reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churches

Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Fri Jun 07, 2013 4:39 pm

This, however, is hardly ground-breaking as a "new" initiative:
"Among his favourite architects, he said, are the Spanish Santiago Calatrava and the Japanese Tadao Ando, as well as past Modernist masters, Le Corbusier and Alvar Aalto."
Praxiteles
Old Master
 
Posts: 6062
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 7:02 pm

Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Sun Jun 09, 2013 7:05 pm

Mass at Notre Dame de Paris to mark the 850th. anniversary of the consecration of the present Cathedral
29 May 2013


http://www.schola-sainte-cecile.com/201 ... ent-audio/
Praxiteles
Old Master
 
Posts: 6062
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 7:02 pm


Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Sun Jun 09, 2013 7:50 pm

850th Anniversary of Notre Dame de Paris

Special commemorative stamps issued by French Post Office

http://www.notredamedeparis2013.com/201 ... s-850-ans/
Praxiteles
Old Master
 
Posts: 6062
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 7:02 pm

Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Sun Jun 09, 2013 7:55 pm

850th Anniversary of Notre Dame de Paris


News from the Mairie de Paris

http://www.paris.fr/english/english/not ... port_19237
Praxiteles
Old Master
 
Posts: 6062
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 7:02 pm

Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Fri Jun 21, 2013 8:54 pm

From the City Journal:

MYRON MAGNET
Can We Still Build Real Architecture?

Two recent Manhattan buildings say, “Yes!”


One of Dickens’s villains boasts that he’s never moved by a pretty face, for he can see the grinning skull beneath. That’s realism, he says. But it’s a strange kind of realism that can look through life in all its vibrancy to focus only on death.

Much of today’s architecture brings that misanthrope to mind. Beauty? For our advanced culture, it’s as spectral as classical philosophy’s two other highest values: the good and the true. A building might be cutting-edge, boundary-breaking, transgressive. But simply beautiful? The arts have transcended such illusions.

A pity. Part of the pleasure of metropolitan life is the pre–World War II city’s manifold loveliness. When you see the illuminated Chrysler Building glowing through the evening fog, or walk by the magnolias blooming in front of Henry Frick’s museum, ravishing outside and in, or gaze up at the endlessly varied historicism of lower Broadway’s pioneering skyscrapers, you know you are Someplace—someplace where human inventiveness and aspiration have left lasting monuments proclaiming that our life is more than mere biology and has a meaning beyond the brute fact of mortality. Like all our manners and ceremonies, from table etiquette to weddings, beauty in architecture humanizes the facts of life. So we don’t want a machine for living—a high-tech lair to service our animal needs—but rather a cathedral, a capitol, a home, expressive of the grandeur, refinement, urbanity, and coziness of which our life is capable.

Two recent Manhattan buildings gracefully exemplify the life-affirming architectural humanism I have in mind. First is a gemlike house at 5 East 95th Street, just east of Central Park, by celebrated London architect John Simpson, designer of the enchanting Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace. Completed late in 2005, it looks like an independent townhouse but is, in fact, an extension of the landmarked Beaux-Arts mansion at 3 East 95th Street that Philadelphia architect Horace Trumbauer designed in 1913 for Marion Carhart, a banker’s widow, who died before she could move in. In 1935, the Lycée Français bought the house, and years of high-energy students left the structure battered by the time the school sold it to a Hong Kong–based developer in 2001. Layers of battleship-gray paint covered the first floor of its grimy limestone street wall; the interior, with its institutional bathrooms and fire doors, had grown shabby; and a jerry-built, three-story 1950s annex, resembling an auto-body shop, adjoined it at 5 East 95th.

The developer’s idea was to tear down the annex and extend the Carhart Mansion eastward, to create four princely condos suitable for the quietly posh Carnegie Hill neighborhood and the giddy, new-century real-estate boom. An establishment architectural firm drew up plans for a modernist extension, which the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved. But a tough-minded broker recruited to presell the condos dismissed the plan as economically unviable, reasonably observing that no gilt-edged buyer would pay millions to live in an apartment that started out a Beaux-Arts Dr. Jekyll at one end and turned into a glass-loft Mr. Hyde at the other. So it was back to the drawing board—after a call to City Journal contributor Simpson (see “Reimagining the Far West Side,” Autumn 2004).

For starters, what Simpson and his New York coadjutor, Zivkovic Connolly Architects, had to do was bring the Carhart house’s original magnificence back to life, cleaning, repointing, and repairing. Magnificence, of course, was Horace Trumbauer’s stock-in-trade: as architect to many Gilded Age plutocrats, he had built The Elms, one of the grandest Newport summer “cottages,” for a Philadelphia coal tycoon, and in Manhattan, he designed a dozen or so urban palaces, of which a few still survive—including the 40-room 9 East 71st Street, built for one of the Macy’s-owning Strauses, and the Fifth Avenue marble palace of tobacco magnate James B. Duke at 78th Street. A virtuoso of the French classicism that American architects had imported from the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris around 1890, the self-taught Trumbauer created for Mrs. Carhart a suave limestone facade enlivened with dramatic banded rustication—the tops and bottoms of the stones are beveled to create deep horizontal stripes—on the ground floor. He recessed the carved stone frames of the windows—arched on the second floor to echo the arched doorway and two flanking windows of the first floor—so that the remaining stone of the facade appears to project slightly forward, suggesting four pilasters that tease your eye as you try to follow them upward toward capitals that you find only as a sedately witty coda above the deep stone cornice that crowns the composition. A shallow wrought-iron balcony resting on four consoles that are a signature motif of the Beaux-Arts style runs across the second floor and finds an echo in wrought-iron grilles across the bottoms of the third-floor windows.


©2012 JONATHAN WALLEN/COURTESY OF JOHN SIMPSON ARCHITECTS
. . . complements the lush romanticism of Horace Trumbauer’s 1913 Beaux-Arts facade.
Understanding that he wasn’t designing in a vacuum, Simpson planned an adjoining facade for his new building that constantly plays off against Trumbauer’s, creating a whole that, in the comparisons it constantly invites your mind’s eye to make, is greater than the sum of its parts. If Trumbauer, with his pilasters, goes vertical, Simpson, with his emphatic moldings between each floor, opts for horizontality, making his building look as wide as its partner when it is, in fact, 25 percent narrower. Trumbauer’s verticality looks all the more lofty because his pilasters rise above the tight horizontal bands of his ground floor’s rustication; Simpson, by making his rusticated bands twice as wide as the original, makes his ground floor appear to spring upward by comparison, a dynamic contrast to the strong horizontality above. Where Trumbauer’s facade seems to recede with a feminine discretion between its pilasters, Simpson’s is all broad-chested masculine assertiveness: even the carved stone panels he sets between the second and third floors, answering Trumbauer’s demurely set-in ones and inventively varying his cornucopia design in bolder relief, intrepidly protrude. But lest you think Simpson is stuck on the horizontal, he subtly echoes Trumbauer’s pilasters as frames for his three third-floor windows. On the rear of his building, he pulls out all the stops and plays a bravura variation on Trumbauer’s theme, with wrought-iron balconies, pilasters, inset windows, and arches, rising above one another in a yellow-brick fanfare.

Simpson had an advantage that Trumbauer lacked: the east wall of the new building doesn’t abut another structure but fortuitously overlooks the little front garden of the redbrick Italian Renaissance townhouse that Grosvenor Atterbury designed for Ernesto Fabbri and his Vanderbilt-heiress wife in 1916. The Fabbris had made a deal with friends who planned to build a house at 5 East 95th Street: each couple’s house would have a set-back section, so that the two together would form an airy, vest-pocket forecourt that would allow light to flood into the interior rooms. But Number 5 never got built as planned, giving Simpson a chance to adorn the demi-piazza with another classical limestone facade, this one blossoming as it reaches the top into a breathtaking classical pediment that makes triumphantly explicit all the Greek-revival allusions of his main front. And above that rises the profile of another columned temple behind it—an acropolis in the sky on East 95th Street!


©2012 JONATHAN WALLEN/COURTESY OF JOHN SIMPSON ARCHITECTS
An acropolis in the sky crowns Simpson’s building.
But here we come to a conundrum. Whereas the developer’s original plans for a lackluster modernist extension to Mrs. Carhart’s house sailed through the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission, Simpson’s design met stiff resistance. It’s an architectural shibboleth that an extension of a historic structure must be sufficiently differentiated from it that no one can mistake the new work for old—which, for sensible preservationists, might mean merely not staining new wood to look aged. But some now-forgotten secretary of the interior set architectural standards for extensions of historic federal buildings—on which states and localities have modeled their own historic-preservation rules, and on which historic-preservation tax credits depend—that all but require modernist additions, not so much in the bland language of the standards as in the pictures that illustrate the dos and don’ts. (Memo to reformers seeking to clear away harmful government regulation: the purpose—and the poison—often hides in the details and attachments.) The great apostasy to this dogma, in the eyes of its acolytes, is Kevin Roche’s 1993 extension of the Felix Warburg mansion, housing New York’s Jewish Museum. Using stonemasons whom the Episcopal Cathedral of Saint John the Divine had trained, as a way of giving a livelihood to impoverished minority kids who lived in the cathedral’s then-seedy neighborhood, Roche masterfully extended the museum’s Fifth Avenue facade in the same stone and French-Renaissance style as C. P. H. Gilbert’s 1908 original. To me, his work is a moving, reverent homage to the past and a miraculous triumph of skill and craftsmanship that I had feared our own age had lost—and that we should celebrate, not execrate. What’s more, Roche’s extension replaced a 1963 glass-and-steel annex that, despite its small size, was, in my view, Gotham’s most hideous monument of preening modernist vulgarity—but that would comply perfectly with the secretary of the interior’s standards.

For all its hesitation, the Landmarks Preservation Commission conceded that Simpson’s austere Greek classicism contrasted sufficiently with Trumbauer’s lush Beaux-Arts classicism, and the result is triumphant proof of their decision’s wisdom. If you have any doubts about it, only compare the urbanity with which the extended Carhart Mansion enhances and harmonizes its block of Carnegie Hill with the jarringly dreary effect on West 44th Street of the Harvard Club’s clichéd 2003 glass annex, linking the soberly decorous neo-Georgian main building that McKim, Mead, and White built in stages between 1894 and 1915 to Warren and Wetmore’s gorgeously phantasmagorical fin-de-siècle Yacht Club to the west.

To get to Yes, the commission had to overcome yet one more shibboleth that David Watkin, Cambridge University’s emeritus professor of architectural history, has exploded in these pages more than once: that building new structures in historical styles is inauthentic because it produces buildings that don’t express today’s zeitgeist. How do buildings designed in the modernism of the 1920s or thirties or even fifties express the spirit of the twenty-first century? Watkin asked. And has not the architectural vocabulary that developed from the Greeks and Romans to the Europeans of the Middle Ages and Renaissance allowed every age to express its vision of the good life with its own distinctive accent and emphasis? (See especially “Why a Classical Lincoln Center Is Visionary,” Summer 2001.) No one would mistake a Michelangelo or an Inigo Jones building for one of John Soane or Edwin Lutyens: each is classical in the spirit of its own age—as is John Simpson’s. And each is beautiful.

Tom Wolfe coined the wonderful word “plutography” to describe the voyeuristic peek at the airbrushed lives of the very rich that glossy architecture magazines procure for their readers; and if such indulgence offends you, feel free to skip this paragraph and the next. But oh, what grand apartments Simpson and Zivkovic created for the Carhart Mansion’s new cohort of mega-millionaires—while making ingenious use of space by horizontally slicing some of the loftier rooms into two. Opening off Trumbauer’s sumptuous marble entrance hall is a 15-room triplex, whose paneled, 45-foot-long drawing room, with five windows opening onto a rear terrace, is the bottom half of the original house’s 21-foot-high ballroom, while what was to be Mrs. Carhart’s bedroom, with a marble fireplace and a 16-foot-high ceiling swirling with painted mythological figures, the blueprint designates a “den.” The old basement contains a family room and kitchen opening onto a 1,000-square-foot garden.

Simpson and Zivkovic turned the second story into a 17-room duplex, with full-height rooms, including a salon 45 feet long and 18 feet tall, behind Trumbauer’s facade, while behind the new facade, two levels of rooms rise a more down-to-earth 9 1/2 feet—still higher than most Manhattan apartments. The 12-foot-high third story is a 12-room, full-floor apartment, while Simpson transformed Trumbauer’s old mansard-roofed attic—probably just servants’ rooms—into a fantastic ten-room penthouse, whose showstopping centerpiece is a brand-new 40-by-22-foot salon crowning the new extension, with light-streaming windows on three sides, those at the front and back opening onto airy terraces, one of them backed by a pedimented temple that makes you feel that you have ascended to Parnassus in Manhattan. But even that’s not all, for you climb a stairway with a hand-carved mahogany banister to Trumbauer’s rooftop solarium, surrounded by three more terraces totaling some 3,000 square feet and giving views of Central Park, with one final garden on its roof—more than a tenth of an acre of gardens in the sky, Elysium indeed.

