Research showed that most had been depicted with a hangman's noose at the neck, and a dagger in the chest. With twenty characters to depict, the dagger and rope may have got a bit "samey"! Some variety was needed to pay tribute to each individual Saint.
Putting Faces to Names
I though it best to follow convention where "portraits" of the Martyrs were concerned, working from historic images of them.
Unable to find any portraits of Blessed Thomas Maxfield, I had to decide on his appearance, and what symbols I could use to identify him;
These are the symbols I chose to associate with his particular martyrdom:
The flowers he holds are species which represent the blood of the martyrs and their association with the passion of Christ. His path to the Gallows was strewn with wild flowers by the villagers as tribute to their love for this holy man. The butterfly has two purposes; as he suffered biting insects when imprisoned; it also serves as a reminder of "Eternal Life".
Balancing act with colours
The composition of the mural was to echo the paintings of Giotto and Fra Angelico.
As both had distinct styles, I chose elements from both to achieve the desired marriage between the two!
These artists did not use perspective as a contemporary artist would, and they favoured large discs of halos, and layering of their figures.
Catholic statue repair & church artworks by Lewis and Lewis:
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