reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churches

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    • #708442
      GregF
      Participant

      I dunno if this has been discussed before on a different thread but I saw on the Irish Times this morning that Kevin Myers raises the issue of the proposed renovations of St Colmans Cathedral in Cobh. I had heard this before and couldn’t believe it. This is a fine Victorian Gothic cathedral designed by Pugin. Surely any tampering with the orignal features would be an act of vandalism and must not go ahead. As I said before, the councils, clergy etc… here in Ireland can’t seem to leave well alone regarding important public buildings, statues etc…..All Corkonians should be up in arms and stop any proposed tampering that should alter the cathedral in any way, especially as it was probably the poor local Cork Catholics that provided the funds to build the cathedral in the first place.

      (Bishop McGee of Cloyne is the culprit. Get writing your protest letters rebel Corkonians!)

    • #767215
      Anonymous
      Participant

      Apparently there were 210 objections and the list of Appelants included

      Department of the Environment

      Irish Georgian Society

      An Taisce

      Friends of St Colmans (largely made up of the parish council of St Colmans)

      He was trying to get internal parish support for this for almost ten years and despite everyone elses opinion he is hell bent of leaving his what would appear extremely destructive mark on what is already an excellent interior.

    • #767216
      emf
      Participant

      I wandered into St. Colman’s when I was in Cobh last year and I was very emotionally moved by the peace and tranquility there.
      No doubt in some way it related to the scale and grandeur of the building itself. I’m not sure if this re-ordering is a good idea. It definitely shouldn’t be carried out on the whim of one person. I know I definitely wouldn’t be affected the same way going into one of the modern creations.

      It might be good to sound out opinion on the re-ordering of Carlow Cathedral a few years ago. I was in the church many times before it was carried out but moved away before it was completed.

    • #767217
      ctesiphon
      Participant

      There are special DEHLG guidelines for churches that are protected structures, such is the sensitivity of the area. Ultimately, liturgical requirements take precedence over conservation requirements. But interestingly, when Ratzinger was a Cardinal he wrote a piece (don’t know the chapter and verse, sorry) saying that there was no liturgical rationale to remove altar railings or other features, which is the reason usually cited by those trying to change things.
      And didn’t Jesus himself say ‘wherever two or three are gathered in my name’ or words to that effect? Christianity began in caves and back rooms, so the setting is surely incidental to the practice. Why can’t the Bishop understand this?
      Though not a believer, I have been to mass in the Cathedral on the basis that a building comes alive when serving its purpose, and it was a fine sight indeed.

    • #767218
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      They did something similar at Monaghan and ruined it. And the bishop is still a little sensitive about criticism.5 or 6 years back I said something negative here, and the next thing I get a letter from a dioscesan flunkey asked me to desist.

    • #767219
      lexington
      Participant

      You’d think of all people who should value the integrity and splendour of such a magnificant structure, it would be the Bishop of Cloyne and Cobh, but no. I’m very much supportive of the opposition on this front – the proposed changes are not necessary requirements. It’s a very diappointing scenario. In Ireland, and certainly in Cork, it is perhaps on of the most tranquil and architecturally inspiring structures of a religious nature – especially inside. Along with St. Peter’s & Paul’s near Paul Street and St. Fin Barre’s – it is among my favourite interior designs.

    • #767220
      GrahamH
      Participant

      From the vague plans I’ve seen, the expansive altar interventions look like the flooring scheme of an 80s television chatshow – is it intended to cap it off with a salmon pink carpet?

      While it is easy to view the structure as a purely architectural entity, at the end of the day it is a working religious building and as such its use is as equally important as its fabric. Saying that, surely the proposed alterations are not necessary, or at least not on that scale?
      Whereas previous Vatican reforms were logical in altering the clearly skewed relationship between the celebrant and the congregation, the notion of ‘bringing the people closer’ in Cobh Cathedral – which by definition is going to have people somewhere in the building detached from the proceedings – seems to be founded in a vague symbolisim rather than practical concerns.
      It would be a great shame to see the interior so radically altered – especially having survived so long as it has intact.
      You’d think we’d be able to issue a sigh of relief by now having got through the 70s – clearly not.

    • #767221
      ctesiphon
      Participant

      @Graham Hickey wrote:

      From the vague plans I’ve seen, the expansive altar interventions look like the flooring scheme of an 80s television chatshow – is it intended to cap it off with a salmon pink carpet?

      With Anna and Blathnaid from The Afternoon Show giving out communion? Or Thelma and Derek?

      Good point about the difference between this and the post-Vatican II changes too.

    • #767222
      PTB
      Participant

      As a member of the dioses of cloyne I must say that most people are fairly tired of sending off parish funds to fund the restoration. The work that was done from 1992 until 2002/2003 were the first four of five phases of restoration. This last phase is not so much restoration as an alteration. As well as the other objectors mentioned by Thomond Park are the Pugin society in London who are very angry at the proposed work, which is considered by some as Pugins finest work.

    • #767223
      Anonymous
      Participant

      @PTB wrote:

      This last phase is not so much restoration as an alteration.

      That is an extremely mild description

    • #767224
      anto
      Participant

      didn’t eamonn casey “ruin” the cathedral in Killarney in a similar drive?

    • #767225
      J. Seerski
      Participant

      I think the problem is ideological – there is a body of opinion in the church that says that a church is not a museum but a living building that should be changed as they please according to their liturgical requirements. Though Im puzzeled as to why churches on mainland Europe and even in Britain retain pre-vatican two layout without much difficulty. It seems over here the churches are gutted just to prove a point.

      Was in Iona Church (St Columba’s – a fine celtic revival church) on Sunday and I was amazed how it retained its pulpit and much of its altar railing was untouched. It seems this place was luckily overlooked when churches elsewhere were gutted.

    • #767226
      Anonymous
      Participant

      Those are good points you make;

      In essence the choice is not whether one wrecks masterpieces such as St Colmans but rather what one does with newly built places of worship. Surely if the parishioners of Cobh want a post V2 church atmosphere they can select another RC church on Great Island.

    • #767227
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      The text of Cardinal Ratzinger’s letter to Bishop Ryan of Kildare and Leighlin (12 June 1996) was published in the Carlow Nationalist on 10 January 1997 – having been requisitioned by the High Court. The full text is available on the internet at; htpp://www.ad2000.com.au/articles/1998/cot1998p10_544.html. The tragedy is that what has happend in churches throughout Ireland was liturgically needless.

      An interesting summary on liturgical requirement is available on the news section of the webpage of the Friends of St. Colman’s Cathedral (http://www.foscc.com) prepared for An Bord Pleanala by Arthur Cox.

      As is clear from the case of Cobh Cathedral, Diocesan Historic Church Committees are a complete farce. In this case, the Historic Church Committe of the diocese of Cloyne, mostly made up of unqualified persons, did not even bother to conduct a heritage impact study of the proposed changes on the interior of the building.

    • #767228
      ctesiphon
      Participant

      Thanks for that info Praxiteles (great name, btw!). The FOSCC site is a goldmine.
      One minor correction, though, to the URL you posted.
      http://www.ad2000.com.au/articles/1998/oct1998p10_544.html
      This should work. 🙂

    • #767229
      GrahamH
      Participant

      What came of the appeal to the Supreme Court do you know Praxiteles?

    • #767230
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      As far as I can make out from the webpage (http://www.foscc.com) the matter is still pending with An Bord Pleanala.

    • #767231
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Sorry, I mean Carlow Cathedral – do you know what the Supreme Court ruling was from what seems to be 1998?

    • #767232
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      I do not, I am afraid.

    • #767233
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      How can the great Prof O’Neill have gotten himself involved in such a foolish enterprise
      View his plans on http://www.foscc.com

    • #767234
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      That is indeed a million dollar question.

    • #767235
      MacLeinin
      Participant

      You would think that after his disastrous fiddling with the pro-cathedral, he would have learnt his lesson.
      I am told one local wag in Cobh referred to his current plans for the interior as an ‘ice rinque’

    • #767236
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      The Friends of St. Colman’s Cathedral are made up of a group of concerned Cobh parishioners, none of whom are on the parish council. To clarify information posted by Thomond Park

    • #767237
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Does anyone have any biographical or professional information re Thomas Aloysius Coleman (1865-1952), who was George Ashlin’s partner while working on the completion of St. Colman’s Cathedral?

    • #767238
      ctesiphon
      Participant

      A former colleague of mine wrote a History of Art thesis in Trinity in 1999 or so, either M.Litt or M.Phil, on Ashlin. I’m sure it would have some info you require. I’ll send you her email by private message.
      Also, the office of Ashlin and Coleman still exists, though without family connections to Ashlin or Coleman, I believe. They might be able to help re old drawings, company archives etc. A quick google gives two addresses: 36 Pembroke Road, D.4, or 1 Grant’s Row, off Lwr Mount St, D.2, and an email (possibly out of date) of info@ashlincoleman.com

    • #767239
      MacLeinin
      Participant

      Is that it? Is the whole of Ireland ‘comfortably numb’ ? Does writing here constitute action? Do we just let the Bishop and O’Neill get away with this? We can’t blame the politicians for this one. You all seem to know what you are talking about so tell me what can one do about this sort of thing?

    • #767240
      descamps
      Participant

      I was in Cork last week and went out to see the cathedral in Cobh. It is truly spectacular and it is a small miracle that it has survived for so long without the kind of ravages practiced on Killarney by Eamonn Casey or on Monaghan by Joe Duffy. Looking over the plans for this fine little gem, I cannot help but think that John Magee and Tom Cavanagh (aka Mr. Tidy towns of Ireland) have more money than sense – or good taste.

    • #767241
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Perhaps the comments on architectural theory contained in the following link could be brought to bear on the Cobh Cathedral business: http://www.profil.at/?/articles/0544/560/125321.shtml

    • #767242
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Further interesting comments are available on the subject of liturgy and architecture at http://www.kreuz.net/article.2121.html . Unfortunately, the English and French translations are very inadequate.

    • #767243
      Peter Parler
      Participant

      Has Bishop Magee no fear of God? Could they not get Pope Benedict to scribble him a quick note to let him know they’ll soon be putting everything back the way it was before the liturgical vandals were let loose?

    • #767244
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      “When men have come to the edge of a precipice, it is the lover of life who has the spirit to leap backwards, and only the pessimist who continues to believe in progress.”

      “It is of the new things that men tire – of fashions and proposals and improvements and change. It is the old things that startle and intoxicate. It is the old things that are young.”

      Do pessimists fear God?

    • #767245
      Peter Parler
      Participant

      The article referred to by Praxiteles in #28 is absolutely relevant to poor Cobh. The Lady Church in Dresden was destoyed free of charge in 1945 and in its ruined state remained a monument to the barbarity of war and the atheistic convictions of Communism until its resurrection began in 1990, a symbol of generosity, reconciliation and a new freedom. Surely at this time of episcopal shame the Bishop of Cloyne could offer a similar generosity, reconciliation and renewal of freedom to the Friends of Saint Colman’s and all who care for our religious and architectural heritage, at minimal pain to himself or the coffers of his Diocese. Isn’t there something in the Gospel against Christians forcing one another to appeal to civil tribunals for justice? Isn’t pride a terrible, terrible thing? Haven’t we all better things to be doing?

    • #767246
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Someone has pointed out to me that in 1999, the Cobh Cathedral restoration Committee received a grant of some £8,937 from the Heritage Council to finance a conservation study of St. Colman’s Cathedral.

      The Conservation study was completed in early 2001 by Carrig of Dublin. This fine and original study was very competently carried out by Jesse Castle Metlitski and Richard Oram.

      Along with synthesizing a vast amount of archival material, much of which was examined for the first time, the study produced an important photographic archive of Cobh Cathedral.

      The authors of the study concluded: “The wealth of information and sources pertaining to the design and construction of St. Colman’s can provide a unique insight into the whole process of the construction of such a building as this cathedral while providing a remarkable record. The importance of this material can not be overstated. This, together with the definitive record which is the cathedral itself, must be preserved and safeguarded for future generations”.

      The authors also note: “The design is very finely tuned and any interventions which might contradict the delicate interplay of parts have the potential to compromise the architectural quality of the building. When St Colman’s was build it was already one of the finst expressions of the Gothic Revival style in Ireland. This eminence has been held to the present day”.

      The proposals for the reordering of the Cathedral’s interior pay not the slightest heed to such remarks and have been elaborated as though the Metlitski/Oram conservation report never happened.

    • #767247
      johannas
      Participant

      Does anyone have any information about Ludwig Oppenheimer’s career?

    • #767248
      MacLeinin
      Participant

      Information on Ludwig Oppenheimer is difficult to come by. What I know is that, in addition to St. Colman’s Cathedral, he is credited with the magnificent mosaics in the National Museum of Ireland –Archaeology and History. The floors are decorated with scenes from classical mythology and allegory, and are worth a visit to the museum in themselves. He is also credited with the wonderful mosaic floor of the Honan Chapel, University College, Cork. Biographical details for Oppenheimer, I have found, is very difficult to come by, perhaps other visitor this site may be able to help.

    • #767249
      ctesiphon
      Participant

      There was a lavishly illustrated monograph published not so long ago on the Honan Chapel (maybe by Cork University Press?). It might have some leads.

    • #767250
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      This must have been Virginia Teehan and Elizabeth Wincott-Heckett’s The Honan Chapel: A Golden Vision published by Cork University Press in 2004. Chapter 5 of same, by Jane Hawkes, has a long excursus on the symbolism of the magnificent mosaic floor which is by Ludwig Oppenheimer. He is also responsible for the stations of the cross in opus sectile. Oppenheimer’s work in the Honan Chapel was never publicized for it was the only work carried out there by a non Irish company. It has been suggested that he was commissioned to execute the mosaic floor and the stations of the cross through the influence of the Cork architect Thomas Newhenam Deane or of W. A. Scott who had worked on the Dublin Museum. As in Cobh Cathedral, Oppenheimer’s mosaic work was complemented in the Honan Chapel by the brass and iron work of J&G McGloughlin of Dublin.

    • #767251
      MacLeinin
      Participant

      Information on Ludwig Oppenheimer is difficult to come by. What I know is that, in addition to St. Colman’s Cathedral, he is credited with the magnificent mosaics in the National Museum of Ireland –Archaeology and History. The floors are decorated with scenes from classical mythology and allegory, and are worth a visit to the museum in themselves. He is also credited with the wonderful mosaic floor of the Honan Chapel, University College, Cork.
      Biographical details for Oppenheimer, is very difficult to come by, perhaps other visitor this site may be able to help.

    • #767252
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Ludwig Oppenheimer may well be responsible for the very elaborate moasic work on the floor and walls of the chancel of the church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in Charleville, Co. Cork. This work is about a decade later than Cobh Cathedral (Walter Doolin exhibited designs for the church at RHA in 1898) but the similarities are unmistakable (e.g. the floors of the Sacred Heart and Lady Chapels in Cobh and Charleville). Unfortunately, the floor in the main chancel space in Charleville has been buried under several tons of concrete to make an emplacment for a hidiously unsympathetic re-ordering. It is possible that Oppenheimer’ may have had the commission in Charleville through the patronage of Bishop Robert Browne who was a native of Charleville and, in contrast with the present encumbent in Cobh, a very generous benefactor both of St. Colman’s Cathedral, Cobh ,and of the new parish church in Charleville.

    • #767253
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Another case of mosaics being covered over is in a modest but significant Ralph Byrne church c1920 in the North East, where the usual finance commitee of the parish elite saw fit to cover over the highly attractive grape vine mosaics of the altar floor with ‘a nice bit of carpet’ in the late 90s.
      A large timber step was also partially built on top to regularise the step line and was also covered in carpet, which not only completely altered the nature of the altar design, but no doubt damaged the mosaics beneath too by its attachment to them, as with the carpet grippers drilled or glued onto the marble edging.
      You see this type of practice a lot in small to middle-sized churches which is a great shame.

    • #767254
      Neo Goth
      Participant

      I guess most people on this thread have visited the brilliant website by the Friends of St Colman’s Cathedral at http://www.foscc.com my compliments to the friends for trying to stop this latest outbreak of architectural vandalism.

      Neo-Goths of the world unite and strike back!

    • #767255
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      In Cobh Cathedral, for years the great central motif of the moasic in the chancel was covered by a green carpet ivo-stuck to the floor. In the first phase of the Cathedral restoration it was removed. Because it had been glued to the floor, and at a time when there was still some bit of respect for Oppenheimer’s work, it was taken up by steeping it in large quantities of petrol to avoid tearing up the tesserae of the mosaic. At that time, a phoney appreciation of the central chancel mosaic was used to justify removing the altar rails – all quietly forgotten, however, since Cathal O’Neill proposed digging out the entire floor, mosaic and all.

    • #767256
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      Oppenheimer is also credited with the design of the Clonard Redemptorist Church, Falls Rd., Belfast.

      This church, also known as the Church of the Holy Redeemer, occupies a dramatic site on one wing of a three-sided courtyard. It is linked by a tower to the red brick and sandstone monastery extension. There is a large rose window in the west façade.
      Clonard was designed in early French Gothic style by Ludwig Oppenheimer and built in 1897 by the Naughton brothers of Randalstown. It is home to the Redemptorists, who were founded in Italy in 1732 and contains mosaics from Gabriel Loire of Chartres. The Monastery was the scene of the first contacts that started the Northern Ireland peace process in the early 1990s.
      http://www.gotobelfast.com/index.

    • #767257
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      After a little digging, it appears that Ludwig Oppenheimer worked on several major projects in Ireland:The Dublin Museum (1890); Cobh Cathedral (1892); Sts Augustine and John, Thomas Street, Dublin (c.1899); Newry Cathedral (1904-1909); Redemptorist Church, Limerick (1927); Sts. Peter and Paul, Clonmel (??); St. Mary’s, Nenagh (1910); the Honan Chapel, UCC,Cork (c.1915); Clonakilty; Fermoy; Midleton; Kilmallock. Interestingly, George Ashlin was involved in all of the above mentioned projects (except the Honan Chapel and Dublin Museum) and seems consistently to have retained Ludwig Oppenheimer to carry out mosaic work.

    • #767258
      Neo Goth
      Participant

      So the proposed changes necessitate the destruction of the mosaic floor of the cathedral but what will be put there in its place? Does the architect favour the bathroom tile model of the cathedral in Killarney?

    • #767259
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      A pastiche job is proposed incorporating salvage from the present central mosaic and some matching glories imported from the Domus Dei people who similarly obliged -albeit much less radically- in Newry (1992). Apart from that, no specifics have been outlined by Cathal O’Neill for the replacement.

    • #767260
      MacLeinin
      Participant

      I thought that the Parish Church in Nenagh was by Walter Doolin, not Ashlin.

    • #767261
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Yes, you are correct. The parish church in Nenagh is by Walter Doolin. Ashlin was the assessor for the competition and chose Doolin’s submission. Walter Doolin had also been George Ashlin’s pupil. Jermey WIlliams in his Companion Guide to Architecture in Ireland 1837-1921 describes Doolin’s as a conservative architecture derived from Ashlin. The interiors of his churches “come as a welcome relief due to his determination to create a multi-coloured paradise out of the chancels, relying not only on frescoes, and stained glass but also on mosaics, and wrought iron grilles, painted and decorated”. G. Ashling completed Nenagh in 1910. You might also note that Walter Doolin is also the architect for the parish church in Charleville which explains Oppenheimer’s mosaic work there.

    • #767262
      MacLeinin
      Participant

      Thanks for that.
      Can anyone confirm that the mosaic work in Charleville – that can still be seen – is by Oppenheimer.

    • #767263
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      :confused: At present the Sedelia has been removed from right hand Sanctuary screen and is now free standing in Sanctuary and a dining chair put in its place.

      Can anyone explain who this can happen since the building was listed as a protected structure and is the subject of a Covenant with the Heritage Council

    • #767264
      Peter Parler
      Participant

      Thanks for the photo, Gianlorenzo. I’d have assumed you were joking about the dining chair!

    • #767265
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      They cannot surely have been so ignorant as to attach that awful piece of metal to the back of one of the sedilia!!

      Does the genius who perpretrated this bit of hooliganism not realize that this sedilia is based on the classical faldisterium which was taken by the pro-Consuls on their missions outside of Rome as a symbol of their authority and jurisdiction? Does he not know that the pro-Consuls sat on it to give judgement and that its assumption into Christian usage is just one example of what is now described as “inculturation”?

    • #767266
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      Can anyone tell me how I post a photograph directly onto the tread? I am having terrible trouble with attachments.

    • #767267
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      Sorry Praxiteles for the incorrect spelling of sedilia on the picture caption!!!

    • #767268
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      I am still having trouble with attachments. The byte space is too limited. Help

    • #767269
      Neo Goth
      Participant

      I suppose hooligans always have a few iron bars to spare … I suppose this is a form of regressive inculturation.

    • #767270
      MacLeinin
      Participant

      Neo Goth. Given the etymology of the discription ‘Gothic’ I do believe that it is His Lordship Bishop Magee who should bear that tag rather than your good self

    • #767271
      Neo Goth
      Participant

      We’ve been trying to disavow the Vandals for centuries who’ve been giving us a bad name. It’s easy to spot them though, they usually go around with iron bars and sometimes they try to disguise and hide their iron bars in the most unusal of places.

    • #767272
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      More Pictures.

      A is the current Sanctuary floor which is to be dug up.
      B is the lower chancel floor and altar rails which are to be dug up and stored!!!!
      C is a view of the Chancel Arch from the southwest.

      The vandals are truly among us.

    • #767273
      descamps
      Participant

      A recent picture of the chancel in St. Colman’s Cathedral, Cobh.

    • #767274
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      One passing shot before I retire. Attached is an example of the quality of ‘replacement/restoration’ work that has been carried out in St. Colmans with the help of over €170,000 (£ equivalent) of Heritage Council grants plus the hundreds of thousands donated by the people of Cobh and the Diocese of Cloyne for the restoration project. 🙁

    • #767275
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      “…Gothic adventurers crowded so earerly to the standard of Radagaisus, that, by some historians, he has been styled the King of the Goths…Alaric was a Christian and a soldier, the leader of a disciplined army; who understood the laws of war, who respected the sanctity of treaties; and who had familiarly conversed with the subjects of the empire in the same camps and the same churches. The savage Radagaisus was a stranger to the manners, the religion and even the language of the civilised nations of the South. The fierceness of his temper was exasperated by cruel superstition; and it was universally believed that he had bound himself by a solemn vow to reduce the City into a heap of stones and ashes, and to sacrifice the most illustruous Roman senators on the altars of those gods who were appeased by human blood….Comitantur euntem Pallor, et atra Fames; et saucia lividus ora Luctus; et inferno stridentes agmine morbi”. (Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, chapter 31).

    • #767276
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      To complete the newly acquired picture gallery, I thought you might like to have the enclosed picturesque photographic study of the South elevation of the exterior of St. Colman’s Cathedral, Cobh, Co. Cork

    • #767277
      Peter Parler
      Participant

      (#52) Much as one might regret the hooliganism perpetrated on that sedilia, Praxiteles, no one who has tried sitting on one for any length of time could possibly begrudge an aging Pro-Consul the back support. Some of them, as you know, are nowadays quite spineless.

    • #767278
      MacLeinin
      Participant

      Could there be hope for Killarney at last!!! Did you all see the article below in the Sunday Indo. today?

