D A N I E L
B O N N E L L
Thesis by Daniel Bonnell Presented for MFA Degree on 2012
Kenosis, Lectio Divina, and the Lessons of a Grocery Bag
My art is an extension of my faith that follows the path of the mystics. Such a direction has led me to produce paintings that are of a humble means that depict a desire to be held within a sacred space.
I have discovered through formal contemplative writings two valuable dynamics that apply directly to art of great heights. These elements are wrapped around the mystic practice of Lectio Divina, and the theological term of kenosis. With this thesis I will present valuable proof of these mystical definitions, their importance to twenty-first century formal aesthetics, and reveal how they embrace my creative processes and painting.
My first experience with a valuable work of art was as a nine-year-old boy at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. The Italian Pavilion had one of Italy’s prized possessions on display, Michelangelo’s Pieta. The dramatic impact of this single piece of sculpture established an internal theme and direction for me later as an artist. It was the emotional dynamic of being embraced or held, presented in a sacred space. There is always a mystery that surrounds important art and the power it contains to define its own staging. That secret is that all of us have an innate need to be held. From birth to death we are held and we continue to seek it throughout life. A whole universe defines being held. An ozone layer holds the atmosphere; gravity holds us as a globe, a special force holds even electrons and protons.
This thesis defines the formulation of being held within a sacred space by unpacking the term kenosis (Greek for emptying) and the phrase, Lectio Divina, (Latin for divine reading). It is
through revealing these two dynamic and unusual processes that my art emerges as a result.
Part I CONTEMPLATIVE ART
I am a mystic. I don’t go to a church or the synagogue.
For me, working is praying. –Marc Chagall
As a boy I watched a fictitious TV show called My Favorite Martian. As I grew I watched events on the same TV that appeared to be fictitious but were real, such as the Apollo 11 landing on the moon. Reality and truth became distorted. For most of my life I felt the same way towards the mystics or the contemplatives.
What is mysticism? Steven Fanning describes it well in his book Mystics The Christian Tradition that records,
No word in the English language has been employed more loosely than ‘Mysticism.’ Sometimes it is used as an equivalent for symbolism or allegorism, sometimes for theosophy or occult science; and sometimes it merely suggests the mental state of a dreamer, or vague and fantastic
opinions about God and the world. At one extreme is the philosophical and theological concept of mysticism as a union, with the divine so close, that all distinction between the mystic and the divine is obliterated. At the other extreme ‘mystical’ is sometimes regarded as a synonym for the
occult or simply for the weird. 2
Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse, Bill Viola and other artists evoked a spiritual dynamic in their work. For Matisse it was his chapel in Vence, France. For Chagall
his expressions became stained glass windows for the Catholic Church. For Viola it draws upon his ethos as a Buddhist as in his video called Impermanence, which contemplates stillness. For me, (a spiritual ethos is held higher than any work of art that I could ever produce. In my fifties I have discovered there is nothing fictitious about such a pilgrimage, the mystical is not weird, and its gravity is far greater to me than any moon landing.
Six years ago I accepted a job teaching at-risk high school students in the inner city of Savannah, Georgia. Sometimes we all do things not knowing why.
One of the inner directives I told myself was, “If I can somehow survive this job it will make me a better painter.” Following an intuition, I have survived an unreasonable decision. As a result of this learned dynamic, I experience a larger tolerance towards my journey as an artist. I also found that what I had experienced was commonly known as knowing through unknowing, the most common mystic mindset.
Throughout life all of us experience moments of intuition that appear to go against all reason. They are choices we make that can transform us in a moment. Sometimes it is choosing what not to carry with us throughout life. Rather than living to obtain I found the opposite to be true, living to subtract, to give away or to empty oneself is the transformative catalyst which is kenosis.
I found this practice as an artist by embracing modest mediums. I taught myself to reframe my perceived definition of art by embracing aesthetic over medium, and poverty of spirit as beauty. I discovered true seeing as upside down from my otherwise normal perceptions. My external, ethnocentric American dream, to obtain and own, is actually a yearning to be embraced securely.
Like Alice, in wonderland, chasing the rabbit down the hole; my sight became inverted. I found myself painting on grocery bags (figure 3) instead of expensive canvas, and using miss-tinted house paint instead of fine oils and brushes.
