In 1886, the influential writer and art critic John Ruskin told Lilias Trotter (1853-1928) that she had a rare artistic talent, and that with his teaching and social influence she could become a famous painter. But to do so, Lilias would have to give herself over completely to her art. In her early 20s at the time, Lilias was dividing her time between her art and volunteer work with the prostitutes and poorest women of Victorian London. She ultimately chose to give herself over completely to God’s call on her life, taking the name of Jesus to the Arabs of Algiers in North Africa.
For 40 years Lilias ministered there, especially to the veiled and cloistered Arabic women. She never became a famous artist, yet she left a legacy of sketchbooks, watercolors, diaries, and devotionals that, while never completely forgotten, have recently been brought to public attention by American writer Miriam Rockness.
Now a new documentary film based on the life of Lilias Trotter, "Many Beautiful Things,” has been released to limited audiences. Boston friends can view a screening at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 17th at AMC Loews in Danvers, MA. This beautiful film features Michelle Dockery of “Downton Abbey” and John Rhys-Davies of “Lord of the Rings.” Click on the link below to buy tickets. Hope to see you there!