STATION 9. Jesus Falls for the Third Time

Janpeter Muilwijk: Der Tod und das Mädchen [Death and the Maiden], 2017, diptych, oil on linen, 225 cm × 110 cm. janpetermuilwijk.com

Jesus falls a third time under the weight of his cross. And yet he gets up again. Tortured, bleeding and exhausted, he still gets up. He wants to accomplish his task. The ultimate counterpoint to this third fall is Jesus’ resurrection from the dead on the third day after the crucifixion.

This diptych hangs in a high place at the end of what the congregation calls the ‘cloister ’ – two covered crossing walkways from old times – of the Mennonite Singel Church. Janpeter Muilwijk painted it after the suicide of his daughter Mattia.

The artist says: “In this traumatic period of my life, painting turned out to be a source of comfort, raising the big questions in a different way after the suicide of Mattia. There were no unequivocal answers, no definitive conclusions, but images that drilled down to a deeper layer, beyond thoughts and words. This series of paintings offered me a look into my own soul. In spite of the big shock of this great loss, they incorporate a calm presence of loveliness and comfort. Death is only a passage. My deceased daughter brings me into an endless space beyond our perception of finite life: the immortality of our soul.”

Location: Doopsgezinde Singelkerk (Singel Mennonite Church), Singel 452.

text: Anikó Ouweneel