Saint Bride

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John Duncan

c.1866-c.1945

Scottish Symbolist

Saint Bride

1913

122.3 x 144.5 cms | 48 x 56 3/4 ins
Egg tempera on canvas

 

According to the legend of the Irish Saint Bride she was transported miraculously to Bethlehem to attend the nativity of Christ. Here two angels carry the white robed saint across the sea. The seascape reflects Duncan's fascination with the Outer Hebrides and the Isle of Iona. The birds and seal provide an effective naturalistic foil for the supernatural angels overlapping the patterned border. Scenes from the life of Christ decorate the angel's robes, and may include the artist's self-portrait as the tiny clown (a holy fool) accompanying the procession of the magi on the leading angel's gown.