VISIONARY REVUE

THE ADORATION OF PAN
(1979)

THE ADORATION
OF PAN-THEISM


      These three panels, measuring three metres across and almost two metres high, offer a stunning vision of the En to Pan - the One who is All. Taken as a whole, they constitute Johfra’s greatest expression of the Pan-theistic philosophy.


PAN
(1980)

      The satyr-god Pan was venerated particularly by the shepherds of Arcadia. Half man, half ram (or goat), he had curling horns, cloven hooves, and carried the pan pipe. Lazy, mischievous, and lusty, he is remembered primarily for seducing nymphs, causing pan-ic, and inspiring general pan-demonium. Johfra dedicated a pastoral painting to this god, and he appears there calm and reposed.



 
 
 


PARIS - SPRING 2003


UNIO MYSTICA (1973)

      The satyr-god Pan is clearly not the central focus of The Adoration of Pan. For this work, Johfra has returned to the iconography of Baphomet already seen in the Witches’ Sabbath. The Horned God in that painting was the focus of Nature’s all-creative power, and he plays the same symbolic role in this work.
      He is invoked as Pan, primarily because the Greek word ‘pan’ means ‘all’. This is particularly noticeable in the word Pan-theism, which means that the god or gods are present in all things. The title of the painting may be better understood as The Adoration of ‘the All’.
      
In this regard, it is interesting to compare this, the greatest of Johfra’s Pantheist works, with The Unio Mystica, the greatest of his Hermetic works. While the Pantheist triptych expresses The Adoration of ‘the All’, the Hermetic triptych expresses, by contrast, The Adoration of ‘the One’. This reflects a spiritual dilemma which seems to have obsessed Johfra at the time: is the Sacred to be found above, in the One, or here below, as the All?
      A closer examination of the Pan triptych reveals an important structuring element. There are four principle streams of figures: one emerges from the fire on the far right, a second emerges from the water in the centre, and the third emerges from the earth on the left, while the fourth emerges from the air in the heavens - earth, air, fire, water. The painting is, primarily, the mixture of the four elements, which find their union in ‘the all’ in the centre.
      What idea underlies this image of the four elements spiralling into union at their centre?



 
 
 


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