Constructing the Sacred Dramas: David Maxim’s Revealing Bible Stories

David Maxim, “Veronica” (from The Miracles), 1987. Acrylic on wood, cloth, canvas. 84 x 64 inches.

David Maxim, “Veronica” (from The Miracles), 1987. Acrylic on wood, cloth, canvas. 84 x 64 inches.

The miracle of the Sudarium, the veil of St. Veronica which took on the image of Christ’s face when she wiped his sweat from his brow, is not recorded in the Bible. Nevertheless, the legend has been an important one in Christian belief for centuries. Maxim’s picture presents us with something hidden beneath the cloth- perhaps the face of the Savior himself. The moment is pregnant with tension. It is the moment before the revelation. Veils play an important part in other Bible stories: Moses wears a veil to hide the glow that has settled on his face from being so close to God on Mt. Sinai, and at the moment of Christ’s death the veil of the temple dividing the Holy of Holies from the rest of the sanctuary is rent in two.