The Seven Virtues Series

The Seven Virtues are always portrayed as women in Renaissance art.  Their hexagonal halo sets them apart as “Virtues” and not actual saints.

This series is available as a note card set.

“Charity” watercolor ©Sara Drescher The open red roses symbolize love as well as the red carnations in the Virtue’s halo. The pomegranate symbolizes compassion and is also a symbol of the church as the Body of Christ. The snake and goblet are attributes of St. John who is the “patron saint” of love. Legend says that one time while John was in the spirit, he was warned that his wine was poisoned by the manifestation of a snake in his goblet. She holds fire, a heart, or a child

“Charity” watercolor ©Sara Drescher

The open red roses symbolize love as well as the red carnations in the Virtue’s halo. The pomegranate symbolizes compassion and is also a symbol of the church as the Body of Christ. The snake and goblet are attributes of St. John who is the “patron saint” of love. Legend says that one time while John was in the spirit, he was warned that his wine was poisoned by the manifestation of a snake in his goblet. She holds fire, a heart, or a child

“Hope” watercolor ©Sara Drescher The Virtue of Hope traditionally has her hands raised to heaven and has wings. Her patron saint is St. James, symbolized by the shells in her halo. The iris symbolizes a message of hope. The anchor is Christ who is the author of our hope, and the cornucopia symbolizes the manifestation of what we hope for.

“Hope” watercolor ©Sara Drescher

The Virtue of Hope traditionally has her hands raised to heaven and has wings. Her patron saint is St. James, symbolized by the shells in her halo. The iris symbolizes a message of hope. The anchor is Christ who is the author of our hope, and the cornucopia symbolizes the manifestation of what we hope for.

“Faith” watercolor ©Sara Drescher Faith is garbed in a red tunic with almond on it. Almond is symbolic of divine approval or favor.She is holding violets which are symbols for faith and humility. She holds a chalice, the cup of salvation. The ivy in her halo is symbolic of fidelity and eternal life. The dog is also symbolic of faith and loyalty. The keys are St. Peter’s attribute and he is the “patron saint” of faith.

“Faith” watercolor ©Sara Drescher

Faith is garbed in a red tunic with almond on it. Almond is symbolic of divine approval or favor.She is holding violets which are symbols for faith and humility. She holds a chalice, the cup of salvation. The ivy in her halo is symbolic of fidelity and eternal life. The dog is also symbolic of faith and loyalty. The keys are St. Peter’s attribute and he is the “patron saint” of faith.

“Fortitude” watercolor ©Sara Drescher The dogwood represents endurance. The honeysuckle in her halo signifies steadfastness. Fortitude carries a sword and shield. The lion is also one of her attributes. Samson is Fortitude’s “patron saint.”

“Fortitude” watercolor ©Sara Drescher

The dogwood represents endurance. The honeysuckle in her halo signifies steadfastness. Fortitude carries a sword and shield. The lion is also one of her attributes. Samson is Fortitude’s “patron saint.”

“Justice” watercolor ©Sara Drescher The roses and the crown of thorns are symbols of Christ and are included in the piece because love and judgment must be balanced for there to be true justice. The child is the one who is protected by Justice. The sword is the Sword of Spiritual Justice. Goats and sheep hearken back to Judgment Day and the separation of the faithful from the faithless. Scales on the child’s shirt also symbolize justice.

“Justice” watercolor ©Sara Drescher

The roses and the crown of thorns are symbols of Christ and are included in the piece because love and judgment must be balanced for there to be true justice. The child is the one who is protected by Justice. The sword is the Sword of Spiritual Justice. Goats and sheep hearken back to Judgment Day and the separation of the faithful from the faithless. Scales on the child’s shirt also symbolize justice.

“Prudence” watercolor ©Sara Drescher Prudence is wisdom and practicality. The game board represents making good choices in life. The lily of the valley in her halo is symbolic of the same.The dove is symbolic of innocence as the snake represents shrewdness. Owls are traditional symbols of wisdom. The candle also represents light and wisdom. Hyacinth symbolizes prudence as well. The mirror is Prudence’s traditional attribute.

“Prudence” watercolor ©Sara Drescher

Prudence is wisdom and practicality. The game board represents making good choices in life. The lily of the valley in her halo is symbolic of the same.The dove is symbolic of innocence as the snake represents shrewdness. Owls are traditional symbols of wisdom. The candle also represents light and wisdom. Hyacinth symbolizes prudence as well. The mirror is Prudence’s traditional attribute.

“Temperance” watercolor ©Sara Drescher Temperance is moderation and self-restraint. Traditionally she is shown holding a sword and a vase or two vases. Sometimes the vases translate to two vessels, one with wine and one with water, to show how she mixes the two to control herself. The grapes and the water in her halo reference this aspect. I think these symbols can refer to Jesus’ miracle of the wine to water and Paul’s teaching to Timothy to mix water with his wine for his stomach. The camels, on one of the vessels, are also a symbol of Temperance because of the idea that a camel does not need much to drink.

“Temperance” watercolor ©Sara Drescher

Temperance is moderation and self-restraint. Traditionally she is shown holding a sword and a vase or two vases. Sometimes the vases translate to two vessels, one with wine and one with water, to show how she mixes the two to control herself. The grapes and the water in her halo reference this aspect. I think these symbols can refer to Jesus’ miracle of the wine to water and Paul’s teaching to Timothy to mix water with his wine for his stomach. The camels, on one of the vessels, are also a symbol of Temperance because of the idea that a camel does not need much to drink.