St Joan of Arc, Listening, Dying

Barbara Sparhawk

Carmel Valley, United States

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Artist's Description

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, www.hawksperch.com
Email: hawk@hawksperch.com

Artwork Comments

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