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THE DREAM JOURNAL
OF L. CARUANA


THE MYSTIC DIPTYCH

      In Vienna on the night of February 5th, 1990, I had a dream. It was markedly different from all my other dreams because there was no plot, no action, no characters.
      Instead, there was only a momentary vision, a momentary arrangement of images coelescing into a meaningful whole, though the meaning eluded me (and continues to elude me to this very day).

      In my dream, I saw two paintings, composed as a diptych. On the left, I saw the Gothic figure of Christ Crucified. But, rather than being crucified on a cross, he hung before a wheel – a large wagon wheel with many spokes. The wheel had an undeniable feeling of Time about it, as if it were also the forgotten face of some ancient clock. And, impressed onto the wooden spokes were two Greek letters forged in bronze: the Alpha and the Omega. (I had seen a Byzantine cross with those particular letters in a visit to the Naturehistorisches Museum the day before).
      To the right, on the other panel of the diptych, was the Gothic figure of the Madonna. She too was standing before a wheel, but this wheel was reminiscent of the wheel upon which St. Catherine was to be martyred – a large wooden mill-wheel imbedded with iron spikes. And like Catherine’s wheel, this wheel had broken and shattered into many pieces. Hence, while Christ was crucified on a wheel, the Madonna stood before a broken wheel.


      After waking, I rendered these images into drawings, sketching quickly and naturally, barely having to erase. Later, I made two small paintings from these drawings, to depict the images exactly as I’d dreamt them. The drawing of the Madonna revealed, through her gestures and full figure, that she was pregnant with the Christ-child.
      It took me another ten years to produce two larger paintings from this dream, which I named The Mystic Diptych.

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drawing: Christ Before the Wheel drawing: Madonna Before the Broken Wheel












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