      Magnificent artifacts to return to Gothic Cathedral
      JEROME REILLY
      MAGNIFICENT artefacts removed from Pugin’s Gothic masterpiece, St Mary’s Cathedral in Killarney could be re-installed, if a historian and antiques expert has his way.
      The cathedral was finally completed in the Twenties following some 80 years of construction work.
      But in the early Seventies, under the direction of Bishop Eamon Casey, the cathedral was remodeled to take account of changes in the liturgy demanded by Vatican II.
      That included the removal of a dozen brass chandeliers and a number of magnificent brass candelabra which then fell into private ownership.
      Those artefacts were recently purchased by local historian and antiques dealer Maurice O’Keeffe who was very much aware of their historic provenance.
      “I have restored one of them and they are magnificent. I would be more than willing to let the church have them for exactly the same amount I paid for them so they could be re-installed,” he said.
      The cathedral was designed by Augustus Welby Pugin and is renowned for its Gothic proportions.
      Work commenced in 1842 but stopped between 1848 and 1853 because of the famine, when the building was used as a hospital.
      The Californian Redwood tree in the grounds was planted after the famine in memory of the children buried underneath. Pugin died insane in Ramsgate in 1885.

    • #767279
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Well, just as civilization is sowing the first seeds of a serious “restoration” work in Killarney, the pall of Bishop Magee’s medieval darkness still hangs over Cobh cathedral. The Bishop of Kerry may not realize just how luck he is still to be able to locate the original fittings of Killarney cathedral. Have we come full circle?

    • #767280
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      For the purposes of contrast…… While much can be commented on, the floor is particularly noteworthy – especially after 35 years of wear and tear. The only remaining portion of the original floor is to be found in the Lady Chapel. Its destruction was staved off by the efforts of the redoubtable Beatrice Grovner who stood on her patronal rights as heiress to the Earls of Kenmare who are buried in the crypt underneath. The architect for the Killarney project was Dan Kennedy.

    • #767281
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Perhaps Paul Clerkin might be able to provide a picture of St. Macartan’s before Joe Duffy was let loose on the building. I am told that a confessional in bee-hut form was subsequently introduced. While most would regard this as eccentric, not the good bishop who was eloquent about the early Irish penitentials and the monastic cells on Skellig Michael…… The architect in this case was Gerald MacCann, if memory serves me correctly.

    • #767282
      MacLeinin
      Participant

      O’Neill’s proposals for Cobh Cathedral look more and more like re-heated soup. -see attachment.

      There is a very obvious lack of imagination in both clerical and architectural circles in Ireland.
      😮 Just where do these clapped out prototypes come from?

    • #767283
      Neo Goth
      Participant

      The sanctuary furnishings in the cathedral in Monaghan look like a bathroom set. Does the ambo have hot and cold taps? Will the new liturgical furnishings for the cathedral in Cobh be the same? There doesn’t seem to be any details given about these.

    • #767284
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      Two more views of the O’Neill’s foolishness courtesy of http://www.foscc.com :p

    • #767285
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      The photomontage could pass for Monaghan had the high altar there not been demolished. All that seem to have been done in this “adaptation” was to knock off the hard edges of Monaghan and supply soft curves and semicircles.

    • #767286
      Neo Goth
      Participant

      Some views of Neo-Gothic heaven… photos taken from http://www.foscc.com

    • #767287
      Neo Goth
      Participant

      Will what happened to the cathedral in Monaghan be the fate of St. Colman’s?

      The following is the ‘rationale’ from the official website of Clogher diocese for the iconoclastic ‘refurbishment’.

      A radical rearrangement and refurbishing of the Cathedral was begun in 1982 to meet
      the requirements of the revised Liturgy.

      The people of Monaghan were told a big lie… people of Cobh beware this lie is long past its tell by date!

      The pic below is the architect’s view of the ‘refurbished’ sanctuary of St. Colman’s

    • #767288
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      A shocked collegue thought that the “remodelled” sanctuary in Monaghan looked for all the world like a childrens playground!!

    • #767289
      MacLeinin
      Participant

      IT IS a playground – for wayward ‘children’.

    • #767290
      Peter Parler
      Participant

      52 / Praxiteles, I am still thinking about those Proconsuls. Did you know that it was the Dictator Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix (http://la.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sulla) who decreed in 80 B.C. that the Provinces were to be governed by ex-Consuls? It was a way of getting them out of Rome once they had outlived their usefulness. Apparently they were appointed for a maximum of five years – but of course few of them survived that long. It was never meant that they should! See http://la.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proconsul

    • #767291
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Re Jerome Reilly’s article reproduced in no. 65: it should be noted that A.W.N. Pugin died, at the age of 40, on 14 September 1852 as a result, not of insanity, but probably of the effects of mercury poisoning cf. Rosemary Hill, Augustus Welby Northmoe Pugin: A Biographical Sketch, in A.W.N. Pugin:Master of Gothic Revival,Yale University Press, New Haven and London 1995.

    • #767292
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      For the picture gallery: a view of the west elevation of St. Colman’s Cathedral Cobh.

    • #767293
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Another view of the interior of St. Mary’s Cathedral, Killarney from c. 1899.

    • #767294
      GrahamH
      Participant

      A magnificent ‘strong’ building: very imposing and located on a fine site – indeed one of the best aspects of the building is its environment.

    • #767295
      Neo Goth
      Participant

      Across the harbour from Cobh Cathedral the North Cathedral in Cork was vandalised by the liturrgical refurbishers,,,
      Unfortunately this is another classical example of the after being worse than the before..

      BEFORE

      AFTER

    • #767296
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      After Killarney, Armagh must be one of the most questionable attempts at “reordering”. The building was begun in 1840 to designs by Thomas Duff of Newry but suspended because of the famine. It was resumed to plans by JJ McCarthy and the interior completed by G.C. Ashlin. Circa 1980, Ashlin’s original sanctuary was all but destroyed by an already liturgically dated effort by Liam McCormack. Casulties of the iconoclasm include Cesare Aureli high altars, Beakey’s pulpit, the roodscreen, M. Dorey’s choir stalls, and the 1875 Telford organ.

    • #767297
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Another example for the list of “reorderings” that should not have happened is the Cathedral of the Assumption in Tuam, Co. Galway. Begun in 1837 by Archbishop John McHale to ambitious plans by the little known Dominic Madden, it was regarded as one of the finest examples of early Gothic revival in Ireland. The fine window behind the (demolished) high altar is by Michael O’Connor (1860). An iconoclastic outburst in 1979 saw the destruction the original baldichino, transcept altars, pulpit and altar rails. A further effort was made in 1991 under the direction of Ray Carroll which saw the demolition of the high altar, and the implantation of a misplaced faux roodscreen which succeeded in obscuring the lower part of O’Connor’s window. The great Lion of the West lies beneath all this, his crypt in-filled with the rubble of his own creation. One commentator described the overall present effect as reminicent of a set for a re-run of Snow White and the seven dwarfs.

    • #767298
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Dominic Madden’s Cathedral of St. Peter and St Paul in Ennis is another example of liturgical adaptation gone wrong. Begun in 1828 and completed by 1842, the decoration of the interior was assigned to JJ McCarthy who is responsible for the internal pillars, with traceried spandrels, and galleries. The building was re-decorated in a renovation begun in 1894 under the direction of Joshua Clarke, father of Harry Clarke. The fresco of the Assumption, which stood behind and above JJ McCarthy’s (demolished) high altar, is by Nagle and Potts. Ennis Cathedral was one of the first in the country to undergo “reordering” according to a perceived need to bring it into conformity with the liturgical requirements of the Second Vatican Council. The guiding light in this was Michael Harty, dean of Maynooth College and subsequently Bishop of Killaloe. Although not an academic nor a trained liturgist , and more at home in teaching rubrics, Michael Harty acquired a reputation in church architecture circles for boldly going where no one went before and exercised a main morte on the design /execution of many Irish churches from the seventies on – his first being the ruination of St Mary’s Chapel in Maynooth College. Andy Devane was the architect for the Ennis “reordering”, backed up by the subtle aestesia of Enda King. The new altar and ambo were done in the erratic natural boulder style highly reminiscent of the de Bello Gallico‘s descriptions of druidic ritual. As in many of the Irish Cathedral “reorderings”, the noteworthy dissapearance of the Chapter Choir stalls is significant.

    • #767299
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      The red rosette in the outré class of the Irish cathedrals’ reordering stakes must surely go to St. Peter’s Cathedral in Belfast. Designed by Jeremiah Ryan McAuley, the foundation stone was laid in 1860. The building opened for public worship in 1866. The present refurbishment was undertaken by the late Cardinal Cahal Daly in 1982 and concentrated to a peculiar degree of obsession on the doctrinaire insertion of the Cathedra in basilical fashion behind a miniscule altar. All major components were executed in Cardinal Daly’s preferred wooden types resulting in a precarious dependence on aesthetically poised flower arrangements to relieve a brooding monotony. Again, the Cathedral Chapter has been unseated and Choir Stalls are nowhere to be seen. “Further refurbishment is planned so that St. Peter’s Cathedral will be an adornment in the regeneration currently taking place in inner Belfast”. Nobody seems to want to own up for all of this.

    • #767300
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      Has some discreet cloning taken place in architectural circles in Ireland. From what I have seen so far it is all a variation on the same theme. Not only that, it is a theme that is pursued regardless of the setting. Maybe we should have a poll as to which is the most insensitive re-ordering to date. Any takers?

    • #767301
      MacLeinin
      Participant

      Does anybody know which architect is responsible for the re-ordering of St.Peters in Belfast? Was it perhaps Ray Carroll?

    • #767302
      MacLeinin
      Participant

      My vote on the worst re-ordering to date goes to Tuam. 😮

    • #767303
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      😎
      Thought that this comment was worth sharing. One only hopes that this state of affairs can be maintained.

      TAKING STOCK OF OUR ECCLESIASTICAL HERITAGE
      The Heritage Council 1998

      John Maiben Gilmartin.
      Ecclesiastical Works of Art

      However, the positive and the good must not be disregarded. Mention should be made of initiatives of high merit, such as the maintenance of Cobh Cathedral both externally and internally. This building has an outstanding interior which almost alone of Irish nineteenth century cathedrals survives intact. The beneficent authorities at Cobh have also seen that their fine collection of textiles has been superbly restored and conserved.

    • #767304
      the bull
      Participant

      Killarney, Monaghan, Armagh, Tuam,Ennis,Belfast,………….. My God how do they get away with it.

      This must not happen in Cobh

    • #767305
      the bull
      Participant

      RE no 89 I agree my vote goes to Tuam for the worst re-ordering to date. With Ennis as a close runner up.
      Killarney is in a category all of its own

    • #767306
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      Re.#91 They have been getting away with it because the only ones to object are their own parishioners and in the stratospheric world of architects and clerics they do not count. Fortunately in Cobh there is a very organised and informed opposition who hopefully will prevail.They have a wonderful website -www.foscc.com

    • #767307
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Another boring application of the hackneyed pastiche formula – St. Eugene’s Cathedral in Derry. Begun in 1851 to designs by an unknown and eventually to plans of JJ McCarthy, St. Eugene’s was consecrated in 1873. The spire designed by G.C. Ashlin, added in 1899, was completed in 1903. The glass is by Mayer of Munich. Liam McCormack of Armagh Cathedral fame also struck in Derry in 1975.

    • #767308
      MacLeinin
      Participant

      Derry (#94) looks positively dangerous. Has anyone fallen off yet?

    • #767309
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Longford Cathedral was widely regarded as Ireland’s finest example of a neo-Classical cathedral. The original architect was John Benjamine Keane with subsequent contributions from John Bourke (campanile of 1860) and the near ubiquitous G.C. Ashlin who is responsible for the impeccably proportioned portico (1883-1913) commissioned by Bishop Bartholomew Woodlock of Catholic University fame. The internal plaster work is Italian as were the (demolished) lateral altars. It was opened for public worship in 1856. In the 1970s a major re-styling of the sanctuary was undertaken by Bishop Cathal Daly who employed the services of Wilfred Cantwell and Ray Carroll. J. Bourke’s elaborate high altar altar and choir stalls were demolished and replaced by an austere arrangement focused on a disproportionately scaled altar. The results, which have not drawn the kind of universal criticism reserved for Armagh and Killarney, nevertheless leave the interior of the building without a natural focus. The insertion of tapesteries between the columns of the central apse was an attempt to fill the void and would be used again to solve a similar problem in the Pro-Cathedral in Dublin. The absence of choir stalls is to be noted as is the relative obscurity of the Cathedra – the very raison d’etre for the building.

    • #767310
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      @Praxiteles wrote:

      After Killarney, Armagh must be one of the most questionable attempts at “reordering”. The building was begun in 1840 to designs by Thomas Duff of Newry but suspended because of the famine. It was resumed to plans by JJ McCarthy and the interior completed by G.C. Ashlin. Circa 1980, Ashlin’s original sanctuary was all but destroyed by an already liturgically dated effort by Liam McCormack. Casulties of the iconoclasm include Cesare Aureli high altars, Beakey’s pulpit, the roodscreen, M. Dorey’s choir stalls, and the 1875 Telford organ.

      More on the interior of Armagh
      http://www.irish-architecture.com/buildings_ireland/armagh/armagh/st_patricks_interior.html

    • #767311
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster
    • #767312
      johannas
      Participant

      Or what about Wexford, does anyone know if this Cathedral of Pugin design has been laid bare to the vandals?

    • #767313
      Mosaic1
      Participant

      Dear thread contributors,

      I am ‘Mosaic1’ and I am new to your discussions, which are very interesting to me. You have been discussing the work of Ludwig Oppenheimer Ltd. in relation to Cobh & elsewhere and Iyou might like to know that there are 2 additional churches that may contain their work – St. Fintan’s, in Taghmon, Co. Wexford, and St. Mary’s, in Listowel, Co. Kerry.

      With scholars and mosaic enthusiasts in Ireland and the U.K., I have been researching the firm for some time now, prompted initially by the apparent, and puzzling, absence of information on them and their work. We now know a good deal more about the firm and the people and are hoping to have a seminar and to publish a book on them and their works. The firm was founded in 1865 in Manchester and operated until 1965. It’s mosaics are known in Ireland, England, France and 1 in the U.S. Bizarrely for a Manchester based firm, most of their presently known work is in Ireland, so much remains to be learnt about their work in Britain.

      If anybody has any information or knows of any possible sources of such, I’d be very grateful to hear from them.

      Kind regards, and many thanks in advance for your help,

      ‘Mosaic1’

    • #767314
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Re n. 98: I am glad you raised the case of Limerick which has undergone a very recent restoration and “make over” of the interior, especially of the sancturay. The original architect here was Philip Charles Hardwick who had been retained by the Earl of Dunraven to build Adare Manor. It was constructed 1856 – 1861 and consecrated in 1894. From a distance, the spire (280 feet) makes a very memorable impression on the flatness of the Limerick plain. The Cathedral interior is a fine example of the effective use of light and is one of its principal features – nowadays not so clearly evident because of over-illumination. The high altar, throne, and pulpit were made by the Belgian firm of Phyffers. Although re-arranged by J.J. O’Callaghan in 1894, they survived into the 1980s when, unfortunately, the throne was removed and resited in the vacuum left by the altar mensa which had been moved “nearer to the people”. The tabarnacle in the reredos was abandoned and its door replaced by the heraldic achievement of the then Bishop. In placing the throne in the site intended for the mensa of the altar, little account was taken of the surprising (if not incongrous) effect of seeing the successor of St. Munchin seated on a throne at either side of which was clearly emblasoned a strophe of the Trishagion. A rood beam survived with its figures into the 1980. In the latest round, the choir stalls seem to have survived.

    • #767315
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      St. Mary’s Cathedral, Kilkenny, designed by WIlliam Deane Butler, was begun in 1843 and completed in 1857. Its neo-Gothic style is heavily Norman in inspiration and can be easily compared with St. Jean de Malte in Aix-en-Provence, St-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume in Provence or indeed with many of the pure creations of the Norman displacement in central and southern Italy – such as the abbatial church at Fossanova in Latium, Sant’Eligio in Naples, and San Lorenzo Maggiore in Naples. The decoration of the interior of Kilkenny’s St. Mary’s is by Earley and Powell and was brought to completion in 1865. This firm was responsible for the ceiling painting of the chancel, the glass, the high altar fittings and lightings. The mosaic work is by Bourke of London and the chancel murals by Westlake. In the 1970s, the socially minded Bishop Birch instigated, in the diocese of Ossory, an iconoclasm worthy of the emperor Leo III, a martial pesant from the mountains of Isouria whose hatred of images was largely inspired by an incomparable ignorance of both sacred and profane letters. Kilkenny cathedral, fortunately, escaped the worst ravages and retains its (albeit redundant) High Altar which was purchased in Italy. The altar rails (alas no more) and the altar of the Sacred Heart were the work of James Pearce. A diminuitive and out of scale altar was placad under the crossing and a new cathedra -redolent of Star trek – installed. The contour of this impianto is remarkably similar to the one now proposed for Cobh cathedral. Perhaps the greatest thing that can be said for this “reordering” is that it can (and will) eventually be removed leaving the building more or less as concieved by none too mean an architect.

      So far, nobody wishes to claim responsibility for the effort.

    • #767316
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      The Cathedral of the Assumption of Our Lady in Thurles, Co. Tipperary, boasts of being Ireland’s only 19th century cathedral to have been built in the neo-romanesque style. Building commenced in 1865 to plans by JJ McCarthy who relied very heavily on North Italian or Lombard prototypes, modelling the facade on that of the Cathedral in Pisa, and, succeeding to some extent in conveying the spacial sense of the Cathedral complex in Pisa with his free standing baptistery and tower. The Cathedral was consecrated by Archbishop Croke on 22 June 1879. Archbishop Croke replaced JJ McCarthy with George C. Ashlin as architect for the remaining works which included the decoration of the interior on which no expense was spared. The ceiling, designed by Ashlin, was executed by Earley and Powell. The same company are also responsible for the galss and some of the sculpture work, the more important elements of which were executed by Pietro Lazzarini, Benzoni and Joseph O’Reilly. Mayer of Munich also supplied glass as well as Wailes of Newcastle. The most important item, however, in the Cathedral is the Ciborium of the Altar by Giacomo della Porta (1537-1602). This had originally been commissioned for the Gesù in Rome in 1582 by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese. The same Giacomo della Porta built the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica 1588/1590 and finished the lantern in 1603. The altar from the Gesù was acquired by Archbishop Leahy while in the City for the First Vatican Council in 1869/1870. Reordering work began here in 1979. The altar rails have given way in the face of a projection into the nave. Unbelievably, the High Altar has been dismantled and its mensa separated from the della Porta ciborium which is now relegated to an undescript plinth. The original stencilled work disappeared in 1973. As with Longford and the Pro Cathedral, the removal of the High Altar leaves the building without a focus, the present dimension and location of the Ciborium not being to the scale of the building. The temptation to hang banners in the apse has not been resisted.

      It is difficult to ascertain the architect responsible for the current interior of Thurles Cathedral.

    • #767317
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      The Cathedral of St. Patrick and St. Colman, Newry, Co. Down is a composit building in a neo Gothic idiom developed in three main phases bewteen 1825, when it was begun to plans by Thomas Duff, extended between 1888 and 1891, futher extended between 1904 and 1909, and finally completed in 1925. The only part that can be reasonably described as Victorian are the transepts (1891); high Altar, pulpit and belfry (by Ashlin). The decorative scheme was drawn up by Thomas Hevey and executed by G.C. Ashlin who alsoextended the nave and chancel in 1904. The sanctuary was re-ordered in 1990 by extending the dais into the nave, and placing the mensa of the original altar under the crossing. The pulpit appears to have survived but not the altar rails. The reredos of the altar was needlessly divided into three section for reasons not easily or immediately fathomed. The present tri-partite re-constructed reredos is slightly reminiscent of the revolving stage scenes of an 18th century petit theatre. The most remarkable implant of the reordering must be the throne in a neo Gothic idiom. Curiously, it is probably the largest throne created in any re-ordering in Ireland -for what is one of the smallest dioceses in the country. Among the conoscenti, it is often deferred to as a “model” for what could be done in Cobh Cathedral – a building far outstripping Newry in its superiority of conception, execution and stylistic unity. Again, this cathedral is bereft of Choir Stalls.

    • #767318
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Thanks for all the pictures Praxiteles – partiicularly Longford, what a gem of a building. Those columns are magnificent!
      How disturbing to see all of these reorderings in black and white – whatever about the removal of architecturally significant features, but to then install bathroom showrooms as liturgical and architectural focal points of these splendid buildings is nothing short of criminal.

      Another by Duff, and whilst not (quite :)) a cathedral, and not as opulent as others featured, St. Patrick’s in Dundalk has had the most horrendous rubbish thrown up in the sanctuary. I don’t remember what was here before the ‘changes’, but in its place has been put what can only be described as an altar table from Homebase fronted by an 8×4 sheet of MDF with laser cut gothick arches, bright verdigris paint and backlit with a florescent tube:

      Luckily the worst of it is concealed here beneath the altar cloth. It beggars belief when you see it up close – looks like a cartoon plonked into the ‘real world’.

      Also the throne looks like it was a nicked from a 1980s country house hotel, whilst the timber lecturn with ‘feature panel’ is equally inappropriate in an exclusively marble environment.

      On the upside, I believe St. Patrick’s also has mosaics by Oppenheimer, just not sure which particular ones.
      I dread to think what was there before the timber-n-carpet conference stage was introduced 🙁

    • #767319
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      The Cathedral of St. Brendan in Loughrea, Co. Galway was begun in 1897 to plans drawn up by William Byrne and completed by 1902. In size, it is quite modest and, exteriorally, not much different from many churches then being buit in Ireland. Byrne was commissioned to bulit a church in the neo Gothic idiom, having a nave, absidal chancel, lean-to isles, a shallow transcept and a spire. The interior, however, is another matter. By some strange providence, the interior became a veritable icon of the Celtic revival movementin terms of sculpure, above all glass, metal work and wood work. This gem was the product of a partnership of interest in the Celtic Revival shared by Fr. Jeremiah O’Donovan, who was given charge of the Loughrea cathedral project, and by Edward Martyn (benefactor of the Palestrina Choir in the Pro-Cathedral). John Hughes was commissioned to do the sculpture for the interior -including the bronze relief of Christ on the reredos of the High Altar and a marble statue of Our Lady. Michael Shortall was commissioned to execute a statue of St. Brendan and the corbels. He is also responsible for the scenes from the life of St. Brendan on the capitals of the pillars. Designed by Jack B. Yates and his wife Mary, the ladies of the Dun Emer guild embroidered twenty four banners of Irish saints. The same studio provided Mass vestments etc.. The stained glass is by An Tur Glaoine (opened in 1903) under the direction of Alfred Childe and Sarah Purser. Over the next forty years A. Childe, S. Purser and Michael Healy executed all of the glass. Michael Healy’s Ascension (1936) and Last Judgement (1937-1940) are amongst the Cathedral’s greatest treasures. Fortunately, the liturgical Boeotians have not yet managed to exact their vengence on this little gem. The High Altar, communion rails, and pulpit are all still in tact – though the inferior quality of the modern liturgical furnishings inserted into the original organic whole is patently obvious.

    • #767320
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      Another view of St. John’s in Limerick. The more I look at the sanctuary floor the more I am reminded of something from a Harry Potter movie. 😮

    • #767321
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      For Praxiteles re #84 Tuam Cathedral. Here is a shot of the original sanctuary showing baldachino 🙂
      and one of the side altars.

    • #767322
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      “……… St. Mel’s Cathedral, begun to the design of Joseph Keane in 1840. While the portico lacks the sophistication of Keane’s great Dominican Pope’s Quay Church in Cork, the interior, by contrast, is now regarded as noblest of all Irish Classical church interiors. It is designed in the style of an early Christian basilica, with noble Grecian Ionic columns and a curved apse. It also shares the remarkable distinction of being the only major Catholic Church in Ireland to have actually been improved by internal reordering, when the fussy later altar was removed and replaced by a simple modem table altar, which accords harmoniously with the early Christian style of the interior. The tower and portico give a striking approach to the town from Dublin.”
      (An Taisce)

      Is this true? I have been unable to find any photographs of St. Mel’s so am unable to judge. Does anyone have before and after shot so we can decide.

