Antonio Gionima (?)
(Venezia 1697 – Bologna 1732)

Christ and the Possessed Man

Oil on canvas, 144 x 184 cm (57 x 72 inches)

Why the demons plague the poor man who “had not worn clothes for a long time, nor dwelt in a house, but had stood among the graves” remains a mystery. Armed with a trident, confused by the darkness of the night, one of the demons still hovers along the walls of Jerash, the ancient Gerasa, which was annexed to the province of Syria after Pompeo’s conquest. Luke tells of his encounter with Christ and sudden healing, which frightened the crowd attracted by the cries (8, 26-39). The miracle spread Christ’s fame through cities and across the countryside, hastening his capture. The reason for the evil one’s determination (and his very existence) remains a mystery.