22 JÉSUS PREFIGURED However, here, borrowing their hues from those of the parousia promised at the end of time, the colors are those of the original dawn, the first sunrise of the light on the creation of life. This grandiose and moving work is intended to be contemplated like a divine liturgy which, according to the Orthodox soul of Aivazovsky, is a celebration of the holy mysteries. To those who take the trouble to enter into it, it comes to reveal what will be the manifesto of the symbolist movement in art and literature: the essential dimension of the visible is the invisible, is The Invisible. Artist, “you contemplate your soul,” testifies Baudelaire: in these “bitter chasms,” beyond the foam of the hatred with the dark clouds of evil overhanging them, you discern in yourself the image of the Creator; you reflect his light and you forever speak his benevolent design according to the expressions of the Beautiful, the Good, and the True. n Christ, the Alpha and the Omega ca. 350 Fresco, 24 x 28 in Rome, Catacombs of Commodilla This paleo-Christian fresco is one of the very earliest representations of Jesus, the first “institutional” front view, framed. The message transmitted by the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet— Alpha and Omega—announces Jesus as the beginning and the accomplishment of human history. Saint Paul evokes how Jesus is the Alpha of our history: He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together (Col 1:15-17).