The Vestals Get a Modern Makeover

Hello all!  Most of the images we have of the Vestals are from antiquity – these are statues, relief carvings and images minted on coins or engraved on seal rings.

As lovely and informative as these are, it is wonderful to see more modern treatments.  Angus McBride was popular history and fantasy illustrator and his depiction of the Vestals tending the sacred fire is one of my favorites.  There are seven Vestals shown here, although there were actually six Vestals in total.  We might imagine that in this image, a novice is reading the sacred rituals as the Vestalis Maxima tends to the Eternal Flame.  That, or a group of novices is being schooled by two older Vestals.  Either way, it’s a lovely image that depicts the beauty and gravity of their sacred duty.