Brother Michael Augustine O'Riordan

Re: Brother Michael Augustine O'Riordan

Postby Fearg » Thu Jan 04, 2007 9:57 pm

P.J Byrne's church at Hilltown Co Down - sorry for the marginal picture quality..

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Re: Brother Michael Augustine O'Riordan

Postby Praxiteles » Fri Feb 16, 2007 1:24 pm

St. Mary's, Glynde, Sussex (1753-1756) by Sir Thomas Robinson (1702 - 1777) govrnor of Barbados and amateur architect in the Palladian manner.

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Re: Brother Michael Augustine O'Riordan

Postby Praxiteles » Fri Feb 16, 2007 2:02 pm

Some more on Thomas Robinson, father of ichard Robinson, Anglican Archbishop of Armagh and 1st Baron Rokeby of Rokeby Hall, Co. Louth.

http://freepages.family.rootsweb.com/~londonaye/robinson_thomas.htm
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Re: Brother Michael Augustine O'Riordan

Postby Praxiteles » Fri Apr 27, 2007 2:38 pm

On Samuel Forde's Altar piece for the Cathedral of Skibbereen, presently in St. Barrahane's in Castlehaven:

"In November 1827, Samuel Forde painted an important triptych altarpiece, The Crucifixion, for a church in Skibbereen. [W. G. Strickland, Vol. I, p. 374] Forde's biographer recounts the circumstances whereby a noted Cork painter of rather indifferent miniatures, 'Mr. B-', who enjoyed the patronage of the local Catholic clergy, was called upon to decorate a new chapel in Skibbereen. "He who very indifferently covered a few inches of ivory with stippling, was required to cover ten feet of canvas." [Anon: "Memoir of Samuel Forde", DUM, Vol. XXV, March 1845, p. 353] Forde asked to carry out the commission. (This altarpiece in now in Castlehaven church, an elegant classical edifice of this period.) [The altarpiece was cleaned and restored in the early 1970's, at the instigation of Davis and Mary Coakley".
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Re: Brother Michael Augustine O'Riordan

Postby Praxiteles » Fri Apr 27, 2007 3:23 pm

For comparative purposes, here is a photograph of the Tabernacle originally in the Skibbereen and now in Castlehaven; and a photograph of the Tabernacle on High Altar of the Church of Sts Michael and Cajetan in Florence, consecrated in 1649.
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Re: Brother Michael Augustine O'Riordan

Postby Praxiteles » Fri Apr 27, 2007 3:37 pm

The ground-plan for the church of Sts Michael and Cajetan in Florence (1604-1701) built by Buontalenti, Nigetti and Gherardo Silvani.

The plan clearly indicates the High Altar flanked by two lateral altars, a scheme practically universal in Br. O'Riordan's churches.
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Re: Brother Michael Augustine O'Riordan

Postby Praxiteles » Tue May 01, 2007 2:09 pm

This thread should demonstrate just how little of Brother 0'Riordan's opus survives extensive and all as it was. Surely, the time has come to ensure that what has survived will be secured for the future.

The latest vandalism comes from Bantry where there is a plan to eradicate even the last vestiges of Brother O'Riordan's work. This will include erasing the altar rails and removing the large crucifixion picture that was a characteristic feature of every church built by Brother O'Riordan. It is unthinkable that vandalistic mind-set is still in action.
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Re: Brother Michael Augustine O'Riordan

Postby Praxiteles » Fri May 04, 2007 8:24 pm

Here we are!

Praxiteles has been sent a brief schedule of the works for the "conservation" and alteration to St. Finbarr's Church, Bantry, Co. Cork and it makes for none too reassuring reading.

Unfortunately, it appears that the person who put this piece together is not exactly expert on Brother O'Riordan's opus even in its vestigial. It is quite astounding that the author of this document should describe Brother O'Riordan's church in Bantry as being "designed in the neo-classical style". A little research would have made it clear to the author that a neo-clasically designed church in 1826 would have meant a church in a neo-grecian style -such as the Pro-Cathedral in Dublin or St. Andrew's in Westland Row, or St. Francis Xavier in Gradnier Street.

