Vowels are forces of rest, heart forces. Where there is restlessness and chaos, they order, form, point to the essential. Actually, they have no external movement. Their principle is radiation, the presence, the role model. They act as invisible magnetic fields that structure the space and even give support when the exterior is removed.
In the painting by Giovanni Donato da Montorfano you can see the vowel gestures for "U", "E", "A" and "O", in the gestures of the four angels from left to right. Each of the four angels gathered around the crucified Christ represents a different quality of soul with his gesture. Mary Magdalene, huddled at the foot of the cross, and Christ's open gesture, together express a central aspect of the "I" gesture.
450 Years before the birth of eurythmy, the basic eurythmic gestures of all five vowels of the alphabet have already been displayed in this painting on the south wall of the dining room of the Dominican convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan. As we explore the individual vowels, I will try to interpret the painterly execution of these five gestures and relate them to the events of the Crucifixion.
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