She Is Come Aforehand by Elspeth Young

She Is Come Aforehand

{ Mary of Bethany }
Pre-mounted Giclées on canvas (gatorboard)
High-grade canvas artwork reproductions pre-mounted to durable gatorboard for easy framing without glass.
12" x 14"$126.0014" x 16.5"$163.0016" x 19"$205.0018" x 21.25"$251.00
12" x 16"$140.0014" x 18"$175.0016" x 20"$215.0018" x 24"$280.00
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 23.75"$226.0024" x 28"$308.0024" x 30"$328.00
20" x 24"$228.0024" x 28.5"$313.0024" 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.
16" x 20"$73.0020" x 24"$100.0024" x 36"$168.00
18" x 24"$93.0024" x 30"$143.00
Other products
Other options including the original artwork, bookmarks, and limited edition prints.
Original oil painting$13,120.00 Sold
You may click on a print size to see a preview of it.

† These prints show the entire painting. All other images are cropped to fit standard frame/print sizes. By purchasing a print, you agree to accept the image shipped to you whether cropped or not, as presented on this site. All print sizes link to a preview of the print. Print sizes are the image dimensions, not the dimensions of the paper.

And being in Bethany...

as [Jesus] sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head...

And Jesus said...

She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.

Mark 14:3, 6, 8-9

The story behind She Is Come Aforehand

At times, efforts to do good and lift the lives and spirits of others may be demeaned by passersby—or even by detracting voices that chant within the mind.  Such was the case for beloved Mary.  Her "precious" offering of devotion was described by Elder James E. Talmage as "an expression of adoration," the "fragrant outwelling of a heart overflowing with worship and affection" (Talmage 512).   Unfortunately, however, her tribute was criticized by Judas and others as a "waste" (Mark 14:4).

In the writings of Pliny the Elder, a contemporary of the era, we find an echo of the rebuke Judas offered in response to Mary's gift.  Pliny describes the use of such perfumes as a "luxury" and, indeed, the "most superfluous of any" because such "unguents lost their odour in an instant, and die away the very hour they are used."  He further declaims:  "How, I should like to know, could a perfume be at all...productive of any kind of pleasure?" (Pliny 167-168).

The Savior's instant reproof of Judas silences any who wish to belittle the good we do, no matter how small, or simple, or seemingly frivolous or extravagant:  "Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me" (Mark 14:6).  No effort we make to reach out and bless others is ever wasted, for "inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of have done it unto me" (Matthew 25:40).   When we choose "that good part," as Mary did, the blessings and joys stemming from our service "shall not be taken away from [us]" (Luke 10:42).

Symbolism in She Is Come Aforehand

Mary lovingly holds the "alabaster box" filled with ointment she has "preserved" (JST John 12:27) expressly for the purpose of anointing the Savior.  Alabaster is a translucent gypsum used by the ancients because it was considered an ideal material for preserving ointments.

The clay vessel at Mary's feet symbolizes Mary's worth as a daughter of God.  In the familiar words of Isaiah:  "But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand" (Isaiah 64:8).  Being "centered" on the Savior, as Mary was, means that we are at the center of the potter's wheel of this existence, with the result that the Lord can fashion us to be whole and useful.

The red robe encircling the figure represents the Atonement.  The Hebrew word for Atonement and cloak, or covering is kaphar (see Olson 14).  Mary is literally enfolded within the power of the Atonement to heal, to lift, inspire, and strengthen.

Lavender is popularly purported to be the spikenard with which Mary anointed the Savior's head and feet.  Although ancient sources do not necessarily support this idea, John Gerard, in his Herbal published in 1633, refers to English lavender as "spike" of which a distillation of oil is made called the "oile of Spike" (Gerard 573).
© 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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Illustration: She Is Come Aforehand

By Al R. Young
High-resolution digital copies are available from the Studios for use as illustrations.  Use the serial number—appearing below the thumbnail—in requesting permission from the Studios (see links at the bottom of this page for detail).

The correct form of attribution when publishing an image is specified in the license agreement issued to the publisher by Al Young Studios.Guidelines for requests to copy or publish artworks created by the Artists of Al Young Studios

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