Painter Stella Vine has stepped in to try and revive the fortunes of the church in Haworth, Yorkshire where Charlotte and Emily Brontë are buried.
© Stella Vine
Vine has painted a one-off portrait of the famous sisters and is selling signed limited edition prints at £150 a time to help fund the repair of the roof of St Michael and All Angels Parish Church where their father Patrick was vicar between 1820 and 1861.
Both the church and the nearby Parsonage, where the sisters wrote many of their masterpieces including Emily's Wuthering Heights and Charlotte's Jane Eyre, have become a place of pilgrimage for thousands of visitors each year.
During a recent trip to Haworth, Vine was shocked by the state of the church roof, which has been damaged by rain and targeted by thieves.
"I...was greatly saddened to see the Brontë Church in a terrible state, and in desperate need of repair," said Vine. "It urgently needs to find funding to match an English Heritage grant or they could lose the grant in the next two weeks."
© Photo Frank Glover www.geograph.co.uk via Wikimedia Commons
The church needs to raise over £20,000 towards a total of £65,000 to release £100,000 from English Heritage.
Vine's painting, Charlotte, Emily and Anne, recalls the famous group portrait (circa 1834) of the Brontë sisters painted by their brother Branwell, but boasts the unmistakable naïve style she has developed in her famous celebrity portraiture.
The artist is offering a series of 100 limited edition quality giclee prints of the painting. Each is signed, titled and dated 2012 on the front, with a message of thanks on the reverse for the church fund. The approx print size is 44cm x 37cm (with a 6cm border on each side).
The prints are now available via www.stellavine.com at £150 per print. All profits from the sale will be given to the appeal.