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History: Saint Luke

St. Luke, a convert of St. Paul, was a physician of Antioch and a painter, and he has been chosen to represent the student artists of Marywood in the Rotunda mural decoration. He is best known as one of the historians of the New Testament. From the Acts we learn that St. Luke sailed with the Apostle to the Gentiles from Troas to Macedonia; that he was with him at Philippi and in the shipwreck and perils of the memorable voyage to Rome. St. Luke died at Achaia.

The visualization of the physician-painter in his studio at work at his easel is simple, yet remarkably dramatic. The utter simplicity of the design is given greater meaning and force by the awe and reverence and exaltation beyond himself in the painter's pose; in the unobtrusive, orderly background, but especially in the connotation of the relationship between our Lady and her Divine Child and the Evangelist. Must he not have received from her own lips much of the "verity of those words" in which he was instructed? Of the Annunciation? Of the announcement of the birth of St. John the Baptist? Of the Visitation? Of the Birth of Jesus? Of many of the messages and mysteries which he narrates?

The painting is posed with vigorous realism, yet is naive and delightful, with classic detail, engaging pictorial representation, an unusual vision of a perennially beautiful subject, the Madonna and Child, in all a perfect grouping and coloring. The mural of the evangelist-painter is as striking as it is original and impressive.

 


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