St Joan of Arc, Listening, Dying by Barbara Sparhawk

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St Joan of Arc, Listening, Dying by 

Oil painting on canvas,
St Joan, being burned at the stake, her heart is bursting.

I imagined her heart burst from the sense of betrayal, that’s what I painted.
Brave woman, and if you don’t think so, try to picture yourself at fifteen leading a seasoned army in the 1400’s. Soldiers who loved and followed, who trusted her voices and visions. Her armies defeated the English at Orleans in 1429. Joan was seventeen.
She ruled with an iron hand, by some accounts, forbidding traditional camp followers or messy habits. When facing off the church inquisitors in her final days, she displayed a ferocious impatience according to transcripts. “A lie!” or “No bearing on my case! Next question!”’
The trial focused on whether she made up the words she heard which led the nation to war, or if she literally heard the voice of God. Asked to produce miracles (discounting the very one in front of the court of herself and her accomplishments), she failed to satisfy the church heirarchy. She was tied to a wooden stake in a public square and set on fire.
Joan D’Arc was 19 when she was murdered, and had been at war four years. Her deserved fame outlasted the frightened beaurocrats who killed her. The world continues to accuse original thinkers of being up to no good, insane, or just a terrible bother. Being different takes courage.

Prints from RedBubble.
Original painting, The Hawks Perch,

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Professional Expressionist, portrait painter, writer, children’s book illustrator, entrepreneur, and adventuress.

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  • Antanas
    Antanasalmost 7 years ago


  • Barbara Sparhawk
    Barbara Sparhawkalmost 7 years ago

    I thank you for your comment, Antanas. I have several paintings I’ve done of Joan of Arc, and this is my favorite. I was reluctant to post it, but have been so glad I did. I hated the conventional view of her looking complacent, which she was not.

  • Lydia Cafarella
    Lydia Cafarellaalmost 7 years ago

    very bold and creative…

  • Barbara Sparhawk
    Barbara Sparhawkalmost 7 years ago

    Thank you so much, Lidiya. I’ll have more photos of the series I did on her to post soon.

  • Tony Ryan
    Tony Ryanalmost 7 years ago

    Captivating painting. I have always had a facination for Joan of Arc and also other passionate people who have lived and died from their hearts. I believe anyone who endeavours to honour their hearts as a human is incredibly courageous.

  • Barbara Sparhawk
    Barbara Sparhawkalmost 7 years ago

    Thank you so very much for what you said. Yes, I agree Tony, courage is fine to witness, rare. I wanted to understand how this girl who led a nation’s armies at fifteen met death. The betrayal must have cut her heart, but she knew who she was. A fast, stunning, world altering life.

  • bdog09
    bdog09over 6 years ago

    nice work

  • Thanks, Dan.

    – Barbara Sparhawk

  • Anthony Hedger Photography
    Anthony Hedger...over 6 years ago

    beautiful work my dear

  • Barbara Sparhawk
    Barbara Sparhawkover 6 years ago

    Dear friend, thanks. It was all exciting exploration. How did she take death, this brave nineteen year old soldier.

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