Italy, In Hindsight


Daily Wrap-Up

One Word
  • Barb: Revisiting
  • Mike: Antiquity
  • Jen: Stonework
Two Words
  • Barb: Artful history
  • Mike: Hill towns
  • Jen: Thought fodder
Three or Four Words
  • Barb: Ah,…(argh!), Italy
  • Mike: Churches and cathedrals
  • Jen: Tip-top travel team
One Sentence
  • Barb: That can’t be the road…
  • Mike: As something I’m not familiar with firsthand, I really enjoyed the “oldness” and history of human civilization in Italy.
  • Jen: Where to next?

A rose window from a cathedral
I asked Barb and Mike to do one more round of Words: hindsight words, looking back on the month. We’re also doing another Top 10, but that’s not finished yet. If there was any resistance to my silly games, I didn’t detect it. (See? I told you this was fun.)

Name That Saint

Now, here’s a silly hindsight (hint!) game for you faithful readers. You know how I had fun learning some of the stories of saints and playing Where’s Waldo with them, looking for the identifying markers that were used over and over: John the Baptist’s bear suit and pointing finger, St. Sebastian’s arrows, St. Rocco’s pants down, St. Lawrence roasting.

Well, here is another of the saints I got to know and have mentioned here on the blog. I only recently discovered we have a picture of her. Your challenge is to see if you can recall who she is.

This is the Big Picture. I believe it was in Santa Maria Novella in Florence. I would not be able to identify her from this image at this size, but…

A woman with a dagger in her neck holding a feather and a plate with a man praying to her or something below.

The complete painting. Who is this saint?

…if we zoom in, the identifying feature I know and have shared with you becomes clear.

I’ll give you a chance to Name That Saint using just the image. I’ll be very impressed if anyone can do it. Below the image, I’ll give some hints. I’ll still be impressed if you can guess at that point. Below that, I’ll disguise the answer. See if it rings a bell.

Close up of the previous image showing her neck and hands.

The identifying marker that I need is here.



1. I didn’t know why she had a dagger (sword, call it what you will) in her neck until I looked up the story, so that isn’t what I use to identify her.
2. I have no idea what the feather is for, either. Is that a feather?
3. A Beatles song plays in my head when I think of her.


The answer is in white type between the asterisks below. Highlight it as though you were going to copy it, and see if you remember her.

Saint Lucy or Santa Lucia, “Lucy in the sky-y with eyeballs…”


Representations of Life

I’ve been thinking about how these characters are represented the same way by different artists. It reminds me of a how-to-draw book I once read that points out how we tend to all draw trees the same, inaccurate way. I don’t even need to describe this inaccurate tree because I’m sure the image is already in your head. Since the ability to draw a tree accurately is not universal, we’ve come up with a representation of a tree that gets the point across, and we stick with it.

I’ve been wondering how this habit of using common representations extends to other aspects of life, and embroidery in particular, since that’s one of my creative outlets. Samplers come to mind immediately. They sort of represent the whole of embroidery. I confess I get as tired of samplers as I do of Madonna and Child paintings. This is what motivated Mike to design The Great Outdoors and The Toy Shelf: In his mind, they’re non-traditional samplers; although, I think sampler collectors might argue with that designation.

Two Funk & Weber Designs embroidery patterns.

The Great Outdoors and The Toy Shelf. Mike’s non-traditional sampler designs. Samplers are all about letters and numbers, right? Well, that and practicing stitching.

What are some other ways that we repeat representations of things in embroidery? I want to really think about this and identify as many ways as possible so that I can look at these representations more closely and perhaps differently. (See the connections—hindsight, eyeballs, looking at things in different ways? I love connections.)

What are some other aspects of life for which we have oft-repeated representations?

Categories: Italy, Travel

1 reply »

  1. I saw the eyeballs, and remembered your stories about her, but I could not come up with Lucy. (But then coming up with names gets MUCH harder with AGE!!)