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Originally conceived as an entry on the theme 'An Act of Mercy' for a Gold Medal competition at the Royal Academy in 1849, this painting depicts an early incident in the history of the English church. A Christian family is hiding a priest from a crowd of heathens and Druids, who have already caught another priest in the background. The painting is full of symbolic allusions, in keeping with contemporary High Anglican thinking: the priest recalls Christ and his disciples, the child with the fur loincloth John the Baptist and the older youth squeezing grapes evokes the Eucharist.
oil on canvas
H 111 x W 141 cm
Bequeathed by Thomas Combe, 1893