    • #767323
      johannas
      Participant

      Well Graham, at least St. Patrick’s in Dudalk still retains the beautiful italian altar rails and brass gates insitu and though the homebase altar is quite disturbing, the sanctuary hasn’t quite been turned into a disney ice rink!!!

    • #767324
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Re. post 109

      It also shares the remarkable distinction of being the only major Catholic Church in Ireland to have actually been improved by internal reordering, when thee fussy later altar was removed and replaced by a simple modern table altar, which accords harmoniously with the early Christian style of the interior.
      Gianlorenzo wrote:

      While the import of the above is not exactly clear, the idea that the modern undersized altar in Longford Cathedral “accords harmoniously” with the early Christian style of the interior is quite remarkable for its evident obliviouness to the findings of Christian archeology and the factual testimony of those Basilicas which still conserve their original spacial lay out. The result of Cathal Daly’s reordering of Longford is a modern construct derived from contemporary theories that has been brutally superimposed on a neo classical basilical context.

      Were the reordering to have been conducted with the idea of reproducing or reinterpreting the prinicples underlying the spacial outlay of an early Christian Basilica, then the outcome would have been considerably different. It would have required emptying the nave of its benches]Solea[/I] extending one third of its length and marked off by barriers; a transverse barrier to mark off the Sanctuary; and the construction of a Ciborium or Baldachino over an altar on a raised dais. [See attachment 1 and 2]

      In this system, the nave is reserved for the entry and exit of the Roman Pontiff and his attendants at least since the year 314when he was invested with the Praetorian dignity. When he arrived at the main door, his military or civil escort was shed; he processed through the nave with clergy any other administrative attendants until he reached the gate of the Solea at which point all lay attendants were shed; the lower clergy lined up in the Solea and remained there while the Pontiff, accompanied by the Proto Deacon of the Holy Roman Church and the Deacon of the Basilica accompanied him through the gate of the Sanctuary as far as the Altar where other priests or Bishops awaited him.

      The laity were confined to the side isles; the matroneum (or womens’ side); and the senatorium (men’s side).

      In Rome, two extant eamples of this spacial disposition illustrate the point: Santa Sabina which is partially intact [attachment 3]; but, more importantly, San Clemente which is well preserved [attachment 4].

      Remarkably, the author who believes that the present interior lay out of Longford Cathedral somehow reflects that of an early Christian Basilica quite obviously has not read Richard Krautheimer’s Corpus Basilicarum Christianarum Romae and may not have been familiar with the same author’s Early Christian and Byzantine Architecture (Yale University Press). C. H. Kraeling’s The Christian Building (The Excavations at Dura Europos…Final Report, VIII, 2 (Yale University Press) and T. Matthew’s writings on the disposition of the chancel in early Christian Basilicas (Revista di Archeologia Cristiana, XXXVIII [1962], pp. 73ff. would certainly dispel any notion of even a remote connection between the early Christian Basilica and the current pastiche in Longford Cathedral.

    • #767325
      MacLeinin
      Participant

      @Graham Hickey wrote:

      What came of the appeal to the Supreme Court do you know Praxiteles?

      I noticed that no one has attempted to answer your question. To the best of my knowledge the Friends of Carlow Cathedral lost their case in the Supreme Court – legend has it that one man lost his home as a result. I have tried following this story up on the web but there is nothing obviously available.

    • #767326
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      Speaking of Carlow, there was a story in the Carlow People today about some of the stained glass window being smashed.

      Smashed Cathedral windows will cost thousands to repair
      A number of stained glass windows in Carlow Cathedral were broken last week in an attack which is expected to cost thousands of euro to repair.
      The damage was done when a man threw a bin at a number of windows in the Cathedral last Wednesday night.
      The motive for the attack is not known but Carlow Gardai apprehended a man at the scene.
      This is the second attack on a church in Carlow in recent times as just over a month ago vandals threw kerbing through a number of windows in St. Mary’s Church of Ireland in Rathvilly.

      Assessors have now examined the damage to the Cathedral although according to administrator Fr. Ger Aherne they have not yet completed their examination.
      ‘We don’t know how much it will cost to repair them, there were three or four panels broken,’ he said. ‘The windows are quite old and we expect the cost will be substantial.” Carlow People 18/11/05

      The vandals have struck inside and out.!!!! 🙁

    • #767327
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      Interior of Carlow. Does anyone have a view of the sanctuary before the changes?

    • #767328
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      re #107

      Looking at the floor in Limerick, there might be a vague suggestion of the Campidoglio in Rome – but I would not swear to it!

    • #767329
      MacLeinin
      Participant

      🙂

      Well done Praxiteles, I think you are correct. Is there some significance to the disign?

    • #767330
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      en suivant la guerre….this time, we have the Cathedral of St.Eunan’s in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, which, mercifully, has been subjected to a minimalist approach to “reordering”. It was the last of the major Gothic Revival cathedrals to have been built in Ireland. Begun to plans drawn by WIlliam Hague in 1891, it was completed in 1901 by his his partner T. F. McNamara. Here architecture “stained glass, sculpture, frescoes and mosaics are orchestrated into a triumphant unison”. The external sculpture is by Purdy and Millard of Belfast. The mosaic tiling of the choir is by Willicroft of Henley. The Pearse Brothers’ The High Altar, throne, pulpit (depicting the Donegal Masters), and communion rail all remain in situ. The glass is by Mayer of Munich and by Michael Healy whose work is to be seen in his windows of 1910-1912. The clerestory windows were designed by Harry Clarke. Great creidt is due the enlightened former Bishop of Raphoe, Dr. Seamus Hegarty, for this sensible approach to “reordering” and for his concern to preserve the integrity of the building.

    • #767331
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      The Cathedral of the Annunciation and St. Nathy, Ballaghadereen, Co. Roscommon is another example of a minimalist approach to “reordering” that has succeeded in conserving much of the original fabric and fittings of the building. Designed by Hadfield and Goldie, the foundation stone was laid in 1855 and completed in 1860. In the Early English idiom, a plan for a fan-vaulted ceiling had to be abandoned because of lack of funds. The external tower and spire are by W.H. Byrne. The glass was supplied by Earley, Mayer and An Tur Glaoine (the windows depicting St. John and St. Anne by Beatric Elvery). There are (and were) no choir stalls.

    • #767332
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      The Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity in Waterford is the oldest Catholic Cathedral in Ireland. Begun to plans drawn up by John Roberts in 1793, the cathedral was completed c. 1800. The present sanctuary was installed in 1830; the apse and High Altar in 1854; and the Baldachino, supported by five corinthinan columns, in 1881. The pulpit, Choir stalls, and throne, designed by Goldie of London and carved by Buisine of Lille, were installed in 1883. The glass is mainly by Mayer of Munich – except for the chandeliers which are a gift of Waterford Glass Ltd.. A fairly minimalist reordering took place in 1977 during which the Choir Stalls were moved from their original position flanking the High Altar to a new position against the abse walls. The altar rails seem to have been removed and a moveable altar inserted.

    • #767333
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      The Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed in to Heaven and St. Nicholas, Galway, was the last Cathedral to be have been built in Ireland. Its patron was the formidable Bishop Michael John Browne and architect was John J. Robinson of Dublin. The builders were John Sisk. The foundation was laid in 1957 and the building was finished by 1965. The style, much criticized by the politically correct establishment, is certainly different from much of what was being built in Ireland at the time and reflects all sorts of eclectic elements borrowed from tpyes such as St. Peter’s in Rome, Seville, and Tuscany. The interior gives the impression of not having been completed and still lacks Choir Stalls, pulpit and perhaps even a proportionate High Altar in the apse. Those furnishings and fittings already in the building by 1965 have survived without any reordering.

    • #767334
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Another of the neo-classical Cathedrals, this time the Cathedral of St. Patrick and St. Phelim in Cavan town. Built to plans by W. H. Byrne of Dublin, it was begun in 1938 and completed in 1942. The tympanum of the portico contains figures of Christ, St. Patrick and St. Phelim by George Smith. The columns in the interior, the pulpit and statutes were supplied by Dinelli of Pietrasanta in Italy. The stations of the cross and the mural of the Resurreection are by George Collie. The High Altar is of green Connemara and red Midleton marble. The altar rails are in white Carrara marble. All of the original fittings and features are still in situ and reordering here has been minimalistic. Some of the glass was provided by the studios of Harry Clarke. In 1994 the Abbey Stained Glass company installed a set of eight stained glass windows made by Harry Clarke originally for the Sacred heart Convent in Leesons Street, Dublin between 1919 and 1934. Thee set depicts ST. Patrick and two princesses; St. Anne and the Blessed Virgin; St. Francis Xavier; St. Charles Borromeo; the Sacred heart and St. MArgaret Mary; St. Michael the Archangel; and the Apparition of Our Lady to St. Bernard. There do not appear to have been Choir Stalls.

    • #767335
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      The Cathedral of Crist the King, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, was built to plans drawn up by R.A. Byrne and WIlliam H. Byrne of Dublin. Work began in 1932 and the building was opened for public worship in 1936 and consecrated in 1939. Reordering here has been minimalistic with all of the main original fittings still in situ.

    • #767336
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      The Cathedral of St. Patrick, Skibbereen, Co. Cork, is the Cathedral church of the the diocese of Ross. It was buit between 1825/1826 and 1830 by the Rev. Michael Collins, subsequently Bishop of Cloyne and Ross. The Cathedral was built in a neo-classical style, and while modest in scale, is not without interest. The architect for Skibbereen was Michael Augustine O’Riordan, a remarkable man by any standards. Educated in the neo-classical style, he worked extensively in Cork City and County. Some of his churches include the North Chapel in Cork i.e. the Cathedral of St. Mary and St. Anne (1808), Blackrock Village (1818), Doneraile (1827), Millstreet (1836), Bantry (1837), Kinsale (1838), and Dunmanway (1841). In 1826, at the age of 42, he made profession as a Patrician Brother. Along with continuing building churches, convents and schools throughout Cork, he spent his time teaching in the schools for poor run by the brothers. Skibbereen Cathedral, fortunately, survived the rush to “reordering” and the worst phases of its consequent iconoclasm – partly due the sensitivity arising from the recent status of the diocese of Ross. It was only in very recent time that a fairly minimialist approach to reordering took place which saw the preservation of the High Altar but the loss of a portion of the fine altar rails and their gates in the face of the forward thrust into the nave all too familiar in Irish “reorderings”. The refurbishment and renovation of elements of the Cathedral in Skibbereen are by Wain Moorehead of Cork. The same refurbishment could usefully have removed the amplifiers adhering to the capitals of the columns at the chancel arch. Choir Stalls never appear to have been installed in Skibbereen.

    • #767337
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      St. Muredach’s Cathedral in Ballina, Co. Mayo was begun in 1828 and externally completed in 1831. The patron was John McHale, the young bishop of Killala. The architect was Dominic Madden who is also responsible for the cathedrals in Tuam and Ennis. Lack of funds and the famine inevitably induced changes to the original design. The spire was added in 1853 by John Benson. The project was finally completed in 1892. The ribbed ceiling, by Arthur Canning, is based on Santa Maria Sopra Minerva in Rome , the original painted decoration, however, has vanished. The glass is by Mayer of Munich. Of the High Altar, commissioned in Rome by Sir Kenelem Digby, only the mensa survives.

    • #767338
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Sligo, has been dubbed by some as Ireland’s least loved Cathedral. It was built in a Germanic Romanesque style, quasi officially, and overwhelmingly, described as “Normano-Romano-Byzantine”. The Cathedral was built by Bishop Lawrence Gilloly to plans drawn up by George Goldie. WIth a seating capacity of 4,000, it has the largest capacity of any Cathedral in Ireland. The foundation stone was laid in 1868. The Cathedral opened for public worship in 1874 and was consecrated in 1897. The glass was supplied by Lobin of Tours. The High Altar is surmounted by a baldachino supported by columns of Aberdeen granite and was designed by Goldie. Benzoni is responsible for the large alabaster statue of Our Lady in the Lady Chapel. The Cathedral has undergone two major reorderings since it was built; one in 1970 which was minimalistic leaving all the main features in situ; and another more recently which saw a grille implanted in Goldie’s Baldachino which has the effect of obscuring the central focus of the building. Several prissy devices have been used to solicit a minimal attention for the new altar which has been placed in the main plain of the sanctuary. The fine altar rails have long disappeared and no Choir Stalls are to be seen.

    • #767339
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      #124 Found these nice photos of stained glass in Ballina. 🙂

    • #767340
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      St. Aidan’s Cathedral, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford was built to plans drawn by Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (1812-1852). It was one of a series of commissions obtained through the patronage of the Countess of John, sixteenth Earl of Shrewsbury, whose uncle, John Hyacinth Talbot was patron of the re-building of Enniscorthy church. Writing from Alton Towers to Talbot at Ballytrench on 14 May 1843, Pugin presented his plan for the a new church in Enniscorthy which would be build and “perfectly done by degrees …and make a glorious church”. He suggested “pulling down the farthest compartment of the present church and moving the altars….so that the whole of the present nave would serve for the church while this was being done” (Belcher, Collected Letters vol.II, p.52). With the completion of the chancel, and trancepts by 1846 and the nave build over the existing church, the original church was demolished in 1848. A central spire was finished in 1850 but subsequently rebuilt by JJ MCCarthy. While the building of St. Aidan’s opened new opportunities for Pugin, they were not however realised. Writing of Enniscorthy in 1850 he says. “There seems to be little or no appreciation of ecclesiastical architecture amongst the clergy. The cathedral I built at Enniscorthy is completely ruined. The bishop has blocked up the choir, and stuck an altar under the tower!!…it could hardly have been treated worse had it fallen into the hands of the Hottentots….It is quite useless to attempt to build true churches , for the clergy have not the least idea of using them properly. There is no rood screen as intended by Pugin. The High Altar was added by Pearce and Sharp to the designs of JJ McCarthy in 1857. The east window is probably by Hardmans of Bermingham to the designs of Pugin. Later glass is by Lobin of Tours and Mayer. A first modern reordering took place in the 1970s when a large granite altar was place under the corssing. This was replaced in 1996 in a more sensitive restoration of the building which saw a return of the original stenciling work. The 1996 Enniscorthy reordering was important for it signalled a change in reordering that exhibited a greater sensibility ot the integrity of the original contexts into which new elements were introduced. A similar approach would subsequently be taken to the more irretrievable situation of Armagh Cathedral. Several of the original fittings were returned to Enniscorthy and its original ceramic tiles restored but the installation of a victorian tantulus to serve as an ambury was, with hindsight, perhaps a little too iconic and its classical allusion all too poignant. The centrally sited sedilia gives the impression of nothing more than a modern carver. There are no choir stalls. Sheridan Tierney were architects for the 1996 restoration.

    • #767341
      johannas
      Participant

      Does anyone know where one can obtain any published works on Ludwig Oppenheimer or of his firm. Thanks.

    • #767342
      johannas
      Participant

      Has anybody seen or mentioned Holy Trinity in Cork City


      what a disaster. Fortunately St. Peter’s and Paul’s in Cork City seems to have escaped all vandalism so far! Has anybody pictures of Holy Trinity in Cork City before the vandals got in?

    • #767343
      descamps
      Participant

      All you theorists should take a good look at the http://www.sacredarchitecture.org/pubs/saj/books/index.php

    • #767344
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      The trip through Irish Cathedrals, courtesy of Praxiteles and co., has been absolutely fascinating. There is no doubt that Cobh (prior to wreckage) stands head and shoulders above the others in terms of architectural excellence and attention to detail. Monaghan leaves one wondering when the diving board is going to be installed. All credit is due to Archbishop Brady for removing the dinosaur tooth in Armagh – he has gone some way towards recuperating the situation. Killarney externally is a beautiful building, reminding one of Salisbury, but alas the Isaurian (Eye-sore-ian?) dynasty, beloved of Praxiteles, has done untold damage within.
      Nobody seems to have dealt with Dublin as yet, but I think it is most pertinent to the Cobh situation, as the Great Professor O’Neill is also involved here. How is it that an architect who generally builds railway stations, public offices and the likes, and claims to be inspired by classical models, could have been chosen for a Neo-Gothic building, for which, I gather, he has little sympathy? Poor Turnarelli – his high altar in Dublin’s Pro-Cathedral has been atomised, echoing a similar approach to Della Porta’s altar in Thurles.
      It is interesting that the Great Professor does not mention either the Pro-Cathedral or Cobh Cathedral among his “achievements”, accomplished or planned, on his website. Why the uncharacteristic reticence? After all, he seems very proud of the refurbishment of Drogheda railway station and the chaplaincy building in UCD with its rather strange spiritual space, suggestive of an encounter between the Buddha and the Goban Saor!

    • #767345
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      @descamps wrote:

      All you theorists should take a good look at the http://www.sacredarchitecture.org/pubs/saj/books/index.php

      Thanks dechamps. Great articles on this site. 🙂

    • #767346
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Recently I had occasion to visit the website of the Friends of St Colman’s Cathedral. I would recommend it to the visitors to this thread. The mounting of the planned reordering on their site leaves little to the imagination, although I do wonder how the Archdeacon and the other prebenderies, resplendent in cremosin and rabbit fur, are going to be able to chaunt the canticles and antiphons in stalls which the Great Professor O’Neill proposes to reduce to little more than a set of antiphonal chicken perches hovering precipitously over the abyss. This is another example of the functional knock-on effects of his proposals on the building.
      I wonder at the abandonment of the traditional liturgical symbolism of life’s journey from baptism at one entrance, progressing through the other sacraments, culminating in the Eucharist at the altar, to exit via the mortuary chapel. Is it not strange that the planned reordering of Cobh does not take into account the importance of symbol, rightly emphasised by any liturgist with a modicum of Wissenschaft?

    • #767347
      MacLeinin
      Participant

      Another very interesting aspect of the Cobh Cathedral project is that no one seems to know how much it is all going to cost. From what the local parishioners were told at a meeting to display the plans, it would appear that the application for planning permission was sought without any idea of how much it would cost. Is this usual practice in these circumstances?

    • #767348
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      @sangallo wrote:

      …. the chaplaincy building in UCD with its rather strange spiritual space, suggestive of an encounter between the Buddha and the Goban Saor!

      Here are a couple of photos of said building. 😮

    • #767349
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Have you one of the “spiritual” space?

    • #767350
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      @Praxiteles wrote:

      Have you one of the “spiritual” space?

      This is all I could find – it is called the Contemplation Room. Not sure if that qualifies as ‘spiritual’ space!!!!!

    • #767351
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Always happy to oblige. Here are two more.

    • #767352
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Thanks Gianlorenzo and Sangallo for the pics.

      I am illuminated and purified!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • #767353
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      Can anybody tell me how can a ‘space’ be spiritual???

    • #767354
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      I am sure the Great Professor knows all about vis locativa and will be more than happy to explain – on application.

    • #767355
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      The Cathedral of the Assumption, Carlow, was begun in 1826 to plans drawn for the patriot Bishop James Doyle (aka JKL) by Joseph Lynch, eventually replaced by Thomas Cobden. The Cathedral is more a large parish church done in the neo-Gothic idiom, allegedly influenced by the Town Hall in Bruges. The building cost the considerable sum of £9,000 and was opened for public worship in 1833 but not consecrated until 1933. It has a simple interior approached through a columned gallery, the shallow transepts divided from the nave by narrow clustered columns. “The result was the clearest view of the high altar in any Irish cathedral”. The magnificent (demolished) wooden pulpit was designed by M.J.C. Buckley and carved in Bruges in 1898. Its canopy survives as shelter for the (liturgically) misplaced baspismal font. The glass is by Mayer of Munich. The (vanished) Choir Stalls were by Cobden. The Cathedral contains a fine statue of JKL by John Hogan. In 1997, following a High Court case and an arbritration process and in the face of widespread public opposition -remarkably unheeded in the age of the laity- a brutal reordering of the interior was mitigated to some degree. The High Altar survived but relegated to redundant remoteness in favour of a disproportioned altar raised on the inevitable projection into the nave. Prissy trellis work chairs replaced the Choir Stalls along both walls of the chancel. It is not clear what purpose these can possibly serve. The Throne has, yet again, been moved forward and parked against a column – at the liturgically incorrect side of the chancel and altar. A grand piano has strayed into the formula. Although a relief from the hackneyed use of the same formula, it has gone unnoticed that pianos are liturgically excluded from Catholic churches since Pius X’s motu proprio Inter sollicitudines of 1903. With the reordering of the interior in Carlow, it may not have been noticed by the architects that the great dramatic gesture of Hogan’s JKL has acquired an altogether new significance – an example of transignification – for he now gestures at their work. Perhaps Eirn’s dejection is more contextual than may have been realized.

    • #767356
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      #127

      Some stained glass from Enniscorthy.

    • #767357
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      Lest we forget what started all this.

      A few more shots of St. Colmans from the foscc site.

    • #767358
      Mosaic1
      Participant

      @johannas wrote:

      Does anyone know where one can obtain any published works on Ludwig Oppenheimer or of his firm. Thanks.

      Dear Johannas,

      So far, we (the group researching the firm of Oppenheimer) have been unable to identify any published work on the firm. The only material seems to be the reference already mentioned earlier in this thread. We have identified 2 company catalogues, unpublished in art-historical terms, which will be published in due course with a narrative on the company, the people, the little surviving archival material as well as an inventory of their known works. Because this is a collective effort, you’ll appreciate that I cannot post this material yet.

      Any information that contributors can offer about Oppenheimer Ltd. and their works would be very gratefully received.

