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Photographer's Note

INK SKETCH OF VIA DOLOROSA

This is an ink drawing turned into a photographic image. I take photos, and I also sketch (and paint) sites that I visit. In my youth I did more of the latter (drawing), and less of the former (photography).

What I’ve presented in this photo is the image of an ink drawing that I created in Jerusalem, and the upcoming holiday season seems timely for posting an image from the Holly Lands. A well-known site in the walled ‘Old City’ section of Jerusalem is the Via Dolorosa, or the “Way of Suffering.” According to tradition, this is the path that Jesus Christ carried his cross. Along the way there are 14 “Stations,” starting from Station #1, Antonio Castle, where he was condemned, and ending with Station #14, Golgotha, where he was buried. The stations in between mark the points where he paused momentarily to catch his breath. In Catholic churches — painted or carved images, emblematic of these stations, hang around the interior walls.

I’ve been to Jerusalem at least half-a-dozen times — four times in the late 70s, and twice in the late 90s, ostensibly to collaborate in research with a close friend, an Israeli theoretical physicist with whom I have worked since we were young post-docs at Oxford. Culmination of our research endeavors in the summers frequently came in the form of visits to historical and biblical sites. It was on one of these occasions, in 1979, that I produced the drawing.

The ageless practice of travelers to make sketches of the sites that they would visit began to disappear after Louis Daguerre in 1828 invented a history transforming technology. The French chemist concocted photographic emulsion, ushering in the age of photography. But the loss of drafting skills is an unfortunate effect, and the only unfortunate effect accompanying the invention of this technology. Producing drawings has salutary effects in enhancing our observational skills.

Charles Luttwidge Dodson, mathematician at Oxford, using the pen name “Lewis Carroll, authored the timeless classic, ‘Alice in Wonderland.’ Dodson was an early photographic pioneer. (He even took portraits of Alice Liddell, daughter of the Dean.) In distinction, the great British essayist, John Ruskin, also of Oxford, was one of the last to resist taking up photography. He was a talented draftsman. But a few hundred years ago, this was the common practice of Leonardo and Galileo, and most other naturalists and scientist/artists.

There must be many other artists in TE. One that I know about is talented photographer Inna Airen (a_i_ren). I was emboldened to post the photo of this drawing in seeing Inna’s very good art.

sunilshukla, a_i_ren, stego, erdna, henrytf, happypoppeye, thor68, dareco has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Bulent Atalay (batalay) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6031 W: 457 N: 10448] (35149)
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