Lent, again

Yesterday was Shrove Tuesday, carne vale (farewell to meat). Today, therefore is Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent. Whatever Lent may or may not mean to you, it is not a Christian version of Ramadan, despite what a few bishops might have misleadingly indicated. Bruegel nicely portrayed, in his usual slightly sarky way, the difference between the last night of Carnival, and the Lenten 40 days to follow:

Peter Bruegel the elder, The Battle Between Carival and Lent, 1559  Vienna Kunsthistorisches Museum.
Peter Bruegel the elder, The Battle Between Carival and Lent, 1559 Vienna Kunsthistorisches Museum.

The picture that The Knife usually shows here is Spitzweg’s highly evocative Ash Wednesday:

Carl Spitzweg, Ash Wednesday, 1860. Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart
Carl Spitzweg, Ash Wednesday, 1860. Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart

…and it’s always worth remembering Kay Burley’s faux pas on Sky TV, when US vice president Joe Biden turned up with his ashes

Joe, and a friend
Joe, and a friend
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…here’s one I made earlier. Lent is a slightly strange time, but it is a very human experience.

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