This practice of learning by unlearning has been well defined in the book The Cloud of Unknowing written by an unknown mystic 600 years ago. The installation artist, Susan Shantz describes the influence that The Cloud of Unknowing played on her art and life, through one of her lectures written in the book Reclaiming the Spiritual in Art. She states,
The book recounts, first-hand, its medieval author’s spiritual
experience of apolphaticism . . . a “negative way, “ a knowing
by unknowing, which means more than simply an absence of
knowledge but asks as well for a surrender of ego, a receptive
waiting for the hidden god.
Within such a paradigm the way up is actually the way down. Subtraction is greater than addition. The medium is not the message. My established aesthetic can be found in the art of James Hampton, a virtually unheard of artist.
James Hampton’s Miracle
Every day for fourteen years an African American custodian by the name of James Hampton (1909-1964) would spend his evenings in a rented garage. It became his studio space to create a work that has puzzled the art world for decades.
He would often work till dawn, as if he were a hermit secluding himself from the world. His single piece of art was made of discarded materials that he found at work. The title of the artwork was called The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations Millennium General Assembly.
There are 180 pieces in the overall configuration (figure 4). Presently it sits in the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. This work is more than just an important piece of sacred art; it represents a “poverty of spirit” in its modest construction,
Unlike churches that established a narrative on their ceilings, I seek to create work that is born out of a narrative but reaches a place to speak to a visual spiritual vibration. Large scale paintings allow the formal surface textures to speak as stressed, aged, skin depicting scars as evidence and anguish.
Hampton’s art, by painting on the modest material of grocery bags. Another symbol would be the layering of the bags as skin. Grocery bags represent a hard life as they carry sustenance.
The mediums of miss-tinted house paint, candle wax, and crayons reflect a modest manner of beauty through poverty. A candle melted on the surface symbolizes the use of wax representing prayers within the traditional Catholic Church. My paintings are large doors, providing spiritual portals of contemplation.
The following chart represents twenty seven creative formal elements that I have
found in both contemplative writing and formal elements of contemporary art. Only the contemplative formal elements of Lectio Divina, and kenosis, are without a visual formalism equal. It is these two dynamics of mysticism that I practice in my art and reveal in this thesis
VISUAL APPEALS TO THE SOUL CREATIVE OVERLAY CHART by Daniel Bonnell
CONTEMPLATIVE MIND SET VISUAL FORMALISM EXAMPLE
Harmony of Spirit Form Bird in flight1
Gregorian Chant Color Primitive Color2
The Cathedral, cell Volume Untitled, 19673
Eucharist Symbolism Symbolist Manner
Meditation Composition Untitled 19694
Meditation–Action& Union Critique Critiques
Meditation Temperament Gestalt Appropriation theory
Atmosphere of Worship Lighting Saturation/hue/value
Liturgical Mediation Repetition Visual patterns
Conscience Safely Exposes Primitive expression
Silence Usage of white White on White 2
Nakedness of Spirit Nudes La Orana Maria3
Exegesis Theory Pictures to a Dead Hare8
Levitation Metaphysical Leap into the Void9
Prayer Art as Practice All art
Mindfulness Theory on Aesthetics Modern Art
Mindfulness Time The Decisive Moment
Mindfulness Levels Gradation The Zone System
Splendor Veritatis15 Senses Spiral Jetty10
Ritual Repetition/Patterns Running Fence11
Devotions Zen/Asian Dynamics Metaphysical works
Spiritual Direction Critique Kaminski’s Triangle
Concentration and Unity Rhythm Mondrian theory
Hermeneutics Theory Kantian thought
Labyrinth Balance Positive/negative
Lectino Divina none none
Kenosis none none
(examples are listed in citation below)
1Constantin Brancusi’s, Bird in Space, MET
2 Kandinsky’s, Circle between two poles of primitive antitheses of color,
Concerning the Spiritual in Art
3 Donald Judd, Untitled, 1967, The Helman Collection, New York
Kasimir Malevich Suprematist Composition, White on White, MOMA
4 ( see color plate #4) Jerry N. Uelsmann, Untitled.1969 Gelatin-silver print,
The Art Institute of Chicago
Paul Gaugin,Ia Orana Maria Aka Hail Mary, 1891, MET
8 Joseph Beuys, How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare, 1965 Dusseldorf
9 Yves Klein, Leap into the Void, 1960
10 Robert Smithson, Spiral Jetty, 1970
11 Christos, Running Fence,
15 Splendor Veritatis is the latin term used for radiance of truth.
The Sacred Something Else
Comparing contemplative formalism elements with those of painting allows us to see the similarities through comparing and contrasting.