      Kind regards,

      ‘Mosaic1’

    • #767359
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      Oppenheimer mosaics from Honan Chapel. 🙂

    • #767360
      MacLeinin
      Participant

      @Praxiteles wrote:

      There seems to be little or no appreciation of ecclesiastical architecture amongst the clergy. The cathedral I built at Enniscorthy is completely ruined. The bishop has blocked up the choir, and stuck an altar under the tower!!…it could hardly have been treated worse had it fallen into the hands of the Hottentots….It is quite useless to attempt to build true churches , for the clergy have not the least idea of using them properly. A.W.N. Pugin

      I wonder what Pugin would have to say about our current crop of ecclisiastical Hottentots 😉

    • #767361
      Peter Parler
      Participant

      Re #147: “Hottentot” was apparently a Boer dialect word for “stutterer”. The Oxford Dictionary of South African English nowadays condemns it as offensive. Interestingly enough, though, the Khoikhoi – their own name for themselves, meaning the “people-people” – were moon-worshippers. Their merry moon dance would have graced perfectly the new interior of Carlow Cathedral (#142), grand piano and all – but they too, alas, have been the victims of a ruthless “modernity”…. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khoikhoi

    • #767362
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      The Pro-Cathedral Church of the Conception of the Virgin Mary was built on the site of Lord Annsley’s town house at Marlborough Street and Elephant Lane, which had been acquired by Archbishop Thomas Troy in 1803 for £5,100. The building commenced in 1814 and was completed in November 1825. Plans for a church in the revivalist Greek Doric style, submitted by an architect who signed himself “P”, won the commission. It is accepted that the architect was George Papworth (1781-1855). Born in London, he moved to Ireland in 1806, and won commissions for Grattan Bridge, King’s (Heuston) Bridge (1828), Camolin Park, Wexford (1815), the Dublin Library in D’Olier Street (1818-1820) and Sir Patrick Dunn’s Hospital and was eventually Professor of Architecture in the Royal Hibernian Academy. The Pro-Cathedral contains monuments to Cardinal Paul Cullen and his immediate predecessor Archbishop Daniel Murray by Thomas Farrell. The apse is decorated by an alto-relief of the Ascension by John Smyth. Thomas Kirk (1781-1845) supplied a monument for the Reverend Thomas Clarke: two figures of Religion and Charity bewteen an urn which was his first exhibited work at the Society of Artists (as Piety and Chastity) in 1813. A relief of the Good Shepherd and a monument to William and Anne Byly are also attributed to Kirk. The organ is by the Dublin organbuilder John White. Its present architectural case was build by WIlliam Hill c. 1900. The great artistic treasure of the Pro-Cathedral, however, was the High Altar by Peter Turnerelli (1774-1839). Born in Belfast, Turnerelli had been deeply influenced by Canova (who much admired Turnerelli’s bust of Grattan (1812). From 1798-1803 drawing master to the princesses of George III, he was appointed Sculptor in ordinary in 1801. While his busts of George III, Washington and Wellington (1815), Louis XVIII (1816), Henry Grattan (1812 and Daniel O’Connell (1829) are well known, his master piece was the High Altar of the Pro-Cathedral with its splendidly proportioned mensa, reredos and ciborium. In 1886, rather incongrously, three stained-glass windows were installed behind the High Altar. Archbishop Dermot Ryan introduced a reordering to the Pro-Cathedral in the late 1970s. The architect for the re-ordering was Professor Cathal O’Neill . In an act beggering civilized belief, he demolished Turnerelli’s High Altar and reredos. The praedella of the altar mensa was salvaged and re-used to form a new altar erected on a lower plain in a hum drum extended sanctuary covered with carpet. The neo-classical altar rails were removed. The canopied and dignified neo-classical Throne was dismantled. The pulpit was reduced to the redundancy of a side aisle and a few surviving vestiges of the High Altar scattered about the interior. The Ciborium of Turnerelli’s High Altar was conserved and placed on a squat disproportioned plinth on a lower plain. The result has been the complete loss of the graceful, proportioned, symetrically articulated dimensions of the Apse and of the building itself which now lacks a central focus and suffers from the same focal void as Longford and Thurles. It seem strange that nobody seems to have realized that the High Altar was custom built to a location it occupied for 150 years. Attempts to relieve the focal void by drapery have not been convincing. It is suggested that at the time of the reordering, the significance of the High Altar and its provenance may not have been known to the architect responsible for its demolition. In Irish circumstances, the destruction of such a major work of art may possibly have cultural significance not too dissimilar to the bombing of Monte Cassino or the feuerblitzing of the Frauenkirche in Dresden.

    • #767363
      GrahamH
      Participant

      It is without doubt the loss of the High Altar that so destroyed the interior of the Pro-Cathedral.
      You have the great line of Doric columns marching into the distance, building up the tension and heightening expectation, then they powerfully sweep around at the western end, terminating the vista by enclosing…….well…….nothing.
      It’s such a let down.

      The mind boggles how such drastic alterations could be carried out at any time, even the 1970s, and that they be permitted by so many people, not least the church’s own congregation. Was there any disquiet at the time Praxiteles do you know?
      The altar rails look magnificent too – so befitting of a classically inspired church 🙁

      One niggly thing that’s always annoyed me about the Pro is the little circles with gold crosses painted on them half-way up every column. They look finicky and inappropriate, an unnecessary detail so typical of Catholic churches – features that are for the most part appealing in a strange way – but here they detract from the power and drama of the columns, especially around the sanctuary.
      It is the bold architecture of the Pro-Cathedral that makes it what it is – there is no need for applied decoration.

    • #767364
      johannas
      Participant

      🙂 ‘Mosaic1’ , thank you for the information, I look forward with anticipation to the publication of the materials mentioned. Thanks 😉

    • #767365
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      Stained glass window by Mayer of Munich in Monaghan Cathedral.
      And as we cannot enjoy his masterpiece I give you this lovely piece by Peter Turnerelli – Robert Burns Mausoleum.

    • #767366
      MacLeinin
      Participant

      @Graham Hickey wrote:

      The mind boggles how such drastic alterations could be carried out at any time, even the 1970s, and that they be permitted by so many people, not least the church’s own congregation. Was there any disquiet at the time.

      I don’t know about Dublin, but there was great opposition in Carlow as there is now in Cobh, but should the appeals to ABP fail, Bishop Magee and O’Neill et al. will forge ahead irregardless.
      I believe if you were to investigate you would find that the congregation of the pro-cathedral were presented with a fait accompli. Also in the 1970’s people tended to trust their priests and bishops and would never have contemplated going against them on any issue. This situation has changed and nowadays it is usually the more committed catholics who object to the destruction of their churches/cathedrals. The vast majority are generally too apathetic to bother. Unfortunately many clerics are still living in the past and tend to think that any opposition to their plans is tantamount to perfidy. 🙁

    • #767367
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      Franz Mayer & Co. of Munich who are responsible for stained glass in at least nine of Irelands Cathedral churches (Derry, Thurles, Letterkenny, Ballaghadereen, Waterford, Ballina, Enniscorthy, Carlow, Cobh) is an interesting firm. I found the snippet below on the site for St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Dunedin, New Zealand.

      “Franz Mayer and Co., Munich. This firm has been working in stained glass from 1848 to the present day. According to Konrad Mayer (fourth generation), Franz Mayer had a school for crippled children. When their schooling finished about the age of fifteen, there were not job opportunities for these children. Franz Mayer founded his Art Studios to provide work for these handicapped children. It is said that at times as many as a hundred young people worked on church furnishings in his studios.
      Regarding the windows in St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Dunedin, New Zealand the Franz Mayer and Co. firm state that the stained glass in the fourteen windows is genuine mouth-blown antic glass produced in Bavaria. The colouring of the glass is made by different metal oxides. After the artist has drawn his subject it is transferred on to pieces of glass to match the drawing in detail and colour. There can be as many as four to five hundred pieces in each window. The glass is put into a furnace and the colours thoroughly burnt in. This process results in the colour not deteriorating, and they grow more mellow and beautiful with the lapse of time.”

      See attached some examples of their work.

    • #767368
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Franz Mayer is still flourishing in Munich and has branched out to more than glass. All information is available under http://www.mayersche-hofkunst.de .

    • #767369
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      The enclosed photograph shows the Chancel of Cobh Cathedral without the temporary altar placed there in the 1970s.

    • #767370
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      South Transept WIndows of St Colman’s Cathedral installed in 1899 by John Hardman of Birmingham with “water themes” appropriate to the window’s overlooking the sea:

      1. Namaan washing in the Jordan
      2. Elisha dividing the Jordan
      3. The ark carried through the Jordan
      4. The creation of water
      5. The passage through the red sea
      6. Noah’s sacrifice after the flood
      7. David pouring out the cup of water to the Lord.

    • #767371
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      Hardman of Birmingham windows from Cobh Cathedral.
      South Transept – (slightly clearer version)- description provided above by Praxiteles – he just beat me to it. :p
      Detail of centre of south Rose window – Mary Star of the Sea.
      Detail of window in Blessed Thaddeus Chapel – Death of St. Finbarre at Cloyne

    • #767372
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      Just seen a direct link to this thread from the foscc site in their news section.

    • #767373
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      For Mosaic 1.

      Mosaic from Cobh Cathedral that may be lost plus some detail shots.
      The harp symbol in the second attachment signafies that St. Colman was a Bard to the King of Munster.
      The third attachment show detail of the mosaic in front of Our Lady’s Chapel.
      The final attachment show a section of the sanctuary mosaic which it is proposed will be lifted up to allow the dropping of the level of the floor and then relayed. 😮

    • #767374
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      A view of the West Portal of Cobh Cathedral taken in 1903 before the completion of the statuary.

      The ornate wrought iron hinges are by Fagan’s of Dublin.

      C. W. Harrison and Sons, Dublin are responsible for the tympanum of the West Portal showing the Christ Pantocrator, surrounded by the Four Evangelists, St. Colman, St. Ita, Blessed Thaddeus McCarhy and Bishop Boetius Mc Egan above a range of twelve Apostles.

    • #767375
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Some general statistics from the foregoing regarding Ireland’s Catholic Cathedrals:

      There are 27 Irish Cathedrals of which 19 are in the neo-Gothic Style; 6 are in the neo-Classical Style; 1 is in the neo-Romanesque; and 1 can be classified as other.

      The Neo-Gothic Cathedrals are:

      Killarney, Cobh, Monaghan, Armagh, Tuam, Letterkenny, Enniscorthy, Kilkenny, Sligo, Ballina, Derry, Loughrea, Limerick, Ennis, Cork, Carlow, Newry, Ballaghadereen, Belfast.

      The Neo-Classical Cathedrals are:

      Waterford, the Pro-Cathedral, Dublin, Longford, Skibbereen, Cavan, Mullingar.

      There is one Cathedral in the Neo-Romanesque: Thurles.

      One other Cathedral has been classified as other: Galway.

    • #767376
      anto
      Participant

      is athlone not a cathedral?

      what is the architecture of the church of ireland cathedral? chistchurch and St. Patrick’s eetc? largely victorian now since restoration?

    • #767377
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant


      Athlone Cathedral ?

    • #767378
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      If I recall correctly, the town of Athlone is divided between the dioceses of Elphin on the western bank of the Shannon; and Ardagh and Clonmacnoise on the eastern bank. The cathedral for the former is in Sligo and that of the latter in Longford.

      Concerning the Cathedral churches of the Church of Ireland, in general, these are the pre-reformation Cathedrals whose replacement after Catholic emancipation in 1829 gave rise to the spate of building of Catholic Cathedrals. However, as you mention in the case of Dublin, not all of the original Cathedral buildings retained their original outlines for a variety of resons (war, abandonment, refurbishing, the rise of the neo-classical and of the neo-gothic, changes of diocesan boundaries) but survivors might be seen in St. Canice’s in Kilkenny, St. Mary’s in Limerick or St. Flannan’s in Killaloe. Perhaps the worst victim was the Cathedral on the rock of Cashel which had its roof stripped off in the 18th century when a small replacement in the classical style was built in the town of Cashel. In stark contrast to the Catholic Cathedrals of Ireland, these buildings (at least since the 16th century) have not been subjected to the kind of liturgical vandalism that has seen the ruination of all of the neo-Gothic Catholic Cathedrals,except one (Cobh), the only neo-Romanesque in the country (Thurles) and two of the finest of the neo-classical ones (Dublin and Longford).

      I hope to post some more statistics on the subject shortly.

    • #767379
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      The photograph in 164, I think, shows Sts. Peter and Paul’s parish church in the Elphin part of Athlone.

    • #767380
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      Finally worked out how to do this, so watch out. Lots of pics!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

      The magnificent pulpit by Beakey of Dublin.

    • #767381
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      Sorry guys, looks like I got it wrong again. 🙁 😡
      This is what I was hoping to put on the page.
      The magnificent pulpit by Beakey of Dublin.

      Or maybe not????

    • #767382
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      The attachment contains a scan of G.C. Ashlin’s original drawings (1894) for the Pulpit in Cobh Cathedral.

    • #767383
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      This attachment contains a scan of G. C. Ashlin’s drawing for the Baptismal Font. The cover was not executed as planned.

    • #767384
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      Nave looking to Chancel arch and Sanctuary. 🙂

    • #767385
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      Unusual angle.

      Aerial VIew

    • #767386
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      @Praxiteles wrote:

      Concerning the Cathedral churches of the Church of Ireland, in general, these are the pre-reformation Cathedrals whose replacement after Catholic emancipation in 1829 gave rise to the spate of building of Catholic Cathedrals. However, as you mention in the case of Dublin, not all of the original Cathedral buildings retained their original outlines for a variety of resons (war, abandonment, refurbishing, the rise of the neo-classical and of the neo-gothic, changes of diocesan boundaries) but survivors might be seen in St. Canice’s in Kilkenny, St. Mary’s in Limerick or St. Flannan’s in Killaloe. Perhaps the worst victim was the Cathedral on the rock of Cashel which had its roof stripped off in the 18th century when a small replacement in the classical style was built in the town of Cashel.

      St. Canice’s Kilkenny

      St. Mary’s Limerick

      St. Flannan’s Killaloe

    • #767387
      Mosaic1
      Participant

      Dear G.

      Many thanks for those images, which are very helpful.

      regards,

      M1

    • #767388
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      Rock of Cashel.

    • #767389
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and St. Patrick’s Rock, Cashel

    • #767390
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      Old engraving of Rock of Cashel

    • #767391
      anto
      Participant

      That’s not St. Mary’s Cathedral in Limerick but Mary’s RC Chrurch. They’re quite close to each other.

    • #767392
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant


      Sorry Anto, my mistake.
      Is this the right one?

    • #767393
      jimg
      Participant

      That looks more like it but it’s hard to tell from the angle. Here’s an older picture of it:

    • #767394
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Re posting # 177:

      The engraver of this print of the Rock of Cashel is probably Bartlett and was done about 1840. It has been tinctured to heighten the romantic atmosphere.

    • #767395
      anto
      Participant

      @Gianlorenzo wrote:


      Sorry Anto, my mistake.
      Is this the right one?

      Yeah, that’s the one!

    • #767396
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      William Henry Bartlett’s (1809-1854) series of prints appeared in The Scenery and Antiquities of Ireland . I have scanned a few of his steel engravings of the lupi in fabula!

      The view of Cobh was engraved almost twenty years before the building of the Cathedral.

    • #767397
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      @Graham Hickey wrote:

      One niggly thing that’s always annoyed me about the Pro is the little circles with gold crosses painted on them half-way up every column. They look finicky and inappropriate, an unnecessary detail so typical of Catholic churches – features that are for the most part appealing in a strange way – but here they detract from the power and drama of the columns, especially around the sanctuary.
      It is the bold architecture of the Pro-Cathedral that makes it what it is – there is no need for applied decoration.

      Found this print of the Pro Cathedral interior from the Lawrence collection. The little circles with gold crosses don’t appear in this.
      Neither are they apparent in Sir John Lavery’s painting of the Funeral of General Michael Collins, August 1922.
      Also attached ‘Lying-in-State of Daniel O’Connell in St. Mary’s Metropotian Chapel, Marlborough Street (Illustrated London News 1847)

    • #767398
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Re posting #103

      Further to comments on the unfortunate re-ordering of Thurles Metropolitan Cathedral carried out in 1979, I enclose a photograph of the High Altar of St. Francis Xavier’s church in Gardnier St., Dublin which was built in Rome in 1838 to designs drawn up by Fr. Bartholomew Esmond, S.J.. The Altar incorporates several very rare marbles including an antique porphyry from Nero’s Domus Aurea (originally in the Basilica of St. Paul and salvaged from the fire of 1823), yellow jasper, malachite, and lapis lazuli. On completion, it was dimantled and shipped to Dublin and re-erected in Gardnier St. c. 1842. The altar of the Gesù , mother house of the Jeuits in Rome, may have served as a model for the Gardnier St. Altar. It affords some idea of what Giacomo della Porta’s altar would have looked like in Thurles before it was torn to bits.

      (cf. Irish Arts Review, vol. 14, 1998, Maureen Ryan, Roman Opulence in a Dublin Church , pp.33-39)

    • #767399
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Finally, I have located some photographs of the original interior of the Pro-Cathedral with Peter Turnerelli’s High Altar as intended by the artist. I think the occasion in question was the consecration of Archbishop McQuaid in 1942.

      Closer inspection of the photograph will explain why the Ciborium, in its current form, looks wrong. It is wrong because it is an ungainly malformation. Professor O’Neill, in his devastating reordering, capped the original Ciborium with the canopy used for the crucifix (which, as can be seen from the photograph, was above the Ciborium). Clearly, had the Ciborium been retained in tact, the problem of the focal void would have been greater. In a brutal attempt to disguise this problem, even the Ciborium of Turnerelli’s Altar had to be jack-hammered.

      The Ciborium had its own smaller domed finial (as is clear in the photograph). What now sits in the sanctuary of the Pro-Cathedral is merely an assemblage of bits and pieces.

    • #767400
      Boyler
      Participant

      Does anyone know if the frescos in Cashel are going to be restored?

    • #767401
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      @Praxiteles wrote:

      This attachment contains a scan of G. C. Ashlin’s drawing for the Baptismal Font. The cover was not executed as planned.

      Ashlin’s Design.

      Baptismal Font.

      Base by Luigi Tomasi of Carrera and the brass cover by Mr. Kane, brass-worker, Dublin.

    • #767402
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Dear Boyler,

      It appears that a further round of restoration work was carried out in Thurles in 2003 but no mention was made of frescos. The following may be of interest:

      http://www.catholiccommunications.ie/Pressrel/architectsreportthurlescathedral.html

    • #767403
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      A fuller picture of the 2003 restoration work is available here:

      http://www.catholiccommunications.ie/Pressrel/3b-october-2003.html

    • #767404
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Does anybody know who the architects for the 1979 reordering of Thurles Cathedral were?

    • #767405
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      Images of Thurles Cathedral of the Assumption.

    • #767406
      Boyler
      Participant

      Thanks Praxiteles, but I was wondering about the medieval frescos as seen in the pictures of the Rock of Cashel. It doesn’t seem like the centuries have been good to them. sorry for not making myself clear 😮

    • #767407
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Enclosed is a photograph of the Ciborium of the High Altar in Thurles, designed and executed by Giacomo della Porta in 1584 for the Gesù in Rome. The Altar was commissioned by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, nephew of Pope Paul III. Della Porta was the dominant architect in Rome for the last quarter of the 16th century and worked on all the major commissions in the City, most notably the building of the dome of St. Peter’s between 1588 and 1590. He completed the project in 1602 by adding the lantern. He was a highly practical architect and influenced by Michelangelo’s mannerism and Vignola’s classicism.

      The Ciborium is made up of a variety of antique marbles that includes giallo antico, roso antico and africano.

      The mensa of the altar is of white carrara marble inlaid with malachite, lapis lazuli, rosso agate and other semi-precious materials. It has an arcaded praedella of 16 columns of which 6 are in yellow Siena, 6 in griotte, and 4 in vert campan. All columns have bases and capitals in bronze.

      As with the reordering in the Pro-Cathedral, the Ciborium was removed from the High Altar and placed on a disproportioned plinth while the Altar mena was moved forward into the chancel. The sum total of the effect was to create a focal void in the sanctuary.

      It is worth wondering whether Cashel followed the Pro-Cathedral or vice versa. Certainly, the designs for the reordering are remarkably similar. The idea of trying to improve on Turnerelli is, however, surpassed in Cashel with the absurd prospect of someone trying to “improve” on one of the great master of European civilization.

    • #767408
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster
    • #767409
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Dear Boyler,

      Not to worry. You may be interested in an article on the frescos in Cormac’s Chapel published in The Irish Arts Review Yearbook, vol 18 [2002], pp. 25-29 by Roger Stalley. A fragmentary inscription ite et interrogate diligenter de puero, ironically quoting Herod’s words to the Wise Men, seems to suggest that the frescos depicted the nativity cycle and especially the Three Kings – a theme appropriate to Royal cashel.

      I have no idea of what the official guardians of Irish heritage intend to do with the Chapel and its frescos. The last time I visited Cashel, I was subjected to the ahistorical twaddle of an official guide who knew next to nothing of the place.

    • #767410
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      My God! Thurles is far worse than I thought.

      The inscription over the chancel arch is certainly an erratic and ironic survival at this point.

    • #767411
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      Been looking at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin. I love it and I notice that the power that be in the Cathedral feel no need to re-order to introduce inappropriate additions.


      I am a sucker for the flags. 😉


      Nice angle

    • #767412
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      The foregoing pictures of Thurles Cathedral show only too well the vairous petit obsessions that the Liturgical Commission of the Irish Episcopal Conference has gone through over the past twenty years.

      In the mid 1990s, the great discovery was the ambry. Hence, we have the Holy Oils now hawked about in several Cathedrals thoughout Ireland in a wide ranging series of eccentric compositions.

      Enniscorthy chose to locate them high up on a bracket in the wall of the North transept. Most inappropriately, they are housed in a Victorian Tantulus.

      Cashel seems to have gone for another spirited theme: the guarded liquids.

      Surprisingly, none of the liturgists seems to have been aware that the Holy Oils are to be veiled in cloths of three different colours.

      I would suggest that a visit to the Armenian Catholicos at Ekmiadzin in Armenia would teach the Archbishop of Cashel a thing or two on the proper reservation of the Holy Oils.

    • #767413
      MacLeinin
      Participant

      @Paul Clerkin wrote:

      I think this is most of the Irish ones that I have photos of….

      Great photos – I particularly like the doors, though I am not sure what is going on in St. Anne’s Belfast, is that glass inside the doors?


      St. Canice’s Kilkenny

      St. Mary’s Limerick

      St. John’s Limerick

      St. Patrick’s Armagh Church of Ireland

      St. Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral, Armagh

      St.Finn Barre’s Cork.

      St. Anne’s Belfast

    • #767414
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      I always photograph the doorways – especially in older churches and cathedrals, the doorways are often incredibly impressive.

    • #767415
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Have you got one of Cobh Cathedral with the doors closed and of Fagan’s wrought iron hinges in all their glory?

    • #767416
      MacLeinin
      Participant

      This is the best I can do for the moment.

      Baptistry Door. I have put is as an attachment also, as it appears to be very slow appearing on the page.

      Main doors

    • #767417
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      To digress for a moment, encosed is an image of the drawings for the completion of the spire of Cobh Cathedral signed in 1911 by Bishop Robert Browne and the builder, John Maguire. On the right hand side the measurements are included: from the section above the windows to the base of the spire is 72 feet; and from the base of the spire to the base of the cross is 128 feet. To solve the question of the highest spire in Ireland requires merely the hight of the initial base of the spire tower and the hight of the Cross. Any takers?

    • #767418
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      A small treat for viewers on to-day’s Feast of St. Colman of Cloyne (c.530 -604)

      The great West Window of Cobh Cathedral whose subject is the Vision of the Throne of God taken from the Apocalypse of St. John (4:1-11). The subject is Our Lord seated in glory, sourrounded by the elders, clad in white teguments and crowns of gold. Around the throne are the the four living creatures (symbolic of the found evangelists): the lion, the ox, the man, and the soaring eagle. As they cry out Holy Holy Holy is the Lord God Almighty Who was, Who is, and Who is to come , they cast down their crowns before the throne and pay homage to Christ. The inner circle depicts the twelve Apostles. The outer circle depicts the saints in glory.

    • #767419
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Remarkably, this is the only image I can find of the West Portal of Cobh Cathedral showing Fagan’s wrought iron work to full effect.

      The three figures in the porch are by George Smyth and were installed in 1912-1917.

    • #767420
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Re message 192.

      If the the 2003 renovations in Thurles Cathedral involved the installation of what appears to be a copper-pan baptistry in the side aise of the Cathedral, does anyone know what has happened to the free standing Baptistry which is based on Pisa? This is the only example of a free standing external Baptistry in an Irish Cathedral. Is it too much to hope that it is now a potatoe store or trinket shop?

    • #767421
      MacLeinin
      Participant

      @Praxiteles wrote:

      Does anybody know who the architects for the 1979 reordering of Thurles Cathedral were?

      Is it not Prof. O’Neill who is responsible for Thurles? ]http://www.cashel-emly.ie/gallery/galleries/Cathedral%20of%20the%20Assumption/cathedral5.jpg[/IMG]

      The green hued bottled aumbry is perhaps too suggestive of Biddy Early!!!! :rolleyes:

    • #767422
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Perhaps “three cascades of perlucid yellow……”

      (pace Samuel Beckett, Murphy )

    • #767423
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      More for Mosaic 1.

      Some details of the Oppenheimer Mosaic’s in St. Colman’s.

