The Victory of Faith (painting)

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The Victory of Faith
ArtistSaint George Hare
MediumOil on canvas
Dimensions123.3 cm × 200 cm (48.5 in × 79 in)
LocationNational Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

The Victory of Faith is an oil on canvas painting by Irish artist Saint George Hare that was completed in 1891.[a] It is now in the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia. It depicts two sleeping nude women, one shackled, apparently intended as Christian martyrs sentenced to death by beasts (see damnatio ad bestias).[2]

The Victory of Faith is one of several paintings by Hare showing shackled and under-dressed women, another notable example being The Gilded Cage. A contemporary article in The Homiletic Review called it an "impressive depiction of Christian faith and steadfastness" and described the two women to be in a "sisterly embrace",[3] while a modern description by Kobena Mercer named the work as an example of an interracial lesbian couple, likening it to Les Amis by Jules Robert Auguste.[4]

The Victory of Faith was exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition of 1891[5] and at the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893.[3] It is currently at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, having been donated to the gallery in 1905.[1]


  1. ^ 1891 is cited by most sources, but the National Gallery of Victoria where the painting now is also gives 1890 as a possibility.[1]


  1. ^ a b "The victory of faith". National Gallery of Victoria. Retrieved 28 February 2022.
  2. ^ Roach, Joseph (1996). Cities of the Dead: Circum-Atlantic Performance. New York: Columbia University Press. pp. 223–224. ISBN 0-231-10460-X.
  3. ^ a b Earnshaw, J. Westby (November 1894). "Homiletic Helps from the Fine Arts of the Columbian Fair". The Homiletic Review. Vol. 28, no. 5. New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company. p. 409.
  4. ^ Mercer, Kobena (2016). Travel & See: Black Diasporic Art Practices Since the 1980s. Durham: Duke University Press. ISBN 978-0-8223-7451-0.
  5. ^ Capes, Bernard; Eglington, Charles, eds. (1 July 1891). "Art Notes". The Theatre. Vol. 27. London: Eglington & Co. p. 42.