635.

My interpretation is short on the drama both these paintings explore. A group of drinkers at a backyard BBQ analyse the meaning of the graffitied message that has appeared on a paling fence. They show curiosity but not alarm, possibly they are anaesthetised by the regular portentous warnings they hear about existential threats such as global warming.

Belshazzar's Feast by John Martin : Yale Center for British Art
Belshazzar's Feast by Rembrandt : The National Gallery, London