Tuesday, June 19, 2007

My favorite Bible artists #4

Cicely Mary Barker 1895-1973

Cicely Mary Barker is better known for her 'Flower Fairies', but she also illustrated some wonderful Bible pictures. She obviously loved to draw children and flowers, and both found their way into her Bible pictures.

It is well known that her sister Dorothy set up her own school to help earn money for the family, and Cicely used the children as models to draw from, in both her flower fairy, and Bible pictures.

I love her delicate style, she manages to capture the innocence and wonder in the children's faces as they watched the Saviour. She was also another Bible artist who, like Frank Hampson, thrived on detail. The plants and flowers that she illustrated were observed with complete botanical accuracy. Her figure work was also anatomically perfect!
It wasn't only her color work that was impressive, her pen & ink work was superb also.

Cicely was a delicate child, who suffered from epilepsy, and because of this was educated at her Croydon home. After the early death of her father, she helped to earn money for the family by selling her pictures and poetry. In her later years she was described as a humble, modest lady. She had a strong Christian faith, and was an active member of St Andrews church in Croydon.

More about Cicely Mary Barker here.

Favorite Bible Artist #1 Frank Hampson
Favorite Bible Artist #2 Nestor Redondo
Favorite Bible Artist #3 Clive Uptton


Paul Green said...

Thank you for telling us about this artist Graham. Her religious art has a still, reflective quality and is quite delicate in detail. You can see the Pre-Raphaelite influences but she doesn't imitate. I imagine she would have been the perfect illustrator for "The Secret Garden"
children's novel.

Bible artist said...

Yes indeed she would have been.
I'm surprised that she didn't do more book illustration. I expect that she was too busy with the 'Flower fairies'.

I'm glad that she made time for her Bible illustration though.

The Bearded Belgian said...

Very good artwork!
But one common mistake that I only learned recently. Isaac would've been around some 30 years or something at that point.

Witch makes it go so much deeper, because he could have overmaster his very old father any moment. The prophetics in that story are soo strong!

Bible artist said...

Yes, I have also heard about this. There seems to be something significant about the age 30!

I believe that the Levites had to be 30 before they could take on their priesthood responsibilities, and the Lord Jesus chose to wait until He was 30 before beginning His ministry.

Paul Green said...

The contemporary historian Josephus states that Isaac was 27 years of age at the time according to Wikipedia. Whatever the actual age it is apparent Isaac was an adult at the time. So why do we have this tradition of Isaac as a child? It would seem to me that the "sacrifice" of Isaac foreshadowed the sacrifice of Jesus. Reducing Isaac to a child lessens the spiritual message of the story in my opinion.
As nikolaj rightly says, Isaac could have overpowered his father but he was willing to be sacrificed. This points to Jesus in a way the story of a child Isaac cannot.

Bible artist said...

You are absolutely right!

Horseman said...

I am taken back by how often truths that point directly to Christ are overlooked, or hidden. Anybody know of a good distance-learning program where a person can study the scriptures in depth? I have been seriously thinking about taking one for while – and it is difficult to find an accredited program on the Internet. I think things like that about Isaac’s true age contributes to me wanting to do that.

The Bearded Belgian said...

I forgot to click the followup button here,
so sorry for my late reply.
Yes, the priestly age being 30 is pretty significant (Ezechiel got his visions at the age of 30. Remember to not paint his beard grey with depicting his first visions!)

But the point, as Paul g told us, is that it was a willing sacrifice.

Horseman, I could reccomend you the book 'unlocking the bible', by David Pawson. I wouldn't put my life on it's total accuracy, but you'll get pretty far.

Furthermore there is 'The New Evidence That Demands A Verdict' by Josh McDowell. (ISBN 0-7852-4219-8) It's mainly apologetic, but he works from a historical point of view, wich might help a great deal.

But most of all, let yourself be guided by the Spirit. I notice how He leads me to the right sites or books or conferences.

