The Grateful Undead


Saint Ignatius and the Zombies

From the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria comes this vivid painting by Peter Paul Rubens. Titled “The Miracles of Saint Ignatius of Loyola,” the work depicts the miracles performed by this Counter-Reformation saint who founded the Jesuit order.

Although Peter Paul Rubens shows demon-possessed people being healed by the saint in classically Baroque style, dramatic and emphatic, it is also a strange and wonderful example of what I call anachronistic folklore. What I mean by that, is art from one age that can be interpreted differently according to the stories or perspectives of another age.

Erich von Daniken made very good use of anachronistic folklore to convince people that stone age rock art showed ancient astronauts, for example. Any modern person who sees a stick figure with a bubble for a head will naturally think it looks like an astronaut! Most of his “modern technology revealed in ancient artifacts” arguments are based on this mental phenomenon.

So for your daily laugh, I submit: Saint Ignatius saved the Counter-Reformation from the zombie apocalypse! Those weren’t Protestants who were causing the trouble after all, we’ve got it all wrong. It was the undead, and thank God a few saints were around to do the dirty work of dispatching them all back to the grave.


5 responses to “The Grateful Undead

  1. I went to High School across the street from St. Ignatius of Loyola Church in Manhattan…


  2. I realy like Rubens work and feel he is somewhat underappreciated. I would love to see this in person one day. I wrote a poat today on Rubens’ “Last Supper” painting. I love hoe Judas is looking at you. Here is the post, I’d love to hear your thoughts.


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