Charles R. Knight was always one of my favorite artists. He is best known for the paintings he executed for our country’s great museums–paintings that make prehistoric ages come alive.
This is one of his renditions of Uintatherium, a walking fortress that exists no more. Well, naturally I’m going to groove on the prehistoric animals. But lately it’s been another aspect of Knight’s paintings that has captured my imagination.
Look closely. Take your time. Ignore the creature and study the landscape. I don’t know about you, but I would just about swear that Knight’s prehistoric landscapes were real places that he’d visited.
I know about that. I dream of places that are only real when I dream them. In fact, that’s how Bell Mountain started.
I know nothing of Charles R. Knight’s religious beliefs. But I believe that if the Holy Spirit wants to use you, He will, regardless of what you believe. If we approach Knight’s possibly real, possibly imaginary places in the right frame of mind, the Spirit might touch us, too.
God created the world and all living things, and pronounced them good. If He has Uintatherium safely tucked away in some unguessed-at corner of His universe, I wouldn’t be surprised if it were in a place just like the one Knight painted.
And who would be more surprised to discover that than Charles Knight himself?
Hi, Mr. Nature here again–with one of my favorite artists, Charles R. Knight.
This is his famous painting of Megaloceros, the “Irish Elk,” the deer with the biggest antlers ever. Best known from the Ice Age, there have always been stories of this creature surviving into historical times in Ireland. No one’s been able to prove it, or disprove it.
Ice Age people saw it, though. They hunted it, ate it, and painted its picture on the walls of caves.
This is just one of incalculably many creatures that we can’t find anymore. My own belief is that God, with the whole universe at His disposal, has put them elsewhere. Maybe someday God will let us see these animals again.
I sometimes wonder if He might have given Charles R. Knight a peek at them.
Sometimes writing about current events just wears me out. For refreshment, I turn to God’s handiwork.
Behold the woolly mammoth, as painted by the great Charles R. Knight. This was the first prehistoric animal I fell in love with. I used to dream about them. A truck would sound its horn at night, out on Route 1, and I would think it was a mammoth calling to the other mammoths.
And I don’t know why, but somehow I conceived the notion that my Aunt Betty, the nun, had the ability to obtain for me a mammoth of my own, and I used to pester her about it. Give me a break, I think I was only five years old. Poor Aunt Betty. She made me a little toy mammoth out of some kind of fur. Well, she tried. If I still had that toy, it would be among my treasures. But not as great a treasure as she herself would be.
When God restores His whole creation, I’m sure there will be mammoths once again. And we will enjoy them with our loved ones.