Tucked away in its quiet Manhattan corner, the Carhart Mansion delights mostly its neighbors and architecture buffs who seek it out. But no one can miss the second new building worth considering—the Ralph Lauren store on the southwest corner of Madison Avenue and 72nd Street, one of Gotham’s most prominent crossroads. Marketing wizard Lauren has put his stamp upon that metropolitan hub for decades to come by constructing a coolly elegant French château as a women’s clothing store to balance the men’s store he opened on the other side of Madison Avenue in 1986 in the neo-Renaissance 1898 Rhinelander Mansion. Like its brawnier, beautifully restored older brother across the street, the luscious new limestone confection, which opened late in 2010, rises only four stories, considerably fewer than zoning would allow. So Lauren has given the city an urban-planning as well as an architectural gift, creating an airy, low-rise oasis on the Upper East Side, where two evocations of French classicism, sixteenth-century and eighteenth-, engage the eye and the imagination.

In the New York tradition of looking a gift horse in the mouth, the Landmarks Preservation Commission, with jurisdiction over the Upper East Side Historic District of which this site forms the heart, hesitated, out of piety to the historic-preservation dogma that makes desecration preferable to deference. Perhaps the near-universal acclaim that met the Carhart project—including a prize to Simpson from Carnegie Hill’s residents—swayed the commission’s ultimate approval. Perhaps, too, it saw that there was nothing inauthentic about the Carhart extension, with its sumptuous, load-bearing limestone facades, thick walls, and finely crafted ornament. Perhaps that made the commission all the readier to consent to Lauren’s hôtel particulier—a nobleman’s townhouse—with its thick walls (though the Indiana limestone is a screen hung on cement blocks), its elegant, lacy metalwork balconies crafted in the Czech Republic, its Turkish limestone floors and Italian marble stairs, and its skillfully carved solid limestone embellishments.

Designer Michael Gilmore of the Scottsdale-based Weddle Gilmore architectural firm told a shelter-magazine reporter that he designed the Madison Avenue château with some of its Upper East Side neighbors as inspirations—above all, the Frick Museum and the James B. Duke house, by none other than Horace Trumbauer, one more link with the Carhart project. Certainly, you can see the Duke house’s influence on Gilmore’s contrast of chaste expanses of sumptuous limestone with areas adorned with refined, restrained ornament. Most notably, Gilmore uses rusticated quoins—carved, beveled blocks that form the corners of a building—in the same way Trumbauer does, stacking them evenly on top of one another, rather than alternating long and short corner blocks in the more usual fashion.


COURTESY OF RALPH LAUREN
Ralph Lauren’s delectable limestone palace on Madison Avenue embodies a French classicism so avant-garde that it never existed—until now.
Which raises one further question of architectural authenticity: Trumbauer closely based the Duke house, now the NYU Institute of Fine Arts, on the exquisite 1770s Château Labottière in Bordeaux (just as he based The Elms in Newport on the 1750s Château d’Asnières just north of Paris). But he blew up his models to American size—and, in the Duke house, stretched out his eighteenth-century pattern horizontally, producing something very different in its exaggerated monumentality, in the way that Michelangelo’s David belongs to another world from its classical models in its astonishing 17-foot height. The Duke mansion is no more a fake than the David is: Trumbauer’s homage was also a transformation.

Gilmore’s French classicism, though, is more inventive than Trumbauer’s. The Arizonan got a hands-on course in that style when he remodeled an 1890 Beaux-Arts townhouse for Lauren’s Paris store on ultra-chic Avenue Montaigne; but the Madison Avenue hôtel particulier bespeaks a sophisticated understanding not just of Beaux-Arts architecture but also of the earlier French models from which the Beaux-Arts style springs. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, France developed a refined classicism that doesn’t rely heavily on the Greek and Roman orders, letting rusticated ornament—beveled stones—do the work of articulating the structure, just as the Duke house’s quoins suggest the columns that hold up the corners of the building. Some of the most daring French eighteenth-century buildings—for example, the Parisian Hôtel Biron of around 1730 (now the Rodin Museum) or the 1725 Hôtel Matignon, home of France’s prime ministers—do entirely without Ionic columns or Corinthian capitals or Doric triglyphs. With his assured use of the vocabulary of French classicism and his Beaux-Arts quotations, Gilmore has produced a highly original structure in an eighteenth-century French style so avant-garde that it never existed until now—one more proof of classicism’s endless capacity for reinvention and renewal.

The Madison Avenue château’s elegant ground-floor facade is relatively conventional, with three recessed arches—for an entrance and two flanking shop windows—piercing its banded rustication, and two larger show windows at either end, with concave curves at the top corners, like the moldings on French classical paneling. Above the three arches, a stone balcony rests on consoles. Things get more adventurous in the next three stories, where the building splits into three parts, suggesting two wings, each two windows wide, flanking a set-back central block three windows wide. The viewer’s eye sees the banded rustication on the second and third stories of the central block as pilasters supporting the fine stone cornice that separates the third floor from the fourth. Rusticated quoins, as at the Duke house, appear to support both corners of each wing, but—unusually—they are rounded, perhaps inspired by the Saint Regis Hotel or Trumbauer’s stable and coach house at The Elms. The relatively unadorned fourth story gives all the more emphasis to the stone balustrade crowning the whole top of the building. Delicate hoods on dainty consoles, like those at McKim, Mead, and White’s 1893 Metropolitan Club, adorn the second- and third-story windows of the wings, and the whole structure radiates romantic loveliness. If I had any criticism to make, it would be that the rounded quoins of the wings don’t seem to rest on any structural element on the ground floor, making the transition between the first and second floor seem slightly arbitrary and unsupported.

Inside, the great triumph of designer Gilmore and his New York executive architect, Thomas Hut of HS2 Architecture, is the ceremonial staircase, contained in the townhouse just to the west of the new building and incorporated into it. With the giant, sparkling beveled mirrors at every landing reflecting its flamboyantly filigreed, sensuously curved metalwork railing, it seems made for the grand entrance of a duchess or a movie star. The high-ceilinged rooms—adorned with big crystal chandeliers, finely cast plaster moldings with every elegant detail as yet unclogged by years of repainting, and a profusion of beveled mirrors artfully incorporated into the paneling and infinitely reflecting one another—flow into one another as in a French building, and gas fires blaze invitingly in the richly carved marble fireplaces. In a Pavlovian response, one salivates for gilded moldings, brocade curtains, Aubusson rugs, Sèvres vases, and subtly colored walls, but Lauren’s decorators have opted for white as far as the eye can see, along with modern furniture—and who can argue with success?

Marianne Moore wanted her poems to be “imaginary gardens with real toads in them”; on Madison Avenue and 72nd Street, Lauren and his architects have created a real palace with imaginary aristocrats in it. The marketing whiz made his success by grasping firsthand something at the heart of American culture. In a democratic society with equality of opportunity, how does anyone gain distinctiveness, let alone distinction? Even given America’s plutocratic strain, how does yet one more rich person stand out from the moneyed herd? When “old money” means the Wall Street boom-before-last, and “aristocracy” means descendants of the robber barons, Lauren saw a widespread craving among prosperous Americans for rootedness in a less egalitarian American past, when, as F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote (fatuously, in Ernest Hemingway’s view), the very rich were different from you and me. Fitzgerald’s great creation, Jay Gatsby—who was born James Gatz in a boondock, just as Lauren was born Lifshitz in the Bronx—yearned to make a fortune and, when he succeeded, yearned even more to win admiration for the refinement of spirit he believed he displayed in his waterfront Long Island mansion, his London-tailored shirts, his openhanded hospitality. Lauren, who in high school reportedly yearned to be a millionaire, became a billionaire by providing a version of the clothes Gatsby wished for (as well as the costumes for the 1974 Great Gatsby movie), along with advertising that evokes the Gatsby fantasy of polo ponies, tennis in white flannel trousers, attentive servants with silver trays, one-of-a-kind cars, furniture inherited rather than bought, a carefree life of privilege on manicured lawns—and now (why not?) a château.

Out of impulses like these great monuments can spring—not just the plutocratic Newport “cottages” but also the Grand Canal palaces of Venetian nobles trying to outdo one another or the great country houses of English lords trying to show who’s the lordliest of them all, since even in hierarchical societies, some of the eminent will crave preeminence. For myself, I like Lauren’s democratization of grandeur: just as with Mr. Frick’s museum that served as a model for Lauren’s new building, anyone can walk in and feel enlarged by what human imagination has created. And I like that in our free-market society, such a vision sells. It’s another straw in the cultural wind that, according to the New York Times, the apartments in two condominium buildings under construction on East 79th Street, incorporating traditional classical elements and limestone facing, are selling briskly, while apartments in two recently completed modernist glass buildings nearby on Park Avenue sold for discounts of up to 30 percent.

Maybe beauty is illusory only for the misanthropes.

Myron Magnet, City Journal’s editor-at-large and its editor from 1994 through 2006, is a recipient of the National Humanities Medal. His next book is The Founders at Home.
Praxiteles
Old Master
 
Posts: 6062
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 7:02 pm

Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Fri Jun 21, 2013 8:57 pm

From the City Journal:

THEODORE DALRYMPLE
The Discriminating Philistine
Banksy’s wit and talent don’t excuse his vandalism and juvenility.


Immediately after Christmas 2012, I went to an exhibition at the Musée de la Poste in Paris called Au-delà du Street Art (Beyond Street Art). It wouldn’t have taken a sociologist to notice the differences between those who attended it and those who attended other art exhibitions in Paris during the same period, such as Canaletto et Guardi at the Musée Jacquemart-André. Those at Au-delà were much younger, dressed mainly in the international uniform of ghetto youth, and not, from the look of them, normally frequenters of museums and art exhibitions. Among them also were many blacks, again not prominent among the attendees of other art exhibitions in Paris.

Considering the contents of Au-delà du Street Art, the Musée de la Poste was an appropriate venue. It is in the boulevard de Vaugirard, a block away from the perfectly horrible Tour Montparnasse—the skyscraper that has long ruined the view from the rue de Rennes and is now part of a considerable complex of inhuman French modernist architecture. So-called street art flourishes, statistically speaking, where the surfaces and spaces are brutal and where the eye can find no rest from the ugly. Perhaps unintentionally or unconsciously, many street artists, including the great majority who remain forever anonymous, are in effect passing aesthetic judgment on their surroundings.

The street artists in the exhibition, however, were not unknowns but rather celebrities in their field. Their works in various formats now appear in commercial galleries and sell for large, sometimes astronomical, sums of money, a sad commentary on the art market as a reflection of elite taste. A fish, say the Russians, rots from the head down; a culture, when its elite shows no discrimination, is debased.

Strangely enough, the most famous of the street artists represented, Banksy, is only too aware of this phenomenon; he has commented on it and taken advantage of it more than once. For example, he has painted a museum attendant in an old-fashioned uniform sitting near a single framed “picture” consisting only of the word PRICK (or, in another version, ARSE). The first of these versions was sold—though admittedly not by Banksy himself—for about $300,000. He has also produced a print of an auctioneer taking bids for a “picture” that consists of the words I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU MORONS ACTUALLY BUY THIS SHIT. Banksy sold about 1,000 of these prints for $180,000 in total, but they were soon selling at auction for $5,000 apiece. This reminds me of the curious fact that a placebo pill has a placebo effect even if you tell the person taking it that it is only a placebo.

Banksy has guarded his incognito so that it has become, paradoxically, an important part of his identity as well as of his commercial appeal. But according to those who have investigated his life, he seems to have been born in Bristol in 1974. He was privately educated, which suggests family prosperity. From an early age, however, he appears to have suffered not from nostalgie de la boue, for he had never hitherto known la boue, but from envie de la boue, a longing for the depths. This common desire results from two ideological assumptions: that somehow the poor are authentic in a way that other social strata are not; and that prosperity, at least in our society, is something to be ashamed of, the product of social injustice or exploitation. The vulgar language in which Banksy expresses himself, which is probably not native to his original social stratum, is thus a form of expiation for the original sin of having been born to the prosperous and inauthentic.

