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Published: October 13th 2015
Our camp was next to the town’s sports centre. A great cross section of age groups came and played and went. Lots were interested in skate boarding – which seems to be taught in formal sort of way with instructors. But many went indoors for soccer and tennis or squash. A rugby team practised tackling.
A short walk away in the town centre a sculpted structure in the church yard drew our attention. This one is called “The Calvary”. From the 15th
to the 17th
centuries in this area parishes tried to outdo each other with flamboyant monuments in the church yard - or parish close. Architectural detail extended beyond the church to the grounds including a stone surrounding wall, a triumphal gateway, a fountain and a monument.
This monument was built around 1602 and tells quite a story in minute detail.
In total there are 28 scenes which might be seen as a pictorial or comic strip of Jesus’ life. The scenes start at the Annunciation proceeding to nativity, circumcision, teaching in the temple etc and on toward suffering, crucifixion, burial and resurrection. So as you walk around the
monument you start looking at the lower level and then keep going around looking further up as the time line of Jesus’ life progresses. Facial expressions and gestures of characters emphasise the story line.
The artist gives some interesting interpretations. His last supper scene has 12 people. A character at one end of the table has a sword drawn. In the middle Jesus appears to be holding a human head horizontally. While Joseph wears a tiger shooter hat for the flight into Egypt.
Its the detail in the sculpting that I found fascinating and difficult to walk away from.
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