16 August 2014

Mural Paintings in English Churches during the Middle Ages:

An Introductory Essay on the Folk Influence in Religious Art
By Frank Kendon

A dear friend sent me the book mentioned above together with another volume on Christian Art commemorating the Annunciation.  It is always exciting to get a package, but doubly so when it comes from a dear friend who sent it from beautiful Castine in Maine.

The Frank Kendon book is definitely my cup of tea.  In many ways it is the perfect book for me to be reading with his keen insights mixed with wit and humour from time to time.  I do relish the following lines from his introduction:

To pose as a critic of mediaeval religion seemed to me to be the most barren of all useless occupations ; for the faults of the age were dead with the age, and death is more than correction.
During this Assumptiontide the book is a welcome companion.  And the volume on art inspired by the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary is truly medicine from heaven for my heart and soul.

I thank our dear Saviour for my dear friend of many years who sent me these treasures.  They arrived enveloped in beautiful papers with bright gold ribbons.  So many times since my first stroke the Lord has used her good offices to convey mercies and blessings... chief among them the encouragement to never give up on life ...  for as long as one lives there are horrid truths to learn about oneself (!) as well as the designs of God Most High to discern and trace in things mundane and mystical.  

The distance between God and man was thus reduced and bridgeable, as demonstrated by the Divine and human qualities mingled in Jesus and his mother.

F. Kendon, p. 31.