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Saint Martha and the Tarasque

Icons & Symbolism Part 2

My friend James turned me onto Saint Martha and a legend around her. I don't believe in religious institutions in general, but I like a good story. Apparently she was Mary Magdalene's sister and later in life lived in France where she tamed the tarrasque (horned, lion headed dragon/fish.) She didn't kill the beast, she tamed the beast and not by violent force. Once tamed she paraded him/her through the town with her cloak/scarf wrapped around it's neck. The first version that I painted was after an illuminated manuscript. Followed by 2 more versions.

amy adams art - saint martha painted wooden icons

The following excerpt is by my friend and author James Duvalier and is from his article about Saint Martha on http://jamesduvalier.com -

According to biblical tradition, Saint Martha was the sister of Saint Mary Magdalene and Saint Lazarus, whom Christ raised from the dead. In one story from the gospel of Luke, Martha receives Jesus into her home and serves him food while he preaches to her sister Mary who sits at his feet. After the crucifixion, according to medieval legend, Martha, Mary and Lazarus travel to the south of France where they preach the Gospel and help spread Jesus’s message of peace and love. She was also recorded as having rebuked and tamed a dragon-like monster called the Tarasque by sprinkling holy water on it and invoking the name of God. I personally love Saint Martha because her example shows us that we can receive greatness by doing simple things as long as they are done with love and faith. – James Duvalier

The first one painted was based on a depiction of her from a medieval manuscript, my interpretation - followed by a square icon shown below, inspired by medieval art and the last one also shown below, has some elements of medieval art but to me she is more contemporary in this depiction. Also it should be noted that some writings about her appearance are unflattering but not in my icons. The whole idea that powerful women are unattractive is bothersome to me. Thus, I tried to depict her as I believe she was with confidence and embodied her own strength.

saint martha and the dragon - painted wooden icon by Amy Adams art

#SaintMartha #girlpower #tamethebeast #compassion #icons #art #medievalstyle #SaintMartha

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