From seeing the visual transcendence of music, Kandinsky elevated his painting to great heights. Rainer Maria Rilke, the renowned German poet, sought an inner depth of seeing as Cezanne did in the hope of elevating his poetry to the painter’s level of focus. As one matrix of creative expression is overlaid with another means of expression, the formal dynamics expand. It is this expansion that I endeavor to embrace.
The expansion of Lectio Divina, and kenosis within my work will be unpacked and processed as this thesis evolves. A bridge to understanding this process is to observe that which I call, a sacred something else.
An excellent example of two mediums of art merging is that of Rilke and Cezanne. I too had the privilege of working with a poet. Together, we produced a project called Crossing the Divide.
A British, full time, published poet, John Lindley, produced a body of fifty-two poems written directly from my paintings. We thought it would be interesting to take his creative gift and merge it with my sacred paintings to see what would emerge as something else. We did this by having no contact with each other in regards to my interpretation of my art. Lindley, could write about the art is if each painting were a found object. The important dynamic here is that Lindley, unlike
myself, is an atheist. Could the pursuit of two different creative mediums come together to form a third creative dynamic of expression? If the two philosophical positions of the artists differ can their creative gifts still connect?
The end result was a very successful collaboration. The poems developed by Lindley were so dynamic that it appeared as if the paintings not only inspired the poems, but that the poems inspired the paintings. They were both on the same creative level or visual tone. In fact, one poem written after my painting, The Annunciation, won Lindley the Manchester Cathedral Poet of the Year 2010. The poem and painting are seen in combination below.
[Description: The Annunciation] Annunciation by John Lindley
You come with your bad news ticking in your mouth, fan the giant brag of your wings,
open your 'nothing up my sleeve' hands
and magic her a gift that must be paid for.
You find her where she'd not be found –
in the shadow of betrothal, declare her the chosen vessel for the chosen one and lodge a weight in her womb that grows like rumor.
Ever after she might tell this tale, truthfully, sheepishly to all who'll listen:
how feathers fell from the sky in the shape of a man, how he spoke a seed into her unopened sex,
how, after the gentlest, most shocking of rapes,
he left the scene of the crime
letting the white light of witchcraft
confetti down on her from above.
The sacred something else, is born out of the two creative gifts merging into a third form. There is no conflict here, no ethos of belief lording itself over the two artists; just a respect for two gifts coming together. It is the maturing of the gifts coming forward to serve each other. It is also the need for the artists to step back or out of the way and become a student in doing so. The gift within knows far more than myself, or John Lindley.
As with the poetry of Lindley, I seek to expand my painting through the readings of the contemplatives. To embrace the Lectio Divina, (divine reading) and kenosis (to empty myself out that I may be filled again).
Part II FORMAL DISCIPLINES
There are two types of students; the slow ones who use much exertion of will and stubborn labor and the quick one. The quick one is like a beautiful flower unfolding; delighting the eye in bloom, but all too often to just as quickly fade and lose its attractiveness. The slow way is more certain toward attainment, development of discipline and a deep regard for effort. –Robert Henri
One day while I was teaching my special needs high school class I witnessed a brilliant concept from one of my students. His name was Bubba, a typical southern name, yet he looked to me like his name should be Charles or Ethan. Bubba was sitting at his desk drawing circles one after another on a large sheet of paper. After a moment, he stopped and I turned to the student sitting behind him. “Hey look Herbert, I’m a redneck doing cubism!” Herbert just stared in confusion as Bubba
enjoyed his personal revelation. Like Bubba’s revelation, artistic concepts take on different shades of meaning and forms, revealing themselves in new and creative ways. Developing a strong conceptual understanding of cubism first created the concept of a redneck doing cubism. In my painting the concepts of two contemplative creative disciplines are expressed; the process of Lectio Divina and kenosis.
