The symbols of our religious festivals aren’t as innocent as we’d like them to be. Recently the State Russian Museum in St Petersburg exhibited the works by Yuri Khrzhanovsky, a Russian artist. One of the paintings was “The Ode to Joy”, which depicts two extraterrestrial characters, one of whom is playing a guitar. If you look closer at the image, you’ll see that the guitar is made of a Cross and a Wreath. The Cross is also repeated in the painting itself, and the picture has been criticised by one of the museum’s researchers as “the ode to blasphemy”. I suppose here in the West the story of “blasphemous” Christian images that had some grains of truth in them is age-old, and one only has to remember the immortal saying by John Lennon, that Beatles were more popular than Jesus. Bearing in mind the present crisis in religious mores, he couldn’t be more right, even if it came at a cost at the time.
Speaking of Easter Eggs, they were an inspiration to some, like Peter Carl Fabergé. There is a Wikipedia article about the awesome Easter Eggs he produced for the Russian Imperial Family, with information about almost all of them. Many of the eggs are now on display at the Kremlin Armoury, and if you’re planning a visit to Russia, absolutely include a trip there (consider the Kremlin as the Russian analogue to the Tower, especially because there is also a Diamond Fund, which only rivals the British Royal Jewellery Collection at the White Tower).
But Saki painted a rather gruesome story in The Easter Egg, which you can read in full if you follow the link. In the story the egg was used to carry out a terrorist attack, and it certainly reads as a rather humorous story, thanks to Saki’s style.
It all changed on the day when the Easter Egg was to be presented:
So, a Cross for a guitar, and an Easter Egg for a terrorist attack. Not that we thought that religion was all about peace, did we?