      1. Medallion on Predella in front of Pieta Chapel.
      2, Detail of floor in Blessed Thaddeus Chapel
      3. Detail of floor in Our Lady’s Chapel
      4. Detail of floor in Sacred Heart Chapel
      5. Detail of mosaic in Sacred Heart shrine.

    • #767424
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      One final pic for Mosaic 1

      Medallion on Predella in front of Sacred Heart Chapel

    • #767425
      MacLeinin
      Participant

      Only came across this last night. Story in last Sunday’s Times concerning yet another ‘renovation’ to St. Mary’s Pro Cathedral. Maybe someone should suggest that they put in a hydraulic lift under the Cathedra eliminating in future the need for further readjustment. :rolleyes: 😀 :rolleyes:

      http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2091-1880124,00.html

    • #767426
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Re hydraulic lift under the Pro Cathedral throne, I think that would be a wonderful idea and a very cost effective means of dealing with the declining or rising stature of the Dublin Archbishops. Looking at the fine job Cathal O’Neill did with the foot-bridge over the Dublin – Belfast railway line at Drogheda railway station with its dignified, symetrical and elegantly proportioned steel-cased lifts, I cannot think of a better person than himself to deal with this unexpected side-effect of his ruination of the sanctuary in the Pro-Cathedral.

      Somebody, however, should tell the administrator of the Pro Cathedral that canopies, if not original or of artistic value, are not allowed by the post Vatican II liturgical rules. Even if a canopy were allowed, the colour should be an “ecclesiastical” colour (that is either red or green) and not some piece of raggady tribal totemism. After all, the Archdiocese of Dublin also includes the diocese of Glandalough – that is, large areas of Wicklow, Kildare, Carlow, Laois and even Wexford. The positioning of the Dublin colours overhead the present Archbishop does not seem to demonstrate much of the kind of diplomatic souplesse normally associated with major practioners of that particular art, such as the Cardinal D’Ossat, but perhaps gives the impression of a not too unconscious retreat to the Danborg and Dublin’s foreign ecclesiastical roots.

    • #767427
      Peter Parler
      Participant

      Thanks, Colman (#212), for that Sunday Times reference. It is consoling to note the interest of the foreign press in our predicament. And it is important not to miss the good news about the Dublin Pro-Cathedral: “The renovations yielded a surprise when workers came across the original sanctuary lamp of the cathedral, which has now been restored to its former glory.” That is clearly a luminous sign. But can anyone explain to us the ongoing significance of “The Pro”? Does it mean that they are still hoping to re-possess Saint Patrick’s Cathedral? And should we be grateful to Almighty God that they haven’t, as yet?

    • #767428
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Re the former sanctuary lamp serendipidously happend on in the choristers’ gallery in the Pro- Cathedral in Dublin, I just happened to notice that in the photographs posted in # 149 there is no trace of a hanging sanctuary lamp. Since most of the sanctuary seem to be under the cupola, it is difficult see whence it could be hung – if not from the lantern of the cupola. The Lawrence collection photograph in #184 (taken last decade of the 19th century) does not show a hanging sanctuary lamp. Curiously, the 1847 print from the London Illustrated News showing the obsequies of Daniel O’Connell in the Pro-Cathedral does depict a hanging sanctuary lamp. Is it possible, if the depiction is accurate, that this was removed sometime between 1847 and 1890? In the event that it was this is an interseting discovery. But, having restored it, what are they going to do with it?

    • #767429
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      I add a picture of the magnificent Sanctuary Lamp of the Honan Chapel in Cork. It was commissioned by the Rev. Sir John O’Connell, to the glory of God, in memory of the Honan benefactors. It was designed by William Alphonsus Scott, first Professor of Architecture in the NUI, and executed by Edmond Johnson of Dublin.

      The Sanctuary Lamp weighed 28 lbs. in sterling and consisted of a bowl of open-work interlace decoration embellished with blue enamel studs. It was suspended on chains.

      Despite the dedicatory inscription which did not envisage the lamp being moved anywhere, it disappeared during the unfortunate (but reversable) 1980s re-ordering of the Honan Chapel. There is no liturgical justification for its removal. When placed in the Chapel in 1916, it was so placed in accordance with liturgical norm which found its way into the first Code of Canon Law published in 1917. The text of the 1917 canon on sanctuary lamps was transcribed practically verbatim into the 1983 Code of Canon Law which currently governs the positioning of sanctuary lamps. The assertion that the liturgical reform of Vatican II required the removal of the Sanctuary Lamp from the Honan Chapel is not only misleading but is positively mendacious.

      The real reason for this bit of vandalism, I suspect, is to be found in an article by Gearoid O Suilleabhan entitled The re-ordering of the Honan Chapel in Verginia Teehan and Elizabeth Wincott-Heckett’s otherwise excellent monograph on the Collegiate Chapel The Honan Chapel: A golden vision , published in 2004 by Cork University Press. G. O Suilleabhan, aided by Richard Hurley and Vincent Ryan, reproduces a scanty potted version of the history of the Latin Rite for the past 2000 years. What is not mentioned, however, is that the historography employed in this potted history is that patronized by Odo Cassell and, the more notorious, Annibale Bugnini. This particular school posits a three fold division of the history of the liturgy: a primitive period: the golden age reached under Gregory the Great (d. 604); and a period of decline and degradation from the 7th century. In this school, the reform of the liturgy is seen in terms of an almost archeological restoration of the liturgy as celebrated at the time of Gregory the Great and a total jettisoning of any thing or practice to have arisen after that period. G. O Suilleabhan fails to tell us that this school of liturgical historiography was never completely accepted and has been even more eclipsed – if not indeed discredited- in liturgical research, especially over the past twent years. Alternative historical approaches, such as that advocated by Dom Alquin Reid, OSB, emphasise the continuity and organic development of the liturgy over a long period of time. That organic development sees the gradual emergence of new things and the demise of old things but excludes the kind of brutal caesura imposed on many Cathedrals and churches throughout the English speaking world in the name of the liturgical reforms of Vatican II.

      I understand that plans are afoot to restore J.G. Mac Gloughlin’s grille to the west door of the Collegiate Chapel. Could it be too much to hope that such an important element in the decorative scheme of the Honan Chapel as the Sanctuary Lamp could not also be restored to its proper position.

      I also include a picture of the High Altar of the chapel and would draw your attenton to the red altar light which is sitting on the mensa of the altar. It is surprising that the liturgists responsible for the removal of the Sanctuary Lamp (which should contain the light) did not seem to know that liturgical norms specifically prohibit placing anything of the like on an altar.

    • #767430
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta in Pisa (1063-1350) prototype for the Cathedral of the Assumption, Thurles.

    • #767431
      Praxiteles
      Participant
    • #767432
      MacLeinin
      Participant

      Great photos Praxiteles 😀

    • #767433
      MacLeinin
      Participant

      @Peter Parler wrote:

      Thanks, Colman (#212), for that Sunday Times reference. It is consoling to note the interest of the foreign press in our predicament. And it is important not to miss the good news about the Dublin Pro-Cathedral: “The renovations yielded a surprise when workers came across the original sanctuary lamp of the cathedral, which has now been restored to its former glory.” That is clearly a luminous sign. But can anyone explain to us the ongoing significance of “The Pro”? Does it mean that they are still hoping to re-possess Saint Patrick’s Cathedral? And should we be grateful to Almighty God that they haven’t, as yet?

      Absolutely!! 😉

    • #767434
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      @GregF wrote:

      I dunno if this has been discussed before on a different thread but I saw on the Irish Times this morning that Kevin Myers raises the issue of the proposed renovations of St Colmans Cathedral in Cobh. I had heard this before and couldn’t believe it. This is a fine Victorian Gothic cathedral designed by Pugin. Surely any tampering with the orignal features would be an act of vandalism and must not go ahead. As I said before, the councils, clergy etc… here in Ireland can’t seem to leave well alone regarding important public buildings, statues etc…..All Corkonians should be up in arms and stop any proposed tampering that should alter the cathedral in any way, especially as it was probably the poor local Cork Catholics that provided the funds to build the cathedral in the first place.

      (Bishop McGee of Cloyne is the culprit. Get writing your protest letters rebel Corkonians!)

      News on the grapevine is that Bishop Magee is receiving a lot of letters, well done Gregf 😀

    • #767435
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      More for Mosaic 1, courtesy of http://www.foscc.com

      Detail of Mosaic in Good Counsel shrine.

      Detail of Mosaic in Sacred Heart shrine.

      Medallion in front of Pieta Chapel

      Medallion in front of Sacred Heart Chapel
      [img]http://www.foscc.com/images/slideshow/Medallion%20in%20front%20of%20Sacred%20Heart%[/img]

    • #767436
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Are these mosaics by Oppenheimer?

    • #767437
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      Yes, that is why I address them to Mosaic 1 who has a special interest in Oppenheimer.
      As the last didn’t upload I will try again.

      Medallion in front of Sacred Heart Chapel

    • #767438
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Thanks, Gianlorenzo. Sorry for having confused matters.

    • #767439
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Re Baptistry of Thurles Cathedral: Some more examples of external baptistries:

      Florence: http://www.mega.it/eng/egui/monu/bc.htm

      Interior of the Florentine Baptistry: http://firenze.arounder.com/florence_baptistry/fullscreen.html

      The Porta del Paradiso: http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/g/ghiberti/paradiso/

    • #767440
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Another example of the prototype for Thurles Cathedral is Cremona with its typical romanesque complex of Cathedral, external baptistry and campanile:

      http://www.italiamedievale.org/sito_acim/concorso_2004/concorso_2004_cremona.html

      Aother prototype for Thurles is the Cathedral of Monza :

      http://www.mondimedievali.net/Edifici/Lombardia/Monza.htm

    • #767441
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      Praxiteles, these are wonderful 🙂 🙂

      by Lorenzo GHIBERTI



    • #767442
      fgordon
      Participant

      I have followed with great interest the development of this theme for the past few weeks. Returning to the original question – Cobh Cathedral – what I can’t understand is this: why the insistence on pushing this proposal through on the part of the Diocese? I can understand that a Bishop might feel he has the right to alter his altar (!), but when it becomes as contentious and widely opposed as this attempt in Cobh seems to be, mightn’t it be better not to insist on a right and choose the gentlemanly, not to mention pastoral, route of listening to one’s people?

      Now a suggestion for Bishop Magee – for whom I have great respect – it would be useful for him to read the remarks on this page to see that his legacy will be forever blighted if he pushes ahead with this programme. We see that even after many years, E. Casey is remembered (despite his other follies) above all as having initiated the rather vulgar (sorry, but it’s the most apt word) re-decoration of St Mary’s; J. Duffy, otherwise a conspicuously invisibile (not always a bad thing) member of the hierarchy, even in his own diocese, is known nationally only as the man who presided over a disappointingly crass re-ordering of Monaghan. I could go on. [As an aside – has anyone a picture of Monaghan’s interior in its original state; I have never seen such an image.]

      I’m sure the Bishop of Cloyne would not want to provide for himself a legacy of equal, if minor, infamy?…
      :confused:

    • #767443
      descamps
      Participant

      The problem with the Bishop of Cloyne, despite having spent nearly thirty years in Rome, is that he knows relatively little about art or architecture and is dependent on advisers who know even less. The project for the sanctuary of Cobh Cathedral is primarily the brain (!) child of one Denis Reidy, the Parish Priest of Carrigtwohill. He believes that he is reproducing in Cobh a solution that was adopted in the much vaster Cathedral of Milan and expects to have the plaudits of the plebs for this before he shuffels off his eccelsiastical coil in a few years time. When the Cobh project was first mooted, an advisory committee was formed basically of a few nuns and few of he more pliable members of the parish. What they knew about the building or its importance is debatable but they recommended a plan put before them by the good Reidy and catagorically excluded a number of less radical alternatives. When the ridiculousness of this was exposed in the letters page of the Irish Independent (23 December 1999) the project was temporarily shelved. A new advisory committee was formed, this time of several prominent artists, and charged with the task of advising Bishop Magee on what to do. Several of the artists, however, disagreed with the ethos of the advisory committee and resigned (among them Imogen Stuart and Ken Thompson). Eventually, a recommendation was made to Bishop Magee not so surprisingly recommending something very like the previous project. An art advisory committee unanimously accepted the proposal as did the Historic Churches Advisory Committe of the diocese of Cloyne. In their courtly rush to faun, neither of these bodies thought of asking to have a heritage impact study conducted on the impact of the proposed plan on the historic interior of the building. Another committee was formed to choose an architect to execute the plan and, not at all surprisingly, the architect chosen was Professor Cathal O’Neill. His appointment was recommended by the art and architecture committee of the diocese and by yet another body, the Cathedral Restoration Committee. With such a quiverfull of committees and experts, the poor advice-needy Bishop had no option but to go along with the Milan solution of D. Reidy. In all of this, no notice was taken of the common plebs of Cobh who would only be called upon to pay for the exercise.

    • #767444
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      The Italian inspiration for Thurles is most interesting, particularly the connection with Pisa. Cobh, as is well known, is inspired by the tight and compact models provided by French Gothic cathedrals, as distinct from the more relaxed and rambling English Gothic style, seen for example in Lincoln.
      An intriguing connection can be established between Cobh and Chartres – the tympanum over the west door in Cobh seems to have been inspired by that of the Royal Portal in Chartres (Christ and four evangelists), while the tympana of Reims and Notre-Dame de Paris are completely different. 😎
      Does anyone have information as to whether the planners of Cobh were deliberately imitating the Chartres model? Admittedly Cobh is more complex with the addition of Irish saints.
      In any case, those responsible for the construction of Cobh had an extraordinary knowledge of both Italian and French prototypes, as is emerging from the discussions on this thread.

    • #767445
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      From the images of the Cathedral of Norte Dame de Chartres in the inclosed link, I think that it is more than clear that it is an important prototype for the building of Cobh Cathedral. The tympanum of the Royal Portal was clearly an influential ptototype for the West Portal in Cobh, but then so was the roof line of Chartres which is clearly evident in the drawing of the south elevation. Detach the apse ambulatory from the Chartres prototype and the line becomes even more clearly similar to Cobh. Note also the shallow and narrow south transept both in Chratres and in Cobh.

      Chartres – South elevation

      Cobh – South elevation

    • #767446
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      To facilitate comparison of the south elevation of Chartres with that of Cobh, enclosed is a copy of E.W. Pugin and G. C. Ashlin’s contract drawing of 1869 for the south elevation of Cobh.

      The last three upper windows of the sanctuary in Cobh seem to be directly modelled on their Chartres counterparts, while the lower three windows of the sanctuary seem to have been modelled on the wndows of the Chartres ambulatory.

      The clerestory windows in the nave in Cobh Cathedral seem to have been drawn directly from the windows in the south aisle of Chartres.

    • #767447
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      For the tower on the north corner of the west facade in Cobh, the south tower on the west facade of the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Amiens must surely have been the prototype?

    • #767448
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Rheims Cathedral is also a prototype for Cobh especially in matters relating to the internal decoration and to external detail e.g. the figure of Our Lady in the porch of the West Portal in Rheims.

    • #767449
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Another undoubted inspiration for interior details in Cobh is the use of pierced quatrefoil by Lorenzo Ghiberti in the panels of the North Door in the Florence Baptistery. I attach an example.
      One wonders what inspiration lies behind the O’Neill plan – perhaps a bathroom showroom or a projected Olympic pool? 😀

    • #767450
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Correct Sangallo. There are thirty such panels in the spandrels of the nave in Cobh Cathedral all framed in cornices of pierced quadrafoils directly inspired by Ghiberti’s doors in the Baptistry of Florence.

      In Cobh, the nave panels depict the early and more recent history of the Church in Ireland.

      The O’Neill project does appear to have quite as distinct an artistic pedigree. But, after the Turnerelli event in the Pro Cathedral, I am sure that Professor O’Neill would not shrink from improving on Ghiberti too.

    • #767451
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Regarding influences on Prof. O’Neill, one should note that in the 1950s he studied in Chicago under Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, known for his connections with the Bauhaus movement and for developing what has been called a “monumental ‘skin and bone’ architecture” (i.e. glass and steel boxes). 😮
      Other Irish architects who sat at the feet of the same master were Peter Doyle and Robin Walker.
      Two interesting links for information on Mies van der Rohe:

      http://www.greatbuildings.com/architects/Ludwig_Mies_van_der_Rohe.html

      http://www.designboom.com/portrait/mies/bg.html

      As a suitable waltz for the reception following the wedding of Gothic Revival and Bauhaus, I would suggest the danse macabre.
      However, one shudders to think what the offspring will look like! – :rolleyes:

    • #767452
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Another prototype for St. Colman’s Cathedral, Cobh is the Cathedral of St. Pierre in Saintes where we find the combination of the white caen stone of the walls off set by a timber vaulting.

      Saintes Cathedral:

      The Cobh variant on the theme:

    • #767453
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      The Altar of the Mortuary Chapel, Cobh Cathedral by Pearse and Son, Dublin (1901-1902)

    • #767454
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Mies van der Rohe may be considered a direct influence on Prof. O’Neill’s architectural outlook. He in turn is influenced by the father of the Bauhaus movement, Walter Gropius. Such an architectural progeny is indeed cause for disquiet. 😮

      For examples of Gropius’ work see the following link:

      http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/cas/fnart/fa267/gropius.html

      An interesting critique on Bauhaus architecture from a religious point of view is E. Michael Jones, Living Machines: Bauhaus Architecture as Sexual Ideology, published by Ignatius Press. For details, see the Amazon website at this link:

      http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0898704642/103-4356301-6450247?v=glance&n=283155&%5Fencoding=UTF8&me=ATVPDKIKX0DER&no=283155&st=books

    • #767455
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Duncan Stroik, Chair of the Architecture School of Notre Dame University, has an interesting critique of the approach of the Modernist school (of which Gropius and Mies van der Rohe are two important representatives) to Church architecture. In “The Roots of Modernist Church Architecture” he outlines the guiding principles behind the work of the school. Although many churches are still built to the designs of architects of this school, such as a recent church by Richard Meier at Tor Tre Teste in the suburbs of Rome and the concrete box that passes for a cathedral in Los Angeles, the modernist style is now becoming somewhat passé, as more recent church architects (though, alas, not yet in Ireland) pay more attention to liturgical sign, symbol and typology, and pay more heed to the great church buildings of the past for inspiration. Is it too much to hope for that more recent thinking in this area will eventually come to influence Irish church architects?

      Here is the link to Stroik’s article: http://www.adoremus.org/1097-Stroik.html

      For Meier’s church in Rome:

    • #767456
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      More delights from the modern school: Los Angeles Cathedral and Mario Botta’s Evry Cathedral, France. 😉

    • #767457
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      After our little trip abroad, perhaps it’s time to take a look at some of the home-grown variety. A particularly eloquent example is the “Eucharistic room” in Carlow’s Institute of Pastoral Liturgy, designed by the architect Richard Hurley and theologically justified by the notorious Sean Swayne.

      The architect tells us that that “The uncompromising character of the all-white space is softened by the intimacy of the assembly. The space comes alive during the celebration. The complete flexibility of the timber furnishings, designed by the architects, respond to similar flexibility required by the liturgical celebrations from time to time. “
      Sounds like musical chairs!

    • #767458
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Moving quickly northwards, we come to Pugin’s St Mary’s Chapel in Maynooth College, enhanced by Richard Hurley, following a rather eccentric reordering in 1967.
      For the present reordering, which owes little to the principles of pointed architecture, Hurley was aided and abetted by Benedict Tutty (tabernacle) and others.
      He tells us that “This ensemble, designed by the architect, creates an explosion of colour on the west wall, and presents a strong and prayerful focus, outside of the Eucharistic area.”

      “Explosion” is indeed the operative word here! 😀

      For description, follow the link http://www.rha.ie/maynooth.html

      For photograph of the “explosion” see the attached photo.

    • #767459
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Qiuite clearly, Richard Hurley has not read the Institutio Genralis Romani Missalis as his arrangement in St. Mary’s Chapel, Maynooth, does not conform to the requirements laid down for the celebration of the Eucharist – not least being the demarkation of an area that is specifically a “presbyterium”. Even in churches where there has been an antiphonal arrangement for the celebartion of the Liturgy of the Hours, such always antecedes the presbyterium, as is the case in an abbatial church where the offices are daily sung, or indeed in JJ McCarthy’s great masterpiece which is the College Chapel in Maynooth. It is very difficult to see where R. Hurley is taking his cue from but one thing is certain – it is not from the established norms governing Catholic worship.

      Maynooth College Chapel, from the presbyterium:

    • #767460
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      The grace and elegance of Hurley’s efforts in St. Mary’s oratory in Maynooth can easily be understood from the thought and art-historical acumen invested in the furnishings:r

      http://www.fitzgeraldsofkells.com/images/samples/p_maynooth2_small.jpg

    • #767461
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      I would regard it as highly foolish of R. Hurley to have attempted anything like an antiphonal church arrangement in Maynooth of all places where he simply begs uncomplimentary contrast with JJ McCarthy’s great Choir Chapel disposed in a true antiphonal fashion and architecturally articulating all of the main spaces to be included in a Catholic church -with the exception of the nave, which the circumstances of Maynooth College did not require. When one looks at the faux antiphonal pastiche and at the poor quality conception of the the furnishings of St. Mary’s Oratory, one begins to realize that one is facing a true example of a misbegotten and malformed Bauhaus offspring (their unremembering hearts and heads, base born products of base beds ). The “explosion” of colour surrounding the tabernacle, for example, dwarfs into sham insignificance when one beholds the exquisite kaleidescope of colours of the glass in the lancet windows above and at either side of Kim En Joong’s magnum horrendum, especially when seen in the declining light of a summer’s afternoon. Clearly, neither the form or content of the tabernacle surround has any Christian significance whatsoever and could pass equally well, indeed better, in the departure lounge of a suburban bus depot. Was the provision of panelling along the northand south walls of the chapel a conscious effort to emulate the panelling in the College Chapel? If so, I am afraid that all it serves to illustrate is the sad decline in Irish architecture and craftsmanship over the past century for it is but a shodow of JJ McCarthy and the magnificent wood carving of the Monan Brothers from Dundalk to say nothing of the almost total intellectual demise of the Catholic Church in Ireland – even in those sciences which one would consider essential for the adequate execution of its mission. Truly, St. Mary’s Oratory is a symbol but not, I am afraid, of what is officially propagandized.

    • #767462
      Peter Parler
      Participant

      We remember how difficult it was years ago to get a seat in the College Chapel at Maynooth for Sunday Mass or Evening Devotions. Could it be true, as we have heard, that Saint Mary’s Oratory now adequately accommodates the worshipping remnant and the College Chapel is used only for concerts and conferrings and the like? This too is symbolic perhaps.

    • #767463
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      There is no “perhaps” about it !!

    • #767464
      MacLeinin
      Participant

      @sangallo wrote:

      After our little trip abroad, perhaps it’s time to take a look at some of the home-grown variety. A particularly eloquent example is the “Eucharistic room” in Carlow’s Institute of Pastoral Liturgy, designed by the architect Richard Hurley and theologically justified by the notorious Sean Swayne.

      The architect tells us that that “The uncompromising character of the all-white space is softened by the intimacy of the assembly. The space comes alive during the celebration. The complete flexibility of the timber furnishings, designed by the architects, respond to similar flexibility required by the liturgical celebrations from time to time. “
      Sounds like musical chairs!

      Have you ever seen such a miserably uncomfortable group? 🙁 ” The space comes alive..” :rolleyes: 😡

    • #767465
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      This space does not conform to the liturgical norms of the Institutio Generalis Romani Missalis and is consequently unsitable for the celebration of the Mass. Indeed, it is no more than room which has no specifically religious, let alone Christian or Catholic , articulation. It is a prime example of what sacred architecture is not and at total variance with the tradition of Christian architecture accumulated since the Edict of Milam of 312. Its only interesting architectural features are the sash windows.

