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Drawings of Serpent Handlers

 

 "Shorty Takes Up Serpents"

This drawing  presents a frenzied production of several individuals participating in the act of "taking up of serpents", a literal interpretation of the Biblical verse Mark 16:18.

These snake handlers are inspired by figures from classical and Renaissance masterpieces where snakes or serpents play a role. The central figure, "Shorty", is based upon the classic Hellenistic sculpture of Laocoon with Laocoon's sons within the group of surrounding snake handlers. The artist has also appropriated figures from Titian's "Baachus and Ariadne", Bronzino's "Brazen Serpent" and Michelangelo's "Last Judgment". The figure of "Haman" from "The Punishment of Haman" is presented as a dancing dervish at the top of "Shorty". The figure behind "Shorty" reaching into the densely packed box of snakes is derived from a figure in Raphael's "Miraculous Draught of Fishes".

 

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