One of the final paintings of renowned Alaskan artist Byron Birdsall was a commissioned piece by the Anchorage Archdiocese in which he created an original watercolor of Saint Therese of Lisieux, the patron saint of Alaska.
Birdsall died on Dec. 4 at age 78.
About a month earlier, his painting of Saint Therese was given to newly installed Anchorage Archbishop Paul Etienne during his installation Mass on Nov. 9 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Co-Cathedral in Anchorage.
Birdsall was an iconic Alaskan artist whose paintings adorn the walls of multiple museums, public institutions and are owned by royalty. He also painted a U.S. Postal stamp of the Alcan Highway and in 2005 was appointed to the American Academy in Rome where he worked and painted for several months.
His watercolor paintings are famous for their expression of light.
The new painting of Saint Therese of Lisieux shows the patron of Alaska holding a crucifix and surrounded by vividly colored flowers.
High quality reproductions of the painting, which include the exact look of the original watercolor down to specific brush strokes, are available for $1,000 each. Only 25 high quality reproductions will be made, all signed and numbered by Birdsall. A limited printing of 100 standard prints are also available. These run $100 each and are also signed and numbered by Birdsall.
All proceeds will go towards the installation and transition costs for Archbishop Etienne.