Thursday, March 14, 2013

A National Saint

Joan of Arc's Death at the Stake (1843) by the German Romantic painter Hermann Anton Stilke (1803-1860). Stilke was a member of the very religious Nazarene movement and depicted here Joan of Arc in the style of a religious saint painting. To emphasize this intention the painting was part of a bigger Joan of Arc Triptych.


  1. I don't suppose there was anything saintly or uplifting about throwing a young teenage girl onto a bonfire. It must have been dirty, smelly, painful and cruel.

    So the German Romantics had to make some sense out of this French-English debacle. Where was this painting hung, do we know? Who was the audience?

  2. Sorry Hels, as much as I normally appreciate your comments, here you are totally wrong.

    Though I share your opinion about burning girls at the stake, it's a Catholic painting. And a good Catholic has a strange relation to martyrs and torture. Without exaggeration, I've seen paintings in Roman Catholic churches, compared to which poor Stilkes artwork is something for children. Skinning, boiling, grilling and all alive. Sometimes it looks like the more cruel the death the more important the martyr.