Banksy is nevertheless an interesting figure. He has some graphic ability, and it is not his fault if his productions have been taken seriously as art. (A glance at a van Eyck and then at a Banksy should be sufficient to put his work into perspective.) He is highly intelligent and undoubtedly witty. Some of his productions make you smile, and others make you laugh; his implicit criticisms of society can be trenchant, especially if you know the British context. He can sometimes suggest quite a lot with economical means.

For example, one of his works, painted on the bottom of an outside wall of the Ritz in London, shows little rats, dressed as waiters in tails, on either side of a red carpet leading into a rat hole. One of them holds a menu, and both are waiting obsequiously to welcome a customer. Of course, the message is not a pleasant one: that people who enter the Ritz, a very expensive establishment, are metaphorical rats. Moreover, they are foolish metaphorical rats, for they ignore the existence of a foundation of filth beneath the hotel’s luxurious veneer. This is Banksy’s version of George Orwell’s remark that our civilization is founded on coal; no doubt Banksy thinks that it justifies his existential choice of la boue. One doesn’t have to agree with the belief, deeply antipathetic as it is to the refinements of civilization, to be amused by the wit with which Banksy expresses it.

Better still is Banksy’s satirical picture, this one on a wall in London’s Essex Road, of two small children pledging allegiance, with hand on heart, to a Tesco plastic bag on a flagpole—actually an electric cable—being run up like a flag by a third child. Tesco is Britain’s largest supermarket chain, and its plastic bags, white with blue stripes and red lettering, litter the countryside, often flapping from trees or disfiguring hedgerows.

Of course, Banksy, as a spoiled child of a consumer society in which real shortage is unthinkable, has all the unexamined anticapitalist prejudices of the lumpenintelligentsia to whom he appeals. But it would be wrong to dismiss the satire of this image out of hand. Tesco, after all, issues a “loyalty card” called a Clubcard; every customer is asked at the checkout, now sometimes by machine, whether he has such a card. The card’s name implies that shopping repeatedly in the stores of one giant corporation rather than in those of another, in the hope of a small price rebate, constitutes membership in a club. You don’t have to be anticapitalist to think that such an idea debases the concept of human clubbability. (In the same way, the word “solidarity” is degraded in France by its association with the payment of high taxes extracted from citizens by force of law.) It is no new thought—but not therefore a false one—that at the heart of consumer society is often a spiritual vacuum, at least for many people. They fill the vacuum with meaningless gestures, such as loyalty to brands almost indistinguishable from one another. I have known murder committed over brands of footwear. Banksy’s image captures, both succinctly and wittily, the vacuum and what fills it.

You also don’t have to be anticapitalist to acknowledge that the power of corporations like Tesco is not altogether benign. The small and beautiful town in which I live when I am in England illustrates this. When my next-door neighbor decided to restore and redecorate his house, which dated from 1709, the local council’s conservation department demanded that the new lead flashing on his roof, invisible from the street, be stamped with a design of bees, presumably because it had been so stamped at some time in history. Certainly conservation is important and cannot be left entirely to individuals. But why was my neighbor bullied in this fashion when Tesco was permitted to open a store not 100 yards away with a frontage completely out of keeping with the town—an eyesore that affects the town’s aesthetic fabric infinitely more than the absence of bees on my neighbor’s invisible lead does? The great majority of British towns have been ruined aesthetically in a similar way, their main streets becoming dispiritingly uniform and ugly, no doubt through some combination of corporate power, bribery, and administrative incompetence. Bullying people like my neighbor is perhaps the officials’ overcompensation for their cowardice or dishonesty in the face of corporations. Banksy’s image therefore has some satirical depth to it.

Banksy’s attitude toward authority and property rights is the standard hostility of the lumpenintelligentsia. Here he is particularly hypocritical because, while maintaining that pose of hostility, he employs lawyers, owns private companies, and is reputed to be highly authoritarian in his dealings with his associates. Inside every rebel, goes the saying, there’s a dictator trying to get out.

His hostile portrayal of the police, however, is not without point in the British context. In one famous image, a long, thin trail of white paint on the sidewalk leads to a wall, where we see a policeman on his knees, snorting cocaine. The message is that the police are corrupt, or at least wrongdoers indistinguishable from those whom they are pursuing. Alas, there is little doubt that the British police are degenerating in the direction of corruption. In more than a third of all British police forces, at least one of the two most senior officers is currently under investigation for corruption or other malfeasance. And when Banksy portrays the British police as semi-militarized, he is not entirely unjustified. Often, our police do indeed look like an occupying militia, rather than what they were traditionally, and what their founder, Sir Robert Peel, intended them to be: citizens in uniform. What Banksy omits to convey is that the police are simultaneously menacing and ineffectual, an unfortunate combination of qualities, and that the innocent and law-abiding therefore fear them more than the criminals do. Nor is there any awareness on Banksy’s part that the very hostility to authority and indifference to property rights that he lauds, which is now so widespread in Britain, might have played some part in the brutalization of British life.

Banksy rightly mocks the British obsession with security cameras, a third of the global total of which are deployed in Britain, making its population the most highly surveyed in the world, in theory. In practice, the cameras contribute nothing to security, since they are inefficiently manned and maintained, and those inclined to behave badly soon learn that they have nothing to fear and thus derive a heightened sense of impunity from them. Banksy’s installation in Central London of a camera high up on a blank wall, pointing at another blank wall inscribed with the words WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT?, is therefore pointed.

Again, nowhere does Banksy suggest that the subculture that he has elected to join—that of the urban disaffected, dressed in its uniform of sneakers and hoods, resentful of its economic impotence, disdainful of refinement, enterprising only in crime, individualistic but lacking in individuality, egotistic in its imposition of its ways on others—might bear some responsibility for a situation to which the installation of cameras is an admittedly fatuous and ineffective response. Consider the cover of his book Wall and Piece, now in its 37th printing in the United Kingdom alone, which shows one of his most famous images: a young man, his baseball cap worn backward and his mouth masked, in the pose of a thrower of a Molotov cocktail but throwing a bouquet of flowers. The image suggests what is clearly untrue—namely, that such young men are generally peaceful. You wouldn’t survive long on London’s meaner streets if you took this suggestion seriously. Inside the book, by the way, Banksy has characteristically attempted to have his cake and eat it, too, inserting a statement that reads, “Against his better judgement Banksy has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.”

Banksy’s little jokes can be damaging in their effect, as Wall and Piece attests only too clearly. Banksy painted the words DESIGNATED GRAFFITI AREA in an official-looking way on three whitewashed walls in elegant areas of London, and they were shortly covered with the horrible and idiotic graffiti that usually targets only concrete walls and tunnels. Banksy argues that all public space should be available for self-expression by the people, forgetting that the majority of the people may want to express themselves by leaving elegant blank walls elegantly blank. But then, they are only people, not the people, a crucial distinction in Banksy’s mind.

Despite his wit, Banksy’s sensibility is both conventional and adolescent. Evidence of his conformism is that all his targets are easy and of the sort chosen by the lumpenintelligentsia (which does not, again, mean that they are necessarily unworthy). For Banksy, it is always “four legs good, two legs bad”: a simplistic worldview in which the common people, as defined by their authenticity, opposition to authority, lack of respect for property rights, and indifference to high culture, can do no wrong, while the rest, inauthentic, law-abiding or themselves in authority, careful of their own property and respectful of others’, and cultured in the traditional sense, can do no right and are either fools or oppressors.

This worldview is that of the eternal adolescent, ever eager to shock the grown-ups with his supposedly contrary views, cleverly and uncompromisingly expressed. Truth comes a distant second to effect. When Banksy said, one Christmas, “At this time of year it’s easy to forget the true meaning of Christianity—the lies, the corruption, the abuse,” he was not so much enunciating a truth as establishing his credentials as a fearless iconoclast; though it would obviously be far more iconoclastic in certain circles (those in which he moves, for example) to have said something more truthful and less adolescent.

When Banksy painted MIND THE CRAP on the steps of the Tate Gallery in London (a reference to the recording played in some London Underground stations to warn passengers to “mind the gap”), he was adopting an egotistic adolescent attitude toward all that had come before himself. He has often said that art in galleries consists of trophies in the cabinets of a few millionaires, whereas his own art is superior because it, at least when produced in the street, is free to the whole population. Let us overlook this facile and grossly inaccurate summation of art history and overlook, too, the fact that entry to the Tate Gallery and most other British art galleries is free. Note only that Banksy goes far beyond even the Stalinist theory of art, which, whatever its dictates to the present generation of artists, never altogether denied the artistic achievements of the past, even if they were stimulated by aristocrats, millionaires, or priests. Banksy’s professed attitude screams, “Now! Now! Now! Me! Me! Me! Before me, nothing; after me, everything!”

Others similarly overestimate Banksy’s artistic importance. In a book about Banksy, journalist William Ellsworth-Jones quotes Marc Schiller, a man who devotes a website to street art:

We now see Banksy as the single greatest thing that has happened not only to the street/urban art movement, but to contemporary art in general . . . . Most people need entry points to become comfortable with things that are new. And for millions of people, Banksy is the entry point they need in not only seeing art in a new way, but in accepting art as a part of their daily lives. Like Andy Warhol before him, Banksy has almost single handedly redefined what art is to a lot of people who probably never felt they appreciated art before.
One is reminded of Molière’s Monsieur Jourdain, who never knew that he was speaking prose; and I recall a patient of mine, an art student who told me that her art history class began with Roy Lichtenstein. If Philip Larkin were alive today, he would have to write: “Artistic endeavor began / In nineteen sixty-three. . . .” It is obvious that so foreshortened a sense of artistic history constitutes not an opening but a complete closure of the mind.

A man with an exceptional understanding of this kind of cultural vandalism, this deliberate, ignorant, and barbaric destruction of an immemorial cultural inheritance, is Simon Leys, the great Belgian sinologist now living in Australia. During and just after the Cultural Revolution in China, Leys wrote books that explained how great a catastrophe the Revolution was and deplored, with excoriating wit that made you laugh out loud, the many idiocies of Western fellow travelers who claimed that the immolation of civilization represented some kind of progress.

As it happens, Leys is not only a sinologist but also the greatest contemporary essayist I know. In his wonderful book Le bonheur des petits poissons, he recounts the following story about philistinism. He was in an ordinary Australian café. People were talking, playing cards, reading the newspaper; a radio was playing banal popular music interspersed with the usual inane chatter of the disc jockeys. Suddenly, and completely unexpectedly, the radio began to play the first movement of Mozart’s clarinet quintet; and, Leys writes, this ordinary café was transformed into “the antechamber of paradise.” Everyone in the café stopped what he was doing; there was silence, astonishment. Then one of the men got up, went over to the radio, and tuned it to another station that purveyed the kind of banality that had preceded Mozart. This brought a kind of relief.

Leys says that the true philistine is not he who does not care to discriminate between the good and the bad, but he who discriminates and chooses the bad. Banksy is such a philistine, and his talent is not an extenuating but an aggravating circumstance.

Theodore Dalrymple is a contributing editor of City Journal, the Dietrich Weismann Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and the author of The New Vichy Syndrome: Why European Intellectuals Surrender to Barbarism.
Praxiteles
Old Master
 
Posts: 6062
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 7:02 pm

Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Sat Jul 20, 2013 11:20 am

From Robin Hood to David Cameron: the story of Britain through its favourite churches



Leading politicians, broadcasters, writers, actors and religious leaders have nominated their favourite place of worship as part of a project to compile a definitive list of Britain’s best loved churches.

The list includes the church where David Cameron’s late son Ivan was christened and the parish where Robin Hood and Maid Marian are said to have been married.

The list includes the church where David Cameron’s late son Ivan was christened and the parish where Robin Hood and Maid Marian are said to have been married.
There is also a building in which worshippers have made room for hundreds of threatened bats and a Quaker meeting house which could prove to be Britain’s greenest church.

While some were selected for their historical or architectural importance others were chosen because they are special for deeply personal reasons connected to family and faith.

Prominent atheists and the UK’s most senior Muslim politician, Baroness Warsi, are among 60 public figures who nominated Christian places of worship to the list being compiled by the National Churches Trust, the charity which helps protect threatened churches, chapels and meeting houses, to mark its 60th anniversary.
It is asking the public to nominate their own favourite choices to complete a definitive list by the end of the year.

The choices demonstrate how, despite increasing secularisation, churches remain at the heart of community life in Britain.

The Prime Minister, who once described himself as having a faith which fades and re-emerges “like Classic FM in the Chilterns” chose two: St Mary the Virgin in his Witney constituency and All Saints in Spelsbury, Oxfordshire.

He said: “It is at All Saints, Spelsbury where my family sometimes worship when we are at home in Oxfordshire. It has a very special memory of my late son, Ivan's, christening."

