In art, the infant Jesus is often portrayed with an "older" face, to indicate that He is "The Word".
This is to indicate to you and I, that Jesus is the wisdom of God the Father - made flesh.
Sometimes this results in a kind of uncomfortable compromise, and I am often asked why it is that the baby "looks like a little old man."
When the latest crib set was brought for restoration, my client complained..." He looks more like one of the three kings!"
So I thought about how I feel about my own bambinos, and made this one as sweet and loveable as I could!
I hope now when he is processed to the crib, he will be handled more tenderly because he looks a bit more, well - cuddly!
I am posting some photos of the recently restored Marian Retable designed by Giles Gilbert Scott in 1937.
We finished the work earlier this week, and the scaffolding is yet to be removed.
As the original angels were missing, we made replicas of those on the main Reredos behind the high altar, and added those.
This approach was in keeping with the original design of 1937, though some gold spindles would have been a welcome addition to complete the look -
The retable and altar may have looked fine without the angels - however, adding them reminds us that Mary is Queen of Angels! So are thereby a fitting attribute to help parishioners read the language of this sacred imagery.
As evidence of the original decorative scheme was scant ( see below) we introduced a legend to each of the side dioramas.
Fr. "S" chose the fitting words "Mater Dei" and "Mater Nostra" for each.
As a suitable statue of Our Lady and the Christ child could not be found, I have been asked to produce a suitable Madonna and child in the coming New Year to fit the space; the statue will be of Our lady of the Blessed Sacrament.
Our restoration of a Marian Retable.
the Anglican Cathedral in Liverpool, and the once familiar red telephone box.
A new Retable on the opposite transept of the church had been installed in the 1970's; and with all the re-ordering in process; (which advocated " In with the new, and out with the old.")
It was decided that the old Marian Retable should be adjusted to match the new one....(rather than vice versa! )
As restoration work progressed, an old photograph came to light, showing that the Retable had been decorated with figures of angels.
One can just see on the photo above right, evidence of a pencil mark and some holes where the angels had once sat!
We were able to borrow a set of angels from a nearby reredos, (also by Giles Gilbert Scott) and make replicas of these to replace some of the missing originals.
On first glance, it appeared that the pinkish brown on the back of the apses was bare plaster work.
However, this was found to be paint which had been applied to match the stone of the 1970's reredos.
Once removed, it revealed an ornate decorative scheme to the central apse.
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