Lent Reflection

4th March 2022

Piero della Francesca The Baptism of Christ after 1437 Egg on poplar, 167 x 116 cm Bought, 1861 NG665 https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/NG665

Piero Della Francesca lived in Tuscany and his paintings often reflect the local countryside. At this time chestnut trees were common in this mountainous region and the chestnut itself was a staple part of the people’s diet, as it could be ground into a flour to make bread – known as ‘pane di legno’ or tree bread.

Here in the middle of this picture is a tall tree that might be a chestnut tree or maybe a walnut tree. Perhaps it is a reminder of Jesus’s words, ‘I am the Bread of Life.’

Blessed are you, Lord, our God, King of the universe, who brought forth bread from the earth. 

Ha-Mitzi blessing for bread.

Author: Judith Russenberger

Environmentalist and theologian, with husband and three grown up children plus one cat, living in London SW14. I enjoy running and drinking coffee - ideally with a friend or a book.

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