Re: Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churches

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@Praxiteles wrote:

As Mâle puts it: “Aware of the power of art over childlike and humble souls, the mediaeval Church tried through sculpture and stained glass to instill into the faithful the full range of her teaching. For the immense crowd of the unlettered, the multitude which had neither psalter nor missal and whose only book was the church, it was necessary to give concrete form to abstract thought.”

Von Simson states that “the church is, mystically and liturgically, an image of heaven” ,

I don’t want to interrupt you, Praxiteles, when you’re in full flow, but I would suggest that the desire for aggrandizement may have had a significant role to play in cathedral architecture, as it does in most jaw-dropping architecture, and not necessarily aggrandizement of the guy who may, or may not, be above.

On a related matter, I would also suggest that it often wasn’t until the reformation that the purity of much gothic architecture was revealed. Stripped of multi-coloured stained glass and painted saints from every niche, and with the interiors given a good coat of whitewash, the soaring simplicity of the structural forms could be seen for the first time.

I note that your posted images of York Minster and Wells Cathedral illustrate, in part, the purifying effects of a good protestant make-over!

As someone who (as a ninteen year old), only finally resolved to find a route into architecture when stood in awe in Vierzehnheiligen, I am fully aware of the power of great ‘sacred’ architecture, but was it the spirit that moved Balthasar Neumann, or the art?

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