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Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Stations of the Cross: Epstein & Gill

Station ​Six, Veronica wipes the face of Jesus in the Stations of the Cross 2016 exhibition is Jacob Epstein's Madonna and Child, 1950-52 at Cavendish Square. This seems an odd choice as this is not a sculpture of Veronica or her veil. However, as my final photograph above show Christ's face is seen against fabric (which does, therefore, imply an equation of sorts to the image of Christ on Veronica's veil).   

The website description for this Station runs as follows: "According to legend, Veronica knelt beside Jesus as he struggled with the cross. After wiping the blood, sweat, and grime from his face her cloth bore the miraculous imprint of Jesus’ face. While Veronica isn’t pictured, Epstein’s Madonna and Child looks unblinkingly towards the events of the Passion. Jesus’ outstretched arms form a cross, while the fabric which surrounds him suggests Veronica’s Sudarium. The garments of the two figures stretch across their bodies like bandages. Maybe it is up to the viewer to play the role of Veronica, lifting a cloth to tend to mother and son. Perhaps Epstein was inspired by the Convent of the Holy Child Jesus, for whom he created this sculpture; or maybe the Royal College of Nursing, which sits at the corner of Cavendish square. He didn’t need to look far to find examples of women prepared to come to the aid of the wounded."

When visiting this Station, it is only a short detour to Broadcasting House with its sculptures by Eric Gill and to RIBA and its Architecture Gallery where the current exhibition has significant death and resurrection resonances being entitled Creation from Catastrophe. One of Gill's Stations of the Cross panels at Westminster Cathedral is included in Stations of the Cross 2016.


Julie Miller - How Could You Say No?

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