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Catholic Art and Jewelry

St. Valentine as a Boy Ministering to the Birds by Eleanor Fortesque Brickdale – Based on a John Donne Sonnet – Archival Quality

St. Valentine as a Boy Ministering to the Birds by Eleanor Fortesque Brickdale – Based on a John Donne Sonnet – Archival Quality

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This charming Valentine was painted by one of our favorite artists, Eleanor Fortesque Brickdale, for The Book of Old English Songs and Ballads (c.1915). She's made the Saint a boy, whimsically dressing him as a bishop and preaching to the birds, as he is in the poem this illustrates.

It's that lightheartedness that usually goes with love. Note the hearts in the stained glass behind him. Also note that all the birds are paired off as couples. Even our Saint of love has two little cherub wings on him!

Brickdale's illustration is for a lighthearted sonnet by John Donne about different birds getting married. It starts:
Hail, Bishop Valentine, whose day this is!
All the air is thy diocese,
And all the chirping choristers
And other birds are they parishioners...

St. Valentine himself was a real person. While exactly who he was is obscure, it is clear he existed and was martyred and was considered a Saint by the Church of the 200s.

He was a Catholic priest during a time when the Emperor Claudius II forbade his soldiers to marry. Valentine helped people get married and was arrested. He was martyred February 14, 270 AD.

It is said while in jail, he wrote letters to Julia, the jailor's daughter, telling her about the love of God. He always signed them "Your Valentine." He was such a model for love that the people of his day, when they sent such notes, signed them "Your Valentine," as we still do today.

Eleanor Fortesque Brickdale (1872-1945) was a famous artist of her day who did a wide range of painting and illustration. We love her Catholic images, of which we carry quite a few. Search our shop for "Brickdale" if you'd like to see more.

** IMPORTANT ** IMAGE IS SMALLER THAN THE PAPER!! There is a white border around the image! .5" for 5x7, 1.3" for 8.5x11, 1.6" for 11x14". Image is smaller than the paper!!!!

- Acid-free paper
- Archival pigments, rated to last for generations.
- Cardboard backer
- Above story of the art
- Enclosed in a tight-fitting, crystal clear bag.

Thanks for your interest!
Sue & John

"In order to communicate the message entrusted to her by Christ, the Church needs art." ~ St. Pope John Paul II

Original image is out-of-copyright. Descriptive text and image alterations (hence the whole new image) © by Sue Kouma Johnson - Classic Catholic Art.
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