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The Barque of Peter

The Barque of Peter
© Cecilia Lawrence
July 7th 2015
Watercolor and Ink
18 x 24 inches
30 hours

Here's one I've been working on for a very long time and have only just been able to finish. The Barque of Peter refers to the symbolic image of the Church as the Ship of Peter (the word "barque" being an archaic word for "ship"). I was commissioned to do this picture for a family as a wedding anniversary gift for the whole family. The family who commissioned me asked that they be on the boat (they're the group pulling some people up on to the deck) and the saints in Heaven interceding with Christ for the Church are some of their family patrons as well as other favorite saints. The saints are all as follows: Mary, the Mother of God at the right of hand of her Son, St. Michael, St. Augustine, St. Edmund Campion, St. Benedict, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Patrick, St. Bernadette, St. Joseph, St. John the Baptist, St. Paul, St. Catherine Labouré, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, St. Joan of Arc, St. Cecilia and the twelve Apostles: St. Peter, St. James the Greater, St. John, St. James the Lesser, St. Jude, St. Matthias, St. Andrew, St. Philip, St. Bartholomew, St. Thomas, St. Matthew and St. Simon. The little girl next to St. Bernadette is their little daughter who was miscarried, and they wanted her up there as well praying for their family among the saints. I was asked to make the overall painting reminiscent of Rembrandt's Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee (… ). I also based the design of the ship from the Santa Maria of Christopher Columbus fame.

The composition for this piece was probably the most difficult aspect of it. I set it aside for a while partly because I had more pressing commissions to work on, but also partly because I wasn't sure how to solve the problems in the composition and in the pose of the ship. Fortunately, I got it down to my satisfaction in a way that (hopefully) the scene with the saints in Heaven with Christ doesn't clash awkwardly with the ship. Lots of symbolism in this one, but I'll let your eyes find and pick them out instead of enumerating all of them. ;-) Enjoy!
Image details
Image size
3456x4608px 10.36 MB
Shutter Speed
10/4000 second
Focal Length
9 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Jul 9, 2015, 7:16:50 PM
© 2015 - 2021 Theophilia
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deviantard91's avatar

Judging by the relative lack of decoration, I assume the boats at the bottom are Reformed churches.

TheOnyxSwami's avatar
"Sail on home to Jesus, won't you good girls and boys..." - James Taylor, "Country Road"

I love this drawing!  Very well done!
Theophilia's avatar
TheOnyxSwami's avatar
CartoonistJay91's avatar
All the Angels and saints, pray for us.
a-witty-fool's avatar
I was thinking about this beautiful image tonight. I was just at a panel discussion about the horrible storm our Church is facing right now, and someone mentioned being in the boat with the disciples when Jesus seemed to be sleeping. No matter what storm we face, or who is at the helm, he asked us to draw nearer to our Lord and trust that He knows what he is doing. :) 
Thank you once again for sharing your art with us! 
Theophilia's avatar
Oh wow, thank you! That really means so much to me! :glomp: It's definitely been a rough time for everyone I think, but truth always triumphs in the end, and I know God is working through the mess. And that gives me a lot of hope. :nod:
ChenLin7's avatar
Beautiful art and composition. God bless you sister in the faith.
Theophilia's avatar
Thank you very much!!! :aww:
The ark of the new covenant!
Theophilia's avatar
The original was a commission, so yes. But I do sell prints of it as well if you are interested in purchasing prints!
Very well. Do you have a list with prices etc.? I'll see if the delivery won't be a problem.
Theophilia's avatar
My prices are listed in my journal on the front page. It's towards the bottom of the journal. :nod:
It is wonderful! :D
Theophilia's avatar
Thank you for this beauty! (I hope it means something 😉)
TheDoctorIzIn's avatar
Absolutely amazing! The amount of detail, and the fashion of your art is just, beautiful and heavenly!
Theophilia's avatar
What a mighty vessel! Excellent. The rendering is fantastic!!! Did you go to art school?
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