    • #767466
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      In his preface to Richard Hurley’s book Irish Architecture in the age of Vatican II (Dominican Publications,2001), Arthur Gibney traces the roots of ecclesiastical architecture in Ireland during the last half of the 20th. century to a number of sources. Among them, he mentions a symposium on church design organized by the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland held in 1955 and to the establishment of the Church Exhibition Committe in 1956. This committee organized two important exhibitions: Eglises de France Reconstruites and Modern Churches in Germany, respectively held in 1957 and 1962. Not surprisingly, both France and Germany had seen much rebuilding work after the war. Two further sources for modern church architecture in Ireland identified by Gibney are the Irish Episcopal Commission for Liturgy and the National Advisory Commitee on Sacred Art and Architecture. Among the first members of the latter were: J.G. McGarry, Professor of Homoletics in Maynooth, Austin Flannery, OP, and prominent architects such as Wilfrid Cantwell, Andrew Devane, Liam McCormack and Richard Hurley -examples of whose reordering work have already been seen above. In the same preface, Gibney writes: “…Richard Hurley has been closely involved with the promotion of avant-guard ideas on church design since the 1960s and has an established reputaton as a lecturer and writer on sacred art and architecture”. Gibney further writes: “His [Richard Hurley’s] work in older monumental churches in the 1990s reveals a sensitivity to historic spaces which has been sadly lacking in the modern liturgical interventions of the past”. As an exemplification of this last assertion, Gibney suggests that “the refurbishment of the Honan Chapel in U.C.C. complements its architectural qualities”. Again he claims: “The complex task of refurbishment of Cork Cathedral (of St. Mary and St. Anne) in 1995 combines a sensitive re-ordering of liturgical functions with a dramatic recovery of the spacial and architectural language of an important monument”.
      Behind the modernist movement in Ireland lay the figures of French and German architects such as Auguste Perret, Otto Bartning, Rudlf Schwartz and Dominikus Boehm. Investigation of these may well throw light on the devastation practised on Ireland’s non too extensive heritag of ecclesiastical buildings and explain why much of the work carried out on Irish churches in the past forth years could easily leave the impression that during the Second World War Ireland was as heavily bombed as Dresden.

    • #767467
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      As an example of the work of the Lutheran architect Otto Bartning, a close collaborator of Gropius, I enclose images of Bartning’s work in Dresden-Loebtau and links for further biographical and professional information:

      Before:

      After:

      Interior:

      Further information on Otto Bartning:

      http://www.das-neue-dresden.de/friedenskirche_otto-bartning_1949.html

      http://www.ev-gescher.de/ueberuns/022ae3961a079ea18/022ae3961b114510b/

    • #767468
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      WIth regard to Rudolf Schwarz (1897-1961), the following entry in the Kirchenlexikon is interesting for what it has to say about Schwarz’s ideas about the transition from Crowd to People to People of God and the joining of Community and Altar; the relationship of architecture and liturgy; and the articulation of ecclesiastical architecture:

      http://www.bautz.de/bbkl/s/s1/schwarz_r.shtml

      An example of his work: the Corpus Christi Church in Aachen:

      The Corpus Christi interior:

    • #767469
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      I think that posting # 251 should be seen in conjunction with posting # 255 (interior view of Corpus Christi, Aachen). We begin to see influences and prototypes behind all those spartan white walls.

    • #767470
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Another example of Rudolf Sacrwrz’s work: Heilige Familie built in 1960:

      Dueren, St. Anna

      Essen, St. Antonius

      Frankfurt, St Michael

      Linz, St Teresia

    • #767471
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Some examples of the work of Dominikus Boehm, who is seen as a large influence on the Irish modernist movement:

      Dettingen, St. Peter und Paul (1922)

      Mainz, Christkoenigkirche (1926)

      Interior

    • #767472
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Praxiteles wrote:

      Gibney further writes: “His [Richard Hurley’s] work in older monumental churches in the 1990s reveals a sensitivity to historic spaces which has been sadly lacking in the modern liturgical interventions of the past”. As an exemplification of this last assertion, Gibney suggests that “the refurbishment of the Honan Chapel in U.C.C. complements its architectural qualities”. Again he claims: “The complex task of refurbishment of Cork Cathedral (of St. Mary and St. Anne) in 1995 combines a sensitive re-ordering of liturgical functions with a dramatic recovery of the spacial and architectural language of an important monument”.

      Regarding Cork Cathedral, one can see the sensitivity of the reordering in the combination of a Gothic Revival style throne for the bishop with something akin to a stage set for “Madame Butterfly” or “The Mikado”. One only awaits the entry of the geisha girls from behind the wooden screens!

      The claims of Gibney re Hurley remind one of similar claims about enhancing Pugin in Killarney! :rolleyes:

    • #767473
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Liam McCormick (1916-1996) is regarded by many as the father of modern Irish Church architecture. He is perhaps best known for having designed St Aengus’s Church in Burt, Co. Donegal. His stated influences are Le Corbusier, Gropius and Alvar Aalto.

      For info on Burt Church, see:

      http://www.irish-architecture.com/buildings_ireland/donegal/burt/st_aengus.html

      For a brief biographical sketch, see:

      http://www.culturenorthernireland.org/article.aspx?county=0&articleID=168&cultID=0&townID=0&cultSubID=0&page=0&navID=0

    • #767474
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      @Praxiteles wrote:

      WIth regard to Rudolf Schwarz (1897-1961), the following entry in the Kirchenlexikon is interesting for what it has to say about Schwarz’s ideas about the transition from Crowd to People to People of God and the joining of Community and Altar]http://www.bautz.de/bbkl/s/s1/schwarz_r.shtml[/url]

      An example of his work: the Corpus Christi Church in Aachen:

      The Corpus Christi interior:

      There is no doubt about it – we are living in the ‘Ugly Age’. 😮 :confused:

    • #767475
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Influenced by Dominikus Boehm (1880-1955), Rudolf Schwarz (1897-1961) and Emil Steffann (1899-1968), Church architecture in Germany was marked by a radical simplification of form and of space while in post-was Grmany saw the dominance of stark spatial areas characterised by naked materials. Not only Le Corbusier (1857-1965) worked in this tradition but also, in a certain sense, Mario Botta who built the only Cathedral of the period.

      In the German post war period, building material was made available in the form of surplus army stock, including huts, which seem to have had a peculiar infuence on post war Church design.

      Emil Steffann, Sankt Bonifatius, Luebeck 1952.

      ibid. interior

    • #767476
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Perhaps visitors might like to know why the diocese of Cloyne chose Prof. O’Neill for the reordering of the sanctuary. View the following link for the official explanation:

      http://www.cloyne.irl.com/catharchitect.htm

      Makes for interesting reading in the light of the foregoing discussion on this thread!

    • #767477
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      So, O’Neill was chosen simply because he “did” the Pro-Cathedral. If true, it speaks volumes for the glitteratti lined up to make the big decision.

    • #767478
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Re: posting 251: Carlow College, Eucharist Room

      Richard Hurley describes the creation of the Eucharist Room in his book Irish Church Architecture in the era of Vatican II as follows: “The nerve centre of the institute [for Pastoral Liturgy] comprised a plan of four spaces – gathering area, the Eucharist Room, the Blessed Sacrament Chapel and the Vesting Room. The gathering room was of great importance in the scheme of things. It would provide a place of welcome, a place of assembly before and after the liturgy and also a place to enjoy the hospitality of the institute. The Eucharist Room is entered directly off the gathering area along a narrow “mall” partially two storeys high and containing an open-string staircase. The Eucharist Room is spacious and light -filled; it was the great room of the house….the layout of the room is orientated towards an informal antiphonal gathering surrounding a central area focused on the altar. This was a development of the idea of the family gathering around the table. WIthin this group the chief celebrant sat at one end of the axis with the altar and the ambo placed at the other side of the altar, on axis facing up the room. The surrounding stools provide an informal seating arrangement for the assembly. Everything in the room is a shade of white – wall, floor, ceiling, light fittings and carpet…The ambience of the room was intended to provide fertile soil for the growth of spiritual freedom. The limitations of the materials used also contained the inner intention, that to radiate the Spirit of Freedom. There was no “sanctuary” in the Eucharist Room in Carlow, only an expression of ritual space and the integration of everyone who participate in it”.

    • #767479
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant
      Praxiteles wrote:
      Re: posting 251: Carlow College, Eucharist Room

      Richard Hurley describes the creation of the Eucharist Room in his book Irish Church Architecture in the era of Vatican II as follows: “The nerve centre of the institute [for Pastoral Liturgy] comprised a plan of four spaces – gathering area, the Eucharist Room, the Blessed Sacrament Chapel and the Vesting Room. The gathering room was of great importance in the scheme of things. It would provide a place of welcome, a place of assembly before and after the liturgy and also a place to enjoy the hospitality of the institute. The Eucharist Room is entered directly off the gathering area along a narrow “mall” partially two storeys high and containing an open-string staircase. The Eucharist Room is spacious and light -filled]

      What a growth of spiritual freedom!!!!!
      What a ratiation of the Spirit of Freedom!!!!!

    • #767480
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      I do like those coyishly suggestive old-fashioned milking stools. I understand that a peculiar Galway version of the milking stool was used in the presbyterium of the Honan Chapel – the last very degenerate outcrop of the once vibrant Celtic Revival.

    • #767481
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Continuing in the milking stool vein, I would be inclined to suggest that the sugan chair idiom would be a more authentic rendition of Celticism!
      I would have suggested something along those lines for the presidential chair in the Carlow room, but, it would seem from the photo attachment kindly provided by Gianlorenzo, that there is absolutely no distinction between president and assembly. Whatever else it is, this hardly reflects a Catholic understanding of the liturgy! It is more suggestive of a community celebrating nothing other than itself, after a fashion so rightly criticised by the then Card. Joseph Ratzinger in his seminal work The Spirit of the Liturgy.

    • #767482
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Praxiteles wrote:

      I do like those coyishly suggestive old-fashioned milking stools. I understand that a peculiar Galway version of the milking stool was used in the presbyterium of the Honan Chapel – the last very degenerate outcrop of the once vibrant Celtic Revival.

      I don’t know about the use of the milking stool in the Honan Chapel, as in the attached photos, it seems to have been hidden out of sight, along with the Silk of the Kine. Of course, the rather oddly-shaped presidential chair could easily take its place in the cow-byre. In any case, there is an unmistakeable druidic air about the new arrangement!

    • #767483
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      References to Galway milking stools as sources of inspiration for modern neo-Celtic Revival handiwork are serioulsy explained in Virginia Teehan and Eilzabeth Wincott-Heckett’s monograph [img]The%20Honan%20Chapel:%20A%20golden%20Vision[/img]. We are told: ” A number of items of furnture by the Dublin sculptor (sic) Imogen Stuart were added following Vatican II. Designed and made in 1986-1987, these include a massive oak altar carved in relief with the Four Evangelists, now placed in the middle of the moasic floor in front of the sanctuary; ….an oak president’s chair adapted from the three-legged cottage chair of Connemara with a high back terminating in a celtic cross. [a number of items] were supplied to cater for the popularity of the chapel as a wedding venue. A bride’s chair and kneeler and a groom’s chair and kneeler, the symobolism of their design being explained on labels under the seats”.

      If this is the best or only inspiration that neo-Celtic Revival can come up with, would someone please mercifully put it out of its misery.

      The thing of beauty in the flesh:

      Why such should be necessary is incomprehensible when one notices a perfectly adequate sedilia, designed to accomodate the usage of the Roman Rite, on the south wall of the sanctuary. It even has cushions to encourage the faint hearted!

    • #767484
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Re Richard Hurley’s “job” on St. Mary’s Oratory in Maynooth, one can say that the standard milking-stool-inspired tuffets have mercifully been replaced by a more conventional chair redolent of influences ranging from provincial English regency dining chair to the more domestic kitchen chair. As for the “president’s” chair and its accompanying stools, it is not clear to me where the inspiration for this amalgam comes from – though I think I saw something reminiscent of it in an animated version of Walt Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. It is very interesting to note in this picture that none of the chairs has a kneeler to accomodate anyone who might wish to kneel down. It was perhaps to this phenomenon that Kieron Wood was referring to in an article published on 4 November 2005 in the Sunday Business Post. Apparently, unlawful disciplinary measures are taken against those in the Maynooth Menge who refuse to be socialized into Volk by resorting to such anti-social and psychotic behaviour as kneeling down. Clearly, it is no accident that the chapel is designed and laid out in a fashiion that is contrary to the current (post Vatican II) liturgical norms for the celebration of the Mass and disturbing because of some of the underlying concepts of liturgy as socialization whose sinister origins are to be found in German writers of the inter-war period – which should immediately counsel caution. How far is it from Volksgeist to corporate or aggragate or communal liturgy – none of which concepts makes even a fleeting appearance in Vatican II’s Sacroscantum Concilium ?

      The reason for the enormous organ case in St. Mary’s Oratory, a relatively small space, is beyond me. ALso, placing the organ against the east wall obscures one of the more charming archictectural elements of the original chapel – namely, an enormous, simple, plain wall pierced only once by a tiny squat doorway.

      Attachment 1 is a view of the Chapel as originally dcorated.
      Attachment 2 is a view of the Chapel following the 1966 reordering (note the size of the organ)

    • #767485
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Interesting echoes between Richard Hurley’s Library at Glenstal Abbey and Rudolf Schwarz’s Fronleichnam Church in Aachen – just illustrates the flexible functionality of modern Bauhaus products.

    • #767486
      MacLeinin
      Participant


      “Architecture has the capability to define through formal language that we come to identify the activities that occur within by the form of the architecture. The activities and the forms become interdependent. To the extent that the architecture incorporates these forms and linguistic elements we feel at home and comfortable. Conversely, to the extent that these elements are missing we may feel less at home, less comfortable. Our sense of well-being is affected by the architecture. The result of a sense of negative affect—or lack of well-being—may be a tendency not to return to the space, i.e. a loss of interest.”
      Neo-gothic Architecture Today by Ethan Anthony in Sacred Architecture Journal Vol.5 2001.

      It seems to me, as one of the ‘plebs’ mentioned by Praxiteles in a previous post, that the above pictured churches were built by an architect for an architect. They certainly were not built with the ordinary churchgoer in mind, and as for God, well forget it, He doesn’t even get a look in. While the fall off from the Church cannot be put finally at the feet of architects or their misguided liturgical advisors, they must take some responsibility in the alienation of the people. From what I have seen, they are building for Man, while the people enter their buildings looking for God, and finding only Man, leave in confusion.

    • #767487
      Peter Parler
      Participant

      Please. No more Rudolf Schwarz. The pictures are just too, too distressing. Anyway, such supposedly “functional” buildings tend to be badly built and it is easy to predict that they will be abandoned or demolished well before mid-century. It could, though, be worthwhile preserving a few of them, in the German fashion, as a warning to future generations.

    • #767488
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Jawohl !!!!!!!!

    • #767489
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      @Peter Parler wrote:

      Please. No more Rudolf Schwarz. The pictures are just too, too distressing. Anyway, such supposedly “functional” buildings tend to be badly built and it is easy to predict that they will be abandoned or demolished well before mid-century. It could, though, be worthwhile preserving a few of them, in the German fashion, as a warning to future generations.

      That is probably their only function. They are out of date now and their future can only be as ‘historical oddities’. Even the furniture is dated and passe. When will the apologists for Moderism and even post-Modernism realise that they are locked into their own time and, unlike what went before, beit Classical, Romanesque,or Gothic/Neo-Gothic, they have no future. Their appeal is to the ‘now ‘and that in itself is self- defeating in that there is no ‘now’. A look at other threads on this site will show how quickly things become outmoded and unfashionable. And that, in the end,is what the re-ordering of St. Colman’s is all about – it is a fashion trend that Bishop Magee, in his abysmal ignorance, feels he has to follow.
      Regarding the ‘warning to future generations’, why is it that Ireland is always 10 years behind everywhere else. In the US and UK they are beginning to re-order the previous re-ordering, but here we are, prepared to destroy one of the truly worthy heritage structures in our land in the name of an our-dated and spurious ideology.

    • #767490
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant


      Tabernacle in old L.A. Cathedral

      New Tabernacle!!!

    • #767491
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Looking once again at the reordered St Mary’s chapel in Maynooth, there is another distinctly odd feature about the arrangement. Behind the presidential chair, on which the wizard Gandalf would feel quite at home, there appears to be a semi-circle of chairs positioned facing towards the tabernacle. I am inclined to think that this may have something to do with the decadent stage of Celtic revival characteristic also of the Honan Chapel (the druidic altar and Connemara milking stool) and the Carlow Euch-room (also furnished with milking stools). In this case, the designer seems to have in mind the cosy fireside chat, perhaps with claypipes and tay! A seanchai would not go amiss either.:D

    • #767492
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      I am compiling a list of the liturgical errors and omissions in the design and layout of St. Mary’s Oratory in Maynooth and would be glad to have comments from others before posting the list – just to ensure that I have them ALL..

    • #767493
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Well, to-day, folks, it is a pre-Christmas trip to Santa in Lappland taking in a few views of the work of Alvar Aalto -a major influence, we are told, on Richard Hurley and Liam McCormack. Well, we can understand Aalto’s interest in white given that there is a lot of snow in Finland and Sweden. Indeed, one could even forgive him for feeling the need to introduce snow inspired colour into Finnish and Swedish interiors, but what is Richard Hurley up to in Ireland with all the whiteness. After all, we have not had anything like a blizzard for twenty years. I believe, however, that further exploration of this theme will shed some white light on the creations in the Euch. Room in Carlow and in St. Mary’s Oratory in Maynooth.

      Heilig-geist Kirken, Wolfsburg

      Another splendid example of “ecclesiastical” architecture

      Kirche des Flachenkreuz in Seinaejoki (Schneeland)

      interior

      As for the enoblement of the stool:
      see the Library, Viipuri (1929), Meeting Room

      The Chruch of the Three Crosses,Vouksenniska, Imatra, Finland

    • #767494
      fgordon
      Participant

      Wow, this thread just gets better (or worse) – now it’s ghastly, deathly-pale German Church interiors! No wonder Catholicism is gasping for air in that country! How did Benedict survive unscathed?

      It is interesting that with the eclipse of European culture, comes the de-sacralization of architecture and the consequent alienation of the language. Reading Richard Hurley’s apologia for his various soulless productions, one hears a vocabulary that is wholly alien to anyone with an inkling of what the Sacred Liturgy means in the Catholic economy. So we hear the inane patter of the sociologist and the barely disguised superciliousness of the behaviourist. The people are to be control-processed in a non-threatening “gathering place”, before entering the tame and void “Eucharist room” (I ask you!), through a “mall”. How appropriate – “malls”, the new Cathedrals of modern Europe. The family setting – where’s the fireplace and the scrabble board? – emphasises the Eucharist as meal, we are told. And what emphasises its more fundamental aspect – that of sacrifice, or, if you insist, sacrificial meal?

      In any case, Liturgy detached from its theological and historical, its symbolic and cultic fundaments becomes a floating free-for-all, the play thing of ideologues, charlatans and the semi-educated; unaware even of their own ignorance of that which they pretend to be masters and teachers. All “kudos” to those trying to save Cobh from the dying gasps of this iconoclastic hiccup in the Church’s history. Like all iconoclasm, it will eventually be overcome by the return of common sense, that is, the return to the sacred.

    • #767495
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      In relation to the Euch. Room in Carlow with its extensive use of stools, I think we may have to resort to Alvar Aalto’s domestic furniture of the 1930s to discover a prototype. If correct, then we shall have to abandon the artistic apotheosis of the Galway milking stools – though, of course, we cannot exclude the possibility of some indigenous trace elements of the Galway milking stool insinuating themselves into an otherwise anonymous composition.

      Cleraly, the Viipuri library conference room, built in 1929, cannot be positively excluded as a prototype for the socalled antiphonal approach to the Euch. Room in Carlow and for its more elaborate version in St. Mary’s Oratory.

      Stools chair by Alvar Aalto (1930-1931)

      Elegant domestic modern stools and chairs designed by Alvar Aalto

    • #767496
      Peter Parler
      Participant

      Re #279 St Mary’s Oratory at Maynooth. The big organ looks as if it is the principal object of worship…. And they have overlooked those old stained-glass windows. They seem so sadly out of place….

    • #767497
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      @Praxiteles wrote:

      I am compiling a list of the liturgical errors and omissions in the design and layout of St. Mary’s Oratory in Maynooth and would be glad to have comments from others before posting the list – just to ensure that I have them ALL..

      Isn’t Patrick Pye’s tapestry between the lancet windows hung a little too high? Nice tapestry shame about the place.:p

      Re. liturgical errors and omissions, one that is immediately evident – there are no Stations of the Cross.

    • #767498
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      An interesting Aalto prototype

      Parish Church, Riola (Italy)

      The new church was one of the first in which the ‘reformed’ Roman Catholic liturgy would be given expression in architectural terms; the aim was to provide a close relationship between altar, choir and organ, as well as the baptistery. The shape of the church itself is an asymmetrical basilica with asymmetrical vaulting through which light, directed especially towards the altar, enters the building. Galleries were dispensed with, but the choir area was extended to compensate for their absence. The front wall of the church can be opened so that the forecourt serves as an extension to it.”

      — Karl Fleig. Alvar Aalto. p171.

      Details

      The Riola Parish Center was designed in 1966.

      The main body of the church was completed in 1978, without the campanile.

      — Malcolm Quantrill. Alvar Aalto: A Critical Study. p204; Karl Fleig. Alvar Aalto. p171.

    • #767499
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Riola could very easily double for a gymnasium or a community centre – a few climbing ropes up the side and swings for the trapeze artists, and it would be just perfect! 😀
      I agree with Gianlorenzo about the Patrick Pye tapestry of the Transfiguration (cf. #284) -here we are dealing with a great modern Irish artist, with a strong spiritual content in his art. Unfortunately, the surroundings are not ideal to bring that out – it might as well hang in a soulless modern museum.
      The Maynooth website givs the following info about St Mary’s chapel:

      “St. Mary’s Oratory, in the Pugin buildings, had been allotted to the senior students in the1850s, over the protests of Nicholas Callan, who claimed that he had been promised the large hall as a laboratory. The plain space was slightly embellished after it had been gutted in the fire of 1 November 1878, but it remained utilitarian despite the insertion of two genuinely distinguished stained-glass windows in 1939. They survived an unfortunate refurbishing in the name of liturgical renewal, and remain a chief glory in a total and happier reordering carried out to mark the new millennium. This renewal was made possible with a generous grant from the St. Joseph’s Young Priests Society. The Oratory is adorned with works of art by Patrick Pye (Transfiguration), Imogen Stuart (Madonna and Child), Ken Thompson (St. Joseph, Altar, Ambo, Chair), Kim en Joong, O.P. (non-figurative) and Benedict Tutty, O.S.B. (Tabernacle and Cross).”

      Incidentally, the same website mentions the vandalism carried out by the erstwhile President, Mgr Miceal Ledwith, in the little St Mary’s Square, originally designed by Pugin:

      “Finally, there is the bicentenary garden, located in St. Mary’s Square, designed to symbolise man’s spiritual journey towards God. It really should be taken slowly and reflectively. A detailed leaflet is available.”

      When one sees the said square in its present sad condition, one is not surprised to find that the one responsible for same is now working for a New Age community in California, devoted to a 35,000 year old warrior called Ramtha! What would Pugin have said?

    • #767500
      Peter Parler
      Participant

      @sangallo wrote:

      Incidentally, the same website mentions the vandalism carried out by the erstwhile President, Mgr Miceal Ledwith, in the little St Mary’s Square, originally designed by Pugin:

      “Finally, there is the bicentenary garden, located in St. Mary’s Square, designed to symbolise man’s spiritual journey towards God. It really should be taken slowly and reflectively. A detailed leaflet is available.”