While Mr Miliband does not profess a Christian faith, he nominated a church in his Doncaster North constituency which resonates with his political beliefs: the Norman St Mary Magdalene Church in Campsall.


"St Mary Magdalene is said to be the church where Robin Hood and Maid Marian were married," he said.

"As strong believers in redistribution the people of Doncaster North are happy to reclaim his roots."

Mr Clegg nominated the 15th century grade one St Nicholas' Church in High Bradfield, in his Sheffield Hallam constituency, while Baroness Warsi, minister for faith and communities, and a Muslim, named Dewsbury Minster, within her home town of in West Yorkshire, as her favourite church.

She said: “This beautiful church is well loved by Dewsbury people of all faiths, including my own Muslim community, and I pray that it continues to prosper for another 1,400 years and more.”

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson nominated St Magnus the Martyr Church, in the City of London, and the Ukip leader Nigel Farage described St Thomas A Becket Church in Romney Marsh, Kent, as "quite enchanting".

Meanwhile Michael Palin, the Monty Python star, chose St Margaret of Antioch Church, in Abbotsley, Cambridgeshire, where he was married, while actor Sir Patrick Stewart nominates Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon where Shakespeare is buried.

Meanwhile Bear Grylls, the explorer, nominated Holy Trinity Church, Brompton, west London, the evangalical congregation where the Archbishop of Canterbury the Most Rev Justin Welby was once a worshipper and lay leader.

The leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, the Most Rev Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster, chose St Edmund's College Chapel in Ware, Hertfordshire, designed by Augustus Pugin.

He said: “It was consecrated by Cardinal Wiseman in 1853 and has witnessed many an ordination and important ecclesiastic gathering. To enter the chapel today is to catch something of this great and continuing tradition.”

Meanwhile Lord Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, nominated St Endellion Church in Cornwall.

He said: “The mixture of rock and space always gives me the feeling of sea-light, of something wide, ungraspable - very much a North Cornwall and West Wales and West of Ireland feeling, opening out on to a deep and broad horizon. An appropriate sensation for a church, I think.”

Julia Hanmer, chief executive of the Bat Conservation Trust nominated the Collegiate Church of Holy Trinity in Tattershall, Lincolnshire. It has installed a special roof allowing a colony of bats to remain without disrupting worshippers – or an estimated 30,000 tourists a year visiting.

Paul Parker, Recording Clerk of the Quakers in Britain nominated the Cotteridge meeting house in Birmingham, a simple modern building covered in solar panels which has recently undergone major refurbishment cutting its electricity bill by 90 per cent.

Claire Walker, Chief Executive of the National Churches Trust, said: “The UK’s 47,000 churches, chapels and meeting houses are a tremendous asset to the nation. Together, they form an unparalleled network of public buildings which sustain local communities.”

"The UK’s Favourite Churches’ is a celebration of some of our most loved and interesting places of worship. Over the summer holidays, I hope more people will discover the joys of visiting churches and seek out some of the churches chosen. There is plenty to see and much history to be discovered. When people do visit a church, I hope they will bear in mind that keeping churches, chapels and meeting houses looking beautiful, and able to cope with the demands of the 21st century, costs money. Replacing a leaking roof, fixing a leaning spire or repairing precious medieval stonework can cost many hundreds of thousands of pounds – which is much more than most church congregations can afford.”
Praxiteles
Old Master
 
Posts: 6062
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 7:02 pm

Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Sat Jul 20, 2013 11:30 am

If this survey were conducted in Ireland, Praxiteles wonders what the outcome would be. Indeed, even the category of "leading politicians" is problematic in Ireland with most consisting of time-servers, turnips, and the turpitudinous all deluded in the imagination that they are "serving their country".
Praxiteles
Old Master
 
Posts: 6062
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 7:02 pm

Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:54 pm

Churches may be stripped, CBC warns after ruling
Image
A RULING authorising a central-London church to sell an 18th-century painting could tempt other churches to sell off their treasures "to the highest bidder", Anne Sloman, who chairs the Church Buildings Council (CBC), has warned.

A judgment handed down on Wednesday of last week, in the Consistory Court, by the Diocesan Chancellor, the Worshipful Nigel Seed QC, granted a faculty to St Stephen's, Walbrook, to sell the painting Devout Men Taking the Body of St Stephen, by Benjamin West.

The picture has been bought by an anonymous foundation for $2.85 million (£1.88 million), and will be loaned to the Museum of Fine Art, Boston, the website Art History News reported last Friday.

Judge Seed said that the painting compromised the integrity of Sir Christopher Wren's design of the building, and that the painting had probably been introduced to the church in 1776 without a faculty.

The CBC was party opponent to the faculty. Its legal counsel and witnesses acted pro bono.

In a witness statement, Mrs Sloman said: "We understand the temptation for churches to sell off valuable works of art; but if such sales are given validity through success in even one or two instances, the parish churches of England could quickly be stripped of many of the treasures that make them unique."

The sale of the West painting would "have serious repercussions, and create an unfortunate precedent for any one of our 16,000 churches seeking funding for repairs, sending a message that the way is now open for them to dispose of the treasures they have inherited to the highest bidder", she said.

Speaking on Wednesday, Mrs Sloman said: "A lot of paintings were introduced in the 18th century without a faculty. Our concern is what is happening now, and in the future."

The CBC had done "a huge amount", she said, to help churches address financial shortfalls, such as persuading the Government to increase the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme from £12 million to £42 million. But it was important for PCCs to realise that they were "curators, not owners".

Mrs Sloman said that the CBC would decide at a residential meeting later this month whether to seek leave to appeal against the ruling.

On Art History News last Friday, the art historian Bendor Grosvenor said: "If all paintings in British churches were subjected to judgments on the nationality of the artist, the quality of the work, and the compatibility with the architecture, we would have almost nothing left."

The Priest-in-Charge of St Stephen's, Walbrook, the Ven. Peter Delaney, declined to comment.
Praxiteles
Old Master
 
Posts: 6062
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 7:02 pm

Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Paul Clerkin » Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:59 pm

Assistance required – 1957 “églises de france reconstruites”
http://archiseek.com/2013/assistance-re ... e2cO41zG84
User avatar
Paul Clerkin
Old Master
 
Posts: 5431
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 1999 1:00 am
Location: Monaghan

Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:31 pm

Neglected church shortlisted for English Heritage award

Image


A church that fell into a parlous state after a century of neglect is one of the historic places of worship shortlisted for an English Heritage Angel Award.

St Alkmund's Shrewsbury, in Shropshire, was built in 1794 and is a Grade II listed building, but by 2000 it was in considerable need of repair.

The roof was leaking, and the windows were falling apart, including the iron-framed east window containing glass by Francis Eginton.

In the following decade, the three surviving Coalbrookdale cast-iron windows were repaired, the entire nave roof was reslated and releaded, and the Eginton window was restored at a cost of £150,000.

Toilets and kitchen facitlies were also added to the building to open it up for community use, and work was done to redecorate and improve the interior.

The total cost of the most urgent repair work was £1 million, of which English Heritage funded £500,000.

The remainder of the cost was met by a mix of grants and fundraising by the priest and parishioners.

The result is that St Alkmund's has been saved as a place of worship and has become a popular concert venue.

The church is up for an award in the Best Rescue or Repair of a Historic Place of Worship category.

The other churches nominated in the category are Saltaire United Reformed Church, Bradford, St Andrew's Church, Epworth, and St James the Greater, Melton Mowbray.

The rescue of Saltaire United Reformed Church, a Grade I listed building, has been led by its small but dedicated group of members, who came together to form a a restoration team in 2005 to oversee the work.

Len Morris was singled out for praise for his "tireless" efforts in seeing the process through.

Work has included repairing the portico canopy and steps, as well as window frames,
safeguarding the 150-year-old Venetian glass.

The mausoleum of Sir Titus Salt had suffered water damage to the ornate plaster interior as a result of lead thefts, but the roof has now been restored using zinc instead to prevent further thefts. With the building in good condition after eight years of work, Morris is pressing ahead with plans to improve the church's facilities and disabled access.

At St Andrew's Epworth, extensive repairs have been made to correct damp and erosion to the masonry caused by a leaking roof and poor drainage.

The work has been overseen since 2002 by Melvyn Rose, whose role as chairman of the restoration committee has developed into a full-time voluntary position.

The building is once again in sound condition following the completion of a programme of repairs that cost £1.6 million.

St James the Greater was put at sudden and significant risk in 2006 by subterranean and water table issues. These exacerbated pre-existing water and drainage issues. By Christmas, the church had been forced to close because of concerns over structural instability, with the possibility that the closure would be permanent.

The repair work suffered considerable setbacks when the church was the victim of two separate lead thefts. However, the small community of Melton Mowbray rallied around and raised the funds to see the repairs through to the end.

Work was finished this April and the church was reopened at the Easter Sunday service.

Now the church is fundraising to carry out the redecoration and plastering of the interior.

The Angel Awards were founded by Andrew Lloyd Webber and are supported by The Telegraph.

The other categories are for the Best Craftmanship Employed on a Heritage Rescue, Best Rescue of a Historic Industrial Building or Site, and Best Rescue of Any Other Type of Historic Building or Site.

Members of the public are being invited to vote for their favourite rescue. Winners will be announced at a glittering award ceremony in London on 21 October hosted by TV presenter Paul Martin.

Mr Lloyd Webber said: "I offer my heartfelt congratulations to the candidates shortlisted for this year's English Heritage Angel Awards who have been selected from a hugely impressive field of applicants.

"These Awards celebrate the time, energy and passion of volunteers across England who help to preserve our country's architectural heritage. Acknowledging these unsung heroes is incredibly important and has contributed to an increase in the number of sites being taken off English Heritage's At Risk register."

Simon Thurley, Chief Executive of English Heritage, said: "When heritage experts met recently to sift through almost 200 applications they were looking for passion, perseverance and imagination as well as the scale of the challenge and how well it had been tackled. What they found was that the quality of applications this year was higher than ever. We salute all these heroic heritage rescuers who prove that people not only care about their local heritage but are prepared to get stuck in and save it.

"With the aid of English Heritage, the Heritage Lottery Fund, local authority conservation officers and countless other organisations - and sometimes simply on their own - our Angels applicants and thousands like them are tackling Heritage at Risk head on. As a nation enriched by its past, we should be truly grateful to our Angels for fighting the neglect and decay which threatens our future."
Praxiteles
Old Master
 
Posts: 6062
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 7:02 pm

Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Fri Sep 06, 2013 10:20 pm

A. W. N. Pugin's unexecuted design for St. Mary's. Hobart

An Essay by Brian Andrews


http://www.puginfoundation.org/assets/S ... Hobart.pdf
Praxiteles
Old Master
 
Posts: 6062
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 7:02 pm

Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Fri Sep 06, 2013 10:25 pm

[code][/code]A Guide to St. Patrick's Colebrook, Tasmania


http://www.puginfoundation.org/assets/S ... _Guide.pdf
Praxiteles
Old Master
 
Posts: 6062
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 7:02 pm

Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Fri Sep 06, 2013 10:32 pm

An essay on St. Patrick's Colebrook, Tasmania

by Brian Andrews


http://www.puginfoundation.org/assets/C ... _Essay.pdf
Praxiteles
Old Master
 
Posts: 6062
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 7:02 pm

Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:21 am

Britain's Favourite 60 Churches


http://www.favouritechurches.org.uk/
Praxiteles
Old Master
 
Posts: 6062
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 7:02 pm

Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:23 am

TWENTIETH ANNUAL EDITION OF 'HISTORIC CHURCHES' NOW ONLINE

A mix of well-informed articles and directory, the twentieth edition of Historic Churches has now been published, and a free version is also available online for all involved in the care and conservation of historic places of worship:

http://www.buildingconservation.com/books/churches2013/index.html . In addition, over one hundred of the articles published in back issues of Historic Churches are available on the website free of charge http://www.buildingconservation.com/articles/articles.htm
Praxiteles
Old Master
 
Posts: 6062
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 7:02 pm

Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:32 am

The Ecclesiologist September 2013

http://www.ecclsoc.org/
Praxiteles
Old Master
 
Posts: 6062
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 7:02 pm

Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Wed Sep 18, 2013 12:30 am

From the Journal of Sacred Architecture:

Simplicity Without Iconoclasm
by Duncan G. Stroik

The Liturgical Altar
by Geoffrey Webb
2011 Romanitas Press, 60 pages, 15

Would you like to get a glimpse into the philosophy of the Liturgical Movement in the 1930s? This period between World War I and Vatican II witnessed some important ideas which were to have a great influence on the renovation and building of Catholic churches. Of central concern was the design of the altar, which is the main topic of this short book first published in 1936. The Liturgical Movement’s goal was to promote simplicity in the design of liturgical elements without being iconoclastic. Geoffrey Webb was an architectural historian and Cambridge professor. His essay on the altar contains wonderful historical and liturgical information on the altar and its appointments: tabernacle, candles, altar crucifix, veils, and linens, as well as elements seldom discussed today such as Eucharistic thrones, testers, antependia, and riddel posts.

http://www.sacredarchitecture.org/images/uploads/saint_augustine_hoddesdon.jpg

Altar at Saint Augustine Church, Hoddesdon 1930s (Photo: The Liturgical Altar)

Most books are a product of their time, and reading The Liturgical Altar today, one can understand how the liturgical movement may have unwittingly laid the foundation for the embrace of modernism. Using liturgical law, the rubrics of the Mass, and historical precedent the author argues for a simple and primitive altar. Yet what Webb advocates seems downright traditional when compared with the wooden tables of the past thirty years. He argues for a stone altar with a completely veiled tabernacle and candlesticks, a crucifix behind, a baldacchino, an altar frontal, and riddel screens placed on three sides. Medieval England was seen as the golden age.

