Saint Bernadette of Lourdes has been a favorite Catholic saint of Assumption Parish in Detroit since the first resident pastor, Fr. Amandus Vandendreissche, constructed a shrine to Our Lady of Lourdes on parish grounds in 1881.
My painting is meant to depict Bernadette while enthralled by a vision of the Blessed Virgin. It was said by contemporaries that Bernadette became completely detached from her surroundings when “The Beautiful Lady” appeared. Bernadette’s face would turn almost a ghostly white. She would begin to pray her Rosary and could not be distracted from what she saw and heard.
The composition is derived from two photos, one of the saint, Bernadette Soubirous, the other of the grotto at Lourdes, France. Both were taken a few years after the renowned apparitions occured. The flowers are typical of those which bloom in the Pyrennes Mountains in the Spring. The painting is in oils on stretched linen canvas, approximately 30 x 40 inches.