      When one sees the said square in its present sad condition, one is not surprised to find that the one responsible for same is now working for a New Age community in California, devoted to a 35,000 year old warrior called Ramtha! What would Pugin have said?

      We can easily imagine what Pugin might feel to see the present state of St Mary’s Square at Maynooth. What we are waiting for is some word of explanation and apology from the present Trustees of the College for that questionable appointment and all its weird consequences – which include the vandalization of the Lady Chapel and the installation, contiguous to St Mary’s Square, of a vulgar American bronze: Notre-Dame a la mousse au chocolat.

    • #767501
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Congratulations to the Friends of St Colman’s Cathedral for the simply stunning photos of the cathedral recently added to their website! Follow the link http://www.foscc.com/Gallery.html

      What a spectacular building! Unfortunately, it seems that some of the mosaic is rather worn and damaged, with some amateurish repair work done. Surely Pugin and Ashlin deserve better!

      Incidentally, it would be nice to have some more photos of the scenes from Irish church history in the capitals and over the arches of the cathedral interior. The are a bit high up for the naked eye to view comfortably.

      Does anyone know if there is a similar series elsewhere in Ireland?

    • #767502
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Maynooth College Bi-Centenary Gardens

      St. Mary’s Square, Maynooth – lower quad in the photograph (Before)

      Ibid. loc. After

      The Bi-Centenary Gardens were commissioned to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of Maynooth College in 1995. The Garden with its lake and fountains are based on the biblical theme ‘from origins to destiny’ and reflects the salvation of humankind in Genesis chapters two and three. All plants in the garden have been mentioned in the Bible.

      While described oficially as above, there can be little doubting that the Bi-Centerary Gardens in St. Mary’s Square in Maynooth have little or nothing to do with Christianity or even Judaism as concepts like “destiny” and “origins”, and especially the “salvation of humankind” are nowhere to be found in the Old Testament. It is time to take a good hard look at the BI-Centenary Gardens and see it for what it is: a modern composition brutally imposed on an historical context without the slightest respect for the architectural integrity of St. Mary’s Square. The bit about Biblical plants is sheer hocus pocus as it is highly unlikely that anything grown in the Middle East would survive a winter in the mainly northern facing square. Micheal Ledwith realized in the great outdoors a level of vandalism only surpassed indoors in the contiguous St. Mary’s Oratory.

    • #767503
      descamps
      Participant

      Reply 286 tells us that Ken Thompson is responsible for the Altar, ambo and president’s chair in St. Mary’s Oratory, Maynooth. Those of use who know him well realize that he has a quirky sense of humour. Are they sure in Maynooth that he is not in some way taking the mick with that awful chairback so evidently modelled on a mitre? Wood is not is his best medium. He is stupendous in stone. The Paschal chamber stick in the Honan Chapel was not KT at his best.

    • #767504
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      St. Marry’s Square (nocturne)

      I came across the following in a google search. It certainly captures the mood of St. Mary’s Square with accuracy:

      I stayed at the College in Maynooth – the grounds and the loding was lovely.
      Considering the College used to be a Catholic Seminary, the very pagan rock garden with it’s standing stones seemed out of place.
      I caught the reflection of one of the college buildings in the pool of the Rock Garden.

      I think it best that we do not pursue anything further about the standing stones.

    • #767505
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      The St Mary’s Square arrangement, now that we see some good photos of it (#289), does look like a cross between the deserted graveyard

    • #767506
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      To leave Maynooth modernity, and indeed modernity, for a while and return to St. Colman’s Cathedral and its glorious tympanum, I thought it might be interesting to explore its iconographic prototypes in Romanesque France and therefore post a picture of the magnificent tympanum of the Abbatiale de St. Pierre at Moissac constructed between 1120-1135.

    • #767507
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      If Moissac draws so many visitors these days, it is because of its tympanum and its cloister. The latter with its many famous capitals is rightly considered the most beautiful one left in the world. In the tympanum of the south portal, the sculpture of Moissac is truly monumental. It is placed above the level of the eye and is so large as to dominate the entire entrance. It is a gigantic semicircular relief, over 15 feet in diameter, framed by a slightly pointed archivolt in three orders. Its great mass is supported by a magnificently ornate lintel, a sculptured trumeau, or pillar, representing Paul and a bearded prophet, and two doorposts on which are carved the figures of Peter and the prophet Isaias. The portal is sheltered by a salient barrel-vaulted porch, decorated on its lower walls with reliefs representing incidents of the Infancy of Christ, the story of Lazarus and the Rich Man, the Punishment of Avarice and Unchastity. In its grouping and concentration of sculptures, the porch is comparable in enterprise to an arch of triumph. The tympanum itself is a remarkable work of engineering and architecture, for 28 blocks of stone were brought together to form its surface.

      The meal of the rich man, Dives (at right),
      as dying Lazarus is cared for by the dogs (left).

      St. Peter on the left side of the entry door
      under the Tympanum.

    • #767508
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Arles-sur-Tech, Abbatiale Sainte-Marie-de-Vallespir

      Tympanum c. 1046

    • #767509
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      The graceful portal and tympanum of St Trophime at Arles dating from the mid twelfth century:

    • #767510
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      More Moissac:

    • #767511
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Another exxample, the architrave of the portal of the Church of St. Genis-des-Fontaines, erected in 1019/1020:

    • #767512
      Thor
      Participant

      Must say all you guys and gals out there have shocked me with your documentation and reflexions. The foreign stuff is terrible. That Schwarz man. But how did they ever go for thus stuff in Ireland and worst of all in the Catholic Church here? If I can bring the discussion back to Cobh. What a MESS. It seems to me that there a number of formal problems. I mean, who says the cathedral has to be messed up? Where does an idea like that come from? Is it the bishop? Some flunkey lurking behind the throne? And who ever got it into their head to choose an archirect who seems to have a career most accurately exemplified by Drogheda railway station, which is just a banal remake without the teeniest hint of GRACE. He seems also to have the odd technological byre to his name. Otherwise? So how does a bishop get a project going with someone with credentials like that? I mean!! What a miserable, sad contrast with the glorious past. The all-in-one design that has been Cobh Cathedral till now replaced by this stuff! Is this serious? Surely even a bishop has some superior under the seventh heaven. I mean, is there no one who checks this stuff out? In this day and age? All I can say is, poor ould Church if this sort of stuff goes through. And there must be a law against it. Aren’t there learned judges in the land? Aren’t we paying through the nose for GOVERMENT? You seem to have some brains, Praxiteles. What’s the score, old son? 😮 Speak!

    • #767513
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Cannot say who the eminence grise in Cobh might be. But, there is an earlier posting, from Descamps, I think, explaining some of the uglies behind the scene. At present, I am on tympana but will return to this later on.

    • #767514
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      The Mi

    • #767515
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      The western Portail of the Prieuré de Saint Fortunat, Charlieu, built about 1090 is the first example in Burgundy of a tympanum depicting the artistic type of Christ seated in glory, surrounded by an aureole supported by two angels.

      This form of depicting Christ antecedes tympana depicting the Last Judgment and is historically associated with the Cluniac reform (see attached image at the end).

      The priory, although founded around 875, became dependant on the abbey of Cluny around 930 and was assigned the rank of priory in 1040. In the mid eleventh century, a new priory church was built by the Abbot, St. Odilion.

      The Northern Portal dates from the mid twelfth century, but repeats and elsborates the earlier, simpler type. At a time of political crisis centred on the question of investiture, pitting the Papacy and the Empire against each other, the message of the reformist portal was perfectly clear: This is the throne of the true Lord, the heavenly Lord.

      [Images from [url]http://en.structurae.de][/url]

      The northern tympanum here depicts Christ seated in glory, blessing and holding the Book of the Gospels, and surrounded by an aureole supported by two angels, and circumscribed by the tetramorphic representations of the four Evangelists

      The architrave depicts the twelve Aposles enthroned in glory.

      The tympanum of the window depicts the biblical type of sacrifice: the Last Supper prefigured in the sacrifice of the Temple.

    • #767516
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      The link below shows the Cluniac prototype for the tympanum depicting Christ enthroned in Glory, in the Priory of Charlieu dating from 1099:

      The image below shows C.W. Harrison’s variation of it on the Wstern tympanum in Cobh, executed in 1898:

    • #767517
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Beautiful images posted.

      Can I ask are the various people’s objections to the striking modernist churches featured their (apparent?) lack of conformity with strict liturgical requirements, or the fact they’re not frilly gothic wedding cakes?

    • #767518
      anto
      Participant

      Is that an “apparent” dislike of Gothic Graham?

    • #767519
      GrahamH
      Participant

      🙂 Quite the opposite in fact – just that many of the ‘alternative’ churches featured are fine pieces of architecture.
      Hence is it the dislike of the modern that is putting people here off, or is it these buildings’ ”apparent’ (in that I do not know) disregard for liturgical convention?

    • #767520
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      The problem with some of the modern schools is not so much that they do not give us nice gothic frills or that they are not liturgically correct, but because they are unable to articulate realities which for them, by definition, do not exist, or are too inhumane to be able to empathise with man or his condition. Rudolf Schwarz, while producing technically perfect peices, exhibits nothing of the “humanitas” of the portal of Charlieu and, as such, cannot be considered as a congruent mise-en-scene for the liturgical “commemoration” of Christ’s greatest act of “humanitas”.

    • #767521
      GrahamH
      Participant

      Is that not up to the individual to decide?
      The much derided breeze block Firhouse church in south Dublin is much loved by its parishioners.

    • #767522
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      The following pictures show a number of portals with red doors. This is a clue to the ancient use of church portals throughout western Europe and provides the wider context in which portals such as Moissac, Charlieu, and those of the great Cathedrals should be seen. While the portal obviously provides access and egress from the church, its more important social function was that of a locus for the administration of both ecclesiastical and civil justice. Basically, these great portals were the courts of justice and were designated as such by the painiting of their doors in red. The colour was especially connected with royal justice. Also, the portals of the churches served as places in which oaths were administered, contracts perfected and all sorts of other legal acts, such as the swearing of fealty, took place. Marriage was formally contracted in the portico of the church before the bride and groom were lead into the church. Weights and measures were publicly promulgated and exhibited in the church porticos. This function had an influence on the plastic decoration of the portals and on the choice of theme to be depicted. Usually, the dominant tympan will depict Christ in his Divine Majesty, source of all justice. The Last Judgment is a later theme focusing on the rewads of good and evil. In the porico itself, it was not unusual to find figures such as Solomon, the Old Testament exemplification of Justice or St. John the Baptist. In the north Italian Romanesque, as at Piacenza, lions are characteristically found supporting the columns of the portico. Here again is a reference to Solomon -whose throne was held up by lions. Indeed, in many medieval contracts and legal documents it is not infrequent to find that such were done “ad portas”, “ante portam”, “in gallilea”, “in atrio”. In northern Italy the expression “inter duos leones” frequently occurs. As at Moissac, the prophet Isaiah features in medieval church porticos alluding to his prophacy of the eschatological kingdom of peace, justice and righteousness. In the case of Cobh, the tympan is directly influenced by the Royal Portal at Chartres while the figures in the portico depict St. John the Baptist, another precursor of the eschatological kingdom of peace and justice but the iconographic composition fails somewhat by the introduction of the figure of St. Joseph, unless he is seen as the biblical faithful stewart placed over the household. In conservation terms, even elements such as the colours of paint on doors can have an important significance. Unfortunately, at Moissac the door colour has vanished since the time of the French Revolution and has not been recovered.

      The Abbatiale de St. Gilles-du-Gard dating from the second quarter of the twelfth century which, after almost a thousand years conservs its tradition of painting the abbey doors red :

      Paroissiale de St Armel in Ploermel, Brittany, depicting the the triumph of virtue over vice.

      Chapelle de Notre Dame de Kernascléden, Brittany: portail:

      Le Faouet, Brittany, Chapelle de St. Fiacre (an Irish man) west portail:

      Le Faouet, Brittany, Chapelle de Sainte Barbre, west portail:

      Le Guerno, Brittany, Paroissiale de Notre Dame:

      The Portico of the Cathedral of Piacenza, built last half of the twelfth cenntury and in the first half of the thirteenth, supported by the pair of lions so characteristic of the Lombard Romanesque:

    • #767523
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Re. #308: in what amounts to an ecclesial statement, the answer to that question must be no.

    • #767524
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      St Macartan’s Cathedral, Monaghan
      Arguably McCarthy’s masterwork….

      Ruined, the only trace of original stonework is a small stretch of railing at the old baptistry. The bishop rode roughshod over the people, and indeed a few years ago, I received an email from his secretary about a throw-away comment on the predesscor of these boards. I think Bishop Joseph Duffy is a tad touchy about it, and he has written several small booklets on the re-ordering to get his view across. None of these booklets have “before” pictiures – I have but I need to scan them first. As a kid I was entranced by the mass of victorian ironwork dividing the four side altars from the high altar, the massive ornate canopy over the Cathedra and the fabulous pulpit a third the way down the nave. All gone. Even the wooden confessionals which were ten-a-penny victorian were sadly removed. There was also some fabulous cast iron radiator covers to the rear of the church. Everything ruined.

      By bringing the altar out into the crossing, they actually reduced the capacity of the church considerably – I must scan a plan and show the old versus the new.

      The reordering completely detracts from the verticiality of the space and the forest of columns in the area of the crossing. It does not draw the eye to the fabulous hammerbeam roof nor to the apse when standing at the western entrances. It is non-descript. And it seems that since I was last there, they have added to the carpet collection in the apse. Originally it was one, which was acceptable because it attracted the eye to the end, now it looks like a rural hotel lobby. Are tapestrys the new stained glass?

      The only thing they did right, was restore the organ, a magnificently overbearing and pompous instrument

    • #767525
      fgordon
      Participant

      Re. above comments of P. Clerkin on Monaghan Cathedral. I remember my first visit to that noble building – from outside it has a French look, I would have thought. Indeed, its external appearence greatly impressed me – not heavy, not brooding as some gothic buidlings can be. This structure has a lightness of composition.

      On entering the building I was (as it has been) gutted. What a hatchet job! I can imagine the Lord Bishop of Clogher is touchy on the issue. He realises now that his only enduring legacy to the diocese is a tasteless attack on its central gem. And he must realise that any pretentions he had to a favourable commentary in the history books (he is himself an historian, I think) for his “imaginative and senitive adaption of the Cathedral to the demands of the post-conciliar Liturgy”, as the jargon goes, is in tatters on both counts. First, it ain’t imaginative and it certainly ain’t sensitive; and second, the whole “demands of the post-Conciliar Liturgy” line is utter bunkum – and demonstrably so, if one has ever read Sacrosanctum concilium and later documents. [Bishop Magee take note].

      Now, one must say immediately – partly too in response to G. Hickey’s earlier observations – that a thing does not have to be gothic to be beautiful. Indeed the quality of some of the individual pieces in Monaghan Cathedral is evident to see. But the idea that these utterly incongruous elements, alien to the setting and in some cases to the economy of Christian worship, can simply be hurled into an already very carefully and beautifully elaborated unity of art and archetecture is folly. Not to mention the necessary destruction of the already present – and vastly more appropriate, vastly more beautiful – elements, the condescending contempt for the wishes of the people (who are paying for it all, by the way), the irresponsible squandering of a precious spiritual and cultural heritage etc. This is the power of a mania; and the reckless iconoclasm that convulsed Ireland in those years can only be regarded as a mania. Was it Chesterton who said a mania is irresistable when it holds force and inexplicable afterwards?

      Now -PHOTOS, PHOTOS – let’s have them P. Clerkin! From that first moment I entered Monaghan Cathedral I have wanted to see images of it in its pristine condition. But “Sensitive Joe” seems to have purged every evidence of the former charms of the buidling he bullied into his own image and likeness. Get scanning at once!

    • #767526
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      Everytime I see the altar area, now I think of a 1980s Eurovision stage – just remove the altar and lecture and you have a perfect place for bad euro-pop…

    • #767527
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Yes, it is just too too awful. Duffy has pretentions to sophistication and flaunts a puddle deep knowledge of European, especially French, culture. His influence on the Art and Architecture Committee of the Irish Episcopal Conference over the years has been baleful and motivated by a totally uncritical acceptance of the modern without any reflection on the philosophical difficulties underlying its theory. Unfortunately, much of the iconoclasm that has gone on in the Catholic Church for the past twenty five years fetch from Duffy its first head and spring. He is a true scion of the Isaurian dynasty. I am not at all surprised that you should have been contacted by the mind police in the Clogher diocesan offices. The Cloyne counterparts are currently busily trying to stifle any opposition to O’Neill’s proposed vandalism in Cobh and make no apologies for gagging anyone who might have a valid point to make.

    • #767528
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Re #311 is this the original colour scheme for the organ pipes or is a recent innovation?

    • #767529
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      Can one of the Cobh contingent contact me – I’d like to run a piece in the news section – using their pictures and text. pclerkin@irish-architecture.com

    • #767530
      fgordon
      Participant

      Looking anew at the external picture of Monaghan Cathedral (in #311 above) – the only beautiful aspect that remains – it is unmistakably McCarthy, isn’t it? Indeed take away the two side aisles and one has almost a carbon copy of Maynooth College Chapel, the inside of which was mercifully spared the ignominious stripping that Monaghan was forced to endured.

      In earlier mentions of Ledwith’s tinkering with St Mary’s Square, no-one mentioned his belated and deeply regrettable conversion of the Lady Chapel. If I am not mistaken, during his tenure the altar (of very fine marble) was detached from its surroundings and ludicrously propped up on a cheap dais in the middle of that exquisite little chapel, destroying in one sweep the simple harmony of the piece and obscuring the mosaic floor with cheap carpet. To add insult to injury the remaining space was filled with unspeakably vulgar pews, thus losing that quite delicate illusion of space and replacing it with claustrophobic fussiness. Ruined.

      I quite agree with P. Clerkin – the recent addition of two or three further tapestries behind the altar in Monaghan is a retrograde step. It is probably to compensate for the coldness of the new sanctuary – no doubt sponsored by Roadstone. Or perhaps the Lord Bishop just felt a little isolated up there on his horse-shoe throne (fine if you’re in San Clemente in Rome, but just silly in Monaghan) and hoped the walls might compensate for the lack of colour elsewhere. The old sanctuary, I’m sure, would have provided the “warmth” so lacking in the cold adaptation. We await those pictures…

      BTW, returning to the principal theme – will Cobh end up with some of the lamentable characteristics of Monaghan if this ill-judged project goes ahead? Yes!

    • #767531
      Fearg
      Participant

      Here is an interior photo of St Eugene’s Cathedral Derry in the early 1970s, when a tempoary altar was in use. This was replaced in 1975, by Liam McCormack’s reordering, the huge canopy over the pulpit was removed at that stage. The “permanent” work shown in a previous post, was carried out in 1989, when the remainder of the pulpit went and the reredoses were needlessly mutilated.[ATTACH]1236[/ATTACH]

    • #767532
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Continuing on the iconographic sources for the tympanum of the West Portal in Cobh, I am posting a couple of examples of the Last Judgement which was the usual alternative to the raffigurations of Christ’s Divine Majesty:

      At. 1. Conques-en-Rouergue, Abbey of Saint Foy, West Portal, Last Judgment, c.1175

      At. 2. Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne, Abbey of St. Pierre, South Portal, Last Judgment, c. 1130-40

      At. 3. Autun, Cathedral of St Lazarus, West Portal, Last Judgment, 1130-1145

    • #767533
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      A final portal, this time the tympan of the Abbey of St. Mary Magdelan at Vézelay depicting Penntecost and the Mission of the Church, executed 1125-1130.

    • #767534
      MacLeinin
      Participant

      @Graham Hickey wrote:

      🙂 Quite the opposite in fact – just that many of the ‘alternative’ churches featured are fine pieces of architecture.
      Hence is it the dislike of the modern that is putting people here off, or is it these buildings’ ”apparent’ (in that I do not know) disregard for liturgical convention?

      Many of the ‘alternative’ (interesting choice of word here!) churches featured, may be as you say fine pieces of architecture, but to my eye they are sterile and cold, hardly what one expects of a church and certainly not the message which the churches would have us believe they wish to send out.

    • #767535
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      A group of figures, in the arcade of the attic of the South Transept of Cobh Cathedral, facing seaward, depicts the Immaculate Conception and is based on the iconography of the subject developed by Bartolomeo Esteban Murillo (1617-1682) and the school of Seville. To understand the iconographic history of this group, one must look tot he prototypes of the Sevuille tradition, especially Giorgio Vasari and his sources.

      Giorgio Vasari’s iconographic type of the Immaculate Conception was painted for the Florentine banker Bindo Altoviti in 1540. The upper part was heavily influenced by Raphael’s frescos in the Vatican Loggie while the lower part is strongly evocative of Micahelangelo’s monumental figures in the Sixtine Chapel. A panel copy of the original, also by Vasari, is in the Uffizi in Florence. This is one of the earliest depictions of the topic, if not inded the prototype for all subsequent representations of the theme. Vasari had much difficulty in arriving at a visual image of the subject and tells us in Le Vite : “avutone Messer Bindo et io il parere di molti comuni amici, uomini literati, la feci finalmente in questa maniera: figurato l’albero del peccato originale nel mezzo della tavola, alle radici di esso come primi trasgressori del commandamento di Dio feci ignudi Adamo et Eva, e Aron, Iousè, Davit, e gli altri Re successivamente secondo i tempi, tutti dico legati per ambedue le braccia, eccetto Samuel e S. Giovanni Battista i quali sono legati per un solo braccio, per esere santificati nel ventre. Al tronco dell’albero feci avvolto con la coda l’antico serpente, il quale, avendo dal mezzo in su forma umana, ha le mani legate di dietro; sopra il capo gli ha un piede, calcandogli la corna, la gloriosa Vergine, che l’altro tiene sopra una luna, essendo vestita di sole e coronata di dodici stelle. La qual Vergine, dico, è sostenuta in aria dentro a uno splendore da molti Angeletti nudi, illuminati dai raggi che vengono da lei, i quali raggi parimenti, passando fra le foglie dell’albero, rendono leume ai legati e pare che vadano loro scioliendo i legami con la virtu e la grazia che hanno da colei donde procedono. In cielo poi, cioè nel più alto della tavola sono due putti che tengono in mani alcune carte, nelle quali sono scritte queste parole:Quos Evae culpa damnavit, Mariae gratia solvit. Insomma, io non ave a fino allora fatto opera, per quello che mi ricorda, né con più studio, né con più amore e fatica di quasta, ma tuttavia, se bene satisfeci a altri per aventura, non satisfeci già a me stesso, come che io sappia il tempo, lo studio, e l’opera ch’io misi particolarmente negl ‘ignudi, le teste e finalmente in ogni cosa”. While the result of Vasari’s efforts is a masterpiece in the mannierist style, and one of his finest religious compositions, at the same time, he was unsatisified with it. But, he had established the basic elements of this iconographic type of the triumph of good over evil, accomplished in the figure of Our Lady depicted in accordance with the apocalyptic woman of the book of Revelation. These elemnts would become synonomous with the depiction of the subject but would be transformed by the school of Seville.



      (2) Michaelangelo’s expulsion from Eden in the Sixtine Chapel, painted in 1509-1510, illustrates the temptation of Adam and Eve and the arrival of sin int the world; and the expulsion from the primaeval paradise of Eden. Vasare borrowed the central image of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and uses it in his composition to depict the omnipresence of evil in the world, indicated by the chaining of all of the sons of Adam to that same tree. The Adam lifeless from sin, is depicted by Vasari in the foreground in a fashion reminiscent of Michaelangelo’s creation of Adam.