Webb also treats many objects which he considers extraneous to the design of the liturgical altar. Since the altar is a place of sacrifice, then anything that could be seen as added to it dilutes its meaning: gradines for tabernacle or candlesticks are unnecessary and compromise the pure shape of the altar, altarpieces distract, and elaborate thrones and flower vases clutter the altar. These are elements which could be construed as turning the altar into a mere pedestal and should therefore be done away with. Developments are generally viewed as decadent by Webb unless they, like the candles and tabernacle on the altar or the canopy above it, are required by liturgical law. Since the liturgical law of the time required the tabernacle to be attached to the altar, it “should not be built into a gradine or reredos, but should stand out clearly on all sides as a separate object with the plain visibility which its great dignity and importance demand. The surface of the mensa is the ideal position on which to set it.”

http://www.sacredarchitecture.org/images/uploads/twentieth_century_altar.jpg

Modern altar, 1960s (Photo: Felicity Rich)

On the reredos Webb writes, “however skilful the technical achievements of such erections, they take to themselves the importance which belongs of right to the altar.” Thus, the reredos, or altarpiece, competes with rather than completes the altar.

Put in this way it is possible to recognize how the Liturgical Movement of the 1930s, with good intentions, segued into the minimalist altar and the iconoclastic church of the late twentieth century—all in the name of proper liturgy. By the time of Vatican II, it could be argued that the tabernacle, crucifix, and candles were not integral to the architecture of the altar, and should be moved elsewhere. Baldacchinos and testers were seen as an unnecessary distraction which, along with steps and predella, take away from the liturgical simplicity of the altar. By the 1960s, getting back to the simplicity and austerity of the liturgical altar meant to strip it of any added accoutrements. Brought to its logical conclusion, what we are left with is a bare table, the tabernacle is hidden away, and the sanctuary loses all distinctiveness.

Duncan G. Stroik is the editor of Sacred Architecture Journal.
Praxiteles
Old Master
 
Posts: 6062
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 7:02 pm

Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Wed Sep 18, 2013 12:33 am

From the Journal of Sacred Architecture

A Whole Theatrical Presentation
by Steven J. Schloeder

Real Presence: Sacrament Houses and the Body of Christ, c. 1270-1600
by Series Architectura Medii Aevi, Vol. IV
2009 Brepols, 442 pages, 115

Edmund Bishop made an interesting comment that during the Middle Ages, “the Blessed Sacrament reserved was commonly treated with a kind of indifference which at present would be considered to be of the nature of ‘irreverence,’ I will not say indignity.”1 This is perhaps understandable: the Eucharist, and what we consider to be the “Real Presence” of Christ in the Eucharistic species, could be somewhat taken for granted considering the established place of Eucharistic theology from the early patristic though the early medieval periods. For about a thousand years after the post-apostolic teachings of Ignatius of Antioch, Justin Martyr, and Irenaeus,2 few seriously questioned that the Eucharist was the Body and Blood of Christ, as the Lord himself said. Saint Cyril of Jerusalem gives a typical, simple, and eloquent affirmation of this:

Do not, then, regard the eucharistic elements as ordinary bread and wine: they are in fact the body and blood of the Lord, as he himself has declared. Whatever your senses may tell you, be strong in faith. You have been taught and you are firmly convinced that what looks and tastes like bread and wine is not bread and wine but the body and the blood of Christ.3
There was little formal or systematic theology behind such utterances, other than the real theology of taking the words of Christ at their face value. Only after that could they be considered as typology, anagogy, tropology, or allegory. In time, the conventional understanding was challenged, first by a ninth century monk named Rathramnus and later (more famously) in the eleventh century by Berengarius of Tours. In response, the Scholastics developed the Eucharistic theory of transubstantiation, with which they robustly defended the words of the Lord. That doctrine was formally articulated for the Latin Church by the Fourth Lateran Council (1215 AD), and subsequently reaffirmed against the Protestants at the Council of Trent in the mid-sixteenth century.

This span of 300 years neatly situates Dr. Timmermann’s magisterial study of the sacrament tower, a large and lofty architectural feature in late medieval churches that housed the Reserved Species, in an age when Mr. Bishop’s concerns about “indifference” could be laid to rest. Timmermann deftly interweaves themes of theology, piety, devotional practice, iconology, architectural form (in particular ‘microarchitecture’), geometry, and politics. He gives us a comprehensive accounting and analysis of what has been a largely overlooked architectural feature that in many ways emblemizes and contextualizes the development of Eucharist theology in the late Middle Ages and the early modern period.

Timmermann begins with a solid presentation of the various cultural currents in chapter one: what he calls “the eucharistic-theological, liturgical-devotional, socio-religious, salvific-economic and architectural discourses” [p. 1]. Be warned that such dense language is typical of Timmermann’s academic writing style, common in dissertation material, which could be rendered more casual and conversational for the lay reader. That said, his grasp and mastery of his subject is evident, and he brings a depth of study to explain the major theological arguments of the scholastics; the way the cultus of Corpus Christi was instrumental in engaging lay participation from a formerly clerical activity; and how anti-Semitism, the Hussite Utraquist controversy (that the Eucharist must be administered under both species), and the later Protestant challenges shaped the display of the Sacrament into grand statements of orthodoxy and ecclesiastical unity. Timmermann shows us how the tower form also served a mnemonic function (actually two): first, for the memory of the donors by whose patronage they were built; and second, as an architectural miniaturization that could incorporate a whole theatrical presentation of the heavenly Jerusalem or of salvation history or any number of iconographic themes that engaged the memory and imagination of the spectator. These five discourses form the recurring filters through which Timmermann examines and analyzes a significant inventory of sacrament towers built over the next several centuries throughout Europe.

In chapter two, Timmermann gives a concise outline of the history of Eucharistic reservation, and shows how the various forms from pyx, dove, ciborium, and wall niches pre-date and lead up to the sacrament tower. The remaining chapters are well detailed, and profusely illustrated investigations into the form, iconography, geometry, and cultural aspects of the sacrament towers. Of particular interest is his accounting of the demise of the sacrament tower as the Church began to prefer the tabernacle form from the time of Trent, mandated in the 1614 Rituale Romanum, and the last gasps of architectural theatrics as the medieval form was Classicized, Baroquified, and Rococoized into fantastical confections of architectural exuberance.

Timmermann’s book is a serious contribution to the study of the dynamics between theology, liturgics, popular piety, and architecture. Perhaps its greatest strength, apart from simply presenting us with a detailed study of this largely unexplored but significant architectural typology, is the wealth of photos and drawings (381 illustrations), many of them from his own camera. This should be a valuable resource for students and practitioners of ecclesiastical architecture, as we reexamine the precedents of our architectural traditions to find new ways of expressing the sacramental reality that informed the great medieval and Renaissance sacrament towers.
Steven J. Schloeder, PhD, AIA, is an architect and theologian. His firm, Liturgical Environs PC, (www.liturgicalenvirons.com) specializes in Catholic church building projects across the United States. He may be contacted at steve@liturgicalenvirons.com.

(Endnotes)
1 Edmund Bishop, On the History of the Christian Altar (Downside: St. Gregory Society, 1905), 12.
2 Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Smyrnaeans, 7: PG 5, 839; Justin Martyr, Apologies, bk. 1, ch. 66: PG 6, 428; Irenaeus, Against Heresies, bk, 5, ch. 2: PG 7, 1123.
3 Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechesis, no, 22, Mystagogica 4, 6: PG 33, 1102A.
Praxiteles
Old Master
 
Posts: 6062
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 7:02 pm

Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Wed Sep 18, 2013 12:36 am

From the Journal of Sacred Architecture:

Transfer of the Covenant
by Tod A. Marder

Jerusalem on the Hill: Rome and the Vision of Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Renaissance
by Marie Tanner
2012 Turnhout, 288 pages, 155


Saint Peter’s Basilica was founded by Constantine around 325 AD and built in a fashion typical of early Christian architecture. By the dawn of the Renaissance in the early 1400s, this structure was dilapidated and in urgent need of repair. Restructuring was begun in the middle of the fifteenth century, but less than fifty years later the goal of shoring up the edifice was supplanted by the grand idea of a completely new building. This campaign was famously sponsored by Pope Julius II (1503-13) and continued by his successors for roughly one hundred years. Direction of the works was first entrusted to the High Renaissance architect Bramante, and he was succeeded by a chain of illustrious followers from Raphael and Antonio da Sangallo the Younger to Michelangelo, Domenico Fontana, and Giacomo Della Porta.

What were the goals of these men? What sort of intellectual program did they embrace, observe, modify, or develop over this long period? To what extent did any programmatic concerns reflect the earlier history of the fabric, contemporary political realities, or individual aspirations and tastes? These are some of the questions taken up in Marie Tanner’s book on Saint Peter’s. Simply put, the book is an interpretation of the Basilica of Saint Peter as the author believes it was conceived by its Renaissance architects and patrons. It also suggests how the building may have been understood and used by informed contemporaries. The presentation is divided into two parts, the first aimed at arguing for a “programmatic antiquarianism” in the concept of the new building (Julius II’s New Saint Peter’s), and the second part introducing a broader group of influences on the design and meaning of the architecture. These two clusters of concerns are fleshed out in a dozen chapters organized thematically rather than chronologically, so that the richness of individual themes is encouraged while sequences of ideas are slurred. The programmatic integrity of the building is emphasized over the more usual parsing of developments over time. With a scope so broad and rich, no reviewer’s account can do real justice to the author’s erudition. What follows will account for some of the concerns raised in the first section of the text.

The first chapter proposes a thematic link between the Basilica and “Etruscan temple” forms, as well as the architecture of ancient Roman baths. The thrust of the argument is that the incorporation of these typically Italic forms in the planning process “served to solidify papal pretensions to Italic primacy in the context of universal theocratic rule.” The second chapter introduces the influence of the “Temple of Peace,” better known today as the Basilica of Maxentius in the planning efforts of Saint Peter’s. The influence is based on associations between this “temple” (although it was never a place of worship) and Roman baths, and their mutual relations to Etruscan tradition as a fitting basis from which a “new Christian architecture” could emerge. In the third chapter the author introduces a literary association of the builders of New Saint Peter’s with Noah as founder of the Etruscan race, propagator of the Etruscan temple, and symbol of papal succession from Old Testament priests and kings. These associations can be found in the writings of Annius of Viterbo, a Master of the Vatican Palace in 1499, and the influential Egidio da Viterbo a few years later, that is, just before the foundation of the New Saint Peter’s in 1506.

The fourth chapter attempts to link Bramante’s archaeological interests in the ancient baths, the “Temple of Peace” (Basilica of Maxentius), and Etruscan tradition. Particular emphasis is laid on the Temple of Peace because, the author explains, it was “the repository of spoils brought by Titus from the Holy of Holies in Solomon’s Temple, demonstrating God’s Covenant with the Jews.” This in turn was construed as proof of the transfer of the covenant to Rome. In chapter five this theme is expanded in pages discussing the figure of Titus in ancient and early Christian history. The theme of the sixth chapter is “spoils,” meaning the association of the Titus-legend, the Jewish spoils from Jerusalem, and relics of Saint Peter’s, especially Veronica’s sudarium and the spiral columns that adorned the high altar, both of which reputedly came from the temple at Jerusalem. Titus belonged to the Flavian dynasty in Roman times, and the author makes a case for the builder of the new basilica of Saint Peter (Julius II) identifying with this emperor. The argument rests on a treatise written in 1508 in anticipation of a Crusade to return the holy city of Jerusalem from Muslim to Christian rule, and associations seen in the fabrics of the Vatican Palace and Saint Peter’s. This, in any event, is the subject of chapter seven, which closes Part One of the book.