Unfortunately, the author of the learned piece under discussion does not seem to know that the 18th century neo-classical movement underwent a profound change as a result of the excavations at Herculaneum encountered by Robert Adam and others after 1758. The result of that evolution was the so-called grecian style.

Brother O'Riordan's work is more accurately describe as neo-palladian. When he built his series of churches throughout Co. Cork in the first half ot the 19th. century his style was already somewhat "old fashioned" and had more in common with the churches build a hundred earlier by James Gibbs in England during the reign of Queen Anne.

It has also been amply illustrated in this thread that Br. O'Riordan's design details derive from Andrea Palladio and Sebastiano Serlio, and perhaps also from Juan de Herrera and Juan de Villanueva. There is nothing of Robert Adam in his designs.

Praxitelex would also draw attention to the proposal to rempve the picture of the Crucifixion from its focal position above the main Altar. This would be the ultmate act of vandalism in this church. This thread has clearly shown that such crucifixion pictures (usually copies of the 17th. century masters Reni, Rubens or Van Dyck) are central to a complex arrangement of the sanctuary involving a central High Altar flanked by two side altars and access to a retro-sacristy. If the present picture in Bantry is in poor condition, then the obvious thing to do is to have it restored and should its restoration not prove feasable, then a suitably large copy a crucifixion by Rubens or Reni should be commissioned to replace it. A model is readily available in the chapel of the Ursuline Convent in Blackrock in Cork. The idea of placing a "simple golden cross" on the rear wall behind the High Alar simply will not work - as is clear from the frescoed "golden cross" behind the High Altar in St. Patrick's, Dunmanway.

The idea that "the 'Lamb of God' is the focal point of this entire church" is a piece of piocious clap-trap to be dismissed as risable by anyone who knows anything about a sanctuary arrangement in a neo-palladian church which all derive from Andrea Palladio's designs for the chapel of the Ospedaletto di Santa Maria dei derelitti ai Santi Giovanni e Paolo in Venice done in 1575. While the original has not survived as built, it would still be useful for some public-spirited charity to subsidise a trip to Venice for the author of this document in the hope that he MIGHT learn something.

Also, the altar rail is an essential component of the building and of Br. O'Riordan's original design and no excuse exists for its destruction.

Again, the proposals for the paint scheme in the church are deplorably dismissive of any interest in discovering what the origial scheme might have looked like and of restoring it.

It would also have been a good idea at this point to remove the monstrosity intruded into the interior of Bantry Church by Boyd Barrett - a worthy notable for his destruction of John Hogan's Retable and monument to Bishop John Murphy in the North Cathedral in Cork!
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Re: Brother Michael Augustine O'Riordan

Postby Praxiteles » Fri May 04, 2007 9:17 pm

The following pictures should help to illustrate what will happen in Bantry were the Crucufixion picture to be removed and a "simple golden cross" put in its place:

1. St. John the Baptist in Kinsale with its Altar piece still in place and central focus of the church and sanctuary

2. St Patrick's Dunmanway which has lost its Altar piece and where an inappropriate mural has been painted which is incapable of asserting itself sufficiently to be a central focus.

3. St. Colman's Church, Balintotas, Midleton, where the aALtar piece has completely disappeared along with the lateral pictures leaving a complete blank.

4. The Chapel of the Ursuline Convent in Blackrock which is the only extant building that can be ascribed to Br. O'Riordan with certainty since the foundation inscription describes him as the architect.

5. And this is what John Lynch (a member of the inglorious Cloyne HACK) did to Killavullen discarding the Altar Piece in his Bhudhasization of the sanctuary.
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Re: Brother Michael Augustine O'Riordan

Postby Praxiteles » Fri May 04, 2007 10:26 pm

And just in case Tom Sullivan thinks that Brother O'Riordan was not "that familiar with the opus of Andrea Palladio notice the following pictures:

1. The Santissimo Redentore in Venice built by Palladio 1576-1591. Note the string course cornice running along the lateral wall between the Diocletian windows, across the facade, to opposite lateral wall (1&4).

