The biblical story of Ruth begins with Naomi. Married with two children, Naomi and her family leave their homeland due to famine. Once in their new home, both sons marry foreign women. After all three husbands are dead (I found no reason given, the story only requires them to be out of the picture to give a motive for movement), Naomi decides to return to their homeland and tells the daughters-in-law to return to their mothers' home. One agrees, but the other, Ruth, insists on going with Naomi out of love and loyalty.
In the new land, Ruth follows the grain reapers, harvesting what she can for Naomi's and her own survival. She makes a good impression on the landowner. Following Naomi's advice, Ruth becomes the man's wife, a distant relative of her late husband. They become the great-grandparents of the famous giant slayer, David.
The painting shows different parts of the timeline of Biblical Ruth's story. She collected the barley in her arms, which only later will become the wheat she offers to the viewer. Her mother-in-law Naomi is behind her, perhaps looking to the past, or her home. Ruth's future great-grandson David, with the sling in his hand and the stones at his feet, is seen under the glorious rays of the sun.
I created this painting in January and February 2020 using three in the Marega family in Veneto as models. Two artists in my area of Tuscany came to me near the end of 2109 to ask me to participate in an art exhibit with the subject of sacred art. It is not my thing, I protested, despite admiring a copy Claudio made of an old triptych from my village's church. They implored me to create something. So, I accepted the offer.
The group exhibit was supposed to happen in Pescia, Italy, in June 2020. But the Corona virus halted all of that. I kept the painting a secret, hoping the exhibit would happen. However, my own solo show "Stories" scheduled for May was postponed to October 2020 and without word of the sacred exhibit, I decided to publicly show Ruth in my own show.
A framed print is available here: https://borsheimarts.com/products/ruth-framed-print
olio su carta , 79 x 69 cm, anno 2020
La storia biblica di Ruth inizia con Naomi. Sposata con due figli, Naomi e la sua famiglia lasciano la loro patria a causa della carestia. Mentre non ci sono, entrambi i figli sposano donne straniere. Dopo che tutti e tre i mariti sono morti, Naomi decide di tornare in patria e dice alle nuore di tornare a casa delle proprie madri. Una sì, ma l'altra, Ruth, insiste per andare con Naomi per amore e lealtà.
Nella nuova terra, Ruth segue i mietitori di grano, raccogliendo ciò che può per la sopravvivenza di Naomi e di se stessa. Fa una buona impressione sul proprietario terriero. Seguendo il consiglio di Naomi, Ruth diventa la moglie dell'uomo, un lontano parente del suo defunto marito. Diventano i bisnonni del famoso uccisore di giganti, David.
Il dipinto mostra diverse parti della storia di Ruth. Ha raccolto l'orzo nel braccio, che solo in seguito diventerà il grano che offre allo spettatore. Sua suocera Naomi è dietro di lei, forse guardando al passato, o alla sua casa. Il futuro pronipote di Ruth, Davide, con la fionda in mano e le pietre ai suoi piedi, è visto sotto i gloriosi raggi del sole.