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Faith >

On the road to perdition

George Pattison sees signs of hope in the distance

FROM an early stage, the painters of the northern Renaissance showed a distinctive fascination for the gro­tesque, almost revelling in depicting ugly, weird, or contorted bodies, both human and supernatural. Sometimes, this results in an art that seems to be almost without mercy, and even positively cruel.

So, here, in Bruegel’s painting of the Parable of the Blind, we are shown a troop of half-a-dozen blind men journeying through the Flemish countryside, possibly a familiar ...

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