Going west – the painted church

The Silent Eye

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It is difficult for our modern eyes to imagine the colour that would once have been present within our oldest churches. The carved and decorated facades, often covered with statuary, would have been brightly painted. Walls that we are used to seeing in mellow stone and whitewash, touched by the ochre ghosts of medieval paintings, would once have gleamed in the flickering candlelight as the frescos borrowed life from the flames and processed through the shadowed aisles.

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It is in the great cathedrals that we can still get a glimpse of the light and colour that provided such a contrast to the homespun world when dyes were expensive luxuries reserved only for the wealthy. At St Davids, a high, painted lantern still crowns the arches of the Crossing, drawing the eye ever upwards to the heavens.

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Delicate traceries of contrasting stone mark the vaulted ceilings of the chapels, punctuated by…

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22 thoughts on “Going west – the painted church

              1. I have no objection to that though I do now seem to recall a garden of remembrance before the cathedral and a surprisingly apt description on new glass doors… that the place?

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