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Question About A Painting Titled 'The Conspiracy'

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posted on Mar, 31 2016 @ 10:35 AM
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I accidentally found a beautiful, and not well known painting online by French painter Jean Joseph Benjamin-Constant. (1845-1902) He was mostly famous for painting oriental paintings and portraits.

So, I kept looking at the painting and something caught my eye. Now, I really don't know what it means and was wondering maybe someone here knows, and could shed some light on it for me.

The painting is called : The conspiracy

My first question:Which conspiracy is it depicting? (Looking at the clothing my best guess it shows something that occurred in medieval times, perhaps could be Oriental and European clothing.)



Link to bigger version of painting: artuk.org...

Second question: What is on the cross?

Here's an inverted version I made and some smaller, cropped out ones.







Now most paintings with the crucifix have the letters INRI on them. "Iesvs Nazarenvs Rex Ivdaeorvm" Meaning Jesus of Nasareth, the king of Jews. (From Latin to English.)

I clearly see something else on the cross in the painting, and it is not INRI.
To me it looks more like :
INS
XR5

What does that mean? What does it stand for? Am I seeing it wrong?
Please could someone clarify this for me? I'm out of ideas.

edit on 31-3-2016 by Harut because: added link

edit on 31-3-2016 by Harut because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 31 2016 @ 10:42 AM
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a reply to: Harut

That is not oriental dress.

It is probably Roman Catholic high garb, worn by the likes of the Pope and his underlings.

And as for the inscription, indeed, it does not appear standard, but I am looking at the image and it appears to say XFS or XES on the bottommost panel.



posted on Mar, 31 2016 @ 10:51 AM
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originally posted by: TrueBrit
a reply to: Harut

That is not oriental dress.

It is probably Roman Catholic high garb, worn by the likes of the Pope and his underlings.

And as for the inscription, indeed, it does not appear standard, but I am looking at the image and it appears to say XFS or XES on the bottommost panel.


I know nothing of this painting but the artists other works include many oriental and Arabic figures in paintings.. probably because of morrocan influence.
So could well be Arabic dress.



posted on Mar, 31 2016 @ 10:52 AM
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a reply to: TrueBrit

Thanks for your input, about the cross and the garments.
I wonder if anyone knows more about this painting and what it says on the cross, and why.



posted on Mar, 31 2016 @ 10:56 AM
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a reply to: Misterlondon

Agreed in terms of the history of the painter, but the iconography, worn on the chest of the man in the almost entirely gold regalia, and in the background suggest a more western tilt to the whole thing.



posted on Mar, 31 2016 @ 10:58 AM
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a reply to: Misterlondon

Thanks, I'm not an expert on garments, the only reason I mentioned Oriental is because I read the painter spent about 16 months abroad, and was influenced by it.

But which conspiracy is this painting showing?



posted on Mar, 31 2016 @ 11:01 AM
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a reply to: Harut

You could look up Papal conspiracies, the Knights Templar, and any information you can find on the painters movements around the time of the painting being rendered. That might be instructive.



posted on Mar, 31 2016 @ 11:12 AM
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a reply to: Harut

Also check out Greek Orthodoxy links, since the XES could refer to the saintly name Xerome. Interesting...

*strokes beard*



posted on Mar, 31 2016 @ 11:12 AM
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a reply to: Harut

I think the painting speaks for itself ... but whether this is a particular conspiracy within the church at the time of the painter or the more general conspiracy of Church/Religion shared by members of the Enlightenment of those times

It is great painting ... no doubt it will mean different things to different people.
I see men sat about in the finery of religious office posing as agents of "God" ... one with his hand on what I would assume to be the Bible
You can almost hear the discussion between these men ... "So how are we going to spin this"



posted on Mar, 31 2016 @ 11:14 AM
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originally posted by: TrueBrit
a reply to: Harut

That is not oriental dress.

It is probably Roman Catholic high garb, worn by the likes of the Pope and his underlings.

And as for the inscription, indeed, it does not appear standard, but I am looking at the image and it appears to say XFS or XES on the bottommost panel.


I would agree. The third guy from the left has a cross on his garment.



posted on Mar, 31 2016 @ 11:18 AM
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originally posted by: TrueBrit
a reply to: Harut

Also check out Greek Orthodoxy links, since the XES could refer to the saintly name Xerome. Interesting...

*strokes beard*


Thanks, I'm working on it.



posted on Mar, 31 2016 @ 11:21 AM
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a reply to: Harut

XES means 666 in Greek ... according to the link I followed

www.abbreviations.com/XES
edit on 31-3-2016 by artistpoet because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 31 2016 @ 11:43 AM
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XES = SEX backwards



posted on Mar, 31 2016 @ 12:26 PM
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a reply to: Harut

Note that the man on the left is holding a book just above a solar emblem, almost like a wall standing between the 2 groups of men . What is that book, the Bible? Its placement seems somewhat significant.


edit on 31-3-2016 by windword because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 31 2016 @ 12:35 PM
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originally posted by: windword
a reply to: Harut

Note that the man on the left is holding a book just above a solar emblem, almost like a wall standing between the 2 groups of men . What is that book, the Bible? Its placement seems somewhat significant.



Yes, before I noticed the strange letters on the cross, the book was the first thing that caught my attention. I even tried zooming in on it, but couldn't make anything out on it.

So far all I know is this:
The painting was gifted to the Mayor of Newport by Mrs C H Bailey in 1924. The Montreal Museum of Fine Art wanted to borrow it to display in 2015 I think.

Link is pdf: democracy.newport.gov.uk...&%20Culture/20131021/Agenda/$978467%20-%20CONT717418.doc.pdf



posted on Mar, 31 2016 @ 12:35 PM
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a reply to: Harut

I haven't seen the painting before but it is quite the looker. Reminds me of work I've seen by Arnold Bocklin (my favorite)

I'm glad you shared this and have seen some great comments *cough cough ArtistPoet



posted on Mar, 31 2016 @ 12:49 PM
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Remembering the further back we go the more blasphemous it was to criticize the church. He painted this after the Spanish inquisition and after the separation of the powers of church and state. In France they had just had the revolution that was copy catted in America.

Still held in high regard (i guess), you couldn't badmouth the church only hint about it. So we have a painting containing all the icons of the church, and the men within the hierarchy seeming talking amongst themselves…

…we are left to our imagination what they are plotting. Who's next?

Back then a 'picture worth a thousand words' was still only one single stylized frame of events. They didn't have streaming downloads, tV or even photographs. Whole societies were formed to discuss the ramifications of single pieces of art. I bet all the characters are recognizable to everyone in their day, the meanings of the icons and their placement, endless books were written about it, too bad we lost all that to posterity.

Now we just go… huh, what? One day they will find computer discs in the ruins and be oblivious to the gigabits of data stored therein.



posted on Mar, 31 2016 @ 01:24 PM
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And his Conspiracy (above, around 1886) incorporates uncertain characters from a historical point of view in a sumptuous decor of rich colors embroidered hangings


Link in French:chainbearer54.rssing.com...


a reply to: intrptr

I was thinking the same thing that if it only says that it's a historical painting, surely the faces must be recognizable.

FamCore

I'm glad you liked it.
Now if only we could recognize the people in the painting.
edit on 31-3-2016 by Harut because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 31 2016 @ 01:37 PM
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Since it's said to be a historical painting , I got thinking, looking more at it.

It seems like the book is indeed a divider. Perhaps two parties from different religions getting together to hold truce/ or peace discussions.



posted on Mar, 31 2016 @ 01:40 PM
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Looks Byzantine to me.



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