LOOK: John August Swanson (American, 1938–), Peaceable Kingdom, 1994. Serigraph, edition of 250, 30 × 22 1/2 in.
John August Swanson, a Los Angeles–based artist of Mexican and Swedish heritage, says his style is “influenced by the imagery of Islamic and medieval miniatures, Russian iconography, the color of Latin American folk art, and the tradition of Mexican muralists.” In this forty-seven-color serigraph (limited-edition screen print), monkeys, frogs and lizards, mice and rabbits, owls and peacocks, a pig and a turtle accompany the wolves, lambs, leopard, goat, lion, ox, and snake of Isaiah 11, a vision of creation restored and at peace.
LISTEN: “O Day of Peace” | Words by Carl P. Daw Jr., 1982 | Music by Josh Garrels, on The Light Came Down, 2016
O day of peace that dimly shines
Through all our hopes and prayers and dreams
Guide us to justice, truth, and love
Delivered from our selfish schemes
May swords of hate fall from our hands
Our hearts from envy find release
Till by God’s grace our warring world
Shall see Christ’s promised reign of peace
Then shall the wolf dwell with the lamb
Nor shall the fierce devour the small
As beast and cattle calmly graze
A little Child shall lead them home
Then the meek shall learn to love
All creatures find their true accord
The hope of peace shall be fulfilled
For all the earth shall know the Lord
(Related post: “The Peaceable Kingdoms of Edward Hicks”)
For each day of the first week of Advent I am publishing one art-and-song pairing as an invitation for seasonal reflection.
3 thoughts on “Advent, Day 5: Peace”
I am loving these pairings! Thank you so much. I’m sure it takes a lot of thought to put them together! Wishing they would continue throughout Advent!
Thanks, Sheryl! I thought about extending this through the rest of the season, but I want to feature other content instead. (I have some poems planned, for example, several roundups, and a post on American folk Christmas songs.) If you want a daily Advent devotional that’s art-forward, I highly recommend The Advent Project from Biola: http://ccca.biola.edu/advent/. It has many contributors, and its design is much sleeker and more functional than my website!
[…] August Swanson (1938–2021) [previously] was born in Los Angeles of a Mexican mother and Swedish father. His father died when he was young, […]