Lectio Divina is a practice that was first expressed in the year 220A.D. and continued by Trappist Monks during the medieval era. Four stages transform the content into the reader: comprehension, gestalt knowledge, contemplation, and the fourth stage transforms the reader from a written reading to a divine reading. The last stage represents the gist of Lectio Divina.
In my process of painting I apply this practice by reading and understanding a concept that is born out of scripture. I then digest it within its original context and language, obtaining a clear interpretation. The next step is to meditate or contemplate the scripture, and the last stage is to visualize it. This purging of mind and spirit is a painful discipline to arrive at and can be a form of self-imposed suffering.
One painter who appears to have discovered creativity within contemplation was the painter Agnes Martin (1912-2004). With regards to the aspect of suffering at that level of contemplation, she says, “Suffering is necessary for freedom from suffering.” She writes:
It is a consolation even to plants and animals. Do you think that it is unique?
If it were unique no one would be able to respond to your work. Do not think that it is unique. Do not think that it is reserved for a few or anything like that.
It is an untroubled mind.” Of course we know that at last so we say that inspiration
comes and goes but really it is there all the time waiting for us to be untroubled again.
Agnes Martin would sit in front of an empty canvas in a small pure white room. She would
wait on inspiration to come to her as if it were a friend that came to coffee every day at a certain hour. Her inspiration only came from purging her mind and spirit in order to listen to her muse within. Martin approaches each painting by waiting for inspiration via an idea or theme. She sat before her canvas contemplating the concept or thought. She saw the image that defines the concept in her minds-eye. Her ability to transcribe the image makes her to a conductor of creativity from the original inspiration. She is transformed by the image, which has now come forth or birthed out of her hand. This is the process of Lectio Divina, an inspired reading of her canvas through a four-step process. This can only occur through the action of kenosis, or emptying out the mind, such as stress, fear, and mind-soup. She was an empty vessel capable of receiving waves of inspiration that always exists, like air.
We suffocate our lives with angst, money pursuits, and living in projections of the future. To my own conviction, I have lived most of my life in this toxic state. Now, I embrace my humanity with dysfunctional baggage. I empty myself out by buying the monster of regret a drink. I practice kenosis, listening, and seeing like Martin did.
Such is my pursuit in my painting and my pursuit of sacred spaces.
Kenosis is a contemplative dynamic of being emptied or poured out. A Christian
theological term, it forms the doctrine that Christ relinquished His divine attributes so as to experience human suffering.
When I start a new work many finished paintings are sacrificed, or poured out, emptying themselves into a newer painting. I tear up a painting and only savor the best elements of the work. Those elements are then glued down onto another canvas of grocery bags.
This process of purgation, of one painting into another, defines my use of the word kenosis. It is a continuum of the symbol of Christ within a sacrificial pursuit. I practice this new visual discipline as a choice by abandoning my former visual voice.
In so doing I seek a higher plane of seeing. My old formal elements only offered a limited visual vocabulary, unable to carry me to a deeper realm of mystery. The best evidence of this pursuit is shown within my painting The Good Samaritan at the Door of the Inn, depicting my previous visual voice.
Another form of kenosis can be found in the work of Kasimir Malevich (1879-1935), the Russian painter and founder of Suprematism. This philosophy interprets sight with visual vibrations of emotion. It is seeing with your senses. Malevich teaches us about seeing in a new symbolic realm through his painting White on White (figure 14). He takes form and places it into a higher vocabulary, a sacred vocabulary. The outer
form embraces the imperfect inner form. The outer form is the observer embracing the inner form, the observed. Form becomes power. Malevich’s eyes of flesh become eyes of fire. Like Moses before the burning bush, the sandals come off; because he now stands within a sacred space, a holy ground. The symbol (square) becomes an allegory for the unseen God. The power of the Pieta is seen here. Mary holds the Christ. What we are witnessing is seeing a symbolic form of being present. The outer square is present to the inner square but it takes the viewer to be present to see the formation-within-a-formation. Being present in the moment is all there is
here. Time does not exist. If we compare Frank Stella’s minimal squares to those of Malevich we go from holy to human.
The most comprehensive and insightful readings on Malevich appear in the book An Art of Our Own, The Spiritual in Twentieth Century Art by Roger Lipsey. He explains the work of Malevich bit by bit, as building blocks of understanding into the mind of this contemplative-directed artist towards seeing a new world within the fourth dimension. It appears the essence of Malevich’s work was embracing a new, non-objective, non-material, spiritual realm of pure sensation. Quoting Malevich, Lipsey writes, “I have transformed myself in the zero of form and have fished myself out of the rubbishy slough of academic art.”