Sometimes we find stuff out at our forums. But not in such a stream that will satisfy your needs. Still, if you want to believe the entire scripture, you are invited to be a part of it.

Bible artist said...

There are a number of online Bible courses available horseman. You just need to find one that suits you. may want to check out where they stand doctrinally.

I noticed that Dr Andrew Jackson, who emails me from time to time, runs some online Bible courses at Grace Bible School, you may want to check these out at
Let me know how you go on.

Bible artist said...

The book 'The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus' is also worth looking out for horseman. It's a study course written by John Cross that gives an overview of the Bible.

I can recommend it.
(We also sell it on the Visual Impact Resources website!)

The Bearded Belgian said...

Yeah, I saw it there and am interrested.

But I don't have a credit card and I live in Belgium. I wonder if it would be possible.

Bible artist said...

I'll make some enquiries Nikolaj, and let you know.
We should be able to work something out.

The Bearded Belgian said...


Horseman said...

Following your advice, I bought a few books. I finished reading ‘The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus’. It was a quick and easy read. Rather basic. Honestly, to me the most striking thing that I learned new was that a ram is …a male sheep. For years and years, upon reading and thinking on the story about Abraham and Isaac, I would think to myself “ a ram, why a ram? The symbolism would be so much better with a lamb.” You see, I thought a ram was an altogether different animal. And this thinking comes from a country boy that usually only watches TV if the show is about science, history, or animals – embarrassing… and funny. And there is bit of irony in this as well. The book did summarize the faith and tie things together nicely. I highly recommend it for a refresher course, or someone new to the faith. Too often our learning is in bits and pieces. It’s nice to read something that addresses all the main points. It took less than a week to read.

My next book to read is ‘Unlocking the Bible’. I don’t think that I’ll be able to read that one as fast – it’s about 1000 pages longer!

The Bearded Belgian said...


Remember thought, that David Pawson has written it in such a way that a twelve year old can understand and gives no rescources (because there are too many). It's rather subjective at times, but a critical mind as yours can handle it, I'm sure

Horseman said...

Yes. I spend much time on the Internet attempting to verify things that Pawson writes. So far it has been an OK read - but only after I made it past the commentaries on Genesis.

Do y'all (that's a word in south Georgia) think Abraham was from Northern Mesopotamia, or Southern Mesopotamia? I read an article that convinced me that the Ur that Abraham is from was actually in Northern Mesopotamia. Even so, most of the information on the Internet indicates that it was in Southern Mesopotamia, specifically the ruins of Tell el-Mukayyar.

It seems that sometimes someone will publish an article about Biblical archeology involving some discovery that has the media’s attention – such as the case with Tell el-Mukayyar. The article will have all the right words and some nice graphics. Then the article gets so widely circulated that it is viewed as authoritative, even though the conclusions may be wrong. This type of reporting can became hype, even disruptive. IT BECOMES LIKE A BAD THREAD IN THE FABRIC OF RESEARCH.

I have noticed that Wikipedia does acknowledge that some scholars hold to the premise that the Ur of Abraham was in Northern Mesopotamia, and not Tell el-Mukayyar. But it does not detail why (which relates to the wording of the Biblical text and translations thereof, the route, and the name of various towns in N. Meso., etc.).

Further, Jewish traditions hold that Abraham indeed was from Northern Mesopotamia - Ur Kaƛdim or Ur of the Chaldees. It is their patriarch. You would think that we would yield to their authority on this subject.

Julie said...

As I just commented in a post on artist #3, I just stumbled on this site. But the reason was because I was looking for illustrations for PowerPoints I'm developing for our Deaf Bible study and also for use with ESL and International students. The text we are using is Stranger on the Road to Emmaus! So surprised to see it mentioned here!

This is a great book for use with seekers, new believers, international students and anyone else that you would like to disciple as it gives a clear understanding of the need for sacrifice and salvation.

Bible artist said...

Hi Julie
Glad you found the site. We have been working on a set of pictures that have been specifically done for 'The Stranger' bible study course. These pictures are at:

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