Crusie’s Guide to Art, Lesson One

This, of course, is St. Lucy or St Lucia, patron saint of writers, among other things, painted by Francesco Del Cossa, sometime in the 1400s (nobody’s sure). One of my favorite paintings ever of my favorite saint.

18 thoughts on “Crusie’s Guide to Art, Lesson One

  1. To h*** with the flower, I want to know what bird produced that feather and what is she doing with it?

    1. Maybe a Raven feather. They used feathers for writing. But what does that have to do with those weird eyes? It reminds me of the painting in The Cinderella Deal, of Lizzie Borden and the field full of eyes.

      1. Read about Lucy’s martyrdom, which happened because she refused to marry. “Why was St Lucy the patron of blind? To stay chaste she plucked out her own eyes, a great sacrifice for which God gave her a pair of even more beautiful eyes. Lucy’s name also played a large part in naming Lucy as a patron saint of the blind and those with eye-trouble. She was the patroness of Syracuse.”

  2. I want to know what the artist was on, and is it still available in this century?

    1. You are second only to Gary (but not by much!) in the most funny/painful comment of the day competition. Congratulations, I think?

  3. Oh my, what a gorgeous painting!
    I never knew about St. Lucia, definitely going to read up on her, and her belligerent ways.
    Gotta say the extra pair of eyes are cringy but stealthy. Yay God.
    Thank you Jenny.

  4. Love it!

    Not only is St Lucy’s day my birthday, so I’ve always had an affinity for her, but Helen is my name so it all comes together very nicely 🤣
    Lucy is my second name.

    1. Luzia is my dd’s first name.
      Nowadays she goes by her second Christian name (we gave both kids 3) because almost everyone including family members had trouble femembering how to pronounce the “z” (like zed).

      The lucia day celebrations are nice, the cinnamon rolls as well, the story of the saint’s martyrdom is gruesome…

  5. The theory in the Penguin Dictionary of Saints is that Lucia brought to mind light (lux), and from there to intercession to cure eye diseases, whence the eyes as a symbol. Per other sources online, we go from the held eyes (usually in a bowl, not on a plant as here) to writers (writing to be read, or to illuminate the mind, maybe). Most images of Lucy have her holding a palm leaf, a common symbol of martyrs. The switch to a similar looking feather can be rationalized because tail feathers reportedly grow back and hence symbolize immortality. If you already have writers in mind, it’s an easy step to think of the feather as a quill pen. And that’s all far from the weirdest way patron saints got their jobs.

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