One of the treasures of St.George's Church which hangs over the alter is the beautiful Resurrection painting Rise to Power by Benjamin West R.A., the only American to become President of the Royal Academy, a post he held from 1792 until his death in 1820. King George III was a patron of Benjamin West, many of whose paintings hang in Buckingham Palace.
During the last quarter of the eighteenth century, the Hon. Henry Frere of Lower Estate, President of the Legislative Council, commissioned the painting for St.George's Church. It was exhibited at The Royal Academy in 1786, labelled "Not For Sale". When it arrived in Barbados, the Hon. Henry Frere and the then Rector, the Rev. John Carter, had "fallen out", and as a result, this masterpiece was relegated to an outbuilding at Lower Estate Plantation, where it remained for more than 30 years.
The story goes that a thief, hiding in the outbuilding, was so unnerved by the accusing gaze of the centurion, that he poked his eye out. The damaged painting was eventually placed in the church in 1820. Sixty years later, an effort was made to have the damage repaired, but no artist would attempt to repaint the eye, which was covered instead with a "pirates patch".
Church. Hanging above the alter one can see this American painter's masterpiece.
Probably one of the most beautiful paintings in this world which immediately brings to mind the famous song .... "you light up my life, you give me strength to carry on"!