The Image of Dragons: Prohibited

Screen Shot 2015-09-29 at 9.47.56 AMDavid Whitehouse highlights an interesting conundrum for the connoisseur of gold-glass. On what looks like a blue plate, a golden Daniel is depicted as holding a cake to which he is presumably offering—with less than honorable intentions—to the apocryphal worm of Bel and the Dragon.[1] What makes this particularly intriguing is that same book’s ridicule of idols.[2] Daniel worships the living God and “may not worship idols made with hands.”[3] This raises an interesting question prompted by Whitehouse’s summary of gold-glass: what is one to do with an image depicting a narrative that prohibits the use of images?[4]

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[1] David Whitehouse, “Glass, Gold, and Gold-Glasses,” Expedition 38.2 (1996): 9. [2] Bel and the Dragon, vv. 5 and 7. [3] Ibid. [4] Perhaps conflating “idol” with “image” here, the stress on Daniel’s “may not” seems to hint at an aniconism that extends to both idols and images. Or maybe I got it all wrong and I’m only posting this because I like the way the first sentence sounds when read aloud.

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