Saturday, February 6, 2010

Waltham Abbey


Photobucket
The Abbey Church of Waltham Holy Cross was founded by King Harold, in 1060. Located in the market town of Waltham Abbey it lies in the south west of the county Essex in the south east of England. Those hallowed walls have witnessed the prayers, praises, grief, anguish, and joy for nearly a thousand years...In 1066 King Harold, the royal founder knelt in prayer there before going out to meet a soldier's death in battle with William the Conqueror on the shores of Sussex. To really study the beauty of this beautiful church which is the oldest Norman church in the United Kingdom it amazes me to realize that much of the intricate stone work was not carved by the usual mason tools, but with an axe.

Photobucket
Photobucket
The above vaulted cloister so inspired one happy visitor to Waltham that upon her return to the states she commissioned a wonderful artist to reproduce its glory in commemoration. That was 40 years ago. Then about 5 years ago at age 88, that lovely, and dedicated artist decided to try her hand at the painting once again.. in an attempt to recreate the gentle arches and mottled coloring of the ancient stonework, the play of light and shadow within the recesses of the chamber. Unsure about the changes she was wroughting as what before had demonstrated the subtle roses of the hewn out stones of this conventual ruin... now a definite azure tone seemingly superceded the rosy mood. From the first moment I had seen her work, as she dabbled with it so painstakingly to correct her memory, I loved it.. I secretly dreamed that she would give to me... and then just as she was taking it off of the easel for the last time and preparing to roll it up and put it away in dismay she unhappily stated, "I just don't understand why there is so much blue!" Without thinking I said, Becuase it would look so wonderful in my house , and lo and behold, she handed to me and said, "Please have it then... to remember me".. That was 4 years ago.. on the occasion of our last oil painting class we shared together.
Photobucket

<span class=
<span class=
Just one more reason why I am so enamored with the olde country!

P.S. I had a comment which questioned the date of King Harold's advance to the throne etc. and all I can say in defense of the information is that it came from the pamphlet that the long ago visitor gave the artist which I now own. This periodical says "This short history of Waltham Abbey ( as written by the Rev. H.R. Darby) is published by the authority of the Churchwardens and the Parochial Church Council.1965

2 comments:

  1. Hi Schotzy! Happy Pink Saturday to you. What an amazing history you've shared. The church is incredibly beautiful. I enjoyed your account of how you acquired the painting. Isn't that always the way? We tend to be so critical of our own work, and we don't realize how much someone else will treasure it. Thank you for sharing this. You've inspired me. I hope you have a lovely weekend. We're experiencing stormy weather here too - two feet of snow last night! It's one of those days when I'm glad to be on the inside of the studio, looking out. If you get a chance, I'd love for you to pay me a visit. Terri

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a Beautiful Abby.. it just amazes me how well it with stood the tests of time... the painting is just gorgeous, thank you for sharing... I truly enjoyed it...

    Hugs;
    Alaura

    ReplyDelete

Your comments are a huge blessing and encouragement to me~