Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Victory of Faith by St George Hare

The Victory of Faith (1890)

This gently sensual picture actually has a religious theme and depicts two Christian women imprisoned in a Roman amphitheatre, while barely visible lions glower through the bars in the background.  The white girl is tied to a stone pillar on which a cross has been scratched. The dark skinned woman is supposed to be her Ethiopian maid with them both being due to be thrown to the lions the next day.

The Gilded Cage (1908)

Hare (1857-1933) was an Irish painter who produced a number of pictures of chained women for religiously uplifting paintings.  This picture was well received at the time and is now on display in the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne to where it was donated in 1905.  Their tender touching of each other may be intended to depict their shared faith but now it seems likely that Hare copied the pose from a French erotic postcard!  

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