Domingos Sequeira – Tobias heals the blindness of his father
… If Tobias walks a recognised Pilgrimage route when carrying out his Father’s instructions it would certainly go some way to explaining the presence of the two other Archangels in some of the paintings even though there is no mention of them in the story.
Tobias’ destination is just given as a ‘far distant land’ in the version we have but it,
maybe, cannot be too far distant if Tobit is related to the family Tobias stays with, which he is.
Curiously, all the angels look decidely feminine.
Michael could at a push be described as Androgenous,
Raphael and Gabriel are definitely Gyandros.
Gabriel’s ‘lily’ is orthodox…
Raphael’s ‘vial’ presumably holds eye ‘salve’ for Tobit…
The fish by this stage is purely symbolic…
But what of Michael’s golden apple?
An allusion to the Garden of the Hesperides, guarded by the many-headed dragon.
Ninevah and ‘large fish’ appear to be related and that is what originally excited us.
We were following the Johannine link, Jonah swallowed by the ‘Whale of God’ et al.
‘Make straight the way of the Lord!’
And the dog?
The dog in some of the depictions seems almost transparent.
Like a Phantom Dog!
Whatever, we shall call him Toby for he has to do with threes,
and is the right provenance and time,
and tradition for the link with the theatrical puppet-play to be sustained.
We were quite right about the word play on that one, all those years ago.
‘To be or not to be…’
It may even be that our Guardian Angel is three-fold.
Threes, in this tale certainly play their part.
Not least in the age of Tobit when he dies,
but I am not altogether sure whether a fish actually posseses
the attributed organs, which in itself maybe suggestive,
but if Sara ‘gets’ the ‘heart’ and Tobit gets the ‘gall’, who gets the ‘liver’?
Whether or not ‘Toby’ gets the liver, he always gets the sausages…