|As my favourite historical hero, Joan has always had a special place in my inspirations and I've tried to formulate many variations of a painting of her, from martyr to battle hero. I finally decided that poor Joan had been a pious martyr enough, and that if the girl thought that she talked to her god and was leading a triumphant army and crowning a king, that she was sure to have some joyous moments. Here, I have painted one of them.
The image is historically accurate, with a few artistic liberations. The armour is based on early 15th century designs, the horse is suggestive of the massive war-horse freisens, and her banner is based on the oldest drawing of Joan, depicting the Holy Father holding the world with two angelic attendants and the words "Jhesus Maria" with fleur-de-lis in a rudimentary medieval style as was in the original image. She was also often shown wearing a red skirt. Liberations were taken to enhance her arched posture (which the steel breastplate wouldn't do), in the smaller saddle size to show off her armour, and in the red hue of her hair, which is believed to be black.
Finally, I'd like to leave you with a wonderfully fitting quotation by Winston Churchill in reference to my favourite hero: "Joan was a being so uplifted from the ordinary run of mankind that she finds no equal in a thousand years. She embodied the natural goodness and valour of the human race in unexampled perfection. Unconquerable courage, infinite compassion, the virtue of the simple, the wisdom of the just, shone forth in her. She glorifies as she freed the soil from which she sprang."