Who are These Three Women?

Who are the three women in J. Kirk Richards's painting of the lepers? They do not appear in early drafts of the painting, but clearly balance the men on the other side of the cave in the final draft.The brilliant Maxine Hanks sees them as the three Marys--those three who are mentioned in John 19:25 as being present at the crucifixion (and in some modern readings, also present at the resurrection): "Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of C … [Read more...]

Caves, Cloisters, and Temples

Part I: CavesA year ago, I visited J. Kirk Richards's studio. I saw a large, mid-creation painting. A few of his students had worked on the piece, filling in the details. It was clear that this work represented a community in an enclosed area, but I couldn't guess who they were. The suggestion of Christ outside the cave was just a suggestion. What was the Savior doing? In the early rendition, there were no women behind Jesus, but there are three in the final draft. Who are they? Why … [Read more...]