BBC News

Artist Stella Vine to help Bronte church

image captionThe Brontes' father Patrick was vicar at the Haworth church from 1820 until his death in 1861

Artist Stella Vine will paint a portrait of the Bronte sisters to raise funds for repairs to the church where Charlotte and Emily are buried.

St Michael and All Angels Parish Church in the Brontes' home town of Haworth, West Yorkshire, has a damaged roof.

The church needs to raise £27,000 by 20 January to secure a further £100,000 in funding from English Heritage.

Vine will sell prints of the sisters after being "greatly saddened" to see the church in a "terrible state".

The new artwork will feature Charlotte, who wrote Jane Eyre, along with Wuthering Heights author Emily and their younger sister Anne, who wrote Agnes Grey.

image captionStella Vine is known for portraits of figures ranging from Princess Diana to heroin addict Rachel Whitear

Their father, Patrick, was vicar at the church from 1820-61 and the sisters wrote their masterpieces in the nearby parsonage.

The roof of the church is badly damaged and water has now damaged the original wall paintings. The building has also been targeted by lead thieves three times in the last 18 months.

English Heritage has set the church a target of £65,000 to raise by itself in order to qualify for the grant. Church secretary John Huxley said they were still about £27,000 short.

Vine's colourful, child-like style split the art world after she was championed by collector Charles Saatchi in 2004.

She attracted controversy with portraits of figures ranging from Princess Diana to heroin addict Rachel Whitear, whose death with a syringe in her hand hit headlines in 2000.

A limited edition of 100 Bronte prints will be sold for £150 each and the artist said all profits would go to the church fund.

More on this story

  • Bronte church at Haworth in urgent appeal for cash