Victor Hardy explains the Roman Catholic iconography and imagery in his artwork

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Attorney and award-winning artist Victor Hardy provides a personal insight into the iconography and imagery used in his artwork, much of which is inspired by Roman Catholicism.


A respected attorney from Austin, Texas, specializing in online and multimedia patent infringement litigation, liquidation proceedings, due diligence, and intellectual property law, lawyer Victor Hardy is also a highly talented and multi-award-winning artist. Here, Hardy reveals more about the Roman Catholic iconography and imagery which inspires much of his artwork.


“I often use a variety of iconography in my art,” explains Hardy, “including Roman Catholic imagery.”


A fan of the globally popular wargame Warhammer 40k since his student days, Hardy says that much of his use of Roman Catholic iconography is inspired by the game. “For example, ‘Ecclesiarchy of the Imperium’ in Warhammer is undoubtedly an allegory of the historical Roman Catholic Church,” suggests the award-winning artist and attorney. 


“Elsewhere,” he continues, “‘The Holy Orders of the Emperor’s Inquisition’ is modeled off the same inquisition that historically pursued heretics, while ‘Grey Knights’ and ‘Black Templars’ are the historical Knights Templar, or Templars, that were connected to the church.”


Within Warhammer 40k, ‘Saint Celestine’ is, Victor Hardy goes on to point out, a Saint, and very much in the Roman Catholic Church sense. Similarly, so-called Sebastion Thor’s reformation of the Ecclesiarchy is, he says, a historical allegory for Martin Luther. Luther was a German monk, priest, and a seminal figure ordained to the priesthood in 1507. “Ultimately, however,” Hardy explains, “he did come to reject aspects of the Roman Catholic Church – in particular, the church’s view on indulgences.”


Turning his focus back to Warhammer 40k and the inspiration for his own art, Hardy also points out that many of the game’s ‘Sisters’ icons are loosely modeled off of real religious icons. “I could describe the parallels all day long,” says the artist and attorney. “Indeed, there is no stronger influence on Warhammer imagery,” he goes on, “than that of the Roman Catholic Church.” 


Referring to some of his best known and most popular pieces of artwork, Hardy reveals that, for instance, his inclusion of a so-called ‘Word Bearer Demon Prince’ in one example is a piece of iconography that’s a slightly twisted version of well-known Catholic iconography. “Within my work, I very often depict various events from the history of the Catholic Church,” he adds. 


Each such scene, Hardy explains, depicts a dual message which is, at least in part, applicable to the Roman Catholic Church. “I like to think,” he adds, wrapping up, “that my art pushes the boundaries of imagery, theme, technical proficiency, and level of effort – something which is incredibly satisfying to me.”