This Christmas, how many grandparents are longing to hug their grandchildren and to feel their hugs in response. In the most natural way, so much is communicated in a touch that words cannot express. The French Christian philosopher, Jean-Louis Chrétien reminds us that the first evidence of the soul is the sense of touch.
The Annunciation is remarkably uncluttered. There is just the Angel and Mary: the Angel in the subtlest of movements towards her and she, wrapped but inclined towards the Angel. These subtle physical gestures carry a quiet intensity of attentiveness. Neither the Angel or Mary speak, yet we are in no doubt that they are communicating.
Even when he paints people in some sort of relationship – at a table, in a lounge or on a bed – there is always a sense of aloneness, space both defining and placing them while emphasising their singularity. His paintings all have the quality of a still-life. In their urban or domestic space, caught in a moment when they are not conscious of us, his people, which could easily be static objects, manage to engage us.