New Painting by Amy the Artist: Saint Olivia of Palermo
Oil, acrylic, & gold leaf painting of my patron saint
My newest painting is also my first try at a traditional icon style. This took about 6 days start to finish.
Saint Olivia is my patron saint. Her feast day is on June 10, and she was a virgin-martyr saint.
Saint Olivia of Palermo
oil and gold leaf and acrylic on canvas
Olivia was the beautiful daughter of a noble Sicilian family, born either around 448 or in the 9th century AD. She was devoted to the Lord from a very young age, declining riches and giving charity to the poor. When she was thirteen, Olivia comforted Christian prisoners and urged them to remain steadfast in their faith.
Sent to Tunis, Olivia worked miracles and converted pagans. The governor ordered that she be sent away to a far away place to live as a hermitess, where there were wild animals, hoping that the beasts would devour her or that she would die of hunger. However, the wild animals left her alone, and lived peacefully around her, and she continued to heal the locals. When the governor heard about these things, he arrested and imprisoned her. Like many Christian saints, she was scourged, stripped, and thrown into a cauldron of boiling oil, but her body was unharmed. She did not renounce her faith, and was beheaded on June 10. It was written that her soul "flew to the sky in the form of a dove."
Gold leafing the cross.
I chose Saint Olivia for my chrismation saint when I converted to Orthodoxy for a bunch of maybe odd reasons: I’ve always liked the name, and I like that she is associated with peaceful animals and olives. She is Italian, and I wanted a saint that shared my heritage to watch over me (I’m Italian and Scottish).
My friends spent some time arguing over whether or not this is a real icon, with mixed opinions…I’d be humbled if it was, but I don’t fancy myself an iconographer. Just an artist :)
I hope this inspires you!