Brother O'Riordan repeats this feature at the springing of the window arches in his churches at Kinsale (2), Skibbereen (5), Ovens and Bantry (3). Note the string course running between the windows of lateral walls and across the facade to the other lateral wall.
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Re: Brother Michael Augustine O'Riordan

Postby Praxiteles » Sat May 05, 2007 8:07 am

Here we have another example of the sttring course detail running along the lateral walls and acros the facade: St. John the Baptist's Ovens, Co. Cork built in 1831.

The photograph of the interior shows clearly why Tom Sullivan's proposal for a cross over the Altar in Bantry will not work and why the proposed bland paint scheme is both inappropriate and lacking in imagination.
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Re: Brother Michael Augustine O'Riordan

Postby Praxiteles » Sun May 06, 2007 11:18 pm

John Hogan's monument to Bishop Michael Collins (1827-1832) Cloyne and Ross who built the Pro-Cathedral Church of St. Patrick at Skibbereen in 1826.
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Re: Brother Michael Augustine O'Riordan

Postby Praxiteles » Tue May 08, 2007 3:05 pm

Samuel Forde, the Cork painter responsible for the three pictures originally for the Altar of the Pro-Cathedral in Skibbereen and now in St. Barrahane's at Castlehaven.
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Re: Brother Michael Augustine O'Riordan

Postby Praxiteles » Thu May 24, 2007 10:01 am

St. Mary's Church Passage West, Cork, which dates to 1791.

The location is indicative of its date. It is built on the site behind the site adjacent to the highway. Unfortunately, no one has yet thought of demolishing the houses obscuring the church.

It would appear that the present facade of the church is possibly of a later date and well depicts what a facade would have been been before 1829 with the absence of its bellcot. Charleville had one erected on the gable after 1829. Note, however, that the bellcot is over the sanctuary of the church.

It would also appear that the interior is later than 1791 and probably the result of an improvement in the 1820s or 1830s. Unfortunately, the serliana has lost its pictures and the Crucifix has been hung too high. The chromatic scheme is a horror. The loss of the altar rail is to be lamented. The porch at the front of the church displays a particularly sensitive aesthetic sense. It has been more recently "accomodated".


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Re: Brother Michael Augustine O'Riordan

Postby Praxiteles » Thu May 24, 2007 10:51 am

And here is an extraordinary development of the serliana. I can only describe it as Hindu-gothic -as the famous gateway at Dromana. If anyone wants to look, you will find it at St Mary's, Coolagown near Castlelyons ina co. Cork.
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Re: Brother Michael Augustine O'Riordan

Postby Rhabanus » Fri May 25, 2007 11:53 am

Praxiteles wrote:And here is an extraordinary development of the serliana. I can only describe it as Hindu-gothic -as the famous gateway at Dromana. If anyone wants to look, you will find it at St Mary's, Coolagown near Castlelyons ina co. Cork.


Perusing the work of Br O'Riordan, I must ask, why the incursion of so many plaster statues? Those churches best preserved retain the paintings and have not replaced them with garish plaster statues of vastly inferior quality.

Speculations?
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Re: Brother Michael Augustine O'Riordan

Postby Praxiteles » Tue May 29, 2007 11:29 am

Drawings of the Pantheon from Sebastiano Serlio Libro Terzo of 1580 showing the High Altar and a side altar;and the entrance facade.
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Re: Brother Michael Augustine O'Riordan

Postby Praxiteles » Tue May 29, 2007 3:36 pm

Here we have Michael Augustine O'Riordan's treatment of the side altars in St. John the Baptist's in Kinsale. The broken pediment supported on corinthins columns, all surmounting the altar (since stupidly demolished), all framed between two corinthian pilasters. The arrangement derives from Serlio's description of the Tabernaculi of the Pantheon in his Libro Terzo.

