"O Rubor Sanguinis / Living Sacrifice" // Original canvas painting, 18"x24"
Title: "O Rubor Sanguinis / Living Sacrifice" (2023)
Medium: Acrylic ink, marble dust, acrylic, gold foil, powdered pigments on canvas
Framed size: 18"x24"x1.25"
O ruby blood
that flowed from up that height
divinity has touched: a bloom you are
that winter with the serpent’s blast
has never marred.
-St. Hildegard of Bingen
(Written to commemorate the feast day of St. Ursula)
Listen to the chant that inspired this work here.
Notes on the inspiration behind this painting:
The medieval Abbess (and polymath) St. Hildegard of Bingen was a marvel, a credit to the power of a singular human being who is filled with the Spirit of God. Her list of accomplishments is too broad to name here, but she was the first recorded female composer, writing the first musical drama; she wrote one of the first medical texts, a practically encyclopedic herbarium; she even expanded the Latin lexicon by inventing new words. Throughout her life, Hildegard received intense visions from the Holy Spirit that eventually earned her the esteem and ear of Kings and even the Pope.
She was dedicated to the church as a young girl, and so lived her life among many other women who had experienced their lives as living sacrifices. These women had a special interest in the legendary St. Ursula, a princess who evaded marriage to a pagan King by taking a pilgrimage to Rome with ten thousand virgins in tow. They were said to be martyred by the Huns near modern day Cologne, not far from the abbey where Hildegard lived. She wrote several chants for the feast day of St. Ursula. In this poem, the innocent blood of the martyrs is like a river that flows from the heights of their sacrifice up toward heaven, a tributary of the river of Christ's blood. As I contemplated this poem, I considered the many women who lived their lives in Hildegard's abbey and forsook traditional marriages, families, and children. I considered the many trials they may have faced as they lived and longed and dreamed under the sun, living lives of study and worship and song. Their participation in Christ's suffering, like St. Ursula's, allows them to transcend the withering, wintry breath of the serpent, escaping death itself to be grafted into the Tree of Life. Throughout Hildegard's visions, green is an important color and image, and in this painting I've imagined a rich, thriving green that grows out of the living water and the cleansing blood.
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
— Romans 12:1
Original canvas painting in red, blue, green, gold, white, purple, and silver.
All artwork is signed on the back. Can be signed on the front at collector's request.
Keep in mind that paintings can look slightly different in person. I paint using a lot of texture, so they are even better when you can see them in person - it is hard to capture here!
Artwork is protected by copyright. All images displayed are property of Kelly Kruse. The sale of original artwork does not include the sale of copyright, including rights to reproduce or license imagery. All rights reserved.
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