In Part Two, the chapters take up the concerns of Nicholas V, who attempted to rebuild the basilica around 1450; the role of Alberti at the court of Nicholas V; the connections between Julius II and the architect of New Saint Peter’s, Bramante; Bramante’s interest in the Holy Sepulchre; and the contributions of Bramante’s followers to these themes.

Image

Drawing by E. Duperac of Michelangelo’s design proposal for the Basilica of Saint Peter (Photo: Jerusalem on the Hill)

Those who spend time with this book will discover a wealth of associative material pertaining, closely or loosely, to the conception of the papacy in the Renaissance and its program for New Saint Peter’s. Regardless of whether those associations entirely convince the reader, one cannot leave the book without a deeply enriched sense of the connections between the Basilica and imagery derived from Roman antiquity, Renaissance theory, and knowledge of Jerusalem. A huge part of the argument is sustained by impressive photographs of all visual aspects of these associations. For these images alone the book is essential for specialists. There they will find one of the most lavishly produced pieces of scholarship on Saint Peter’s to appear in recent decades. If one’s approach to the construction of Saint Peter’s is ideological, literary, and associational—rather than aesthetic or technical—there is no better reference to the history of the Basilica.

Tod A. Marder, Ph.D., is professor of art history at Rutgers University. He is an expert in the art of Bernini, the city of ancient and modern Rome, and Renaissance and baroque art. He has published Bernini’s Scala Regia at the Vatican Palace: Architecture, Sculpture and Ritual (Cambridge University Press) and Bernini and the Art of Architecture (Abbeville Press).
Praxiteles
Old Master
 
Posts: 6062
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 7:02 pm

Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Wed Sep 18, 2013 12:47 am

From the Journal of Sacred Architecture:

Archeology as Friend or Foe
THE CHURCHES OF THE ROMAN FORUM

by David Watkin, appearing in Volume 23 - Download Issue PDF

The following article is re-printed from Chapter Four of David Watkin’s book, The Roman Forum, published by Harvard University Press, 2009.

Piranesi’s panoramic views of the Forum and its ruinous remains feature six roofed and working buildings which all turn out to be churches: S. Adriano, built into the Senate House, S. Lorenzo in Miranda, built into the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina, SS. Cosmas and Damian, S. Francesca Romana, SS. Luca e Martina, and the now demolished S. Maria Liberatrice. The Forum had become a Christian sacred space. Indeed, it has been a place of worship for about two thousand eight hundred years, and for over half that time the worship has been Christian. The churches were all entered from, and looked on to, the Forum. But the growth of archaeology and the transformation of the space into a designated archaeological site means that those of them that survive now tend to be entered from outside the Forum, in other words from their rear. They have in effect been written out of the Forum’s history. This hostility to them goes back to the early days of the archaeological process: for example, in her three-volumed Rome in the Nineteenth Century (1820), Charlotte Eaton dismissed S. Lorenzo as ‘now shut up, but ought to be pulled down’, while Horace Marucchi in The Roman Forum and the Palatine (1906) welcomed the recent destruction of S. Maria Liberatrice and called for a similar fate to be meted out to S. Lorenzo.

Image

Piranesi’s view of the Forum as viewed from the Capitoline Hill, 1775 (Photo: reruns.blogspot.com)

Nonetheless, the standing buildings that the modern visitor to the Forum sees are still churches which is a nice echo of the ancient Roman Forum where, it should not be forgotten, the great majority of buildings were religious in function, even if modern accounts of the Forum tend to stress its political significance above all else. These churches contain everything that is to be expected in the historic Catholic churches of Italy: frescoes, mosaics, altar pieces, tombs, monuments, shrines, relics, and objects of veneration such as an ancient Roman stone, preserved in S. Francesca Romana, which supposedly bears the imprint of the knees of Saint Peter. However, with the huge decline in Mass attendance and in vocations to the priesthood, following the self-destructive reforms of the Second Vatican Council, the prime function of the churches in the Forum is now to provide a colourful setting for weddings. Nonetheless, as we shall see, they are wonderful places to visit, even if they have become difficult to appreciate for a range of reasons, notably their banishment from the Forum of which they were once a part.

Christianity already had a presence in the city when Saint Peter preached there c. AD 60 and Saint Paul wrote his letter to the Romans from Corinth. By the end of the second century or mid-third century, a prosperous Christian community flourished in Rome. The decline of the Roman Empire was associated not so much with the rise of Christianity as with the military anarchy which characterised the third century AD. However, emperors often found Christians a convenient scapegoat and their punishment a symbol of imperial power as well as a reaffirmation of the power of the traditional, pagan, gods. Among those seeking to restore order was, for example, Diocletian (284-305), who reorganised the entire empire, was a great builder, but a persecutor of Christians. But the new religion received a great boost on October 28, AD 312 when Constantine (306-337), a Christian supporter who was formally baptised on his death bed, wrested the city of Rome from his co-emperor Maxentius (306-12). Maxentius had been a major architectural patron, as was Constantine, who built churches as well as public buildings, including the completion of the Basilica of Maxentius in the Forum.

The earliest churches were built on the margins of Rome and thus did not touch the Forum. The great Roman families who dominated the Senate and the centre of the city were still pagan, but Constantine built churches which were mostly in fact memorials to martyrs in Christian cemeteries (this was the origin of Saint Peter’s among several others). These could only be built over tombs and were therefore outside the city in the suburbs. In choosing distant sites in the suburbium, Constantine helped create the wide spread of the present city and determined its sacred geography – the very earliest large churches being away from the ancient pagan centre of Rome.

The first person to use an ancient Roman building in the Forum as a church was Pope Felix IV (526-30) when he founded SS. Cosmas and Damian. There had been little call for pagan temples to be turned into Christian churches, partly because they remained imperial property even after the suppression of paganism in 395, and so not immediately available to the church for conversion. In 395 the Roman Empire was also split into two halves, both Christian and both with its own emperor. The eastern, or Byzantine, empire, with its capital at Constantinople, survived until the Turks completed their conquest of it in 1453 with the capture of Constantinople. The short-lived western empire, with its capital first at Milan, and then at Ravenna, was subject to constant barbarian invasion. On its fall in 476, Italy was ruled by the Ostrogoth kings. One of these, Theodoric (493-526), another great builder, appointed Pope Felix IV who, by founding the church of SS. Cosmas and Damian, started the ‘Christianisation’ of the Forum. Rome had become virtually an outpost of empire by this time, and its population was falling (from a million or a million and a half at the height of the empire to around 90,000 at the end of the sixth century), so it was no longer the vast imperial conurbation it had once been. Yet the Forum still retained real clout. Hence it saw a series of ecclesiastical foundations, though modest in some respects in keeping with the smaller scale of the city.

The process of Christianisation was slow. The sixth century saw the creation of just two churches, SS. Cosmas and Damian and S. Maria Antiqua. S. Martina came in the seventh century; the modest SS. Sergio e Bacco had appeared by the late eighth-century; S. Maria Nova (now S. Francesca Romana) came in the ninth century; and S. Lorenzo by the eleventh century. This is not a particularly impressive list, making it clear that the Forum must still have been dominated by ancient Roman buildings. It was not, however, the kind of depopulated wasteland at this time that it is often supposed to have been. We should note, for example, the stress on the Forum as worthy of continual upkeep by the Byzantine administration in the mid-sixth century; the installation of S. Maria Antiqua at around the same time; the prominent placing of the statue of Phocas in 608; the papal election held in the ancient Comitium before the entire populace in the eighth century; and the maintenance of the paving at the original level until at least the sack of Robert Guiscard and his Normans in 1084.

Unlike the earliest foundations on the periphery of the city, most of the churches founded in Rome in the sixth century up to the time of Gregory the Great (590-604) and the following thirty years were centred on the Forum, the Via Sacra, and the Palatine, at the heart of imperial Rome. These were all adaptations of ancient pagan buildings, despite there being some reluctance to take over imperial property. Indeed, Pope Honorius I (625-38) needed an imperial decree to allow him to take the bronze roof tiles from the Temple of Venus and Rome in the Forum to Saint Peter’s, while the same Pope turned the Senate House in the Forum into the church of S. Adriano. It was not until the mid-ninth century that a new church, S. Maria Nova, was to be built as an entirely new building on a site in the Forum. From this point on the city began to disintegrate politically and socially. Between the tenth and thirteenth centuries the impoverished population was reduced to about 35,000, probably dropping to as little as 17,000 during the period from 1309-77 when the popes and the curia were in Avignon.

Saints Cosmas and Damian

The church dedicated in AD 527 to the saints, Cosmas and Damian, physicians from Syria who were supposedly martyred under Diocletian, is one of the most fascinating yet challenging monuments in the Forum. It is fascinating because it shows the complexity of the path from paganism to Christianity, being one of the main Christian monuments of the Forum yet occupying a couple of side rooms of the Templum Pacis (Temple of Peace) – a vast complex built between AD 71 and 79 adjacent to, but outside, the Forum itself, to celebrate Roman victory over the Jews (‘Temple of Pacification’ might be a better translation). It was King Theodoric as representative of imperial authority who gave permission for these publicly owned halls to be turned into a church, while a continuity between paganism and Christianity is shown by the fact that the main hall, probably deserted by c. 520, seems to have served as a medical office in an area which had been settled by doctors in public civil service from the Imperial age onwards. The church thus Christianised an ancient tradition, for, dedicated to two physicians, it was associated with healing and salvation. Like other early churches in the Forum, it also had a special flavour, not being primarily parish churches or containing relics, but diaconiae, that is welfare centres providing food and relief to the poor and to pilgrims. Into this category fell the churches of S. Adriano and S. Maria Antiqua, as well as the little oratory of SS. Sergio e Bacco which was built against the south side of the Arch of Septimius Severus.

Image

Apse mosaic added by Felix IV in the 520s (Photo: Jim Forest, flickr.com)

The church is also challenging, firstly because the frequent changes made to it, right up to interventions by current archaeologists, pose the problem of how to present buildings with such a long history of development. How should we decide to what period or phase of their development they should be put back? Secondly, we now approach the church awkwardly from the modern Via dei Fori Imperiali, via the convent attached to it, rather than as originally from the front, in the Via Sacra as it passes through the Forum. The circuitous route begins at the entrance to the convent through the tall, plain arch of white travertine marble which was added in 1947 by the architect Gaetano Rapisardi. Below the prominent bell turret, the left hand range in ancient brick survives from the Temple of Peace when it was used to display the Marble Plan of Rome, that remarkable map of the city inscribed for the Emperor Septimius Severus. We then enter the cloister with arcades on three sides of its ground floor, designed by Luigi Arigucci in the 1630s and frescoed by Francesco Allegrini. We finally enter the church itself, somewhat unexpectedly, from a corner of the cloister.

Nonetheless, it is exciting to visit what is the most intact, roofed survival of part of an ancient Roman building in the Forum. In fact, it comprises two halls from the Temple of Peace, ceded to the pope by the emperor: its nave had probably served as an audience chamber for the city prefect by the early fifth century, while its vestibule or antechapel, a much smaller, domed, circular building, is the so-called ‘Temple of Romulus’, dating from the early fourth century AD.

Since Felix IV took over these two existing buildings, his church is not really an Early Christian building as it is sometimes described, for the apse and upper walls date from the mid-fourth century and are thus purely pagan. Indeed, it echoes the form of the audience halls of late antique rulers, inspired by imperial throne rooms. Felix IV merely added the Early Christian mosaics to the apse and its semi-dome in the 520s, leaving the interior to retain, as it does today, something of the secular flavour of the ancient Roman building, an effect also aided by its great width. However, the sixth-century gold-ground mosaics in the half-dome of the apse are among the earliest and most beautiful in Rome. They include depictions of Saints Peter and Paul introducing Saints Cosmas and Damian, in rich red and violet robes, to Christ who is in golden draperies and holds a scroll like an ancient Roman orator. Saint Felix IV on the extreme left, presents a model of the church, while in a band below these figures are twelve lambs symbolising the apostles, and four rivers symbolising the four gospels. The bold figures and shadows show that the illusionistic traditions of Hellenistic art had not been forgotten by these artists.

The apsed crypt or lower church is now fairly featureless apart from fragments of a Cosmati work marble floor. Arigucci continued this marble floor into the circular ‘Temple of Romulus’ so that it formed a noble vestibule to the church. The façade to the Forum of the ‘Temple of Romulus’ was also given at about this time a Baroque flavour with an attractive cupola and a segmental pediment rising high above the front walls. The pediment was needlessly destroyed in 1879-80 though the cupola was surprisingly retained and survives today. The eighteenth-century Neapolitan presepe (crib), recently moved to a domed lobby in one corner of the cloister, was handsomely displayed in this vestibule until around 1990 when the archaeologists destroyed Arrigucci’s marble floor. It had been the perfect home for the presepe, a huge and elaborate assembly of many fine figures in terracotta, porcelain, and wood, depicting the Adoration of the Magi.

