Wikio - Top Blogs - Religion and belief

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Modern Art and City Churches

'Throughout its history, art in St Paul's Cathedral has inspired and illuminated the Christian faith for those who visit, and provided a focus for reflection, meditation and contemplation.

St Paul’s Cathedral is home to a spectacular array of art; from the delicate carvings of Grinling Gibbons in the quire to Sir James Thornhill's dome murals, as well as the Victorian mosaics and Henry Moore's Mother and Child: Hood.'

Mother and Child: Hood is one of Henry Moore's very final commissions in the 1980s.' 'The idea of a piece for St Paul’s was put to Moore in 1983, when he was recovering from a serious illness. The commission did much to reinvigorate him: ’I can’t get this Madonna and Child out of my mind,’ he said. ’It may be my last work, and I want to give it the feel of having a religious connotation'. Moore decided that travertine marble would be a more suitable material than bronze for the site chosen, in the north choir aisle of the cathedral, close to the main altar. The task of carving the large piece, which stands seven feet high, was entrusted to the stone carvers of the Henraux stoneyard in Querceta in the Carrara mountains of northern Italy, where in his younger days Moore himself had carved many works.'

Josefina de Vasconcellos enjoyed 'numerous large commissions that expressed [her] flowing naturalistic carving. This was at a time when mainstream sculptured art was toying with the more abstract styles of Moore and Hepworth.

Among her works ... are ‘Reconciliation’ at Coventry Cathedral and Bradford University, ‘Holy Family’ at Liverpool Cathedral and Gloucester Cathedral, ‘Virgin and Child’ in the OBE Chapel at St Paul’s Cathedral, London, ‘Nativity’ (at Christmas) at St Martin-in-the-Fields Church in Trafalgar Square, London, and many more.'

'In 1957 her sculpture entitled ‘Virgin and Child’ was donated to St. Paul’s Cathedral in London ...she became the first woman to have a sculpture in the Cathedral.' 'The message of God’s love permeates her art, for Josefina was convinced that if people loved God, they would love and respect each other, that this was the way to world peace. It was also the way to inculcate respect for the environment, and was ultimately the hope for the future.'

The Cathedral also hosts 'Martyrs (Earth, Air, Fire, Water), the first of two large-scale permanent video installations created by internationally acclaimed artist Bill Viola.'
'Created by Bill Viola and Kira Perov and opened in May 2014, Martyrs shows four individuals, across four colour vertical plasma screens, being martyred by the four classical elements. The work has no sound. It lasts for seven minutes.

Martyrs will be joined in 2015 by a second piece entitled Mary. The installations have been gifted to Tate, and are on long-term loan to St Paul’s Cathedral.'

Outside the Cathedral is The Young Lovers by Georg Ehrlich, the Austrian-born sculptor, draughtsman and etcher. His bronzes are mainly tender studies of adolescents or animals, though he also made a number of portrait busts and reliefs. Born in Vienna, he studied at the Vienna School of Arts and Crafts under the architect Strnad, He first made his name as a draughtsman and engraver; only beginning to make sculpture in 1926. His first one-man exhibition (of prints) was at the Galerie Hans Goltz, Neue Kunst, Munich, His sculpture was included in the Austrian pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 1932, 1934, 1936 and again in 1958. He came to London as a refugee in 1937 and took British nationality.


Bear's Den - Agape.

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