In the Kinsale arrangement, the framing of the side altars by pilasters, as in the Pantheon, required the use of a pilaster rather than a column behind the corinthian columns supporting the central canopy.
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Re: Brother Michael Augustine O'Riordan

Postby Praxiteles » Tue May 29, 2007 3:44 pm

The treatment of the side altars in Cloyne parish church, the pediment supported by corinthian columns, surmounting an altar, this time witout the framing corinthian pilasters.
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Re: Brother Michael Augustine O'Riordan

Postby Praxiteles » Thu May 31, 2007 5:15 pm

Some shots of the interior of the Pantheon showing the High Altar, an arch flanked by two side altars all linked by a continuing cornice. While the High Altar has corinthian columns, the entrance opposite is framed by two side altars between corinthian pilasters.
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Re: Brother Michael Augustine O'Riordan

Postby Praxiteles » Thu May 31, 2007 5:20 pm

The exterior of the Pantheon showing the circumventing cornice carried across the facade, with the same idea used by Palladio in the Redentore in Venice
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Re: Brother Michael Augustine O'Riordan

Postby ake » Sat Jun 02, 2007 4:35 pm

[quote="Praxiteles"]Some shots of the interior of the Pantheon showing the High Altar, an arch flanked by two side altars all linked by a continuing cornice. While the High Altar has corinthian columns, the entrance opposite is framed by two side altars between corinthian pilasters.[/QUOTE

Ugh who would be bothered visiting it with all those crowds, which I'm sure are perpetual.

What a lovely group O'Riordan' churches are, particularly Kinsale, with it's quite brilliant plasterwork, -pity the altar has been opened up. These churches were built on the pennys of the poor- In contemporary times, the church is flooded with cash and instead of finishing the work started by previous generations- completing the decoration schemes, adding the plasterwork so grossly missing from most of the buildings, furnishing them with quality sculptures and paintings, and in general embellishing them- what do we do? We leave them in the hands of imbeciles to use as arts and crafts projects.

St Patrick's, Waterford
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Are there any known O'Riordan churches in the South East?
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Re: Brother Michael Augustine O'Riordan

Postby Praxiteles » Sat Jun 02, 2007 9:18 pm

Presentation convent chapel in Clonmel. Any chanc of a shot? O'Riordan built the original convent.
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Re: Brother Michael Augustine O'Riordan

Postby ake » Mon Jun 04, 2007 5:05 pm

possibly soon. Have you a close-up of the monument in kinsale on the left? is it by hogan?
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Re: Brother Michael Augustine O'Riordan

Postby Praxiteles » Mon Jun 04, 2007 5:48 pm

Yes! This monument was done by Hogan in Rome to commemorate Fr. Justin Foley McNamara (1789-1845), parish priest of Kinsale and a nephew of John Murphy, Bishop of Cork (one of Hogan's earliest patron's). It was commissioned in 1846 and made between April and July 1848. It was sent to Ireland on 17 July 1849. I think it was commissioned by Bishop Murphy or else by his other nephew Archdeacon John Murphy (who built Sts Peter and Paul' in Cork).

There was also a bust of Fr. McNamara in the Convent of Mercy in Kinsale, which had been founded by McNamara's sister. It was done by Hogan in 1828 while McNamara was in Rome. I have no idea of where that might presently be found as the convent has closed and the building was the sbject of an appeal to An Bord Planneala - its intended destruction, like Cobh Cathedral, advocated by Brian McCutcheon. Fortunately, that attempt also failed.

Justin McNamara died on 31 December 1845 at Gibralter on his way to Rome. The significance of the upturned mitre suggests that he had been named a bishop - possibly of Cloyne and Ross.

P.S.: Hogan also did the monument for Bishop Michael Collins in the Pro-Cathedral in Skibbereen.
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