Une Martyre (Saint Thechla)

  • Sarah Paxton Ball Dodson, Une Martyre (Saint Thechla), 1891, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Richard Ball Dodson, 1923.8.1

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Many of Sarah Dodson’s paintings were inspired by religious or mythological subjects. This image shows Saint Thechla (or Thecla), who converted to Christianity and renounced marriage after hearing a sermon by the Apostle Paul. Her family and fiancé condemned her disobedience, and Thecla was cast to her fate among lions and poisonous snakes. Nothing could harm the girl, however, and she was eventually set free. This idea of a young, confident girl following her own path regardless of other people’s expectations evokes Dodson’s own life, as she struggled to establish herself as a professional painter.

Title
Une Martyre (Saint Thechla)
Artist
Date
1891
On View
Dimensions
29 1/2 x 21 1/2 in. (74.9 x 54.6 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Richard Ball Dodson

Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Keywords
  • Object – foliage – palm
  • Religion – saint – St. Thechla
  • Religion – martyr
Object Number
1923.8.1
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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