Kevin Di Camillo, ’92, a lecturer in Niagara University’s English department, will present his paper, “Jean Fouquet’s ‘The Melun Diptych’: Weaning in Kierkegaard’s ‘Fear and Trembling,’ and Melanie Klein’s ‘Love, Guilt, and Reparation’-- A Study in Kenosis and Theosis,” at the Eastern Division meeting of the American Philosophical Association. The meeting will be held in Philadelphia in January 2020.
Di Camillo’s 4,000-word paper examines Jean Fouquet’s iconic masterpiece, "The Melun Diptych," through the dual lenses of Kierkegaard's “Fear and Trembling” and Melanie Klein's “Love, Guilt, and Reparation,” and how all of these are linked to the theotic/kenotic Christ. The 15th century artwork, which had been divided in two and displayed in Antwerp, Belgium, and Berlin, Germany, depicts protomartyr and protodeacon Saint Stephen with the patron of the piece, Etienne Chevalier, on the left-hand side, and a Madonna and Child on the right. In September 2017, the two pieces were rejoined, for only the second time, at Berlin’s Gemaldegalerie der Staatlichen Museen for a year and a half.
“I've always been fascinated by ‘The Melun Diptych,’ mainly because, for years, I had no idea that the verso side and the recto were originally one work of art,” Di Camillo said. “The fact that both Kierkegaard and Klein speak of the philosophy and psychology of the relation between weaning and the exposure of the mother’s breast ties in with the Blessed Virgin Mary in Fouquet's masterpiece. No one seems to have made this Kierkegaard/Klein/Fouquet connection so far. I look forward to sharing it with a group of philosophers in January.”