One can look into the circular ‘Temple of Romulus’, now an empty and functionless vestibule, from a wall of glass installed at the end of the nave of SS. Cosmas and Damian in 2000 and can also enter it from the Forum. But the decorative treatment has been removed from its walls, leaving bare brick, so that it has neither an antique Roman flavour nor a seventeenth-century one. The survival of a well below its floor has led to the suggestion that it may have been associated with the healing arts of the two saints to whom the church is dedicated, an echo of the temple opposite of the twin gods, Castor and Pollux.

Santa Maria Antiqua and Oratory of the Forty Martyrs

We now turn to other ruined buildings which have been excavated and restored by archaeologists where similar problems arise. The church of S. Maria Antiqua, dating from the reign of Justin II (565-78) about fifty years after the foundation of the church of SS. Cosmas and Damian, was the second adaptation in the Forum of an ancient Roman building as a church. This time, it was not a temple that was adapted for Christian use but a square atrium with porticoes near the foot of the Palatine at the back of the Temple of Castor and Pollux. This was part of a complex structure built in the late first century by the side of a great ramp begun by Domitian to lead up to the palaces on the Palatine. It is thus fascinating to see a church being made out of an ancient building whose function was secular, in this case part of the forecourt of an imperial palace. There is also an irony in that the exposure of the remains of S. Maria Antiqua by twentieth-century archaeologists was only made possible by the total demolition of the handsome Renaissance church of S. Maria Liberatrice which had been built into it.

Image

Interior of Santa Maria Antiqua (Photo: moraine.files.wordpress)

In the mid-sixth century, when Rome was politically just a town in a province of the Byzantine empire, its viceroy from Ravenna used the building as part of a guard house to protect the approach to the palace, still on the Palatine. Like the guard house in the imperial palace in Constantinople, it was decorated with Christian murals. As we can tell from archaeological excavation on the site, when the building became the church of S. Maria Antiqua, the original brick piers were replaced by four granite columns surmounted by carved capitals, and an apse was formed out of the solid brick wall mass at the end of the atrium vestibule. The church was also provided with marble and mosaic pavements and many wall paintings from at least the sixth to the ninth centuries, including an early representation of the Virgin Mary wearing a crown as Queen of Heaven, or member of the imperial court. This splendid structure was not to last long. Partly destroyed in an earthquake in 847, its rights and possessions were transferred to a new church of the Virgin Mary, S. Maria Nova within the Temple of Venus and Roma – hence the title Antiqua for this one.

In front of S. Maria Antiqua is the Shrine or Oratory of the Forty Martyrs, in origin a hall of the first century AD whose function, like that of around half a dozen buildings in the Forum, including the enormous Domitianic Hall, we do not now know.

Santa Maria Liberatrice

For Piranesi the church of S. Maria Liberatrice was an important landmark in the Forum. It featured prominently in several of his views, defining the south side of the Forum, just as the church of S. Lorenzo in Miranda which it faced across the Via Sacra, defined the north side. In the last of its several forms, this was a handsome Renaissance church of 1617. Originally built in the thirteenth century, it engulfed what remained of the church of S. Maria Antiqua after the earthquake. Its main purpose was to commemorate the nearby site of the home of the legendary dragon, chained by Pope Sylvester I (314-35), in fulfilment of a command from Saint Peter in a vision. The name ‘Liberatrice’, referring to the liberation of the inhabitants of Rome from the fearsome dragon, was transferred to the Virgin Mary to whom the church was dedicated. The site is near the House of the Vestals who were traditionally supposed to have fed the dragon. In the twelfth-century account known as the Mirabilia Urbis Romae (Marvels of the City of Rome), we are told that near the Church of Saint Anthony, or the oratory of the forty martyrs ‘is a place called Hell because in ancient times it burst forth there and brought great mischief upon Rome.’ The author of this curious but gullible work also referred to ‘the Temple of Vesta, which - it is said - a dragon crouches beneath, as we read in the life of Saint Silvester.’

Image

Image



Santa Maria Liberatrice in the Forum before and during demolition, 1900 (Photo: flickrriver.com, thehistortyblog.com)

The mediaeval church of S. Maria Liberatrice was rebuilt in 1617 with a new façade and cupola from designs by Onorio Longhi (1568-1619), father of the more prolific Martino Longhi the Younger. Onorio was the architect of the vast church of SS. Carlo e Ambrogio al Corso in Rome, begun in 1612. His pedimented entrance front at S. Maria Liberatrice, two-storeyed and adorned with round-headed niches and an order of pilasters, was a miniature version of the late Renaissance façade of 1571-84 by Giacomo della Porta (c.1533-1602) at the influential church of Il Gesù in Rome. Over the crossing at S. Maria Liberatrice, Longhi placed a cupola over a low octagonal drum, a north Italian form. The architect Francesco Ferrari (1703-50) restored and enriched the interior in 1749 with stuccowork and paintings by leading artists of the classicising trend of the day, Sebastiano Ceccarini and Lorenzo Gramiccia, showing the importance then attached to this church.

However, it is now sadly gone. For nearly three centuries, Longhi’s attractive church was a key element of the Forum but was doomed when the remains of S. Maria Antiqua, first partially uncovered in 1702, were fully excavated in 1900 by Giacomo Boni (1859-1925). In accordance with the archaeological doctrine that the older anything is the more important it must be, Boni, though supposedly upholding Ruskin’s views on sensitive restoration, was bent on demolishing S. Maria Liberatrice in order to expose surviving elements of the original Roman building. In fact, the church proved to have been so solidly built that dynamite was necessary to destroy it. Boni made no proper record of what he had demolished, allowing cartloads of fragments, some featuring faded Early Christian wall-paintings, to be taken away for disposal. During extensive excavations and repairs in 1985-7, the concrete vaults were reconstructed in order to help preserve such paintings as still survive from S. Maria Antiqua, though the church is not normally open to the public.

Sant’ Adriano

An even more striking example of re-use and restoration is the church of S. Adriano. Formed in the early seventh century inside the Senate House (which dated to the late third or early fourth century), this church was given a superb Baroque interior in the mid-seventeenth century. In its first conversion in AD 630 the marble steps for the senators’ seats were retained together with the extravagant decoration and splendid furnishings: indeed, these features were valued so much that the Catholic liturgy had to take place around them. S. Adriano was remodelled in the Romanesque style in the late twelfth or early thirteenth century when a tall campanile was added at the rear and antique columns with richly ornamented bases were introduced as spolia into the interior to make a six-bay nave and aisles. These columns were later encased in a Renaissance pier arcade under Pope Sixtus V Peretti (reigned 1585-90), but a more important and complete remodelling was carried out in 1653-6 by Martino Longhi the Younger (1602-60), whose masterpiece was the dazzling church of SS. Vincenzo ed Anastasio (1646-50), built for Cardinal Mazarin opposite the Fontana di Trevi. The most daringly inventive of the talented Longhi family of architects, he also published poetry and an architectural treatise.

Image

S. Adriano interior before archeological destruction in 1935 (Photo: Alvaro de Alvaris)

It was not until 1860 that the building which housed Longhi’s masterly church was first identified by an archaeologist as the Senate House. From this moment its survival was threatened, though it was not to be deconsecrated until 1935. The baroque structures were entirely removed from 1935-8, leaving grim, bare walls, which, unlike Longhi’s work, give no impression whatever of the richness of the antique Senate House. The present wooden ceiling is also modern. One critic has rightly observed that ‘a building such as the Curia offers a warning of the hazards of partial restoration’, for it is hard to see the purpose of ripping out the vibrant work of Longhi which imaginatively demonstrated the timeless continuity of the classical language of architecture. In a masterpiece entirely compatible with the ancient structure, Longhi had contrived to combine references to ancient buildings in the Forum, such as the Temple of Venus and Rome, with modern Baroque architecture. Nonetheless, some visitors see what they wish to see, so that another archaeologist claimed that it has now been ‘restored to its ancient form’. One even believed that ‘it is one of the most splendid interiors to survive from classical Rome.’

San Lorenzo in Miranda

The one place where it is still possible to appreciate the rich drama of the Baroque Forum is the church of S. Lorenzo in Miranda. For once, a church has happily been suffered to survive within a Roman temple. First recorded in 1074, it was built within the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina which had been begun in AD 140 by the Emperor Antoninus Pius in honour of his wife who had been declared a goddess by the Senate after her death. Imitated in antiquity, for example in the ‘Temple of Diana’ (c. AD 200) at Evora, Portugal, it later became familiar through the woodcut illustrations by Palladio in his Four Books of Architecture (1570), and by the more sophisticated engravings by Antoine Desgodetz of 1682 in his Les Edifices Antiques de Rome (The Ancient Buildings of Rome). Palladio could not resist ‘improving’ the temple by setting it in a temenos (a walled sacred precinct), probably inspired by that of the Forum of Caesar, and by enriching its interior with statues.

Image

San Lorenzo in Miranda interior (Photo: Mason W. Roberts)

Its fame inspired modern imitations far afield. The external frieze of the temple is carved with scrolls of leaves of the acanthus plant and candelabra which are placed between pairs of griffins facing each other. Today these are, of course, in a fragmentary and damaged condition so that, except to the specialist, they may be disappointing. Their afterlife, as with so much Roman decorative work, is rather more impressive. For example, this frieze was often imitated in buildings without sacred associations, notably by William Kent in his palatial attempt to create an ancient Roman house at Holkham Hall, Norfolk (1734-65). He based his version on the representation of the frieze by Desgodetz, a fact recorded on a nineteenth-century board handed out to visitors to the house. This cites the same source for details in other interiors which Kent took from the Temple of ‘Fortuna Virilis’ (Portunus) and the Basilica of Maxentius in Rome.

In the fifteenth century Pope Eugenius IV (1431-47) not only dismantled the rear wall of the cella to reuse its materials in rebuilding the Lateran Palace but gave the church of S. Lorenzo in Miranda to a guild of apothecaries. Their successors, the Collegio Chimico Farmaceutico, still occupy it, housing their museum in the crypt or lower church. But it is the complete rebuilding of the structure in 1601-14 by Orazio Torriani (d. 1657), and the dramatic incorporation of the ancient temple, that give the present church much of its charm. The modern approach to it is disappointing, for visitors to the Forum today, coming from the entrance off the Via dei Fori Imperiali, first see the bleak and unadorned largely modern office wing, harshly restored in 1935, at the back of the church. To restore meaning to the building, it should once more be entered from its original doorway in the Forum which should not be impossible to contrive.

Torriani’s new façade is crowned by a tall and ebulliently Baroque broken pediment which was completed later in the seventeenth-century. It is a vivid reminder of the appearance of the Forum as the Campo Vaccino (Field of Cows) in the eighteenth century when it was alive with recent buildings incorporating the remains of ancient Roman ones. The interior of the church with its well restored paintings is little known or visited, though it boasts a High Altar by the great Baroque architect and painter, Pietro da Cortona (1596-1669).

The staircase up to the portico was excavated in 1876, though the modern one is a displeasing reconstruction of it in the inappropriate material of brick. The row of old houses adjacent to the building on the left was demolished in 1899 to excavate the floor of the Basilica Aemilia. The survival of Torriani’s church of S. Lorenzo is astonishing in view of the calls for its destruction by the archaeological purists we have already cited, such as Charlotte Eaton and Horace Marucchi.

Santa Francesca Romana

Shown in countless paintings and engravings, more beautiful and infinitely better sited than SS. Cosmas and Damian, the church of S. Francesca Romana with its twelfth-century Romanesque campanile is one of the most appealing and dominant buildings in the entire Forum. For nearly twelve hundred years, it has demarcated the Forum’s eastern end. It is thus greatly to be regretted that there is no longer any public access to it from the Forum. Instead, visitors have to take a circuitous route up the steep road parallel to the Via dei Fori Imperiali to an area on the side of the church which, though right next to the Basilica of Maxentius, includes an ugly tarmac car park and inhospitable wire fences. With the ecclesiastical rank of a minor basilica like SS. Cosmas and Damian, S. Francesca Romana, combines elements of all major periods from antiquity to the Baroque. Founded in the ninth century, it is one of the most historic, evocative, and appealing buildings in the Forum where its life and richness make it a unique survival in a setting which archaeologists are doing so much to render unattractive and dispiriting. With a classical entrance façade of 1615 below its twelfth-century campanile featuring tiers of arches decorated with majolica, this church is a focal point on rising ground in the Forum.


