Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Worth a Thousand Words: Second Dream of St. Joseph

Second Dream of St. Joseph
by Daniel Mitsui
It's no secret that I really love illustrations of Biblical scenes done in Asian style. It's also no secret that I really love Daniel Mitsui's work in general. And it should also be no secret that I'm a real fan of St. Joseph.

So when I saw this new work of art I naturally wanted to share it with as many people as possible. After you have enjoyed the work at first glance, see what the artist tells us is included that you might have missed.
It depicts, in a Japanese style, the second dream of St. Joseph, in which an angel (traditionally identified as St. Gabriel) warns him to flee into Egypt with the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Christ Child. In this work, I especially imitated the style of Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, a late ukiyo-e master. I referenced his series of woodblock prints 100 Aspects of the Moon for many parts of my drawing.

St. Gabriel holds a fan containing a vision of the Flight into Egypt and the Miracle of the Cherry Tree. I attempted to convey a sense of otherworldly urgency by having the angel’s robes and hair blown by a strong wind that affects nothing else in the picture. St. Joseph sleeps in the stable of Bethlehem, next to the gifts of the Magi (in antique Chinese vessels). The text is from Emile Raguet’s Classical Japanese New Testament translation of 1910, and says Gabriel and Arise, and take the child and his mother, and fly into Egypt: and be there until I shall tell thee. For it will come to pass that Herod will seek the child to destroy him.


  1. Stunning. I especially like the vision represented on the fan. Thanks for posting it, Julie.

    Tante Leonie

  2. Oh that is wonderful. The fan is my favorite part too.