Sunday, 1 May 2016

St Francis of Assisi and the Heavenly Melody

My painting was initially inspired by Olivier Messiaen's The Angel Musicians from Saint Francis of Assisi, Music from Heaven, and, of course, the various medieval works depicting the death of Saint Francis of Assisi, plus the famous. albeit more recent work, by Frank Cadogan Cowper (1877-1958) who was known as the last of the Pre-Raphaelites. With the exception of the death of Saint Francis where an angel is invariably always in close proximity, other works have generally been set in daylight. Mine is set at dusk with a full moon in evidence to enhance the mystical aspect of the occasion where a celestial melody entrances the little saint on whose feast day I was episcopally consecrated. My mother fell into quiet repose on the feast of the Holy Guardian Angels one year later, having been preceded by Messiaen four months earlier. Messiaen is one of my favourite composers who shared the same birthday as my father who died in autumn 2000.

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