Giotto Gorey

11" x 11"
Giotto Gorey

Madeline L'Engle, The Glorious Impossible (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992)

Edward Gorey, Amphigorey (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1980)


Edward Gorey is inexhaustible, and no way could I toss out the remains of Amphigorey after I had chopped out some material for The Object Lesson, so I found a way to make an even more elaborate piece using two whole Gorey narratives: The Doubtful Guest and The Hapless Child. I  copied every word in the top and bottom margins of the ground book, which is Madeline L’Engle’s The Glorious Impossible, which retells the story of the life of Christ, using Giotto’s paintings from the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua as illustrations. They were painted around 1304, and they are masterpieces of medieval art, pushing toward the artistic methods of the Renaissance. In this bibliolage, the figures of the Christian story are large, and Gorey’s are small, which suggests their amazement. But meanwhile, Jesus Christ becomes “the doubtful guest” and “the hapless child,” which is after all an effect of Renaissance humanism. L’Engle is better known for A Wrinkle in Time (1962), a work of “young adult science fantasy.” My bibliolage put a “new wrinkle” in my art, and I humbly consider it a masterpiece of my middle ages.