    • #767536
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      The dominant influence on iconography in the 17th entury Seville school was Francisco Pacheo (1564.-1654), the father in law of Velasquez. In 1649, he published a definitive treatise on painting, El Arte de la Pintura. His comments on the painting on the Immaculate Conception are the direct source of the sculpted group in the arcade of the attic of the South Transept of Cobh Cathedral. The following are his comments on the painting of the subject: “Some say that (the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady) should be painted with the image of the Christ Child in her arms because she appears thus on some old images that have been found. The opinion is probably based ( as the learned Jesuit Father Alonso de Flores has pointed out) on the fact that Our Lady enjoyed freedom from Original Sin from the very first moment, since she was the Mother of God, even though she had not yet concieved Jesus Christ. Hence from this moment (as the saints know) she was the Mother of God, nor did she ever cease to be. But without taking issue with those who paint the Child in her arms, we side with the majority who paint her without the Child.

      This painting, as scholars know, is derived from the mysterious woman whom St.John saw in the sky wiith all her attributes [Revelations XII,1-4]. Therefore, the version I follow is the one that is closest to the holy revelation of the Evangelist and approved by the Catholic Church on the authority of the sacred and holy interpreters. In Revelation she is not only found without the Child in her arms, but even before she ever bore him….We paint her with the Child only in those scenes that occur afer she conceived…

      In this loveliest of mysteries Our Lady should be painted as a beautiful young girl, twelve or thirteen years old, in the flower of her youth. She should have pretty but serious eyes with perfect features and rosy cheeks, and the most beautiful long golden locks. In short, she should be as beautiful as a painter’s brush can make her. There are two kinds of human beauty, beauty of the body and beauty of the soul, and the Virgin had both of them in the extreme because her body was a miracolous creation. She resembled her Son, the model of all perfection, more than any other human being. ,,and thus she is praised by her Spouse: tota pulchra es amica mea, a text that is always written in this painting.

      She should be painted wearing a white tunic and a blue mantle…She is surrounded by the sun, an oval sun of white and ochre, which sweetly blends into the sky. Rays of light emanate from her head, around which is a ring of twelve stars. An imperial crown adrons her head without, however, hiding the stars. Undr her feet is the moon. Although it is a solid globe, I take the liberty of making it transparent so that the landscape shows through. The upper part is darkened to form a crescent moon with the points turned downward. Unless I am mistaken, I believe I was the first to impart greater majesty to these attributes, and others have followed me.

      Especially with the moon I have followed the learned opinion of Father Luis del Alcazar, famous son of Seville, who says: ‘Painters usually show the crescent moon upside down at the feet of this woman. But as is obvious to learned mathematicians, if the moon and sun face each other, both points of the moon have to point downward. Thus the woman will stand on a convex instead of a concave surface…’. This is necessary so that the moon, receiving its light from the sun, will illuminate the woman standing on it….

      In the upper part of the painting one usually puts God the Father or the Holy Spirit or both, together with the already mentioned words of her Spouse. The earthly attributes are placed suitably in the landscape; the heavenly attributes can be placed, as you wish, among the clouds. Seraphim or angels can also hold some of the attributes. It slipped my mind completely to mention the dragon, our common enemy, whose head the Virgin broke when she triumphed over original sin. In fact I always forget him, because the truth is that I never willingly paint him, and omit him whenever I can in order not to embarrass my picture with his presence. But painters are free to improve on everything I have said”.

      Given what has been laid bare about Irish church architecture in this thread over the past while, I am a astounded by the fact the one of Bartolome Esteban Murillo’s major patrons was an Irish man, from Dublin: Fra Francisco Gough y Fletcher Morgan Cabeza de Vaca! Murillo was one of the greatest devotional painters of all times, especially in his later years when he produced ingratiating compositions that inspire gentle, pious feelings. His pictures are unendumbered by recondite allegorical allusions or references. They are easily accessible and comprehended. ,

      Bartolome Esteban Murillo’s versions of 1678, 1665, 1645, del Prado,.

    • #767537
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      🙂 Where are the Cork lads? I was enjoying their amusing, if slightly inaccurate, pub gossip:D

    • #767538
      Paul Clerkin
      Keymaster

      That was one lad, who thought he was clever…. he has been removed.

      I don’t appreciate someone using alteregos to post comments of a personal nature about someone, when they are unnessecary, and then posting again to tell off himself. He was posting as four people.

      It doesn’t help the dicussion, merely discredits it.

    • #767539
      BTH
      Participant

      @Neo Goth wrote:

      North Cathedral in Cork

      BEFORE

      AFTER

      @Praxiteles wrote:

      Would I be right in saying that Richard Hurley was the architect for both of these particular “reorderings”? It’s just that he is currently undertaking the renovations of the Augustine Church in Galway City Centre and his scheme, according to a recently published illustration, consists of the japanese – style screen as seen in Cork obscuring the (thankfully retained) high altar and exactly the same wooden altar, seat, pulpit and seating arrangement as in Maynooth… Very disturbing considering that many of the congregation will be housed in the aisles with views into the Nave obstructed by columns…

      Very sad to see the same mistakes being made over and over again in churches around the country.

    • #767540
      BTH
      Participant

      Some pictures of the “Augi” as it is known in Galway –

      It was obviously quite lovely in it’s time and very ornately decorated. At some point in it’s history – most likely the 60s all of the decoration was removed or covered over, the entire church carpeted and some quite beautiful modern stained glass installed:

      It has been in this slightly sad state up until the current renovations. Numerous problems with water penetration, wheelchair accessibility etc. resulted in the nescessity for a complete overhaul of the church. In my opinion however they are going a bit too far, especially in adopting the central altar approach as in Maynooth:

      Apparently the church will also be used for recitals, performances etc. which goes some way to accounting for the “flexible” layout. However the chances are that we will be left with yet another sterile and vacuous space where once there was meaning and purpose. The church re-opens on the 18th December.

    • #767541
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      re #325 Fair enough.

    • #767542
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      This is yet another example of appaling vandalism and ignorance of an order beyond comprehension. The so called antiphonal lay out that we have here has nothing to do with Catholic worship. In the case of St. Mary’s oratory in Maynooth, Richard Hurley wrongly describes the spacial arrangment as an “antiphonal” arrangment. But this is sheer and utter nonsense. An antiphonal arrangment has been used in Christian Churches, in both Eastern and Western Rites, from time immemorial and is usually associated with abbeys or canonries in which choir stalls, facing each other, were arranged in a space immediately BEFORE the sanctuary. I know of no instance where the choir stalls flanked the altar. The purpose of this arrangment was for the chaunting of the various offices of the Breviary. Indeed, the arrangment of choir stalls in this manner probably dates back to the 4 century and may well have developed from the solea of the early Christian Basilicas (there is an earlier posting with all of this information and drawings). Richard Hurley’s disposition of space, if it ever had an historical progenitor, is merely a modern application of the instructions of the Edwardine Ordinals of November 1547 which, in an effort to ram the Henrician reformation down the throat of a recalcitarnt England, odered the destruction of the altars of every parish church in England and the complete abandonment of the Chancels. In their stead, tressels were ordered to be set up in the naves of the churches and surrounded by furoms. The idea of the move was to break all connection between the new rites of the established Church and the Catholic notion of sacrifice. Traces of the move can be seen in Ireland, e.g. St. Mary’s Collegiate Church in Youghal, Co. Cork, whose Chancel was abandoned at some stage in its history. Describing the Hurley lay-out of St. Mary’s Oratory as “antiphonal” is mendacious and fraudelent. And, for good measure, it has nothing to do with any of the documents coming from the Second Vatican Council on the reform of the liturgy.

    • #767543
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Yes, BTH, you are perfectly correct in thinking that Richard Hurley is the architect responsible for destruction of St Mary and St Anne’s in Cork and of ST. Mary’s Oratory in Maynooth. The Augustinian church in Galway looks like being the victim of yet anoth application of RH’s clapped out faux “antiphonal” formula. Be thankful, however, that the principle items of furnishing (the High Altar) has escaped the junk heap. In the not too distant future RH’s rubbish can be dumped out the door and some liturgical order restored to the church.

    • #767544
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Re. no. 323: I enclose an image of the Purissima by another superb painter of the Sevillian school: Francesco Zurbaran showing very clearly the transparent convex demi-lune mentioned by Francesco Pacheo (cf. 323) and recommended with mathematical precision to all Sevillian painters. This image is a near perfect execution of Pacheo’s canon. At either side of Our Lady are depictions of her attributes as taken from the Litany of Loreto (Gate of Heaven, Mirror of Justice, House of Gold, Tower of Ivory) all of which are referneces to the Old Testament Canticle of Canticles. Like the Cobh figures, this picture also has seafaring associations evident from the ship in lower left hand corner.

    • #767545
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      More liturgical confusion from Richard Hurley at the Mercy International Centre Dublin:confused:

    • #767546
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      Found these picture of the oratory in Maynooth.
      As it was and after the first reordering

    • #767547
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Thanks Gianlorenzo for that picture of the Choir in the Chapel of the Convent of Mercy in Baggot Street. I had been looking for that for a while. This is another example of Richard Hurley’s antiphonal absurdity – this time exaggerated by the presence of the original choir stalls along the walls of the gutted remains of the Chapel. I am preparing some material on the question of “antiphonal” spacial arrangements and hope to post it soon. With any luck, it should demonstrate just how nonsensical the Hurley invention is.

    • #767548
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      I wish to return to a question raised earlier by Graham Hickey, viz that of the compatibility of the Liturgy and modern architecture. This is an interesting question and one often starting on the false premise that the two are incompatible. That is, and need, not always be the case. While an interesting subject, and one worth pursuing, I would have to point out that a distinction has to be made between building a church ex novo in a modern idiom, and approaching a church alread build – especially those of major significance – with a fixated modern idiom mind-set. The disasters deriving from the latter are too endless to count. But the former is an entirely different question and I believe that it is possible to point to a series of modern architects who understand that church building is a sui generis activity and who have the cultural, religious and historical Wissenshaft to know the traditional canon and its elements and the intelligence to articulate these in a sympathetic modern idiom.

      I would begin by pointing to Otto Wagner (1841-1918) and his church in St Leopold am Steinhof, near Vienna, built 1905-1907, in collaboration with Marcel Kammerer and Otto Schoental. Elememts of the decoration were executed by Richard Luksch, Othmar, Leopold Foster and Remius Geyling. The church is considered one of the most important expressions of early modernism in ecclesiastical architecture.

      The inscriptions, in German, on the Glass are: upper range, Blessed are the Merciful for they shall obtain mercy. Top Lower range: The Spiritual Works of Mercy. Bottom Lower Range: the names of the saints depicted.

    • #767549
      Gianlorenzo
      Participant

      http://www.irish-architecture.com/

      To Paul Clerkin- NICE ONE

    • #767550
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Antonio Gaudi (1852-1926)

    • #767551
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Re posting # 332: The photograh of the old sanctuary just demonstrates once again the brutality of the oft repeated Hurley re-ordering tecnhnique. Aganist the wall, notice the redundant mensa of the High Altar which seem an interesting piece with a rather finely carved lamantation for the dead Christ. The window, which is disproportionately high, obviously was originally built to take account of the height of the reredos of the High Altar, of which no trace whatsoever now exists. The glass in the window depicts an image of the Immaculate Conception copied from a painting of the subject by Bartolom

    • #767552
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Barry Byrne was born on December 19, 1883. His father, Charles Emmett Byrne, a native of Prince Edward Island, worked as a railroad blacksmith. His mother Mary Barry Delaney, was a native of Chicago but had family connections to Co. Wexford, Ireland.

      Byrne always saw his father as miscast in his role as blacksmith. At home, Charles Emmett Byrne, read Shakespeare aloud and wrote poetry of his own. At the age of 10, Byrne came across an architectural book in a library and from that point onward, knew that he wanted to be an architect. Having seen his fathers own thwarted ambitions, Barry Byrne became determined to fulfill his dream.

      In 1897, his father was killed by a locomotive, leaving behind his wife and six children. Mary Byrne remained determined to rear her family despite the misfortunes that were ahead. This strength of character encouraged Barry Byrne and in later life would help him as he too faced the harsh reality of running an architects office.

      At the age of 14, Byrne left St. Columcille Parochial School to work in the mail order rooms of Montgomery Ward. His inner ambition to realise his dream of becoming an architect made these times very difficult for the teenager. His escape was to ride the trolley cars of Chicago all day Sunday, visiting the Art Institute and libraries and to indulge himself in reading, a practice he would continue all his life.

      On one Sunday afternoon in 1902, Byrne’s life changed forever when on one of his regular visits to the Chicago Art Institute, he saw an exibition of the work of Frank Lloyd Wright. The impression the work made on Byrne, was so powerful that he presented himself at Wright’s Oak Park studio and fortunately got a job.

      Frank Lloyd Wright had no great love of formal education and the fact that Barry Byrne had not finished his 9th grade, was not of importance. Wright saw in Byrne, the same love and enthusiasm for architecture he too had experienced in his youth.

      The early years at Oak Park were prolific and many of the most famous of Wrights buildings were designed, including the Unity Temple and Coonley house. Barry Byrne is known to have worked on the drawings of the Unity Temple, and this is where his thoughts on Roman Catholic church design began. By 1908, an affair between Wright and one of his clients caused the frequent absence of the architect and the office became dis-functional. With an increasingly difficult situation at hand, Byrne felt his post was serving no purpose and left the studio.

      Between 1908 and 1913 Byrnes’ main work was in a three year partnership with Andrew Willatzen. During that time, more than twenty buildings were designed by the architects. However differences in opinion led to a mutual agreement to dissolve the partnership. Willatzen continued the practice alone until his retirement.

      In 1913, Walter Burley Griffin won a three year contract in Canberra, Australia and asked Byrne to takeover his practice in Chicago while he was away. This was Barry Byrne’s first chance to use his own ideas and autonomy. Projects during this period include the Sam Schneider House and Melson Tomb, Mason City Iowa.

      In 1915, Byrne established his own practice in Chicago. Of particular note during this period was the commission for a house for J.F.Clarke in Fairfield Iowa and commission for the J.T. Kenna apartments, Chicago. The design of both buildings shows Byrne clearly breaking from the Prairie School ideas and developing his own distinct style.

      Having returned to Chicago from a brief WWI army duty, Byrne continued with his practice in Chicago. It was from this point onward that his ideas and work flourished. The first large building contract was for the Immaculata High School, Chicago, 1921 followed soon afterward by his first ecclesiastical commission, Church of St. Thomas the Apostle, Chicago. By 1924, the Western Architect was publishing articles on his work and praise from renowned critic Lewis Mumford in his writings for Commonweal, brought the architect to the attention of the Catholic clergy as far away as Ireland.

      In 1926, Byrne married artist Annette Cremin, who was originally introduced to him by Alfonso Iannelli. They would eventually have three children; Annette Cremin, Cathaleen Mary and Patrick Barry. Annette’s influence on her husbands work is well noted. She regularly drew artists impressions of his designs and in some cases designed the interior colour patterns for some of his buildings and churches. By the end of the 20’s, Barry Byrne had designed four churches, a hospital, several unbuilt projects and some six schools. The business had also expanded with the addition of a construction company. However the stock market crash of 1929 caused a strong lull in the construction industry and the practice and construction company was closed.

      Byrne moved to New York in the early thirties and supplemented the limited work as a building inspector and by writing articles for various publications. Work began to revive toward the late thirties and once again things began to look good. However with America’s entry to WWII, Byrne was again forced to scale down his business and work solely as a building inspector.

      In 1945, at the age of 62, Byrne returned to Chicago where until semi-retirement in 1953, he continued work and designed four more churches among other smaller projects. The work during these years was again second to none, with such masterpieces as Church of St. Francis Xavier, Kansas City and St. Benedict’s Abbey, Atchison. From 1952 to 1959, he continued to work occasionally until his final project at the age of 79, where he designed a library for St. Procopius College, Illinois. He died in 1967.

      Artists are often remembered for their work and talents. The many churches and buildings that Byrne designed will no doubt prove to be a lasting testimony to a gifted architect. However too often, do we lose grasp of the person himself. In our searches, we came across the web site of Stafford James, a Jazz bassist. At the age of 14, Stafford had the pleasure of working as a tracer for Barry Byrne and today, he regards Barry Byrne as one of the most important influences in his life.

      With kind permission from Stafford James himself, the following is his personal account and testimony to Barry Byrne:

      Dear sirs,

      thank you for your e-mail pertaining to Mr. Barry Byrne. To answer your question, Mr. Byrne for me was one of those great inspirations in my life that to this day his ability to share with his fellow human beings has left an indelible mark in my life. When Mr. Byrne took me into his small atelier I was a young boy of 14 years. Each summer I would trace for him and during the year he would give me special projects to work on. He instilled in me the relationship of man and nature, as one can see in his work. At age 17, I won the Rotary International Award for Architecture that was inspired by my years of working for Mr. Byrne.

      As I had come from a single parent upbringing, Mr. Byrne gave me so much that has helped me in life. Above all he taught me to always keep my vision on the objective idea even though there will always be those who will not have the vision to pursue the idea to its completion. Although today, as for the past 30+ years, I compose and perform music, it is still with the lessons that I have learned from another artist that have kept the creative flame lit. Barry Byrne’s humanity is something that very few people will know when describing his genius but I am very honored to have in my lifetime known a person such as him.

      Sincerely,

      Stafford JAMES
      (http://www.staffordjames.com)

      >> Chicago Illinois (1922)

      G]http://www.turnerscross.com/[/IMG]

    • #767553
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Another example of Barry Byrne’s work: St Thomas the Apostle, Hyde Park, Chicago, built in 1924. The terracotta portal was designed by Byrne and executed by Alfonso Ianelli. I presume that Byrne was aware of the significance of having red doors on the church.

      St Patrick’s, Racine, Wesconsin (1924). Unfortunately, Byrne’s original desgin for the sanctuary was subjected to a “reordering”.

      Christ the King, Tulsa (1926). Again the original sanctuary design has suffered from an ill advise reordering.

    • #767554
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Back to tympana and the decorative theme of Crist enthroned, surrounded by the tetramorphoi and the twelve Apostles. We have seen that the vesrion in the tympanum of the West Portal in Cobh (posting # ) is directly related to the tympanum of the Royal Portal at Chartres, which in turn, has its immediate iconographic prototypes in the Romanesque tympana, especially those associated with Burgundy and the Cluniac reform, depicting Christ enthroned, surrounded with the tetramorphoi, the Apostles and the Prophets. The earliest extant embyonic example is that of the West Portal of the Priory of St. Fortunat at Charlieu dating from about 1090. It depicts the enthroned Christ, in aureole supported by Angels. Although the type is associated wih Cluny and the investiture crisis, it too has a long art-typical history bringing us to Rome and the Basilica of Santa Pudenziana where we find the earliest extant example of Christ seated in glory, surrounded by the Apostles, the tetramorphoi, and surmounted by his victorious Cross. The mosaic dates from about 390 A.D..

      A drawing of the mosaic reconstructing its original state.

      The mosaic as preserved to-day.

      “This mosaic is important for its iconography. It is the earliest surviving decorated Christian apse which takes us back to the period of classical revival in Rome. This mosaic was heavily restored during the Renaissance and the nineteenth c., but the Christ in the center is not changed, thus, in terms of style we have to look at Christ for analysis.

      There is a high degree of classicism in the proportions, modeling, ease and movement, linearity has not yet quite taken hold. Thus we see a union of the old naturalism and the symbolism taking hold in the fifth century.

      The subject is Christ teaching the apostles in front of heavenly Jerusalem.

      The landscape behind him may be directly related to a reproduction of the Holy Sepulchre – Church built over Christ’s tomb in Jerusalem. The cross is symbolic of the true cross erected on Golgatha (hill on which Christ was crucified).

      The four evangelists (gospel writers) are in their animal symbolic form. The iconography can be traced back to the Old Testament when Ezekial saw a vision in heaven of the four beasts spreading the word of the Gospel. It is also found in the book of Revelations. Matthew is the winged angel, Mark is the Lion, Luke is the Ox or bull, and John is the Eagle. Until the fourth c. the relationship between animal symbols and those whom they represented was not fixed.

      Peter and Paul are being crowned by female figures who symbolize the church of the Jews behind Peter on the right, and the church of the Gentiles, behind Paul, originally there were 12 apostles, only ten can now be seen, due to restorations.

      Again we see naturalism mixing with great symbolism of the Early Christian period. This naturalism will fade, the emphasis will become purely spiritual, other worldly, purposely making no or little reference to our natural world”.

    • #767555
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      The positioning of the mosaic in the apsis of Santa Pudenziana has both architectural and theological significance. The Apse is the focal point of the basilica and immediately draws the eye’s attention. There, Christ is enthroned, his right hand extended in blessing, a book in his left. He is bearded, with long loose flowing hair. He is seated on a high backed throne. Above him is a halo. All of these details attest his divinity. They are all taken from the standard trpes of Roman and Greek art for depicting the gods of the Roman and Greek pantheon. The representation of Christ in Santa Pudenziana is an example of what is nowadays called “inculturation” – Christianity’s assumption of elements from a given culture to convey its message. The results of this early process are still to be seen in some of the prayers of the Roman Missal which can be shown to have been borrowed directly from the pagan temples of Rome and christianized. In the case of the Santa Pudenziana, the beard and halo, borrowed from depictions of Jupiter, signify Christ’s divinity. The enormous high backed throne is borrowed from the high-backed seats used in depictions of the Capitoline triad – Jupiter, Juno and Athena – and again signify his divinity. Similarly, loose long hair was also a standard sign of divinity in Roman and Greek art. Here, applied to Christ, it again asserts his divinity. The positioning of the moasic in the apsis of the basilica also has its significance: beneath it is located the Cathedra of the bishop affirming that the bishop’s authority comes from Christ. The positioning of the Christ figure in the apse also had liturgical significance: it was a physical articulation that Christian life is a procession through time to Christ. Commanding the focal point of the Basilica, all things literally lead to Christ. All things that happen within the Basilica draws meaning from Christ. The liturgical life of the Church unfolds in a series of processions: the entrance in which the clergy come to him; the offertory, in which the elements for the eucharist are brought to him, and the procession to Holy Communion when the faithful share at the Lord’s table. Seven hundred later, the same iconography would be used in the tympana of the Romanesque Churches to inidcate the authority for the justice administered in their portals.

      The image of Christ in the mosaic of Santa Pudenziana, showing beard, long hair and halo.

      The council of the gods 5th. century (Vatican Library)

      Christ handing the law to his Apostles

      Santa Pudenziana: the lion symbolizing St. Mark; the ox symbolizing St. Matthew;

    • #767556
      Praxiteles
      Participant

      Drawing of old St. Peter’s Basilica, built in 333 replacement by new St. Peter’s begun by Julius II in 1505 and completed in 1649 (Jacopo Grimaldi, 1619, Brabarini Lat. 2733 fol 104v – 105r)

      Below are two images of internal facade of Old St. Peter’s Basilica which was built in 333 and demolished in 1608. The first is taken from G.B. Falda’s (Descrizione fatta della chiesa antica e moderna di San Pietro pubklished in 1673. It shows the internal facade of the Basilica which was covered by a mosaic, What is interesting, from our poit of view, is the seated figure of Christ over the central window on the top range. He is seated, right hand extended in blessing with a book in the left hand. He is flanked by St. Peter and St. Paul and by the tetramorphai -or four beasts- representing the four Evangelists. Underneath, appear to be the figures of the Four Evangelists. Benewth them, in the centre, two figures offering bowls of insense -representing prayer- to Christ. The whole scene is surmounted by the Cross. As with Santa Pudenziana, the theme of the mosaic on the