Starry Biplane


This riff on a very conventional looking Christian oil painting by N. C. Wyeth (1882 – 1945), entitled ‘The Sign in the Heavens which the Judean Shepherds Watching Their Flocks See this Year’ differs only from the conventional Christian iconography in having a biplane as the subject of the shepherds’ gaze. Dating from 1918, it reflects the appearance of aircraft in the skies of Judea, as in many other areas of the middle east, and around the world for the first time, as a result of the Great War of 1914 – 1918. As a further irony, a pirate version for commercial sale apparently exists where the aircraft has been replaced by the more expected star.

James Kightly, Vintage Aero Writer.

Image from the Brandywing River Museum collection – source.

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