….. ok, not really, but I wonder how that would go. A story for another time!
Saint Andrew has been properly celebrated with a dinner of haggis, neeps, and tatties, which was of course delicious, but that didn’t seem quite enough by itself. Having recently started volunteering again as a Burrell Collection tour guide, I’ve chosen one of the objects I feature in my tour; look below:
St Andrew appears on his knees at the front of the group of apostles, facing left, immediately opposite St Peter, who kneels facing right. Both are looking up at Jesus’ feet as he ascends into Heaven. How do I know it’s Andrew? He is holding to him the diagonal cross which would be the instrument of his death. Peter likewise holds, under his arm,the keys to Rome, marking him as the first Bishop of Rome, the first Pope, as decreed by Jesus. The discussion of such iconography in medieval art is a big part of my tour. For example, can you, dear readers, tell me what object(s) identify Saint Barbara? Answers in the comments, please. That aside, I love this piece because of the curious detail of seeing Jesus’ feet as he takes off; he does bear a certain odd resemblance to the bottom section of a rocket/space shuttle taking off. No, really! Look below:
The other reason I love this panel is because it potentially makes a mistake in terms of where it falls in the story of Jesus. Take a closer look; how many figures do you see watching Jesus ascend? There are 12. At this point in the story, Judas is dead, so there should only be 11. It is possible that Mary is there, but the two (possibly three) clean-shaven figures, at the back of the carving, still look more male than female. It’s probably a simple mistake on the part of the carver/artist.
This panel is one of a group of altar panels depicting various events in the lives of Mary and Jesus. Some still show signs of having been gilded and/or painted, while others appear completely unadorned.
I’ve talked a fair bit on this blog about my trip to Canada in September of this year. I finally realised the dream I have had since I was 8 years old, visiting Prince Edward Island, and Green Gables in particular. L. M. Montgomery chose the Cavendish farmhouse, owned by her cousins, to play the character of the famous house, and although her own house no longer stands, it was wonderful to meander through Green Gables, daydream down the winding path of Lovers’ Lane and scuttle through the Haunted Wood, both of which were illuminated with copies of Montgomery’s own photos. She was a very talented photographer as well.
Montgomery has already enriched my life so much, as well as those of my mother, my maternal grandmother, and her sisters, that this was something in the way of a pilgrimage for me. I didn’t expect to learn as much as I did about Montgomery’s other hobbies, such as photography, or to meet her descendants, to sit on the branch of her apple tree. Happy Birthday, Lucy Maude!