Malevich mysteriously enters a new realm of seeing by emptying himself of the known realm of seeing. Such a pilgrimage follows directly with the path of the spiritual seers of the mystics and contemplatives who know through unknowing.
They learn to listen in silence to the fourth dimension, the eternal, as Malevich observes by seeing in the fourth dimension, into an eternal realm expressed by
emotional vibrations; therefore Malevich gives us another form of kenosis or emptying out aesthetic. It is the purging of our presumptuous perspectives. Reframing our thinking or seeing is also related to rethinking the space that art holds. All space surrounding art becomes something else, if not sacred. The art transforms the space or the space transforms the art. As Picasso said to Braque once, “Something sacred, that’s it.”
Four renowned artists made a stance for such a sacred or spiritual position in 1943, they were Hans Hofmann, Barnett Newman, Adolph Gottlieb and Mark Rothko. Their partial declaration in a New York Times column states,
Genuine art has to deal with man’s eternal condition.
It is a widely accepted notion among painters, that it
does not matter what one paints as long as it is well painted.
This, the statement continues, is the essence
of academicism. There is no such thing as good
painting about nothing. We assert that the subject is
crucial, and only the subject matter is valid, which is
tragic and timeless. That is why we profess spiritual
kinship with primitive and archaic art.
A tie to primitive art that these great artists speak of harkens back to the catacombs of the early Christians in hiding (figure 15). Their innocent mosaic paintings of worship served them as a means to contemplate the essential dynamics of their new faith. The important dynamics mentioned by these artists describe important elements within my pursuit of a sacred art and a sacred space. Their message brings gravity to my position. Thus, I paint on grocery bags, seeking an innocence of medium through using miss-tinted house paint, with the archaic concept of creating a sacred space exhibiting only such humble pieces.
Part III THE MODERN DAY ICON
To transform height, width, and depth into two dimensions is for me an experience full of magic in which I glimpse for a moment the fourth dimension, which my whole being is seeking. –Max Beckman
I paint modern day icons that act as windows of transcendence. The paintings are suspended from the ceiling, one foot away from the wall. This large relief allows for a dramatic shadow. The sacred attitude here is to treat the paintings as if they were holy scrolls or biblical manuscripts.
The paintings roll up as a parchment and are suspended as if levitating. I also arrange the lighting as if an aura were being emitted. In figure 16, Good Friday, is depicted (the day of Christ’s crucifixion). Each piece of color is made from sections of other paintings that were then extracted and placed inside the work. Within this painting the use of black is depicted as embracing the essence of the color. To the mystics darkness was not a negative but a positive. Darkness or black brings forth a form of semiotic faith beyond sight. Frank Stella often painted with black latex house paint as well; using it as a tool to dissolve the distinctions of foreground and background. Such use of black defined his painting having presence within itself. Another form of presence is the use of smell.
Lost in the Labyrinth
It has been my experience that sacred painting has been accepted back into the fold as long as it’s beyond, above or outside of any spiritual context. The journey to create sacred art within a secular realm is a journey; into a labyrinth, dualistic tensions arise that can cause the viewer to misconstrue meaning and context. The labyrinth is then transformed into a temple of money changers; exposing the ignorance of the religious while dodging closed secular land-mines
of religious bias. My quest is to create a sacred space that holds these two creative tensions, a space that embraces the viewer as if being held no matter what their social, political, ethnic, or religious background dictates.
There exists another form of dualism between the painter creating art for the gallery, or patron. It is this form of dualism that sabotages the artist’s creativity. A double-minded artist is only half creative. An artist’s true expression must be partitioned from the business of art. Therefore, a non-dualistic mind needs to be established for any artist to be honest and direct with their art. Such a mindset is the ongoing pursuit of all contemplative prayer and writing as a model that purges all foreign artistic toxins such as ego, value, and recognition.
