An Icon (and an Artist) Identified!

Last week was a big week for the Catholic church with the announcement of new pope, Francis…

Pope Francis, aka Jorge Mario Bergoglio. Photo courtesy of crosscurrents.org

Pope Francis, aka Jorge Mario Bergoglio. Photo courtesy of countercurrents.org

Likewise – it was also a big week in the Ology household on a somewhat similar front. For close to a year now, Ms. Jeannie has been trying to identify the saint in her vintage Italian Catholic icon, that sits above her writing desk…

Ms. Jeannie's Icon - one of her most cherished vintage pieces.

It was tricky business, because there a lot of saints of course, and their simple appearance and plain portrayals  don’t allow for ease of searching. Just try doing a search for “saint in white and brown robes” and you’ll see what Ms. Jeannie means!

But luck or divine inspiration,as it might be, intervened earlier in the week which led one thing to another. Ms. Jeannie will explain…

It started with this collection of favorite items Ms. Jeannie curated on Etsy…

Gray Dress by natful

Gray Dress by natful

Cardinal Watercolor Painting by Splodgelodge

Cardinal Watercolor Painting by Splodgelodge

London Church Door Photography by Jillian Audrey Designs

London Church Door Photography by Jillian Audrey Designs

Antique Coral Rosary from theDeeps

Antique Coral Rosary from theDeeps

Cardinal Red Flower Pin & Hair Clip from ArtTx

Cardinal Red Flower Pin & Hair Clip from ArtTx

Vintage 1950s Mantilla Veil from Union Made Bride

Vintage 1950s Mantilla Veil from Union Made Bride

8 Vintage Religious Medals from Albrechts Antiques

8 Vintage Religious Medals from Albrechts Antiques

Vintage Set of Catholic Press Books from vintage archeology

Vintage Set of Catholic Press Books from vintage archeology

Mary, Mother of God Art Print by Portraits of Saints

Mary, Mother of God Art Print by Portraits of Saints

Cardinal Red Leather Tote Bag by Boga Bag

Cardinal Red Leather Tote Bag by Boga Bag

Handmade Vintage French Silk Ribbon Bracelet Cuff by Rubanesque

Handmade Vintage French Silk Ribbon Bracelet Cuff by Rubanesque

Vintage Concrete St. Francis of Assisi Statue

Vintage Concrete St. Francis of Assisi Statue

Red Rose Photograph by S Linton Photography

Red Rose Photograph by B Linton Photography

Vintage French Holy Water Font from French Provisions

Vintage French Holy Water Font from French Provisions

Vintage Ruby Red Glass Chimney from Albrechts Antiques

Vintage Ruby Red Glass Chimney from Albrechts Antiques

St. Peters Cathedral Photograph by Shawn St. Peter

St. Peters Cathedral Photograph by Shawn St. Peter

This is how Ms. Jeannie was introduced to Tracy from Portraits of Saints, who drew the beautiful Mary portrait…

Mary, Mother of God Art Print by Portraits of Saints

Mary, Mother of God Art Print by Portraits of Saints

Since her shop is called Portraits of Saints, Ms. Jeannie thought she might know who the saint was pictured in her icon. So Ms. Jeannie sent Tracy a message and wouldn’t you believe it, in about 10 minutes Tracy came back with an answer! (It really does help to ask the experts!)

Ms. Jeannie’s icon is a portrait of St. Clare, a detail from the Five Saints frescoe  painted by one of Italy’s greatest 14th century painters, Simone Martini (1285-1344).

St. Clare by Simone Martini

St. Clare by Simone Martini

St. Clare was born in Assisi in 1194 and was one of the first followers of St. Francis of Assisi, who our new Pope chose as his Saint’s name.  She ran away from home, cut off her hair, lived in a poorhouse, wore no shoes and ate no meat.  She founded the Order of the Poor Ladies (eventually to be called the Order of the Poor Clares) along with a group of women and lived in poverty throughout her life. She was canonized on August 15th, 1255, two years after her death.

Ms. Jeannie is so thrilled to be able to put a name to a face now! Welcome home St. Clare!

Thank you thank you thank you to Tracy for the introduction. And now you know if you have any saint identification needs, she’s your gal!

St. Clare Portrait by Portraits of Saints

St. Clare Portrait by Portraits of Saints