Brightness Of Hope by Elspeth Young

Brightness Of Hope

{ Louise Fabres }
Pre-mounted Giclées on canvas (gatorboard)
High-grade canvas artwork reproductions pre-mounted to durable gatorboard for easy framing without glass.
12" x 18"$154.0016" x 20"$215.0018" x 24"$280.00
14" x 20"$191.0016" x 24"$252.00
Giclées on canvas (unmounted canvas roll)
Larger rolled canvas prints with a 2-inch margin for the customer to mount the print to stretcher bars at a local framing store or art center. No glass needed.
20" x 30"$278.0024" x 36"$388.00
Paper prints
High-grade art reproductions available on photo paper (in sizes 12x18 and larger) or on high-quality 9pt (100#) paper. Combined shipping available for most smaller sizes.
12" x 18"$55.0016" x 24"$84.0020" x 30"$122.00
16" x 20"$73.0018" x 24"$93.0024" x 36"$168.00
Other products
Other options including the original artwork, bookmarks, and limited edition prints.
Original oil painting$22,524.00 Sold
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Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men...

2 Nephi 31:20

The story behind Brightness Of Hope

When Winston Churchill first addressed the French nation after the Nazi invasion, he predicted: There are vast numbers ... who will render faithful service in this war, but whose names will never be known, whose deeds will never be recorded (BBC Radio broadcast July 14, 1940).  One such stalwart was a middle-aged nurse, Lucile Fabres, who lived alone in a small Paris apartment building.

In the midst of the physical and emotional darkness of the Occupation, Lucile stood out and spoke up at the risk of her own life and happiness.  From before the war, Lucile had been serving in the Paris presidency of the Relief Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (an organization of women) and she refused to hide her light under the Nazi regime, despite the innate danger to herself.  Lucile wrote: I was known in the neighborhood as "the mouthpiece of occupied France" because, outside my other efforts [in the Resistance], I listened to every BBC broadcast, I lifted the spirits of the hopeless, who had no radios, and spread such encouraging words that came to us across the waves which I will never forget.  I cannot lay out every detail of my activity—tract distribution, etc.—I only did the work of a great patriot who loves her dear Motherland and who holds a great gratitude toward the Allies who did so much for France (Fabres, Louise, Questionnaire, 5 March 1946, translated by Grant Emery).

As the war continued, Lucile was not content to bless through spoken and printed word alone.  Her bravery extended to the field as well.  She began to receive a growing number of assignments from the Resistance.  True to her commission as a Relief Society sister to minister with love and charity, Lucile's contributions to the war effort were always acts of mercy, such as hiding allied parachutists, caring for the injured, and tracing the launch sites of V1-bombs in the hope of saving lives.  A nurse by profession, she was ever true to her commission to heal broken bodies and soothe wounded souls.  Her courage earned her Croix de Lorraine in 1944 and recognition by the British and Canadian governments, though her only desire for decoration was to wear a modest tricolor ribbon as reminder of the kindness of those selfless soldiers who fought to liberate her native country.

Symbolism in Brightness Of Hope

Light is the focal point of this painting.  The Book of Mormon prophet, Nephi, compares hope to light.  Lucile's campaign to spread hope added light wherever she went.  It is so in the painting's composition.  Everything from the patrol light beaming directly behind her face to the warm flicker of the radio dial to the cool moonbeams perceived through the upper window panes and pooling around the figure all serve to remind the viewer of the glow that radiates from faith-filled hope and courage.  The artist chose a night scene to heighten this contrast between light and dark, remind the viewer of Lucile's nighttime assignments to help Allied servicemen in distress, but also to communicate Joseph Smith's heartfelt plea, that thy church may come forth out of the wilderness of darkness, and shine forth fair as the moon (Doctrine and Covenants 109:73).  The wilderness of darkness in which this world is clouded is always dispelled by the light of those, like Lucile, who arise and shine forth with faith in God (Doctrine and Covenants 115:5).

The artist also chose a 1930s-style American radio for her painting to symbolize Lucile's connection with the American missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who first shared with her the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ in 1937 and brought brightness of hope to her personal wilderness.  The radio also connects Lucile's service to the Allied troops fighting for her freedom.

In the lapel of her summer suit, Lucile wears a small chicory blossom.  During WWII, Parisians often used chicory root to replace coffee beans for their morning beverage.  While Lucile's religious beliefs dictated abstinence from tea or coffee, the small blossom reminds the viewer of the strict rationing imposed on Parisians by the Nazi regime.  In the language of flowers, chicory symbolizes frugality—a quality she employed in her wartime service as well as her post-war efforts as president of the local Relief Society.

Beside the radio on her desk, the artist painted objects typical of a Parisian apartment of her day.  The small daybook is open to the week of August, 23, 1944, when the Allies liberated Paris.  While Lucile did not know the ending of her War, hope gave her the ability to see the end from the beginning (see Abraham 2:8), assured of the promises afar off (see Hebrews 11:13).  An overcoat draped over the chair at the bottom left of the painting, ready to put on at a moment's notice, indicates the hurried pace of Lucile's life as an undercover agent for the Resistance.
© By Elspeth Young, All Rights Reserved. You may not print, copy, or reproduce this artwork or make derivative works from it without the prior written consent of the copyright holder. For permissions, please review our FAQ page.

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