Image

Santa Francesca Romana and the Arch of Titus (Photo: Phi Bos, flickr.com)

Originally founded by Saint Leo IV (847-55) in 850 as S. Maria Nova, it was the first major new building in the Forum since classical times. Its name was changed to S. Francesca Romana in 1608 to mark the canonisation in that year of Francesca Buzzi de’ Ponzi (1384-1440), a noblewoman who had founded a Sisterhood of Oblates in the church in 1421. On her husband’s death, she entered this herself and was rewarded by God with the visible presence of her guardian angel with whom she was reported as conversing familiarly. Regarded as the only native Roman to found a religious order, she was canonised as S. Francesca Romana in 1608 and her name added to that of the church of S. Maria Nova. In 1926, she became, somewhat improbably, the patron saint of motorists, presumably in recognition of her association with care and guardianship. On her feast day, March 9, the street leading up to the church from the Via dei Fori Imperiali is, or was, crowded with cars each year.

Image

San Giuseppe dei Falegnami (Photo: wikipedia.org)

The church owes its present form to a remodelling in 1608-15 by Carlo Lambardi (1554-1620), a notable Roman architect, and its façade bears the date 1615. Evidently giving much thought to the design of a new building in this prominent position close to the Arch of Titus, Lambardi chose a temple front with a triumphal-arch theme, incorporating a giant order in travertine. He adopted this form from the similar façades of the Venetian churches of Andrea Palladio (1508-80), S. Giorgio Maggiore and the Redentore. Though Palladio is probably the most imitated architect in history, especially in Britain and the United States of America, it is most unusual for his work to be echoed at this date in Rome where his Renaissance style would have seemed out of date.

The interior of S. Francesca Romana in the rich and noble form given it by Lambardi glistens with Baroque gilding and polychromatic marbles, restored for Pope Pius XII in 1952 but now in need of cleaning. The wide nave, five bays long with a triumphal arch separating it from the apse, has a carved gilt wood ceiling by Lambardi of 1615. Behind a grille on the south wall of the south transept is one of the most extraordinary objects in the Forum which should certainly not be missed by the curious visitor. It is a stone from the Via Sacra with marks which are traditionally the imprints of the knees of Saint Peter as he prayed for the exposure of the wizardry of Simon Magus who had challenged him, and possibly Saint Paul as well, to a competition in levitation in the Forum. By drawing on magical powers, Magus succeeded in flying up to the sky but was killed as he crashed to earth. The site of his fall, brought about by the prayers of Saint Peter, was in the neighbourhood. The story is a curious echo of the Lacus Curtius where, as we have seen, a knight was supposed to have sacrificed himself by leaping into a chasm which opened in the Forum. On another occasion, as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, Simon Magus tried to bribe Saint Peter; hence ‘simony’, the buying or selling of ecclesiastical preferment, is named after him.
San Giuseppe dei Falegnami

Often overlooked by visitors, blinded by archaeology through no fault of their own, is an intriguing group of buildings close together at the west end of the Forum. Including what can claim to be the most sophisticated building in the entire Forum, the Baroque church of SS. Martina e Luca, these monuments are vitally important for demarcating the north-western extremity of the Forum area. Here, on the north side of the Tabularium, from the present Via di San Pietro in Carcere a Roman road known as the Clivus Argentarius (bankers’ rise) ran between the Capitol and the Quirinal Hills. A surviving section of this road descends to S. Giuseppe dei Falegnami, the church of the Guild of Carpenters who had been settled here since 1540. Their church was built over the ‘Carcer’, the Mamertine Prison, sometimes also known as the Tullianum, either because of the tullius, or spring of water which drained through it, or because it was believed to have been constructed by King Servius Tullius (578-535 BC). It has long been venerated because, according to a legend, Saint Peter and Saint Paul were imprisoned here in the reign of Nero, causing the spring to rise miraculously so that they could baptise their fellow prisoners and gaolers. It is a wonderful example of what we have described as the palimpsests, the multiple layers of Christianity and pagan antiquity which are such a feature of the Forum.
Building of the Carpenters’ Guild church of S. Giuseppe dei Falegnami over this cell was begun in 1599 from designs by the architect and archaeologist, Giovanni Battista Montano (1534-1621), a member of the Guild. His inventive reconstructions of ancient Roman buildings, published by his pupil, Giovanni Battista Soria (1581-1651), influenced Baroque architects such as Borromini. Montano’s entrance façade, completed in 1602, includes volutes, aedicules, and two small pediments contained within the larger one. Curiously lacking in carved detail, it looks almost as though it has been refaced in cement. After 1621, Soria continued work on the church which was completed in 1663 by Antonio del Grande (1652-71).

The balustraded double staircase on the façade was mutilated in 1932 to make way for a new and enlarged ground-floor entrance portico in the Mussolini classical style. This was to provide prominent access to what is left of the Mamertine Prison, considered to be of more interest than the church, while at the same time the adjacent houses on the left were unnecessarily demolished.

Saints Luca e Martina

A few feet away from S. Giuseppe dei Falegnami is the church of SS. Luca e Martina, a seventeenth-century Baroque masterpiece by Pietro da Cortona, the most distinguished roofed building in the Forum. It replaced the Early Christian church of S. Martina which had been built by Pope Honorius I in the early seventh century on the site of the Secretarium Senatus, a special court convened to judge senators, built next to the senate house towards the end of the Empire. Depictions of S. Martina are rare but its modest, domestic-looking façade with a tiny bell turret can be seen in an engraving of 1575 by Etienne du Dupérac.

In 1588 the little church of S. Martina was given to the Accademia di S. Luca, founded in 1577 as an academy of painters, sculptors, and architects. Since the evangelist Saint Luke was traditionally an artist, he became the patron saint of painters. The long influential Accademia di S. Luca, closely allied to the papal court and always a great promoter of interest in antiquity, survives to the present day in the Palazzo Carpegna, near the Fontana di Trevi. It was moved here as one of the many casualties of the creation of Mussolini’s great road, the Via dei Fori Imperiali in 1932, but its important collections survive and are open to the public.

To mark its ownership by the Accademia di S. Luca the name of S. Luca was added to that of S. Martina in 1589 and a wooden model for a new church on a slightly expanded site was made by Giovanni Battista Montano, then lecturing on architecture at the Accademia. No funds were yet available for building, but in 1626 Cardinal Francesco Barberini, nephew of Pope Urban VIII, became protector of the Accademia and in 1634 the leading Baroque architect and painter, Pietro da Cortona (1596-1669), was made its principe (head). He was given permission to remodel the crypt or lower church to provide a tomb for himself, but the discovery in it of the body of S. Martina during the excavations in 1634 prompted Cardinal Barberini to pay for an ambitious new church to bring pilgrims to venerate her relics.


Image
Ss. Luca e Martina, and the Arch of Septimius Severus (Photo: baldeaglebluff, flickr.com)

Cortona’s church of SS. Luca e Martina, built slowly from his designs in 1635-73, has a two-storeyed façade with a striking convex form which was the first of the celebrated curved fronts of the Baroque churches of Rome. The columns of its upper storey are in the Composite order which, as we have noted, is a characteristically rich, even indigestible, Roman invention, its capitals crowning the acanthus leaves of the Corinthian order with the volutes of the Ionic order. Cortona doubtless chose this order because of the proximity of the Arch of Septimius Severus which is also Composite. Piranesi must have seen this parallel when he included the arch and the church together in his Vedute di Roma. In his day, when the arch was almost half buried, its sumptuous capitals would have been much nearer to eye-level. Architects working in the Forum find various ways of relating their buildings to earlier ones, and the dialogue Cortona conducts between his church and the adjacent arch is one of the most brilliant. He was also careful to place the cornice surmounting his ground floor at the same level as the crowning cornice of the more modest but adjacent Curia.

The domed cruciform interior of SS. Luca e Martina has none of the colour we associate with the Baroque but is an emphatically architectural essay in plastic form, dominated by massive unfluted columns in greyish-white travertine. This is in astonishing contrast to the richly coloured lower church, or crypt, which is not normally open but should not be missed. Joseph Connors described romantically in 1982 how, while the upper church ‘is executed in white travertine and stucco, rich effects of color are displayed in the crypt … [where the] complex system of staircases, dark corridors, and small Hadrianic chambers is meant to evoke the feeling of mystery experienced by seventeenth-century explorers of the crypts and catacombs of early Christian Rome.’ Indeed, in the centre of the shallow apse of the inner chapel in the crypt is an Early Christian throne, preserved from the original church.

With its prominent dome and powerful interiors, SS. Luca e Martina is one of the most impressive Baroque churches in Rome, but its impact has been impaired by the processes of archaeology which have insulated it from the urban setting for which it was designed: first by the lowering of the level of the Forum after 1802, and then by the destruction of the adjacent buildings in 1932 to expose the foundations of ancient remains. The removal of the houses which flanked the church emphasised the fact that Cortona had been unable to complete the façade. As Anthony Blunt complained in 1982, ‘As it stands now the church is in many ways awkward and naked.’

Conclusion

We have stressed in this article the gripping way in which the religions of the classical and the Christian world interlock culturally and architecturally at every level in the extraordinarily iconic place, the Roman Forum. Since the visitor who misses this challenge of the relationship of ancient and modern, will miss much of what the Forum has to offer, it is hoped that this essay will achieve something if it helps to rescue the Forum from its ugly and depressing role as an ‘archaeological site’, and to reinstate it as an evocative place of haunting and resonant beauty. This might confirm the claim of T.S. Eliot who, considering the ‘conformity between the old and the new’ in his famous essay, ‘Tradition and the Individual Talent’, observed that we ‘will not find it preposterous that the past should be altered by the present as much as the present is directed by the past.’
David Watkin is an Emeritus Fellow of Peterhouse, Cambridge, and Professor Emeritus of History of Architecture in the Department of History of Art at the University of Cambridge. He is author of over thirty books including A History of Western Architecture and Morality and Architecture.
Praxiteles
Old Master
 
Posts: 6062
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 7:02 pm

Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Sun Sep 29, 2013 5:58 pm

Tomb for Richard III

Image



A historical society has withdrawn £40,000 of funding towards the cost of a new tomb at Leicester Cathedral for Richard III because it is unhappy with the design.

The cathedral is seeking planning permission for the raised tomb made of Swaledale fossil limestone with a simple cross incised over the top.

The raised tomb is to be positioned at the centre of a rose carved in white limestone, surrounded by a band of dark Kilkenny limestone.

The King's date of birth and death, as well as his personal motto 'Loyaulte me Lie' ('Loyalty binds Me') and his boar badge will be carved into the dark circular band around the tomb.

The Dean of Leicester, the Very Reverend David Monteith, said: "We fully respect the process of the Judicial Review which will ensure the procedure leading to the reinterment is correct. While this takes its course we must, as would any Cathedral in this position, seek planning permission for the detailed and costly changes which need to be made to the building.

"The overall concept is regal and respectful in its elegant simplicity, as befits the final resting place of a King of England. By placing the tomb in our Chancel, we are giving King Richard the same honour as did those friars more than 500 years ago."

The Bishop of Leicester, the Right Reverend Tim Stevens said: "I am proud to support the Cathedral in continuing to progress its responsibility to prepare for the reinterment of King Richard while the judicial process continues. Our Cathedral deserves our prayerful support during this exciting and challenging time."

Leicester Cathedral estimates that the cost of the reinterment and the reordering of the Cathedral in connection will be around £1.3m.

The tomb and vault will cost in the region of £96,000.

According to The Daily Mail, the Richard III Society has withdrawn £40,000 in funding because some members found it to be "too modern and stylised".

Philippa Langley, of the Richard III Society, said: "Members feel it is a very difficult design. They think it has been designed with the cathedral in mind, and not for a medieval warrior king.

"What they say, and fear, is that it won't stand the test of time. I pretty much agree with that.
"I think it is a bit too confused at the moment, a bit too busy and it does not reflect that there is a warrior king there beneath the ground."

Canon Peter Hobson responded by saying that he understood the perspective of critics but added that the cathedral could not make its design "hostage to their money".
Praxiteles
Old Master
 
Posts: 6062
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 7:02 pm

Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Sat Oct 05, 2013 7:31 pm

The Sacred Window Rescue Project


http://www.sacredwindowrescueproject.org/
Praxiteles
Old Master
 
Posts: 6062
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 7:02 pm

Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churche

Postby Praxiteles » Mon Oct 07, 2013 1:14 pm

Koenigsberg Cathedral

Image
Praxiteles
Old Master
 
Posts: 6062
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 7:02 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Ireland



cron