Tuesday, August 26, 2014

St.Philomena (St. Filumena)

St. Philomena (or Filumena) stands by the Tiber River with a rope around her neck and an anchor at the other end. The executioner awaits the word from emperor Diocletian. In the shadows of the archway her parents can be seen. Her mother, still pleading for her daughter to give up her vow to Christ and adore the Roman gods, is on her knees.  Her father having tried to convince her of the same stands unmoved behind his distraught wife. A few Christians on the right show their support.  An archer stands behind Diocletian; he will be called upon, with others, to shoot her with arrows, for the anchor will have no effect on drowning the girl and Philomena will miraculously rise from the Tiber, unharmed and completely dry!  The archers arrows will fail as well to kill her; in fact on the second round of shooting, the arrows will turn in mid flight and strike their shooters.  Finally, she will be beheaded.

I decided to cut off the top of the painting as the onlookers I had painted  standing on the stone wall
above the arch distracted the eye. So here is the final version. St. Philomena, pray for us.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

St. Philomena at the Tiber - a work in progress

I have been working on this image, off and on, for a couple of months. Here is the present state.  It is of St. Philomena, a martyr during the reign of Diocletian. After refusing his advances and refusing to offer sacrifice to the Roman gods, this young Christian girl was tortured by him in various ways. This painting is where she is tied with a rope around her neck and anchor other other end of a rope and thrown into the Tiber River. 
No sooner had she gone under when she suddenly rose up out of the water, free of the rope and completely dry. The roman pagans who were present cried out for Joy for her and were baptized. Diocletian, furious, had her shot with arrows, but to no avail. The next day she was healed of all wounds, so he had arrow tips made red hot with fire and shot at her, but the arrows turned course and struck six of the archers that shot them. Finally, she was beheaded. More of her account here: http://www.philomena.us/saint-2/history-saint-philomena/story-saint-philomena/