Celtic Irish Christian Art - St. Patrick
St. Patrick Banishes the Serpents Print from my original painting. St. Patrick's day when Irish people everywhere celebrate our inspirational national saint.
THE STORY OF THE PAINTING
Originally commissioned by a US company and never used; they considered it a little too wild but I enjoyed creating this different and more imaginative portrait of our national saint. Patrick was no slouch and rebelled against the rigid authority of Rome and allowed the Irish to keep their religious beliefs while incorporating Christianity into their ancient belief system. From then onwards Irish missionaries carried the gospels to Europe and converted many of the most barbarous and powerful tribes to Christianity.
The most potent and well-known myth attached to the mythical, not the real, Saint Patrick, is the tale of his banishment of all reptiles from Ireland as they were thought to represent Satan and his demons and were in thrall to the dark side of nature. The real Patrick (Patricius) was taken prisoner by Irish sea-raiders (yes, the Irish went a-Viking too) and brought to Ireland to be auctioned as a slave. It is known that he was born to a wealthy upper-strata family of Celtic Britons near the end of the fourth century. He is believed to have died on March 17th, around 460 A.D.
PS. This is not a day to drink yourself senseless in his honor - back in the day Saint Patrick would have given you a good crack of his oaken crozier to straighten you out and put a strap in your step and sent you on your way if you overdid it on the demon drink.
September 9th, 2012
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