I have come to terms with my own two-fold reality, as if I were creatively
I seek to hold a creative tension within my art, between known and unknown, flesh and spirit, life and death, secular and religious. I work this way in order to allow a sacred non-dualistic space of kenosis (being poured out) and within the process of Lectio Divina
(the process of being transformed by a reading, or concept). Both of these practices of the contemplatives reveal themselves as being undiscovered pearls, treasure in hiding, and visual appeals to the soul. They are aesthetics that go beyond formal considerations of art and enable me to see that the mystery of seeing is seeing the mystery. It is within this ethos that I am held.
Dysinger, Fr. Luke, Accepting the Embrace of God: The Ancient Art of
Lectio Divina, http://www.valyermo.com/ld-art.html
Fanning, Steven, Mystics The Christian Tradition, England, Routlege Publishers, 2001
Fineberg, Jonathan, Art Since 1940 Strategies of Being, Third Edition, Prentice Hall, 2009
Gatta, Julia, Three Spiritual Directors, Cowley Publishers, Cadridge, MA 1986
Geldzahler, Henry, New York Painting and Sculpture: 1940-1970 New York: Dutton, 1969
Harold Rosenber, Metaphysical Feelings in Modern Art, Critical Inquiry, Vol.2, No. 2 (Winter, 1975), pp.217-232
Harrison Charles & Wood, Paul, Art in Theory, 1900-2000, An Anthology of Changing Ideas, Malden, MA Blackwell Publishing 2003. P.568
Henri, Robert, The Art Spirit, J.B. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia, 1960
Hinkle, Beatrice, The Psychology of the Artist, Publisher unknown
Huges, Robert, American Visions, Time Magazine, 1997
La Cour, Donna Ward ,Artists in Quotation, McFarland and Co., London 1989
Lipsey, Roger, An Art of Our Own The Spiritual in Twentieth Century Art,
Boston, MA, Shambhala, 1988
Martin, Agnes ,The Untroubled Mind (1972), Contemporary Art A Sourcebook of Artist’s, Univ. of CA Press, 1996
Perlmutter, Dawn and Koppman, Debra, Reclaiming the Spiritual in Art,
State University of New York Press
Writings, Stiles, Kristine & Selz, Peter, University of California Press, 1996
Zaller, Robert, Anselm Kiefer Confronts Jewish History, Broad Street Review, http://www.broadstreetreview.com
 Steven Fanning, Mystics The Christian Tradition, Hampshire, England, Routlege Publishers, 2001,p44.
 Dawn Perlmutter and Debra Koppman, Reclaiming the Spiritual in Art, New York City, State Univ. NYPress, 1999, p.6
Dawn Perlmutter and Debra Koppman, Reclaiming the Spiritual in Art, New York, State University of New York Press, 1999, p.23
 Huges, Robert “American Visions”, Time Magazine, Special Issue, Spring, 1997
 Note: Referencing the book Letters on Cezanne. The great German poet discovered the art of Paul Cezanne during a Parisian sojourn in 1907, just two years after the artist's death. "All reality is on his side," Rilke wrote of Cezanne's paintings. This collection of short letters, written by Rilke to his wife Clara, is often cited, as among the most insightful works of western art criticism.
La Cour, Donna Ward, Artists in Quotation, London, McFarland and Co., 1989,
 Dysinger, Fr. Luke, Accepting the Embrace of God: The Ancient Art of Lectio Divina, http://www.valyermo.com/ld-art.html (06/01/2012)
 Stiles, Kristine, The Untroubled Mind, CA, University of California Press, 1996Agnes Martin, (1972)
 Lipsey, Roger, An Art of Our Own The Spiritual in Twentieth Century Art, Boston, Shambhala, 1988
 Fourth dimension, defined: space is the first three dimensions, and there may be more spatial dimensions that we cannot observe or interact with. See, http://www.jimloy.com/physics/4d.htm
 Lipsey, Roger, An Art of Our Own The Spiritual in Twentieth Century Art, Boston, Shambhala, 1988
 Harrison, Charles & Wood, Paul, Art in Theory, 1900-2000, An Anthology of Changing Ideas Malden, MA, Blackwell Publishing 2003. P.568
 La Cour, Donna Ward, Artists in Quotation, London, McFarland and Co., 1989,
 Frankincense was used by High Priests within the Holy of Holies. The most revered sacred space.
Myrrh was the perfumed ointment used to embalm a body. Both were presented to Christ at his birth and at his death.
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