I have written several Epiphany articles and discovered that illustrator Félix Lorioux depicted more subject matters than the Fables of Jean de La Fontaine and Charles Perrault‘s Contes de ma mère l’Oye.
When I introduced Félix Lorioux, finding his illustrations was complex. We learned, however, that he had worked for Walt Disney. Matters have changed. The Internet now features several pictures by Lorioux. This will help us read the fables of Jean de La Fontaine, a continuation of an earlier endeavour. Images often lead to reading narratives one would otherwise overlook. Moreover, they facilitate an understanding of “stories.”
Epiphany in Quebec
When I was a child, Epiphany was the twelfth day of Christmas. The next day we returned to school. On 6 January, my mother baked a gâteau des anges (angel cake). Hiding in the cake was a bean. The person who ate the piece of cake containing the bean was crowned King or Queen. The Christmas holidays ended festively. I do not know whether all Quebec families celebrated Epiphany, but my mother did. She was an excellent cook and honoured traditions.
The Winter Solstice
Christmas occurs on or near the Winter Solstice. It is a celebration of the longest night and the winter solstice always leads to a reversal. It had been a feast since antiquity. The world was new. Then came the Carnival season leading to the Spring Equinox (equal day and night).
The Three Kings of the Orient represent all human beings. No race is excluded and Kings honour a child, a little baby. So Epiphany can be incorporated into the upside-down view of the world the Winter Solstice inspires. Félix Lorioux has given Jesus teeth, which is artistic license.
In the Eastern Church, today is Christmas. (See Christmas in Ukraine, Wikipedia.2.) The season ends on 19 January. The word Epiphany also describes a sudden revelation. Moreover, the name Tiffany derives from Epiphany.
- Johann Amos Comenius: Word and Art (7 November 2015) (post)
- Comenius: Orbis Sensualium Pictus (13 November 2011) (post)
- Epiphany Balthazar, Melchior & Gaspar (6 January 2012) (post)
- Feasts and Liturgy (page)
Sources and Resources
My kindest wishes to all of you. 💕
We Three Kings: Epiphany Montage,
arrangement by Eugene Ormandy (18 November 1899 – 12 March 1985)
© Micheline Walker
6 January 2023