Jake Weidmann Artist and Master Penman
Be Thou My Vision
'Be Thou My Vision' emerges as the latest finished work from Weidmann's studio, adding to the artist's Classic Hymn Collection.
The traditional lettering (known as "Uncial," a traditional Irish script) becomes the strings of the harp which frames out these timeless lyrics of the beloved hymn, "Be Thou My Vision." The original text is believed to date back to the 6th-8th century.
Originally written as a poem, "Be Thou My Vision," is categorized as a prayer, or a “Lorica” — a prayer of protection — that was later sung to the Irish tune of "Slane" (famously named after Slane Hill where St. Patrick would have "let his light shine" for Christ and Christ alone).
The symbolic use of a sword and battle shield throughout the original text borrows from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians (Ephesians 6:16-17) and informs much of the composition within this piece.
The harp depicted in Weidmann's work takes its inspiration from the Brian Boru harp, also known as the Trinity College harp, which, in 1922, was adopted as the official symbol of the Irish government.
Celtic knotting weaves up the left side of the harp and across the top, chosen for the fact that this design has no beginning or end, making it the perfect representation of eternal life. The four icons hidden on the harp include (from top right, clockwise) the eagle, the lion, the ox/calf, and the man take their immediate inspiration from the Irish Book of Kells (the scribes of said Book were originally inspired by Ezekiel 1:10). These icons depict the four Evangelists: Matthew is represented by the Man, Mark by the Lion, Luke by the Calf, and John by the Eagle. Greater than the Evangelists, these icons point to Christ himself: He came as a Man, was the flawless sacrifice (represented in the calf/ox), he was the Lion in his resurrection, and an Eagle in his ascension.
Limited Edition of 300.
Every limited edition artwork from the JW studio is reproduced using fine art paper and archival ink. Each work is signed and comes with a certificate of edition.
Watch behind-the-scenes on how this piece came to be in Weidmann's studio by scanning the QR code below.